Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/30 - The Solar Sunflower, The Coddling Of The American Mind

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 10:27 AM


The Coddling of the American Mind (jdargis)

There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.

With Ruble’s Decline, Russian Tourists Gain Appreciation for the Motherland (jdargis)

One of the most profound changes in the lives of Russians since the fall of the Soviet Union has been the ability to travel abroad. The shift opened up a closed society, and as soon as they could afford it, Russians went. Foreign air travel rose exponentially, and members of the expanding middle class filled beaches in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Thailand on package tours that became a symbol of newfound affluence.

China Construction Bank Posts Zero Profit Growth on Weak Economy (jdargis)

Industrial overcapacity, a build-up of corporate debt and a $5 trillion stock-market slump are making it harder for Premier Li Keqiang to prevent a deeper economic slowdown. The combined earnings of China’s five biggest banks are projected to rise 2 percent this year, the least since at least 2004, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Optimistic About Inflation, Stanley Fischer Suggests That Fed Will Stick to Plan on Rates (jdargis)

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation shows that prices rose 0.3 percent during the 12 months ending in July, well below the 2 percent annual pace the Fed considers healthy. A narrower measure excluding food and oil prices, which the Fed regards as more predictive, increased 1.2 percent over that same period.

In pictures: An emotional arrival in Europe (jdargis)

More than half of the 264,500 people who have crossed the Mediterranean in the hope of settling in Europe this year have arrived in Greece - and most of those have landed on the five Greek islands closest to the Turkish coast. Photographer Fernando Del Berro watched some of them arrive on the northern shore of Lesbos.

The Black Route of Death From Syria (jdargis)

“We would only die once in Syria,” Ahmed says at one point, after his brother-in-law is nearly hit by a car in Belgrade, Serbia. “Here we are dying 5,000 times.”

Printing Money Goes Haywire in Venezuela (Wendy SD)

Venezuela seems to be hovering on the edge of tipping into hyperinflation. Or perhaps it has already fallen into the abyss. Given the paucity of official data -- the none-too-believable official figures were last published in February -- it's a little hard to tell.

The Solar Sunflower: Harnessing the power of 5,000 suns (jdargis)

The reflectors are simply slightly curved, mirrored panels. Airlight has tried a variety of different reflector materials, from glass to mylar, but it looks like they have finally settled on aluminium foil, which isn't prohibitively expensive and has very high reflectance. Aluminium foil does need additional material to protect it from the elements, though, as it's very flimsy. The Sunflower has six "petals," each consisting of six reflectors. At the focal point of the 36 reflectors there are six collectors, one for each block of six reflectors.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/28/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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