Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/19 - Good News Friday: Germany Hails Fusion Breakthrough, The Resilient Jerusalem Artichoke

Friday, February 19, 2016, 11:05 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!

Economy

The Failure of Money to Buy the Presidential Nomination, in One Chart (jdargis)

We decided to chart the relationship, or lack thereof, between spending and success in the polls. For spending, we compiled Federal Election Commission data on how much each presidential campaign and presidential super-PAC spent through Dec. 31. (New data for January will be disclosed Feb. 20.) Then we looked at the change in position in the polls, based on the average poll ranking for each candidate as compiled by Pollster.com. We compared each candidate's position at the end of December to their rank as of June 29. Here's the result for each candidate who was still in the race as of Dec. 31...

How Psychology Helped Support — and Subvert — the British Empire (jdargis)

Vinden, the army official, comes across as as enlightened as anyone in the book. He believed strongly that the psychological makeups of British and Indian people were identical, and even hid religion and caste status from the interviewers to try to prevent bias. But this desire for fairness and cross-country comparability led him to import the same tests used in Britain. This meant the questions and directions were in English, applicants had to answer in English, and even the time requirements on word-association tests remained the same, despite the applicants speaking a non-native language.

Ann Selzer Is The Best Pollster In Politics (jdargis)

Despite a pleasant affect — she nods and smiles as Woodruff speaks — Selzer betrays a hint of testiness during the exchange about the poll that she now says “pretty much made my career.” (We all know how that story ends — Obama wins Iowa, emerges from the nation’s primary contests victorious, becomes president.)

“We were just doing what we do, minding our own business,” Selzer said to me eight years later.

Decolonizing Permaculture (jdargis)

I am here to learn how to be of better service to all people. I’m here to help make the world a more just and sustainable place for my daughter and all the other children in the world, those alive today as well as those of future generations. I’m here to learn how to be a good ancestor. I’m also here because I dream of a world free of the industrial nation-state. I see an agenda of decolonization coupled with land use based on permaculture design as a positive way forward toward a time of greater ecological and social health, in which we may rediscover how to live in right relationship to a place while simultaneously repairing and healing historic crimes against humanity.

This flower, preserved in amber, may be 45 million years old (jdargis)

The researchers had to date the flower by proxy by examining other life forms found in the amber cache, including the common single-celled organisms known as foraminifera and coccoliths. There are distinct evolutionary and population changes in foraminifera and coccoliths over time, and paleontologists often use these tiny animals to place fossils during specific geological periods. What's certain is that this flower bloomed long before the age of apes during the mid-Tertiary period.

Germany Hails Landmark Achievement In Fusion Energy (Josh O.)

The Wendelstein 7-X is the world’s largest stellarator, a massively complex fusion reactor that was inaugurated by Angela Merkel in a recent ceremony. The reactor is a testing prototype at this stage rather than a commercial energy generation source, but it marks the first time an alternative to traditional fusion power approaches has been tried. The current state of the art in fusion power is a device called a Tokamak. Tokamaks are easier to build than stellarators, but despite decades of support for projects like ITER that rely on that design, no economical fusion reactor has been built yet. The Wendelstein 7-X offers an alternative.

Solar cells help purify water in remote areas (Michael W.)

The environmental company Watersprint, founded in 2013 by Kenneth M Persson and engineer Ola Hansson, has patented the technology that helps purify water by combining UV-LED technology with intelligent software and Wi-Fi. Its system of 12 volts is so effective that it can be run by a single solar panel. The solar cells also charge its battery, which means that the portable facility can be used around the clock and in rural areas without access to electricity.

Jerusalem Artichoke - Real Deal Resilient (HughK)

In Spring 2015, I picked up a single, small J'art tuber with three lobes to it from the the Growhaus' Seed Swap. Going with my intuition and against the advisement of the urban farmer from whom I'd received the tuber, I split it into three nubs to plant in three different areas.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/18/16

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

6 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4065
Repost of Today's News

China's central bank redacts sensitive foreign-exchange data

Financial Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
China's central bank has removed a closely watched foreign exchange data series from its website in a move likely to provoke suspicion that the government is attempting to conceal the extent of capital outflow. In a regular monthly data table published ...

PBOC Adopts Daily Open Market Operations

Bloomberg-15 hours ago
China is stepping up efforts to maintain liquidity in its banking system and keep a handle on interest rates as it faces unprecedented capital outflows.

South Korea in suspected $2 billion intervention after stern warning

Reuters-6 hours ago
The won has become Asia's worst performing due to risk-off sentiment that has seen outflows from Asia's fourth-largest economy since late last year.
 

Brazil's Central Bank Says Economy Shrank 4.08 Pct in 2015

ABC News-21 hours ago
Brazil's central bank said Thursday the economy contracted 4.08 percent in 2015, the worst performance since the indicator was created in 2003. The data also ...

Venezuela Says Inflation Rose to 180.9% in 2015

Wall Street Journal - ‎18 hours ago‎
CARACAS, Venezuela—Venezuela's central bank on Thursday said inflation last year surged to 180.9% and the economy contracted by 5.7%, reflecting the deep crisis here a day after President Nicolás Maduro announced a package of economic ...

Maduro Tinkers With Policy as Venezuelan Debt Default Looms

Bloomberg-22 hours ago
President Nicolas Maduro missed an opportunity to salvage Venezuela's ruined economy on Wednesday with half-hearted measures that failed to reassure ...

Hong Kong Developers Under Pressure to Cut Prices Amid Slowdown

Bloomberg-14 hours ago
Goldman Sachs says there have been $550 billion of outflows in the second half ... companies' total foreign-currency debt dropped by about $140 billion in the ...

Philadelphia's $5.7bn 'quiet crisis'

Financial Times-4 hours ago
The numbers for the city's municipal pension fund are so troubling that there seems ... pension deficit were unconstitutional, raising the prospect of another credit ...

Illinois launches financial probe into Chicago Public Schools

Reuters-10 hours ago
... Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has a $1.5 billion structural deficit and has asked Illinois' gridlocked state government for $480 million to help pay the system's pension ...

Senate May Worsen GERS Unfunded Liability Again

St, Thomas Source-10 hours ago
GERS is facing a roughly $1.8 billion unfunded pension mandate and is expected to have liquidated its entire trust fund by 2024. (See Related Links below).
 

Howes: Bankruptcy unlikely prescription for DPS trouble

The Detroit News-11 hours ago
Nor would bankruptcy relieve the district's debt because it is backed by the taxpayers of ... Chapter 9 would expose the state to at least $1.5 billion in liabilities ...

 

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Are Antibacterial Soaps Safe?

Good review from WSJ. Another consumer product with unintended consequences.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/are-antibacterial-soaps-safe-1455592023

A 2014 review of evidence and regulatory actions published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology acknowledged there is a “paucity of data” on triclosan’s adverse effects on humans. But the review notes that U.S. streams have a 60% to 100% likelihood of containing detectable quantities of the chemicals, and they have been detected in high levels in municipal sludge and drinking water, and urine and breast milk. While consumers may use soaps for a few seconds and wash them down the drain, their environmental afterlife is much longer, measured at time scales of up to several decades, the review found.

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Balcony gardens to fight food emergency in Venezuela

President Maduro is urging people to grow food and raise chickens in their homes, even though 83 percent of Venezuelans live in cities. To help them, Maduro announced the formation of a Ministry of Urban Farming.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/02/16/466942128/facing-severe-food-shortages-venezuela-pushes-urban-gardens

 

Terry L's picture
Terry L
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 25 2009
Posts: 15
Re Fusion energy achievement

In a rational world I might be for fusion energy, but I'm concerned that in our current predicaments, the TPTB would use more energy to accelerate the dominant trends that do not bode well for a sustainable future. Anybody see otherwise?

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
trends that do not bode well

trends that do not bode well for a sustainable future. Anybody see otherwise?

It is another technology and it can be used in all sorts of ways. I do believe that I know a way of releasing all the energy explosively as has been in the lab. 

However to do nothing and to allow events to run their course requires  too much failure of the imagination.  
(Look that little girl in the eye and tell her the truth,
"I'm sorry my dear but your life will be a meaningless struggle to get enough food and you will die of starvation after having sold your dignity for a moldy crust of bread".)

Free energy is a necessary but not sufficient asset to ensure our Civilization.  

Two other problems need to be examined.

 

  • We will have to forgo our automatic right to breed. To that end I suggest that ovulation is re-engineered genetically to become an act of volition. 
  • We have to escape the gravity well.

These facts do not require your imprimatur.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2237
Great find re the 45 million year old flower, Jeanine!

 It's surreal to be able to look at a flower that may be 45 million years old, encased in amber.  Surreal and beautiful.

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