- The Economist: Europe’s scapegoat Under one model of the effects of migration, by 2030 GDP per capita in some eastern European countries could fall by 4%. “Europe has destroyed us,” says an official in the deserted Romanian village of Certeze.
- Providence Business News: I-195 commission agrees to cover up to $2M in pedestrian bridge costs
Initially expected to be finished in 2013, the pedestrian bridge has been beset by delays and redesign issues for several years.
If we aren’t able to deliver this bridge, the whole marketing plan fails,said commissioner Robert C. Davis.
- The Globe and Mail: Why it may make sense for Ontario to go it alone on climate change
You could call it Ontario’s declaration of energy independence: a radical plan to sweep carbon out of the provincial economy by turning off natural gas in homes and workplaces and switching on electric cars at a cost of $7-billion to taxpayers.
- Slate: Gertrude Stein Wrote a Children’s Book, and It’s As Weirdly Mesmerizing As You’d Think
“Don’t bother about the commas which aren’t there, read the words. Don’t worry about the sense that is there, read the words. If you have any trouble, read faster and faster until you don’t.”
- Foreign Policy: Stopping the World’s Most Rapacious Invasive Species, One Fillet at a Time
- History News Network: Vanderbilt to spend $1.2 million to rid itself of a building with the word “Confederate"
- The Economist: Would that it were so simple
Does no one know the English subjunctive anymore?
- #fridayreads: Thinking in Systems, by Donella H. Meadows
- Geopolitical Futures: Not Much Is New in This Election
The question is not why Americans regard this particular election as apocalyptic. The question is why Americans routinely regard presidential elections as apocalyptic, without realizing they are simply acting out an old script. One reason is a general one. Americans do not remember the past very clearly, particularly when it doesn’t directly affect their lives. America was founded without a past, but with a breathtaking future. As a culture, our focus has been there. We get caught up in the moment and we lack a sense of perspective because our memory of the past has been rendered fuzzy, with the hard edges removed.
- The Economist: The Economics of Donald Trump's Wall
- Boston Review: Paying for Punishment
But understanding decarceration only through the lens of cost cutting has a major blind spot. America’s contemporary system of policing, courts, imprisonment, and parole doesn’t just absorb money. It also makes money through asset forfeiture, lucrative public contracts from private service providers, and by directly extracting revenue and unpaid labor from populations of color and the poor.
- Lukasz Olejnik: Battery Status readout as a privacy risk
Privacy risks and threats arise and surface even in seemingly innocuous mechanisms. We have seen it before, and we will see it again.
- The Economist: From Dotcom Hero to Zero
At its peak in 2000, Yahoo had a market value of $128 billion. In the dotcom version of Monopoly, Yahoo got the prime slot.
- Annoyed Librarian: Information Failure
The time has long gone when people would settle bar bets by calling a reference librarian, but the same sort of fact-checking Snopes engages in is what reference librarians excel at, or at least used to until people stopped asking them reference questions and started asking them to clear the printer jams.
- Kieran Healey: Olympics Trolling
A moment’s thought suggests that my views are perfectly correct. Reflecting a little further on my sports bigotry, I think the simplest model is a two-dimensional space that, I think you will agree, is both easy to understand and wholly objective.
- #fridayreads: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future
- ABC (Australia): Crisis on high
Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos.
- The Awl: How to read a book and walk at the same time
whereas I found Wallace Stegner’s A Shooting Star tiresome and unfinishable when I was reading it at home, I found the eleven-and-three-eighth-ounce paperback tiresome but eminently finishable while walking. How does that work? Walking renders any book on hand finishable because your only alternative is your mind, and haven’t you had enough of that?
- BBC News: Pets left hungry as smart feeder breaks
- The Chronicle of Higher Education: Texas Picked an Ominous Date to Arm Its Public Colleges
In what appears to be an audacious act of public forgetting, a controversial Texas campus-carry law allowing concealed guns in university buildings is scheduled to take effect on Monday, August 1, the 50th anniversary of the University of Texas tower shootings.
- The Economist: How to make children do homework
The parents of nearly 16,000 pupils at 36 secondary schools in England were sent regular text messages to remind them of forthcoming tests, to report whether homework was submitted on time and to outline what their children were learning. Parents could opt out if the texts became bothersome. Few did. The result was an uptick in performance in maths and (more weakly) English, as well as lower absenteeism.
- Lars P. Syll: Cherry-picking Economic Models
…if one extends the alcohol neutral model to take that role into account, it is optimal for humans to be drinking all of their waking hours.
- The Age: Could an aspirin a day keep depression away?
ASPREE involves 16,500 Australian volunteers, all aged over 70, plus a few thousand extra in the United States. It constitutes the largest clinical trial ever conducted in this country, and one of the largest in the world. Results will be available in 2018.
- **Foreign Policy: Norway Is So Nice That It Wants to Give Finland a Mountain for Its Birthday “We want to reach out a hand to our neighbor that we will be able to shake across the summit.”
- Columbia Journalism Review: Is Rolling Stone about to get throttled in court over UVA rape report?
- Providence Journal: R.I. rethinking pedestrian bridge plan on 195 land after bids come in high
- WPRI: Study: Low infrastructure spending makes RI an ‘outlier state’
- The Economist: America’s growing temporary workforce
America's temporary help industry first emerged after the second world war, when companies like Manpower and Kelly Girl Service began “renting out” office workers on a short-term basis. In those early years, temps numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today, the industry employs some 2.9m people, over 2% of America’s total workforce.
- The Economist: What if Germany had not Reunified
Joining East and West together within NATO and the European Union was the worst option, except for all the others
- Lars P. Syll: Why Economists Can't Reason Neoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds. Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in economic theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence. The one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity worthy of pursuing in economics, is a scientific cul-de-sac.
- Chasing Truth. Catching Hell.: Dear Norm: How Do You Defend Those People? (Part 3,223)
No, I don’t mean “how can you live with yourself ensuring due process for people who have done really really bad things” or anything like that. I mean, how do you actually do it? When you have a client accused of something awful, and he/she has next to nothing by way of a defense, how do you defend them anyway?
- USA Today: Hardwired for happy hour: Primates choose booze
Scientists discovered that the aye-aye and the slow loris species both have a taste for booze, a finding that indirectly bolsters one theory for how humans came to appreciate a stiff drink. The aye-ayes in particular were such enthusiastic tipplers that after draining their cups, they searched for more…
- #fridayreads: Thinking in systems: a primer by Donella H. Meadows
- Foreign Policy: The Soft Logic of Soft Targets
Second, trying to defend “soft targets” is essentially impossible, because such targets are by definition vulnerable and there are an infinite number of them in any minimally free society.
- Columbia Journalism Review: How a regional newspaper pulled off a national investigation into sexual abuse by doctors
- Corey Robin: We can get rid of the Hitlers and the Himmlers, but not the Speers
In 1942, Albert Speer drafted a decree that made it a crime, punishable by death, to provide false information about raw materials, labor, machinery or products. Himmler thought it was too harsh.
- Foreign Policy: Britain Has a New Snooper-in-Chief
“Government hacking powers, mass surveillance, and collection and sharing of data,” is how Gus Hosein, the executive director of Privacy International, summed up May’s agenda as home secretary, a position in which she oversaw the police, the MI5 domestic security services, and border control. In that role, May increased data collection on travelers in the EU and, in Hosein’s words, used “any opportunity to decry human rights laws as the bane of our existence.”
- Open Culture: An 1585 Recipe for Making Pancakes
Take new thicke Creame a pint, foure or five yolks of egs, a good handful of flower and two or three spoonefuls of ale, strain them together into a faire platter, and season it with a good handfull of sugar, a spooneful of synamon, and a little Ginger…
- Providence Journal: Providence-to-Newport ferry has successful launch
- Providence Business News: Has the mall been worth it?
- **The Chronicle of Higher Education:* Law Schools Cut Back to Counter Tough Financial Times**
First-year enrollment at the 204 J.D.-granting law schools accredited by the American Bar Association has fallen 30 percent from its peak six years ago. It’s slumped to its lowest level since 1973, when there were only 151 schools.
- 1843: The West's Biggest Statue
The statue was cast in Russia in 1991 and intended as a gift to the United States to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas. Having been turned down by several mainland cities due to its monstrous size, ugliness and the prohibitive cost of installation, it was eventually accepted in 1998 by Puerto Rico, where Columbus had landed on his second voyage in 1493.
- Quote Investigator: Beer/Wine Is Proof that God Loves Us and Wants Us To Be Happy
- Foreigh Policy: London Should Secede From the United Kingdom
The more countries democratize, the more local populations seek greater self-rule.
- WSB-TV: Poll: Some voters prefer meteor strike to Clinton, Trump
Giant Meteor 2016: Just End It Already
- AP: Britain votes to leave EU: Cameron to resign; markets rocked
- CNN: No-fly nightmares: The program's most embarrassing mistakes
On the same day Kennedy revealed his flight troubles, civil rights icon and longtime Rep. John Lewis revealed he, too, had been snarled by the watchlist dragnet. According to his office, the Georgia Democrat had over the course of a year been held up 35 to 40 times. Despite reaching out to a number of federal agencies over that period, Lewis' name had remained on a list.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education: Does Reading on Computer Screens Affect Student Learning?
The mind-set with reading on a computer or tablet screen, says Ms. Baron, becomes
I’m studying for a test, and this piece of text is not going to become a part of who I am.
- Language Log: Gertrude Trump
You know the Republicans honestly folks our leaders our leaders have to get tougher. This is too tough to do it alone but you know what I think I'm gonna be forced to. I think I'm going to be forced to. Our leaders have to get a lot tougher.
- Providence Journal: Mark Patinkin's judgmental map of Providence
- Providence Business News: House OKs $20M bond for ProvPort
A $20 million state bond issue that would expand the terminal capacity of ProvPort Inc., by adding more land and water acreage at the Port of Providence, is expected to be presented to voters in November.
- The Economist: Where the smart is
Connected homes will take longer to materialise than expected
- Providence Business News: What new residential construction there is in R.I. rarely matches state's needs
Although permit activity has increased, new construction of housing has yet to rebound from the Great Recession, according to builders and state officials.
And where residential building is taking place, it generally is not taking the form of multifamily or increased density. But that is exactly what the state needs, according to housing advocates.
- On the Economy: Read this now: Clyde Prestowitz’s masterful history of the political economy of trade in the US
The idea that more trade is always win-win for everybody is unquestionably wrong in theory and practice.
- The Big Picture: Dani Rodrik on the downsides of globalization
- The Economist: The price of caring
Some reports have it that Thomas Mair, the 52-year-old man arrested for yesterday’s fatal attack on Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was waiting for her outside the Yorkshire library where she was holding a constituency surgery. Whether or not this turns out to have been the case, her murder is a stark illustration of the risks to which MPs go by making themselves so available to their constituents.
- aeon: Disgust made us human
- The Globe and Mail: Dear McDonald’s, your desserts are too sugary. Love, a giant candy company
- Combat!: Citigroup sues AT&T, claiming trademark on phrase “thank you”
Like most consumers, I associate the phrase “thank you” with Citigroup THANKYOU Marks, which the financial-services giant uses in its customer rewards programs. When I hold the door open for a little girl and she says “thank you,” I suffer a moment of confusion. How has this child become employed by Citigroup, and why has my act of courtesy earned me THANKYOU Mark rewards? But then I remember that, oh yeah, trademark violations have diluted the THANKYOU Mark brand to the point where people started using it in non-rewards point contexts. It’s the kind of infringement on intellectual property that has become too common in the modern world.
- The Hard Times: Female Noise Artist Proves Women Can Be Talentless and Weird Too
She's the next big thing in an almost completely ignored scene.
- #fridayreads: The Concrete Blonde, Michael Connelly
All these findings correspond with a substantial body of research in the economic literature, which, with the help of surveys, laboratory experiments, as well as field experiments showed that those who learn about markets (economists) or act in markets (businessmen) are lacking in … ‘pro-social behavior’ … I also use corruption as a proxy to show whether there are any differences in pro-social behavior between economists and non-economists, but unlike them, I observe behavior outside the artificial situation of a laboratory. By analyzing real world data of the U.S. Congress, I found that politicians holding a degree in economics are significantly more prone to engage in corrupt practices.René Ruske, “Does Economics Make Politicians Corrupt? Empirical Evidence from the United States Congress”
Yet another PaperJS experiment. This one generates
Sparklines. It simply looks for canvases matching a specific CSS selector (
canvas.sparkler by default), and draws a chart based on JSON-formatted data in the
data-data attribute. Here, I'm displaying some unemployment data from Quandl.
The code is on Gist.
library(rjson) library(Quandl) Quandl.auth(getOption('quandl_auth_key')) ct.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_CT", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") ct.2yunemp <- rev(ct.unemp$Value[1:24]) me.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_ME", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") me.2yunemp <- rev(me.unemp$Value[1:24]) ma.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_MA", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") ma.2yunemp <- rev(ma.unemp$Value[1:24]) nh.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_NH", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") nh.2yunemp <- rev(nh.unemp$Value[1:24]) ri.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_RI", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") ri.2yunemp <- rev(ri.unemp$Value[1:24]) vt.unemp <- Quandl("FRBC/UNEMP_ST_VT", trim_start="1978-01-01", trim_end="2013-12-01", collapse="monthly") vt.2yunemp <- rev(vt.unemp$Value[1:24])
|New England Unemployment by State, 2011-12-31 to 2013-11-30|