CJR: Hospitals find one more way to jack up healthcare costs.
“Trauma centers are specialized units that have to be ready 24 hours a day, and no one disputes that that’s expensive. That’s why in 2002 a federal committee authorized trauma centers to charge what amounts to a cover fee for some incoming patients, in addition to the cost of actual services. But since then, the fees have ballooned without regulation or oversight.”
Guardian.UK: New York homeless shelters housing record-high 53,000 people per night.
“The report blames the city’s homeless crisis on a combination of factors. It cites the ‘disastrous homeless policies’ implemented by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg; the city’s worsening housing affordability; and the growing income inequality gap.” Hard to believe it could be worse than the ‘80’s. The Franciscans did particularly good work in the ‘80’s. Their website. What I used to do, going out to lunch, was to swing into a McD’s on my way back to the office and buy a ‘Happy Meal’ and hand it to a random homeless individual. I was never ‘attacked’, never insulted, always thanked.
ViralForest: This is the Pallet Emergency Home. It Can Be Built in One Day With Only Basic Tools.
Neat. Careful what pallets you use; some stink to high heaven.
Mashable: Scientists - El Nino (May Be) A-Comin’
“According to both L’Heureux and McPhaden, scientists issued this outlook without the benefit of their full complement of available data. A network of ocean observing buoys strategically located throughout the central and eastern tropical Pacific and designed specifically for improving El Niño forecasts, is now only 40% operational, largely due to federal budget cuts.” Oy. My emphasis. Well, El Niño would be welcome moisture here, if it does form. We need it. Roofers in the area will be mightily pleased, too.
SciAm: Infrastructure Threatened by Climate Change Poses a National Crisis.
“The difficulty of strengthening the systems that support the American economy — from electricity to drinking water — poses significant problems requiring large investments at a time of rising risk and receding political appetite for big spending initiatives.” Climate change or not, I’ve been personally banging on about infrastructure since the Reagan years.
TechCrunch: Stripe Debuts A New Checkout Experience With One-Click Payments.
Pretty. I understand Stripe only pays out once a week, rather than on-demand as PayPal does (three days from request to deposit).
Later: I think I’ve mentioned this before, but if I haven’t … do check where your payment-processor-of-choice is incorporated, and what their legal schemes are. You’ll be surprised (maybe not) to sometimes find them incorporated in Eastern Europe - or Bermuda/Cayman Islands, and limiting you to arbitration.
Telegraph.UK: Heavy rains bring down Pompeii wall.
If they can’t afford to repair it, perhaps they should re-bury it. Preserve it for a future generation that can afford to keep it in good shape.
SciAm: Methane Pollution from Gas and Oil Proves Cheap to Fix.
WSJ: No Signs of Stock Froth in the Tea Leaves.
“Inflation isn’t a problem, market interest rates as reflected in bond yields have been remarkably contained, and stock prices haven’t been hot since the end of last year.” Counterpoint to a link I placed earlier.
Youtube: Life after Pi.
Statements on the VFX situation of modern filmmaking. Worth the watch.
The Atlantic: How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008.
“After the fact, the Fed has said that it couldn’t do these things, that it had no choice. But the transcripts show that it was a choice, and they knew it.” I suppose we’ll keep looking back, each time with a different perspective, and still sit and do nothing about today’s situation.
LA Times: Bitcoin virtual currency is on verge of collapse.
CJR: America’s healthcare prices are absurd. So, now what?
“I didn’t want to look at rare medical events but instead at encounters that everyone relates to. I wanted to get people energized to understand the costs and financial incentives. So I focused on ordinary procedures and conditions like colonoscopies, asthma, pregnancy, having a minor skin cancer removed, and getting stitches.”
DP Review: Weak Yen masks hard times as Mirrorless and DSLR sales decline.
One supposes as the smartphone camera improves, the dedicated camera declines in popularity. The Kodak snappers will be satisfied with a smartphone; the point-and-shoot market should become a ghost town relatively swiftly. If I were a manufacturer, I’d make this the last year of building PnS’s.
Guardian.UK: This is no recovery, this is a bubble – and it will burst.
“Even more extraordinary than the inflated prices is that, unlike in the two previous share price booms, no one is offering a plausible narrative explaining why the evidently unsustainable levels of share prices are actually justified.” Very concerning, IMHO.
Guardian.UK: Being a doctor was once a job with great purpose. Now it’s just a business.
The Atlantic: Happy Birthday, Stimulus! You Saved the World.
“The Recovery Act could have been better, but our world would have been much worse without it.” Note, according to the charts, we’re still not ‘back.’
CNet: Target hack strips banks and credit unions of $200M.
Oh, they’ll find a way to load the cost on us, you watch.
ProPublica: How Dark Money Flows Through the Koch Network
Motley Fool: Why Would America Sell Saudi Arabia 15,699 Dangerous Missiles?
“In short, the Middle East in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular are turning into a gigantic export market for U.S. defense contractors. Any defense contractor that doesn’t grab a piece of this market is missing out on a bonanza.” About that title; what missile is not dangerous? More linkbait.
TerribleMinds: Self-Publishing Truism Bingo.
Reuters: The French way of cancer treatment.
“The waiting room was quiet. I realized what was missing: There was no billing department.”
BusinessWeek: Pilot Shortage - Regional Airlines Are Cutting Flights.
“The starting salary for a first officer at a regional airline is a little more than $21,000 per year—about $40,000 lower than the same job at Delta (DAL) and United (UAL), according to the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest U.S. pilot union.” Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Becoming a pilot used to be a rocketship to affluence. No more.
Oilprice: Wind and Gas Forcing Out Nuclear in Midwest.
“Exelon blames low electricity prices and “bad energy policy” for making some of its units unprofitable to continue to run. By ‘bad energy policy,’ Crane is referring to subsidies for renewable energy that Exelon has long campaigned against.”
USA Today: Fracking raising water supply worries.
“The water-intensive process used to extract oil and gas from shale underground — known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking — has required almost 100 billion gallons of water to drill more than 39,000 oil and shale gas wells in the U.S. since 2011, says Ceres, a green investment group. More than half of those wells — 55% — were in drought-stricken areas, and nearly half were in regions under high or extremely high water stress, such as Texas, the report says.” My point exactly, which I’ve been pushing for how many years now? Fracking as a technique should not be used in drought areas … unless water is being trucked in from more humid climes. Which would likely push the price beyond reason.