Automatic Earth: Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion.
Of note. “Anyway, this is what we have on offer: the oil industry faces a triple whammy. Oil prices are down 50%, oil company share valuations are also down 50%, and their production costs are rising, in quite a few cases exponentially so. That’s what they, and we, face while slip-sliding into the new year. Do I need to explain that that does not bode well?” My italic emphasis.
The Luminous Endowment.
The Luminous Landscape looks to give back. With some help. Great idea.
Archaeology News Network: Taxes and costs, 70 Italian castles on sale.
I need to win a lottery.
INET Economics: Joseph Stiglitz - Economics Has to Come to Terms with Wealth and Income Inequality.
“What has happened repeatedly in recent years is that we’ve had monetary authorities allowing — through deregulation and lax standards — banks to lend more, but not for creating new business, not for capital goods.” Interesting read. Take the time.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Payback’s a Bitch.
“Most other industrialized countries offer free college enrollment because it is an investment in their future, and, in some cases, because it is considered a basic citizenly right. [snip] In the United States, we have turned this essential social good into the cruellest of debt traps.”
MarketWatch: Americans are 40% poorer than before the recession.
“The net worth of American families — the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a new report released on Friday by the nonprofit think-tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.” Ms Warren, your move.
naked cap: Elizabeth Warren - Remarks on Citigroup and its Bailout Provision in the Cromnibus Bill.
“Think about this kind of power. A financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is a reason enough for us break them up. Enough is enough.”
naked cap: Oil Price Drop Not Affecting US Drilling Much.
“How low can the price of shale oil drop before it becomes too expensive to extract? The conventional wisdom is that the threshold is $60 per barrel.” Is it me, or does the number keep dropping?
NY Times: Why I’m Giving Up My Passport.
GMO/White Paper: The World’s Dumbest Idea.
Shareholder Value Maximization. Marked for reading tomorrow. Thought others would like a shot first.
Later: Site went down, link went dead. Site’s back up, paper’s at a different URL, here. Read it quick.
Bloomberg: Why Elon Musk’s Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company.
“‘The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose’ comes from systems that include storage ... [snip] ... ‘That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide.’” (Rubs hands together in glee ...)
Guardian.UK: Fracking chemicals could pose risks to reproductive health, say researchers.
Well, duh. Get this: “I certainly wouldn’t dismiss it lightly, but I think we will have to wait for detailed prospective data from well-organised studies ...” Wait? For what? We know many of the compounds. We know those compounds’ lethality. We know they’re getting spilled and/or leaked. Do you really want to be a lemming?
Vox/Study: Left-handed people earn 10 percent less than righties.
“Most of this gap can be attributed to ‘observed differences in cognitive skills and emotional or behavioral problems,’ he writes, adding that since lefties tend to do more manual work than right-handers, the gap appears to be due to differences in cognitive abilities, not physical.” What about poor ambis?
naked cap: New Study Says US Fracking Boom Will Fade Quickly After 2020.
Just wait until the cleanup brouhaha starts. It will be epic, and epically expensive.
CNBC: New US oil and gas well November permits tumble nearly 40 percent.
Less pollution, less infrastructure impact, less taxpayer liability. What’s not to like? I know, I know ... lower revenues for the state coffers. I can live with that. Emphasis on the word ‘live.’
Diane Ravitch Blog: How to Analyze False Claims about Charter Schools.
“An op-ed by Congressman Danny Davis noted that the Noble Network suspends 51% of its students at least once during a school year. This includes suspending 88% of the African American students who attend its schools. It might be hard to understand why a school would want to suspend so many of its students … until you realize that this encourages students to leave. And it specifically encourages the more challenging students, the ones most likely to bring down test scores and college graduation rates, to depart.” Flagged as an important read. Go. Now.
Guardian.UK: How a ruby-red Texas town turned against fracking.
“The fracking ban that comes into effect on Tuesday in the heart of Texas may never have happened at all, if industry had not insisted on fracking beside a local hospital, a children’s playground, and the 100-year-old farmhouse that was Cathy McMullen’s retirement dream. That brought fracking a step too far.” This is how they operate, take note. And nary a penny for infrastructure improvements. YOU pay for that, as a taxpayer.
SciAm: Rooftop Solar Cost Competitive with the Grid in Much of the U.S.
But that’s great news. Should be shouted from the mountaintops.
Mashable: ‘Mockingjay’ box office is best of the year, worst of the franchise.
Yes, however noone wants to imagine themselves part of Panem or living in the districts. The split-finale routine started with Harry Potter, right? Everyone wanted that fantasy extended. It’s a good bet for The Hobbit. But The Hunger Games? I would have left it a trilogy - it’s the story, not the fantasy. A lesson, perhaps: Never extend the dystopian hero’s journey for profit-making reasons.
ArtDaily: O’Keeffe painting sells for more than 3x the previous world auction record ...
... for any female artist. Here: “Seven bidders competed for Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, but it was a prolonged battle between two determined bidders that drove the price to this record height – nearly tripling the work’s high estimate of $15 million.”
CJR: Texas reporters fight for access to fracking facts.
Let some sun shine in. To me, this policy bespeaks a great deal of fear.
DP Review: Lighting equipment manufacturer Metz files for insolvency.
Improving product from China murdered them. Many’s the time I thought of going for Metz rather than Canon or Nikon, but the savings and/or features were never enough to steer me in their direction. I will miss having them available as a quality option.
BBC: Trip Advisor couple ‘fined’ £100 by hotel for bad review.
“People should have the right to vent their disappointment if a hotel stay did not meet their expectations and should not be prevented from having their say.” Reviews are getting less and less useful for the consumer, as people become fearful of litigation.
BreakingViews: Good news for guns is bad for gunmakers.
No fear, no gun sales. Gun manufacturers are facing large inventories and larger debts. There are already right-wingers spreading the idea that the reason IS is so successful is that Americans don’t own more guns. Stick that in your personal Enigma machine and try to parse it - I can’t.
Dazed: UK students graduate with even more debt than Americans.
“According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, students will graduate with an average of £44,035 of student debt. America’s class of 2014, on the other hand, will only graduate $33,000 in debt. ” Doesn’t seem so much until you convert Pounds to dollars [scratching on paper ... roughly] $68,900 or so. Double American students’ debt. Shame on you, Britain, for being taken in by capitalist shpiel.