DiscoverMag: Study - why dog owners don’t always clean up their pooch’s poop.
“First, the (terrible, no good, and just plain horrible ... not that we judge) dog owner may decide to pretend to not have seen the dog poop, and just leave it there.” My old man was doing his crossword on the front porch swing, when an individual allowed their canine to crap on our front lawn. My father said “Um ... could you clean that up?” The owner responded, “Excuse me?” and then proceeded to proclaim that their pooch “never does such things.” My father’s response: “Well then, YOU must have done it. And you still need to clean it up.”
NY Times: Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A.
“Other realities conspire to make the M.F.A. one of the fastest growing graduate degrees. Among them: the pervasiveness of digital media and celebrity culture, where anyone with a blog feels like a best-selling novelist-in-waiting; the rise of memoirs, a natural extension of the online selfie writing culture; the popularity of magical realism and noir fiction novels, which have turned many 20-somethings on to literature; and changes in generational attitudes, aspirations and culture.”
WhoWhatWear.com: Stop Your Sweater From Shedding in 1 Easy Step.
Bloomberg Business: Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil.
A good overview, worth the time. “How much time Saudi Arabia has to prepare for the eventual decline of the oil era may depend, in part, on how alternatives fare during this period of cheap oil. Will sales of wind turbines and solar panels stay strong? Or will they enter a tailspin like they did during the Great Recession, when project financing dried up? And will sales of electric vehicles continue to climb even as gasoline prices slump?”
Ana White: Build a RyobiNATION Potting Bench.
Nice and easy. I may use this as a basis for making my own ... albeit a bit wider to cover over a gas meter.
The Nation: The Absurdly Rational Logic of Wages for Wives.
“The partnership hinges on mutual consent and balanced rights and responsibilities over the governance of household assets. Meanwhile, the government should take into account women’s contributions to the maintenance of the household, with the census counting her domestic work as a job. It was, after all, the economic pillar that enabled all other forms of industry.”
Alison Turner: Letting Go Of Things.
“Stuff is just stuff and it can be replaced.” I’m getting there.
GlobalPost: The future of religion around the world, in one chart.
Lifehacker: The Salary Required to Be “Middle Class” in Every State.
One more from LH, just because. $43,872 to be ‘middle class’ in NM? Southern NM, perhaps. In Santa Fe gas, food and sundries are *expensive*. Stuff gets re-shipped from Albuquerque [major transport hub]: Extra transport costs. I’d raise that at least another $20k.
The Atlantic: U.S. Supreme Court - GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure.
“If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday ...” Good.
NakedCap: Fracking’s New Nemesis - Earthquake Lawsuits.
“Indeed, some of the bigger players appear to have decided it’s best to keep these cases out of the press if possible. BHP Billiton and Chesapeake Energy settled a 2013 case lodged by five homeowners for a confidential amount.” Industries prefer to minimize case law on the books. Swift gag settlements are the first line of defense.
The Millions: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids.
“The perfect life does not and never will exist, and to assert otherwise perpetuates a pernicious fantasy: that it’s possible to live without regrets. Every important choice has benefits and its deficits.”
The Bookseller: Median author advance under £6,600.
~$9,700. Our culture still loves the archetype of the ‘starving artist.’ Rice and beans, that.
Fuel Fix: Oil workers in West Texas and New Mexico were underpaid millions, Labor Department says.
“Among the problems found, employers were failing to include bonus payments when calculating overtime rates, weren’t paying for time spent working off-the-clock and paying flat rates despite the hours worked by employees. There were also instances of workers being misclassified as independent contractors.” Check out image #5, in the bottom gallery. Also, no word in this article about the workers getting their owed $$.
NakedCap: Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back as Citigroup Tries to Blackmail the Democratic Party.
“Cynics may say that these are just range wars, and that Warren is a progressive hood ornament for the Democratic party. While we’ve criticized her for her timid student loan proposal and for her falling in line with US adventurism abroad (save the proposed intervention in Syria, where Congress refused to back Obama), Warren is nevertheless is achieving something significant.”
The Economist: America - A flagging [education] model.
“The country that has given the world so many ideas about how to run higher education could do with some new ones itself.” Note also that for-profit colleges are swiftly going the way of the dodo ... and rightfully so. Every ‘graduate’ of these schools I’ve run across has been unqualified. One in particular, the only skill s/he seemed to have acquired was an ability to make dreadful graphics in Powerpoint ... something Lynda.com could remedy for $25/mo, a significant savings over one of those ‘colleges’. Employers need to loosen up on their degree requirements and look at actual skills; I’m reminded of when airlines began requiring degrees of pilots. They lost a generation of some of the best stick-and-rudder flyers in history. Wouldn’t you rather have a Chuck Yeager flying you to your destination? No degree, likely no HS diploma either; unimpeachable skills.
ProPublica: How Much Water Do You Use? Help ProPublica Investigate Water Use in the U.S.
Survey form. Let’s give ‘em a gout of info, shall we?
Slate: Georgetown, Texas, goes renewable.
“... contrary to renewable energy’s reputation as a luxury good, the new deals come at a discount to what Georgetown was paying for fossil fuel electricity.” My italic emphasis. I’ve been relating over the years the fact that Texas, in addition to drilling like crazy, is also raising windmills like crazy too.
OilPrice: Natural Gas Prices To Crash Unless Rig Count Falls Fast.
The Atlantic: Are Americans Over Their Economic Anxiety Yet?
“Disenchantment on jobs, wages, and living costs transcend almost all boundaries.” We did incrementally better this past year, but NM still isn’t seeing the performance of the two coasts.
Vox: A $10,169 blood test is everything wrong with American health care.
“This is not a procedure where some hospitals are really great at lipid panels and some are terrible. There’s just not space for quality variation: you are running blood through a machine and pressing buttons. That’s it. And that all makes it a bit baffling why, in California, a lipid panel can cost anywhere between $10 and $10,000. In either case, it is the exact same test.” My italics. We’ve all heard stories like this. The other one I’ve heard: the cost of endoscopies varying hugely [with plenty of innuendo].
The Atlantic: Have Americans Officially Given Up on Washington?
“Changes on the national level haven’t affected me.” Hmmm. The ACA reached into our wallets and made Washington real in a way it hasn’t been in decades. And now the Common Core/PARCC tests, too. Young folks with families have their ears perked. So I don’t agree with this assessment - folks are going to be paying attention in ‘16, more than previous elections. When you reach into someone’s home finances, impose sudden change on their children, there’s going to be a backlash ... and children’s issues are a tried-and-true wedge for splitting off swing voters.
Design Bump: 22 Gorgeous Cottages From Around The World.
I dig the ‘haircut’ on the one in Schleswig-Holstein. Bangs, and a bit of a bun.
NY Times: Hermosa Beach, Calif., Voters Give Thumbs Down to Oil Drilling.
“As a result of the vote, Hermosa Beach now owes E&B $17.5 million to terminate the contract, under the terms of an agreement ending litigation with the firm.” Ouch. With oil prices so low, companies may pursue mineral rights litigation not to actually drill, but to simply minimize the red in their ledgers.
Slate: Baby boomers delaying retirement - It’s a myth, because retirement is bleaker than ever
Altered title for length. Read it.