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.
Nielsen/Norman Group: Emotional Design Fail: Divorcing My Nest Thermostat.
Homedezen: Concrete Cabin by Nickisch Sano Walder Architekten.
How do they heat it?! Needs more than that fireplace. I get the shivers just looking at it.
The Atlantic: Why Walmart Raised Its Wages.
“The CEO of Walmart announced earlier today that all of the company’s employees will, starting in April, be paid at least $9 an hour, nearly $2 more than the federal minimum wage. That’s still far short of the $15 per hour pushed for by OUR Walmart, a union — like group of Walmart workers. Still, it’s a change for a company that has stubbornly opposed such a raise for years.” Good news, nonetheless.
SciAm: Pig Poop Fouls North Carolina Streams.
Well, I happen to know that NC universities are working hard to try to come up with ways to deal with the problem in-situ. My aunt worked in such research for one of those scholarly institutions. We used to make all kinds of jokes, but after living downwind of a small pig farm, I have to say it’s incredibly important. Until you’ve experienced it, you have NO idea. A smell so bad, you almost vomit on the first wafts to your sinus passages.
PS Mag: When It Comes to IVF, Who Should Call the Shots?
Vox: Another oil train explodes in West Virginia. Here’s why this keeps happening.
Oh, come on. Infrastructure, Vox. America’s rails are in worse shape - much worse shape - than America’s roads and bridges. One can walk along just about any set of rails and pull up spikes with your bare hands. I hear even the folks running the NE Corridor no longer have the technical knowhow to thaw switches in a timely manner. Tax cutting has gifted us with this situation. Now, when the same “drill baby drill” folks want to rely on the system, it fails. Nice going, politicos. No doubt you’ll lard the fix onto our backs.
Co.Design: How One Woman Makes Almost $1 Million A Year On Etsy.
“Now, Shaffer has a team of 15 sewers — ‘all moms,’ Shaffer says — working full-time, as well as a professional photographer. [snip] Not all the items are entirely handmade by Shaffer’s team — many, like the knitted legwarmers, socks, and gloves, are sourced wholesale from India.” The honesty’s refreshing.
The Atlantic: Where Have All the Construction Workers Gone?
“One morning, after waking up at 4 a.m. and doing his stretches, he had an idea. He opened the Sunday careers section in the newspaper, called on a higher power, and then closed his eyes and put his finger down on a random place on the page, deciding that whatever career it suggested, he’d pursue. His finger landed on an ad for a massage-therapy program at a local career college.” My italic emphasis. Anything in health care seems to be a good bet, as Boomers continue to face seniority.
NPR: With Porches And Parks, A Texas Community Aims For Urban Utopia.
Don’t miss the comments.
Hellemanworld: Is it a blessing to be poor?
“According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it would only take US$30 billion a year to launch the necessary agricultural programs to completely solve global food insecurity. Severe hunger afflicts 862 million people each year; only $30 billion could save them. Although that sounds like a lot of money, in 2008 the US bailed out Wall Street for more than 23 times that amount!” My italic emphasis. Been thinking about poverty today. Much food for thought in this article from 2012. Ignore the religious bent (if it bothers you), and concentrate on the numbers quoted. I particularly like the point that ‘poverty is the absence of choice.’
Guardian.UK: US harvest threatened by water-intensive oil and gas boom.
You’re sick of hearing me say it, but I’ll do so again. They frack in the most boneheaded locations - places where water is precious, beyond all other value.
BBC News: Hey, fancy buying a straw house?
Strawbale’s been big out here for a while. Encased in stucco. The big problems are: rot, rodents and subsidence. I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will: Straw should never be weightbearing.
The Millions: Honey, Would You Read My Book?
Applicable to bloggers, too.
NY Mag: Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say.
Playing Devil’s Advocate seems to fly over more and more peoples’ heads these days. And that’s almost the whole fun of conversation/civil argument.
nakedcap: Announcing (Confirming) Our Focus on the CBO’s Dubious Models and Political Bias.
“Republicans plan to mandate that the CBO use something called dynamic scoring, which has the effect of making tax cuts look far more beneficial to the economy than they are, by effectively claiming that tax cuts boost growth, which then boosts tax receipts. It would effectively institutionalize the Laffer curve, which has been widely and repeatedly debunked.” The Laffer Curve’s been a laughingstock since Reagan’s first term. A tragic, maniacal laugh. As in, something like Heath Ledger’s Joker laugh.
AskReddit: What do insanely poor people buy, that ordinary people know nothing about?
This should be read by every politician.
LA Times: Ray Bradbury’s house, sold for $1.76 million, being torn down.
Another reason to dislike “starchitects”. As if I needed more.
NY Times, For Sale: Deep, Spacious Roswell Property, Once Occupied by a Missile.
KK/CoolTools: Stayhold. Prevents grocery bags from tipping in your trunk.
Brill. Backordered, so stuck on my wishlist for future reference.
Mother Nature Network: 7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S.
I love this link. Declared link o’ the day. I can relax now.
Truthout: Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses.
“It has been estimated that the six largest ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts, those same gambling instruments that brought us the 2008 housing collapse. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.” This one’s going to hurt bad, if it breaks. Folks have no financial padding left.
WSJ: A Doctor on How Physicians Face the End of Life.
“What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently.” Deaths of quiet acceptance.