Yahoo: States looking at $0 community college tuition.
WSJ: U.S. Home Builders Remain Cautious About Housing Market.
“Builder confidence in the market for single-family homes rose just one point from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted 47 in March, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. Readings below 50 indicate more builders view conditions as poor than good. The increase, which was smaller than expected, comes after a drop of 10 points in February, the biggest one-month decline on record. Builders reported they were slowed by poor weather, but also said they were also hampered by difficulties finding labor and land.”
LA Times: Fed report slams safety lapses at New Mexico nuclear facility.
“Workers at a New Mexico nuclear waste storage facility that suffered an underground fire and radiation leak last month lack adequate safety training, oversight or a proper response plan for emergencies, a federal investigation has found.” Surprised? No. Concerned? Yes.
The New Yorker: Are Malls Over?
I suspect they’re dead. Any renovation/remarketing plans will be wasted $$. They’ll get knocked down and turned into local retail drone hubs (wink).
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.
Popular Science: Not Just New York: Gas Leaks Are A Problem All Over The U.S.
Another example of ‘infrastructure debt.’
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.
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.
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.
Valet: Miserable Men on Instagram.
Equal time is necessary. Ever notice the faces of ladies in, say, Best Buy?
WaPo: More than half of U.S. housing wealth concentrated in 10 percent of communities.
“The states likely to experience the strongest rise in the median price of an existing single-family home are New Mexico, Mississippi, Maine and Illinois — where prices are expected to jump more than 30 percent from early 2012 through 2018, the study said. New Hampshire rounds out the top five list at 28 percent.” Well, that’s a bit of good news. Drought may challenge those numbers … maybe. If we turn into Phoenix, will that bring more retirees?
io9: Statistics professor challenges midwives’ math on home birth safety.
Hmmm. I have known of two homebirths that ended in death for the infants (one single, one set of twins). I’ve never even heard of an in-hospital death at birth. That being said, I understand that the procedure in Britain is, first child in hospital. If that goes OK, second child is approved for optional home birth.
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.”
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.
Bios Urn: Biodegradable Urn with seed.
“Let’s convert cemeteries into forests.” Great idea. I wanna be a tulip tree. I think.
Ana White: Build a Pipe and Wood Slat Bed.
For some reason, it looks like a WWII hospital bed to me. Kinda fun to just screw something together.
CNet: Target hack strips banks and credit unions of $200M.
Oh, they’ll find a way to load the cost on us, you watch.
Outlaw - World’s Best Screw.
Deck screw. More contact patch between bit and screw. Clever.
NPR: DIY Houses In The Internet Age - Some Assembly Required.
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.
WaPo: Downtonomics — A fictional estate’s troubles echo in the modern world.
I can’t help but be strongly reminded, as the episodes pile up, that Julian Fellowes was part of Monarch of the Glen. A big estate, at risk of dissolution, in our modern age. A formerly-affluent family beset, along with their staff. And the soap opera throughout.
Problem with Downton … they don’t have a Lexie in the kitchen.
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.”
Reader’s Digest: 150+ Household Uses for Vinegar.
Beats buying Clorox wipes and similar. Significantly cheaper. Been doing it for years now. It will eat up your hands, though. Gloves, if you use it frequently.