SPAIN'S ECONOMY: Fiesta or Siesta?
My English is not perfect? Well, it's not my mother tongue, so sue me!
See also Barcepundit (the original, in Spanish)
SPAIN'S ECONOMY: Fiesta or Siesta?
SAY GOODBYE to the Tech Sounds You’ll Never Hear Again.
LET'S PLAY A GAME: which US president said this? "And one of the interesting things that we don’t talk about enough is the contrast between what’s happened in the United States and what’s happened in a lot of other developing countries, Europe in particular."
Two gaffes in one. Must be Bush, right? RIGHT? Well, no.
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN SPAIN: Sustainable energy meets unsustainable costs.
You should try more often!
COFFEE REDUCES SUICIDE RISK, according to a study that apparently this time doesn't get the correlation-is-no-causation stuff all messed up. I can understand, though in my case coffee doesn't reduce suicide risk — never had suicidal tendencies, at least so far —, just the likelihood of me killing the first person who gets on my nerves. So for me coffee doesn't reduce suicide—it's homicide, rather...
Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.
While the front splash page for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.
According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th -- last month.
Why the change?
Dunno. Shame, perhaps?
GUYS, I GUESS you'll have to find another boogeyman: David Koch Supports Gay Marriage, Pot Legalization, And Ending Wars.
ADMIRABLE: "[The Simpson's co-creator] Sam Simon faces down his terminal cancer diagnosis by spending his vast fortune (how much? "I don't know") on animal rights and feeding the hungry: 'I get pleasure from it. I love it.'"
YOU WANT TO KNOW what political racism is, Democrats? No, not criticizing a black president's policy, or acquitting a Hispanic for the death of a black man who attacked him. No.
AT THE NEW YORKER: How Physics Explains the Spanish High-Speed Rail Crash.
YELLOW JOURNALISM AT THE NEW YORK TIMES on Wednesday train crash in Spain. Yeah, I know it's a bit of a tautology nowadays, but still.
The train driver did little to hide his taste for speed. He posted a photograph of a locomotive speedometer needle stuck at 200 kilometers, or about 125 miles, per hour on Facebook last year, boasting that the reading “has not been tampered with” and openly relishing the idea of racing past the authorities.
“Imagine what a rush it would be traveling alongside the Civil Guard, and passing them so that their speed traps go off,” he wrote, in all capitals. “Hehe, that would be quite a fine for Renfe, hehe,” referring to his employer, the Spanish rail company.To be sure, this was the angle by several media organizations in Spain too, but I thought the Gray Lady would be different. They seem to be forgetting some small details:
THE ORIGINS of "please" and "thank you."
I CAN'T BELIEVE the level of stupidity some people can reach.
I WAS LEFT SPEECHLESS when I saw the footage of the actual moment when the high-speed passenger train crashed last night in Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain, claiming at least 78 lives.
STUNNING EXAMPLES of body paint.
GEORGE FRIEDMAN on the end of the Chinese economic miracle. "China will continue to be a major power, and it will continue to matter a great deal economically. Being troubled is not the same as ceasing to exist. China will always exist. It will, however, no longer be the low-wage, high-growth center of the world. Like Japan before it, it will play a different role."
Read it in full.
FIRST SHALE OIL AND GAS, now this: US 'Could Be Sitting on a Gold Mine' of Rare Earth Elements.
THE CURIOUS CASE of the fall in crime in the rich world:
There is no single cause of the decline; rather, several have coincided. Western societies are growing older, and most crimes are committed by young men. Policing has improved greatly in recent decades, especially in big cities such as New York and London, with forces using computers to analyse the incidence of crime; in some parts of Manhattan this helped to reduce the robbery rate by over 95%. The epidemics of crack cocaine and heroin appear to have burnt out.
The biggest factor may be simply that security measures have improved. Car immobilisers have killed joyriding; bulletproof screens, security guards and marked money have all but done for bank robbery. Alarms and DNA databases have increased the chance a burglar will be caught. At the same time, the rewards for burglary have fallen because electronic gizmos are so cheap. Even small shops now invest in CCTV cameras and security tags. Some crimes now look very risky—and that matters because, as every survey of criminals shows, the main deterrent to crime is the fear of being caught.
HYPOCRISY, DEFINED: "A former marriage equality advocate turns his attention to what he calls the Obama administration’s greatest hypocrisy: pushing for a higher minimum wage while relying on unpaid interns."
ARE YOU AN IDIOT? Suffering from Impulsive Digital Isolationist Obsessive Tendencies, that is.
WHY DO Americans and Brits have different accents?
NEXT TIME she tells you "not today, I've got a headache" show her this: Sex is Better for Headaches Than Painkillers
DOLCE & GABANNA have gone Galt for three days as 'symbol of disdain'.
IT'S HARD not so sound paranoic when you read things like this:
Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong.
Using automated scanners, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.
As the technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, and federal grants focus on aiding local terrorist detection, even small police agencies are able to deploy more sophisticated surveillance systems. While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge's approval is needed to track a car with GPS, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver's location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners assemble what it calls a "single, high-resolution image of our lives."
"DEAR MALALA": Channel 4 News sees a copy of a letter sent to Malala Yousufzai from a senior Taliban commander berating her "smear campaign" against them - but expressing some remorse about the attack.
I MUST HAVE BEEN a mosquito in a previous life...
Roughly 20 percent of people are more frequent meal tickets for mosquitoes than the rest of the population, and Smithsonian Magazine set out to investigate: Why?
Beer drinkers beware. Mosquitoes love the brew.
WALTER RUSELL MEADE: Spain Cuts Green Energy Losses
Spain is the latest European country to regret its foray into green energy production. On Friday the Spanish government announced some contentious reforms to its regime of green energy subsidies, which were among the most generous in Europe.
Those subsidies (in the form of guaranteed above-market rates for producers) have been wildly successful at encouraging solar and wind farm construction. They have utterly failed, though, to help build profitable industries. Now the Spanish central government is dealing with a residual tariff deficit of €4.5 billion for this year alone. That’s the difference between the amount Spanish consumers pay for electricity and the cost of producing it.
[...] While environmentalists will no doubt be upset, Spain made the clear choice. High electricity rates are an unnecessary and regressive tax on citizens and a serious drag on industry, and green energy has yet to prove itself competitive without substantial subsidies. Spain is right to cut its losses on its costly green energy boondoggle and to refocus its limited resources on the country’s more pressing problems.
IF YOU WANT to read just one thing on the Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin post-acquittal controversy, this by William Saletan at Slate is probably the best one.
NEW YORK - LOS ANGELESin 45 minutes? By train? Tesla founder Elon Musk thinks it's feasible.
SOON we may be begging for some global warming: Sun’s bizarre activity may trigger another ice age. Latest data shows solar activity has been falling steadily since mid-1940s.
SEVEN SURPRISING TRUTHS about the world. Surprising because they're, you know, good.
31 PHOTOS Of New York City In The Summer Of ‘69. Don't miss 'em.
SALES OF ADULT DIAPERS to surpass baby diapers in aging Japan.
12 INNOVATIONS From The 1950s That We Still Use Today.
OBAMA, A UNITER: Egyptian protesters (on both sides) angry at U.S.
The sense of scandal surrounding Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has crested yet again, after another week of allegations and denials in which the former treasurer of his Popular Party continued to drip-feed the media glimpses of ledgers that appear to show that Spain’s leadership enriched itself for years with a secret slush fund.
But while the charge may be simple enough, the case is not. Having previously withheld information from the courts about secret Swiss accounts, the former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, who now sits in prison, seems less than fully credible, and the courts incapable of digging to the bottom on the matter with real speed.
The result is less a crisis for Mr. Rajoy — though he is certainly damaged, polls show — than one for Spain, its national morale and the credibility of its institutions, with all the risk that the steady drumbeat of allegations will deny recession-hit Spain strong leadership and distract the government from pressing economic concerns as the scandal unspools for years, analysts say.
The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.
That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S.
CLIMATE SHOCKER: Rising CO2 is turning the world's deserts GREEN.
AWESOME COVER by BusinessWeek on hedge funds, myths vs reality. (click to enlarge)
15 TED TALKS that will change your life.
"NEANDERTHALS talked like us half a million years ago", scientists now say. I'd say it's the other way 'round: too often we talk like Neanderthals...
BEST BIOGRAPHY on Wikipedia ever:
Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880 – 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He fought in the Boer War, World War I, and World War II, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip and ear, survived a plane crash, tunneled out of a POW camp, and bit off his own fingers when a doctor wouldn't amputate them. He later said "frankly I had enjoyed the war."
AND SO IT GOES: TV Is Americans' Main Source of News.
HOW HUMAN BRAINS Could Be Hacked.
EVEN IF THIS MAY NOT BE TRUE, why take the risk? Regular sex can make you look 7 years younger, researcher says.
THE TRUTH about US jobs.
The real mystery (assuming the allegations are true) is what sort of intel did America's spies think they could glean from snooping on the European Union?
Could it have been the early word on the European Commission's directive this May (soon rescinded) mandating that olive oil be served only in nonrefillable bottles with tamper-proof caps and labels written in "clear and indelible lettering"? Or maybe it was the research notes of the three-year investigation leading to Brussels's 2011 decision to forbid bottled-water producers from claiming that water prevents dehydration—on the basis that the claim lacked scientific evidence?
Far more interesting is the growing dismay at President Obama among his former idolators in Europe. The folks who gave him the Nobel Peace Prize before he'd brokered any peace are now disillusioned that he uses drones against terrorists, hasn't closed Guantanamo, and hasn't repudiated every Bush-Cheney security policy. And Europeans keep saying Americans are naive about the world.
TOP TEN THINGS that precipitated Morsi's demise.
GOOD NEWS FOR CHARLIE SHEEN: Transplanting tiny 'liver buds' constructed from human stem cells restores liver function, researchers have found. For the moment it's just in mice, but it's a step by regenerative medicine towards being able to 'create' functioning organs.
WTF? U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement. Have we all lost our minds?
DO YOU REALLY NEED a lot of research to reach a conclusion that everyone knows?
While men tend to match their partners' emotions during mutual cooperation, women may have the opposite response, according to new research.
[...] She and her colleagues found that during high mutual levels of cooperation with a romantic partner, men typically experience an "inphase" response to their significant other's emotions. That is, if the woman in the relationship is feeling more positive, the man will feel more positive. If she feels less positive, he will feel less positive.
On the contrary, it seems women experience more of an "antiphase" pattern during high mutual cooperation. If her partner is feeling more positive, she will tend to feel less positive, and vice versa.
FASCINATING: 33 Everyday Street Scenes From Late 1800s New York City.
"HOW ANGRY are the Europeans over reports of American spying in Europe? They are outraged but they are not so angry as to risk their economic interests.
IF YOU SOMETIMES THINK that your cellphone is vibrating when it's not, relax: it's perfectly normal.
ISRAELI OIL ON THE WAY?
While Israel enjoys its recent finds of offshore natural gas, we keep hearing rumors of vast reserves of oil waiting to be tapped. Is that just wishful thinking? Or might the Land of Milk and Honey become the world’s next oil power?
CHINA'S ECONOMY heading for a crash?
IF I WERE JAMES TARANTO, I'd headline this 'Fox Butterfield, is that you?': "Taxes in Spain are bipolar: despite having some of the highest rates in Europe, this country also has one of the lowest fiscal pressures."
TEST: Are you a digital addict?