Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers

The Guardian (10/11/2019)
  • According to its own website, Google has made “substantial contributions” to some of the most notorious climate deniers.
  • A prominent recipient is the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative group instrumental in convincing Trump have the US abandon the Paris Accord (UN agreement between countries to limit pollution).
  • While Google supports the Paris Accord, a spokesperson claims it also supports conservative groups that advocate for “strong technology policies” and promote deregulation.
  • “When it comes to regulation, Google has to find friends wherever”.

In China two people got the plague yes, the Black Death plague. Why is it still a thing?

CNN (11/14/2019)
  • Two Chinese citizens are being treated for the same plague that caused the Black Death in Europe during the Middle Ages (50 million deaths).
  • The plague is caused by bacteria and transmitted via flea bites and infected animals.
  • It can develop into swollen lymph nodes (bubonic), blood infections (septicemic) or lung infections (pneumonic).
  • Chinese patients are suffering from pneumonic plague, the most damaging.
  • While modern antibiotics can treat the plague, it still persists.
  • 2010-2015: More than 3,248 reported cases of the plague worldwide (584 deaths).

‘Right to be forgotten’ on Google only applies in EU, court rules

The Guardian (09/24/2019)
  • The European Union’s highest court ruled that the “right to be forgotten” online doesn’t extend beyond the EU borders.
  • A 2014 EU legal ruling required search engines to start deleting embarrassing or outdated information upon individual request.
  • The recent ruling was in response to a 2015 dispute between Google and French privacy regulator CNIL.
  • However, the court stated that Google must “seriously discourage” EU users from going on non-EU versions of Google.
  • Since 2014, Google has received 845,501 “right to be forgotten” requests.

How steak became manly and salads became feminine

The Conversation (10/24/2019)
  • In America, gender-based food associations started after the Civil War (1870s) when more women began entering the workforce.
  • Lunch time restaurants started opening to give women an alternative to rowdy workingmen’s cafes and free-lunch (after purchase of beer) bars.
  • Magazines and newspapers then started labelling light foods such as fish, white meat cottage cheese and desserts as “dainty” or feminine.
  • In the mid-1950s, cookbooks instructed women on foods to prepare that appeal to their husbands and boyfriends.
  • Despite societal shifts, gender-based food associations remain.

The shoe industry is at war with itself over stolen design

Fast Company (10/18/2019)
  • Sneaker manufacturers including Nike, Skechers and Allbirds are involved in ongoing design infringement lawsuits.
  • Nike alleges that Skechers blatantly copied its VaporMax, AirMax 270, Converse (subsidiary) Chuck Taylor and Flyknit sneaker designs (eight patents).
  • While Skechers denies claims, the only visible difference is the logo.
  • Low-cost sneaker manufacturers such as Skechers are trying to emulate Zara’s fast-fashion model of copying higher-end brands to quickly meet current trends.
  • This shift has resulted in more sneakers being purchased (24.8 billion last year) and thrown away (pollution).

Drivers killed the most pedestrians and bicyclists in almost 30 years

The Verge (10/23/2019)
  • The number of (walking/running) pedestrians and cyclists killed by cars in the US last year increased by 3.4% to 6,283, the highest since 1990.
  • Female cyclists were especially vulnerable, with the number killed spiking by 29.2%.
  • The rise is driven by the increasing popularity of SUVs (larger bodies, higher carriages, more powerful) and more people moving to cities.
  • 76% of the pedestrians were killed after dark, when new car pedestrian detection technology remains largely ineffective.
  • Government pedestrian safety efforts remain stagnant.

I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

VICE (10/31/2019)
  • Journalist Allie Conti recounts recently being asked to suddenly switch her Chicago Airbnb rental.
  • After seeing nice photos and time-crunched, Allie accepted.
  • However, upon arrival she noticed the new rental looked very different from the pictures (bizarre furniture, hole in the wall).
  • Allie went to a hotel instead and was only partially refunded by Airbnb ($399 out of $1,221.20) because she accepted alternative.
  • Upon further investigation, Allie discovered eight-city, 100 property scam involving similar pictures, fake hosts and common complaint (sudden cancellation, partial refunds).

You donated to kids with cancer. This Vegas telemarketer cashed in.

The Center for Public Integrity (09/12/2019)
  • American nonprofits and political committees are allowed to spend almost everything they collect on fundraising.
  • During the last four years, the US saw a significant spike in the number of political action committees that raise most of their money from small-dollar donors before plowing much of it back into salaries, administrative costs and raising more cash.
  • Since 2006, one Las Vegas man’s telemarketing companies have been paid about $133 million out of $153 million raised for nonprofits and PACs.

Basic Income and the Video Game Myth

Medium (07/23/2018)
  • Some people worry that Basic Income will lead to millions of people giving up work and ‘just playing video games.’ But Basic Income is only likely to be enough to pay for essentials and little else.
  • And hardly anyone is happy to exist on only the essentials.
  • Very few people are going to give up their smartphones, their cars or their nights out and exist on Basic Income alone.
  • People will carry on working, just as they do now.

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep

Outside (04/02/2019)
  • Scientists have found that the effects of acute sleep deprivation, or all-nighters, kicks in after being awake for 16-18 hours straight.
  • The first sign is a sluggish mind, with reaction times lagging to the equivalent of being legally drunk by the 24th hour awake.
  • After 24 hours, your brain starts forcing you into 10-20 second periods of “micro-sleep”.
  • After 35 hours, the brain’s emotion-emitting amygdala becomes 60% more reactive and the ability to regulate emotions declines.
  • Hallucinations are common after 48 hours awake.