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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 27 December

by dvx Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:42:02 PM EST

A Daily Review Of International Online Media


 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


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2004 - Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

More here and here.

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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:21:59 AM EST
Russian winter death toll mounts | News | DW.DE | 26.12.2012

Medical officials say the past two weeks of bitter weather across Russia claimed at least 128 lives. About 900 others remain hospitalized. Siberia remains far below freezing but a thaw is forecast for the Moscow area.

Russian medical sources quoted by the news agency Interfax said Wednesday that hundreds of people had been treated for frostbite and hypothermia, including 14 children on Christmas Day. Many of those who died were homeless, they added.

Russian state television focused on southern Siberia's impoverished region of Tyva. A local power station failed, leaving 4,000 residents of the village Khovu Aksy facing minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Some fled to local schools which had emergency heating systems. Helicopters have been flying children and women to the regional center of Kyzyl, said Vesti-24 television.

Unseasonal cold

Russia's coldest weather does not usually arrive until January or February, but during December temperatures have been 12 degrees lower that the monthly norm. In Eastern Siberia minus 60 degrees Celsius was recorded.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea as to whether this applies in Ukraine and Siberia, but I was always shocked to find that, in Bulgaria, the traditional stye of building, which is warm in winter and cool in summer, was largely replaced by soviet brutalist monstrosities which were hot in summer and freezing in winter.

Architecture matters

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:31:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK weather: rain prompts fears of landslides and further floods | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A landslide warning has been issued by the Met Office, as continued heavy downpours sparked fears of unstable cliff faces.

Boxing Day walkers were urged to take extra care in "dangerous conditions" with flooding set to worsen across parts of England and Wales on Wednesday.

The Met Office, which issued the warning following advice from the British Geological Survey, said coastal areas in the south-west of England are in particular danger of collapsing cliff edges and rockfall, but stressed that all areas enduring heavy rain are at risk.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "We have had such heavy and persistent rainfall over the last few days and weeks and that there is a danger of landslides and rockfall along the coast, even on coastal paths.

"We are advising Boxing Day walkers in the south-west of England to take particular care in these dangerous conditions, especially those not familiar with the area.

"Do not get too close to the cliff edge or walk under the cliff face along the beach and remember that coastal paths could be impacted too."

Many coastal paths have been closed over the last few weeks along the south-west and train services have been disrupted by small coastal landslides.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain's end-of-year Olympic verdict: it was worth every penny | Politics | The Guardian

Far from suffering from an Olympic hangover, Britons are closing 2012 in a mood of fond nostalgia for the London Games, according to a Guardian/ICM poll. By an emphatic four-to-one margin, the public said the Games were worth the expense - and there are signs that the resulting feelgood factor has rallied spirits more widely in the year of a double-dip slump.

Even after being reminded of the £9bn price tag, 78% of voters said the Olympics "did a valuable job in cheering up a country in hard times", as compared with just 20% who look back on them as "a costly and dangerous distraction".

This new vote of confidence is even more marked than that which ICM found at the height of the Games. In an online survey taken immediately after so-called Super Saturday - on which Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford all took track and field gold for Team GB - ICM asked an identical question, and found support for the games running at 55%, with 35% against. Instead of narrowing as the Games slipped into memory, that 20-point margin has widened to 58 points today. The Paralympics may have helped to cement this majority.

For all the pre-Games controversy about the public money involved, the strong retrospective support is reflected remarkably closely across the range of demographic groups and the political spectrum: 79% of men say the Games were "well worth the cost" as do 77% of women. In every age bracket, more than three-quarters of people take the same view, with the 80% of 65+ voters who gave the thumbs-up being the most emphatic of all.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:31:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but I think that there are ways of spending £9 billion that would result in greater long term prosperity and large scale job security for the people such that we wouldn't need bread and circuses to distract us.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:33:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same-sex marriage plan boosts Tory support among gay voters | Society | guardian.co.uk

Backing gay marriage has helped David Cameron, but not Nick Clegg, gain extra support from gay and lesbian voters, according to research by PinkNews.co.uk.

The proportion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered voters (LGBT) backing the Conservatives has shot up from 11% at the 2010 election to 30% now, a poll suggests. Two-thirds of respondents said the Conservatives' support for same-sex marriage had made them view the party more positively.

Yet Clegg's support for gay marriage does not appear to have stopped gay and lesbian voters abandoning the Lib Dems in droves. In 2010 the Lib Dems were easily the most popular choice for LGBT voters, 39% of whom voted Lib Dem. But now just 13% would vote Lib Dem.

Labour now attracts 38% of the LGBT vote, compared with 27% in 2010, but their 11 percentage point rise among the LGBT electorate is not as large as the Conservatives' 19 percentage point increase.

The figures come from a poll involving an 864-strong LGBT panel which has been weighted to make it demographically representative and whose members have been tracked since 2010.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeeez, turkeys voting for xmas. The conservatives will never be on anyone's side but millionaires and 30% of gay people are not that rich

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the moral of the story is that those gay people who aspire to marriage have conservative values...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Les indépendantistes flamands protestent après le discours d'Albert II - LibérationFlemish separatists protest after the speech of Albert II - Liberation
Après son appel à la vigilance face à la montée du «populisme», le roi des Belges s'est attiré les foudres du chef de file de la Nouvelle alliance flamande Bart De Wever, qui s'est senti visé. LibérationAfter his call for vigilance against the rise of "populism," the King of the Belgians has angered the leader of the New Flemish Alliance Bart De Wever, who felt targeted.
Les indépendantistes flamands, première force politique de la région néerlandophone de la Belgique, ont réclamé jeudi l'abolition des pouvoirs du roi, l'un des derniers symboles de l'unité du royaume qui vient de fustiger les dangers du «populisme». Lundi, dans son traditionnel discours de Noël, Albert II, 78 ans, avait appelé les Belges à être «vigilants et lucides face aux discours populistes».Flemish separatists, leading political force of the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, Thursday demanded the abolition of the powers of the king, one of the last symbols of the unity of the kingdom that comes to castigate the dangers of "populism" . Monday in his traditional Christmas speech , Albert II, 78, had called on Belgians to be "vigilant and lucid faced with populist narratives" .
«La crise des années 30 et les réactions populistes de cette époque ne doivent pas être oubliées. On a vu le mal que cela fit à nos démocraties», avait ajouté le souverain, sans toutefois citer le nom d'aucune formation politique actuelle. Mais les observateurs, en particulier dans la presse flamande, ont estimé que le roi visait la Nouvelle alliance flamande (N-VA) de Bart De Wever, un parti qui milite ouvertement pour une «république flamande» et qui attribue une grande part des difficultés économiques du royaume à la Wallonie. "The crisis of the 30s and populist reactions of that time should not be forgotten. We have seen the harm it caused to our democracies ", added the king, without mentioning the name of any modern political movement. But observers, especially in the Flemish press felt that the king was referring to the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) of Bart De Wever, a party which openly advocates for a "Flemish republic" and attributes much of the economic difficulties of the kingdom to Wallonia.
Bart De Wever, l'homme politique le plus populaire de Flandre qui se définit comme un démocrate de centre droit, a répliqué jeudi en lançant une attaque en règle contre ce discours et, plus généralement, contre les pouvoirs qu'exerce encore le roi en Belgique. «Le souverain doit être au dessus de la mêlée afin de représenter l'ensemble de la nation. Mais Albert II ne remplit pas correctement ce rôle. Il a choisi le chemin d'une royauté de division», a-t-il déclaré dans une tribune publiée par le quotidien flamand De Standaard.Bart De Wever, the most popular politician in Flanders who defines himself as a center-right democrat, countered Thursday by launching an attack against this discourse and, more generally, against the powers still exercised by the king in Belgium. "The sovereign must be above the fray to represent the entire nation. But Albert II does not properly fulfill this role. He chose the path of royalty of division ", he said in an article published by the Flemish daily De Standaard .
Albert II «me prend pour un fasciste. Après ce discours de Noël, je me demande dès lors s'il peut encore continuer à jouer son rôle», a-t-il ajouté sur une télévision néerlandophone. Enfonçant le clou, il a jugé qu'une «royauté politique est incompatible avec la démocratie».Albert II "takes me for a fascist. After the Christmas speech, I therefore wonder if he can still continue to play his role ", he said on Dutch television. Pressing the point, he ruled that "political royalty is incompatible with democracy" .


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:22:19 AM EST
Even Cupid Wants to Know Your Credit Score - NYTimes.com

As she nibbled on strawberry shortcake, Jessica LaShawn, a flight attendant from Chicago, tried not to get ahead of herself and imagine this first date turning into another and another, and maybe, at some point, a glimmering diamond ring and happily ever after.

She simply couldn't help it, though. After all, he was tall, from a religious family, raised by his grandparents just as she was, worked in finance and even had great teeth.

Her musings were suddenly interrupted when her date asked a decidedly unromantic question: "What's your credit score?"

"It was as if the music stopped," Ms. LaShawn, 31, said, recalling how the date this year went so wrong so quickly after she tried to answer his question honestly. "It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker."

The credit score, once a little-known metric derived from a complex formula that incorporates outstanding debt and payment histories, has become an increasingly important number used to bestow credit, determine housing and even distinguish between job candidates.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He works in finance. He's a greedy scumbag and doesn't want to support a loser. How romantic.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:37:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She was lucky to get out of the deal so cheaply.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:40:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bersani wants growth-oriented Europe - FT.com

he leader of Italy's centre-left, and the frontrunner to be the country's next prime minister, says he would be ready to cede more sovereign powers to Brussels over government spending - in exchange for greater freedom to boost key economic sectors.

Pier Luigi Bersani, whose Democratic party has a strong lead in opinion polls ahead of elections next February, says he is open to supporting an ambitious German plan for EU control over national budgets, while stressing that it is essential for Europe to take more aggressive steps to revive economic growth.

"The first thing that we should and can do is tighten budget constraints, but allow more gradual investments," Mr Bersani, 61, told the Financial Times during a day of meetings with top EU officials in Brussels last week.

"I am ready to discuss - if it will be my turn to run the country - how to strengthen the mechanism of fiscal discipline to monitor national budgets in exchange for new policies aimed at stimulating the economy," he added.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:37:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...now where have I seen that  before?
by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:56:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<facepalm>
The first thing that we should and can do is tighten budget constraints ... I am ready to discuss - if it will be my turn to run the country - how to strengthen the mechanism of fiscal discipline to monitor national budgets
Unless you give the EU a federal budget of about 20% of GDP this is a recipe for disaster.

Mind you, even without the federal budget, Bersani's position is consistent with the Treaty on (Mal)Functioning of the European Union...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:46:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
down. It's an absurd prospect, to be seeing that Berlusconi makes more sense than the Social Democrats.
by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:30:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is how long political institutions can go on an absurd path.

And the answer is many decades.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politics can remain insane longer than the planet can stay solvent.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 06:21:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the statues, man.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 10:21:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
being as you are in Spain.
by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 06:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain took the wrong turn in the 1550s and never looked back...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian oil pipeline to the Pacific goes into service | News | DW.DE | 26.12.2012

Russia's East Asia oil pipeline has officially gone into service. The pipeline is a reflection of the country's shift from European to Asian markets.

President Vladimir Putin commissioned the pipeline Tuesday with the completion of the 4,740 km-long (2,945 miles) East Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) section, which runs between the Siberian city of Skovorodino and the Pacific port of Kosmino, Russian media reported.

The new section will "considerably increase the infrastructure capacity of the regions in Russia's far east," said Putin in a televised address. He called the commissioning a "significant event."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brazil Real Rises Most Among World's Currencies on Intervention - Bloomberg

Brazil's real rallied the most in the world among the U.S. dollar's counterparts as the central bank intervened to stem the currency's decline and contain inflation in Latin America's biggest economy.

The real advanced to a six-week high as the central bank sold $1.8 billion of currency swaps at two auctions and agreed to lend as much as $2 billion in foreign-exchange credit lines. Swap rates fell as speculation eased that policy makers will boost the target lending rate, known as the Selic, to cap consumer prices.

The real jumped 1.4 percent to 2.0513 per U.S. dollar at 1:43 p.m. in Sao Paulo, the strongest on a closing basis since Nov. 12. The currency pared its drop in 2012 to 9 percent, the biggest among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the yen. The real fell on Nov. 30 to a three-year low of 2.1360. Swap rates on the contract due in January 2014 fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.14 percent.

"The central bank aims to keep the real trading at around 2.05 in 2013," Joao Paulo Correa, manager of foreign-exchange trading at brokerage Correparti Corretora, said in a phone interview from Curitiba, Brazil. "The swap auctions clearly show that its goal is to avoid raising the Selic rate in 2013."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:38:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aluminum Glut No Bar to Gains as Barclays Says Sell: Commodities - Bloomberg

The record glut in aluminum will be no bar to rising prices because of delays in getting metal from warehouses, even as Barclays Plc advises investors to sell and Morgan Stanley says it has the worst outlook of any commodity.

Stockpiles will expand for at least the next four quarters, reaching a record 8.67 million metric tons by the end of 2013, or enough to make about 62 million cars, Barclays estimates. Production will exceed demand by the most since 2009 as output expands from China to Saudi Arabia, the bank says. Futures will rise as much as 16 percent to $2,400 a ton next year, the median of 29 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The gains are forecast as the metal is not always available. Buyers are waiting about a year to get metal from warehouses in Detroit and the Dutch port of Vlissingen, which hold the most inventories. As much as 80 percent of stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange are locked into financing deals and unavailable to consumers, Credit Suisse Group AG estimates. That means some customers are paying record premiums to get supply, according to Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos.

"You have what I would call an artificial tightness in the market and that's created by financing," said Jeremy Baker, who manages about $850 million of assets at the Vontobel Belvista Commodity Fund in Zurich. "If you look at it from a purely fundamental aspect it is probably one of the metals that is the least attractive, primarily due to excessive supply."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:38:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the parasites have got their claws into a product which is over-supplied and made an artificial shortage.

They should be taxed on their holding. Or killed :-))

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Our entire capitalist economy is based on restriction. Creating problems creates profit opportunities..

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:06:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bond Ratings Cuts Advance to Fastest Since '09: Credit Markets - Bloomberg

Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service are cutting corporate debt ratings at the fastest pace since 2009 as a global economic slowdown and record borrowing erode credit quality.

The ratio of ratings downgrades to upgrades worldwide climbed to 1.85 this year from 1.23 in 2011, according to S&P data. PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG), Europe's second-largest carmaker, was cut three times by Moody's since March to speculative grade. Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack Corp. (RSH) was lowered four steps this year by S&P to seven levels below investment grade. Defaults rose to 80 issuers from 52 in 2011, according to S&P.

Europe's second recession in four years and slowing global economic growth are helping to push a measure of corporate debt to earnings to a three-year high, Barclays Plc data show. Companies from the neediest to the most creditworthy sold unprecedented amounts of debt at record-low yields in 2012 as the Federal Reserve held interest rates at almost zero for a fourth year in an effort to boost the U.S. economy.

"We're going to have an elevated level of negative outlooks," Diane Vazza, head of S&P's global fixed-income research, said in a telephone interview. "The companies that we're seeing with downgrade pressure are speculative-grade companies."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Business News: France has obligation to reverse budget deficit: Moscovici (27 December 2012)
"In the past 30 years, France has not been able to pass a balanced budget. State debt rose to an unacceptable 1.7 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion) in 2011. It is our duty to reverse this," Moscovici wrote in a column for the German business daily Handelsblatt.

France intends to lower its deficit to the European Union's ceiling of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product next year and start bringing down its debt from 2014, the minister said.

"This is an ambitious plan and we intend to implement it without striving for an old-fashioned budget policy of tax and expenditure increases," he said.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
If Eurozone countries (except Germany) have a persistent current account deficit averaging close to 3% (and, on current trends, soon to exceed it), and at the same time the government deficit must remain below 3%, it becomes mathematically impossible for the Eurozone private sector (outside Germany) to net-save. This is unsustainable, because if the private sector is dissaving eventually it will become insolvent.

Take, for example, France:

If France were to bring its Government deficit below 3%, it would destroy the ability of the French private sector to net-save, assuming the current account deficit stays on trend (and it should: Germany's 6% current account surplus is as stable as if it were a successful policy target, and the Eurozone's neutral current account balance is consistent with the ECB pursuing a non-interventionistic foreign reserve policy).



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear, there goes the Spanish democratic constitution.

I used to think that the upcoming Greek coup/civil war would knock some sense into these people. Now I think that 2017 will be Bayrou beating LePen, and then proceeding to disintegrate under the weight of his useless economic policies, giving us an FdG vs. FN second round in 2022. Fifteen back-to-back years of industrial depression, that has to be in the top three of recorded history.

The Greek, Spanish and Portuguese constitutions won't survive another decade of business as usual. And France is the swing vote, and under the French system there is no mechanism for a failing government to result in early elections.

And if we're really lucky, the FN puke might win in '22.

[Jake's Crystal Ball of Doom™ Technology]

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that sounds about right, there will be right-wing authoritarian coups in Germany and France in 2022:
	Germany 	France
2013	Merkel + FDP	Hollande
2014-6	Merkel + SPD	Hollande
2017	Merkel + SPD	Bayrou
2018-21 Merkel + Greens Bayrou
2022	Die Linke	FdG


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:44:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that you going on record with these predictions?
by Nomad on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:48:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he's just writing down all our nightmares

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy to be of service.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:55:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:00:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who against who? Right vs. Left, North vs. South, Florence vs. Siena, etc.?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a plausible political disintegration scenario for Italy?

(I know Italy is politically disintegrated. I mean a loss of the ability to keep up the charade of functioning country-wide political institutions)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:20:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would expect the north to attempt secession once the money gets really tight (to "avoid paying for the lazy, spendthrift, mafia-infested south"). Rome will send in the Carabinierie, because that's what they usually do to uppity provincials. And because it's comparatively affluent Milanese who will get the same treatment the Carabinierie usually give Neapolitans, it'll get upgraded to "civil war" in the English-speaking press.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's basically the Catalan scenario in Spain, coming soon to an uppity province near you.

Could it happen in this way in Flanders, too?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:56:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the upcoming Greek coup/civil war
Starting when?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My over/under for the next Greek election is next summer. Syriza will win, and then the creditors will retaliate. And I'm betting that the outgoing government has made absolutely no useful contingency plans for suddenly-imposed autarky.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:08:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will Syriza be allowed to win? Remember the European powers approved of the suspension of democratic elections in Algeria in 1991 when it looked like the wrong guys might win.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Suspending elections would not suffice under that scenario - you'd have to dismiss parliament and impose rule by executive fiat.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear, there goes the Spanish democratic constitution.

...

The Greek, Spanish and Portuguese constitutions won't survive another decade of business as usual. ...

You should have seen the King of Spain's Christmas Eve speech. It was at once depressing and infuriating. Especially in its defence of business as usual. If it had come in 2007 I would understand it, but in 2012...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 09:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Die Linke and FdG = nightmare?
by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:39:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the coup to prevent them from winning.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are in the ranks too.
by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:32:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The, by then, fifteen back-to-back years of preceding depression qualifies.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he's done.

Probably some other somewhat wishy-washy centre right personnage, perhaps NKM.

by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:31:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She's an up-and-comer untainted by the stink of the Copé v. Fillon UMP title fight which is in the later rounds. The UMP is a lot of mushy right-wingers who sound tough on various social and immigration and national identity issues but are in practise about the same as the PS when it comes to Europe (though Hollande "means well" and says a lot of nice ineffectual things about growth and solidarity, like a good social democrat), which is as we likely agree at the core of what the economy will (well, more won't) do in the next decade.

The center is irrelevant here, especially Bayrou, imho, it'll be UMP after the failed Hollande presidency, they'll do similar things of course but it will sound different.

by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 07:04:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that

  1. Bayrou is no longer a contender
  2. After Hollande, a "UMP" is most likely to take over.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:01:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Fifteen back-to-back years of industrial depression, that has to be in the top three of recorded history.

And as such it deserves a name.

The Great and Long Depression? Not so snappy.

The Stupid Depression? Nah.

The Greatest Depression? Perhaps.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 12:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Following the nomenclature of the great wars, I would say the second world depression. With the "great depression" being renamed to the first world depression, just like the "great war" was renamed the first world war.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 06:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WD I, WD II
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 01:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently in the US the Long Depression of 1873-96 was originally called the Great Depression, until in the 1930s a deeper (but shorter) economic contraction occurred.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 04:42:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi All! Hope you all have been having a good Christmas/Holiday season, and also wish you all the bestin 2013!!
Hey, here is a cool article by Eyra Klein in his Washington Post Wonkblog, that shows graphs from different economists...check it out! (Posted also on todays thread).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/27/2012-the-year-in-graphs/

Peace and cheers!
Bob

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 01:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So thanks for finally showing up. So many, many times I've seen your name on the list of who's who on ET and I've pondered and I've wondered ... well, what about Bob? And now you've actually appeared.

Well let's celebrate. Here's a tune for you. Hope you like it:


by sgr2 on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, thank you. Well, yes, I do exist and am not just the figment of Jerome's imagination. I was real active here in the early years, while I lived and worked in Switzerland, but moved to work in Indian Country in they US and have gotten all caught in that (as is my way). The editorial crew here continue to do a great job, despite my departure, and thats very cool. Long live EuroTrib!! Thanks for the music...love it!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

World Economic League Table 2013 Highlights

· UK retakes its place in Top Ten from Brazil after losing it this time in 2011
· UK overtakes France in 2013 as 75% tax and euro woes pull France down
· India overtakes UK in 2017 to become largest Commonwealth economy
· Indonesia to enter Top Ten in 2022;

When you look at the pdf PR, you see that UK GDP is supposed to go from USD 2.44 tn to 4.06 tn from 2012 to 2022, while France would go from 2.61 tn to 3.18 tn.

Are they really expecting the UK economy to get from the size of France's to one third bigger in just 10 years?

But of course this get published and distributed, including the note that this is all because of Hollande's 75% tax rate...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:15:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You apparently haven't bought into the myth of the confidence fairy which is going to drive investment into a newly exporting UK industrial sector.

I'm wondering how this is supposed to offset, even if wishes were horses and english beggars were riding them, the gradually deflating north sea bubble. But I note you are doing your part, helping build those offshore UK windfarms ;-)  

by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:24:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's obvious the modellers here are smoking something re: the UK - there's no way the UK, currently in it's what, third recession in five years? could ever possibly be expected to grow 6,67% compounded over the next ten years.

No way. Crack smoking here.

But the real jab is at Germany (2,5% nomimal over ten years, vs. 2,2% for France) which is a jab at the Eurozone, and here, the pessimism is realistic in my view, assuming they are holding as a hypothesis that the Eurozone holds together.

Oh, and look at Spain - 0,2% nominal compound growth over ten years ... that's a massive real decline. Ouch.

by redstar on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:22:36 AM EST
Syria military police chief defects to rebels | World news | guardian.co.uk

The head of Syria's military police has defected from the army and declared allegiance to the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Major General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal was shown making a statement confirming his defection in a video broadcast on al-Arabiya TV late on Tuesday, saying he was joining "the people's revolution".

The defection came as a delegation of Syrian officials headed to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss proposals for ending the conflict following talks with the UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus this week.

Wearing his uniform with a red insignia on the shoulder, Shalal spoke from a desk in a room in an undisclosed location. Some rebel sources said he had fled to Turkey. It was not clear when Shalal changed sides.

"The army has destroyed cities and villages and has committed massacres against an unarmed population that took to the streets to demand freedom," he said. "Long live free Syria."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:31:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria children 'killed' in Raqqa tank attack - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

At least 20 people, including eight children, have been killed after Syrian army tanks shelled a village in the northern province of al-Raqqa, an activist group has said.

Dozens of other civilians were also injured by the government's attacks in the village of Qahtania on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

"At least 20 people, among them eight children and three women, were killed in shelling by regime forces of farmlands in Kahtaniyeh village, west of the city of Raqqa," the UK-based group said.

 

Amateur video posted online by activists and distributed by the Observatory showed several bloodied bodies, including at least one of a child, laid out on blankets in a house.

"Dozens of people have been injured in farmlands of Kahtaniyeh, among them a whole family," according to activists in al-Raqqa.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:43:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
another rat leaves the sinking ship

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:41:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's new PM Abe announces cabinet - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

Shinzo Abe, Japan's newly elected prime minister, has announced his new cabinet that includes long-time allies to help him draft an extra budget to spur the nation's flagging economy.  

The powerful Lower House of parliament named the 58-year-old as the country's next leader on Wednesday after he led his conservative party to a landslide victory in the general elections earlier this month.

As Japan's seventh prime minister in less than seven years, Abe will replace outgoing prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda whose Democratic Party of Japan suffered a stinging defeat at the polls.

Abe previously served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

The losing party, which came to power in 2009, was seen as being punished for policy flip-flops and its clumsy handling of last year's nuclear disaster at Fukushima in the wake of the tsunami.

The LDP and its small ally, the New Komeito party, won a two-thirds majority in the 480-seat lower house in the December 16 election.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:43:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq Sunnis block trade routes in new protest - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq's main trade route to neighbouring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations against Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The massive show of force on Wednesday marks an escalation in protests that erupted last week after troops detained the bodyguards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, threatening to plunge Iraq deeper into political turmoil.

"The people want to bring down the regime," chanted thousands of protesters in the Sunni stronghold of Anbar province.

It was the fourth major protest in less than a week in an area, which was once the heart of the deadly Sunni insurgency that erupted after the US -led invasion in 2003.

"This sit-in will remain open-ended until the demonstrators' demands are met, and until the injustice against ends," cleric Hamid al-Issawi told The Associated Press at the protest.

He accused Maliki of trying to create rifts among Sunni and Shia populations.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:43:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexico bishop inspires, infuriates with activism - Yahoo! News

MONCLOVA, Mexico (AP) -- The white-haired bishop stepped before some 7,000 faithful gathered in a baseball stadium in this violence-plagued northern border state. He led the gathering through the rituals of his Mass, reciting prayers echoed back by the massive crowd. And then his voice rose.

Politicians are tied to organized crime, Bishop Raul Vera bellowed while inaugurating the church's Year of Faith. Lawmakers' attempts to curb money laundering are intentionally weak. New labor reforms are a way to enslave Mexican workers.

How, Vera asked, can Mexicans follow leaders "who are the ones who have let organized crime grow, who have let criminals do what they do unpunished, because there's no justice in this country!"

In a nation where some clergy have been cowed into silence by drug cartels and official power, Vera is clearly unafraid to speak. That makes him an important voice of dissent in a country where the Roman Catholic Church often works hand-in-hand with the powerful, and where cynicism about politics is widespread and corrosive.

Vera's realm is a wide swath of Coahuila, a state bordering Texas that's become a hideout for the brutal Zetas drug cartel. It's where the current governor's nephew was killed in October and the former governor, the victim's father, resigned last year as leader of the political party that just returned to power with newly inaugurated President Enrique Pena Nieto.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the drug cartels don't get him, Opus dei will

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He should visit the UK.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 06:25:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:22:54 AM EST
Is the Amazon Rainforest Drying Out?: Scientific American

TARAPOTO, Peru--For tropical ecologist Gregory Asner, flying over the Peruvian Amazon from the town of Tarapoto is like traveling back in time. Modern houses, rice paddies and oil palm plantations give way to steep, forested mountains and then to green, unbroken forest that curves toward the horizon.

Suddenly the tree canopy below the twin-engine plane turns a mottled gray-brown, a sign of drought damage that he estimates may affect as many as half the trees.

In this remote corner of Peru's Ucayali region, Asner, a tropical ecologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, is afraid he is seeing the future. In the last few years this patch of forest has been hit by two "once-in-a-century droughts"--one in 2005 and another in 2010. These dry spells may become more frequent as temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean rise and as humans burn thousands of square kilometers of forest for farming. Although it has seen warmer temperatures in the past, the western Amazon is under siege now from a combination of a warming climate and human population growth that it has never faced before, and scientists are scrambling to determine whether existing protected areas will be enough to buffer against the changes to come.

Behind the plane Asner glimpses smoke rising from fires set to clear land for farming. Migration from the Andean highlands has boosted Peru's Amazonian states to the top of the population growth chart, and the influx of people is taking a toll on the forest.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:50:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can CO2 Be Captured and Sold?: Scientific American

A researcher is about to test a technology that he says could be a breakthrough for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants, natural gas generators and other industrial facilities.

Canadian professor Guy Mercier's answer to curbing fossil fuel emissions is literally set in stone. With $300,000 in new grant money from Carbon Management Canada, a network of academic centers, he plans to run gas emitted from a Holcim cement plant through pulverized concrete and rock.

If everything goes to plan, the resulting chemical reaction will capture 80 percent of the carbon dioxide from the tested gas stream at a lower cost than other capture methods.

In theory, the cost of capturing CO2 could head to zero, since the resulting magnesium carbonate formed from chemical reactions between cement plant emissions and rock can be sold at a profit to the wastewater and steel-making industries, Mercier said.

"This can be applied anywhere there's a huge amount of CO2 emitted from smokestacks," said Mercier, an environmental technology professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, part of the University of Quebec. He is working with researchers from the University of Calgary and the University of Melbourne on the project.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:50:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
is about to test

Nota Bene.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In theory, the cost of capturing CO2 could head to zero, since the resulting magnesium carbonate formed from chemical reactions between cement plant emissions and rock can be sold at a profit to the wastewater and steel-making industries, Mercier said.

Industries which will then use the magnesium and reemit the CO2?

Which will be recaptured by the Mercier technology into more magnesium carbonate?

Um... And collect underpants and profit!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:51:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.  It's clear with a moment's thought that such a scheme can never break even.  Cement production relies on separating carbonates into oxide+carbon dioxide.   This alone makes the process carbon neutral because eventually the oxides reabsorb the CO2.  But to perform the separation they typically burn fossil fuel producing an excess of CO2.
by njh on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 03:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pot farms wreaking havoc on Northern California environment - latimes.com
EUREKA, Calif. -- State scientists, grappling with an explosion of marijuana growing on the North Coast, recently studied aerial imagery of a small tributary of the Eel River, spawning grounds for endangered coho salmon and other threatened fish.

In the remote, 37-square-mile patch of forest, they counted 281 outdoor pot farms and 286 greenhouses, containing an estimated 20,000 plants -- mostly fed by water diverted from creeks or a fork of the Eel. The scientists determined the farms were siphoning roughly 18 million gallons from the watershed every year, largely at the time when the salmon most need it.

"That is just one small watershed," said Scott Bauer, the state scientist in charge of the coho recovery on the North Coast for the Department of Fish and Game. "You extrapolate that for all the other tributaries, just of the Eel, and you get a lot of marijuana sucking up a lot of water.... This threatens species we are spending millions of dollars to recover."

The marijuana boom that came with the sudden rise of medical cannabis in California has wreaked havoc on the fragile habitats of the North Coast and other parts of California. With little or no oversight, farmers have illegally mowed down timber, graded mountaintops flat for sprawling greenhouses, dispersed poisons and pesticides, drained streams and polluted watersheds.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the sort of situation that would be helped by legalization and regulation. Sure, the tobacco companies are bad, but they are also big corporations who get at least some oversight from government...
by asdf on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:21:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No way the alcohol bribers lobbyists would allow pot legalization.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Tobacco has been pushing (heh) for it for decades. Apparently they have the advertising campaigns all ready to roll (heh)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 10:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan To Turn Into One Giant Roller Coaster | MyScienceAcademy

Japan has rather complex terrain, and is experiencing a significant power shortage, especially after the government decided to phase out the use of nuclear power plants. The combination of these two factors prompted a group of designers working under the guidance of the Mr. Yoshihiro Suda with the Institute of Industrial Research, University of Tokyo, to develop a commuter train that would be moved by the force of gravity (and weight of passengers). The new development will be cost-effective and fast.

When developing a new miracle of transportation, the engineers decided to use the roller coaster principle. They thought that if they build such a "rolling" road, it can move train cars that will not need an engine because the weight of the cabin with passengers will make them move to the next station

The train will be lifted by an automatic lift every 10 meters. After that it can run 400 meters, using only the force of gravity. The speed of the descent should reach around 60 kilometers per hour. Of course, for the fans of extreme attractions this speed would seem snail-pace-like as the steepest roller coaster carts can reach the speed of 200 kilometers per hour.  

However, the engineers did not need such speed. When moving downhill at the speed of 200 kilometers per hour, it will not go that far because after exceeding the speed limit of 60 kilometers per hour the train rails friction increases in an avalanche-like fashion.

wassup with this? DoDo?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:09:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds similar to the "pulse and glide" method used by car hypermilers to set economy records. Given the choice between maintaining a steady speed of, say, 50 KPH, it is more efficient to speed up to, say, 70 KPH, then to shut off the engine and glide down to, say, 30 KPH, then repeat the cycle. Since you're only running the engine part of the time, the fixed cost (energy cost) of just running it at all is saved, giving an overall minimum.

http://www.metrompg.com/posts/pulse-and-glide.htm

by asdf on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i wonder if one could mod a cruise control to do that?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:41:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it would work very well in a boat. The "glide" part in a car is pretty straightforward, but on a boat if you get below planing speed the drag goes way, way up. So you would have to stay above that, which means that the gliding part might only last for a few seconds.

With boats, the way to get efficiency is with hydrofoils. A new sailboat speed record was set just a few weeks ago at 121 km/h (75 MPH).

by asdf on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 01:05:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

A Lions Mane Jellyfish, the largest jellyfish in the world! They have been swimming in arctic waters since before the dinosaurs (over 650 million years ago) and are among some of the oldest surviving species in the world.

Via Interesting Facts


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:15:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
since before the dinosaurs (over 650 million years ago)

650 million years ago is before the Cambrian explosion (adaptive radiation of multicellular organisms). Calling it "before the dinosaurs" (extinct 65 million years ago) misses the bigger picture.

What appears well-established is that Jellyfish in general appeared well before the Cambrian explosion. Whether these huge ones date back that far is probably not established either, but given that they were the dominant multi-celled organism back then, it seems likely.

Note, however, that today's jellyfish are "more evolved" than those of 650 million years ago. They're not the same jellyfish as back then.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not the same jellyfish as back then.

Jellyfish just ain't what they used to be

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Via Interesting Facts
In that case, a link would be nice.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.facebook.com/greatfacts?group_id=0

it's a FB page, possibly photoshopped?

thanks for the added input! fascinating...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:49:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's probably not photoshopped.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:02:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really? Does it look like it's less than 2.29m on the picture? Maybe with a really tiny diver.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:22:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia:
The lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is the largest known species of jellyfish. Its range is confined to cold, boreal waters of the Arctic, northern Atlantic, and northern Pacific Oceans, seldom found farther south than 42°N latitude. Similar jellyfish, which may be the same species, are known to inhabit seas near Australia and New Zealand. The largest recorded specimen found, washed up on the shore of Massachusetts Bay in 1870, had a bell (body) with a diameter of 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m) and tentacles 120 feet (37 m) long.[1] Lion's mane jellyfish have been observed below 42°N latitude for some time--specifically in the larger bays of the east coast of the United States.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:16:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:23:47 AM EST
China launches world's longest bullet train service | News | DW.DE | 26.12.2012

The world's longest, high-speed rail route has begun service. Trains will be able to complete China's 2,298 km (1,428 miles) line running between Beijing and Guangzhou in eight hours.

The first high-speed "bullet" train left the Chinese capital Beijing early Wednesday morning. During its trip to the southern city of Guangzhou, the train will travel at an average speed of 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour).

China Central Television broadcast the first train's departure live from the Beijing West Railway Station.

State media said the bullet trains would cut the time of the journey, which normally takes 20 hours on standard rail, to just eight hours. There are 35 stops on the Beijing-Guangzhou line, including major cities such as Zhengzhou, Wuhan on the Yangtze River and Changsha.

China's high-speed rail network was established in 2007, and quickly became the world's longest with 8,358 km of track by the end of 2010. That number is expected to nearly double to 16,000 km in by 2020.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Facebook defends Instagram in civil lawsuit - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Facebook is vowing to defend Instagram, its photo-sharing-service, which is facing a civil lawsuit for changing its terms of service and breaching its contract with users. 

The social networking website defended the popular photo application, saying the complaint was "without merit".

A class-action lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court last week, calling on the court to bar Instagram from changing its rules.

"Instagram is taking its customers property rights while insulating itself from all liability," said the law firm which also demanded the service to pay its legal fees.

"In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us,'" the law firm added.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How excess holiday eating disturbs your 'food clock'

Dec. 21, 2012 -- If the sinful excess of holiday eating sends your system into butter-slathered, brandy-soaked overload, you are not alone: People who are jet-lagged, people who work graveyard shifts and plain-old late-night snackers know just how you feel.

All these activities upset the body's "food clock," a collection of interacting genes and molecules known technically as the food-entrainable oscillator, which keeps the human body on a metabolic even keel. A new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is helping to reveal how this clock works on a molecular level.

Published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the UCSF team has shown that a protein called PKCγ is critical in resetting the food clock if our eating habits change.

The study showed that normal laboratory mice given food only during their regular sleeping hours will adjust their food clock over time and begin to wake up from their slumber, and run around in anticipation of their new mealtime. But mice lacking the PKCγ gene are not able to respond to changes in their meal time -- instead sleeping right through it.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:51:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From John Rentoul: So you think the wealth gap is growing? Wrong (The Independent, 26 December 2012)
Two important sets of statistics were published this year which bring the picture up to date. Their findings on equality were unreported for the simple reason that they did not show what everyone expected them to show. In June, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published an analysis of official data that found that, although all after-tax incomes fell in the first year of the Coalition (2010-11), higher incomes fell more than lower incomes, resulting in a more equal distribution.

Then in July, the first official estimates of the distribution of wealth were published for some time. The new figures, from the Wealth and Assets Survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics, covered the period from 2006 to 2010. In other words, roughly the period of the Gordon Brown government. The figures do not tell us about what is happening under the Coalition, but they were a missing part of the puzzle, because although there are a lot of statistics about incomes, there have been no reliable figures for the inequality of wealth in the UK for many years. What the survey showed was that the degree of inequality of wealth hardly changed from 2006 to 2010, becoming slightly more equal. Unless something dramatic has changed in the past two years, we would expect that trend to continue.

Some more in it than others

This is so at variance with the accepted story of food banks and greedy bankers that it makes no sense to most people. Not only are we all in it together, but the rich are bearing and will bear a greater share of the burden of taxes than the poor.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:18:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
John Rentoul blog: The Egalitarian Coalition (The Independent, 26 December 2012)
I have a column in The Independent tomorrow with which, from the early notices on Twitter, some people do not agree. Which is interesting, because it is mostly factual, reporting two sets of figures that were published in June and July this year.

...

The links to the original data are not yet in the article, so for those who want to pursue the findings, which are, I admit, hard to believe, here they are.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was already looking at the ONS data, (fairly shoddily presented), but as I'm not sure of the methodology I'm saying nothing. However, since the top decile have lost real estate and financial wealth since the crisis, it wouldn't be surprising to find that the overall effect is towards stability rather than increasing inequality.

As for IFS, see for example Richard Murphy. While I'm shooting the messengers, John Rentoul is as died-in-the-wool Blairite as Lord Sainsbury, funder of the IFS.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the process of Wealth Capture demonstrable on such statistics ? It's all very well showing an average trend of equality amongst people in the first or second standard deviations from the mean. But if the people at the extreme edge are either getting much richer or much poorer, would such broad brush statstics touch that.

also, if cost of living rises  means that most people below medium income are in poverty, then stories about food banks can still be true whatever.

Rentoul is a Blairite neo-liberal apologist, so I guess he would like such figures

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's talking about after-tax income statistics, and calling it "wealth".

That's the bait-and-switch.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you expand on that just a little please ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The statistics Rentoul is talking about refer to after-tax income being flatter than under Labour. That's "disposable income" and it's fine as far as it goes, but "dicretionary income" would subtract from that the cost of necessities (and debt service). It's possible that discretionary income hasn't become flatter. In fact, many at the bottom are being disproportionately hit by austerity.

And then, wealth. The wealthy may have lower income among other things because the lower interest rate results in lower return on assets. But a lot of people of lower income (and wealth) are seriously under water because of the fall in housing prices and the debt they took on in the housing bubble.

So it is entirely possible that wealth is becoming more skewed, that many people are effectively bankrupt but this hasn't been recognised, and they are being fleeced out of their discretionary income by interest payments, and so on... while at the same time the narrowly defined disposable income distribution is becoming flatter.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 07:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I'm talking out of my arse. He has data.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 07:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But data is like a newspaper editor's newsfeed. The choice of what and how any particular story is reported, or even if it is reported at all, represents a choice which displays preference. That's what an Editor does; they choose.

So, I am sure,  goes the same for data. How it is interpreted, how it is presented as information, displays preference. The data may be neutral, but the choices enacted upon it are entirely political.

Which is why I noted first that Rentoul is a Blairite with a track record as a neo-conservative fanboy. That he should take a set of figures which presents the last Labour govt as having somehow achieving an improvement in general equality, despite all personal experience to the contrary is something which I am sure he would enjoy presenting.

But we all know that data may not lie, but it can be made to mislead

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Raw data is also amoral. Data only acquires morality when it is framed.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, apparently the Gini coefficient dropped a bit from historical NuLabor highs of 0.36 down to only Thatcheresque 0.34 because high incomes has dropped more hten lower ones. A far cry from pre-Thatcher levels of around 0.26, and one that came from highest level ever due to high wages bonanza during the boom, but hey that is not going to stop a Chief Political Commentator from pretending that the rich are shouldering some kind of burden and deserve their tax cuts.

Meanwhile, in the report the piece rests on:

The fall in relative poverty does not reflect increases in the absolute living standards of poorer households. Rather, it reflects the fact that incomes towards the bottom of the income distribution fell by less than those in the middle of the distribution. This highlights that an exclusive focus on relative poverty measures gives an incomplete picture of the changing material living standards of lowincome households and that absolute measures of poverty should be kept firmly in view. Using a poverty line fixed at 60% of the 1996-97 median in real terms, absolute poverty rose by 200,000 to reach 5.8 million (9.6% absolute poverty rate) BHC and by 300,000 to reach 8.4 million (13.8%) AHC in 2010-11.

The fall in relative child poverty in 2010-11 does not reflect increases in the real incomes of lowincome households with children; it was driven instead by the reduction in median income, and
hence the relative poverty line. Using a poverty line fixed at 60% of 1998-99 median income, absolute child poverty was unchanged in 2010-11. Given that one presumably cares about whether incomes are rising or falling in absolute terms, this highlights that an exclusive focus on relative measures of poverty would be unwise: attention must also be paid to absolute measures of poverty.

Recent falls in the government's combined measure of child material deprivation and relative low income (defined as less than 70% of the median, BHC) do not reflect falls in the number of children who are materially deprived. Indeed, the number of children materially deprived has increased since its low point in 2006-07.

So of course the rich deserve their tax cuts! Have they not suffered enough under these mere Thatcheresque levels of income inequality?!

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:16:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Add to that that some new costs are appearing (with NHS being dismantled or other formerly free stuff that you now need to pay for), which impact the discretionary income (unless you consider health a luxury) of the poor far more than that of the rich. Both only have one body to maintain.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See a response here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2013 at 03:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:24:03 AM EST
Newborn Loses Faith In Humanity After Record 6 Days

SCHAUMBURG, IL--In a turn of events that has stunned the worldwide medical community, local infant Nathan Jameson, born just six days ago, has become the youngest person ever to permanently and irrevocably lose all faith in humanity.

"This shatters all previous records," University of Chicago psychologist Douglas McAllister said Monday. "In all of documented medical history, there is no case of a newborn taking less than four months to develop the mental faculties required to grasp the full extent of this existential nightmare we call life on earth."

"Considering he already comprehends harsh realities that many people spend their entire fleeting, shallow existences attempting to deny, Baby Nathan is quite the little miracle!" he added.

Though he has not yet developed the capacity for speech, extensive cognitive testing has definitively shown that the shockingly perceptive 6-day-old fully understands and accepts that human beings cannot be trusted, that they remain far too ignorant for their opinions to be reliable, that a lack of self-awareness about their own destructive tendencies pervades the species as a whole, and that most are too ineffectual to successfully pursue even the shallow self-interested agendas that rule their lives.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1952 - birth of Karla Bonoff, American musician.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:53:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here in Finland we have the Nasty Problem: large amount of snowfall recently coupled with severely reduced snow clearing over the holidays. Today we're on the plus side, which means slush and snow turning to ice. And tonight the deep tracks of people and vehicles will all freeze again.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time to get the sled out of the barn...
by asdf on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have the 'pulkka' concept - a sort of toboggan, mainly of plastic. But, on a road or path with previous tracks frozen into the ice, it's not a pleasant journey.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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