Volcanos?  Our planet’s wobble?  Deforestation?


Here, very well presented, from Bloomberg News.  (Thanks, Bryan!)


From Business Insider: 14 Quirky Things You Didn’t Know About Amazon.  My favorite:

An obscure book about lichens saved Amazon from going bankrupt.

Book distributors required retailers to order ten books at a time, and Amazon didn’t need that much inventory yet (or have that much money).

So, the team discovered a loophole. Although the distributors required that Amazon ordered ten books, the company didn’t need to receive that many. So, they would order one book they needed, and nine copies of an obscure lichen book, which was always out of stock.

And today, twenty years later, the company is valued at $234 billion.


There’s a lot wrong with it, as many will attest (if for different reasons on Fox than on MSNBC).

“The USA is not the country I grew up in and certainly not the country I came of age in,” writes a deeply critical, all-but-despairing contemporary of mine — a leftie, like me.  To which, having been blessed with the happy gene, I felt compelled to reply:

“True!  We have a black President and Attorney General, women are accorded far more respect (20 in the Senate, up from zero; 3 on the Court, up from zero), life is immeasurably better for LGBT Americans, most of the country is at least somewhat environmentally aware, our cars are safer and get triple the mileage, our air and water is cleaner, defense spending is down from 10% to 4% of GDP, we’re not being drafted to fight a pointless war, far fewer people smoke, life expectancy is up from 70 to 79, hips are easily replaced, our entertainment and communication choices are vastly greater, “boredom” is not possible for anyone with an Internet connection, and — perhaps most astonishing — watermelon is seedless.  I share your enthusiasm.”

Have a great weekend.



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