Friday, March 23, 2018

Late March Weekend Links

Well, I forgot to make my NCAA hockey predictions (and saved myself from demonstrating my ignorance), but I did read a few interesting stories in the last few days (and I forgot a few links that I was planning on including in the last links):

How Charles Koch Turned Wichita State into a College-Basketball PowerhouseThe New Yorker

Sisters of Sister Jean Embrace Her Loyola Team and Marvel at Her Fame – New York Times.  The Times has been all over the Sister Jean story.  I guess I'm not the only one who thinks cultural Catholics love a good nun story.

 How $42K-a-year priest built mansion worth millions - Detroit News.  And this is one of the reasons there are so many cultural and not practicing Catholics.

Robots Are Trying To Pick Strawberries. So Far, They're Not Very Good At It - The Salt

Offutt's former SD farm goes all-organic for General Mills - Ag Week.  Even if farmers think it is garbage, the corporate titans are buying into organic.  In other words, the consumer is steering the ship.

The last whalers - Aeon

American History for Truthdiggers: Were the Colonists Patriots or Insurgents? - Truthdig.  This is a question.  I have considered similar thoughts when reading about the nation's birth. 

Tom and Jerry – why they’re a cat and mouse double act for the ages - The Conversation

The Intellectual We Deserve - Current Affairs.  I've generally avoided the Jordan Peterson hype, but this seems like an epic takedown.

Dearborn mayor backs Ford expansion to Michigan Central Station - Detroit Free Press.  It would be amazing if this comes to fruition.

How One Houston Suburb Ended Up in a Reservoir – New York Times.  Mainly it is that the Corps didn't buy all the ground they should have, and nobody had the balls to tell developers to GTFO.

Radar images show large swath of West Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates - SMU Research.  This may be nothing, or it may end up being very significant.

The Democrats’ Rural Voter Problem (and How to Fix It) - The New Republic.  The argument is interesting, if flawed, but it gets at the central issue with the Democratic party: how have they ceded economically populist voters to the party of Oligarchs (it is because they have become the party of socially progressive Oligarchs)?

Everyone Tries To Dodge The Tax Man, And It Keeps Getting Easier - FiveThirtyEight.  The perfect chart for the week of National Ag Day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring Snowstorm Links

Sure, it was only 4 or 5 inches of snow, but I think that was the most we've gotten in any storm this winter, and it is no longer winter.  Anyway, I was busy imbibing on St. Patrick's Day, so it took a few extra days to find enough good stories.  Here you go:

Exploring great Indiana high school gyms - Indianapolis Star.  I hate the state of Indiana, but I do think they have some very cool basketball gyms.

For St. Patrick's Day, A True Tale Of 8 Sailors Saved By Guinness – The Salt

Catholic group offers alternative to payday lenders – Columbus Dispatch.  This is something I wanted to start up.

Attack of the extreme floods – Nature

This Father-Daughter Team Says It Has a Cheaper, Safer Way to Bury Nuclear Waste – Bloomberg 

Meet the world's deadliest female sniper who terrorized Hitler's Nazi army – The Independent 

Opinion: FCC Set to Waste Billions on the Wrong Rural Broadband Providers – Daily Yonder 

The Asset – Buzzfeed News

The Last Temptation – The Atlantic

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, A Memo to the Publisher of the New York Times – TomDispatch.  From the 15th anniversary of the Iraq war.

The biggest Republican megadonor you’ve never heard of - Politico.  At least the Schlitz heir's governor candidate lost.

The Population Slowdown in the Outer Suburbs of the East and Midwest – NYT

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day Mini-Links

I hope you had a great Pi Day.  I figured I would throw a few links up, especially since the first one involves a high seed that might not be in the tournament very long:

The Nun in Loyola-Chicago’s Huddle Has a Few Things to Say – New York Times 

Why No. 1 Virginia’s Plodding Pace Makes It Ripe for an Upset – Wall Street Journal

The EU Is Going After the U.S. Cranberry Industry – Bloomberg.  Targeting Paul Ryan's home state.

The Number of Monarch Butterflies Wintering in Mexico Is Down AgainModern Farmer. For what it's worth, I've been avoiding the milkweed when mowing waterways and scrubland.  I've noticed more Monarchs the last couple years than I saw in previous years.

When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home - The New Yorker 

Stephen Hawking Is Still UnderratedThe Atlantic  

Pi Day 2018: the math of pi explained, as simply as possible - Vox

Trump's mining giveaway – Politico.  There is no better example of the ineptitude and corruption of Congress than the fact that a law as shitty as the General Mining Act of 1872 is still the law of the land after 146 years.

Canadian Amateurs Discovered a New Type of Aurora.  It’s named Steve. - The Atlantic  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Papermaker

The Papermaker from Kings&Kongs on Vimeo.

I'm Getting a Bad Feeling About This

I have to say that my fear that we will end up in a war with Iran or North Korea or both increased significantly today.  I can't say that Mike Pompeo is as dumb as Trump, considering his extremely impressive resume, but the fact that he agrees with Trump about North Korea, Iran, climate change and environmental regulation is absolutely terrifying.  I didn't really think our country's future was tremendously bright before today, but it got quite a bit darker in this spin on the earth's axis.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Chart of the Day: Looming Farm Crisis Edition

From AgWeb:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: unfortunately, it is going to get worse before it gets better.  As the chart on the left shows, debt-to-income is at the highest level since the late '80s, and guys are still throwing $8,000-12,000 an acre at land in this area.  This will not end well.  Also, if you are looking for a stock to short, I'd suggest you take a look at Farmland Partners (I am not a financial advisor, and would recommend that you should never short a stock).

NCAA Bracket

First Four: LIU Brooklyn, St. Bonaventure, NC Central, Syracuse
South Region
First Round: Virginia, Creighton, Kentucky, Arizona, Loyola-Chicago, Tennessee, Nevada, Cincinnati
Second Round: Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Cincinnati
Sweet Sixteen: Virginia, Cincinnati
Regional Final: Virginia

West Region
First Round: Xavier, Missouri, Ohio State, Gonzaga, Houston, Michigan, Providence, North Carolina
Second Round: Xavier, Gonzaga, Houston, North Carolina
Sweet Sixteen: Gonzaga, North Carolina
Regional Final: Gonzaga

East Region
First Round: Villanova, Alabama, West Virginia, Wichita State, Florida, Texas Tech, Butler, Purdue
Second Round: Villanova, Wichita State, Florida, Butler
Sweet Sixteen: Villanova, Florida
Regional Final: Villanova

Midwest Region
First Round: Kansas, Seton Hall, New Mexico State, Auburn, Syracuse, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Duke
Second Round: Kansas, Auburn, Michigan State, Duke
Sweet Sixteen: Kansas,Michigan State
Regional Final: Michigan State

Final Four: Villanova, Gonzaga
Champion: Villanova

Also, since the Irish ended up in the NIT, I'll forecast the Final Four there:
Notre Dame, Louisville, Western Kentucky and St. Mary's, with St. Mary's knocking off Notre Dame in the final.  It's not going to happen, but I'll dream.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Early March Links

Here are a few of my favorite stories from the last week or so:

We X-Rayed Some MLB Baseballs. Here’s What We Found. - FiveThirtyEight

Sweet Redemption As Men's Curling Team Brings Olympic Gold Home To Duluth - NPR

Schuyler, Nebraska, school officials call state intervention a 'scarlet letter'- Omaha World-Herald.  The state declared the school was low-performing because of changing demographics.  Translation: the town has a meatpacking plant so the school-age population is is over 85% immigrant.

California Fruit Will ‘Die on the Vine’ After ICE Raids, Labor Warns - Bloomberg.  Stupid.

Harvard Blew $1 Billion in Bet on Tomatoes, Sugar, and Eucalyptus - Bloomberg

Jerry and Marge Go Large - Highline (h/t my former boss).  Good story about a screwy lottery game that got gamed.

The Rise Of Yeast: How Civilization Was Shaped By Sugar Fungi - The Salt

Impact of warming seas felt by northeastern fisheries - Toledo Blade

Some of the World's Biggest Lakes Are Drying Up. Here's Why. - National Geographic

The Slow-Motion Catastrophe Threatening 350-Year-Old Farms - The Atlantic 

The Man Who Bottled Evolution - MSU Today

How Trump’s Hudson Tunnel Feud Threatens the National Economy - Bloomberg

The Radical Left-Wing Theory That the Government Has Unlimited Money - Vice.  Well, not so radical.  It is Modern Monetary Theory.

Who Was Marjory Stoneman Douglas? - Portside

'Corporations Are People' Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie - The Atlantic 

WH quietly issues report to Congress showing benefits of regulations - The Hill

Trump steel tariffs to hit these 8 countries the hardest — and China isn’t one of them - MarketWatch.  Actually, they will probably hit the U.S. the hardest.