Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Coffee and Provocation

Viking Sperm is Gold
Apparently, there's a global sperm industry and it all leads back to one country: Denmark.

Black-Footed Ferrets Saved By Vaccine Drones?

As I have previously noted, the Bubonic Plague was brought to the U.S. by Chinese immigrants around the turn of the 20th Century, where it rode a black rat and a train out to the Prairie Dog colonies of the American west. Now, in an effort to save the black-footed ferret, scientists intend to use drones to spead plague vaccine to save prairie dogs which are the ferret's core food source.

Will Deflation Kill the Global Economy or Spur It?
Last week, yields on ALL Swiss government bonds, out to 50 years, turned negative. This is being hyped as a lack of confidence in global economic recovery, but I actually think this is a long-term bet on artificial intelligence. Imagine what self-driving vehicles do for taxis, buses, postal deliveries, and truck drivers. Now throw in tractors that water and plow, drones that survey fields and spot-spray for bugs. Toss in the collapse of local retail stores under the weight of Amazon, the decline in waste as clothes are made to order on demand, same as books are printed on demand now. Newspapers are dead, book stores are gone, gas stations are replaced by free juice from locally powered no-grid solar chargers. Money is replaced with electric currency and cash registers are replaced by scanners. GMO boosts crop production, and stem cells combat Alzheimer's, AIDS, and joint disease. Generic drugs are cheap and made by robots. Deflation is a real possibility, and the long term bet is not entirely crazy. It's actually an optimistic bet, as odd as that sounds.

Today's BEST Amazon Deal?
A hipster slingshot at Brooklyn prices.

Good Guy With a ... Bomb?
Apparently when there's a BAD Guy with a Gun, not even 200 GOOD Guys with a Gun could stop him. In Dallas last week, it took a bomb. Because (apparently) we don't have tear gas, knockout gas, stun guns, rubber bullets, foam, rubber slugs, glue bombs, water cannons, or bean bag rounds.

Maryland State House Saved by Ben Franklin
Maryland State House was built in 1797, but before he died in 1790, Franklin drew detailed plans for how his lightning rod was to be installed. The builders followed that plan, and it's remained there ever since. Last week lightning struck the building, and Governor Larry Hogan attributes the preservation of the dome to Franklin's work.

Count Your Chickens
From The Economist:  "The world's average stock of chickens is almost 19 billion, or three per person, according to statistics from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. Cattle are the next most populous breed of farm animal at 1.4 billion, with sheep and pigs not far behind at around 1 billion. China's vast appetite helps make it the world leader in the number of chickens, pigs and sheep, whereas beef-loving Brazil and cow-revering India have the greatest number of cattle. Expressed as livestock per person, New Zealand lives up to its reputation as the world's most productive shepherd, with 7.5 sheep for each New Zealander. It is also the second biggest cattle herdsman, with the equivalent of 2.3 cows per person, second only to Uruguay's 3.7. For chickens, Brunei rules the roost, counting 40 birds for every person."

Release the Beasts
Monks on Prince Edward Island, Canada, bought 600 lbs of lobster and released them back into the ocean.

50 Million Trees Planted in One Day?
That's the goal in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where 50 million small saplings are to be planted in one day, with the help of  800,000 volunteers.  The twin goal is to help the environment and achieve a world record.

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