Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Read This Now - Deregulatory Fever

Unfortunately the solution is not more cowbell. James Surowieki recently took the whole culture of deregulation to the woodshed in his New Yorker column. It's not just the millions of barrels of oil pumping into the Gulf or the still hanging around financial crisis, it's that they weren't accidents...

These failures weren’t accidents. They were the all too predictable result of the deregulationary fervor that has gripped Washington in recent years, pushing the message that most regulation is unnecessary at best and downright harmful at worst. The result is that agencies have often been led by people skeptical of their own duties. This gave us the worst of both worlds: too little supervision encouraged corporate recklessness, while the existence of these agencies encouraged public complacency.
Surowieki offers some solutions to in this short, excellent piece. Make sure to read the whole thing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iced Out

So the US is currently without a heavy icebreaker, i.e. one that can operate in the Arctic or Antarctic ice safely. According to Dot Earth this predicament has been a long time coming and yet here we are. It's not like we have ice bound waters to patrol off Alaska, or a scientific research station on Antarctica that needs supplies...

Perhaps the government (Congress, here's looking at you) thought they could get away with not funding new boats since soon the Arctic will be ice free and really the Antarctic can't be that far behind can it?

Especially if we abandon any hope of getting a 2 degree global temperature rise limit in place.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Read This Now - Journolist

I've been away from the rss reader which, along with NPR, is my main news source for the past couple of days and I'm just now getting caught up.

You should go read Ezra Klein's post on the rise and fall of Journolist. It's a fascinating and quick take on the growing mish-mash that is the intercession of public and private communication online, and how some (probably many) journalists are struggling to get a good grasp on it.

For what it's worth, the listserv certainly seemed like a good idea when I first heard of it and it continues to seem like one now. Especially in an era when XKCD sums up the mainstream media so eloquently...

Read This Now - Great Post Title

Paul Krugman is on the warpath (Yes, again. Or maybe still..). And he has some choice words for the politicians and economists who've forgotten what we've learned the hard way previously...

And that consensus has, of course, been lacking — largely because a significant proportion of the economics profession has spent the last three decades systematically destroying the hard-won knowledge of macroeconomics. It’s truly a new Dark Age, in which famous professors are reinventing errors refuted 70 years ago, and calling them insights.

On top of that, anti-stimulus appeals to a fundamental meanness of spirit that is always present in the political world. The super-asinine we shall always have with us.

Read the whole thing, it isn't that much longer...

Also check out the good doctor's take on Greenspan's latest protestations.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

You Should Really Just Be Reading Kottke

But in case you don't, watch this video he had up recently...

And yes, I was also unimpressed that an un-mortared brick wall fell over at the end. Overall still very cool.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wi-Fi Everywhere

You can get a coffee pretty much anywhere these days, in some cities you can even walk across the street from one Starbucks to the next to see which one has baristas making the better espresso.

On July 1 you'll be able to cross the street and see which Starbucks has the quicker router set up.

That's right, starting next month Starbucks is running free wi-fi.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lego Art

From Balakov's Flickr set Classics in Lego. His other Lego themed shots are pretty cool as well.

I do remember fondly the time before lego sold out and did movie deals when you had to use your imagination to play with the best toys ever though.

(via kottke)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spillage, Yep We're Pretty Much F'd

I've just gotten caught back up with the Oilpocalypse after not following things closely for the past week. Not surprisingly it seems like we're still pretty screwed.

Despite BP's continued best efforts to prevent reporters and photographers from getting access to affected areas more pictures of the growing damage are emerging. The Big Picture has a good wrap up that you should check out.

The AP provided this underwater footage, which some folks have called a bit of a stunt. I think that it does a good job of highlighting the fact that a ton of damage is being done below the surface in the Gulf. Which is important to remember given the oceans' ongoing troubles with being out of sight and out of mind.

(via CJR)

CJR has a fantastic piece up answering readers' FAQ's on the Oilpocalypse and BP's bumbling response. You should definitely take some time to read through it.

There is of course much much more out there on the internets about the Oilpocalypse and BP has been buying up the search words surrounding the disaster, which while distasteful, is probably the right PR move.

This video summary of events and the BP response is one of the best reactions out there right now though...

And continuing our policy of not using Comedy Central's crappy embed codes you should go to Salon and see Jon Stewart's latest run down, it's priceless.

You Should Probably Know...

That the War in Afghanistan is now officially America's longest armed conflict.

The 104 months since the US first began bombing Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan take it past the 103 months that officially marked the beginning and end of the Vietnam war.

Nice Legacy that.

(via ND)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh, The Irony

Thick with it, this picture from Jalopnik is...

Photos of the actual impacts of the BP oil disaster have finally started to appear, and they're going to be pretty tough to ignore.

It is definitely worth pointing out again that BP has been working very hard to keep visuals of the spill's effects from getting to the public.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What Oil Looks Like

It ain't pretty, that's for sure.

Which is why BP is working so hard to prevent reporters and photographers from getting access to sites currently effected by the BP Oil Disaster (I hear that's what the cool kids are calling it).

These are from Photog Charles Riedel via Think Progress...