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links for 2010-06-06

  • Quote:"The report also discusses the possibility of offering tax exemptions to news organizations, establishing an AmeriCorps for reporters and creating a national fund for local news organizations. The money for those benefits would come from a suite of new taxes. A 5 percent tax on consumer electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops that let consumers read the news could be used to encourage people to keep reading the dead-tree version of the news. Other taxes might be levied on the radio and television spectrum, advertising and cell phones.

    // If there was an Americorps for journalists and writers, I'd try to get in.

  • Quote:"As soon as oil hits water, the ocean begins its deconstruction. In fact, the marine environment handles oil much like a human body handles alcohol: destroying, metabolizing and depositing the excessive compounds —in oil's case, hydrocarbons—then transforming the compounds into safer substances, says Stanislav Patin, chairman of the Aquatic Toxicology Committee under the Russian Academy of Sciences and international expert on marine pollution.
  • Quote:"According to the Durbin-Harvey report, commissioned by the Department of Transport following passage of the law, an analysis of fatality figures before and after the law shows:

    a clear increase in pedestrian, cyclist, and rear-passenger fatalities in collisions involving passenger cars
    no such increase in casualties in collisions involving buses and goods vehicles, which were exempt from the law
    a reduction in the number of drivers found to be drunk at the scene of collisions
    a reduction in overall fatalities between the hours of 10pm and 4am (peak hours for drink-driving offences)
    no reduction in overall fatality rates outside these hours.[17]
    Seat belt use is a binary: the belt is either worn or not. Belt laws, which tend to lead to substantial changes in wearing rates over very short periods, would, if the predictions of up to 50% reductions in fatalities are correct, be expected to demonstrate large scale changes in fatality figures. No such changes [observed]

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2 Responses

  1. Regarding Higher Ed – Burst Bubble Burst!

    Regarding Seat Belts – whatever the law, you should wear one for self preservation. As a summer intern I was assigned to review and categorize a couple thousand auto accidents on Kansas Highways – just over 100 involved fatalities. Of those 100+ fatalities, only 4-5 of the deceased were wearing seatbelts, and half of those came from a freak accident where a semi rolled over a passenger car and crushed the front seat passengers to death. The lesson, it is hard to die in your car if wearing a seatbelt. Without one, the forces involved are plenty lethal.

    • My point would simply be that wearing seatbelts makes for dangerous drivers. Is my own life worth more than the pedestrian I might kill? To me, yes. But…

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