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  • August 2011
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links for 2011-08-16

  • // And who cares? The players shouldn't somehow profit from their labor?
  • Quote:"
    A doctor once told Albert Brown he shouldn't expect to make it to 50, given the toll taken by his years in a Japanese labor camp during World War II and the infamous, often deadly march that got him there. But the former dentist made it to 105, embodying the power of a positive spirit in the face of inordinate odds.

    "Doc" Brown was nearly 40 in 1942 when he endured the Bataan Death March, a harrowing 65-mile trek in which 78,000 prisoners of war were forced to walk from Bataan province near Manila, Philippines, to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. As many as 11,000 died along the way. Many were denied food, water and medical care, and those who stumbled or fell during the scorching journey through Philippine jungles were stabbed, shot or beheaded.

    But Dr. Brown survived and secretly documented it all, using a nub of a pencil to scrawl details into a tiny tablet he concealed in the lining of his canvas bag.

    // RIP. Read the whole thing.

  • Quote:"The AFP news agency said scientists at the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland studied 11,000 Australian adults who were aged at least 25 in the year 2000.

    The academics checked their data against an estimate from 2008 that Australians aged 25 or above watched TV for 9.8 billion hours. This was associated with the loss of 286,000 years of life, the AFP said.

    An extrapolation of these figures found that a single hour of TV was responsible for the loss of just under 22 minutes of life, the news agency reported.

    Smoking two cigarettes has approximately the same effect.

    The problem is not actually TV itself but the lack of activity by the viewer for long periods, the researches said. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, excess weight and other health problems are associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

    // If I could, I would totally get rid of my TV. And my computer. And my cellphone.

  • Quote:"Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine.

    Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties.

    // I like the idea of seasteading since I like experimentation (and I also like monarchies, and these seasteads should be monarchies). Cruise ships already represent a form of seasteading, and it shouldn't be hard to build a real nation, given some time and money.

  • // Numbers are based in LA. But it's amazing dogs would be stolen (not the ones for dogfights, obviously) because a crook thinks he can get money for them. Even purebreads aren't exactly rare.
    (tags: dogs crime)
  • // Corporations are in holding patterns right now, there is no where to go if you're working in one. Thus, many are choosing to take a chance on entrepreneurialism. If you have the resources, why not? But I would ask, if you have a job that still pays, why?
  • Quote:"Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare.

    McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.

    But more than a year later, Seattle's numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.

    // As good as the rhetoric sounds, the results never materialize.

  • Quote:"Under President Obama, while the economy is struggling to grow and create jobs, the federal regulatory business is booming.

    Regulatory agencies have seen their combined budgets grow a healthy 16% since 2008, topping $54 billion, according to the annual "Regulator's Budget," compiled by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.

    That's at a time when the overall economy grew a paltry 5%.

    Meanwhile, employment at these agencies has climbed 13% since Obama took office to more than 281,000, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.

    Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, found that between March 2010 and March 2011 federal regulatory jobs climbed faster than either private jobs or overall government jobs.

    // Duh

  • // Government does whatever they want regardless of circumstance. Sounds like the government to me.
  • Quote:"The euro zone economy grew less than forecast in the second quarter, held back by a sluggish performance in Germany and stagnation in France, data from the European statistics agency showed on Tuesday.

    // .2% is nothing.

  • // Buffett makes some good points and is rather agreeable. The problem is trying to enact his suggestions. Everytime I've seen taxes raised in my lifetime, it has always hurt the middle class, and the rich appear to escape.
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