Wednesday, December 16, 2009
OBVIOUSLY, SOMEONE SHOULD BE PROSECUTED, LIKE WITH ENRON: U.S. National Debt Tops Debt Limit. “The latest calculation of the National Debt as posted by the Treasury Department has – at least numerically – exceeded the statutory Debt Limit approved by Congress last February as part of the Recovery Act stimulus bill. The ceiling was set at $12.104 trillion dollars. The latest posting by Treasury shows the National Debt at nearly $12.135 trillion.”
Attractive women in a city. Attractiveness is important in urban areas (and from a woman's point of view actually indicates psychological well-being), but it is far less relevant in rural areas.
The importance of attractiveness in everyday life is not fixed, or simply a matter of human nature. Instead, the impact of our attractiveness on our social lives depends on the social environment where we live. Attractiveness does matter in more socially mobile, urban areas (and from a woman's point of view actually indicates psychological well-being), but it is far less relevant in rural areas. In urban areas individuals experience a high level of social choice, and associating with attractive people is one of those choices.
In rural areas, relationships are less about choice and more about who is already living in the community. Therefore, attractiveness is less likely to be associated with making friends and feeling good.
This artist's conception shows the newly discovered super-Earth GJ 1214b, which orbits a red dwarf star 40 light-years from our Earth
Astronomers Find Super-Earth Orbiting Red Dwarf Star; May Have Atmosphere
ScienceDaily (Dec. 16, 2009) — Astronomers announced that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. They found the distant planet with a small fleet of ground-based telescopes no larger than those many amateur astronomers have in their backyards. Although the super-Earth is too hot to sustain life, the discovery shows that current, ground-based technologies are capable of finding almost-Earth-sized planets in warm, life-friendly orbits.
Spend more. Get less. We’re the city that knows how.
Despite its good intentions, San Francisco is not leading the country in gay marriage. Despite its good intentions, it is not stopping wars. Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, its homeless problem is worse than any comparable city's. Despite its spending more money per capita, period, than almost any city in the nation, San Francisco has poorly managed, budget-busting capital projects, overlapping social programs no one is certain are working, and a transportation system where the only thing running ahead of schedule is the size of its deficit.
It's time to face facts: San Francisco is spectacularly mismanaged and arguably the worst-run big city in America. This year's city budget is an astonishing $6.6 billion — more than twice the budget for the entire state of Idaho — for roughly 800,000 residents. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't point to progress on many of the social issues it spends liberally to tackle — and no one is made to answer when the city comes up short.
Readers like Jane Austen for something else beside the Cinderella aspect of her stories. Though never married herself, Jane understood why happy marriages worked. Before the usual conclusion of her novels - a wedding - Jane has shown us enough married couples along the way - the Bennets, the Collinses, Admiral and Mrs Croft, the elder Musgroves, the Gardiners - to give us a fair idea of the characters who create enduring happiness, and those who don't. That is interesting to anybody interested in human relationships, even people with no intention of marrying.
Kindness, broad-mindedness, self-control based on core values, stability and adventurousness, fortitude and humour - those seem to be some of the keys to happiness for Jane. . .
#1 (tied) Least Ticketed: 2009 Buick Lucerne
Speeding Ticket Rating: 60% less likely
The Lucerne is now Buick's flagship sedan, offering elegance, a fine ride and high style. It comes in three flavors: the CX and CXL are powered by the new-for-'09 227-hp 3.9-liter V6, while the Super still gets is muscle from the 292-hp 4.6-liter Northstar V8. Both are hitched a four-speed automatic transmission.
#2 (tied) Least Ticketed: 2007 Buick Rainier
Speeding Ticket Rating: 63% less likely
The Rainier was only discontinued recently, after the '07 model year, so there are still plenty of them on the road. It's luxury-line SUV that has much to offer, from a crisp ride to luxe-line appointments like leather upholstery, woodgrain accents, and OnStar telematics. The base engine is a 291-hp 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder.
#2 (tied) Least Ticketed: 2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette
Speeding Ticket Rating: 63% less likely
This was also the final year for the Silhouette, an upscale minivan The Silhouette delivered premium-level comforts, however -- particularly the Premiere edition, with its then-state-of-the-art entertainment system. Spacious and comfy, the Silhouette delivered a smooth ride, and was powered by a 185-hp 3.4-liter V6.
India Will Be Most Populous Country in the World in 2025 What will the global population look like in 15 years? The US Census Bureau released a study yesterday that suggests China's vast population will peak in 6 years, and India's population will surpass its size within 15 years.
According to the New York Times:
[The] projected peak in China, 1.4 billion people, will be lower than previously estimated and . . . it will occur sooner. With the fertility rate declining to fewer than 1.6 births per woman in this decade from 2.2 in 1990, China's overall population growth rate has slowed to 0.5 percent annually.
In contrast, India's 1.4 percent growth rate is being driven by a fertility rate of 2.7 births per woman.
It may be that we will witness the world's peak human population in our lifetimes.
PLAYING GAMES WITH HEALTH CARE NUMBERS: “Proposals that would result in a complete cost estimate are dropped. Because we can’t let the public see how much this thing really costs.”
Attention has focused on the emails dealing with Michael Mann’s hockey stick and other proxy attempts, most notably those of Keith Briffa. Briffa was conflicted in this whole process, noting he “[tried] hard to balance the needs of the IPCC with science, which were not always the same,” and that he knew “ … there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data.’”
As Steve McIntyre has blogged:
Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the “trick” and the effort to “hide the decline.” Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken “out of context.” In this case, I’m not sure that it’s in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to … the role of IPCC itself in “hiding the decline” in the Briffa reconstruction.
Climategate – the reversing of the burden of proof. “You can feel that most crucial of propaganda processes happening with Climategate: the reversing of the burden of proof. Unfair to all the fraud detectives (Watts, McIntyre, and the rest of them, including Monkton himself) though it undoubtedly was, those noble toilers, until the Climategate revelations erupted, had to prove everything, in defiance of the default position. Their every tiny blemish was jumped upon. Their major claims were ignored. Now the default position is slowly mutating into: It’s all made-up nonsense. And the burden of proof is shifting onto the shoulders of all those who want to go on believing in such ever more discredited alarmism. In short, our side is winning this argument, big time.”