Amanda Lugner

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QOTD: "One Party State" - The Big Picture

This was the old state of affairs in the USA:<p>“There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party… and it has two right wings: …

Samsung Reportedly Still Not Interested in BlackBerry

Journalists are once more clamoring to the idea that Samsung might be interested in purchasing BlackBerry. They’ve already announced a strategic …

Income Inequality Explained: Why Wages Don't, Won't, and Can't Keep Up With Productivity

By now, everyone is well aware that real wages have not kept up with worker productivity. But why is that?<p>The Fed, government bureaucrats, and …

Reflections on "A Moral Obscenity": How Long Ago Was a War Against Syria Decided?

Secretary of State John Kerry says the use of chemical weapons in Syria is "<i>a moral obscenity</i>".<p>With that clue (and many others), note that Obama …

Child poverty in Britain is causing 'social apartheid'

Britain risks "sleepwalking into a world where inequality becomes so entrenched that our children grow up in a state of social apartheid", according to a leading charity.<p>In a damning report to be published next week, the National Children's Bureau finds that, in many respects, child poverty is now …

Eurogroup chief becomes latest to admit Greece on course for third bailout

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, is the latest senior politician to concede that Greece may yet need a third bailout, casting a shadow over news that eurozone companies are reporting their strongest growth for more than two years.<p>Dijsselbloem, who heads the eurogroup of finance …

Crystal meth epidemic latest misery for North Koreans

As if being led by a delusional dictator and widespread starvation weren’t enough, now North Koreans have to deal with a nationwide crystal meth …

What Blood Shows Scientists About Suicide Risk

A new study of bipolar patients brings researchers closer to creating a blood test for suicidal thoughts.<p>Suicide was responsible for more deaths than motor vehicle crashes were in 2009, but it's not always easy for doctors to tell when someone is at risk. A new study from the Indiana University …

DARPA Wants To Build A Computer That Mimics The Human Brain

The research group wants to develop machines with the capability for higher brain function.<p>The Department of Defense's research arm, DARPA, already has a lot of things on its wish list this year, but go ahead and add one more: a computer with the same brain capabilities as a mammal.<p>DARPA wants to …

Good Job, Humanity: As Of Today We Are Consuming More Than Earth Can Replenish This Year

Cue the slow clapping.<p>Today is Earth Overshoot Day. Happy Earth Overshoot Day! Except, well, we don't much feel like celebrating.<p>That's because Earth Overshoot Day is the day each year when we've consumed natural resources at a rate beyond which our planet can replenish, and have produced more …

The Barbaric Side of Justice

Claims by families of workers who simply went to other countries to lay brick, and ended up executed or sentenced to hang like pre-French …

Government Spending as Percentage of GDP; Federal Deficit as Percentage of Revenue

Here are a few charts from reader Tim Wallace on spending, the deficit, and GDP.<p><b>Federal Spending as a Percentage of GDP</b><p><b>Spending and GDP in U.S.</b> …

Connecting Cape Town: Inside South Africa's TV white spaces experiment

In 2011, a United Nations commission came to a powerful conclusion: access to broadband internet is a basic human right, matched by the likes of housing, sustenance and healthcare. Arguments can be made that widespread access has transformed entire economies while kick-starting others, with Finland …

Scientists Gain New Insight Into Climate Change - The Big Picture

Frack That<p>“Clean natural gas” from fracking has been touted for years as a cure for global warming.<p>But scientists say that fracking pumps out a lot …

Japanese: The Borrower Language

Part 1: Where The Japanese Language Came From<p>English loanwords in Japanese are often a source of amusement for native speakers of English learning …

So apparently Voyager 1 left our solar system on July 27, 2012

A re-interpretation of Voyager 1 data is refuelling the debate over whether the spacecraft has truly left the cozy confines of our solar system. …

Astronomy

CIA acknowledges its mysterious Area 51 test site for first time | Reuters

(Reuters) - National security scholars at George Washington University have some good news and bad news for UFO buffs - the U.S. government has finally confirmed the existence of Area 51 in Nevada, but it makes no mention of little green men or alien spaceships.<p>The government acknowledged the …

Inside the New Vanguard ETFs

Vanguard Canada launched some new ETFs this week, and I spoke with managing director Atul Tiwari about the funds. Let’s take a closer …

The Giant Hurdle For The Internet Of Things

Can smart devices work in harmony?<p>Everyone's talking about the Internet of Things, a proposed network of intelligent devices that could one day automate much of the world around us. HVAC and lighting systems would adjust depending on a user's whereabouts. Lawns would know when to water themselves. …

Charlie Munger Thinks Oil Is Absolutely Certain To Become Incredibly Short In Supply

For the past five years I've been building a portfolio of light oil producers. My belief is that the age of cheap oil is over, and controlling as …

Oil & Gas Industry

Is Hair In Food A Health Risk?

A dermatologist investigates<p>Finding a hair in your spaghetti is gross, no question. But it is not, for the most part, a health threat. It's so benign that the Food and Drug Administration in its Food Code guidelines doesn't even place a limit on strands per plate. The FDA has received no reports of …

So you think Europe's debt crisis is finally over? Time to think again

One of the factors underpinning renewed confidence in the UK economy is the belief that the crisis in Europe is now essentially over.<p>One of the factors underpinning renewed confidence in the UK economy is the belief that the crisis in Europe is now essentially over. The immediate threat of banking …

Stock market today: News, data and summary

Japan PM may sweeten sales tax hike with corporate tax cut

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may look at cutting corporate taxes to ensure he can push through a planned sales tax increase as he seeks to show he has a strategy to both foster an economic recovery and contain the country’s enormous public debt.<p>A man works inside a factory …

Economy

Insight: As Afghanistan endgame looms, India-Pakistan tensions rise

BARAMULLA/NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) - Pakistan-based militants are preparing to take on India across the subcontinent once Western troops leave Afghanistan next year, several sources say, raising the risk of a dramatic spike in tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.<p>Indian army …

Afghanistan

Is Kickstarter Hostile To Science?

By discouraging a promising science project, Kickstarter could be encouraging corporate monopolies, enabling sloppy legislation, and keeping cool glow-in-the-dark plants out of our houses.<p>On July 31, Kickstarter updated its guidelines to include this sentence: "Projects cannot offer genetically …

Canada Unemployment Rate Jumps As Country Unexpectedly Loses 39,000 Jobs

OTTAWA - The Canadian labour market took an unexpected turn for the worse last month, shedding a surprisingly high 39,400 net jobs that included a …

When Will Spanish Banking System Collapse?

The question on my mind today is "When will the Spanish banking system collapse?" Spain's exposure to Portuguese sovereign debt and unrealized losses …

This Is Why People Hate Rogers (PHOTO)

It's moments like these that explain why you've never met anyone who loves their telecom company.<p>Reddit user webmiester posted a photo Thursday of an …