Another day, another billionaire Twitter storm

Billionaire Lloyd Blankfein joked as he announced his 2018 retirement as Goldman Sachs CEO that he looked forward to “unrestrained tweeting” in the years ahead. But the Twitter life apparently bored the billionaire, and his twitter account went silent for three months — until last week when Senator Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. …

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Some thoughts from Lucretius…

In the words of Lucretius:  “..we are all born from the same celestial seed;  all of us have the same father, from which the earth, the mother who feeds us, receives clear drops of rain, producing from them bright wheat and lush trees, and the human race, and the species of beasts, offering up the foods with which all …

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688,000 people will no longer receive food stamps

Over the summer the U.S government announced a new plan to end the food stamp program for thousands of low-income people, mostly immigrants.The new rule will tighten work requirements for able-bodied adults with no dependents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a call with reporters. Under current law, able-bodied adults without dependents can receive …

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Save us from priests like this!

A Catholic priest in Rhode Island has defended his decision to ban all lawmakers who voted in favor enshrining abortion protections under state law from receiving communion at his parish. Recently, Reverend Richard Bucci, a Catholic priest in Rhode Island,  declared that every legislator who voted last year to pass the bill codifying the U.S. …

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Breathing your way to better memory and sleep

More than half of us breathe the wrong way , missing out on better health and altered consciousness.  Here are some tips on how to breathe properly: Breathing exercise Pranayama – Alternate nostril breathing, often performed for stress and anxiety relief. (Microgen) It may be the most natural thing in the world, but breathing is …

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Electric scooters: the opinion of The Guardian

“The brakes may at last be coming off the “micromobility” revolution. This month, UK ministers are due to begin a consultation on legalising the use of electronic scooters on British roads. Not before time. There’s no justification for the current ban on these devices. A fast, heavy bike poses much more of a threat to …

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White, working class boys are performing badly academically

The educational under-performance of Britain’s white working-class males is “desperate”. Less then 10% of white boys from deprived backgrounds go to university, the lowest share of any demographic group. Boys lag behind girls at all stages of schooling – in few other areas, says the Higher Education Policy Institute, is there “such a big gender …

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Recycling waste

Newsletter note from a neighbor who moved to the US from China: “Hi neighbors, I know lots of you have heard of the recycling crisis in the US since China’s ban on importing foreign garbage in 2017. There are many articles about this issue, such as this one from the guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/21/us-plastic-recycling-landfills. It says: “As …

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$16 trillion bad dream?

The year 2019 saw the continuation of “the world’s most bizarre financial experiment ever”, said Merryn Somerset Webb on MoneyWeek.com – “negative interest rates”. The European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank were among those charging investors for the privilege of holding their bonds. There are now $16trn-worth of negative-yielding government bonds in the …

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Decline in Croatia, boom in Spain

(A few statistics, I’m afraid…..) The prime minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic – whose government has just assumed the rotating presidency of the EU – has warned that his country is suffering a “population loss equivalent to losing a small city every year”, and called for EU-wide strategies to tackle the “existential” threat in southern …

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Epilepsy

Sufferers of epilepsy suffer disgusting attacks.  Trolls are targeted people with epilepsy on Twitter with seizure-inducing videos, flashing and strobing Gifs and videos, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. Legal advocacy director Allison Nichol said: “These attacks are no different than a person carrying a strobe light into a convention of people with epilepsy and seizures, with …

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Young adults need a home of their own

“Home ownership is in steep decline, but don’t let it bother you, declared The Economist recently: the British need to get over their property “fetish”. I beg to disagree, says Liam Halligan. The fact that well over half of 25- to 34-year-olds today are locked out of the property market should concern us deeply. Only …

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The American preoccupation with bathrooms

“Why does America have “so many damn bathrooms”? It’s a question many foreign visitors ask themselves, and with good reason. Over the past half century, the number of bathrooms per person in the US has doubled, to a 1:1 ratio, and these rooms are continuing to multiply. They’re getting bigger, too: the typical size of …

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As the U.K. shuffles out of the EU, a revealing letter

To The Economist: “So, three-and-a-half years after the Brexit referendum, Britain is leaving the European Union on 31 January. For millions of people, particularly in eastern Europe, the country we tend to call “Anglia” has been a benchmark of nobility, of spirit and excellence. Britain is deeply embedded in our cultural make-up. During the War, …

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Complaining about service when things get really bad (2). See yesterday’s posting

Still no favorable resolution? Fortunately, there are third-party programs that can help. If you paid with a credit card, the federal Fair Credit Billing Act and the policies of credit card issuers help you withhold payment for goods and services you think  are defective or not delivered as promised. If you cannot resolve the matter with …

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Complaining about service (part 1)

Although most of us gripe about service headaches to family and friends we seldom—studies show it’s as few as one out of four—complain to the company that dropped the ball. And many consumers who do complain to businesses do so ineffectively. A lot of consumers remain silent because it seems like too much trouble to …

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Younger people today don’t have the IQ they used to have

Our IQ levels are gradually falling compared with previous generations, if IQ tests are an accurate gauge of intelligence. Scientists in Norway analysed scores achieved by 730,000 young men, born between 1962 and1991, who did IQ tests as part of their national service. They found that for many years the IQ levels of entrants rose by …

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The hypocrisy of the Amazon-using classes

“Great abundance is heaped up as a result of brutalizing labor, but a miserable life is the result”. (The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy series) Well, that was prescient!  What immediately comes to mind is Amazon – huge numbers of people working long hours at pitiful wages so that we can …

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