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Author Topic: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction  (Read 36208 times)
Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2013, 07:41 pm »

I teach a course on solar power that features a unit on financial analysis of solar (and basically anything, really).  One of the things that comes up is the time value of money, and application of a market discount rate to compare a hypothetical investment in solar power against another investment at the so-called market discount rate.

The problem is that the textbook suggests use of a market discount rate of 8%.  I kind of look at it from the perspective that 8% on investment is optimistic, bordering on delusional.  Use of a high discount rate essentially devalues present investment in renewable energy versus the alternative, and makes it much more difficult to economically justify sustainable development.

So anyway, I was happy to find an article discussing the economic issues much more intelligently than I'm able to since I'm much more so a technical guy than a business one. I'm going to make the students read it, but it was such an interesting read that I thought I'd share it here. 

http://grist.org/article/discount-rates-a-boring-thing-you-should-know-about-with-otters/
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Nicol
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« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2014, 08:31 am »

https://medium.com/matter/f121382adebb

How we were fooled into thinking that sexual predators lurk everywhere

it investigates: stranger danger, teen safety, our attitudes to strangers, and teen mental health and wellbeing
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jamiec
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« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2014, 06:21 pm »

John Safran is an Australian comedian and radio show host.  He has recently taken on a second job as a crime writer, after reading this article I'm tempted to go buy his book. 

http://www.theage.com.au/national/a-town-called-malice-20140317-34waw.html
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HyperGlavin
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« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2014, 01:54 am »

We Aren't the World - by Ethan Watters

Quote
In the end they titled their paper “The Weirdest People in the World?” (pdf) By “weird” they meant both unusual and Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. It is not just our Western habits and cultural preferences that are different from the rest of the world, it appears. The very way we think about ourselves and others—and even the way we perceive reality—makes us distinct from other humans on the planet, not to mention from the vast majority of our ancestors. Among Westerners, the data showed that Americans were often the most unusual, leading the researchers to conclude that “American participants are exceptional even within the unusual population of Westerners—outliers among outliers.”

Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2014, 08:24 am »

Here's an interesting look at some of the pitfalls of the big data craze
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #65 on: April 27, 2014, 07:21 am »

The Department of Energy, in planning the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site, had to come up with a marker or system of markers that would last for 10,000 years and communicate the continued danger even if our society collapses.

This is not a place of honor.
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Because freshness is expected of any hip-hop artist, I avoid using traditional techniques.
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« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2014, 05:00 am »

To Keep and Bear Arms, by Garry Wills

A thorough breakdown of the Second Amendment, analysing the language used and its context within US history to debunk the right-wing myth that Americans have a right to take up arms against their own government.
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Yes, come on, get a dog up you, you rapscallion.
Honest Abe
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« Reply #67 on: May 22, 2014, 02:00 pm »

The Case for Reparations

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
May 21, 2014
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DiegoInglewood
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« Reply #68 on: July 20, 2014, 02:02 pm »

"Film Critic Hulk" at Badass Digest did a 4 day long examination of the James Bond movies. He dives into the psychology of the character (and the viewer), the series' problematic sexuality, and why 007 himself is such a long-standing icon in film. There's a chronological rundown of each movie, and he takes time to really delve into what makes or breaks a Bond film. Obviously I found this very cool to read.

Part 1 - Opening Thoughts, Beginning of Bond

Part 2 - The "Awkward Growth Years"

Part 3 - The 80's

Part 4 - The 90s Forward, and Conclusions
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George Tirebiter
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« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2014, 06:13 pm »

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/watching-eclipse

David Remnik examines Putin's ideological shift to the right, as witnessed by US ambassador Michael McFaul.
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Honest Abe
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« Reply #70 on: August 21, 2014, 12:56 pm »

this is fucking amazing

the tim tebow cfl chronicles

Quote
All right, well, that's why it weighs so much. If I had more than two and a half seconds before the blitz was on me, I might look closer at the telescoping metal tail that has sprung out of the rear end of the ball, and the three fins that neatly pop out at the very end and almost make it look like a cruise missile. I might let it sit in my hand, and feel a surprisingly perfect counterbalance in weight -- it's heavy, yes, but throwing it is like pushing a train across rails. Soon, I will come to love it; it will roll up and down the arc I draw into the sky with my arm.

But right now, I am a stupid man, standing in the middle of a sport he doesn't understand, with a stick in his hand and shit in his pants. Gotta do something, Timmy. The blitz is on me, and I remember that pitching to Volquez was the idea. What happens next is a throw in a strictly technical sense, I guess: one hand at the ball, one hand on the tail, and I just kind of shove it sideways.

Volquez has it in the flat, and then she plants her feet. An Ottawa cornerback has peeled off his assignment to engage her, but the two are just sort of circling each other. Volquez is brandishing the jav-ball (maybe that's what it's called?) like a sword, ball out. Ottawa takes a step he shouldn't. She winds up and smacks him in the side of the helmet, then pulls up and hits him again on the far side of his face mask. She's won some space, and she goes sprinting down the line.

Another REDBLACK has put himself in Volquez's way, and this time, it's scarier. She's still carrying the jav-ball, like Babe Ruth when he hit one over the fence and forgot to drop the bat. Now his feet are flat. He sees an opportunity. Most times, a player running with jav out slows the runner down, makes the runner vulnerable. A defender has a better chance of smacking that ball out.

She's spinning away from him … ohhhhh God, no, she isn't. She's winding this up like a hammer throw. As the spin turns away from the defender, he uses the instant to attack. He isn't fast enough.
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Chronicles
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« Reply #71 on: August 22, 2014, 03:09 pm »

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

Quote
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest
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Honest Abe
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« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2014, 01:43 pm »

my secret life vol. 1-3, by an anonymous author

Quote
CHAPTER I.

     Earliest recollections.—An erotic nurse-maid.—Ladies
     abed.—My cock.—A frisky governess.—Cousin Fred.—Thoughts
     on pudend.—A female pedler.—Baudy pictures.—A naked
     baby.
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VoodooTissue
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KNIFE PARTY JORTS REMIX


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« Reply #73 on: October 21, 2014, 03:03 am »

A Pickpocket's Tale - the story of the greatest pickpocket ever to ply the trade.

Quote
In magic circles, Robbins is regarded as a kind of legend. Psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and the military study his methods for what they reveal about the nature of human attention. Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.

“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2014, 10:35 am »

In which the Dalai Lama visits a ski resort and tells a busgirl the meaning of life.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2014, 01:54 pm »


I remember this article. There was a great video to go with it where Robbins demonstrates his techniques for the author.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #76 on: February 17, 2015, 07:53 am »

a look at internet shaming as a modern and more serious form of the stocks and pillory.
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jimbob
AKA Billy
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« Reply #77 on: February 17, 2015, 09:28 am »

Good article, JRB




Here is an article by an insider about what is happening to once-respectable newspapers in Britain.

The Telegraph is a going downhill fastest, but the others are following.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2015, 08:30 am »

A long story about the role of engineering and data in assessing the need to recall vehicles, following the thread of the Ford Pinto shenanigans in the 70s.
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Because freshness is expected of any hip-hop artist, I avoid using traditional techniques.
Truck Thunders
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« Reply #79 on: May 18, 2015, 01:48 pm »

A long essay by a third generation Ukranian-Canadian Chrystia Freeland on the conflict in Ukraine. She's a confessed Ukrainophile and Russophile so there's bound to be some bias in there somewhere, but it's still the most thorough analysis on the Ukraine conflict I've read so far.

If you can't read it on Newsweek here's a repost.
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