Daniel Luzer over at Pacific Standard Magazine shows how the great powers throughout history are prone to both defaults and shutdowns, and uses this to conclude that it won't be the US's last shutdown:
Power gets states into more and more desperate circumstances, which worry some politicians, and so they make a great show out of saying enough is enough, and it’s time to start all over and “spend within our limits.” They take a look at the balance sheet and then threaten extreme action. Let’s just shut the whole thing down. Or, if we starve the funds then people will realize what a problem we’ve got and restructure their priorities and start to spend responsibly… But a quick look to history reveals that this is a structural problem statesmen generally can’t correct, no matter what tactics they use or what kind of government in which they operate. Powerful states tend to overspend because their influence leads them to have large, expensive commitments.
Haaretz is hardly Netanyahu's best friend, but hopefully today's editorial provides him with some food for thought. While many scratch their heads over the exodus of Young Israeli's, the paper has drawn the link between Israel's brain drain, and the constant doomsday/holocaust predictions of Israel's cartoon-bomb wielding leaders:
The state’s leaders aren’t offering any hope to the younger generation. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outdoes them all by warning that a new Holocaust threatens the Jews of Israel.
A couple of days ago the Lear Jet turned 50. Wired's Autopia blog has the incredible story of the business icon that almost wasn't:
The company, which today is part of Bombardier, started in 1960 when Lear saw an opportunity to create an airplane capable of keeping up with the jet airliners growing increasingly popular in the late 1950s.
“If you guys don’t do it, I’m going to do it,” Lear told aerospace leaders in Wichita, according to Lacy. Wichita was the home of Cessna, Beechcraft and many other aviation heavyweights. Everyone chuckled, but Lear got the last laugh.
While shuttering of the infamous black market site, Silk Road, has undoubtedly drawn praise from the vested interests and the few troglodytes that still support prohibition and the “war on drugs”, Conor Friedersdorf from the Atlantic argues that shutting down the site has made the world a more dangerous place:
On many thousands of occasions, drug dealers in foreign countries decided that, rather than using armed truck drivers, bribed customs agents, desperate drug mules, thuggish regional distributors, and street level drug dealers who used guns to defend their territory, they’d just mail drugs directly to their far away customers. Of course, folks at the beginning of the supply chain were still often violent drug cartels who one hates to see profit. But from the perspective of the many innocents who suffer from the black market supply chains involved in traditional drug sales, narcotics via mail order would seem to be a vast improvement.
The Economist is at it again, giving the answers to questions no one had thought to ask. This time, they have decided to explain how the time is derived in Antarctica. You see, while most places in the world base their times off of their longitude, Antarctica doesn't have that option. As all longitudes converge in Antarctica:
Different research stations have come up with different solutions. Australia’s six Antarctic bases usually operate according to their longitude, so the Casey station is three hours ahead of the Mawson site, 2,000 miles (a bit more than 3,000 kilometres) down the coast. Other stations, meanwhile, use a time zone that makes it convenient to communicate with their home country. The Vostok base, run by Russia, normally keeps to Moscow time, even though it lies parallel with western Australia.
That is all.