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Remarkable!

January 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

The praise was perhaps slightly awkward for Persson, who runs a fiercely independent think tank. But the reality is that Open Europe has emerged as a powerful force in the formation of Coalition’s policies.

The EU is ripe for change, says Open Europe – Telegraph

One piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing to complete the deflation landscape across the West: a slide in oil prices. This is becoming more likely each month.

Coming ‘oil glut’ may push global economy into deflation – Telegraph

It is hard to sum up all this discussion, however, because of a basic problem: defining “rational.” Christopher Sims, a Nobel laureate in 2011, has proposed that inattention to the facts can be rational, if you define the word broadly. Rational people know that their time is limited and realize that they cannot know everything. They must choose what they pay attention to.

The Rationality Debate, Simmering in Stockholm – NYTimes.com

The German city has stated its intention to ban vehicular traffic in its centre by 2034 as part of a broad initiative to make the city more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. Under the plan, called the Green Network, 40% of the city will be given over to greenways and park land. The plan is modelled partially on one in progress in Copenhagen, Denmark, where lengthy bicycle paths are being built to connect surrounding communities with the city. Major cities from Colombia to Thailand have experimented in recent years with clearing vehicles from their streets on designated days, but none has stated outright the intention to entirely ban vehicles.

BBC – Autos – Week in pictures: Hamburg’s car-less ambitions

A little-researched and little-known disease called valley fever (or “cocci”), which people can get when they inhale a fungus named Coccidioides immitis, found in dirt and dust. Two-thirds of cases occur in Arizona, where “in 2012, valley fever was the second-most-reported disease.”

Valley Fever Epidemic In Arizona – Business Insider

In over 2,200 peer-reviewed articles about climate change by over 9,000 authors, published between November 2012 and December 2013, just one author and paper rejected human actions as the cause. The next time you hear someone dispute that human activity is destabilizing our climate, remember this pie chart.

Majority Of Scientists Accept Human-Caused Climate Change – Business Insider

Any discussion of Bethany Mota, 18, social media goddess and ascendant fashion icon, needs to begin with her metrics. Mota’s most popular YouTube channel has more than 4.8 million subscribers — more than Lady Gaga’s. As of this writing, upward of 2.2 million souls follow her on Instagram — more than Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan combined. Her Twitter following is a mere 1.15 million, not great but nothing to sneeze at.

THE BIG HAUL: This Teenage YouTube Shopping Star Makes Half-A-Million A Year And Has More Fans Than Vogue – Business Insider

MYTH ONE: Poor countries are doomed to stay poor. They’re really not. Incomes and other measures of human welfare are rising almost everywhere—including Africa.

Bill and Melinda Gates on Three Myths on the World’s Poor – WSJ.com

Best Buy Co. BBY -8.95% on Thursday became the latest retailer to chime in with weak holiday results. Like other chains, the electronics retailer blamed the race to offer the deepest discounts, a game of brinkmanship that hurt profit margins and held back revenue.

Stores Confront New World With Less Foot Traffic – WSJ.com

The combined wealth of the world’s richest 85 people is now equivalent to that owned by half of the world’s population – or 3.5 billion of the poorest people – according to a new report from Oxfam.

World’s richest have same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest

After four years of sector underperformance due to oversupply and a lack of demand, miners present a buying opportunity in 2014, according to analysts.

Why it’s time to turn bullish on miners

Mainland shares dropped below the 2,000 mark for the first time in six months on Monday as fears over tight liquidity overshadowed better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) data.

Shanghai stocks drop to 6-month low on liquidity fears

“Everybody needs a phone. Does everybody need a tablet? I’m not sure,” the Motorola CEO questioned.

Motorola CEO questions the need for tablets – News – Trusted Reviews

And speaking of speakers, you don’t have to overpay for them, either. The Dayton Audio B652s are, quite simply, the best-sounding stereo speakers you can buy for around $50. Just make sure to invest in an amp (like the aforementioned Lepai), since they’re not self-powered.

Dayton Audio B652

The International Monetary Fund has highlighted the threat posed to the global economy by growing income inequality as the world’s business and political leaders prepare to head off to the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

IMF warns on threat of income inequality – FT.com

Markets can fail. But market mechanisms are often the best way for governments to address such failures. This has been demonstrated in areas from air pollution to traffic congestion to spectrum allocation to cigarette consumption. And yet market mechanisms are now in retreat.

Market mechanisms in retreat | vox

China has a problem. Its rapid growth has required an ultra-utilitarian energy policy that has focused on cost to the exclusion of all other concerns, and this is turning its largest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, into blighted toxic wastelands. That may sound like hyperbole, but it is hard to convey the scale of the problem without such language. The BBC, in a sober but frightening assessment (here) remarks that the pollution in Beijing routinely exceeds safety limits set up by the World Health Organization, and that the pollution has caused Shanghai to virtually shut down. The problem is bad enough on its own, but it also comes at a time when Chinese workers are demanding higher wages. The two issues, taken together, are not only costing China the foreign investment it craves, but are actually driving companies from China’s shores. 2013 saw a massive migration of South Korean companies, most notably, Samsung, from China to Viet Nam.

Can U.S. coal save China’s environment?

Never have tactics and technology changed so radically in four years of fighting. It was a time of extraordinary innovation. In 1914 generals on horseback galloped across battlefields as men in cloth caps charged the enemy without the necessary covering fire. Both sides were overwhelmingly armed with rifles. Four years later, steel-helmeted combat teams dashed forward protected by a curtain of artillery shells.

They were now armed with flame throwers, portable machine-guns and grenades fired from rifles. Above, planes, that in 1914 would have appeared unimaginably sophisticated, duelled in the skies, some carrying experimental wireless radio sets, reporting real-time reconnaissance.

Huge artillery pieces fired with pinpoint accuracy – using only aerial photos and maths they could score a hit on the first shot. Tanks had gone from the drawing board to the battlefield in just two years, also changing war forever.

BBC News – Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

The treaty of Versailles confiscated 10% of Germany’s territory but left it the largest, richest nation in central Europe. It was largely unoccupied and financial reparations were linked to its ability to pay, which mostly went unenforced anyway. The treaty was notably less harsh than treaties that ended the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War and World War Two.

BBC News – Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked

Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini spoke Wednesday at the J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference — and he had a lot to say about the health-care law’s rollout. 1. The early exchange demographics are actually better than expected. Bertolini’s take on the age-breakdown of marketplace enrollees was really interesting

How Aetna’s CEO thinks about Obamacare

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