- Meritocracy doesn’t exist, and believing it does is bad for you, by Clifton Mark, Fast Company
- How Rich are you? What is your Class? Where do you fit in the Wealth Distribution of Global Resources?, by RE, Doomstead Diner
- The Global Rich List
I am sure many of my readers will be shocked by where they rank in the world. Likely in the top few percent. But we judge our relative wealth based on the few people we know, not the hordes of desperately poor people elsewhere in the world.
Responding to Collapse,
- C5 Gets Wood—Part I—The Blue Pill Moment, by C5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Gets Wood, Addendum—Part I and a 1/2—Touching Wood, by C5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Gets Apocalyptic Wood From Faggots—P-II, by C5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Still Gets Apocalyptic Wood—It Just Takes More Imagination And Effort—P-II and 1/2, by C5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- Map: The Countries With the Most Oil Reserves, by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist
- Europe is Using Wood from U.S. Forests to Replace Fossil Fuels, Institute for Energy Research
"Carbon accounting of forest management has long been fraught with controversy, as scientists warn that it does not reflect the true climate impact. They believe that trees should be allowed to mature and store carbon instead of being harvested. The European Union, on the other hand, intends to partially meet its commitment to the Paris agreement by using all forms of biomass, including wood pellets."
- 10 Myths about Carbon Pricing in Canada, Canada's Ecofiscal Commission
- Yield curve recession indicator flashes red as 10-year yield falls below 3-month yield , by Sunny Oh, Market Watch
I follow that bond yield curve closely—it's looking worse than it has in a long time. An indication, I am told, that a recession is on the way.
- Solve this or you solve nothing, by Tim Watkins, Consciousness of Sheep
"Until you solve the diesel oil problem, you solve nothing!"
- “Renewables” – reality or illusion? by Bev Courtney, FoodnStuff
- Delighted by the Joy of Bad Things, by DWIGHT GARNER, New York Times
A review of Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell.
- Come on up to the Rising, by Jonathan D. Greenberg, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Another review of Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell.
- How the Stress of Disaster Brings People Together
- 5 Most Common (and Most Dangerous) Disaster Myths
- Myths and realities in disaster situations
- Disaster Mythology and Fact: Hurricane Katrina and Social Attachment
Hazard and Risk
- It Sounds Crazy, But Fukushima, Chernobyl, And Three Mile Island Show Why Nuclear Is Inherently Safe, by Michael Shellenberger, Forbes
- Understanding the difference between a “hazard” and a “risk” or why scare stories about glyphosate and pesticides in your food shouldn’t frighten you, A Chemist in Langley
- Stephan’s Dirty Dozen — 12 Organic Products to Avoid in 2019, by Stephan Neidenbach, Medium
"So instead of trying to scare readers about pesticide residue that doesn’t actually cause harm (though organic farming uses pesticides too), here is my annual list of organic products that can actually make people sick."
- Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood, by Julia Belluz, Vox
While we obsess about carbs and protein, we’ve ignored fiber — at our peril.
- What Your Microbiome Really Needs Is Fiber, Not Kombucha, by Katherine Harmon Courage, Medium—Health
- What Happened When I Ate 25 Grams of Fiber Every Day, by Piper Steele, Medium—Food
- Types of Fiber and Their Health Benefits, WebMD
My little granddaughters (age 6 and 7) were here during March Break and we did some peg weaving.
I've been meaning to study up on how linen is made from flax for some time, and You Tube offered the videos below when I went looking for peg weaving.
- Peg Loom Weaving, by David Canterbury, YouTube.com
- LINEN - Making Linen Fabric from Flax Seed - Demonstration Of How Linen Is Made, by Colm Clarke, MonreaghCentre, County Donegal, YouTube.com
- Spinning flax on an in-hand spindle, by Josefin Waltin, YouTube.com
- The Brexit Endgame, by Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker
Brexit is scheduled to take place on March 29th—but the United Kingdom isn’t ready.
- Debunking, Wikipedia
- Pseudoscience, Wikipedia
- List of topics characterized as pseudoscience, Wikipedia
- Rational Wiki
- Science Based Medecine
- Snopes, debunks or validates urban legends
- Bad Astronomy
- The Skeptics Society
Science Based Medicine
- The 5 deadliest habits to avoid as you get older, by Erin Brodwin, Business Insider
Overall this is a pretty good article. It needs to be a little more clear about what constitutes "processed" foods, about which many people have strange ideas. For instance, I would include honey in this food group—doesn't matter if it was processed by bees, it's still a refined carbohydrate.
- The Power of the Nocebo Effect, by Shayla Love, Vice Magazine—Tonic
"Nocebo is the evil twin of the placebo effect—and my constant companion. I set out to find out what it is, and how I could learn to harness the more positive effects of medical mind games."
- Glyphosate and cancer – revisited, by Andrew Kniss, A Plant Out of Place—thoughts from someone who spends life amongst the weeds.
The largest data set we have (by far) which does the best job (by far) of accounting for confounding variables shows absolutely no association between handling glyphosate and developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lacking an Owner's Manual
The human body/mind/spirit doesn't come with an owner's manual, and we continually struggle to figure out how best to operate them.
- Three Magical Phrases to Comfort a Dying Person, by Jenny Harrington, Medium—Human Parts
- A Befuddled Adult’s Guide to Playing With Little Kids, by Diane Stopyra, Medium—Parenting
Advice for people who don’t know how to interact with children
There is No God, and Thou Shall Have No Other Gods
I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that I am an atheist, but I may not have made it clear that I think any sort of worship is a bad thing and that believing in things is to be avoided whenever possible. Indeed, I do not believe in believe itself. That's what the "Thou shall have no other gods" is about—it's not enough to quit believing in whatever God or Gods you were raised to believe in, but also we must avoid other gods, including material wealth, power and fame.
- We Don’t Need Bible Literacy, We Need Science Literacy, by Sarah Olson, Medium—Education
The president’s tweet condoning the return of Bible literacy to public schools is a sobering reminder that secular education needs protection.
- The Good News of Atheism, by Atheist Engineer, Medium
Refugees and Migration
- The Migrants Trapped Below An Overpass In El Paso…, VICE News Tonight, HBO
Hundreds of migrants and their children are being housed under a bridge, behind razor wire and fence, on gravel in El Paso. We went there to speak to them.
Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Housing
- How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords, by Richard Florida, Citylab
Including a pretty ingenious defintion of exploitation.
- The ‘Hidden’ Crisis of Rural Homelessness, by Jake Bittle, The Nation
- Local food pantries struggle to keep up with ‘staggering’ increase in visitors , by Hannah LaClaire, The Times Record, Mid-coast Maine
- In a Russian dump, the homeless cling to hope in the face of a bleak existence , video director Hanna Polak, Aeon
An estimated five million people are homeless in Russia, one million of them children.
- 3 cities in the U.S. have ended chronic homelessness: Here’s how they did it, by Adele Peters, Fast Company
Except for Red Moon, all these books are old favourites I pulled from my bookshelves to re-read this month.
- Red Moon, by Kim Stanley Robinson
- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein
- Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves, first in the Shetland mystery series
- White Nights, by Ann Cleeves, second in the Shetland mystery series
- The Ballad of Beta 2, by Samuel R. Delany
- Nova, by Samuel R. Delany
- Helm, by Steven Gould
- 7th Sigma, by Steven Gould
Non-fiction reading was slow going this month, as I tackled a couple of books that I am finding tough going. So here are some more gems from my bookshelf. I stumbled on The Kon Tiki Expedition in my elementary school library when I was 10 years old. Stayed up most of the night reading it.