An urban theorist who hates suburbia and New York.
States and counties have so little money, that they’re turning their asphalt roads into gravel roads when repair time comes. If only there were some entity with lots of money and ready access to capital markets at cheap interest rates that could finance such infrastructure investments, which would provide both an immediate return and a long-term one. But where can such an entity be found?
Daniel Gross attempts to reassure us about the economy…by providing reasons to be pessimistic about the economy.
Chinese car statistics in graph form.
Interesting little trend here:
On the high seas, full speed ahead is being replaced by slow and steady…Eager to cut fuel costs, ocean shipping lines have ordered their sea captains to throttle back the engines for what is quaintly known in the industry as "slow steaming." In some cases, freighters are taking as many as 15 days to make a Pacific crossing that used to take 11 days.Since more of the world is adopting Toyota/Wal-Mart standards of supply chain management—i.e. the “just in time” philosophy—slowing down the shipping part of the equation may prove deletrious.
Copenhagen-based A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the world's biggest ocean cargo line, is a major convert. Maersk, which has a fleet bigger than the U.S. Navy, swung to a $639-million profit in the first three months of the year, the most recent quarter reported, from a $373-million loss in the same period last year. The sharp improvement came with the help of a 9% saving in fuel consumption because Maersk's ships slowed down.
Why the Catalans were so happy to ban bullfighting (they wanted to show up Madrid).
More on our photoplankton-less apocalyptic hellscape.
Is public opinion ready for a debate on taxes?
Unreal story from an old Vanity Fair about a Brazilian gang which started a rebellion in Sao Paolo…from prison:
… on the afternoon of Friday, May 12, 2006, São Paulo came under a violent and coordinated attack. The attackers moved on foot, and by car and motorbike. They were not rioters, revolutionaries, or the graduates of terrorist camps. They were anonymous young men and women, dressed in ordinary clothes, unidentifiable in advance, and indistinguishable afterward. Wielding pistols, automatic rifles, and firebombs, they emerged from within the city, struck fast, and vanished on the spot. Their acts were criminal, but the attackers did not loot, rob, or steal. They burned buses, banks, and public buildings, and went hard after the forces of order—gunning down the police in their neighborhood posts, in their homes, and on the streets. The police shot back and killed some people, but the others did not stop. They were like ghosts. On an animated plot of São Paulo their presence would have seemed like pinpoint flashes of light sparkling at random far and wide. The sparkling was slow, but word spread quickly, and traffic snarled as citizens tried to rush home. After they settled behind locked doors, they did not dare to venture out. Restaurants and shops were closed. The boulevards lay lit and abandoned. On television came news that the attacks were the work of a prison gang, half forgotten but widely known, called Primeiro Comando da Capital, or P.C.C., the First Command of the Capital. Across the state 73 prisons rose in synchronous rebellion. This caused less concern than one might expect, in part because prison riots are common in Brazil, and are routinely if sometimes brutally contained. But the attacks against the city were something else, and the government had no idea how to respond.A truly first class read.