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September 2018 Employment Report September 7, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Employment Situation Summary report is out today, with some accolades from the press for “Higher Than Expected Job Growth“. By the IB employment metric, however, we’ve had no real progress in almost a year.

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopSep2018Report

The IB metric is a harsh one, only counting full-time jobs, and dividing by the civilian non-institutional population rather than the working population. But it’s a fair measure of how tough life is: it counts how many people with decent jobs are supporting how many people.

And by that measure, we’ve stalled out since last September. At least we’re still above 0.5, though.

About That Missing American Flag in ‘First Man’ August 31, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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So the (supposedly very good otherwise) movie about Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon didn’t include the planting of the American flag.

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” Gosling told the Telegraph. “From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

So, in a landmark space mission where weight is essential, mission planners decided to build a custom designed flag assembly to carry to the moon because . . . it wasn’t important? There certainly was a sentiment that the achievement was an advancement for all mankind, but the fact that Americans spent 7 years and the equivalent of $65 billion/year (2015 dollars), and that American lives were on the line when the mission was conducted, certainly suggests that some Canadian actor shouldn’t be trying to diminish the American contribution.

Finally, I’m willing to buy that Neil Armstrong didn’t view himself as an ‘American hero’ because I doubt he viewed himself as a hero.

But I’m pretty sure he thought of himself as an American.

Some birds August 29, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Brown-headed Cowbird and Bullock’s Oriole:

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Bobolink August 28, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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I had never heard of a bird called a Bobolink before. They have this weird blonde patch on the back of their heads and a very interesting shape to their beaks. I assume this guy was burping when the picture was taken.

June 2018 Exports Data August 28, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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I suddenly recalled that I hadn’t done the exports graph for the month, so here it is in all its belated glory:

ExportsAugust2018Report

Looks like they took a breather in June. The data for July should be out within 10 days; hopefully we’ll see a resurgence of growth.

Unless the Trump tariffs suppress it.

Rental Rates Across the Land August 28, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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From HowMuch.net, we have a lovely little chart telling you what monthly income you’d need to rent an average unit in each state.

HowMuchMoneyForRent

You can see how nasty prices have gotten in my state (Colorado) due to the influx of fleeing Californians and marijuana lovers.

Via MarketWatch.

Terrifying Nature Lesson August 27, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ran across this Costa Rican video of the devious and persistent nature of army ants.

No place is safe.

Baltimore Oriole August 27, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Apparently we have these guys in Montana, at least according to the field guide I use. So named because their plumage has the same colors as Lord Baltimore, whose family crest explains why the Maryland state flag looks so garish.

While doing some research for this post, I found a picture that made me laugh:

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Come at me, bro!

Virtue Signalling Their Way to a Worse Environment August 24, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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From the “You Always Suspected This Was True” department, another bogus “Save the Earth with Bad Science” policy is revealed:

Earlier this year, Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency published an extensive study that looked at the life cycle environmental impact of various grocery bags.

What did the Danish study find? Those terrible, awful, lightweight disposable bags that Kroger plans to ban had the lowest environmental impact than any of nearly a dozen reusable alternatives it studied. In some cases, the disparity is huge.

The study found, for example, that a shopper would have to reuse an organic cotton bag 2,000 times before it equaled the environmental impact of one disposable plastic bag. If that shopper went to the store twice a week, it would take them 19 years before that bag was better for the environment than the plastic bag they replaced it with.

Straws, electric cars, shopping bags: it’s amazing how virtue signalling satisfies “environmentalists” desire to save the environment, without the necessity of actually saving the environment.

More Beer News August 24, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Just when you’re overwhelmed with despair for our Republic and loathing for humankind, you hear this:

BrewDog’s DogHouse outside of Columbus, Ohio is finally opening to the public, and will soon welcome its first guests.

The hotel boasts 32 guest room including eight suites, many of which will overlook the brewing facility and workers below, and all of which will feature a whole slew of beer-centric amenities and features. For example, all rooms come equipped with beer taps, as well as stocked beer fridges in both the room and in the shower

In addition to the in-room perks, guests will be greeted by a lobby bartender when they arrive, who’ll hand over a complimentary beer during check-in. Other on-site amenities include large common areas and a front patio to relax, ping (or, let’s be real, beer) pong tables, a media room, state of the art fitness center, and even a dog park, which is easily accessible from its four dog-friendly guest rooms. Even the personal products are beer-themed, and include a line of hop-infused soaps.

It might take a while to get used to checking the beer list when you’re making hotel reservations, but I’m sure I’ll adapt.

Back to School dance August 20, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Family.
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Fun video.

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, PARENTS BE LIKE…#kids #firstdayofschool #summerover #brandnewday #comedian #davidaarnold #lifewithdave😂😂🔥🔥 SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS FOLLOW ME ON IG @thedavidaarnold **I DO NOT OWN THIS MUSIC!**

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One Last Look at Iraqi Civilian Casualties August 13, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Last year I pointed out that though Iraqi civilian casualties were comparable under the Obama and Bush administrations, the press stopped talking about them as soon as Obama was elected.

You may be wondering, then, why it is that they haven’t resurrected the issue now that Trump has taken office. The answer is: Based on preliminary data, Iraqi casualties have plummeted.

Iraqi Civilian Casualties Through 8-13-2018

Very nice to see, no matter who’s responsible.