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Friday, May 10, 2024

News Factoids for Second Quarter 2024

The postal service plans to raise the price of “forever” stamps to 73¢ in July, so you may want to get yours now.

There are more golf courses than McDonald’s locations in the U.S.

62% of New Mexicans in Congressional District 2 identify as Hispanic or Latino.

May 2024: 1,133 people have been fatally shot by police in the past 12 months, according to the Washington Post.

++++ TECH SECTION ++++

Only about a quarter of American households have a landline phone.

54% of American adults read below a sixth-grade level


March 24th: The number of U.S. measles cases this year has already surpassed 2023’s total.
At least 64 cases had been recorded nationwide by late last week, according to the C.D.C. A total of 58 cases were reported last year. What’s driving this? The U.S. rate of vaccinations against measles has fallen since 2019. The C.D.C. has urged parents to ensure their kids are up to date on their shots.

3.6 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2023 — the lowest fertility rate in more than a century — according to provisional data from the C.D.C.; the birth rate was highest among women ages 30 to 34, while the teen birth rate reached a record low.

Extreme heat is the number 1 weather-related cause of death in the U.S.

Japan has 4 percent obesity. America has 42.5 percent obesity.


America's commercial casinos won $66.5B in 2023, their best year ever - per ABC News

2022 Census Bureau survey says that about 50% of people in the U.S. between 55 and 65 reported that they didn’t have any money saved for retirement.

The U.S. economy has seen 38 consecutive months of job growth through February (the fifth-longest period of employment expansion on record), and the nation’s unemployment rate has been below 4% for 25 straight months — the longest stretch in more than 50 years.

Since 1949, evidence indicates that when Democrats are in the White House, key economic indicators have performed better. — josh bivens, Economic Policy Institute chief economist

"Every billionaire under the age of 30 inherited their fortune" - per Fortune Magazine

Global military spending reached an all-time high in 2023 at $2.4 trillion.


There are currently 94 nuclear reactors operating in the US that together generate 20% of the nation’s electricity

HEADLINE "Natural Gas Is a Climate Scam — and Consumers Are Paying for It"
Despite the fracking boom, the price of natural gas for U.S. households has skyrocketed by 52 percent since 2016.

A record-breaking 30% of the world’s electricity was produced by renewables last year as wind and solar power got more popular.

India accounts for 83 of the 100 most polluted cities in the world, according to a new report.

Copyright 2024 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Sunday, April 07, 2024

April 2024 Quotations (56)

"Does anybody else think it's significant that 49 percent of the Republican voters who attended the Iowa caucuses voted for someone other than Trump?"
~~ Teresa Hanafin, Boston Globe staff writer

"The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of a child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm."
~~ Aldous Huxley [1894-1963]

"Without fear there cannot be courage."
~~ Montana author Christopher Paolini

"There are two types of people; those who want to know and those who want to believe."
~~ Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, be more active, show up more often."
~~ motivational speaker Brian Tracy

"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
~~ Thich Nhat Hanh [1926-2022]

"You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger."
~~ Gautama Buddha [5th Century BCE]

"People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does."
~~ Michel Foucault [1926-84]

"The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment."
~~ Jiddu Krishnamurti [1895-1986]

"People are always complaining that life's not fair, but that simply isn't true. Life is extraordinarily fair. It's just not centered on you."
~~ Lynn Marie Sager - in "A River Worth Riding" [2011]

"We are born innocent. We are polluted by advice."
~~ Henry David Thoreau [1817-62]

"The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time."
~~ Dante Alighieri [1265-1321]

"Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"Conceit spoils the finest genius."
~~ Louisa May Alcott [1832-88] - in "Little Women" [1868]

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them."
~~ pioneer radio evangelist J. Harold Smith [1910-2001]

"All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience."
~~ {Johann Wolfgang von} Goethe [1749-1832]

"A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal."
~~ cowboy artist Jack Sorenson

"If a book is well written, I always find it too short."
~~ Jane Austen [1775-1817]

"A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
~~ George Washington [1732-99]

"I believe that the Laws of Karma do not apply to show business, where good things happens to bad people on a fairly regular basis."
~~ TV producer Chuck Lorre

"At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become."
~~ Leo Babauta

"Life is the best gift ... the rest is extra."
~~ African proverb

"Great art has always gone to the masses, to their hopes and dreams, for that spark that kindled their souls. The rest, 'the many, all too many' as Nietzsche called mediocrity, have been mere commodities that can be bought with money, cheap glory, or social position."
~~ anarchist Emma Goldman [1869-1940]

"It doesn't matter if the water is cold or warm if you're going to have to wade through it anyway."
~~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [1881-1955]

"Love is a better master than duty."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"Each time we don't say what we wanna say, we're dying."
~~ Yoko Ono

"Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything."
~~ boxing great Muhammad Ali [1942-2016]

"In life there are squares and there are circles, sometimes it's best to be an oblong."
~~ Benny Bellamacina

"Some days I can't get an idea, and I think, 'Man, I'm just washed up,' but it's just a mood."
~~ artist Jean-Michel Basquiat [1960-88]

"If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees."
~~ Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu [IVth Century BCE]

"[Christmas] is the day when we remind ourselves that [men] can and must live in peace with [their] neighbors and that it is the peacemakers who are truly blessed."
~~ John F. Kennedy [1917-63] - Remarks on Christmas, 17 December 1962

"The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep."
~~ writer E.W. (Edgar Watson) Howe [1853-1937]

"He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom."
~~ author & critic James Gibbons Huneker [1857-1921]

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
~~ Robert Frost [1874-1963]

"I look at politicians the same way [that] I look at C.B.D. gummies. I know a lot of people believe in them, but I'm not sure they're actually doing anything."
~~ comedian Mark Normand

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The deeper you hate the longer you hurt."
~~ Benny Bellamacina

"Let's try to talk intelligent."
~~ character Archie Bunker - on the "All In The Family" CBS-TV show

"Being good to somebody is just like being mean to somebody. Risky. You don't get nothing for it."
~~ Toni Morrison [1931-2019] - in "Sula" [1973 novel]

"Other people’s definitions of you, sometimes they’re more about making themselves feel better. You gotta define yourself."
~~ character Christopher Moltisanti - on "The Sopranos" H.B.O. TV show

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
~~ beat poet Jack Kerouac [1922-69] - in "On The Road" [1957 novel]

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
~~ Edith Wharton [1862-1937]

"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."
~~ Brasilian author Paulo Coelho - in "The Alchemist" [1988]

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself."
~~ Robert Frost [1874-1963]

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
~~ Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard [1813-55]

"If these chatbots are supposed to be magical, why are so many of them dumb as rocks?"
~~ reporter Shira Ovide, Washington Post 'Tech Friend' newsletter, 3/2024

"Hollywood is easy to hate, easy to sneer at, easy to lampoon."
~~ Raymond Chandler [1888-1959] - in The Atlantic Magazine in 1945

"The Biden boom is real."
~~ Daily Kos news site [est. 2002], 3/18/2024

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will."
~~ British author Charlotte Brontë [1816-55]

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
~~ British poet Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy [1844-81]

"The true essence of intellect lies not merely in its possession, but in its judicious application."
~~ Martin Tobias Lithner

"Tell all the truth but tell it slant."
~~ Emily Dickinson [1830-86]

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
~~ William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

"Leaders live by choice, not by accident."
~~ Pastor Mark Gorman of Metairie, Louisiana

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one."
~~ French philosopher Voltaire [1694-1778]

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

News Factoids for Fourth Quarter 2023

Danish Road Safety Council video "The helmet has always been a good idea"
watch full 6/2021 safety video [2:20] online at YouTube

The International Energy Agency expects global electricity generated via renewables to increase to 35 percent in 2025.

Haymarket Books Will Provide Free Black History E-Books to Florida Students
Books are "dangerous to those in power ... that's why we publish them," Haymarket Books said in a press release.

In January 2023, six times more work was happening remotely than in January 2019, according to WFH (work from home) Research, a data-collection project.

Merriam-Webster announced in November 2023 that it has chosen 'authentic' as its 2023 word of the year, a sign of the influence of artificial intelligence and 'celebrity culture, identity, and social media' on the English language. "The rise of AI helped drive interest in the word," said the dictionary's editor at large, Peter Sokolowski. "The line between 'real' and 'fake' has become increasingly blurred. As a result, in social media and marketing, authentic has become the gold standard for building trust — and authenticity, ironically, has become a performance." Merriam-Webster also highlighted other words that were in the spotlight this year, including 'deepfake' and 'dystopian'.

The hottest job in the U.S. pays $80,000 a year, no college degree needed — it’s wind turbine technician. (per Businessweek)

U.S. life expectancy is struggling to rebound from the pandemic. Life expectancy in 2022 rose more than a full year, to 77.5 years, per new C.D.C. data. This is mostly because of a drop in covid-19 deaths. But life expectancy progress remains slow because drug overdoses, homicides, and chronic illnesses such as heart disease are continuing to drive a mortality crisis in the U.S. compared to similar countries.

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that a balanced qi (life energy, pronounced 'chee') is the path to health.
• Americans spend $3.5 billion each year on acupuncture.
• 1.5% of Americans have tried acupuncture to date.
• There are 38,000 licensed acupuncturists in the US.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: Because seaweed is so effective at carbon capture, climate research - and funding - is examining whether more of it could mitigate global warming. Enter seaweed farming, where macroalgae is grown as a marine crop. Traditionally, seaweed has come from Asian nations: last year, Asia produced 98% of the globe’s farmed seaweed. Now seaweed farms are cropping up around the world. They’re off the coasts of Maine, around Australia, and in the seas of Scandinavia; in the last decade, the world’s production has grown nearly 75%.

Retail prices for sugar and sweets increased because of drought by 8.9% in 2023 and are set to rise 5.6% in 2024. Coffee and olive oil prices also rose in 2023 due to drought.

Copyright 2024 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, January 15, 2024

Martin Heinrich and Dr. King

"The work before us is not easy, but as Dr. King taught us,
the time is always ripe to do what is right."
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, Dem-NM