Concern About Global Warming Among Americans Spikes, Report Says : NPR

Concern About Global Warming Among Americans Spikes, Report Says : NPR:

U.N. Climate Report Offers Grim New Forecast : NPR:

NASA Satellite Uses Lasers To Help Scientists Understand How Quickly Polar Ice Is Melting | Here & Now:


“Corvus, Jackdaw, & Rook”

How to Be Creative (Ep. 354) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

Where Does Creativity Come From? (Ep. 355) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

Westworld: “My father used to say, ‘Only boring people get bored…'”

The Westworld Experience:

When You Just Want to be Alone [Role of Solitude in America][Dovetails with: Creativity] | BackStory with the American History Guys:


EDIT: Below, originally posted 2018-12-30 @ 14:07 EST:

The Rook & Pawn, a “Board Game Cafe”:

Love the name of this place, love the concept of this place.

I stumbled across it by googling names at random, to see what already exists.

I’m a lowly blue-collar tax-paying shlub. Listening to “This American Life” show this morning about libraries revived an old dream of sorts: of owning and operating my own combination “pub/chess/HeroClix shop”.

I was thinking of the name and symbol of such a pub/shop. Been thinking of “Rooks”, both the chess piece and the bird, incorporating both into a logo.

Anyway, name variant of “rook and pawn” crept into my head, so I had to Google it, because it sounded too good to not exist already as a name. And, well, it exists. Very cool.

Sidebar: there’s already a local game/comics shop named “Infinite Monkey”, but had also toyed with names like “Atomic Monkey” (because logos started appearing for it in my mind’s eye), but there’s one of those out there, too.

Chess/Pub: I often look at some of the stuff my more “maker/hacker” coworkers like to do with 3D printers and freeware like TinkerCAD, and it gets me dreaming about the Chess/HeroClix/Pub idea, and having a side business within in, involving servers, 3D printers, and paid-interns from the local community college to design and print custom chess pieces/armies.

Of holding tournaments, for both what I call “20th Century Chess” (or “Chess 20c”) and tournaments using Sirlin Games “Chess 2: The Sequel” rules (which I think of as “Chess 21c” or “21st Century Chess”).

Disclosure: been a fan of chess since my Dad taught me as a kid. But I suck at it. I also suck at HeroClix. Love it, too.

EDIT: I don’t miss being single. I’m blessed, lucky, to have found my Love, my fiance, whom I’ll be marrying very, very soon. [EDIT (2019-01-22): And as of 2019-01-01, she became my Wife. 🙂 ]

I do miss the “game room” I had set up while I was single and living completely alone. It was my “Den”, my “man-cave”, my “Sanctum Sanctorum”, my “Citadel Dominion”, a place of my own, where I had the Time & Space where I could engage some sort of hybridized low-brow intellectual and artistic pursuits: PBS, NPR, Joseph Campbell, post-industrial superhero mythomanes, philosophaster of my own plane.

I guess with the idea of a business, of a Pub that also sells Chess paraphernalia and HeroClix, that I’d have a secure place to Pursue Life, Liberty, & Happiness with some “regular familiar strangers” as well.

Probably a terrible idea, though.

EDIT II: Hmmmm,…. “Jackdaw & Rook”??

(Yeah, I don’t know why I have a fascination with Raven-like birds either. My fascinations with monkeys, apes, turtles, octopi, and cuttlefish are at least a bit more “mainstream”. They’d probably conjure better names and symbols as well…)

EDIT II: Went down to N.C. with my fiance. While there, visited a game store called “Parker, Banner, Kent & Wayne”. Made it sound like a law firm.

Maybe “Corvus, Jackdaw, & Rook”? People might think it’s a specialty pet store or something, tho.

Trump Unveils Ambitious Missile Defense Plans : NPR

Trump Unveils Ambitious Missile Defense Plans : NPR:

Hi. I’m a lowly blue-collar tax-paying voter and self-identified “Purple Republican”.

I didn’t vote for Trump and never will.

I disagree with much of his shenanigans.

Do agree with: Space Force and Missile Defense. Pushes innovavtions in STEM here at home. “Trickle-Down Economics” has always been a hoax proliferated by wannabe-oligarchs, but human civilization has always benefited from “trickle-down effects” of STEM breakthroughs into business.

(Sidebar: fear of automation is overblown. We need it. Automation is a system of tools. Tools have no use without us.)

Block-Chain Markets & Environmental Solutions (??)

A Small Plastic Package Is A Big Culprit Of The Waste Filling Oceans : NPR:


So where did all this plastic come from? Well, let’s go back to the 1940s. …. Plastic for consumers was growing in popularity. Manufacturers raced to find ways to fashion it into things people would buy. Plastic was lightweight, inexpensive, flexible. …. But much of it could not be recycled, and people in the industry knew that. At the first National Conference on Packaging Waste held in San Francisco in 1969, some executives wondered, where is all this plastic going to end up? One marketing consultant said that wasn’t their problem. Difficulties with plastic waste, quote, “are not the responsibility of those who produce materials, fabricate packages or package goods” – unquote. Rather, he said, it’s the consumer’s responsibility. So manufacturers just urged people not to litter and kept pumping out new kinds of plastic with yet more uses.


Personal blue-collar tax-paying voter opinions:

Was thinking about plastic waste. Was thinking about how amazing it is, modern technologies and manufacturing, how we can make all this.

Was thinking about how — in business thinking throughout Human History — “makers” and “job-creators” want to make and sell, and the responsibility of the waste or pollution produced is someone else’s problem. It has to be, in order to be profitable in the market.

Was thinking about some of the Freakonomics Radio episodes I like re-listening to.

The “environmentalist prophets versus the techno-wizards” is a favorite.

The recent one with Andrew Yang is another.

I don’t like BitCoin or other “crypto-currencies”, as they aren’t backed by the “full faith and credit” of We the People, or any People. Love the security possibilities of Block Chain, though.

And Andrew Yang’s twist of combining a crypto-currency with the “checks and balances”/power-sharing/”full faith and credit” of the goverment backing of a “time bank digital credit system”.

The Market ™ is usually only concerned with The Dollar and the profits it needs.

Human Civilization has more needs to fulfill, stuff the profit-seeking markets find no value in, but which need to be managed nonetheless.

Yang’s “time bank digital credits” tjing is one “currency system” that could help. Emphasis is on person-to-person, community-level needs.

Running parallel to that, maybe at the “state and national needs” level, another crypto-currency system could be set up? For companies and institutions? More robust than “simply” a carbon-credits system? One to set up a parallel economy to help not “simply” recycle, but to “unmake” that which was made, turning waste back into useable resources?

Worth thinking about? Worth experimenting with? Carefully?

We, the U.S. of A., pride ourselves on dynamic innovation. The States are supposedly Laboratories of Freedom and Innovation. Our Pioneering Spirit and sense of competition took us to the moon once.

Have we become so “conservative” that we can’t experiment anymore?

Seems like civilizations die, resting too comfortably on their laurels…..

Jack Bogle, Father Of Simple Investing, Dies At 89 : NPR

Jack Bogle, Father Of Simple Investing, Dies At 89 : NPR:

Creator: Vanguard Index Funds.

This guy was a capitalist hero on the side of the average American worker.

R.I.P., sir.


Edit: Sidebar: After the rollercoaster my 401k has been on for the last 14 years with [JH] Pensions, really wish the company plan had opted for a Vanguard index fund instead.

Andrew Yang: Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362) – Freakonomics Freakonomics

Andrew Yang: Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

At this point, I — a blue-collar tax-paying voter, a Moderate/Centrist/Neo-Progressive Republican — am willing to entertain certain “Democratic” ideas, from Andrew Yang’s ideas to these “Green New Deal” ideas.

We need to innovate our politics and socioeconomics. Same-old-same-old has us backsliding.


Did China Eat America’s Jobs? (Ep. 274) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

[One of the episodes recommended for a ‘re-listen’.]


What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them? (Ep. 304) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

[ 1. Definitely shows some of Germany economy’s weaknesses and potential pitfalls, and how too much “rigid structure” can squeeze out dynamism. 2. “Spatial Economics”? Cool]


How Safe is Your Job? (Ep. 194 Rebroadcast) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356) – Freakonomics Freakonomics

America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356) – Freakonomics Freakonomics:

That episode has been worth several re-listens to me.

And: Courtesy of NPR’S “On Being”: The U.S.A.’s new national motto: “How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together?

Claudia Rankine — How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together? | The On Being Project:

The discussion may have been abpit religion, spirituality, race, and racsim, but I love that phrase. Seems reflective also of our current political situation, the dysfunctional Duopoly.

Lake Erie Algae Blooms: Polluting Our Drinking Water – Alliance for the Great Lakes;


So, we know agricultural fertilizer run-off is causing the toxic algae blooms. We are working to reduce fertilizer use and/or run-off.



What kind or kinds of algae are being produced?

Can they be harvested/used for anything else? Bio-fuel? Food? Fibrous material for other products, like paper, or something?

Just asking.


Researchers Try To Unravel Blue-Green Algae Mystery [Kansas] | Here & Now:

Toxic Algae Seeps Into Florida Congressional Races : NPR:

As Climate Warms, Algae Blooms In Drinking Water Supplies : NPR:

Figure Out How To Cheaply Fix Algae Blooms And Win $10 Million : NPR:

Okay, so, the 2020 election cycle has started.
Trump is running on Security.

He wants a Great Wall to run along the U.S. border with Mexico, from Pacific Ocean shores to Gulf of Mexico shores, through the mountainous areas as well as through desert areas, through urban and rural areas.

Wall will stop flow of illegal migrants, from farm laborers to gangsters, I guess.
I assume he thinks it will stop the flow of illegal narcotics as well.
(Unlikely. Drug traffickers seem to relay heavily on physically concealing/disguising drugs and corrupting personnel to smuggle drugs into the country.)

U.S. taxpayers will be footing the bill for building the Great Wall.
Who owns the land the wall will be built on? How will they be compensated?
Who will design and build it?
Who will we be buying materials from?
Beyond costs to build, what are projections for 100 years of maintaining and repairing this bit of infrastructure?
How will that be funded?

Trump comes from the real estate and development sector.
How will he run the details of this project?

If he’s against raising taxes, especially on the rich, to pay for it, where will the money come from?
How much will be diverted from existing infrastructure and law-enforcement and defense budgets to do this?

We need detailed answers.
And to hear the questions and answers repeatedly, every time, for the next two years.

I don’t know if either “wing” of the mainstream media is up for that.

EDIT: I’ve got Google Maps and Google Earth up.
Looking at what I can of existing border wall/barrier.
Boggles my mind.


Opinion: Migrant Girl’s Death Reveals A Need For More Interpreters Along The Border : NPR:

See, it seems to me we need a better network of roads and installations along the border, combination of military, law-enforcement, customs, correction/detention, scientific research and linguistic university annexes, medical services, and communication technologies.

Israeli grad students win a prize for algae falafel | Public Radio International:

How A Little Science And A Lot Of Shady Advertising Boosted Yeast’s Popularity : The Salt : NPR:


Sidebar: I’m still very much a carnivore, a “meat-itarian”.

I fell in love with and married a Vegetarian-going-on-Vegan, tho. Not a bad thing. More fiber and veggies in my diet has been a good thing. Can’t go long without meat, tho. I gets ravenous….

SPACE, 2019, 2018, & 1968

China Becomes First Country To Land On Far Side Of Moon, State Media Announces : NPR:

1968: When Apollo 8 First Orbited The Moon And Saw The Earth Rise In Space : NPR:

2018: A Big Year In Space : NPR:

From The Milky Way To ‘Oumuamua, 2018 Was A Busy Year In Space | Here & Now:


Lucianne Walkowicz: Should We Be Using Mars As A Backup Planet? : NPR:

Chinese Space Lab Crashes To Earth : The Two-Way : NPR:

Google’s Space Race To The Moon Ends, And Nobody Wins Lunar X Prize : The Two-Way : NPR:

President Trump Is Sending NASA Back To The Moon : The Two-Way : NPR:

The Room of Requirement:

[Love Libraries. Remember hanging out as a kid in my elementary school library, then the junior high library, then the high school library, or at the city public library, what is currently the “main branch”, although I hear it may be torn down soon. I spent a lot of time when I was still single and living alone at one of the other branches of the city public library close to where I was living. My parents took me to church when Iwas a kid, and I’d even sing in the choir, but I had more profound experiences and thoughts on God at libraries. It was there, after bouts of agnosticism I tried to convince myself was atheism, that I read up on the “secularism” and “Deism” of some our country’s Founders, and decided I was a Modern Deist, and leaned in on my Constitutionally-protected inalienable rights of Freedom of Speech, Thought, and Expression to learn about what others thought, and figure out what I think, what I believe.]

[Sidebar: I love NPR, PBS, Online Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, and all manner of publicly available “life-long education resources”. A “lifeblood of democracy”.]


The Public Library: The People’s University? on JSTOR:

Saving American History | BackStory with the American History Guys: