Monday, December 3, 2018

December 3rd Links

  • In Japanese, the word for mountain pass is tōge. It's written: 峠. It's a great character, comprised of three other characters (or "radicals"). On the left is the character for mountain: 山. On the top right is the character for up: 上. And on the bottom right is the character for down: 下. So the character for pass — tōge — is mountain-up-down: 峠. [Walk Kumano]
  • At its midsection between San Francisco, California and Denver, Colorado, the North American Cordillera is about 1,000 miles wide, and its physiographic provinces at this midpoint are as follows, going from west to east: the Pacific Coast Ranges, the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada, the Basin and Range Province (forming many narrow ranges and valleys), the Colorado Plateau, and the Rocky Mountains. In the United States, another major feature of the Cordillera is the Columbia Plateau, located north of California between the Cascade Range — which is a northern extension of the Sierra Nevada — and the Rocky Mountains. [Wiki]
  • It turned out that actually print on demand is a lot more limited than we ever thought. The number of papers you can use, the types, the kinds of covers, the cloths, the bindings, all of that is pretty locked down from within print on demand ecosystem. By this point, we had spent about two months. The book that we had spec'd on print on demand would have cost $70 to $80 per unit. The minimum order, we were told, would be about 200 units. Those economics don't really work out for anyone because we figure that the max price for a book like this would be about 100 bucks. It just didn't make sense to do it that way. If we were going to go to a scale of 200 books, we might as well go and do offset printing. [Craig Mod]
  • Since 2013 I've spent roughly two months each year in the mountains of Japan walking its old foot highways or ancient pilgrimage paths. Japan has a long history of walking, and the Japanese have been travelling — as bona-fide travellers and pilgrims, proto-hipster backpackers — for centuries within their own country. As such, the infrastructure — lodging and food, well worn paths, rocks inscribed with classical Japanese haikus — for a long walk is exceptional. The walks can last hours or days (or months), but many require about a week. Because the walks are grounded in a history and culture of walking, the paths are frequently lined with inns or temples or homes to sleep in. Some are hundreds of years old, others new, others crumbling, others filled with centipedes and spiders and strange electric beds. But they all provide the same thing: The space and permission to think and talk about the world while walking, enjoying the progress, eliminating worry about where next to camp or when to make food. [Craig Mod]
  • With the gushing self-sufficiency of youth I was feverish to plunge in headlong and achieve a great reform here--until I saw the Mormon women. Then I was touched. My heart was wiser than my head. It warmed toward these poor, ungainly and pathetically "homely" creatures, and as I turned to hide the generous moisture in my eyes, I said, "No--the man that marries one of them has done an act of Christian charity which entitles him to the kindly applause of mankind, not their harsh censure--and the man that marries sixty of them has done a deed of open-handed generosity so sublime that the nations should stand uncovered in his presence and worship in silence." [link]
  • I happened to be at the Providence, Rhode Island airport during Brown University's parent weekend. The PVD ramp was clogged with heavy personal jets, including a Gulfstream G650. The folks working at the FBO said that fueling bizjets for parents visiting their 91-percent very liberal or liberal children made it the airport's busiest weekend. By noon on the Sunday they had already sent 22 families off in their private jets. [Phil G]
  • Pharmaceuticals in the environment are a recently identified global threat to wildlife, including birds. Like other human pharmaceuticals, the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) enters the environment via sewage and has been detected at wastewater treatment plants. Birds foraging on invertebrates at these sites can be exposed to pharmaceuticals, although the implications of exposure are poorly understood. We conducted experiments to test whether chronic exposure to a maximally environmentally relevant concentration of fluoxetine (2.7 μg/day) altered courtship behaviour and female reproductive physiology in wild-caught starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a species commonly found foraging on invertebrates at wastewater treatment plants. [NLM]
  • In 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company began producing shoes with rubber soles, and its target consumers were athletes. The friction of rubber offered superior grip for fin de siecle sportsmen in lawn sports and on tennis courts; hence, the name tennis shoe. (The long-standing alternative sneaker allegedly refers to the fact that rubber-soled shoes don't click and clomp on hard surfaces, which allows their wearers to sneak up on people.) Although the popularity of tennis has been declining for decades, today almost all of the best-selling shoes in America are sneakers. Like yoga pants, tennis shoes are sportswear that have transcended their sport. Around the same time as the invention of the rubber sole, intramural sports took off at American universities, Clemente told me. That meant more young men playing tennis, golf, polo, and croquet. But lacking the means or inclination to fill their wardrobe with non-sports clothes, many of these men simply kept their athletic attire on for class. [Atlantic]
  • At nineteen, against the wishes of his father, an Alsatian postal worker who pushed his son to study the classics, Sutter became a guild apprentice in a program called the Compagnons du Devoir that dates back to the Middle Ages. For a decade, he lived, studied, and worked with a series of master timber framers. He spent twelve hundred hours on his masterpiece, a loveseat-sized scale model of the timber-frame roof system in a four-hundred-year-old former Jesuit chapel in Normandy. He climbed around the chapel's roof taking measurements, then carved more than four thousand tiny mortise-and-tenon joints, each fastened with even tinier wooden pegs. Only when the guild accepted his masterpiece did he become a master himself. [Garden and Gun]
  • You may not realize it, but you are living through the biggest event in the 3000+ years of the West, The Battle of Tours, Moses giving the laws on Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, Fall of Rome, etc., this is all washed away by the Islamic conquest of Europe and the Aztec/Islamic peoples conquering the USA. There is no pretext of rational benefit from this revolution, just raw power politics and malice. That we can't even *discuss this revolution* in polite society is beyond comprehension. Instead, there's unending gas-lighting and silencing. It's a daily struggle for even the sober minded to maintain sanity. That people will resort to unhinged terrorism against this revolution is regrettable, but perfectly predictable. [CH]
  • The stuff appearing in the media every day from liberal Jews is the great threat to Jews in America. Allowing unstable lunatics to call for white replacement, with the imprimatur of the elite media, is playing for fire. Sensible people, when they see a child, a simpleton or a lunatic playing with fire, they do what they must to stop it. That's the situation facing sensible Jews in America, with people like Michelle Goldberg. Her bigoted rhetoric is going to get a lot of people killed, unless her people throw a net over her. [Z Man]
  • Is that not the most beautiful graph that you have ever seen? I reckon I should make posters out of that image and sell them online. If this is accurate then Rollo was on the money but slightly off target. The SMV curve is much more brutal for women than he imagined it to be, while for men we build up to a strong 50 years of age and then keep on mightily going. So glorious. [Pushing Rubber]
  • I'm always in the middle of a few big essays. They are getting bigger, meatier, and more unwieldy in ways, but also denser, richer, with more room to explore topical sub-tendrils. The corollary of this is that they take longer, require more focus, quiet, and are more easily distrupted by small distractions. So a large part of my time is spent creating time — and then protecting that time — in service to finishing these bigger projects. I think a lot about John McPhee lying on his backyard table, looking up at the tree canopy, a collection of notes strewn about, wondering just how the hell he's going to finish the piece of writing he's working on. (Line by line, that's how.) [Craig Mod]
  • Margaret Levenstein and Valerie Suslow find that real interest rates determine the prevalence of corporate cartels. As the book states, "the most important factor in the creation and breakups of cartels was the interest rate. Cartels are more likely to breakup during periods of high real interest rates, presumably because higher interest rates require higher immediate rates of return for collusion. [Levenstein and Suslow] found the relationship was almost perfect." [Young Money]
  • Looking at flights with 10,000 or more pax in the dataset (top 337 flights), the highest connection rates are short flights to major hubs, in the South. #1 is Atlanta-Birmingham (all stats are bidirectional, ie ATL-BHM + BHM-ATL) at 98.3% connecting; of the 15 pairs with the highest connecting rates (90%+), 5 are to Atlanta (Birmingham, Charleston, Greenville SC, Pensacola, Savannah), 6 involve Charlotte (Charleston, Wilmington NC, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Richmond, Raleigh-Durham) and the other 4 involve Texas hubs (Austin to Dallas and Houston, OKC to Dallas, San Antonio to Houston). The same pattern is true outside of the south even though the top 15 are all down there; LAX-San Diego is 89.3% connecting, Anchorage-SeaTac is 83.9% connecting, Indianapolis-O'Hare is 83% connecting. Looking at pairs with 5K-10K pax in the dataset, you see similar trends; Colorado Springs-Denver is 99.5% connecting, Grand Rapids-Detroit and Milwaukee-O'Hare are both 98.6%; Fargo and Sioux Falls to MSP are both in the 93% range. (And a ton more cities to Atlanta or Charlotte). The overall highest volume of connecting passengers within the US is on the Atlanta-Orlando flight, followed by Atlanta-Tampa and Atlanta-Ft Lauderdale flights; these are in the 70s percent wise, but are also high volume flights. There's a ton of demand to go to Florida (NB: this is the Q1 file, so it has particularly high seasonal demand), and a ton of people who can connect via Atlanta but might not have a direct flight to Florida. This is borne out by the flights with the lowest share of connections; they're primarily from the Northeast to Florida, particularly where one of the ends is a second-tier airport; Cleveland to Fort Myers is the lowest flight with 5K+ pax at 1.5% connecting; Boston to Fort Myers is in second (it's #1 for flights with 10K+ pax) at 2.3% connecting; the rest of the top 15 includes Boston to Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa; on the other end, Orlando flights from Bradley (northern CT), Macarthur (aka Islip, Long Island), Providence and Milwaukee. [link]

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