Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Night Links

  • In the six decades since the dam was built, the living memory of Glen Canyon has mostly been lost. Relatively few people visited the canyon when it could still be run by raft, and all but a handful of them are now dead. In the meantime, the place has acquired an almost mythical status. It was a kind of Eden, more spectacular than the Grand Canyon and, at the same time, more peaceful. It was a fairy-tale maze of side canyons, and side canyons with their own side canyons, each one offering a different marvel. Edward Abbey, who was one of several writers and artists to float through Glen Canyon shortly before its inundation, called the closing of the dam’s gates a “crime.” To grasp the nature of this crime, he wrote, “imagine the Taj Mahal or Chartres Cathedral buried in mud until only the spires remain visible.” [New Yorker]
  • At current EV of $38 billion, we end up with an FCF/EV yield of 20% and a target share price of $25/share using an 8x FCF to EV multiple. Additional $225MM of free cash flow per $1 USD/bbl increase in WTI pricing gives Cenovus major torque to pricing increases and at a $100 WTI strip, free cash flow to EV yield would almost double to 35% leading to a $48/share price at 8x FCF to EV. [link
  • Coming off its legendary year in the natural gas market, Amaranth returned in 2006 with more heavy betting that prices would rise sharply in the fall & winter, similar to 2005. They took massive long positions in natural gas futures & swaps on both NYMEX and ICE, brushing up & ultimately blowing way past normal fund risk limits. At one point Hunter’s trading desk held more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas futures, representing nearly 1/4th of annual US residential gas consumption. [frontmonth]
  • Here, an unambiguous promise does not exist. As set forth above, the Human Resources Policies handbook provides that "[d]ecisions on Total Compensation are at the complete discretion of the Bank. There is no guarantee of cash or equity bonuses, merit increases, or any other pay items unless the employee has a written agreement with the Bank that states otherwise." In addition, Hunter and Race each signed Offer Letters with Deutsche Bank further specifying the terms of their respective bonuses. Plaintiffs therefore cannot rely on any alleged oral promises, and their claims for promissory estoppel fail. [Hunter v. Deutsche Bank AG]
  • Back in the 1950s, smoking a pipe was as much the fashion at Yale as button-down Gant shirts and scuffed white bucks. I wasn’t a smoker, but when I received my acceptance to Yale, my mother bought me a Dr. Grabow Yellow Bowl pipe and a can of Prince Albert tobacco. She thought smoking a pipe would have a calming influence on me. Her father smoked a pipe for over 60 years and was rarely, if ever, stressed out. [link]
  • Nicotine polacrilex: Nicotine is bound to what’s called an ion exchange resin. This method of delivery ensures 2 things - that 80-90% of the nicotine bound to the polacrilex is absorbed by the oral mucosa, and that it’s absorbed slowly. This ensures you won’t get an addictive buzz, but that you will get the amount of nicotine promised on the package to hopefully curb cravings and stave off nicotine withdrawal. So it’s designed to not be as satisfying as normal nicotine delivery methods on purpose. It’s designed to be good enough. In other words, it’s designed to suck. Nicotine salts (in Zyn specifically, hydrated nicotine bitartrate): Nicotine salts absorb pretty easily in the mouth, so you get a harder hit than with nicotine polacrilex. And the absorption is more rapid and less predictable than with nicotine polacrilex, so you can’t say for certain that you’re getting x amount of nicotine in x minutes. So more buzz, less ability to control your intake. And less likelihood to quit. Freebase nicotine: Many freebase alkaloids, like freebase nicotine or crack cocaine, have melting points higher than their combustion points, and thus better volatility/heat stability/vaporizability than their conjugate acids (“salts”). This means they enable more effective respiratory delivery through a device like a vape. You get more nicotine and a harder (and harsher) hit than you would with a salt. Not all vapes use freebase nicotine though; Juul, for example, uses a nicotine salt (I think nicotine benzoate). [r/snus]
  • I spent the last two weeks using only nicotine pouches. I read most of Chad’s reviews of the various Zyn products (I’m in the US and Zyn is the only pouch I’ll buy that’s easily available here). Everyone has different reactions so mine might not be typical but Chad is mostly right. The nic hit from the pouches isn’t as mellow and doesn’t really develop nicely like snus does. It just hits initially, then goes away, then randomly comes back. I initially bought a 6mg can based on Chad’s reviews but I felt it to be stronger than what I was used to (General OP/Mint). So I bought another can of 3mg. That was weaker but more manageable. It didn’t fully satisfy my nicotine needs for the first day or so, but then I got used to it. I wouldn’t say it was nice, but it was fine. My order came in yesterday (Harvest, Onyx, Xrange slim OP) and it was like the warm embrace of a missed friend. I’ll definitely buy more pouches if they’re my only option but I greatly prefer the real deal. On a side note, we are so lucky to have Chad as a resource both through his normal channels and here directly in the sub. Our tastes differ on some things but he’s never steered me wrong since I got into snus 7 years ago. I can’t thank him enough for his time, effort, and passion [r/snus]
  • “Poor Jacob and Donna were dealing with such undulating invite stuff, because people kept falling out,” says Dunham, adding that a few people on her already truncated guest list could not attend because they caught the virus. “Hearing from a wedding guest that they can’t make it because they have COVID is a great reminder that this is still going on, and to take all of the precautions seriously.” And Dunham and Felber made that a priority: All guests were required to take two lateral flow tests as well as present proof of vaccination. “I’m immune compromised, so I take COVID restrictions really seriously,” explains Dunham, “but it’s important to both of us. Lu wants to keep me safe, and he wants live music to come back, and he is also just thoughtful about human safety in general!” Masks were also made available at the venue, which was set up to allow for sufficient spacing between guests and between the ceremony, reception, and dancing. [Vogue]
  • Just as the NIH was delighted to serve as the CIA’s lapdog, the same goes with the FDA and big pharma. The scheme works like this: the FDA sets Kabuki theater rules for drug development and testing. Big pharma makes the drug and supplies it. The NIH and universities spend taxpayer dollars performing the FDA-required clinical trials. The trial data then goes back to big pharma’s statisticians for analysis, which the FDA reviews, and approves. Rinse and repeat. This cycle has been a constant source of heartburn for the small number of true research ethicists left and resulted in multiple declarations of highly effective drugs that were, in fact, not effective at all. Between 2000-2011, 102 drug trials were retracted, 73 for scientific misconduct and 29 for statistical or other reporting errors. Beyond drug approval, the FDA is supposed to be engaged in post-marketing surveillance of drug quality and efficacy. Yet as detailed in the page-turner Bottle of Lies, the FDA fails time and time again to prevent carcinogens from appearing in blood pressure and heartburn medications, pieces of stainless steel in Moderna vaccines, and bacteria in insulin. [im1776]
  • Yes, we’ve heard all about Joe Biden’s alleged vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people. It was all over the news even before he announced it on September 9. His announcement has jeopardized the employment of millions of Americans and increased worker shortages in critical domains such as health care. There’s only one problem. It’s all a mirage. Biden’s so-called vaccine mandate doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet. [link]
  • The northwest corner of Arkansas has been booming with trail development for the last decade. The result: It’s now a MTB hotspot with more trails than you could ride in a lifetime. This presents visitors with a very real (but very good) problem—what should you ride first? To help answer that question, we turned to four locals for their best advice. “Bentonville is unique because you can ride out of your house and onto a trail,” says Dave Neal, a longtime resident of nearby Bella Vista and co-owner of Bentonville’s Mojo Cycling bike shop. “And most trails are connected, so you can spend the day riding and you don’t have to get on the road at all.” Whether you’re looking for expert-level or beginner terrain, Bentonville has it all. [Outside]

1 comment:

Allan Folz said...

I have a friend that is from Arkansas. One of the Walton heirs is big into mountain biking and is the driving force and almost solely responsible for turning Bentonville and surrounds into the Amsterdam of mountain biking.

It's a rare modern instance of a billionaire actually doing something good for the quality of life in their community. I'll go so far as to suggest it's the only modern instance. Normally when billionaires "give back," it's a politically correct virtue signal that is destined to fail because its purpose and goal was the virtue signal, not to make the world better for the people living there.