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LeGrand Johnson
Lives in Lake Oswego, OR
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LeGrand Johnson

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For decades, desalination was seen as a pipe dream: so costly in terms of energy that it could never be useful. Reverse-osmosis was hailed as a possible change, but the problem of "biofouling" -- basically, bacterial growth in the filters requiring constant chemical cleaning -- made it impractical. But a few years ago, this problem started to get cracked, and now Israel is doing something previously unthinkable: running a net surplus of water.

To give you some context for this: In 1948, Israel was more than half parched, nearly-uninhabitable desert. The steady northward spread of the desert had been greatly accelerated by Ottoman deforestation, and the whole ecosystem verged on collapse. David Ben Gurion, the first president, made it his crusade to make the country green: "There will be bears in the Negev (desert)!," he would famously say. This meant everything from aggressive water conservation across the country, to research in water technologies, to a steady program of reclaiming the desert, with schoolchildren routinely going out in large groups to plant trees.

Today, I can barely recognize the country of my childhood; as you go south of Jerusalem, miles and miles which I remember as barren deserts are now lush forests and farms.

But this was almost lost in the past decade, as powerful droughts -- the same droughts which triggered the Arab Spring -- have ravaged the Middle East. The Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) saw its water level drop terrifyingly, year after year, close to the threshold where osmotic pressure would fill it with salt and destroy it as a freshwater lake. The Dead Sea was shrinking into a giant mud puddle, and we talked about it meeting the same fate as the Aral Sea, now just a memory.

The rise of modern desalination has changed this calculus completely. Because it doesn't rely on boiling or similar processes, it's energy-cheap. It's maintainable, and while it requires capital outlays in the way that building any large plant does, it doesn't require astronomical or unusual ones. This makes it a technology ready for use across the world.

There is one further potential benefit to this: Peace. Water is a crucial resource in the Middle East (and elsewhere!), far more scarce than oil. It's needed not just for humans, but most of all for crop irrigation, as droughts destroying farmland have been one of the biggest problems facing the region. The potential for desalination to change this creates a tremendous opportunity for cooperation -- and there are nascent signs that this is, indeed, happening.

At an even higher level, relieving the political pressures created by lack of water, and thus lack of working farms, could have far more profound effects on the region as a whole. Even before the recent droughts, things like the steady desertification of Egypt's once-lush Nile Valley (a long-term consequence of the Aswan Dam and the stopping of the regular flooding of the Nile) were pushing people by the million into overcrowded cities unable to support them. Having farming work again doesn't just mean food, it also means work, and it means a systematic reduction in desperation.

Desalination looks to be one of the most important technologies of the 21st century: it's hard to overstate how much it could reshape our world.

Via +paul beard 
One of the driest countries on earth now makes more freshwater than it needs
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Imagine if it was Mew.
Technically Incorrect: The game that's overtaken America overtakes New York's Central Park.
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Yikes
Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them?
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The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed st ...
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LeGrand Johnson

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When the factory is complete, it will be the largest building in the world by footprint.
When you find yourself in the middle of the Nevada desert, on a 100-degree day, you wonder: who in the world would build something here? Elon Musk, of course. And so I’m here in the city of...
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Cool, I've been looking forward to this
 
After nearly a year of rumors, teardowns, a vague announcement, and a false start, Google Play's Family Library is finally going live today. It will begin... by Cody Toombs in Google, News, Videos
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These are some of the very worst comments I've ever seen on the internet. Anyone taking pleasure in the murder of police officers are disgusting human beings. There's no context that makes this schadenfreude anything but contemptible.

I apologize for the potentially offensive language in these comments--I was just too disgusted with the sentiments I was seeing to not post this.
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Unbelievably thoughtless. Thinking killing of police somehow addresses racial problems is just plain stupid.
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This article buries its most interesting results deep at the bottom. It's about a series of new psychological studies about how people react to hearing about a crime: whether they're more likely to feel compassion for the victim or ask why the victim put themselves in that situation.

The top-line result is not entirely surprising, although it has many interesting nuances. People who feel "individualizing values" more strongly – values like promoting the care of others or preventing unfair behaviors – are more likely to feel compassion for the victim, while people who feel "binding values" more strongly – values like loyalty, obedience, and purity – are more likely to look at the victim's responsibility.

Everyone feels both sets of values, of course, but the balance between the two differs from person to person, and is a relatively stable thing, tending to change slowly over a person's life rather than from day to day. The main result of the study was that this axis predicted people's response to hearing about crimes in a way that things like political orientation, gender, and religion didn't.

An unexpected result comes from one of the later studies, which experimented by describing the same events with either the victim or the perpetrator as the subject of the sentence. ("Lisa was forced by Dan" versus "Dan forced Lisa") What they found was that phrasings which focused attention on the victim led to increased levels of victim blaming, while phrasings which focused on the perpetrator decreased them.

This surprised the researchers, who had initially expected that focusing attention on the victim would elicit more sympathy for them. But the real pattern seems to be different: "individualizers" are partitioning the problem in terms of who hurt whom, while "binders" are asking what would have avoided the problem in the first place. For individualizers, a focus on the victim simply highlights the things which were already their focus on attention, while binders will focus their critique on whichever one they are looking at.

As the authors point out, this suggests that the interests of justice (as opposed to those of repair) may be better served by focusing less on victims and more on perpetrators – that is, asking "'Why did he think he had license to rape?' rather than 'Imagine what she must be going through.'" That is, our common need to help the victims of crime and deal with the perpetrators of crime may be best served by phrasing – and discussing – the problem differently in those two contexts.
People who value loyalty, obedience and purity.
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Eeeeeew, but cool
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!!!
 
Tomorrow, in the Nevada desert, one of the companies working to develop a hyperloop will deliver a proof of concept—the first full-scale demonstration of the transportation technology.

http://gizmodo.com/heres-what-tomorrows-first-full-scale-test-of-the-hyper-1775857086
Tomorrow, in the Nevada desert, one of the companies working to develop a hyperloop will deliver a proof of concept—the first full-scale demonstration of the transportation technology that will be able to travel at speeds over 300 mph, radically changing the future of transit along the way.
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  • Bloons TD Battles
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Lake Oswego, OR
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Salem, OR - Federal Way, WA - Provo, UT - Orem, UT - Pittsburgh, PA
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This is a beautiful new building and a great facility for work.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Hasn't changed since I was a kid, in a good way.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Really fun place with good equipment and layout. Really expensive though
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Pizza was pretty good, maybe a little burned but still good. I'll go back.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
63 reviews
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As good as any other Chipotle, which means it's pretty good.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Good food. Happy hour makes the place affordable.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
The food was good. The staff was accommodating to my family of 3 young boys. I look forward to going again.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago