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Chiara Fagan
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We were debating this the other day - whether or not plastic bags are actually that terrible (I most certainly always re-use them).

"But canvas bags might actually be worse for the environment than the plastic ones they are meant to replace. In 2008, the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) published a study of resource expenditures for various bags: paper, plastic, canvas, and recycled-polypropylene tote bags. Surprisingly, the authors found that in typical patterns of use and disposal, consumers seeking to minimize pollution and carbon emissions should use plastic grocery bags and then reuse those bags at least once—as trash-can liners or for other secondary tasks. Conventional plastic bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE, the plastic sacks found at grocery stores) had the smallest per-use environmental impact of all those tested. Cotton tote bags, by contrast, exhibited the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far since they require more resources to produce and distribute."

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/09/to-tote-or-note-to-tote/498557/

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"Last September, Amazon introduced an on-demand delivery program called Amazon Flex. With Flex, people with transportation and some time on their hands log in to an app, indicate their availability, and then pick up and deliver Prime Now packages, much as Uber drivers do with people. Amazon Flex deliveries come in handy when there’s an unexpected surge in Prime Now orders, such as before a blizzard on the East Coast when the entire island of Manhattan is stocking up on canned soup. In the early hours of July 31, it was Flex couriers who transported copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Prime Now customers."

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-amazon-delivery/

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So you can blame the fear of nuclear warfare for the alarming cost of housing in San Fransisco:

"In 1948, a federal housing bureaucrat named Paul Oppermann, trying to come to terms with the perils of the nuclear age, proposed a solution to the problem of protecting America’s cities from the bomb: empty them out preëmptively by encouraging the population to move to suburbs and small towns of fifty thousand or fewer. “No power in the world could afford to drop an atomic bomb on a city of 50,000 or less” is how the San Francisco Chronicle summarized the talk that Oppermann gave to a local planning organization."

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-the-high-cost-of-big-city-living-is-bad-for-everyone

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"Governments are taking notice. A London borough is developing an algorithm to predict who might become homeless. In India Microsoft is helping schools predict which students are at risk of dropping out. Machine-learning predictions can mean government services arrive earlier and are better targeted (see article). Researchers behind an algorithm designed to help judges make bail decisions claim it can predict recidivism so effectively that the same number of people could be bailed as are at present by judges, but with 20% less crime. To get a similar reduction in crime across America, they say, would require an extra 20,000 police officers at a cost of $2.6 billion."

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21705318-clever-computers-could-transform-government-power-learning

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Hampton Creek in the news again! This time due to (yet another) outbreak of Avian flu (yep, that old H5N2 virus) which has been crippling egg suppliers since April, (leading to the destruction of 47 million chickens btw - a tasty holocaust in a handbasket) which should leave consumers and suppliers wondering about the inefficiency of converting plant protein to animal protein. (This cycle of disease-outbreak and product-recall is by now pretty standard in the meat industry.) I suppose meat is to the food industry what subprime lending was to finance; and the beast is already cracking at the seams.

Hampton Creek already has contracts with big foodservice companies like Compass (and now General Mills!), but due to demand they've already upped manufacturing. I'm curious to see where this goes (at the very least I'm keen to try their new stuffs that's fast- tracked to come out in July, and November).

http://www.inc.com/jeff-bercovici/hampton-creek-avian-flu.html

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'After viewing The Grand Budapest Hotel, I realized I had had it with Anderson’s fancy boxed chocolates. Either they’ve gotten toxically moldy over time, or they were always disgusting and I was too disgusting myself to notice it. To put it bluntly, I’ve decided I hate Wes Anderson, and that at some level, I’d like to think I’ve always hated him. I wish I could come up with a quick, clever way to sum up my hatred and be done with it, like Kyle Smith of the New York Post, who ends his furious pan of The Grand Budapest Hotel with the snappy line, “That’s Wes Anderson: He can’t see the forest for the twee.”' 

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“On the evidence of the notebooks, Coetzee felt the moral climate of South Africa was increasingly anti-intellectual and potentially tyrannous,” Attwell said. “He copied into his notebook an extract of an account from Mao’s Cultural Revolution, in which an intellectual is made to appear in public wearing a dunce cap. In the published text, the reference to Mao is edited out, but a student activist carrying a wire wastepaper basket confronts David Lurie and a photo for the student newspaper is taken with the basket strategically positioned in comical fashion over his head. It appears above the caption, ‘Who’s the dunce now?’ It’s extraordinary to discover that the source of that incident in the novel is Mao!”

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King Kong. Billed as the "All African" jazz opera it was massively popular when performed in SA in 1959 before traveling to London's West End in 1961. Music and lyrics arranged by Todd Matshikiza, based on the book by Harry Bloom. Cast included Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masakela and Miriam Makeba (it also launched her international career). Arthur Goldreich, a communist architect who was later arrested during an apartheid clampdown, designed the costumes and set. The song "Sad Times, Bad Times" is considered a reference to the 1956 Treason Trial.

King Kong - The Musical
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