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daily 01/22/2014

    • And an acre of topless, vacuum-sucked saplings could be ten times as productive as a traditional forest. Maple farms of the future would not only be much smaller, but there’s also no reason they would need to be in a Vermont forest—or any of the other places that traditionally produce maple syrup.
    • “The way he was playing, he probably could have scored on Jesus,” said Blazers guard Mo Williams.
    • Series A rounds are a critical stage in the funding of new companies. A typical Series A round is in the range of $2 million to $10 million, purchases 10% to 30% of the company, and is intended to capitalize the company for 6 months to 2 years as it develops its products, performs initial marketing and branding, hires its initial employees, and otherwise undertakes early stage business operations
    • “It’s one of the things that makes this slog north or east palatable,” said Richard Shea, a public relations executive who helped start a group called Commuters Allied for Responsible Enjoyment, to defend what he described as “the romantic ideal” of the suburban commuter enjoying a drink on the way home — in his case, a Bud Light on the 6:52 to Chappaqua, in Westchester County. Mr. Shea encouraged fellow passengers to write to authority board members, urging them to block the proposal.
    • Liquor service on commuter rail is a vestige of earlier days. Peter Derrick, a transit historian, said the commuter lines were modeled after interstate railroads, on which alcohol was a traditional amenity.
    • The only full-fledged bar cars that remain are on Metro-North’s New Haven line, and are run in cooperation with the State of Connecticut. On a typical weekday, 17 trains leaving Grand Central for cities like Stamford and Bridgeport from 12:07 p.m. to 9:07 p.m. include a bar car.
    • Far more prevalent, the police said, were instances of people on commuter lines who needed medical help because of extreme drunkenness. There were 994 such cases on the two railroads last year, but officials said that in virtually every case, the riders appeared to have done most or all of their drinking before they ever got on a train.
    • He said the only person who met with the committee to speak in favor of the ban was Mr. Pally.
    • -Aquaman is in it, but not called Aquaman. He’s there because the world engine in the ocean did something to the fish
    • For one example, two oligarch brothers who were childhood friends of Vladimir Putin received $7 billion worth of contracts. One was for an undersea pipeline, the final cost of which broke down to about $5.5 million per kilometer, or almost four times as much as the European average.
    • In another case, a 31-mile rail and road link to the site of the ski and snowboard events cost $8.7 billion, more than the entire cost of the last Winter Olympics. For that price tag, one Russian magazine calculated, the road could have been paved with a centimeter of beluga caviar.
    • Another person in the construction business says he was offered a contract, potentially worth millions of dollars, to lay a water line at an Olympic site. The officials at the state body awarding the contract weren’t interested in whether he had the necessary resources for such a large job or would do quality work—the only question was whether he was willing to pay 20 percent back to them. A third construction boss says he was invited to carry out work on transport infrastructure. As the officials offering the job spelled it out, the contract would be worth 250 million rubles ($7.7 million) on paper, but he would only actually receive 170 million rubles—the officials, presumably, would pocket the difference
    • “When all the celebrations are over, then the prosecutors come in.”
    • The latter. Honestly, we should have a threat level chart for these games. ORANGE means a journalist has been poisoned. RED means that a bunch of gay athletes are about to be detained and put on a boxcar to Irkutsk. PURPLE means a ski chalet is about to fall on everyone because contractors pocketed the construction money and made it out of old pasta.
    • It’s as if the bill for decades of corruption and exploitation and bogus amateurism is about to come due.
    • It’s an open con and yet people will still fall for it.
    • Obviously, since mankind will come to an end at some point, so will the United States. That’s just the way it works. This shit won’t last forever… it’s just a question of how we fuck it all up and how quickly we can do so. You’re unlikely to ever see another clear cut, official Civil War break out in America a) we’re lazy and b) we’re far too intermingled. There are filthy liberals in Texas. There are gun nuts in upstate New York. We’re too spread out now to coalesce into easily opposed territories: North vs. South, East Coast vs. West Coast, Everyone vs. Florida, etc.
    • All of the shit that supposedly divides us now—guns, religion, arguments about the HOMOSECKSHOOLS, etc.—are essentially luxury items. It’ll only be when disaster strikes and we’re forced to horde all our sheep and water that we will truly split apart, strictly as a matter of survival. I give it eight years.
    • And if your nips look weird with it out, just grow more chest hair. Or tell women that you were born with a “winking nipple,” which is a sign of good fortune. Men shouldn’t even have nipples. Mine get all goosebumpy when it’s cold out. It’s very embarassing.
    • Anger has long been associated with competitive situations—that’s why hockey has a penalty box, soccer has red cards, and basketball has flagrant fouls
    • In games of strength, being mad actually seems to improve performance.
    • Angered players didn’t wait to shoot; those that had been assigned the full 20 minutes of work shot first in 70 percent of the trials, and they tended to take their shot before the odds got to 0.5. The less work a player was assigned, the more likely he was to wait to shoot until the odds improved.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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