Browsed by
Category: Culture

Even in winter …

Even in winter …

some flowers bloom very well … and if you look closely you’ll find a live bee too!

This is one of my fav flower pics ever … to have this vibrant yellow in January
Backyard visitor

Backyard visitor

These folks eat the food almost as fast as i can make it and put it out … 1x week, I am adding new sugar water for these little ones.

These next two pics are the same bird … don’t ask me how they do it

Truly … the same bird and i did not touch the pics at all … this is exactly how they were in my camera

Lost in the noise …

Lost in the noise …

Quote: “

Further, it is entirely possible that Trump is breaking US law by not being transparent about what, exactly, the thinking is behind the auto tariff threat against America’s European allies. That is, never mind international norms or the WTO or the possibly irreparable damage the administration is doing to transatlantic relations – Trump may be committing a pseudo-impeachable offense by essentially stonewalling Congress (not to mention the public) on the auto tariffs.

“The Trump administration may run into difficulty introducing car tariffs arbitrarily, as Mnuchin said, because the law it has invoked confines the justification to national security”, Bloomberg dryly noted this week, on the way to reminding you that “the Trump administration has so far refused to release a report justifying the possible tariffs despite demands from Congress, where opposition to them is bipartisan”.

Corporate taxes – you ok w/it?

Corporate taxes – you ok w/it?

Quarterly earnings releases are just starting and of the approximately 40 companies in which I own stock, I will carefully parse thru earnings call and SEC documents.

JNJ was the first, and i found this paragraph quite startling …

quote: “Regarding taxes, in the quarter, our effective tax rate was 4.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 tax rate of 2.6%. The current quarter includes an estimated tax expense for the transition provisions of Swiss tax reform partially offset by reorganization of certain foreign subsidiaries and additional impacts of recently issued regulations associated with U.S. tax reform. We encourage you to reference our 10-K for further details on this and other specific tax matters. Excluding special items, the effective tax rate was 10.7%, relatively consistent with the same period last year, which was 11.1%.”

I have yet to form a strong opinion one way or the other, but the level of effective taxation is WAY below what i am paying … should we be ok w/ that?

How many times will this be updated / changed as new information is 'discovered'?

How many times will this be updated / changed as new information is 'discovered'?

quote: “It is now clear our ancestors must have dispersed from a region south of the Zambezi River. This is consistent with geographical, archaeological and climate data, including the fact that this area would have been a fertile wetland at the time the first modern humans emerged.”

This was in an article that referenced the source article in NATURE but requires payment.

Molly Tuttle on David Rawlings

Molly Tuttle on David Rawlings

Molly is one of the absolutely amazing young guitar players & Billy Strings too. Some reporter asked her about fav players – her response about Rawlings was inspiringly accurate based on my experience – I love both their playing!

MOLLY TUTTLE ON DAVID RAWLINGS

Photo by Kaitlyn RaitzMy favorite guitar player is Dave Rawlings, whose style is really unique. It’s accessible, but so true to who he is. The way he crafts a solo.… It builds in a way I hear other people build solos—it climaxes and then comes to an ending—but the way he gets there is so him. And even the guitar he plays [a 1935 Epiphone Olympic archtop] is so different than anyone else’s I know. His way of backing up a singer has also been really inspiring. I first heard him through Gillian Welch. I was listening to her when I was just starting to write songs, but I was also still working on guitar a lot. As I listened, I heard his interesting guitar playing and it spoke to me. I got the idea to use a lot of tension over chords and to use intervals like minor seconds that some people might find a little dissonant, but he uses those in a really cool way.

Another reason to like Apple

Another reason to like Apple

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-minerals-recycling/apple-pushes-recycling-of-iphone-with-daisy-robot-idUSKBN1Z925S

Quote:

Inside a nondescript warehouse on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, Apple’s Daisy robot breaks apart iPhones so that 14 minerals, including lithium, can be extracted and recycled.”

If Apple can do it, and the article expresses the notion that they intend to share the technology, why not everybody? Reuse and recycle rather than extract. Just think what government investment could do worldwide to reduce the demand on extractions – environmental and human impact seems to be worth every dollar spent!

Sad, but true?

Sad, but true?

Where climate justice sometimes comes up short, economics closes the deal.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/n2V18rq_af4OBgqaW6CmkQ2

Quote: “Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC forecast that about 70,000 MW to as much as 190,000 MW of coal-fired generation is “economically at risk” from the deployment of a “second wave of renewables” in the U.S. under three of the more likely scenarios in a recent analysis. The research firm said these projections exclude about 24,000 MW of coal generation already set to shut down.

Driven by the surprisingly low cost of renewables, we believe that carbon-heavy utilities that have not historically led the pack in clean energy deployment will accelerate their earnings growth by pursuing a ‘virtuous cycle’: shutting down expensive coal plants and investing in cheap renewables,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in the Dec. 10 research report.”

I grant that climate work has done tremendous work to help drive alternative energy sources, but sometimes simple economics takes hold and it’s a freight train running wild down the mountain … better late than never!

Disclaimer: of the companies mentioned in MS report, I am long either common or preferred in: D, DUK and PPL. No short positions.

So cool … "Dollar Street"

So cool … "Dollar Street"

A good friend of mine shared a TED talk video with me from a person involved in “Dollar Street” … TED talks are hard for me especially when they have these great visuals (i easily forget to listen) … btw, my friend warned me that the site below can be addictive … WHEW!

https://www.gapminder.org/dollar-street

But check out this site … it is one of the coolest things I have seen since an Intel Fellow (Ms G. Bell) showed a group of us all the different ways people use technology around the world (like 10 years ago).

As somebody who has traveled quite a bit and lived in Europe and Africa … I find these photos simply amazing and a wonderful view into humanity.