“Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” – Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948
“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” – Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.
“Self-operating [vacuum] cleaners powered by nuclear energy will probably be a reality a decade from now.” – Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955
This is a list of failed predictions. Psychics and would-be prophets often give exact details of what is about to happen and when the day passes, their followers conveniently forgot they ever said anything of the kind, remembering mainly those that happened to come true.
Acer’s China-based component suppliers and PC assemblers have said that in some cases they have lost 1,000 workers overnight, and have had to seek new employees. The Taiwanese company will work with suppliers on new strategies to make sure the issue does not affect production, Wang said. He characterized the concern as small, and unlikely to become a major issue in the near term.
Companies have started to look outside of China for new factory investments, the analyst said, and while Vietnam, India, and other countries boast low-cost labor, they will only win investments if their workers are educated and investment incentives and regulations attractive.Continue reading “Labor shortage in China”
Peters said: “We have to close Guantanamo because it symbolizes for me everything that is wrong with this war on terror.”
To which Lantos apparently replied: “Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay”
He also said: “You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany.” The liberal Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos of California, the only Holocaust survivor in Congressis far from a friend of Gitmo. The Dutch sent these politicians here to bitch about Gitmo.
Rare “PINK DOLPHIN” Photos
It appears to be an uncanny freak of nature, an albino dolphin, with reddish eyes and glossy pink skin. It is small in comparison to the others it is traveling with and appears to be a youngster traveling with mama. After spotting the beautiful mammal cruising with a pod of four other dolphins, Rue and his guests Randy and Peyton Smith and Greg and Sam Elias of Monroe, LA idled nearby while watching and photographing the unusual sight for more than an hour. Thanks to JR
The Science Education Myth
Their report shows U.S. student performance has steadily improved over time in math, science, and reading. It also found enrollment in math and science courses is actually up. For example, in 1982 high school graduates earned 2.6 math credits and 2.2 science credits on average. By 1998, the average number of credits increased to 3.5 math and 3.2 science credits. The percent of students taking chemistry increased from 45% in 1990 to 55% in 1996 and 60% in 2004. Scores in national tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the SAT, and the ACT have also shown increases in math scores over the past two decades.
And the new report again went against the grain when it compared the U.S. to other countries. It found that over the past decade the U.S. has ranked a consistent second place in science. It also was far ahead of other nations in reading and literacy and other academic areas. In fact, the report found that the U.S. is one of only a few nations that has consistently shown improvement over time
The World Is Not Enough for Humans: Scientific American
Since 1987 annual emissions of carbon dioxide—the leading greenhouse gas warming the globe—have risen by a third, global fishing yields have declined by 10.6 million metric tons and the amount of land required to sustain humanity has swelled to more than 54 acres (22 hectares) per person. Yet, Earth can provide only roughly 39 acres (15 hectares) for every person living today, according to the United Nation’s Environmental Program’s (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook, released this week. “There are no major issues,” the report’s authors write of the period since their first report in 1987, “for which the foreseeable trends are favorable.”
Despite some successes—such as the Montreal Protocol’s 95 percent reduction in chemicals that damage the atmosphere’s ozone layer and a rise in protected reserves of habitat to cover 12 percent of the planet—humanity’s impact continues to grow.
“The systematic destruction of the earth’s natural and nature-based resources has reached a point where the economic viability of economies is being challenged,” Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director, said in a statement. “The bill we hand our children may prove impossible to pay.”
AFP: The hazards of golfing in Afghanistan
KABUL (AFP) — Mohammad Afzal Abdul says he has been jailed twice for playing golf: once in the early 1980s after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and then again by the hardline Taliban government more than 10 years later.
Both times he was accused of being a spy because he mixed with foreigners at the Kabul Golf Club, which sits under the steep wall of the Qargar Dam and looks down a gently sloping valley towards the capital.
Abdul, now the pro at Afghanistan’s only golf club, doesn’t rule out his hobby landing him in jail again.
The extremist Taliban, who banned all sport including even kite-flying, were removed from government in 2001. But now, as an insurgent movement, they often accuse any Afghan who associates with foreigners of spying — and have killed several.
“Even right now, I feel some danger,” Abdul says in a dusty room, surrounded by donated clubs for hire and caps and t-shirts embroidered with the club logo for sale. “But I won’t leave,” he says.
“This is a place for fun and people need it. People always need to have a good time, even during war.”
Part of a recent article by the most prescient geo-political thinker doing the PowerPoint circuit.
Think back to this country’s settling of the American West across the 19th century. There were leading security issues (episodic Indian Wars) and trailing questions of political integration (states joining the Union through 1912), but the towering bulk of activity fell between those two milestones.
The functioning core of today’s global economy is defined as: the old West of North America, Europe and Japan; the rising East led by India, China and Russia; and the emerging South exemplified by Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa. This two-thirds of humanity — and roughly 90 percent of world GDP — engages in deep and systemic integration.
In stark contrast are globalization’s poorly integrated regions, or that one-third of humanity stretching from the equatorial Americas across Africa and Central/Southwest Asia to the littoral states of Southeast Asia. Globalization’s “gap” population survives on about 10 percent of the global GDP, and suffers all of its wars, instability, and virtually all of its terrorism too.
Just as the Chris Jordan photos, a few posts below, help you visualize the immensity of events, this clock gives you a perspective on the speed of events – from birth, divorce, disease, oil pumped to death – the numbers just keep ticking away. Thanks to Randy, who is beyond space & time.
The Dam Breaks – washingtonpost.com
We suppose it’s good news that China’s leaders, consistent with a recent increase in official candor about the country’s environmental woes, are finally facing the facts about Three Gorges. But for many years to come, the dam will stand as a monument to their folly and their arrogance.
A “catastrophe” is possible if preventive steps are not taken promptly, the official Xinhua news agency said last week. Apparently, thickly populated river banks near Chongqing have been weakened by the project, and landslides — including one June 28 that killed four people — are a frequent occurrence. The new reservoir’s shoreline is collapsing in 91 places. In addition, the Yangtze is silting up because of the reduced flow of water, and pollutants are accumulating behind the dam — exactly as critics had predicted.