Tag Archives: USA

Microchip your employees —why not? (United States)

Received from Rob Hamlin
Fri, 4 Aug 2017 at 9:27 am

Ugh!! …if it doesn’t scare you it should do.

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Aug 2017
US company microchips workers
A Wisconsin vending machine company is offering its employees a chance to have a microchip implanted in their hands that they could use to buy snacks, log in to computers or use the copy machine. About 50 employees at Three Square Market have agreed to the optional implant of the chips, which are the approximate size and shape of a grain of rice, said Tony Danna, vice president of international sales at the River Falls-based company. The company, which employs 85, said it was the first in the United States to offer staff the technology which is similar to that used by contactless credit cards and chips used to identify pets. The implants made by Sweden’s BioHax International are part of a long-term test aimed to see if the radio-frequency identification chips could have broader commercial applications, Danna said.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Pop Mashup(s) 2016 —USA

*widescreen viewing

Dj Earworm Published on Dec 1, 2016
DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2016 (Into Pieces)

Dj Earworm Published on Jun 17, 2016
DJ Earworm – Summermash ’16

p r e v i o u s

Dj Earworm Published on Dec 2, 2015
DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2015 (50 Shades of Pop)
A mashup of the FIFTY biggest U.S. hits of 2015.

DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do)
DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2013 (Living the Fantasy) feat. Lorde

Jordan Roseman (aka DJ Earworm) is a San Francisco-based mashup artist who has achieved recognition for his technically sophisticated, songwriting oriented music and video mashups. Wikipedia

Born: March 25, 1982 (age 34), Evanston, Illinois, United States
Education: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Genre: Mashup
Film music credits: By Foot

DJ Earworm @djearworm (Twitter)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Pop Mashup(s) + Independent UK exclusive on attack to local democracy

via The Independent (by tweet)

Dj Earworm Published on Dec 2, 2015
DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2015 (50 Shades of Pop)
A mashup of the FIFTY biggest U.S. hits of 2015.

DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do)
DJ Earworm Mashup – United State of Pop 2013 (Living the Fantasy) feat. Lorde

Earworm’s real name is Jordan Roseman. “I try to get a feel of what is in the zeitgeist,” he told Billboard. “Music has been going through a softer phase than it was a few years ago so there’s the return of adult contemporary.”

In other news, via The Independent 27.12.15 NZT….

How the Government plans to launch ‘direct attack on local democracy’
Editorial: The Government’s attack on local democracy should be resisted

Headline - 27.12.15 NZT [independent.co.uk][screenshot]

███ ODT: DCC quitting its fossil fuel shares

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Robert Hamlin: Dreadnoughts and Crosses #Anzacs #Gallipoli

Dreadnoughts and Crosses – How battleships brought the ANZACS to Gallipoli

By Robert Hamlin

Part 1 – The South American Arena

Picture 1 HMS DreadnoughtHMS Dreadnought: The revolutionary fighting machine, launched in 1906, whose namesakes eventually brought the ANZACS to Gallipoli.

4.00 am on Sunday, 20 December 2015 marked the centenary of the last man leaving ANZAC cove at the end of the Gallipoli campaign. By the time the Allies evacuated the peninsula after just over eight months of fighting, each side had lost just under 60,000 dead. By the military standards of other battles in World War I these losses were small. Despite this, for three combatant countries, the young dominions of Australia and New Zealand and the yet to be born Turkish Republic, the battle was a seminal national event.

For this reason the details of the battle itself are well known and have been repeatedly re-enacted in print, video and film. What has received slightly less attention is how the Allies and the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire came to be enemies in the first place. The Ottoman Empire was not part of the deadly twin daisy chains of alliances and obligations that dragged all the other great imperial powers of Europe into an involuntary state of war in the days after the Austro Hungarian Empire chose to attack Serbia. The Ottomans had the luxury of choice. They could join the Allies, or they could join the Central Powers. Or, they could not join in at all – the eminently sensible option favoured by the then Sultan, Mehmed V.

The convoluted and sometimes ridiculous story of how the Ottoman Empire eventually did get involved on the side of the Central Powers, and thus became one of New Zealand’s ‘enemies’, makes for interesting reading. It involves pride, greed, incompetence, insubordination, brilliant opportunism and desperate decisions made in haste with little information. Above all it involves battleships, the great floating fortresses that so disastrously possessed the minds of men both great and small in the first decades of the twentieth century. Battleship mania was a truly global phenomenon. Thus this story begins not in Europe or Asia, but in South America some eight years before the First World War broke out.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the four-cornered battleship building race between Germany, Britain, the USA and Japan was well established. With their greater shipyard capacity, this was a race that the USA and Britain should have won comfortably. However, they were hampered by their political systems. The governments of Germany and Japan, where democracy was tightly delimited, were able to pursue their naval build up steadily and in a carefully planned manner. In the USA and Britain public opinion and short-term political expediency made this impossible. Periods of complacency when shipyards were starved of orders for battleships alternated with periods of panic, when they were literally drowning in them.

This created an intolerable situation in British and American shipyards. Dreadnought battleships were at the limits of the technology of their day. Their construction required massive fixed installations served by enormous and highly skilled workforces that simply could not be assembled and dispersed at will. If a race-winning dreadnought building capacity was to be maintained, somehow the demand for them within these two democracies had to be smoothed out. Then, as now, it was realised that exporting these cutting-edge weapons of war to third countries was one way in which this could be done. As a result, both Britain and the USA became vicious rivals in the international export market for dreadnought battleships. The most skilled and unscrupulous salesman of their day fanned out from the British and American yards, backed by enormous budgets and the full diplomatic capacities of their respective governments.

The happiest hunting ground for these dreadnought salesmen was South America. Nowhere in the world had changed politically as much as this continent had in the nineteenth century. In 1800 the continent was sleepily divided between the declining empires of Spain and Portugal. By 1900 all this had been swept away and replaced by a series of young, prickly and increasingly wealthy republics. The largest of these: Brazil, Chile and Argentina had a particularly volatile relationship with one another, in which diplomatic tension, military posturing and sporadic minor actions created an ideal environment for battleship selling.

In Part 2, the activities of the international dreadnought salesmen across three continents create a ludicrous but potentially explosive situation.

Part 2 – The battleship barterers

Picture 2 Rio de Janeiro - Sultan Osman I - AgincourtRio de Janeiro – Sultan Osman I – Agincourt: One ship, three owners, three names

Once they had identified South America as the prime market for British and American battleships, the Edwardian dreadnought builders got straight to work. By various adroit manoeuvrings, the British and American sales representatives succeeded in selling no less than seven dreadnoughts to these three countries in less than three years. The process started with Brazil agreeing to buy three dreadnoughts from Britain in 1906; with two to be constructed immediately, and a third to be laid down once the first two had been completed. Argentina and Chile promptly responded by each ordering two larger ships: Chile’s from Britain, and Argentina’s from the United States.

However, the fever rapidly abated, and by 1908 the South American ardour for battleship building was cooling in the face of the staggering costs and risks of escalation. In the case of Brazil, an additional chill was provided by a major naval mutiny and the collapse of the rubber and coffee export commodity markets that had been expected to pay for the ships. As a result Brazil attempted to extricate itself from its commitment to build the third ship that it had ordered. The British fought hard to avoid this, and eventually their efforts were successful. However, the witches’ brew of conflicting commercial and political agendas that eventually preserved the deal also produced what was the most ridiculous design ever executed in the dreadnought era.

The Rio de Janeiro was built for show. The Brazilian government were determined that if they were going to have to pay for this unwanted battleship, then it should be the most impressive yet seen in South America. The choice lay between bigger guns or more turrets. Turrets won the day, and the Rio de Janeiro shipped seven, in a period when every other nation was standardising on four. This meant a big ship, but Brazil’s maintenance facilities were limited, which meant that the big ship had to be narrow and tremendously long. Finally the capacity for the officers to entertain in style and live in comfort had a far higher priority than other navies. The Rio de Janeiro had far larger internal spaces and far fewer watertight bulkheads than her equivalents. All of these requirements, plus a respectable top speed, meant that something had to give, and that something was armour. Rio de Janeiro had armour that was barely more than half the thickness of her contemporaries.

Perhaps as the Rio de Janeiro took shape on the slipway it became increasingly obvious that she looked more ridiculous than imposing. Whatever the reason, the Brazilian government decided to get rid of her. In late 1913 she was put up for sale while still incomplete, and sold to the Ottoman Empire for just under six million dollars – a respectable sum for that time. The Rio de Janeiro became the Sultan Osman I. The Brazilians, no doubt highly relieved, departed from the scene. The deal may have been facilitated by the fact that the ever-active British dreadnought salesmen had already sold another larger and far more capable dreadnought, the Reşadiye, to the Ottomans two years previously.

Although Sultan Osman I was the weaker unit of the two new Turkish ships, the situation within the Ottoman Empire at the time of its acquisition endowed it with a much greater political importance to the Turks. The Ottoman Empire, the ‘sick man of Europe’ had been in retreat for half a century. Provinces in the Balkans and North Africa that had been Turkish for centuries had fallen away. The retreat had been accompanied by a sequence of mass murder and ethnic cleansings that had left millions of Turks dead and millions more displaced and destitute within the areas that are now modern Turkey.

The Turks were aware that this process was not complete, and that the Ottoman Empire’s neighbours harboured further expansionist ambitions that would potentially leave the Turkish nation partitioned and bereft of any territory or secure identity. This was a national rather than simply a government realisation. As the government was both chaotic and destitute, the Turkish nation raised the money to buy the Sultan Osman I, largely by public subscription and a myriad of small collections in coffee shops and the like. Special ‘navy donation medals’ of various grades were struck and given to larger donors. It was an act that both presaged and represented the popular will that would lead the Turks to victory at Gallipoli in 1915 and to a secure independence in 1923. The significance of the gesture was reinforced by the name that was given to her – that of the Ottoman Empire’s founder.

In Part 3, British misjudgements over the sale of the two battleships turn a possible ally into a potential foe.

Continue reading

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10 worst stadiums +1 FBS, Dunedin

Received.
Thu, 4 Sep 2014 at 11:24 p.m.

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota Vikings (AP Photo by Ann Heisenfelt)Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota Vikings. [AP/Ann Heisenfelt]

### sportsbreak.com 1 month ago
Sports
10 Worst Sports Stadiums Ever Built
By Jack Choros
It’s funny that possibly the worst stadium ever built, especially among those built in the last 20 years, would be the Rogers Center in Toronto. It was supposed to be a state-of-the-art facility with a full-fledged hotel and a fitness centre attached to it that no other sports franchise could rival. It took about five years for the Rogers Center to become obsolete. The same old story tends to repeat itself for other stadiums. For proof, just look at this top 10 list:

10. Candlestick Park, San Francisco 49ers
9. Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis Rams
8. Joe Louis Arena
7. FedEx Field, Washington Redskins
6. Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
5. Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento Kings
4. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays
3. Oakland Coliseum
2. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota Vikings
1. Rogers Center, Toronto

View photo and commentary for each stadium at http://www.sportsbreak.com/sports/10-worst-sports-stadiums-ever-built/?PageSpeed=noscript

PLUS ONE

Forsyth Barr Stadium - exterior [stuff.co.nz]Fubar stadium, Dunedin [stuff.co.nz]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: Jaunt to USA, explain

Dunedin at night [commons.wikimedia.org] 1Dunedin, March 2010. Benchill (Wikimedia Commons).

### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jan 2014
Streetlight ideas from US trip
By Debbie Porteous
Seeing the bright lights of some major American cities has given the man responsible for a street lighting revolution set for Dunedin some solid ideas. Dunedin city council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring went to the United States last year to look at different technologies and visit cities that have started updating their street lighting.
Read more

Puzzled. The news story says Peter Standring went to USA.
But lower down, it says (our emphasis):

“Los Angeles was in many ways the world leader in the procurement, installation and development of LED technology, and the group was “very lucky” to have had one and a-half hours of Mr Ebrahimian’s time, Mr Standring said.”

What group? A DCC group? (or a USA group he tagged along with?) What have we paid for? A 2013 trip for one person to Los Angeles, Durham, Racine, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco —or a trip for a group of staff and their wives?
Clarification, please.

****

[via Upstart Incubator (@UpstartDunedin) who tweeted at 9:29 AM on Tue, Dec 31, 2013]

### mckinsey.com September 2013
How to make a city great
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth — if the cities handle their expansion wisely. Here’s how.

What makes a great city? It is a pressing question because by 2030, 5 billion people — 60 percent of the world’s population — will live in cities, compared with 3.6 billion today, turbocharging the world’s economic growth. Leaders in developing nations must cope with urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while those in developed ones wrestle with aging infrastructures and stretched budgets. All are fighting to secure or maintain the competitiveness of their cities and the livelihoods of the people who live in them. And all are aware of the environmental legacy they will leave if they fail to find more sustainable, resource-efficient ways of managing these cities.

Explore six diverse initiatives aimed at making cities great places to live and work.

To understand the core processes and benchmarks that can transform cities into superior places to live and work, McKinsey developed and analysed a comprehensive database of urban economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. The research included interviewing 30 mayors and other leaders in city governments on four continents and synthesizing the findings from more than 80 case studies that sought to understand what city leaders did to improve processes and services from urban planning to financial management and social housing.

The result is How to make a city great (PDF, 2.1MB), a new report arguing that leaders who make important strides in improving their cities do three things really well:

█ They achieve smart growth. Smart growth identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth, plans ways to cope with its demands, integrates environmental thinking, and ensures that all citizens enjoy a city’s prosperity. Good city leaders also think about regional growth because as a metropolis expands, they will need the cooperation of surrounding municipalities and regional service providers. Integrating the environment into economic decision making is vital to smart growth: cities must invest in infrastructure that reduces emissions, waste production, and water use, as well as in building high-density communities.

█ They do more with less. Great cities secure all revenues due, explore investment partnerships, embrace technology, make organisational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manage expenses. Successful city leaders have also learned that, if designed and executed well, private–public partnerships can be an essential element of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, higher-quality infrastructure and services.

█ They win support for change. Change is not easy, and its momentum can even attract opposition. Successful city leaders build a high-performing team of civil servants, create a working environment where all employees are accountable for their actions, and take every opportunity to forge a stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community. They take steps to recruit and retain top talent, emphasise collaboration, and train civil servants in the use of technology.

Mayors are only too aware that their tenure will be limited. But if longer-term plans are articulated — and gain popular support because of short-term successes — leaders can start a virtuous cycle that sustains and encourages a great urban environment.
Link to source

McKinsey&Company The material on this page draws on the research and experience of McKinsey consultants and other sources. To learn more about their expertise, visit the Infrastructure Practice, Public Sector Practice, Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: commons.wikimedia.org – Central city view of Dunedin, New Zealand, at night from Signal Hill lookout. The dark horizontal band above the centre of the photo is the Town Belt. Some landmarks including First Church of Otago and the Dunedin Railway Station are visible near the centre. Photo by Benchill, 9 March 2010.

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Not just in America !!!

Link from Martin Legge.

### marketoracle.co.uk Oct 28, 2013 – 09:37 AM GMT
Politics / Social Issues
America’s Culture of Ignorance
By James Quinn

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” –Thomas Edison

The kabuki theatre that passes for governance in Washington D.C. reveals the profound level of ignorance shrouding this Empire of Debt in its prolonged death throes. Ignorance of facts; ignorance of math; ignorance of history; ignorance of reality; and ignorance of how ignorant we’ve become as a nation, have set us up for an epic fall. It’s almost as if we relish wallowing in our ignorance like a fat lazy sow in a mud hole. The lords of the manor are able to retain their power, control and huge ill-gotten riches because the government educated serfs are too ignorant to recognize the self-evident contradictions in the propaganda they are inundated with by state controlled media on a daily basis.

“Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.” –Hendrik Willem van Loon

The levels of ignorance are multi-dimensional and diverse, crossing all educational, income, and professional ranks. The stench of ignorance has settled like Chinese toxic smog over our country, as various constituents have chosen comforting ignorance over disconcerting knowledge. The highly educated members, who constitute the ruling class in this country, purposefully ignore facts and truth because the retention and enhancement of their wealth and power are dependent upon them not understanding what they clearly have the knowledge to understand. The underclass wallow in their ignorance as their life choices, absence of concern for marriage or parenting, lack of interest in educating themselves, and hiding behind the cross of victimhood and blaming others for their own failings. Everyone is born ignorant and the path to awareness and knowledge is found in reading books. Rich and poor alike are free to read and educate themselves. The government, union teachers, and a village are not necessary to attain knowledge. It requires hard work and clinging to your willful ignorance to remain stupid.

The youth of the country consume themselves in techno-narcissistic triviality, barely looking up from their iGadgets long enough to make eye contact with other human beings. The toxic combination of government delivered public education, dumbed down socially engineered curriculum, taught by uninspired intellectually average union controlled teachers, to distracted, unmotivated, latchkey kids, has produced a generation of young people ignorant about history, basic mathematical concepts, and the ability or interest to read and write. They have been taught to feel rather than think critically. They have been programmed to believe rather than question and explore. Slogans and memes have replaced knowledge and understanding. They have been lured into inescapable student loan debt serfdom by the very same government that is handing them a $200 trillion entitlement bill and an economy built upon low paying service jobs that don’t require a college education, because the most highly educated members of society realized that outsourcing the higher paying production jobs to slave labour factories in Asia was great for the bottom line, their stock options and bonus pools.

Instead of being outraged and lashing out against this injustice, the medicated, daycare reared youth passively lose themselves in the inconsequentiality and shallowness of social media, reality TV, and the internet, while living in their parents’ basement. They have chosen the ignorance inflicted upon their brains by thousands of hours spent twittering, texting, facebooking, seeking out adorable cat videos on the internet, viewing racist rap singer imbeciles rent out sports stadiums to propose to vacuous big breasted sluts on reality cable TV shows, and sitting zombie-like for days with a controller in hand blowing up cities, killing whores, and murdering policemen using their new PS4 on their 65 inch HDTV, rather than gaining a true understanding of the world by reading Steinbeck, Huxley, and Orwell. Technology has reduced our ability to think and increased our ignorance.

“During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.” –Bernard M. Baruch

The youth have one thing going for them. They are still young and can awaken from their self-imposed stupor of ignorance. There are over 80 million millenials between the ages of 8 and 30 years old who need to start questioning the paradigm they are inheriting and critically examining the mendacious actions of their elders. The future of the country is in their hands, so I hope they put down those iGadgets and open their eyes before it is too late. We need many more patriots like Edward Snowden and far fewer twerking sluts like Miley Cyrus if we are to overcome the smog of apathy and ignorance blanketing our once sentient nation.

The ignorance of youth can be chalked up to inexperience, lack of wisdom, and immaturity. There is no excuse for the epic level of ignorance displayed by older generations over the last thirty years. Boomers and Generation X have charted the course of this ship of state for decades. Ship of fools is a more fitting description, as they have stimulated the entitlement mentality that has overwhelmed the fiscal resources of the country. Our welfare/warfare empire, built upon a Himalayan mountain of debt, enabled by a central bank owned by Wall Street, and perpetuated by swarms of corrupt bought off spineless politicians, is the ultimate testament to the seemingly limitless level of ignorance engulfing our civilization. The entitlement mindset permeates our culture from the richest to the poorest. Mega-corporations use their undue influence (bribes disguised as campaign contributions) to elect pliable candidates to office, hire lobbyists to write the laws and tax regulations governing their industries, and collude with the bankers and other titans of industry to harvest maximum profits from the increasingly barren fields of a formerly thriving land of milk and honey. By unleashing a torrent of unbridled greed, ransacking the countryside, and burning down the villages, the ruling class has planted the seeds of their own destruction.
Read more

● James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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