Saturday, December 20, 2014

Weekend Before Christmas Links

If, unlike me, you have your shopping done, you can sit back and enjoy these stories:

An honest game - SBNation.  Life in NAIA football, where players get paid, but only because they aren't able to make it in the big-time.

The Ice Breaker: Can P.K. Subban win over hockey's stoic traditionalists? - The New Yorker.  One of the rarest figures in sports, the black hockey star.

Finding the Cleveland Misery Tipping Point - Bill Simmons.  One thing that makes me smile is how miserable Cleveland fans are.

The Vatican Has a Farm, and Pope Francis Is Going to Open It Up To the Public - Takepart

In Final Spending Bill, Salty Foods and Belching Cows Are Winners - New York Times.  Feeding farmer paranoia about EPA.

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold - The Salt.

The secret world of - BBC.  Some strange beer facts, like this:
Knowing that yeast is ubiquitous and that there are thousands of strains, others have taken to novel approaches for harvesting wild yeast from the environment. A US company called Rogue Ales brews one of its beers using yeast cultivated from the beard of the chief brewer.
Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Gulf of Maine - New York Times. This is the kind of climate change impact I fear for Midwestern agriculture.

The largest vessel the world has ever seen - BBC

How Lithium Ion Batteries Grounded the Dreamliner - Scientific American

Bertha, The Giant Borer That Broke, Might Be Sinking Seattle's Downtown - Morning Edition.  Makes the problems in Columbus look pretty minor.

How Long Can the U.S. Oil Boom Last? - National Geographic.  Not nearly as long as the optimists (bullshit artists) claim, but probably longer than I'd figure.

Tough choices amid church mergers - Wall Street Journal.  The challenges facing a Roman Catholic Church with more buildings than they can staff with priests.

Bleeding the IRS Will Make the Tax System Worse - Norm Ornstein.  That's what the saboteurs in the Republican Party want.  They are all for dysfunctional government.  Putting the GOP in power is like making an arsonist the fire chief.

The Greatest Lawyer Who Ever Lived - Texas Monthly

A Self-Made Heiress - Fortune.  The woman who inherited Heineken.  It is a pretty crazy story.

The Unidentified Queen of Torture - The New Yorker.  Only in America. 

Our Favorite Maps of the Year Cover Everything From Bayous to Bullet Trains - Wired.  My favorite:

This map, published this year in Nature, was made by a team of scientists, geographers, and planners who want to see new roads built where they'll do the least environmental harm and the most economic good. Green areas indicate environmental sensitivity, red areas indicate economic potential---the black areas where they meet are sites of potential conflict. William Laurance et al., Nature 
The Chernozem belt covering the Ukraine and Western Russia is amazing.

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