Friday, August 07, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

The quest for smaller, more readable type
got a boost from Protestantism.
Efficient Web Type Begins in the Year 1556 ( How religious persecution led to smaller type, to make smaller Bibles, to make a better Web experience.

U.S. Prosecution of White Collar Crime Hits 20-Year Low ( "Analysis of thousands of records by Syracuse University shows a more than 36% decline in such prosecutions since the middle of the Clinton administration, when the decline first began." An appalling report on the "too big to jail" phenomenon.

Why Italy Is the Country Most Likely to Leave the Euro ( In 16 years, Italy's economy has grown only 4.6%, and as austerity takes root, the core economy shrinks.

In Calais, a Daily Struggle to Stop Immigrants ( The English border effectively begins in France, now, thanks to the chunnel.

Sanders: We Need Medicare for All ( Socialized medicine in the U.S. already covers the most-expensive-to-cover citizens (the elderly and disabled). Maybe it's time to bring in the least-expensive-to-cover citizens, and let the parasitic insurance industry fight over the copays.

One In Eight Americans Burdened By Student Loan Debt, Including 700,000 Seniors ( As a cosigner on my daughter's loans, I'm one of those seniors.

Who is your IT outsourcing firm working for? ( Robert Cringely notes that outsourced IT can be a security risk in itself.

Coffee yields are down.
Is Climate Change Threatening Our Coffee Supply? (

Starvation effects handed down for generations ( Worms starved at birth hand down a toughness that lasts two generations, but it appears similar epigenetic effects may happen in humans as well.

Why 99% of Securities Trading Is Pointless ( "An astonishing $32 trillion in securities changes hands every year with no net positive impact for investors, charges Vanguard Group Founder John Bogle."

Who Benefits from Bailouts? ( Hint: It's not you or I.

Against Sharing ( Drivers say good things about Uber to customers to get higher ratings. In private, what they have to say is just plain ugly.

The U.S. in Recession? The World? ( The Comments to this post are especially useful (though wonkish).

U.S. Corruption versus World Corruption ( An important blog post with an important reminder that legalized corruption is still corruption. Corruption is not some nebulous third-world thing, it's a first-world, every-world thing, and a true crisis, now, for everyone.

California Is Missing About One Year of Rain Since 2012 (

How Will the Fed's Normalization Policy Work? ( A short, happy piece from the St. Louis Fed on how QE will unwind, supposedly over the course of seven years. File under Best Laid Plans.