Gongol.com Archives: March 2010
Brian Gongol

March 16, 2010

Threats and Hazards The future of the Federal deficit
Every annual deficit lumps more on top of the already huge Federal debt. For a real scare, take a look at how the Medicare/Medicaid portion of the spending side of things grows steadily and painfully from now on. Getting our deficits under control and paying down the ($12.6 trillion) national debt are matters of national security.

Computers and the Internet What you and the rest of the world are really doing online
The BBC offers an interactive infographic illustrating where people from the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, and Australia are spending the most time online, and it offers some interesting insights. Search and portal sites (e-mail services, mainly) serve up the biggest single block of traffic, by far. But there's also a surprisingly large volume of traffic to Microsoft outside of its search and e-mail services -- more than either YouTube or Facebook get in their own respective dominions. And in what should be a warning to Facebook, the old titan (MySpace) is nowhere to be found. Social networks are fickle things and giants there are likely to fall. Related: The South Korean government is training 4,000 counselors to treat "Internet addiction".

Health Could a redesigned hospital "crash cart" save lives?

Iowa New owners might close the Terra offices in Sioux City
Little-known to central and eastern Iowans, Terra Industries is #704 on the Fortune 1000 and one of the biggest companies in the state. It's announced a plan to merge with CF Industries, and that could very well lead to a closure of the Terra headquarters in Sioux City -- and if not a closure, most likely at least a reduction. It's the result of a less-than-friendly takeover, so some outcome with fewer people and less control from Sioux City is pretty likely. That would make the second major blow to the Sioux City economy of late, following the announcement that the John Morrell meatpacking plant is closing in April. In 1920, Sioux City was larger than Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas -- each much larger than Sioux City today -- and it was about the same size as Tulsa. Des Moines at the same time was bigger than Nashville, Fort Worth, or El Paso, and about the same size as Houston. The future of Sioux City in 2020 looks far less bright, which is deeply unfortunate, both for the community and for the state.

Science and Technology How little we know about what lives under the sea

Water News Why public utilities should consider raising their rates just a little bit every year

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