Gongol.com Archives: 2015 Weekly Archives

Brian Gongol

October 29, 2015

The United States of America Rep. Paul Ryan is elected Speaker of the House
Ryan and Chief Justice John Roberts get a lot of flak from elements of the "conservative" movement -- but they are two of the sharpest center-right minds in America, and we're lucky to have them both in high office

Business and Finance Malaysia's slow drift away from English has hurt its economy

News The latest slang, interpreted

Humor and Good News Linguist says Australian accent comes from early settlers being drunk

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October 28, 2015

Business and Finance Michael Bloomberg editorial: Bad schools are a bigger long-term threat than terrorism
While dramatic, it's probably true. We badly need to find ways to improve career and technical training opportunities -- one of the worst things a country can develop is a persistent, low-skill, low-income underclass. It just doesn't work out in the end.

Agriculture Cash flow is becoming a problem for Midwestern farmers
As go the farmers, so goes a lot of the small-town economy. This is not a good sign.

Threats and Hazards Casey's finds credit-card skimmers mounted to gas pumps
The incident shows that not even the Midwest is safe from crooks

Humor and Good News Phil Collins is going back to the recording studio

Business and Finance Tough times for Norway's sovereign-wealth fund
Getting things right with a natural-resources bounty is very, very hard. Norway has done better than average -- maybe better than most -- but they're still not bulletproof.

News One-paragraph book review: "The Herbert Hoover Story"

October 27, 2015

Computers and the Internet Yahoo turns back to Google for search help

Business and Finance Honda hits brakes on plant expansion in China
An $822 million plant will go on hold because the company is worried about a decline in demand growth

Humor and Good News Out-of-control orchestra dads
The CBC's very funny satirical program "This is That" spins a tale of a parent who brings varsity-sport-parent intensity to his kid's orchestra rehearsals

News What happens to people who die alone in New York City
It's a big city with a lot of isolated people

Business and Finance China's ways of manipulating the currency

October 26, 2015

Computers and the Internet Google is betting on "machine learning"/artificial intelligence
Even a company that is "native digital" -- computer-based from its very founding -- is looking for new ways to have machines do the work so that they don't have to hire people to do it

News US Navy to China: Those aren't real islands. Your territorial claims are denied.
Turning reefs into artificial islands is just a naked ploy to claim large amounts of open sea. This isn't building up contiguous ground via landfill (like Manhattan) or draining low-lying areas (like Holland). It's really not that far from sinking an oil-drilling platform somewhere and claiming that it's sovereign territory with rights to a surrounding nautical boundary.

Business and Finance Why Omaha didn't stand a chance at salvaging ConAgra
Perhaps illustrative of the need for communities to focus on always leveling the playing field for the little firms that may organically grow into the big shots -- instead of trying desperately to kowtow to the big guns

News The worst thing in America? Donald Trump, say Latinas.

Weather and Disasters Big earthquake hits Afghanistan