Gongol.com Archives: May 2020

Brian Gongol

May 22, 2020

Business and Finance A problematic tension

Having (1) a giant industry devoted to getting Americans to think of housing as their "biggest household investment" is not easily reconciled with (2) a titanic problem with the widespread affordability of quality housing. It's one of the most important problems in economics. Housing is something like 15% of all household expenditure. Far more for certain households. And yet in many ways we treat it as immutable. Housing is a universal need, and in general, public policy ought to point in the direction of expanding access and reducing the costs of those universal needs.

Threats and Hazards Watch censorship happen

China's authoritarian government wants people within its borders to know nothing about its attack on freedom in Hong Kong. And what is grave trouble for Hong Kong is quite likely to be grave trouble for Taiwan, as well.

Weather and Disasters Is there such a thing as a "weak, brief tornado"?

Yes, and when the National Weather Service calls those out (at least in Tornado Alley), it helps to fill out the other end of the distribution curve from "PDS" events. It communicates to the fairly savvy local audience what degree of severity is involved, in effect buying credibility for future events that are more significant.

Weather and Disasters Excellent time-lapse view of a supercell up-close

(Video) A true supercell storm out on the Plains is one of the most gripping things you can see in life. The storm can be bigger than a mountain, but it's moving -- sometimes towards you. And on the Plains, you can see the whole thing so it consumes your entire field of vision.

Weather and Disasters Astonishing hail

8.5" in diameter

Agriculture A little harvest here...

...and a little planting right behind it.

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