Gongol.com Archives: February 2021

Brian Gongol

February 17, 2021

Weather and Disasters Temperature plunge breaks Houston's water system

The city can't keep up adequate pressure (apparently because the system uses no elevated storage tanks), so everyone's under a boil order. This is a giant water-infrastructure catastrophe in one of America's largest cities. ■ Water service is one of those things people routinely take for granted, but you miss it terribly when it's gone. It can be extremely reliable virtually all of the time for a price -- but there's an additional cost that must be paid if you want to be sure that it is completely reliable all of the time. And the costs involved may come from unexpected places: It's also well worth noting that the essentiality of a particular worker often has nothing to do with their pay grade. The critical path to getting things done often travels through someone who doesn't have much status but holds a particular technical skill. Communities have to invest in both people and equipment if they want total, unreserved, no-exceptions reliability.

News In 2021, a Cheney is far more popular with Democrats than Republicans

Our politics have gone full-tilt monster raving loony

News Popeye's enters the fish-sandwich game

Competition will improve the fast-food fish sandwich. Consumers benefit from variety. But why, pray tell, do we Americans fail to execute on basic fish takeout, mastered long ago by the Irish and English?

Humor and Good News When siblings harmonize

(Video) The moment when talented siblings harmonize is the absolute peak moment for frisson -- the sensation of chills going down your spine. You cannot duplicate the same effect with unrelated singers -- there's just something beyond duplication produced by vocal cords that come from tightly-knit bloodlines. You can hear it when the Wilson sisters nail the harmony in "Alone", or when Klara and Johanna Soderberg do the same in "My Silver Lining".

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