I was talking with my mother-in-law in 2012, getting her to reminisce about some of her past homes when she mentioned a house in St. Louis in the late 1950s that had a hanging refrigerator. Stop, back up, “let’s talk some more about this refrigerator, Mom.” Yes, she says, it was as neat as it sounds but it had a worrisome habit of not working all of the time. This came with the added complication of having to be removed from the wall to be repaired. We’ll file this under the category of good in concept, bad in execution. She was most likely describing the GE wall-mounted refrigerator.
The Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith sheds light on how politicians get and keep power. In a nutshell, the most important thing to a politician is not the welfare of the citizenry, but the welfare of the politician’s winning coalition. Keep the coalition happy by lavishing rewards on them and the politician will stay in power.
It’s relatively easy to make yogurt at home without any special tools. After getting a brief demonstration from my uncle, I decided to give it a shot. Although my uncle uses an Instant Pot to incubate the yogurt, I had success with a 1 gallon insulated Coleman jug. The insulated jug is definitely the cheapest way to proceed and for now I don’t see a need to buy a special appliance.
Continue reading It’s easy to make homemade yogurt
The new header image was shot at the Belle Chevre Cheese Shop and Tasting Room in Elkmont, Alabama. The shop was dog friendly and offered sandwiches, goat cheese and hand made fig ice cream.
The shop sits along the Richard Martin Trail. If you start your hike south or north of town you can stop at the tasting room for lunch before heading back to your car.
In Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud author Elizabeth Greenwood recounts several stories of individuals attempting, with varying results, to fake their own deaths. As it turns out, it’s a hard thing to do successfully and there are many ways in which such attempts frequently fail.
(Hint: If you want to fake your death, pass on drowning. Bodies are almost always recovered and it’s suspicious when they’re not.)
There are some interesting facts in the book about death fraud but, unfortunately, not enough to fill even this short, 246 page book. The author fluffs out the narrative with too many stories about how and where she met her sources. The book would have been better presented as a series of magazine articles.
There’s a wonderful interview in The New York Times with pioneering photographer William Eggleston. He is refreshingly blunt and unendingly confident. Continue reading William Eggleston is a genius, he agrees
Norwegian Cruise Line has sent out an announcement to booked passengers on it ships telling them to leave fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 cellphones behind. Continue reading Norwegian Cruise Line bans Galaxy Note 7 from its ships
The new cover image for the home page is a tour helicopter flying down the coast at Panama City Beach, Florida. August, 2016.
Allowing ride sharing in a city likely reduces the number of DUIs, fatal accidents and arrests for assault. But automobile thefts go up, presumably of cars left at bars overnight by Uber customers.
Using a unique panel of over 150 cities and counties from 2010 through 2013, we investigate whether the introduction of the ride-sharing service, Uber, is associated with changes in fatal vehicle crashes and crime. We find that Uber’s entry lowers the rate of DUIs and fatal accidents. For most specifications, we also find declines in arrests for assault and disorderly conduct. Conversely, we observe an increase in vehicle thefts.
— Ride-Sharing, Fatal Crashes, and Crime by Angela K. Dills and Sean E. Mulholland
Starbucks Corp. [has] $1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks cards and the Starbucks mobile app as of the first quarter of 2016, according to the data. This money can be used to purchase items including drinks, food and other merchandise.
That is more money than many banks have in deposits.