06 August 2017

Hiroshima & Nagasaki ~ Atomic Armageddon...

The first use of the A-Bomb as weapon of mass destruction happened today, August 6th, 1945 over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Days later, second use over Nagasaki. Hundred thousand-plus civilians slaughtered, both directly and slowly, agonizingly by the wasting effect of burns and radiation. It was atomic-powered urban armageddon. Here's remarkable footage shot soon after both blasts...

05 August 2017

Reason & Riches ~ Beyond Religion's Dominance

Thanks to Christopher Kissane at the Guardian for reviewing Jared Rubin's Rulers, Religion and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not...
"By getting “religion out of politics”, Europe made space at the political “bargaining table” for economic interests, creating a virtuous cycle of “pro-growth” policy-making. Islamic rulers, by contrast, continued to rely on religious legitimation and economic interests were mostly excluded from politics, leading to governance that focused on the narrow interests of sultans, and the conservative religious and military elites who backed them."

01 August 2017

Power Barges ~ Flexible Floating Infrastructure

Thanks to gCaptain for spotting an improved Power Barge system...
"A new modular medium speed engine power barge design [...] This radiator-cooled modular power barge design permits the same hull to be utilized with a range of power outputs from 80 MW to 180 MW. [...] The new design is presently being modified for dual fuel and natural gas operations to suit combined operations with LNG […] and combined cycle systems for specific market opportunities."
Power barges are the fastest way to ramp up electricity (and cogen + water desal) infrastructure in coastal or navigable river areas. By floating in and being modular, they can be incrementally added to (with more barges) or floated out and moved to new or better location (and/or refurbished). See also my previous posts on this topic! http://gcaptain.com/power-barge-corporation-announces-new-medium-speed-engine-power-barge-design/

24 June 2017

Global Urban Footprint ~ Hi-Rez Auto-mapping...

TR spots Global Urban Footprint Revealed in Unprecedented Resolution...
"What’s needed is a way of mapping urban areas from space at high resolution and in a way that is unaffected by cloud cover and without the ambiguities that traditional imaging introduces. [Now revealed is] a global map of urbanization that meets all these requirements. The result is a data set of the entire planet at a resolution of 12 meters that maps the global urban footprint with unprecedented accuracy and resolution. [...] Esch and co have created a global database of built-up areas based on synthetic aperture radar images from an Earth-orbiting mission called TanDEM-X. This consists of a pair of spacecraft that have been orbiting Earth in close formation -- just a few hundred meters apart -- since 2007. These spacecraft take radar images of the ground from slightly different angles, allowing researchers to create a 3-D map of the planet. In total, Esch and co have processed 470,000 pairs of images to create their map of the entire planet."

17 June 2017

R.I.P. Ootje Oxenaar ~ Designed NL Banknotes...

Sad to hear that Ootje Oxenaar, the graphic designer of beautiful Dutch money and RISD instructor, has passed away at 87. I particularly liked his Sunflower design for the 50 Guilder note, which was NL orange plus harkened to Van Gogh and was a complete contrast to monolithic American currency at the time... 24Oranges spotted this self retrospective video by Oxenaar...

15 June 2017

Global Incomes ~ Distribution Change over Time...

Thanks to Daniel Mitchell from International Liberty for spotlighting a great chart by Professor Max Roser of Oxford using Gapminder data showing the distribution of income globally at key point in recent history...
"There are three takeaways from this data. The first conclusion [...] is that the world is getting richer. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. That’s wonderful news. The second conclusion, as seen by the red section of the chart, is that a modest bit of reform in India and China has paid big dividends (and, given the success of Indian-Americans and Chinese-Americans, I imagine those nations could become much richer with additional market-friendly reform). But I want to focus today on a third conclusion, which is that pro-growth policies are the best way to help the poor, not redistribution driven by a fixation on inequality."

10 June 2017

Wealth & World-Class ~ Universities & Growth...

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/these-two-maps-will-change-how-you-think-about-the-worlds-best-universities?utm_content=buffer0162c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer Thanks to a WEForum post for spotting infographics created for Times Higher Education by Ben Hennig, an associate professor at the University of Iceland, which spotlight the relationship between wealth and world-class universities...
"What are the essential ingredients needed to make a world-class university? [...] The answer always involves a discussion of the importance of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, and a recognition of the crucial fact that without great people, there can be no great university. But one element is undeniably more important than any other: cold, hard cash. [...] You can’t create the appropriate research facilities, or provide the appropriate teaching environment, without money -- but most importantly, you can’t attract and retain the required talent in a highly competitive global recruitment market without the resources to pay attractive salaries."

22 May 2017

Canals ~ Early Disruptive & -ted Infrastructure!

Bill Warner spotlights how Before the Internet, There Was the Middlesex Canal...
"When you take a look at the history of the Middlesex Canal, built from 1794 to 1802, you’ll find a surprising similarity between the issues facing technology investors today, with those over 200 years ago. [...] The technology of moving goods at great scale and at low cost started with the Middlesex Canal. Then the railroads took over. Now containerization [...] Like all technology change, those in control of the current technology fight hard to hold on [...] But the march of technology is relentless when new approaches cut costs and increase speed."
https://medium.com/@billwarner/before-the-internet-there-was-the-middlesex-canal-cb853cc80891 Be especially sure as you read Bill's story to check out his MapJunction tool to visualize the historic pathway overlaid over contemporary photo-map!

09 May 2017

R.I.P. Peter Spier ~ Epic Dutch Inspiring Illustrator

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/books/peter-spier-dead-childrens-book-author.html?_r=0Richard Sandomir in the NYTimes shares the sad news that inspirational illustrator Peter Spier has passed away at 89 from congestive heart failure. My very earliest favorite book -- i.e. when I was a toddler and my parents read to me -- was about Hendrika the Cow Who Fell in the Canal but as a teen I really spent endless hours on Of Dikes and Windmills. Amazing stuff about Dutch history, epic civil engineering, and the power of nature!

25 April 2017

Making of Metropolis ~ Silent-Era Urban SF Epic!

The Making of Metropolis -- and its painstaking restoration story! Incredible special effects! Changing our futurevision!

15 April 2017

R.I.P. Eugene Lang ~ Financed "Dream" Tuition!

James Hagerty in the WSJ writes of Eugene Lang's passing at 98 and his spontaneous philanthropic promise at a Harlem elementary school graduation to underwrite college tuition for all who finished high school. This begat the "I Have A Dream" Foundation which to-date has supported thousands of collegiates. R.I.P.

04 March 2017

R.I.P. Paul Kangas ~ "The Best of Good Buys!"

Alas, Paul Kangas, the Walter Cronkite of business broadcasting has passed away. He started the broadcasting of business info. Indeed, others, like CNBC, “all started mimicking us.” “But as my wife, who is an artist, says,” he added, “the original is always the best.” I personally loved his panache and his epic and memorable signature signoff...
“Wishing all of you the best of good buys”

25 February 2017

Global Pie ~ $74T Economy in One Chart...

Jeff Desjardins at Visual Capitalist shares The $74 Trillion Global Economy in One Chart...
"The full circle, known as a Voronoi Diagram, represents the entirety of the $74 trillion global economy in nominal terms. Meanwhile, each country’s segment is sized accordingly to their percentage of global GDP output. Continents are also grouped together and sorted by color."
http://www.visualcapitalist.com/74-trillion-global-economy-one-chart/ P.S. The actual graphing was done by HowMuch.net