Raves, Rants, Reviews

Is the Jones Act a help or hindrance in confronting China?

06/05/2020. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , .

If China is assumed to be a grave geopolitical threat, is the 100-year-old Jones Act an asset? If the United States and China are on a collision course – be it a Cold War-style confrontation or worse – does the Jones Act leave the United States better prepared or at a disadvantage?

The Jones Act of 1920, introduced by Senator Wesley Jones, is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States, requiring goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned, and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents.

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Does pot make you dumb? Probably a tiny bit.

15/08/2017. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

For years, the image of the silly, spaced-out stoner seemed to embody marijuana use in popular culture. But with new, relaxed marijuana policies becoming law in many states, the picture is changing. High-functioning executives, government officials and even grandparents are openly discussing smoking pot.

Still, the question remains: Does marijuana negatively impact intelligence? Researchers have long disagreed. A new study using many years of data tries to settle the debate.

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Impossible things

07/12/2016. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

– Lewis Carroll, 1872, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

University of Cambridge Open Access making research freely available

11/10/2016. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

The University of Cambridge has received its 10,000th Open Access submission – highlighting its commitment to making research freely available to anybody who wants to access it, without publisher paywalls or expensive journal subscriptions.

The Open Access movement has been growing in strength in academia for many years, and it is increasingly being mandated by funding bodies and government. Read more…

Why we shouldn’t dismiss Bilderberg conspiracies so lightly

14/06/2016. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , .

We live in an age of conspiracies about a world shaped by shadowy plots, secret organisations and deals made behind closed doors. And while they are often viewed as the fictions of sad people wearing anoraks and tin foil hats, they can relate to the real business of global politics. Conspiracy theories surround the likes of TTIP, Davos, the CIA, and this week, the Bilderberg meeting.

Haven’t heard of Bilderberg? That’s because security is very heavy, journalists are not invited, and all participants are forbidden from talking about the discussions. The 2016 took place in the rather pleasant looking Taschenbergpalais in Dresden. Other details, however, are kept under wraps. Read more…

The year of standoffs – 2016

05/01/2016. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , , , , .

2015 paved the way for a year of standoffs in 2016. There just might be a showdown in the patent wars between Apple and Samsung and Microsoft and Kyocera. The EU might draw the final line in the privacy battle with Google and Facebook.

Countries are fighting Big Pharma while the pharmaceutical companies are, at the same time, battling each other over patents. Read more…

Azerbaijan’s Second Satellite and First Bicycle

08/10/2015. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , .

Ever eager to use its underground energy riches to fuel its above-ground ambitions, Azerbaijan has selected an unnamed manufacturer to produce a second satellite. But along with developing a space industry, the South Caucasus country has now forayed into another, far more down-to-earth business, too — producing bicycles. Read more…

What’s gone wrong at HSBC?

03/03/2015. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

As HSBC suffers under the scorching spotlight of public scrutiny once more, it seems fair to ask why the banking group so often finds itself mired in controversy.

The latest revelations from leaked bank files about the tax services offered by HSBC’s Swiss private banking subsidiary have caused shockwaves. Its former and current leadership have faced intense pressure and Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has floated the possibility of new penalties for bankers and accountants who are found to have navigated routes along and beyond the edge of legality as they seek to cut clients’ tax bills. Read more…

How to find WDMs in Crimea

06/03/2014. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: .

Let’s not beat about the bush. The Crimea crisis is serious. Billions of dollars are at stake: the control of gas and oil pipe lines and the heads up on oil and electricity futures.

Fighting for control over the flow of money is, however, a battle that is played in the secrecy of bank boardrooms. The public face of it is found in batons and bullets. So, the question is, in order to take control of the money paths that run through the Crimea, how does one start another dirty little war? 

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Something beautiful for today

26/02/2014. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , .

Spend just a moment a day to stand still and have a good look around you. There are so many amazing things in life. Anything from great gadgets and stunning architecture to ever-intriguing animals.

Spend a moment whatever the weather. Snowing right now? No two snowflakes are alike (due to the estimated 10 quintillion water molecules which make up a snowflake). Even so, as they say, if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it. Look for something nice today. Something beautiful.

You can even google for something beautiful. Think about anything – just add the word “beautiful.” Such as beautiful car, beautiful house or beautiful animal.  Read more…

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