Sunday, June 18, 2017

The New American Heartland

A 10-Year Education Plan

A Paragraph to Ponder

From TPM Cafe:

"Like most everything with Trump, I think there is a significant element of truth in the causes that he picks up. He is addressing some real grievances. But then the manner in which he addresses them is completely bonkers. So in the case of Germany, I do think Germany is the world’s greatest mercantilist power right now. It used to be China. China’s surplus has gone down in recent years, but Germany’s trade surplus is almost 9 percent of GDP. And they are essentially exporting deflation and unemployment to the rest of the world... it is not a trade problem. It is a macro-economic problem. The solution is to get German consumers to spend more and save less and the German state to spend more and to increase German wages. It is not the trade policies of the US or any other country that is going to be able to address this issue. It is similar to the way Trump has picked up grievances about how trade agreements have operated in the United States. These agreements have created loses, and grievances that have not been addressed, and I think there is a lot of truth to those kind of things, but I don’t think he has any realistic way of dealing with those things."

The Grenfell High-Rise Fire: A Litany of Failures?

Highlights the disfunctional nature and building environment we work in - - The Grenfell High-Rise Fire: A Litany of Failures?

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Paragraph to Ponder

From the Wall Street Journal by Lawrence Haas - a review of Edward Luce's The Retreat of Western Liberalism -

" . . . every single of America's 493 wealthiest counties, almost all of them urban, voted for Hillary Clinton.  The remaining 2,623 counties, most of them suburban or small-town, went for Donald Trump."

Graph of the Week

The Golden Age of Landscape Architects


Monday, June 12, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Paragraph to Ponder

From MIT Technology Review:

"When Lois Seed wakes up in the morning, one of the first things she says is “Alexa, what is the weather?” Seed, who is 89 and has low vision because of macular degeneration, finds it convenient to get weather information by speaking to the Alexa voice-activated assistant on her Amazon Echo. She also asks her Echo to tell her the time and to play classical music from her former hometown radio station.

“Life is more enjoyable [with Alexa],” she says, proving that the recent Saturday Night Live spoof about Alexa and seniors couldn’t be further from the truth."

The Future of Retailing?


Car Code

 
"Twenty years ago, cars had, on average, one million lines of code. The General Motors 2010 Chevrolet Volt had about 10 million lines of code — more than an F-35 fighter jet.
 
Today, an average car has more than 100 million lines of code. Automakers predict it won’t be long before they have 200 million."

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Voting for Trump and Renewables

From the New York Times:
"Two years ago, Kansas repealed a law requiring that 20 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources by 2020, seemingly a step backward on energy in a deeply conservative state.
Yet by the time the law was scrapped, it had become largely irrelevant. Kansas blew past that 20 percent target in 2014, and last year it generated more than 30 percent of its power from wind. The state may be the first in the country to hit 50 percent wind generation in a year or two, unless Iowa gets there first.
Some of the fastest progress on clean energy is occurring in states led by Republican governors and legislators, and states carried by Donald J. Trump in the presidential election.
The five states that get the largest percentage of their power from wind turbines — Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma and North Dakota — all voted for Mr. Trump. So did Texas, which produces the most wind power in absolute terms. In fact, 69 percent of the wind power produced in the country comes from states that Mr. Trump carried in November."

One Reason for Our Infrastructure Woes

From economist Matthew Kahn - - 

"Yes, NYC has an old subway system but that doesn't explain the interesting fact presented in the NY Times today that the C trains are over 53 years old.   Binding budget constraints provide the explanation for why this rich city (that relies on public transit) isn't investing in public capital.  As we document in this NBER Paper,  progressive big cities generously pay unionized public sector workers.   Due to the Buy America Mandate, such cities also pay more than the international price for pieces of capital (read our 2015 JUE paper).  The combination of paying public labor a very high salary and benefits plus high capital purchase costs means that there is little $ left for investing in capital replacement and upgrading.  #budget_contraints_matter"

Should Engineers Study Seussism?

Cyborg Dragonfly

Leaders Make the Future

The Future of Work

Monday, June 5, 2017

Engineering in The World of a Declining Middle


Graph of the Week

A Paragraph to Ponder

From Trucks.com and the path to autonomous trucks - -

"Truck driving is among the deadliest occupations in America, with 745 drivers killed on the job in 2015, the latest year for which there is federal data. Trucking transportation occupations accounted for slightly more than a quarter of all work-related fatalities in 2015, more than any other U.S. job, according to an annual workplace fatality report from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics."

A Story of Flutter