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"appointed to his spot by every single president since Nixon."

In 1973, a small think-tank with the mandate of anticipating and preparing for future threats was formed inside the DoD, called the Office of Net Assessment. A RAND corp strategist named Andrew Marshall was placed at its head. Forty years later, he's still at it and has survived the latest round of budget cuts - for now. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 9, 2013 - 18 comments

In case of emergency please contact the Senate Appropriations Committee

This week the US government began furloughs of over half a million employees, reducing their pay and work hours by 20%. Members of a corresponding Facebook group who will be out of work one day a week had some ideas regarding how to set up out-of-office email auto-replies.
posted by exogenous on Jul 8, 2013 - 72 comments

"Used to be that the idea was 'once every two years voters elected their representatives.' And now instead it's 'every ten years the representatives choose their constituents.'"

Obama won Ohio by two points, and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won by five, but Democrats emerged with just four of Ohio’s 16 House seats. In Wisconsin, Obama prevailed by seven points, and Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin by five, but their party finished with just three of the state’s eight House seats. In Virginia, Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine were clear victors, but Democrats won just three of the commonwealth’s 11 House seats. In Florida, Obama eked out a victory and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson won by 13 points, but Democrats will hold only 10 of the Sunshine State’s 27 House seats. The Revenge of 2010: How gerrymandering saved the congressional Republican majority, undermined Obama's mandate, set the terms of the sequestration fight, and locked Democrats out of the House for the next decade. It's not a new problem. But if the Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act, it could get a whole lot worse. And the electoral college may be next. (What's gerrymandering, you ask? Let the animals explain. Meet the Gerry-mander. Peruse the abused. Catch the movie. Or just play the game. Previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 14, 2012 - 137 comments

Are dead-tree magazines good or bad for the climate?

"So by this analysis dead-tree magazines have a smaller net carbon footprint than web media. We cut down trees and put them in the ground. From a climate change perspective, this is a good thing" explains Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine's editor-in-chief. While some decry this type of carbon footprint accounting as "cheating", the paper industry has lately been eager to convince the public that they are carbon-neutral.
posted by finite on Dec 29, 2007 - 36 comments

Filtering our air

The University of Columbias Earth Institute has successfully demonstrated carbon dioxide air capturing. As to what could be done with the carbon dioxide after, the IPCC has some ideas (pdf). Unfortunately they don't state how much energy these machines consume or how expensive (toxic, etc.) their prodction is going to be.
posted by Glow Bucket on Apr 26, 2007 - 38 comments

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