Runyon·esque — (rny-nsk) adj.

Reminiscent of Damon Runyon (1880–1946), the American newspaperman and writer known for his stylized, idiomatic stories about Broadway and the New York underworld, such as “Guys and Dolls” (1931).

Out There On Saturday

Ant mega-colony takes over world.

“However, the irony is that it is us who likely created the ant mega-colony by initially transporting the insects around the world,”

Water that used to hold down land masses in California is now being lost, so some parts of the state’s mountains are being uplifted by a surprising amount

Islamic State threatens to destroy world’s largest Buddhist temple.

August 2014

The debtor’s prison effect on Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson is a city located in northern St. Louis County with 21,203 residents living in 8,192 households. The majority (67%) of residents are African-American of residents live below the poverty level.
Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants,and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.

Tabarrok: You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant,low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.

visualizations of how our world’s changed, by @maxcroser 

Yobeat gold

Screenshot 2014-06-26 03.07.36

Hats off to my friends Jesse and Andy,

who along with the crew of Ora.TV have produced a fine program featuring Mr. William Shatner. The first episode just went live, and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. Introducing Brown Bag Wine Tasting.

Good ones

Congrats to my friend Shanan and his associates on this incredible project just completed.

A machine-compiled macroevolutionary history of Phanerozoic life
This is my unscientific understanding of what they did: Much about the world and the life that inhabits it comes from paleontological data collected by guys like Shanan. But this data is locked away in different scientific reports, tables, graphs, and whatever else researchers can pack it into. In order develop well-founded theories about our world, it is critical to compare as much relevant data as possible. Shanan and his team made a super computer thing that spotlights data locked away in various sources and synthesizes it with other relevant data. AMAZING.

June 11

Opium tragedy hits children. In Afghanistan’s mountainous Badakhshan region, 5,000 children are addicted to opiates because their mothers give them the drug to treat them when they are sick or to help them get to sleep.
Real estate pushes out the dead. The last traditional graveyard of the Hakka people in Singapore, Yin Foh Kuan Cemetery, is to be dug up to make way for urban and commercial development.
A government ban has forced the Ol Pejeta conservancy, one of Kenya’s largest game reserves, to halt its plans to use drones to monitor its seven northern white rhinos – the last in the world.
Rage Against FIFA. “FIFA is the 1% of the global 1%, the apple of Thomas Piketty’s ire. And for a non-profit organization, it sure is a profitable one: the Zurich-based group stands to rake in $4.5bnfrom this World Cup alone, far above its initial expectations. And with Brazil preparing to host the 2016 Olympic Games, we can’t let FIFA set an example for sports extravaganzas turned into loathsome economic and social disasters.â€
Cheat like a pro. In light of the upcoming Gaokao, China’s notoriously difficult college entrance exam, pics have surfaced of confiscated Chinese test-cheating equipment that looks like it was taken straight from the KGB.
Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK
How to drive through all 48 of the contiguous United States in 113 hours.
California teacher tenure and seniority system is struck down.


SF art