Nota Bene #90: Monkey Business

“One reads such links, and what can one say but— Continue reading

Sound (magical) financial advice

by Terry Hargrove

When it comes to managing money, some people have lawyers, some have accountants, and some have financial advisors. Me? I have a money fairy.

The money fairy came to me in 1986. I was at a yard sale in Tennessee, and stumbled upon a plastic egg that was marked at $5. That seemed a little stiff, but when I shook it, something rattled inside (an original Constitution maybe?) so I gave the seller five dollars, and she gladly handed over the egg, then took off at a flat sprint. Later that day, when I finally got the egg open, the money fairy came out. Continue reading

20 million years of CO2 and ice sheet/sea level correlation

iceageWhen you look at the ice core record, there’s a significant amount of correlation between sea level rise and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air at the time. But the ice core record goes back less than a million years. A study published a couple of weeks ago in the journal Science measured proxy data for CO2 concentration in the ocean and compared that data to other data on the stability of ice sheets. The authors discovered that there is strong correlation between the two going back at least 20 million years.

One of the challenges that the authors had was the fact that few available previous studies didn’t show correlation between the amount of CO2 in the air and the global climate prior to the start of ice core data. The authors hypothesized that this was a problem with the other datasets and developed a set of tests to check their hypothesis. Continue reading

Newspaper circulation falls again: Expect more cuts

If you were a newspaper subscriber last year, there’s a 10 percent chance you aren’t this year.

That’s because paid circulation of daily newspapers nationally fell more than 10 percent from a year ago. Some papers suffered truly horrendous daily circulation losses: the San Francisco Chronicle (down 25.8 percent), The Boston Globe (down 18.5 percent) and The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger (down 22.2 percent), reports Rick Edmonds on his Poynter Biz Blog. USA Today, hit by a slump in travel, fell nearly 18 percent. The circulation of 400 daily newspapers has fallen to only 30 million readers.

This hemorrhaging of circulation — the worst ever — will have serious consequences. Expect newspaper staffs, already slashed below the minimum necessary to adequately cover their turf, to be cut further. Expect more shallow, one-source stories. Expect more stories laden with anonymous sources because the poorly paid, younger, inexperienced reporters left on staff won’t have the skill to persuade sources to speak on the record. Expect more wire-service content because local stories won’t get done. Expect corporate newspaper management to continue to stall on finding a business model that enhances the public-service mission of journalism. Expect more style than substance.

Just expect less of what good newspapers used to be. Continue reading

The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson

by Dawn Farmer

The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson
by Chris Mackowski* and Kristopher D. White
Thomas Publications

*S&R’s very own Chris Mackowski

Reading The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson is like poring over a treasure chest of family relics as a wise uncle explains the contents. The wise uncles are the authors Chris and Kristopher. These two historians and writers have taken an amazing number of primary and secondary sources and woven a fascinating tale of the last week in the life of Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, accidentally shot by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. They report documented events with insights and an obvious love and respect for the topic. Continue reading