Day: February 22, 2023

An Alaskan Sojourn

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

You might have noticed that it has been very quiet around here! Well, I went for a short trip to Alaska to take in the brutally cold winter weather, and take some photos. I had originally planned on visiting Alaska at the end of 2022, but the universe conspired against my plans. 

Alaska is one of my favorite places in America, and had I discovered it in my younger days, I probably would have made it home. Its vast emptiness, extreme nature, and, most importantly, its landscapes speak to me deeply and emotionally. It allows my inner introvert to exist without interference from the outside world. I have returned, replenished, my mind and soul in sync. I suppose I like it because, like all grand places, it reduces us humans to our true context when juxtaposed against the vastness and timeliness of the planet that’s home. 

Winter in Alaska is particularly alluring — the vast landscape is buried under snow and ice, giving it a surreal monotone feel. The trees, laden with pillows of snow, appear as lines etched on many shades of white. It didn’t matter if it was snowing. It didn’t matter if it was blowing a gale. It goes without saying, winter in Alaska is an amazing experience. 

I am not much of a wildlife photographer, but I enjoy spotting moose against the white snow. Moose in Alaska are bigger than any I have seen in Wyoming. It was also surreal to see a wolf protecting its (Read more...)

How It All Works

This post is by Collab Fund from Collab Fund

A few short stories whose lessons apply to many things:

Author R.L. Stine is one of the bestselling authors of all time. His Goosebumps series of scary kids books have sold over 400 million copies.

But horror wasn’t his first act. Stine spent the first two decades of his career writing kids’ joke books.

Scaring people, he discovered, is easier than making them laugh.

“Everyone has a different sense of humor, but we all have the same fears,” he said. “Kids are all afraid of the dark, afraid of being lost, afraid of being in a new place. Those fears never change.”

Everyone has different tastes, but emotions – especially fear and greed – tend to be universal.

Physical attractiveness is something everybody intuitively understands but struggles to put into words. What makes an attractive face? It’s hard to describe. You just know one when you see one.

Several studies have tried to crack the code, the most fascinating of which I think is the idea that average faces tend to be the most appealing.

Take 1,000 people and have a software program generate the average of their faces – an artificial face with the average cheekbone height, average distance between eyes, average lip fullness, etc. That image, across cultures, tends to be the one people are most likely to judge as the most attractive.

One evolutionary explanation is that non-average characteristics have the potential to be above-average risks to reproduction. They may or may not actually impact reproductive fitness, (Read more...)

Consumer Price Inflation, by Type of Good or Service (2000-2022)

This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist

Chart shows CPI price inflation since 2000

Consumer Price Inflation, by Type of Good or Service (2000-2022)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) provides a steady indication of how inflation is affecting the economy. This big picture number is useful for policymakers and professionals in the financial sector, but most people experience inflation at the cash register or checkout screen.

Since the start of the 21st century, U.S. consumers have seen a divergence of price movements across various categories. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on this chart concept thought up by AEI’s Mark J. Perry. It’s sometimes referred to as the “chart of the century” because it provides such a clear and impactful jump-off point to discuss a number of economic forces.

The punchline is that many consumer goods—particularly those that were easily outsourced—saw price drops, while key “non-tradable” categories saw massive increases. We’ll look at both situations in more detail below.

Race to the Top: Inflation in Healthcare and Education

Since the beginning of this century, two types of essential categories have been marching steadily upward in price: healthcare and education.

America has a well documented “medical inflation” issue. There are a number of reasons why costs in the healthcare sector keep rising, including rising labor costs, an aging population, better technology, and medical tourism. The pricing of pharmaceutical products and hospital services are also a major contributor to increases. As Barry Ritholtz has diplomatically stated, “market forces don’t work very well in this industry”.

Rising medical costs have serious consequences for the U.S. population. (Read more...)

VC pace is picking up, messy earnings results, and Startup Tip of the Week: How startups land…

This post is by MPD from @MPD - Medium

VC pace is picking up, messy earnings results, and Startup Tip of the Week: How startups land partnerships Part 2

Here’s what’s covered on this week’s pod:

  • Startup Tip of the Week: How startups land partnerships Part 2
  • Messy corporate earnings results
  • Is the January bump in the economy the start of a trend?
  • A lack of mega rounds
  • The aftermath of January’s job data


Listen via your preferred platform here.


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More SoCal Weather

 We're having quite a year.

Blizzard warning issued for SoCal mountains, with snow also expected at unusually low elevations

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A storm expected to be the coldest of the season is blowing into Southern California, bringing chilly rain and snow at low elevations.

The snow is expected to fall as low as 1,000 to 1,500 feet, meaning areas like Santa Clarita and lower-lying areas of the Inland Empire will see a rare coat of powder.

And at higher elevations, the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning starting Friday morning for the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The service predicts from 2 to 5 feet of snow could accumulate in the mountains above 4,000 feet, falling even as heavy winds gust up to 75 mph.

Below that, at elevations of 2,000 to 4,000 feet, about 6-12 inches of snow are expected.

Visibility at that time is expected to be very low and travel is not advised through those areas. The blizzard warning is in effect from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Passes like the Grapevine [I-5 from LA to the Central Valley and the Bay Area. -- MP] and the Cajon Pass are likely to also see dangerous driving conditions. Drivers are advised to bring chains and a full tank of gas and be prepared for difficult weather and road closures.

"They're expecting snow to drop as low as 1,000 feet," said Mark Bishoff with Caltrans. "The top of the Grapevine is (Read more...)