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MELVINS @ Liberty Lunch Austin, TX 1997 (part 4)
MELVINS live 7/29/97 @ Liberty Lunch in Austin, TX King Buzzo, Dale Crover Mark D opening for Helmet's final tour back in the summer of 1997. Here's the set list: Part 1: Boris,…

By: Tony Clifton

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MELVINS @ Liberty Lunch Austin, TX 1997 (part 4) – Video

Freedom camping bylaws in Marlborough are set to change, but not before another summer with the visitors.

Feedback from the public is likely to result in changes to Marlborough’s freedom camping bylaw, but not in time for the upcoming summer season.

Marlborough District Council reserves and amenities manager Rosie Bartlett said the council had received 161 submissions regarding the bylaw, which indicated there was a need for change within the region.

Such a change would take time, she said.

The bylaw came into effect in 2012 and meant freedom campers were able to camp anywhere in the district except banned areas.

Koromiko resident Jessie Somerville said she would be advocating for changes to the bylaw, after a build up of people setting up camp in her neighbourhood, near the Collins Memorial Reserve, on the corner of State Highway 1 and Freeths Rd.

She was not against freedom camping, but preferred to see designated areas for campers, which were away from built-up areas.

“[They should be] in remote areas where there’s no other alternative, [at the moment] they really are just taking money off people they should be supporting.”

The council was taking business away from Picton campgrounds, motels, bars and restaurants, by having a free camping spot just minutes from the town, Somerville said.

The Koromiko reserve had a toilet block, which meant camping vehicles did not have to be self-contained to stop there.

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Change likely for freedom camping bylaw



Ionian Islands – Summer 2014
Music: SUMMER – Calvin Harris.

By: Pierre Kerdoncuff

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Ionian Islands – Summer 2014 – Video

The double Irish scheme allows firms to reduce real taxation bills well below Irelands already low 12.5pc corporation tax rate, breaks that are deeply resented in higher tax eurozone countries such as France.

Under the scheme, an Irish operating company pays fees for intellectual property to a second, related Irish company, which benefits from tax residence outside Ireland.

Companies are then able to exploit different residence rules in US and Irish taxation codes, allowing American companies to move profits into tax havens like Bermuda.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the double Irish scheme resulted in implicit tax rates as low as 2.2pc for some of the worlds biggest corporations that are also major job providers in Ireland.

This summer, the commission began legal proceedings over Irish tax breaks given to Apple, which led to the US technology giant having to pay back billions of dollars.

EU moves to close down the low Irish corporate tax regime are controversial in Ireland because foreign investment is credited with helping the country emerge relatively unscathed from a eurozone bailouts programme, unlike Portugal, Greece or Cyprus.

Under pressure, Mr Noonan is considering closing the arrangement to new entrants from next year is wary of being seen to bow to Brussels because of lingering public hostility to eurozone austerity measures imposed by the EU.

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Brussels puts pressure on Dublin to close tax loopholes



Keeping Sunshine Coast Beaches Safe
How Sunshine Coast Lifeguards are keeping the beaches safe this summer.

By: Bridget Bellars

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Keeping Sunshine Coast Beaches Safe – Video

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Top Silicon Valley execs have warned that the NSA’s continued surveillance of innocent people will rupture the internet which is bad news for business.

Oh, and bad news for hundreds of thousands of workers, and America’s moral authority, too.

The suits were speaking at a roundtable organized by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday. Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt and John Lilly, a partner at venerable VC firm Greylock Partners, were on the panel, along with Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith and his counterpart at Facebook, Colin Stretch, and Dropbox, Ramsey Homsany.

“It is time to end the digital dragnet, which harms American liberty and the American economy without making the country safer. The US government should stop requiring American companies to participate in the suspicionless collection of their customers data, and begin the process of rebuilding trust both at home and abroad,” said Senator Wyden.

“The United States here in Silicon Valley, up in the Silicon Forest of the State of Oregon that I am so proud to represent, and in tech campuses and garage start-ups across the country has the best technologies and the best ideas to drive high-tech innovation. It is policy malpractice to squander that capital for no clear security gain.”

The assembled speakers echoed Wyden’s sentiments, and agreed that unless the US government reined in its intelligence agencies, American business would suffer badly.

“The simplest outcome [of NSA spying] is that we end up breaking the internet,” Google’s Schmidt said.

“What’s going to happen is that governments will bring in bad laws and say ‘we want our own internet and we dont want to work with others.’ The cost of that is huge to knowledge and science, and has huge implications.”

Schmidt said he had spent the summer in Germany talking to, among others, Chancellor Angela Merkel. She had told him of her youth growing up in East Germany and said that the knowledge that the NSA were listening to her calls to her mother reminded her of chilling Cold War surveillance.

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NSA spying will shatter the internet, Silicon Valley bosses warn

VANDENBERG VILLAGE, CALIF. –

After a 72-hour shutdown, Surf, Wall, and Minuteman beaches have reopened. This comes after two shark attacks along the Central Coast last week.

Friday a group of kayakers said a great White shark attacked them just north of the Vandenberg Air Force Base Boathouse, near Jalama beach.

They described the attack by recounting how they saw a shark get most of its body out of the water to take a bite into one kayak, throwing one of the people inside into the air. The shark then took a second bite out of the kayak. Nobody was hurt.

Several local beaches were shut down as a precaution after the attack, and another incident a day earlier near Jack’s Beach.

Surf Beach had already been shut down for much of the summer to protect the Snowy Plover. The endangered bird’s nesting season had ended just days before the attacks.

The Shark Research Committee said sharks and their interactions with humans are notoriously difficult to study but says the available data indicates shark attacks along the Pacific Coast are rare.

More here:
Beaches Reopen 72 Hours After Shark Attacks

Tropical Storm Simon off Baja Mexico is creating high surf along local beaches, prompting warnings of strong rip currents and possible coastal flooding.

The National Weather Service issued a warning Monday for high surf and strong rip currents along beaches from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara counties as Tropical Storm Simon weakens and whips its way toward Baja, Mexico.

Waves as high as 8 feet could slam into the coast from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara counties, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a high surf advisory for Monday. Long Beach could see “minor coastal flooding and beach erosion” through Tuesday night.

Though Simon has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, and is expected to continue to weaken as it crawls toward land across cooler water, its winds are forecast to still send high tides, strong currents and dangerous sneaker waves to Zuma and Malibu beaches, forecasters warned.

The advisory is just the latest in what has become a particularly damaging summer for Southern Californias coastline. A year of strong Pacific storms has torn apart the seafloor along the coast, displacing huge swaths of underwater coastline, which has created stronger rip currents and tides than normal.

L.A. Countys coastline usually sees much of its sand replenished during the summer due to generous tides, while winter storms typically erode beaches. This year, that hasnt happened.

At the same time, a series of heat waves over the past few months has lured millions of beach goers into the water, resulting in lifeguards having to rescue thousands more swimmers than usual because of the dangerous ocean conditions.

For breaking California news, follow@JosephSerna.

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Tropical Storm Simon sending big waves to California beaches

Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964. The Movement celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. Robert W. Klein/AP hide caption

Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964. The Movement celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley. That movement launched the massive sit-ins and protests that would help define a generation of student activism across the country.

These days, thousands of students casually stroll past scores of information tables in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, on everything from the fossil fuel debate to voter registration.

But 50 years ago, before the Free Speech Movement, UC students were barred from distributing flyers about the major issues of the day. In 1964, it was the civil rights struggle.

“It was the passion that fueled the Free Speech Movement,” says Lynn Hollander Savio, who was a senior at Berkeley in October of 1964.

Hollander Savio says that many students had spent the summer on voter registration drives in the South. Back at Berkeley, they set up information tables to tell other students about civil rights. When the school administration tried to shut them down, the students were incredulous.

“The tables were used to give out literature, to recruit members and nobody was interested in fighting with the administration,” she says. “We had bigger fish to fry.”

Hollander Savio short, spry, grey hair is 75 now. Gazing across Sproul Plaza, she recalls that day when a former math grad student, Jack Weinberg, was arrested for distributing civil rights literature. He was thrown into a patrol car while thousands of curious students watched.

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine become so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears, and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop,” protest leader Mario Savio told students in 1964.

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Berkeley's Fight For Free Speech Fired Up Student Protest Movement

maynard writes: Investigative Journalist James Bamford knows a thing or two more than most about the National Security Agency. Across his more than three-decade long career digging muck out of exactly those places U.S. government intelligence agencies preferred he wouldn’t tread, he’s published five books and over eighty press reports. At times, this made for some tense confrontations with intelligence officials from an organization once so secret even few members of Congress knew of its existence.

For the last several years public focus on the NSA has been on Bush and Obama era reports of illicit domestic spying. From allegations of warrantless wiretapping reported by James Risen in 2005 to secret documents released to journalists at The Guardian by Edward Snowden a year ago. And smack in the middle, Bamford’s 2012 revelation of the existence of a huge, exabyte-capable data storage facility then under construction in Bluffdale, Utah.

Given all this attention on recent events, it might come as a surprise to some that almost forty years ago Senator Frank Church convened a congressional committee to investigate reports of unlawful activities by U.S. intelligence agencies, including illegal domestic wiretapping by the NSA. At the time, Church brought an oversight magnifying glass over what was then half-jokingly referred to as “No Such Agency.” And then, like today, James Bamford was in the thick of it, with a Snowden-like cloak-and-dagger game of spy-vs-journalist. It all began by giving testimony before the Church Committee. Writing yesterday in The Intercept, Bamford tells his firsthand historical account of what led him to testify as a direct witness to NSA’s wiretapping of domestic communications decades ago and then details the events that led to the publication of his first book The Puzzle Palace back in 1982. Read on for more.Bamford writes:

…during the summer of 1975, as reports began leaking out from the Church Committee, I was surprised to learn that the NSA was claiming that it had shut down all of its questionable operations a year and a half earlier. Surprised because I knew the eavesdropping on Americans had continued at least into the prior fall, and may have still been going on. After thinking for a day or so about the potential consequences of blowing the whistle on the NSAI was still in the Naval Reserve, still attending drills one weekend a month, and still sworn to secrecy with an active NSA clearanceI nevertheless decided to call the Church Committee.

But he didn’t stop at the witness stand. Afterward, he continued researching the matter for a book. And the further he dug, the more waves he made. Until someone slipped him a then recently declassified copy of a 1976 Justice Department memo [PDF] detailing a criminal investigation into illicit domestic spying by the NSA. But when agency officials discovered he had that document they took extraordinary measures attempting to get it back. They threatened to prosecute under the 1917 Espionage Act and retroactively reclassified the memo to squelch its contents.

Fearing someone might break into his home and steal the manuscript, Bamford arranged to transport and secure a copy outside of U.S. jurisdiction with a colleague at the Sunday Times of London. It was only upon the 1982 publication of Puzzle Palace that the agency dropped their pursuit of Bamford and his document as a lost cause. That’s at least one stark difference between then and today when it comes to whistleblowers back then, they merely threatened espionage charges.

Yogi Berra famously once said, “It’s like Deja Vu all over again.” And though the Yankees’ star wasn’t speaking of illicit domestic wiretaps by the national security state, given a comparison of recent revelations to those detailed by Bamford decades earlier the quote certainly fits. In telling his story of how he published details about the last NSA Merry-Go-Round with warrantless wiretapping, Bamford shows us that our recent troubles of lawless surveillance aren’t so unique. It’s deja-vu all over again. But if deja vu is like a waking dream, this seems more a recurring nightmare for a body-politic lured to snoring slumber by a siren-song of political passivity.

That old Justice Department memo isn’t likely to wake the public from their slumber. But within its pages is a stark warning we all should have heeded. As Bamford notes in that Intercept story, the report’s conclusion that NSA lawlessness stems straight from the birth of the agency suggests a constitutional conflict systemic and intentional.

…the NSA’s top-secret “charter” issued by the Executive Branch, exempts the agency from legal restraints placed on the rest of the government. “Orders, directives, policies, or recommendations of any authority of the Executive branch relating to the collection … of intelligence,” the charter reads, “shall not be applicable to Communications Intelligence activities, unless specifically so stated.” This so-called “birth certificate,” the Justice Department report concluded, meant the NSA did not have to follow any restrictions placed on electronic surveillance “unless it was expressly directed to do so.” In short, the report asked, how can you prosecute an agency that is above the law?

Here’s the “Prosecutive Summary” (PDF).

See the original post here:
James Bamford Releases DOJ Report On NSA Warrantless Wiretapping From 1976

Lionel Messi’s appeal was rejected on Friday Getty Images

Lionel Messi is set to face trial for alleged tax fraud after a judge rejected his appeal to have the charges dropped on Friday.

The judge ruled that Messi should have been aware of how his father was managing his financial affairs, meaning a criminal case may now proceed against the pair.

Lionel and Jorge Messi both appeared in court in the Catalan town of Gava in September 2013, in a case taken as Spain’s tax authorities maintain that “image rights” payments made to the player have been channelled through offshore tax havens, leading to the evasion of 4.1 million (3.2m) in taxes between 2007 and 2009.

At that hearing 12 months ago, the Barcelona forward said that he did not look after the details of his own finances, leaving such matters to his father. Messi senior reportedly told the court that he would take responsibility for any wrongdoing, and that the family had been misled by unscrupulous financial advisors and were now happy to make right any wrongs they had accidentally committed.

Since news of the issue broke over the summer of 2013, the Messis have reportedly paid 5m (3.9m) to the authorities, to cover money owed from the 2007 to 2009 period, plus interest. They are also believed to have paid 10m (7.8m) in taxes due on such income for the years 2010 and 2011.

It was hoped this would lead to criminal charges being dropped, and the public prosecutor’s office had reportedly supported Messi’s appeal believing this version of events. However, according to news agency EFE the judge has now ruled that it is a “subjective opinion” that Messi “was on the periphery of the financial, contractual and tax management of his income” even if his father had primary control over those matters.

If found guilty, both could be fined up to 21m (16.4m) and receive a one-year suspended prison sentence.

La Liga clubs and players have long used “image rights” to avoid paying higher income tax rates, while the Spanish authorities have regularly found this approach to be illegal, with current Barcelona coach Luis Enrique among those who have previously made a settlement.

The Spanish government has recently been cracking down particularly hard on tax evasion amid the country’s continuing economic woes, with Messi one of a number of high-profile targets against whom cases have been opened against.

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Messi set to face trial over alleged tax fraud



Electro Swing Islands 2014 by Petro Eco
Happy Summer swing nights at Greek islands track list Big Band (feat. Charlie Magoo, Nicolle Rochelle Pete Thomas) Bart Baker Tchavolo Swing Danube's Banks This And That -…

By: petros economakis

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Electro Swing Islands 2014 by Petro Eco – Video

Bushwick’s rents and property values have been skyrocketing over the past few years, a phenomenon that’s understandably distressed longtime and even newer residents. Unfortunately, though, someone manning the Instagram account for a local coffee shop took out his or her frustrations with the Bushwick real estate scene by going on a multi-paragraph rant about “the Jews” and their “greed and dominance.” And it only got 23 likes! Haters are slipping.

Brokelyn spotted the Instagram, posted to the account of The Coffee Shop this morning, just a few days before Yom Kippur. It was still up as of 11 a.m.:

In case it’s gone soon, here it is in its full glory:

The Instagram account holder then went into the comments, drawing comparisons between Jews and the Illuminati:

And called attention to landlords who are being “bigoted by Jews”:

The Coffee Shop, which is located at 203 Wilson Ave near Stanhope Street, was opened over the summer by Michael Avila, a Bushwick native who spent his formative years in Kew Gardens, Queens. In an interview with DNAinfo, he said he was inspired to launch The Coffee Shop in his old neighborhood once health stores and other new businesses started moving in, not that coffee shops aren’t the 4th Horse of the Gentrification Apocalypse or anything.

More here:
Bushwick Coffee Shop Goes On Instagram Rant About "Greedy" "Illuminati" Jews



6 Hose Liberty Display presented by Heidi Herriott
The Liberty horses performing Summer of 2014 at The Dancing Horses Theatre. http://www.thedancinghorses.com.

By: horsetrixonline

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6 Hose Liberty Display presented by Heidi Herriott – Video

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Heads of Ayr and Lunan Bay in Angus are worst offenders for illegal contaminants By Rob Edwards Environment Editor

The annual survey of Scotland’s bathing waters, due to be unveiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) this week, will show that contamination from human and animal faeces this summer has been worse than last year.

The two dirtiest beaches were at Heads of Ayr in South Ayrshire and Lunan Bay in Angus, which suffered so much pollution that they failed to meet basic sewage safety limits introduced 38 years ago. Last year, no beaches in Scotland breached these limits.

But this year three samples of water at Heads of Ayr in May and August contained levels of toxic E-coli bacteria in breach of the legal limits. According to Sepa, this was because heavy rain caused “sewer overflows” and washed animal waste from farmland and urban areas.

Another two beaches – Irvine in North Ayrshire and Eyemouth in the Borders – also recorded five sample failures between them. But four of these are liable to be discounted because they were correctly predicted by electronic warning signs at the beaches.

Ten other beaches – in Ayrshire, Argyll, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Angus, Moray and Highland – had single water samples that failed the safety limits this summer (see table below). The contamination from bacteria and viruses can cause ear and stomach infections and, in extreme cases, be fatal.

Next year, much tougher new standards will come into force, meaning that many more bathing waters will be classified as badly polluted. In June, Sepa estimated that as many as 20 could be officially rated as “poor” under the new system.

The pollution has come under fierce fire from environmental groups worried about the health implications. “It’s very disappointing that Scotland’s beautiful beaches continue to fail the most basic water quality standards,” said Andy Cummins, campaigns director of Surfers Against Sewage.

“We are concerned that a wetter bathing season, combined with new, tougher water quality standards will result in a dramatic number of Scottish beaches failing water quality standards in the coming years.”

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Health fears as 14 Scottish beaches fail pollution tests



Baba Videos / Tenerife Snorkeling, Canary Islands, GoPro 3+
A dive at tenerife beach this summer Shot with a GoPro 3+ Edited with FCPX.

By: Stephan Baba

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Baba Videos / Tenerife Snorkeling, Canary Islands, GoPro 3+ – Video

Byline: The RNLI is preparing to finish its lifeguard patrols on the majority of the regions beaches this weekend (Sunday 28 September) as the summer draws to a close. Page Content: However, for those wishing to spend time in the water later into the year, a number of beaches in Cornwall and Devon will have lifeguard cover into October. This Sunday (28 September) sees the official end to the …

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2014-RNLI-lifeguard-season-draws-to-a-close-in-the-south-west

Scores of former members of Israeli military intelligence’s very secret and quite elite Unit 8200 have publicly refused to collect information that is “used for political persecution” or “driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.” Courteous allies at the NSA, we now know, helped make that spying possible.

The news comes courtesy of the NSA’s chief unauthorized biographer, James Bamford, whose three-day Moscow bull session with traitorous notoriety prostitute, Edward Joseph Snowden, was the cover story in last month’s issue of WIRED.

Writing Tuesday in the New York Times, Bamford disclosed this alarming new anecdote from his Snowden debrief:

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the NSA was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the NSA evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.

Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communicationsemail as well as phone callsof countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”

As of last week, exactly 43 ex-members of Unit 8200many young and active reservists who could theoretically be called again to serve Israel at a moment’s noticepassionately agree.

In an act of protest that had been planned well in advance of this summer’s brutal bombing campaign in Gaza (which you may have heard killed 2,100 Palestinians and turned Gaza City into the lunar ruins of an ancient alien race), the young members of Unit 8200 drafted a long letter publicly refusing to participate in any further intelligence gathering activities against the Palestinians.

“The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators,” the letter says. Adding, “In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”

Excerpt from:
The NSA Helped Israel Blackmail Palestinians

Sep 202014

Urban heat islands are not inevitable, but the product of dark roofs, black pavement, and loss of vegetation. A cool communities approach would lower air-conditioning use and make the air healthier.

Hot spots in Washington show up as red areas in this satellite image. The presence of such heat islands increases energy use and raises smog levels. The largest red patch is at the site of a convention center. The coolest areas (green) are those covered by grass and trees.

On a summer afternoon, central Los Angeles registers temperatures typically 5F higher than the surrounding suburban and rural areas. Hot roofs and pavements, baked by the sun, warm the air blowing over them. The resulting urban heat island causes discomfort, hikes air-conditioning bills, and accelerates the formation of smog.

Heat islands are found in many large cities, including Chicago, Washington, and (as the Olympic athletes and fans can attest) Atlanta. The effect is particularly well recognized in cities that quote two airport temperatures on the weather report. Thus Chicago-Midway airport is typically a few degrees hotter than suburban OHare, and the same difference applies between Washington National airport and Dulles.

Contrary to popular opinion, heat islands do not arise mainly from heat leaking out of cars, buildings, and factories. In summertime, such anthropogenic heat gain accounts for a mere 1 percent of the heat islands excess temperature. (The fraction rises in the winter to about 10 percent, when heat does leak out of buildings.) Rather, dark horizontal surfaces absorb most of the sunlight falling on them. Consequently, dark surfaces run hotter than light ones. The choice of dark colors has caused the problem; we propose that wiser choices can reverse it.

We are now paying dearly for this extra heat. One sixth of the electricity consumed in the United States goes to cool buildings, at an annual power cost of $40 billion. Moreover, a 5F heat island greatly raises the rate at which pollutants-nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds emanating from cars and smokestacks -cook into ozone, a highly oxidizing and irritating gas that is the main ingredient of smog. In Los Angeles, for example, ozone rises from an acceptable concentration at 70F to unacceptable at 90F. The Los Angeles heat island raises ozone levels 10-15 percent and contributes to millions of dollars in medical expenses. (In winter, we have plenty of smog precursors but, because it is cool, little smog.)

Fortunately, we can go a long way toward dissipating urban heat islands with modest measures. One solution is to use lighter colors for roofs and pavement. The other is to plant lots of trees, which have a two-fold benefit. First, they provide cooling shade. Second, trees, like most plants, soak up groundwater. The water then evapotranspires from the leaves, thus cooling the leaves and, indirectly, the surrounding air. A single properly watered tree can evapotranspirate 40 gallons of water in a day-offsetting the heat equivalent to that produced by one hundred 100-watt lamps, burning eight hours per day.

Increases in temperature do not have to follow from an influx of population. The Los Angeles basin in 1880 was still relatively barren, and yearly highs ran about 102F. Then settlers introduced irrigation, the fruit trees cooled the air, and, within 50 years, summer temperatures dropped 5F. But as Los Angeles began to urbanize in the 1940s, cool orchards gave way to hot roofs and asphalt pavements. Over the next 50 years, summer highs climbed back to their 1880 values-and are still rising at 1F per decade, with no end in sight.

But with white roofs, concrete-colored pavements, and about 10 million new shade trees, Los Angeles could be cooler than the semidesert that surrounds it, instead of hotter. Such measures would be in keeping with approaches that have been taken for centuries. As civilization developed in warm climates, humans learned to whitewash their dwellings. Even today, building owners in hot cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv are required to whitewash their roofs each spring, after the rains stop.

In the United States, dwellings tended to be built with white roofs through the 1960s. Then, as air conditioning became widespread, cheap, and taken for granted, priorities shifted. It became popular to use darker roofing shingles, which more resembled wooden shingles and better concealed dirt and mold. The colored granules on typical white shingles made today are coated with only one-sixth as much white pigment as in the 1960s. Under the summer sun, modern shingles become 20F hotter than the old-style ones.

Continued here:
Paint the Town White–and Green

Las Vegas. Tremendous wagers are commonplace in this town, and have been for decades. Big bets on cryptocurrency–those are a bit more unusual.

This explains why a local poker players recent investment into bitcoin ATMs has turned so many heads. The entrepreneur, 29-year-old Chris McAlary, essentially has pushed all-in on the virtual currency, using the entirety of his liquid assets to found Coin Cloud, a nascent company that operates ATMs for bitcoins.

McAlary’s believes in bitcoin’s future as the currency of choice for gamblers. And there is a confluence of factors that might make Las Vegas the perfect place to push bitcoin into mainstream use–if McAlary and like-minded entrepreneurs prove out its use on the Strip, casinos around the world are poised to make bitcoin its currency of choice.

Theres no question that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have the potential to be one of the most important innovations of the 21st century, says McAlary. Las Vegas could be one of the places that really helps drive it all forward.

Specifically, McAlary’s company uses ATMs that are Internet-enabled kiosks that allow users to buy or sell bitcoin. The machines that went online this summer are in a particularly prominent spot, steps from the busiest part of the Las Vegas Strip. In the first few weeks, the machine outperformed even McAlarys most liberal estimates. After 45 days, the Vegas machine overtook the a bitcoin ATM in Vancouver as the No. 1 performing bitcoin ATM in the world. McAlary wont say exactly how many transactions the machine has handled so far, but hints that volume is already has surpassed $1 million.

While the cryptocurrency has yet to find a home in the average Americans wallet (so to speak), businesses appear to be getting more serious about it. In early September, Braintree, the online and mobile payments platform owned by PayPal, announced it would integrate bitcoin into its business. Other companies, including Expedia, Overstock.com, and Amazon.com also have announced they will accept bitcoin as a method of payment. (Full disclosure: I run a travel blog for Expedia.)

In Vegas, however, especially on the Strip, bitcoin has even more going for it. First of all, because so many people visit Sin City every year, the market attracts a high volume of people looking to spend money. The Viva Vegas souvenir shop, in which McAlary has placed his first ATM (he calls it the Bitcoin Bodega”), sees more than 100,000 people a day in foot traffic. Las Vegas also draws an international clientele who want to access their money instantaneously, and to gamble without paying transfer fees to centralized banks.

In other words, Vegas is primed for a bitcoin run.

What is bitcoin? The answer is more complicated than you think (and more complicated than we journalists usually report). Unveiled in 2009 (the identity of the creator is up for debate), the cryptocurrency is an online payment system that was introduced as open-source software. Under the protocols of this technology, payments are recorded in a public database, which is known as the blockchain. Because these payments work without a central repository or single administrator (a.k.a., a bank), the U.S. Treasury considers the currency to be decentralized and virtual.

(Also, because the currency is virtual, users must obtain a virtual wallet to help record transactions and securely buy, use, and accept the stuff.)

The rest is here:
Why Bitcoin Is Poised To Win Big In Las Vegas



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