China’s system for personal financial transactions doesn’t intersect with ours

This is brand-new information for me. When I went to China almost 20 years ago, smartphones weren't ubiquitous. U.S. one dollar bills were accepted for an amazing range of items on the street and American Express (and sometimes other credit cards) could be used inside. Personal electronic devices have totally changed that landscape. What's even … Continue reading China’s system for personal financial transactions doesn’t intersect with ours

Library books are Expected to wear out

Often the best buy in a used book is one that was well-loved and thoroughly used as library stock. I've been known to marvel at who else might have enjoyed the book before me. Library books are never sold with margin notes so I don't get that insight, but still.... https://bookriot.com/2019/11/14/life-cycle-of-a-library-book/ The Life Cycle of … Continue reading Library books are Expected to wear out

Border searchs of smart phones allowable only if there’s suspicion of a crime

https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-limits-phone-searches-at-u-s-borders-11573603036?mod=hp_lista_pos2 Judge Limits Phone Searches at U.S. Borders Federal agents must have reasonable suspicion of a crime before examining electronic devices at airports, other crossings The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in court papers that it conducted around 33,300 device searches in fiscal year 2018 while processing hundreds of millions of international travelers. Photo: … Continue reading Border searchs of smart phones allowable only if there’s suspicion of a crime

Another flood of books just came off hold from the library

I've had a flood of books come off the hold list at the NY Public Library. My default borrowing period is three weeks. That would be more than enough if I was reading a single book but the library has just given me SEVEN (plus an extra)!! I put items on the hold list for … Continue reading Another flood of books just came off hold from the library

Street vendors do more for a city than provide inexpensive wares

https://www.curbed.com/2019/11/14/20963057/street-vendors-public-space-safety Why street vendors make cities feel safer Vendors not only activate public space—they do so in places chronically ignored by city planners By Alissa Walker@awalkerinLA Nov 14, 2019, 12:55pm EST There are two ways I can walk home from the subway station in my neighborhood. At night, when I’m by myself, the choice is … Continue reading Street vendors do more for a city than provide inexpensive wares

Air pollution clearly linked to fossil fuels and to brain cancer

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/13/air-pollution-particles-linked-to-brain-cancer-in-new-research Air pollution nanoparticles linked to brain cancer for first time Exclusive: tiny particles produced by motor traffic can invade the brain and carry carcinogens Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarrington Wed 13 Nov 2019 05.57 EST New research has linked air pollution nanoparticles to brain cancer for the first time. The ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are produced … Continue reading Air pollution clearly linked to fossil fuels and to brain cancer

Not all books lend themselves to audio

My personal opinion is that two recent notable books are simply not meant to be listened to: Richard Powers' "The Overstory" and "Circe" by Madeline Miller. Audible's rating for the these two narrated versions is quite high. For the former, I had a problem with the switch back and forth between stories which was not … Continue reading Not all books lend themselves to audio