Some 40 years ago, we developed a strain of microbes that converted ammonia to nitrogenous gases. The goal was to find a way to augment a waste treatment system’s ability to purify the water. Oh, we found uses for it at many facilities. Not the least of which were seasonal facilities that handled poultry wastes. (These facilities ramped up to handle the demand for turkeys around Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the ambient temperatures were pretty low. That meant the normal capabilities of a system to biologically remove ammonia were greatly diminished.)
So, let’s look really carefully (ok, as much as someone on the outside can) at one of these 1099 economy ‘successes’. Uber. Where drivers can make up to $ 30 an hour (for the hours they work) in Manhattan or $ 17 in DC. (Believe it or not, that DC rate is about what drivers make in LA, too.)
I admit it. I’ve never been a fan of Ponzi or pyramid schemes. And, I’m not talking about Mr. Ponzi himself- or even Bernie Madoff. No, I’m talking about Herbalife (the reference is no longer available; this cited Bill Ackman’s averral the Herbalife is a pyramid scheme, 22 July 2014) and those other ‘get rich’ schemes that make folks money by skimming the profits off other unsuspecting souls. You know, sell a product and your “upstream” team takes a portion, leaving you a smaller portion of the “profits”. The only way you make real money is to con a slew of folks to work for you- and to find others to work for them- as you skim the profits from their labors.
So, yesterday, we discussed the fact that about ½ of all our students in public schools are from below the poverty line. Of course, once you recognize that basic economic fact, it’s not a big leap to comprehend why so many of our students are not meeting the educational standards we expect. After all, we’ve known for a very long time that students below the poverty line have more difficulties learning and are more likely to quit school before they graduate high school- in other words, the perfect prescription to perpetuate the poverty problem.
New headlines are screaming across our papers. More than ½ of our public school students are in low-income families. The Southern Education Foundation has published their report A New Majority Update- Low Income Students in the South and Nation with those findings.
Way, way back in 1928, Arthur Fleming, who was working at St. Mary’s Hospital, found a contaminant amongst his petri dishes laden with Staphylococcus aureus. It’s not unusual for microbial petri dishes to be contaminated- and we continually strive to improve our practices to insure this is not the case. (It certainly was more prevalent in the past.)
Coal is still king? Well, the US certainly has an abundance of coal. And, a slew of power plants around the world are still running on coal. (Admittedly, many of them are in China.)