Cow may be biggest mammal if humans keep up extinctions


Humans apparently targeted big species for meat, while smaller creatures such as rodents escaped, according the report examining trends over 125,000 years.

In North America, for instance, the mean body mass of land-based mammals has shrunk to 7.6 kg (17 lbs) from 98.0 after humans arrived.

Source: Cow may be biggest mammal if humans keep up extinctions: study

PM Narendra Modi Served An Uncomfortable Message By IMF Boss Christine Lagarde


Christine Lagarde said she had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he did not mention the women of India enough in his speech to the summit and “it’s not just a question of talking about them”.

“I was hoping he would have said a bit more. Wish he had talked a bit about girls and Indian women,” she had then told NDTV.

Source: Kathua rape: PM Narendra Modi Served An Uncomfortable Message By IMF Boss Christine Lagarde

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | US News


“Most developed nations now offer universal preschool – even China has committed to pre-K for every 4-year-old by 2020,” Steven Barnett, the institute’s senior co-director, said on a press call Tuesday.

“Meanwhile, the United States has made little progress. This is no way to compete globally now or in the future. Our first step back to leadership is quality preschool.”

The report, “The State of Preschool 2017,” takes into account enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications and other indicators of program quality.

Source: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | Education News | US News

Growing pains: how Oregon wound up with way more pot than it can smoke | The Guardian


Flooded with supply, prices are dropping so much that some dispensaries in the Portland area are selling the drug for $4 a gram. That’s less than half the cost of a bargain-basement batch in other US cities where marijuana is legal, like Denver and Seattle.

But 1,824 marijuana-related business licenses have already been issued, including 981 production operations. Another 967 production licenses are in various stages of approval by the state and could come online later this year.

Source: Growing pains: how Oregon wound up with way more pot than it can smoke | Society | The Guardian

U.S. Is Still Segregated Even After Fair Housing Act | The Report | US News


Before signing the Fair Housing Act of 1968 into law, Johnson called it “among the proudest [moments] of my presidency.” Because of it, he predicted, “Negro families [will] no longer suffer the humiliation of being turned away because of their race.”

Then, reality set in: Uneven enforcement, deep-seated, cultural bias and the bill’s own flaws allowed bigoted mortgage bankers and unscrupulous landlords to preserve – and profit from – the status quo.

Source: U.S. Is Still Segregated Even After Fair Housing Act | The Report | US News

Kim Jong-un has a maximum pressure and engagement strategy of his own


As it turns out, Kim’s not just good at maximum pressure, he’s also pretty good at maximum engagement.

Just a few months ago, the world braced for a possible war on the Korean Peninsula. But now Seoul and Pyongyang are reportedly planning to announce an official end to the Korean War as they enter the final days of planning for a summit between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

(An armistice ended the military conflict that lasted from 1950-1953, but the two Koreas are technically still at war.)

How did we go from belligerence to bear hugs?

Source: Kim Jong-un has a maximum pressure and engagement strategy of his own

A New Tradition: Inside An All-Female Coffee Growers’ Cooperative in Honduras | Pacific Standard


“Agroforestry is a way to increase food security: the diversity of the crops on these lands allows an increase in production of fruit and vegetables that could be [traded] with other members of the community, or [provide] surplus sold to the market,” says Marcos Morales of the National Agricultural University in Olancho, who advises the agroforestry project.

“Forest coverage and biodiversity increased: we observed animals such as opossum, snakes, hares, armadillos, squirrels, and coyotes. Also, it is a way to counteract drought because soils retain more humidity.”

Source: A New Tradition: Inside An All-Female Coffee Growers’ Cooperative in Honduras – Pacific Standard

Breaking Down Italy’s Persistent Political Instability | Pacific Standard


While the dust has yet to settle, the results of the 2018 elections already highlight several issues—both for Italy and for Europe more broadly.

On a national level, the elections have brought center stage a striking divide between Italy’s north and south, which are once again placing their trust in radically different parties.

The comparatively underdeveloped south almost unanimously voted for the inexperienced 5-Star Movement, which promises a monthly minimum income to fight poverty and unemployment.

Meanwhile, in the generally wealthier and more industrialized north, far-right parties led by Salvini and Berlusconi prevailed at the polls.

Source: Breaking Down Italy’s Persistent Political Instability – Pacific Standard

Merk University | The Business Cycle

As part of Merk’s in-house research we regularly evaluate a consistent set of charts covering the economy, equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies. The aim is to keep our eyes open and to look through the noise of the headlines, avoiding the distractions of sensationalized click-bait.

Source: Merk University: The Business Cycle

You, personally, are a nightmare for 5G | EDN


Signal propagation and channel behavior are understood well enough when it comes to the lower frequencies that the first 5G systems will use to provide fixed wireless broadband services. When the transmitter and receiver are nailed down, anything that comes between them is likely to be passing through. A static system with occasional and fleeting variables is relatively easy to deal with.

When AT&T and Verizon start providing fixed wireless broadband service in a few months, as they’ve vowed they’ll do, they will have at least an adequate understanding of the signal environments they’ll be operating in and will have configured their cellular systems accordingly.

But when either the receiver or the transmitter is moving, or both are, and when things in the environment move, no one is absolutely certain what will happen to 5G signals. That is especially so at the higher frequencies that will be used for otherwise run-of-the-mill mobile telephony and broadband.

The inability to predict channel behavior is compounded by virtue of the fact that mmWave signals don’t penetrate objects, including vehicles, trees, or bodies. What happens with bodies is a key question; what happens when there are numerous bodies and they’re all in motion is an even bigger question.

Source: You, personally, are a nightmare for 5G | EDN