Water affordability is not just a local challenge, but a federal one too


To keep up with mounting infrastructure costs, utilities have been scrambling to generate more revenue. And in many places, that has meant significantly higher water rates for households, with the average monthly residential bill rising by nearly 50 percent since 2010 and far faster than incomes.

As those rates rise, water affordability becomes a core issue—not just in specific cities like Flint, but for lower-income households in all types of regions.

Source: Water affordability is not just a local challenge, but a federal one too

So you’re too ethical to eat meat; but should cows go extinct? | Aeon Ideas


Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more popular. Alternative sources of protein, including lab-grown meat, are becoming available.

This trend away from farmed meat-eating looks set to continue. From an environmental perspective and a welfare perspective, that’s a good thing.

But how far should we go? Would it be good if the last cow died?

Should we be concerned if cows (or a subspecies of cows) is threatened with extinction?

Should we take steps to preserve them, just as we take steps to conserve pandas and wolves?

Wolves and pandas belong to that natural world; they occupy their place in it due to the mechanisms of evolution.

But cows don’t belong to the natural world, because they owe their existence to our selective breeding, not evolution. For that reason, we might think, we have no duty to preserve them as a species: what we created we may dispose of.

Source: So you’re too ethical to eat meat; but should cows go extinct? | Aeon Ideas

The day Europe lost

Usually, the European Parliament supports environmental improvements.

As a shadow-rapporteur for Technological Measures in the fishing industry, I gained support for this technology from the European Parliament committees for Fisheries and for Environment. In these talks, we agreed on subsidies for renovation of boats of small fishermen.

But then the tide turned. A French anti-fisheries organization, together with French small fishermen, saw an opportunity to take the wind out of the sails of their mostly Dutch colleagues with pulse technology.

They falsely pretended that the electric pulse trawling technology is horrible. The groups tried to prove that the fish were being electrocuted and as if Dutch ships were emptying the French coast.

Source: The day Europe lost

Lobsters feel pain. Our laws need to protect them | Quartz


Swiss lawmakers, taking a cue from William Shakespeare and David Foster Wallace, have considered the lobster, and its ability to feel pain—and answered in the affirmative. As of March 1, it will be illegal to boil lobsters alive, Swiss Info reported on Jan. 10.

“Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water. Aquatic species must always be kept in their natural environment. Crustaceans must now be stunned before they are killed,” the new law provides.

The change is part of a broader set of Swiss rules grappling with the reality of animal consciousness.

Source: Lobsters feel pain. Our laws need to protect them — Quartz

Bacardi to buy out Patron tequila in $5.1 billion deal


The deal comes days after Pernod Ricard bought out Avion Tequila and months after Diageo bought George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila for up to $1 billion.

Jefferies analysts put the price at about 25.5 times Patron’s estimated operating earnings and 7.5 times its sales.

That is well below the estimated 20 times sales that Diageo paid for Casamigos, but Patron is a much more mature business, with estimated sales of about $675 million per year, versus only about $50 million for Casamigos.

Source: Bacardi to buy out Patron tequila in $5.1 billion deal

Weight loss tip: Studies show friends can sabotage your efforts | Quartzy


Here’s what doesn’t help: “Oh come on, treat yourself.” “Well, if you’re not going to have a dessert, then I won’t either.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re fine the way you are.” You’ve probably heard these phrases before. You may have uttered them yourself, with nothing but good intentions.

But let’s be clear: They’re sabotage. Unless you’re exhibiting signs of disordered eating or compulsive dieting—an important question to ask yourself—then your efforts to reach a healthier weight, and your reasons for dieting, are nobody’s business but your own.

Source: Weight loss tip: Studies show friends can sabotage your efforts — Quartzy

How a Food Blog Shaped the Way We Use the Internet | WIRED

Today, most websites follow basic navigational rules, but in the early days of the web, typical website architecture was non-existent.

Epicurious designed its website like a tabloid. It looked like a newspaper with clickable links. Slavin says this wasn’t a nod to a familiar format but an effective way of presenting and organizing a ton of information.

Hyperlinks still were a challenging concept—you can just click on that?

And why were they blue? This was years before best-practices crystallized into user-interface givens.

Source: How a Food Blog Shaped the Way We Use the Internet | WIRED

Hershey, Campbell bet nearly $6 billion on healthy snacks makers


Campbell (CPB.N) will buy Cape Cod chips-maker Snyder‘s-Lance Inc (LNCE.O) for $4.87 billion in cash to combat sagging soup sales. Snyder‘s-Lance, the No. 5 U.S. healthy savory snacks maker, also owns brands such as Eatsmart veggie snacks.

Hershey (HSY.N), meanwhile, will spend about $921 million to acquire Amplify Snack Brands (BETR.N), which makes SkinnyPop popcorn and Paqui tortilla chips.

Source: Hershey, Campbell bet nearly $6 billion on healthy snacks makers

The Facilities Where Scientists Breed Plants to Survive the Future | WIRED


Beneath the glow of high-voltage lamps, dozens of crop samples grow at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.

Here, Cornell University scientists crossbreed domesticated crops with their wild ancestors to propagate superhardy strains that better withstand droughts, heat waves, and freezes. The facility is one of more than 50 such USDA-funded research stations nationwide, where scientists are studying climate-­resilient produce.

Source: The Facilities Where Scientists Breed Plants to Survive the Future | WIRED

Brexit already costs UK households €450 a year


Brexit costs UK households €450 a year, mostly due to inflation according to a Centre for Economic Performance study.

The rise in household bills has been particularly felt on food prices, including fruits and vegetables, but also cheese, eggs, coffee, tea, cocoa, beer, and wine. Across the board of imported goods, from furniture to watches, UK consumers have had to pay more.

Source: Brexit already costs UK households €450 a year