Of Our Time


One-third or more of the Himalayan ice cap is “doomed to melt due to climate change,” according to a new report called The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment. They’ll be gone by the year 2100, the report finds, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on the glaciers as “a critical water store.” [The Guardian]

[[One might ask what the real price of a barrel of crude oil is.]]


The Unicode Consortium, which is in charge of such things, has announced 59 new emoji along with 171 new variations on existing emoji. The new ones include a deaf person, people in wheelchairs, people with probing canes, a mechanical arm and leg and service dogs. They also include an otter, a sloth, an orangutan, an ice cube, garlic, falafel and a ringed planet. [The Verge]

[[Verbs! Where are the verbs? And adjectives!! Farewell, art of nuance.]]


President Donald is first in his class . . . of worst Presidents in the history of the United States. Still adding to his achievements, already he tops several websites documenting US Presidential history.

A few others courtesy of WorldAtlas:

James Buchanan, Jr., a Democrat, was the 15th President of the United States, and held this prestigious post from 1857 to 1861. President Buchanan not only failed to broker peace between a divided nation, but also ended up alienating members of both warring factions. Many still blame President Buchanan and his ineffective presidency for failing to prevent the outbreak of the Civil War, with some even referring to the devastating national conflict as “Buchanan’s War”.

Warren G. Harding. The 29th President of the US was Warren G. Harding, who held office from 1921 to 1923. After his death stories of corruption and scandal became rampant. Aside from his actual political policies Harding’s personal life was marred by tawdry revelations of his extramarital affairs with numerous women. In terms of issues related to governing the country, President Harding ran into trouble with his mishandling of the Teapot Dome oil reserves which also proved quite scandal-worthy for his administration.

Andrew Johnson. After Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson was sworn in as the 17th head of state. Johnson, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, governed the country from 1865 to 1869. Due to a violation of the Tenure of Office Act, he was impeached in 1868. Acquitted by the Senate, however, Johnson was able to remain in office. President Johnson was unpopular for opposing measures, such as the Fourteenth Amendment, which were aimed at affording ex slaves with US citizenship.

Ulysses S. Grant. Republican Ulysses S. Grant who served as the head of state from 1869 to 1877. President Grant’s accomplishments during his two terms in office include overseeing the reconstruction in the southern states, dismantling the Confederacy, as well as supporting civil rights for black citizens. Perhaps the most significant cause of Grant’s downfall and reputation as a poor leader is due to the many allegations of corruption and financial misconduct which plagued his administration.

Herbert Hoover. Herbert Hoover served as the 31st President of the United States during the Great Depression, serving between 1929 and 1933. Hoover was criticized for being a poor communicator who many Americans perceived as cold and uncaring. Although the timing of his presidency was unenviable, his political policies were accused of actually worsening the Depression. Interestingly, Hoover had won in a landslide victory.

[[The majority of the worst Presidents are on the list because they bucked the founding principles of equality, justice by law, and criminal activity on the side along with philandering. Donald appears to be an appropriate nomination.]]

֎Finally, mariner wants to suggest that measuring wages versus inflation, the popular way for pundits to determine wage quality, is misleading. In ordinary times, these measurements would reflect reality. However, the flow of profit is so skewed to the super wealthy that inflation becomes irrelevant. The measure of wage quality should be measured against the Gross National Product (GDP) – a value in which the US working class does not participate. Wages versus inflation has been out of kilter since the 1980’s and has little meaning. Salaries are a built-in overhead. All profits, virtually 99%, and a factor of GDP, are kept by corporations and oligarchs.

Ancient Mariner


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