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Notes from the Surf

Geek behaviors present during conversations
"awkward silences often arise because the geek doesn't pay enough attention to his partner's attention level and doesn't know the appropriate way and time to naturally pause. This frequently occurs when the geek is 'in the zone' proudly explaining some technical concept without realizing that his audience might be growing bored."

Siblings Shape Each Other's Character
"Whether the overachieving oldest, the lonely middle or the rebellious youngest, siblings' traits rub off on one another in the long run... Younger siblings are highly susceptible to acquiring older siblings' negative habits, including underage drinking and smoking. However, younger siblings with diverse interests or more dominant personalities can affect older siblings similarly."

The Most Statistically Full of S*** Professions
wine experts were given two bottles of the same wine, only one was labeled a "vin de table" (France's version of "Night Train") and one was labeled a "grand cru" (top-rated vineyard since 1855)... "Whereas the tasters found the wine from the first bottle 'simple,' 'unbalanced,' and 'weak,' they found the wine from the second 'complex,' 'balanced,' and 'full.'" ...they could even be convinced that the same bottle was both red and white with the cunning use of food coloring.

The Psychology of the Sale
"The first round returned identical results to the Pepsi Challenge... In the second round, Montague told the participants what they were tasting before they tasted it. Not only did the results shift to a 75 percent preference for Coke, they showed that different parts of the brain responded."

The Lawnmower People
"Lawnmowers are good at cutting grass. It’s all they want to do. They’re not very concerned about what gets in the way of cutting grass. If, for example, we discover that one of the lawnmowers sometimes kills people, the lawnmower would rather pretend there isn’t a problem than stop mowing lawns."

Durable Goods: More Guns Than Butter
While “defense” spending  does boost GDP, and preserve (politically important) jobs, it’s still a huge drag on the real economy... shifting those jobs to more productive areas, like energy and manufacturing, would have immensely positive effects on the economy.

California Senate Passes Medicare for All Legislation
"The bill would establish a single-payer system in California, modeled on the healthcare systems flourishing in virtually all other industrialized nations, where better patient outcomes are achieved at a fraction of the cost of the U.S. system."

Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows
"The New York Fed is in the hot seat for its decision in November 2008 to buy out, for about $30 billion, insurance contracts AIG sold on toxic debt securities... That decision, critics say, amounted to a back-door bailout for the banks... the New York Fed is a quasi-governmental institution that isn’t subject to citizen intrusions such as freedom of information requests, unlike the Federal Reserve... It’s as though the New York Fed was a black-ops outfit for the nation’s central bank."

Spain: Riot Police Ordered to Fight Firefighters
"Fire-fighters and emergency service workers are left injured in clashes with police in Northern Spain during a protest against privatisation of the emergency services."

Honduras: The video Cesar Silva was tortured for. The video Edwin Renán Fajardo Argueta died for.
"After this video was finished, Cesar and Edwin began traveling around to the barrios in Tegucigalpa, showing the video... Edwin was assassinated on December 22, 2009... Cesar was chased down and dragged out of a taxi. He was taken into custody and tortured for about 30 hours."

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