Software developer, cyclist, photographer, hiker, reader.I work for the Library of Congress but all opinions are my own.Email: chris@improbable.org
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Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety

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Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety:

“To a certain extent, we are hoisted by the petard of what happened here in 1666, the Great Fire of London, and we look at fire as a horizontal problem, with a fire in one building affecting the exterior of another building,” Glynton Evans, a fire safety adviser to the firefighters’ union, said to Parliament. “The problem with cladding is that it will, if it is able, spread fire, and it will spread it vertically.”

The firefighters and engineers warned Parliament that British codes required only that the aluminum used in cladding resist ignition, even though the heat of a fire would breach the surface and expose the flammable material inside. Nor did the British rules require a test to evaluate risks in real-world conditions.

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President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List

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President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List:

NYT Opinion’s (separate from News) data-oriented columnist and new data journalist/graphics director team up for a …doozy.

…It keeps going for some time.

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America runs on taxpayer-funded services *and* capitalism

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Yesterday, Grover Norquist shared a short parable about taxes on Twitter:

How Republicans are born…
Daughter, 8, has been savings up to buy her first Guitar.
Found it for $35. She had 35 exact.
Then…sales tax

Norquist has famously been on a quest to stop tax increases in the US…in 2015 he wrote a book called End the IRS Before It Ends Us.1 Many people took Norquist to task over his remarks:

Did you mention that you drove her to the guitar store on roads that were partly funded by sales taxes?

In a car which only has seat belts preventing you from being badly injured in the event of a crash due to taxpayer funded regulations?

or those same taxes that pay for emergency services that will respond if you do get in an accident?

These responses remind me of a pair of posts written several years ago about the contributions to society of both taxpayer-funded and corporate goods & services. From the liberal version:

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And from the conservative viewpoint:

When my Motorola-manufactured Cable Set Top Box showed the appropriate time, I got into my Toyota-manufactured Prius vehicle and set out to my graphic design workplace and stopped to purchase some gasoline refined by the Royal Dutch Shell company, using my debit card issued to me by Bank of the West. On the way to my workplace, I dropped off a package at the local UPS store for delivery, and dropped my children off at a local private school.

  1. How was Norquist radicalized about taxes? In part because his dad was a dick: “After church, his father would buy him and his three younger siblings ice-cream cones and then steal bites, announcing with each chomp, ‘Oops, income tax. Oops, sales tax.’”

Tags: economics   Grover Norquist   politics
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angelchrys
9 hours ago
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Overland Park, KS
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Life in America, in six charts

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Who We Spend Time With

From Quartz, six charts that show who Americans spend their time with.

Some of the relationships Lindberg found are intuitive. Time with friends drops off abruptly in the mid-30s, just as time spent with children peaks. Around the age of 60 — nearing and then entering retirement, for many — people stop hanging out with co-workers as much, and start spending more time with partners.

Others are more surprising. Hours spent in the company of children, friends, and extended family members all plateau by our mid-50s. And from the age of 40 until death, we spend an ever-increasing amount of time alone.

This would make a great book…one chapter about why each chart looks as it does.

Tags: infoviz   USA
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bibliogrrl
5 hours ago
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Chicago!
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1 public comment
Gangles
13 hours ago
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Well that's depressing.
Santa Monica, California

"Every transaction I receive means a future expense for me… wow **** me."

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“Every transaction I receive means a future expense for me… wow **** me.”

- Gausston discovers the magic of Bitcoin
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Report: Trump may exit peace talks after 'tense' Kushner/Abbas meeting

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Abbas and Kushner. (photo credit:REUTERS) US President Donald Trump is reportedly weighing whether to pull out of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations…
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acdha
1 day ago
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I'm shocked, simply shocked that a situation often used as a humorous analogy for intractable problems turns out to be harder than laundering money for Russian oligarchs.
Washington, DC
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