04.14.17

In today’s Morning Buzz the United States drops the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan, Big Sur experiences a steep decline in visitors, and North Korea takes offense to President Trump’s Twitter account.

Today’s Morning Buzz is brought to you by roller coasters.  Yesterday two dozen riders were stuck on a stalled roller coaster for more than three hours at Six Flags America in Largo, Maryland.

Right Now w/ Brian Southey (LinkedIn / Twitter)

What I’m Listening to – Weezer:Pinkerton

What I’m Reading – The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton

What I’m Watching – – Hawks vs Predators

What I Want to Know from You – Are you a fan of roller coasters?

Buzzin’

U.S. Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS Caves in Afghanistan The United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Pentagon said, unleashing a weapon so massive that it had to be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane.

Big Sur usually can’t keep people away. Right now, it’s practically deserted.  The first thing you notice is the silence, punctured by birdcalls and the far-off roar of water moving through canyons. You usually can’t hear these sounds, drowned out as they are by the 2 million tourists who flock here annually just to drive Highway 1, the route that cuts through Big Sur on California’s scenic Central Coast. But today the tourists are gone and Highway 1 is car-free, home instead to pickup basketball games, mothers pushing strollers, and skateboarders whizzing by at speeds approaching the 45 mph limit.

North Korea blames Trump and his ‘aggressive’ tweets for tensions  North Korea hit out at President Trump Friday, accusing him “making trouble” with his “aggressive” tweets, amid concerns that tensions between the two countries could escalate into military action.  Tensions have been steadily mounting in recent weeks, as North Korea prepares for what it is calling a “big” event to mark the anniversary of the founder’s birthday Saturday, and the Trump administration warns all options are on the table.

 

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Upcoming

 

50 Nifty

Michigan lakes are getting saltier; road salt to blame  Our freshwater lakes are getting saltier — and one of the largest studies ever of lake salinity blames the use of de-icying salts for roads.

Last of drug-smuggling ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ arrested near Orlando  The last of Miami’s fabled “Cocaine Cowboys,” who vanished a quarter-century ago on the eve of a major drug indictment, has been living with his wife under a false name near Kissimmee for the past five years, a U.S. Marshals spokesman said.|

 Why Uber Shouldn’t Fire Its Bad Boy CEO  In the last three months, Uber has been battered by a seemingly endless series of scandals: perceived strikebreaking outside of JFK airport; a backlash for joining President Donald Trump’s advisory council; a loss of 200,000 users; accusations of sexual harassment; a broken human resources department; allegations of trade-secret theft; law enforcement evasion; stalled self-driving efforts; and finally a salacious story involving Uber execs, Korean escorts, and karaoke.
While You’re Paying Your Taxes, Big Companies Are Expertly Avoiding Paying Theirs  As you put the finishing touches on your tax returns, remember that while U.S. companies face tax rates of 35% (the highest in the advanced industrial world) many don’t actually pay that much.
A Soldier’s Dilemma  In 2010, I entered the Army as an officer, solemnly swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It was the proudest moment of my life, continuing a family tradition of service stretching back three generations to World War II.

City Councils Considering Removing Speed Bumps to Reduce Air Pollution Should Slow Down According to a report in The Telegraph, some U.K. cities want to use air pollution as a reason to remove speed bumps, Peter Walker argues this idea is ludicrous.

Mapping to Explain Homelessness in the U.S.  A team at Sasaki has created the “Understanding Homelessness” website, full of interactive features and one particularly helpful data visualization.

Mapping the New Urban Crisis America today is beset by a New Urban Crisis.

No, Police Should Not Fine Cyclists Who Wear Headphones  The District of Columbia is now one year into its Vision Zero effort to end traffic fatalities in the city, and there’s still a lot of work to do.

Ready Or Not (For Kindergarten) Some Research Says, Enroll Anyway  Academic redshirting, the practice of holding kids back a year before enrolling them in kindergarten, has been debated for years.

 

Local Government Confidential

Lansing City Council reverses sanctuary city status  City Council changed course Wednesday night and voted to rescind a controversial declaration for Lansing that’s created division over the past week and a half.

Area counties would win, Cincinnati would lose under revamped state Local Government Fund formula  Butler, Clermont and Warren counties all wind up with more money from the state’s Local Government Fund while the city of Cincinnati would lose about $1.2 million if the Ohio legislature adopts a new distribution formula for the fund that has been proposed by Gov. John Kasich.

Is Your Local Government Falling for the Hyperloop Fantasy?  There are no functional, real-world examples of a Hyperloop, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s long-distance transport concept that involves shooting people through vacuum-sealed tubes in pods that travel at up to 760 mph. Anyone who believes it’s a viable endeavor is basically taking it on faith.