August 2020

Goodbye July, I despise your heat waves

Finance & Economics

+Healthcare household spending is down: Personal consumer expenditures in the healthcare category took a massive hit. The medical-industrial complex - which masquerades as the US healthcare system - exists on a feeding frenzy of over diagnosis mixed with over prescribing. This time maybe leadership will pay attention.

“Personal services spending was 23 percentage points (2/3) of the drop in GDP and of that, health care was 9.5 points. This category never fell during the 2007-09 recession.” - Greg Ip

+Anti-Noise Pollution Luxury: Paris is taking on noise pollution. It is said that a single motorcycle with a modified exhaust effects thousands, if not tens of thousand, per ordinance issue. A simple nighttime ride across town and back could effect over 20,000 city dwellers. Watch the clip from BBC here.

Art & Culture

Behold: The Moulin Rouge, the Parisian cabaret by Zidler. Opened in 1889, burnt to the ground in 1915. These pictures were likely taken between 1910 - 1914.
- Thank you Stuart Humphreys (brilliant UK colourist and film editor)

+Harem on the King’s Road? “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu visited harems in Constantinople in the 1720s. She found them, compared to London drawing rooms, rather free and easy places and her take on Ottoman slavery was quite provocative.” - Jason Goodwin
A short article on harems from 2018 by Jason Goodwin at Country Life.

+Van Gogh: ”Discovering the place where Van Gogh painted his last and most mysterious work is a waking dream which I am still trying to comprehend.” - Wouter van der Veen
Wouter, a Dutch researcher and Van Gogh specialist has released a free e-book covering the mystery of where Van Gogh painted his last picture. The Hagan Arts program at HFF will publish this book on our new website when launched this August. In the meantime, have a look at maybe download the book (it’s quite nice).

The Environment

+Beaver Conservation: Beaver conservation and activism on behalf of beavers is project of our foundation. In Atlanta word is spreading: Beaver dams a low-tech solutions to storm water management in Atlanta park. Read more at the Saporta Report.

+Galápagos Islands: “We were appalled to discover that a massive Chinese industrial fishing fleet is currently off the Galápagos Islands,” said John Hourston, a spokesman for the Blue Planet Society, a NGO which campaigns against overfishing. Alarm over discovery of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near Galápagos Islands The fleet, found just outside a protected zone, raises the prospect of damage to the marine ecosystem. The Ecuadorian navy has been monitoring the fishing fleet since it was spotted last week, according to the country’s defence minister, Oswaldo Jarrín.
Read the entire article at The Guardian

+Animals Have Feelings: MRI Scans of the Brains of 130 Mammals, Including Humans, Indicate Equal Connectivity (Tel Aviv University). Conservation of brain connectivity and wiring across the mammalian class. Read the release on the study here. "We discovered that brain connectivity — namely the efficiency of information transfer through the neural network — does not depend on either the size or structure of any specific brain," says Prof. Assaf.