News: : The U.S. Is Retreating from Religion   source: Scientific American  

The number of changes taking place in our culture and society are expansive and extraordinary. They’re not all good; they’re not all bad, either. But denying they’re happening would be a mistake. One change that’s certain to reshape our communities and our culture — the shift away from a citizenship who identify their religion as a primary personal influence. This article from Scientific American points to trends that are […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : After Hurricane Power Outages, Looking To Alaska’s Microgrids For A Better Way   source: NPR  

If there’s anything we’ve learned from this year’s hurricane’s, it’s a lesson on the vulnerability of our power grid. How do we make ourselves more resilient? Perhaps a look north will provide the answer as Alaska’s isolated communities develop blueprints for sustainable, locally generated power infrastructure. It’s a relevant topic for North Dakota because as our energy customers become more locally resilient, they’ll have less need for the […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

How many more?

Commentary: : How many more?

People often question my judgment for vacationing in Mexico during our cold North Dakota winters. They question how safe it is to be in Mexico because of the murders down there by the various competing drug cartels. The persons in the Mexican drug culture, from my perspective, seem to be killing each other and for the most part don’t seem to be very interested in killing old gringos […]

News: : An arcane American law protected by powerful interests is causing insane traffic jams   source: Quartz  

What does a hundred-year-old law that forces goods transported between American ports to use American-made ships have to do with traffic and L.A. and possibly our economy in North Dakota? Erik Olson asks the question (about the Traffic in L.A. part) and provides the analysis of the trickle down regulatory effect and the unintended consequences. This law is so ingrained in our culture we may have forgotten we can […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Commentary: : On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Contrary to most, I was not surprised that Congress has failed to repeal and replace “Obamacare”. “Repeal and Replace” has been the unifying slogan of the Republican party since 2009. That slogan may have become fact except for one minor detail. Like the Democratic party, the Republican party is merely a coalition of various diverse factions. Political parties have historically been bottom up rather than top down organizations. […]

News: : Drug experts see confluence of factors behind opioid crisis   source: Grand Forks Herald  

In Minot, the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met this week. When it comes to dealing with the effects of the opioid and larger addiction problem, they’re going to divide and hopefully conquer. They’ll be splitting into several sub-committees to deal with different arms of the larger animal. It’s important work, but the method also invites the larger question, how do we prevent the problem before it starts? That […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Optimistic investors pumping $75 million into meatless burgers   source: Quartz  

There are two companies chasing the concept of the meatless burger, and before you dismiss the idea with some picture of a bean patty or veggie burger, the goal is a burger that looks and tastes like real beef, and they’re closer than you realize. It may seem far-fetched or impossible, but the impacts on ranchers will likely be real as a more environmentally-focused food consumer comes of age. […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : The Gulf Of Mexico’s Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen   source: NPR  

When agricultural producers use too much fertilizer, the surplus that isn’t absorbed into the land and plants runs off into the water shed. When it gets to the end of the downstream line, it dumps into the ocean or a lake. In North Dakota’s case, one of those end-of-the-line watershed deposits is the Gulf of Mexico. The environmental damage that’s done is hard to see, particularly from 2,000 miles […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : EPA chief to discuss water regulations during visit to state   source: Williston Herald  

Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s top administrator, will be visiting North Dakota next week, and the Waters of the U.S. rule making is expected to be a hot topic of conversation. Between agricultural and energy industries and our cultural disposition toward property rights, environmental regulations and rules have big impacts on North Dakota, and it sounds like those are some of the messages that will be carried to Mr. […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : White House commission recommends president declare a national emergency over the deadly opioid epidemic   source: Los Angeles Times  

The opioid epidemic that’s been discussed so heavily here in Minot is not just a local problem, it extends far beyond North Dakota’s borders. And a White House Commission on the opioid epidemic is now recommending the President declare a national emergency with regards to the issue. Locally, the Mayor’s committee on addiction will meet on Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Verizon argues throttling video is allowed under net neutrality rules   source: The Verge  

What will the Internet look like if there’s a roll back on the FCC’s net neutrality rules? We’re perhaps getting a taste. Last week, Verizon was caught and then admitted to throttling video content on its network. Basically, that means they slowed down the speed at which they delivered video — intentionally.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Comcast says it should be able to create internet fast lanes for self-driving cars   source: The Verge  

The first of a couple articles on the net neutrality issue, Comcast is arguing that the need to provide faster more reliable service to self-driving cars will warrant a competitive pricing model. That means they can charge more for certain types of data traffic. Medical uses and automated cars are the examples they use to justify the regulatory roll-back, but the concern is the loophole would allow them […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky