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Daily Archives: October 17, 2013

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

‘We have an obligation to imagine’ … “This is an edited version of Neil Gaiman’s lecture for the Reading Agency, delivered on Monday, October 14 at the Barbican in London. The Reading Agency’s annual lecture series was initiated in 2012 as a platform for leading writers and thinkers to share original, challenging ideas about reading and libraries.”

“It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things. And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I’m an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living though my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur. So I’m biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British citizen. And I’m here giving this talk tonight, under the auspices of the Reading Agency: a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Which supports literacy programs, and libraries and individuals and nakedly and wantonly encourages the act of reading. Because, they tell us, everything changes when we read. And it’s that change, and that act of reading that I’m here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it’s good for…”

Global Wealth Report 2013

PRNewswire — “The Credit Suisse Research Institute released its fourth annual Global Wealth Report 2013, which finds that from mid-2012 to mid-2013 aggregate global household wealth increased by 4.9% in current dollar terms to USD 241 trillion , despite the continuing challenges posed by the economic environment. North America gained USD 8.4 trillion, an increase of 11.9%, fueled by aContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Farm Programs, Critical Isotopes, Medicare Info Tech, Nuclear Power

FARM PROGRAMS – Changes Are Needed to Eligibility Requirements for Being Actively Involved in Farming, GAO-13-781, Sep 26, 2013 MANAGING CRITICAL ISOTOPES – Stewardship of Lithium-7 Is Needed to Ensure a Stable Supply, GAO-13-716, Sep 19, 2013 MEDICARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Needs to Pursue a Solution for Removing Social Security Numbers from Cards, GAO-13-761, Sep 10,Continue Reading

SIGAR Audit – Status unknown – $230M worth of spare parts for Afghan military

Afghan National Army: Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan Lacks Key Information on Inventory in Stock and Requirements for Vehicle Spare Parts – SIGAR [Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction] Audit 14-3-AR, October 16, 2013. “A reliable and integrated logistics system is needed to provide spare parts to maintain vehicle and equipment readiness for security operations. However,Continue Reading

OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Bribery in international business – Russia

“This Phase 2 Report on the Russian Federation by the OECD Working Group on Bribery evaluates and makes recommendations on the Russian Federation’s implementation of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the 2009 Recommendation of the Council for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials inContinue Reading

Pew – How Americans Get TV News at Home

“Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.Continue Reading

Pew – Tea Party’s Image Turns More Negative

“The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Overall, nearly half of the public (49%) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30% have a favorable opinion. The balance of opinion toward the Tea Party has turned more negative since June, when 37% viewedContinue Reading

Investor Complacency Regarding The Government Shutdown

S&P Capital IQ (no fee req’d) – Investor Complacency Regarding The Government Shutdown And Related Politicking Is Justified, For Now “For the past week, financial market pundits have repeatedly asked the question, why are investors so “complacent” about the potential risks associated with a temporary shutdown of the U.S. federal government? The answer to this question is multi-faceted,Continue Reading

Forecasting inflation and the Great Recession

Forecasting Inflation and the Great Recession, Marco Bassetto, Todd Messer, and Christine Ostrowski. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. October 2013. “Economic Perspectives article shows how the recovery of inflation in 2009-10 occurred precisely at the only time (since 1985) the models would predict disinflation, i.e., inflation went up when the models said it should go down.”  

Report – The Future Evolution of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

Reductions Without Regret: The Future Evolution of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, John A. Swegle and Douglas J. Tincher – Savannah River National Laboratory. September 2013 [Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News] Reductions Without Regret: Summary Reductions without Regret: Historical Perspectives Reductions without Regret: Defining the Needed Capabilities Reductions without Regret: Avoiding Wrong Turns, Roach Motels, and BoxContinue Reading