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  1. kalenjin shared this story from Shanghaiist.

    Trump would lose to Clinton by just 9 points in China, the second lowest margin in the world, poll finds What if black became white, bark became bite, and China could vote for America's next president? Well, Hillary Clinton would win, but not by too much. [ more › ]
  2. kalenjin shared this story from TEDTalks (video).

    Something profound is changing our concept of in the way we trust, says Rachel Botsman. While we used to place our trust in institutions like governments and banks, today we increasingly rely on trust others, often strangers, on platforms like Airbnb and Uber and through technologies like the blockchain. This new era of trust could bring with it a more transparent, inclusive and accountable society -- if we get it right. Who do you trust?

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  3. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    Lets talk about this.

    As a reporter working in Iran, Maziar Bahari was bothered not to hear more people speak about the discrimination faced by the Baha’i, a persecuted religious minority. But he knew that if he wrote about their lives, it would mean the end of his ability to work in the country.

    “I was always aware that I could not work on the Baha’i issue because that would be the last time I was working in Iran,” said the Canadian-Iranian Bahari, who was then reporting for Newsweek. “I had this guilt that I was not working on it.”

    In 2009, Bahari was arrested and served 118 days in Evin Prison after reporting on Iran’s contested 2009 election. During his incarceration he was beaten by an intelligence officer in the Revolutionary Guards. His story became the subject of Jon Stewart’s 2014 film Rosewater.

    When he was released and knew that he could not return to the country, Bahari decided he wanted to do something about the discrimination he saw in Iran.

    In 2015, Bahari founded the Not a Crime campaign, using street art to call attention to the oppression of the Baha’i community. This year, Not a Crime commissioned artists to create a series of murals in Harlem, selected for its deep connection to the US civil rights movement, with the hopes of starting a new a conversation about discrimination. The murals have been curated by Street Art Anarchy, a New York-based firm that works with street artists from around the world to commission contemporary art projects.

    Mural by artist Astro at 303 W. 123rd Street, New York.

    Mural by artist Astro at 303 W. 123rd Street, New York.

    Mural by artist Bustart at 1841 Park Ave, New York.

    Mural by artist Bustart at 1841 Park Avenue, New York.

    Other murals commissioned by the campaign since its founding have sprung up across the globe, in cities including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Rio De Janeiro, London, Delhi, Atlanta, and Sydney. The campaign uses a combination of public art and digital technology to spur conversations, both on the streets and on the Internet, through pictures and videos of the artists at work.

    “The artist while creating the piece of work has a conversation with passersby, and everything that is happening during the creative process is captured by video camera,” said Bahari. “Those videos, the digital works of arts, give context to murals, the analog works of art. As a result we have a multi-layered dialogue with the community.”

    The roughly 300,000 Baha’i who live in Iran are viewed as heretics and have been discriminated against since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In the aftermath of the revolution, hundreds of Baha’i were arrested or murdered. Members of the community had their property and belongings seized by various Iranian institutions in the following decades.

    The discrimination continues—even today, Baha’is are the target of harassment and arrests on false pretenses. The campaign estimates that there are 74 Baha’is currently incarcerated in Iran.

    Members of the Baha’i community, considered impure by country’s powerful clerics, also are banned from studying or teaching in universities in the country. “They wanted to stop the growth of the Baha’i community,” said Bahari, who describes the government’s policy as “educational apartheid.”

    Mural by artist El Cekis on 160 E 120th St.

    Mural by artist El Cekis on 160 E. 120th Street, New York.

    Mural by artist Elle at 250 W 127th St, New York.

    Mural by artist Elle at 250 W. 127th Street, New York.

    The Baha’i community has responded to this maltreatment in an innovative way. In 1986, after many Baha’i teachers were kicked out of university and Baha’i students were denied education, they started an underground university called the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). “Through that underground university they have managed to not only survive in Iran, but they have thrived,” says Bahari.

    The lack of accreditation for the university means that the degree is not accepted in most places in Iran. But many prominent universities in the US, such as MIT, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley, accept these unofficial degrees and admit BIHE graduates.

    Mural by artist Rone at 70 E 129th Street, New York

    Mural by artist Rone at 70 E. 129th Street, New York

    Bahari considers Iran’s treatment of the Baha’i community a barometer of the government’s tolerance of minorities in general. “If the Iranian government can develop a more logical, more reasonable approach to the situation of the Baha’i, that is a sign of a less dogmatic and less extremist government,” said Bahari. “And that is not what many conservative hardliners want. So Baha’is become victims of the infighting within the country.”

    In May of this year, Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of a powerful ayatollah, had tea with Fariba Kamalabadi, a prominent leader of the Baha’i community, sparking a debate in Iran.

    Mural by artist Alexandre Keto at 160 E 120th Street, New York.

    Mural by artist Alexandre Keto at 160 E. 120th Street, New York.

    On Sept. 6, Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community, wrote a letter (pdf) to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, lamenting the “the unrelenting economic oppression imposed upon the Baha’i community” and urging the government to take action. “How can the deliberate policy of a government be to impoverish a section of its own society?” he wrote.

    The Iranian government has asked similarly pointed questions about the United States, mainly in the context anti-American propaganda accusing white capitalists of exploiting their black countrymen.

    “Since the beginning of the Iranian Revolution the Iranian government has pretended to be the champion of the oppressed throughout the world, including African Americans,” said Bahari. “It seems that the Iranian government does not see the similarities between its own actions against a large minority in its own country and what went on in the US against the African-American minority.”

  4. kalenjin shared this story from The strategists in the Long Room.

    There was an ad on television, back in the late 1970s or early 1980s, for McVities' biscuits. It featured an airplane flying normally - stably, if you like - before suddenly turning nose-up as the cry went up from the passengers "The McVities are at the back!" 

    I've been reminded of it too many times over the last thirty years in markets.

  5. kalenjin shared this story from Calculated Risk.

    Note; This is an update to a post I wrote last year.

    It was more than six years ago that we started discussing the turnaround for apartments. Then, in January 2011, I attended the NMHC Apartment Strategies Conference in Palm Springs, and the atmosphere was very positive.

    The drivers in 2011 were 1) very low new supply, and 2) strong demand (favorable demographics, and people moving from owning to renting).

    The move "from owning to renting" is probably over, and demographics for apartments are still somewhat positive - but less favorable than 6 years ago.  Also much more supply has come online.  Slowing demand and more supply for apartments is why I think growth in multi-family starts will slow this year (or maybe be flat compared to 2015).

    On demographics, a large cohort had been moving into the 20 to 29 year old age group (a key age group for renters).  Going forward, a large cohort will be moving into the 30 to 39 age group (a key for ownership).

    Note: Household formation would be a better measure than population, but reliable data for households is released with a long lag.

    Population 20 to 34 years oldClick on graph for larger image.

    This graph shows the longer term trend for three key age groups: 20 to 29, 25 to 34, and 30 to 39 (the groups overlap).

    This graph is from 1990 to 2060 (all data from BLS: current to 2060 is projected).

    We can see the surge in the 20 to 29 age group (red).  Once this group exceeded the peak in earlier periods, there was an increase in apartment construction.  This age group will peak in 2018 (until the 2030s), and the 25 to 34 age group (orange, dashed) will peak in 2023.  This suggests demand for apartments will soften in a few years.

    For buying, the 30 to 39 age group (blue) is important (note: see Demographics and Behavior for some reasons for changing behavior).  The population in this age group is increasing, and will increase significantly over the next decade.  

    This demographics is positive for home buying, and this is a key reason I expect single family housing starts to continue to increase in coming years.
  6. kalenjin shared this story from The Big Picture.

    The post Understanding the New Normal: The Role of Demographics appeared first on The Big Picture.

  7. kalenjin shared this story from The Big Picture.

    The post Trends in Family Wealth, 1989 to 2013 appeared first on The Big Picture.

  8. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    The United States has a $18 trillion economy, which makes it the world’s largest by GDP.

    To show its tremendous size, we previously published a visualization of the global economy that carved the world’s economic production into slices based on each country’s contribution to GDP. While this visualization helps to show how large the U.S. economy is in comparison to other nations, it still doesn’t seem to tell the full story.

    After all, the United States is geographically vast and diverse, and population is spread out and unevenly distributed. This means production and innovation are both concentrated in some areas of the country, while other parts are clearly more rural.

    How can we account for these differences to get a more accurate view of the U.S. economic engine?

    3 Maps to Visualize America’s $18 Trillion Economy

    Luckily, Mark J. Perry from AEI’s Carpe Diem blog has done some heavy lifting here to help us better understand the size and scope of America’s economy activity.

    Here’s three maps that will make you think:

    America's $18 Trillion Economy Compared to Countries

    The first map redraws state borders to make seven “mega-states” that each have individual economies the size of major countries. California, for example, has an economy the size of France. The whole Northeast has an economy the size of Japan, and so on.

    But even states are very diverse in geography – for example, Arizona has 6.7 million people, but more than two-thirds of those people live in the Phoenix metro area.

    American Metro Areas Compared to Countries

    The second map compares the economies of metropolitan areas with entire countries. As you can see, the aforementioned Phoenix metro area has similar economic output to Portugal.

    Meanwhile, the whole corridor from New York through to Washington, D.C. is as big as Canada, Iran, Czech Republic, and Sweden combined.

    America's Economy Split in Half

    The final map builds on this idea, showing that half of America’s economic output comes just from a selection of metropolitan areas. The other half of America’s $18 trillion economy is based in the large swaths of land in between, including thousands of rural areas, villages, towns, and cities.



    The post These 3 Maps Help to Visualize America’s $18 Trillion Economy appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  9. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    Chart: The True Size of the Crude Oil Market

    Big Oil

    The oil market is bigger than all metal markets combined

    The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

    Ever since the invention of the internal combustion engine, oil has been one of the most crucial commodities on Earth. Without it, modern transportation as we know it would not be possible. Industries such as aviation, aerospace, automobiles, shipping, and the military would look nothing like they do today.

    Of course, as we now know, this has all come with some extreme drawbacks from an environmental perspective. And while new green technology and the lithium revolution will aid in eventually reducing the role of oil in transportation, the fact is we still use 94 million barrels per day of crude worldwide.

    As a result, the energy industry continues to have huge amounts of influence on our lives. Special interest groups with a focus on energy have influence on a domestic level. Meanwhile, from a foreign policy angle, countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia wield additional geopolitical and economic power because of their natural resources. It’s even arguable that everything from the Gulf War to the more recent Middle East interventions in Libya, Syria, and Iraq have been at least partially to do with oil.

    This week’s chart of the week aims to help explain the influence that oil has on countries and markets by using a very simple perspective: the size of the crude oil market vs. all metal markets combined.

    The True Size of the Oil Market

    While the amount of uses in one barrel of oil is quite incredible, we still need a mind-boggling amount of the natural resource each year to sustain consumption.

    Oil production per year: 34 billion barrels
    Oil market size at current prices: $1.7 trillion per year

    To consider how big this actually is, we compare the annual market sizes of all major metals and minerals that are mined throughout the world:

    • Gold: $170 billion
    • Iron: $115 billion
    • Copper: $91 billion
    • Aluminum: $90 billion
    • Zinc: $34 billion
    • Manganese: $30 billion
    • Nickel: $21 billion
    • Silver: $20 billion
    • Other metals: $67 billion (Including platinum, palladium, titanium, tin, moly, uranium, and more)

    The total amount works out to $660 billion – just a tiny fraction of the size of the oil market.

    Note: we focus on raw, physical materials in this analysis. We leave out things like gold futures, or alloy markets such as steel in this analysis. To get market size numbers, we used the latest price multiplied by 2015 demand in most cases. We left out the smaller markets for many other metals like bismuth, antimony, or rhodium. Exact sources can be seen in the chart itself.

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    The post The Oil Market is Bigger Than All Metal Markets Combined appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  10. kalenjin shared this story from CBC | Canada News.

    Julia Gluck and baby Zayn

    A volunteer cuddler program at Toronto's St. Michael's hospital helps babies in the neonatal intensive care unit when their parents can't be there.