Monday, April 30, 2018

Random Thoughts: On Our World.....

It has been quite a weekend as the Home Secretary in the UK resigned (replaced by the first Muslim, Saeed Javid) and as our World continued to be ever so beset by challenges including the tragedy in Afghanistan that some 9 Journalists lost their lives in a new Daesh (ISIL) attack in Kabul.   

Iran--a key focus for us--is also at the forefront in light of the French President's visit and the new US Secretary of State's tour of the region.     All indications are that the President will "nix" the deal which will continue to have profound consequences (as The Israeli Prime Minister made another speech again).     This is as the War in Syria rages on and as Iraq and Lebanon are gearing up for pivotal elections.   This is as we picked this up on the Opoid  Crisis that continues to wreck havoc on the United States courtesy of the team at City Lab: 


Map of opioid stat miscounts

There’s more to America’s opioid epidemic than death statistics—and even those can be unreliable. The map above shows just how much states may undercount their opioid death rates. The dark shades represent the biggest difference between reported opioid mortality rates in 2014 and corrected rates based on analysis from the University of Virginia.

As those numbers lag, cities and towns are on the front lines of an opioid crisis they don’t fully understand. Some are getting creative with how to gather more data on the problem: One city even has a plan to mine drug-usage data from its sewage. CityLab’s Linda Poon has the story on the experimental, data-driven quest to learn what’s really happening in the opioid crisis.

As this month is before us, please enjoy these "Random Thoughts" from the Grid as our team will continue to keep the daily curation of our Twitter Channel at hand with our key focus areas including The Near East (Middle East), China, India, Technology and Education--Onward!!

Out & About in our Community at Taste of Aliso Niguel 2018 

Out & About in Our World With Images from the Summit of the Koreas 

Out & about in Our World w/this On Donald Trump in Iran in 1977 (Right Before the Revolution) 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Random Thoughts As April 2018 Drifts Away Into History....

It has been quite a month in our World as May is bound to be even more colorful as we await President Trump's Decision on the Iran Deal, as the US Mid-Terms get into high gear and as we continue to be ever so engaged with our Mission throughout.   This was also as the World was witness to the Summit of the Two Koreas.    We agree that it masked the ugly nature of the North Korean Regime--but we are of the view that talking is better than shooting--and commitments that came out (albeit vague at times) is still welcome   The image from the Muse above was  cute as a Moment of Pause.

We also wanted to "close out" the Month with these "Random Thoughts" with the first one being from the great Abbas Attar (whom Thomas Endribrink of the New York Times deemed an "Iranian in Paris") who passed away with this iconic image of his from the Iranian Revolution of 1979--and as protests continue throughout the Country: 

We close out April in our Properties with these two final thoughts as we look forward to living up to our Mission throughout: 

Onward to May with all its' possibilities!!!

Notations On Our World (Special W-End Edition): Witness to History As President Macron of France addressed Congress....

Emmanuel Macron came to the United States.  Earlier this week, we had the pleasure to feature his speech before Congress live as he also went against President Trump on Climate Change and the Iran Deal.    However, what was disturbing was how Iran arrested an Dual National Academic during a visit to Iran as Macro fought for the deal.

As we look forward to our series on Iran, we wanted to share highlights of President Macron's Visit to Capitol Hill courtesy of the Office of Speaker Ryan:

President Macron's Address to Congress
April 25, 2018 | Caleb Smith & Paige Waltz |
This morning, a time-honored tradition took place as President Emmanuel Macron became the eighth President of France to address a joint meeting of Congress. The United States' partnership with France dates all the way back to our nation's founding, and Speaker Ryan welcomed President and Madam Macron to the Capitol in the spirit of our longstanding friendship.

1. Speaker Ryan and President Macron sit down together moments before the joint meeting begins.

2. Speaker Ryan welcomes President Macron to the Hall of the House to address a joint meeting of Congress.

3. The first foreign dignitary to address the United States Congress was also French: General Marquis de Lafayette, whose portrait hangs in the House Chamber as seen in the photo below.

4. President Macron receives a standing ovation from the United States Congress.

5. Speaker Ryan and his wife, Janna, bid farewell to President Macron and his wife, Brigette.

To watch President Macron's full address to Congress, click the video below.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): On The Prowl as @EmmanuelMacron Begin his Visit to the United States

Emmanuel Macron and his wife have arrived in the United States.   As Emmanuel Macron continues to press Donald Trump on the Iran Deal, we also understand that no Democratic Members of Congress have been invited to the State Dinner.

According to reports, indications are that President Trump will ax the deal and Hassan Rouhani has already said that there will be consequences. 

Notations On Our World (@POTUS Special Edition): On @realDonaldTrump & #IranDeal & Other thoughts...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): As The New Week Looms......

It has been quite a weekend as our team continued to keep pace with our World with the problematic nature of the Trump Presidency epitomized by this recent cover of Time Magazine.    In addition, there was the continued backlash in the aftermath of the Comey Memo leak.  Beyond that, there were reporting about how President Trump lied to get on the Forbes 400.

The turnover in the White House and the chaos that has epitomized  & by the analysis presented in the PBS Newshour late last week was underscored: 

It is also interesting that the weekend saw finally a major figure in Iran, Saeed Mortazavi, arrested.  He had been hiding in the North of the Country and his "disappearance" had caused a lot of laughter throughout the Country as he was on the run after having been convicted of felony murder and other charges.  This is as Iran continued to be in a stage of outrage in the aftermath of the beating up of the young lady the streets of Tehran by the Morality Police.   This is as there were protests in Armenia, South Africa and Nicaragua--to name a few.   This is also as North Korea said it will stop its' nuclear program in anticipation of a summit with the South Korea and an apparent upcoming summit with Donald Trump.  This is also as the War in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt railed on--and there was a suicide bomber that attacked a Voter Registration Center in the Afghan Capital.

As it was a challenging World, our team made a few selections as a "Musical Interlude" which we hope all enjoy as we continue to remain hopeful about our World despite the profound challenges: 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Notaitons On Our World (Week End Edition): On The Battle for Paradise

Welcome to Earth Day Week-End.   Our Community, Laguna Niguel, is celebrating Earth Day by working at one of the secret gems here in our Community: Niguel Botannical Perserve.   It is a reminder to us all that we have one Earth.  

The need to protect it and insure that lives are saved is the responsibility of each and everyone of us.      As we deemed this weekly "The Battle For Paradise", there needs to be a realization that our entire Earth is Paradise.     

We wanted to share some thoughts on it as we hope to build upon this on the rays of hope out Puerto Rico: 

This is also we hereby present this courtesy of Peter Diamandis about the true possibilities to go beyond Fossil Fuels and think about how to be smart.    There is no choice:

Every five days, the Sun provides the Earth with as much energy as all proven supplies of oil, coal and natural gas.
If humanity could capture just one part of 6,000 in available solar energy, we’d be able to meet 100 percent of our energy needs.
We’re about to enter an age of energy abundance.
This year, Peter brought Ramez Naam to Abundance 360 to explore how converging exponential technologies will reshape the energy industry in the years and decades ahead.
Naam spent 13 years as a Microsoft executive, and now heads the Energy track at Singularity University. He is a brilliant speaker, an acclaimed science fiction writer and one of Peter’s dear friends.
Before we dive in, here is some context:
As the video notes, the poorest countries in the world are also the sunniest, which means that the entire planet will benefit from the coming energy revolution.

Plummeting Solar Costs

Energy is a $6 trillion per year industry, and it’s ripe for disruption.
In his A360 remarks, Naam explained how the price of solar will further plummet while efficiency and accessibility will dramatically improve.
Some evidence of disruption Naam highlighted:
  1. Peabody, the largest private sector coal company on Earth, went bankrupt in 2014, about three years after its peak.
  2. In 2017, China canceled plans for 151 coal power plants -- some $80 billion of planned projects that will no longer happen.
  3. India canceled almost $9 billion of coal plants in a single month (June 2017).
  4. Shell Oil predicts that peak oil demand will arrive sometime between 2021 and 2029.
Over the past 40 years, the cost of solar panel materials has dropped 250x as a result of innovations in materials science.
Naam noted some major price milestones over the past year:
  1. Where: Tucson, Arizona. Cost: 4.3 cents/kWh.
  2. Where: Chile. Cost: 2.91 cents/kWh.
  3. Where: Mexico. Cost: 2.7 cents/kWh.
  4. Where: Abu Dhabi. Cost: 2.42 cents/kWh.
The 2.42 cents/kWh deal signed in Abu Dhabi is the lowest unsubsidized cost per kWh ever signed anywhere in the world.
And with the anticipated convergences of machine learning, quantum computing and materials science, exponential improvements in solar panel materials will only accelerate.
“It's like a digital shift in price, but in the most important physical infrastructure piece we have, which is energy,” explained Naam. “So now we're hitting crossover, the point at which, in the sunniest parts of the world, solar is simply the cheapest energy you can buy, period, unsubsidized.”
The digitization of solar technology improvements is clear. The materials science of solar is a close cousin to that of computation: both rely on semiconductor and thin film technologies at their core.
With an exponential price decline in solar material cost, what other innovations must happen to truly approach dematerialized solar?
Currently, the amount of solar installed each year increases by 35 to 40 percent.
Considering this growth, we’ll see secondary and tertiary accelerants to the already exponential nature of solar.
Two-thirds of the cost of solar comes from soft costs -- land, panel framing, solar trackers, maintenance, and so on. (Effectively everything besides the panels themselves.)
While robotic and automated solar trackers have been part of solar construction for some time, robotic labor and maintenance are about to disrupt the industry.
One megawatt of solar power is estimated to require 8 acres of land. U.S. solar capacity is on the order of 3,000 megawatts (only 0.65 percent of U.S. power produced), about 24,000 acres of solar-covered land. Extrapolating the 8-acre-per-megawatt estimate to a time when solar dominates 10 percent of U.S. energy, and we’ll need over 1.6 million acres of solar installations.
1.6 million acres is a lot of land to cover and maintain -- for humans.
Solar farm robots will range from autonomous solar-panel-installing trucks to robotic solar panel technicians and surveillance drones and sensors detecting broken panels.
Removing the added cost of labor associated with laying acres of solar panels will be a secondary accelerant to lowering the cost of solar.
A tertiary accelerant happens when we can use renewable energy overnight and during inclement weather.

Energy Storage Shakeup

The utility of renewable energy generators is ultimately linked to our ability to store the harnessed energy.
Exponential advances in renewable technologies will converge with exponential advances in storage technology. We’re in the middle of an energy storage shakeup.
“Storage is the new solar,” says Naam. “This is where we’re seeing the rapid price plunge that’s now changing everything.”
To contextualize how rapidly storage technologies are improving, lithium-ion battery costs have dropped 5x over the past eight years.
Battery prices are decreasing at nearly the same rate as solar prices decreased, but a decade later.

Taking Action

Naam described four ways that entrepreneurs can take action:
  1. Watch the exposure of your supply chain to fossil fuel disruption
  2. Get efficient and cut your energy costs in production (for example, by tapping into services like Sparkfund)
  3. Get flexible and think about energy-intensive investments
  4. Invest in the future.
Peter often says that we are living in the most opportunity-filled time in human history.
An abundance of energy enables an entirely new era of innovation, with untold implications on everyday life and the global standard of living.
As a leader, how will you prepare for this change?  Some already are as exemplified by this that we hope to see:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): On the National WalkOut Tomorrow along w/A Series of Gunfortunate Events

Trevor Noah, once again, reflected upon a current event--this about the pending school walkout tomorrow to protest gun violence.    The Principal of our Hometown High School sent out guidance to the Aliso Niguel Community that is worth noting as it is critical to note that the challenge continues to persist due to the inaction by the Congress of the United States:

Dear Wolverine Families, 
As you may be aware, some national organizers are again calling for a student walkout – during school hours tomorrowFriday, April 20th.  This walkout is reportedly intended to call attention to school violence and issues of gun control.  According to the information we have, students are first being asked to leave class at approximately 10:00 for thirteen minutes (in memory of the 13 students who died in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999), and then to also leave campus for the remainder of the day and attend various community protest events.  We ask for your support in reminding students that they should NOT ever leave campus without first following proper attendance callout procedures.  Our district communications office in March previously sent all CUSD families and staff a letter outlining important information and key points, which will again serve as the foundation for what we will do at ANHS if we have students who choose to participate in this walkout.
While we deeply value each and every one of our student's voices, we are not sponsoring nor endorsing participation in this or any demonstration. However, our student's safety will always be our highest priority and we have a plan to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our students safe in the event they choose to walk out. Below you will find guidelines that we will be following at ANHS, many of which were outlined in the previous communication from me and our district office.
  • We will direct any students who choose to walk out to a supervised location on campus; students should NOT leave campus for any reason.
  • Students do who leave campus without first following proper attendance callout procedures will be marked truant and subject to disciplinary consequences.
  • If a student chooses to walk out of class they will not be prohibited or blocked from doing so in any way.
  • Students will not be forced or pressured to participate in the walkout by any teacher or school employee.
  • We ask that all students, regardless of whether they choose to participate or not, are respectful of each other's choices and views and continue to help make ANHS a safe, supportive, and accepting community for all students.
As always, thank you for your support of our students and school. 
Deni Christensen - Principal

Excerpt from previous District Communications sent in March:
While CUSD supports the rights of our students to express their beliefs under the state and federal First Amendment rights, as a District we are not sponsoring or advocating any participation in demonstrations. Supporting the remarks by the California State PTA, “care must be taken to ensure that orderly operation of the school is not disrupted and the physical safety of students is not threatened.” We have all agreed that our focus will remain on instruction and learning and to keep students safe in classrooms.  
If students walk out of their classrooms or the school, we will supervise and will work with our campuses to strongly encourage that these activities take place in the safest locations possible. Because this is a highly publicized known day to strangers, we continue to reinforce that the safest place to be is in the classroom. ​We do not encourage students to congregate in open areas putting themselves at risk and we expect our students to follow the guidance of our principals and staff to ensure safety. In accordance with state law, we will not discipline students who choose to assemble, provided they adhere to District and school guidelines including, but not limited to:
  • All activities must be peaceful and respectful.
  • At no time may students leave the campus.
  • Additionally, a student may be marked truant if they do not return to the classroom or if they leave the campus. 

We continue to encourage parents to have a conversation with their students and to make their own expectations clear about participating in student demonstrations and these non-school sponsored activities. Principals and school staff who have been approached by students should continue to talk with them about this matter and maintain open lines of communication with parents.

To further support a safe campus environment, outside groups, parents/guardians, and other individuals who do not have official school business will not be allowed on campus to participate in the walkouts. As part of our normal operations, anyone visiting school campuses for school-related matters or for volunteer work must check in with the front office.  
We are committed to the safety of all of our students and desire to assure staff, families, and students that our site staff will work tirelessly to create a positive, supportive learning environment on all of our campuses in the event of any student demonstrations.

Our priority is student learning and safety. What we expect this month from our students will ensure that our students understand future expectations, as many other walkouts are being planned nationally. 

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Latest Out of the UK

Martin Rowson, 17 April 2018
The #Brexit Story in the UK has dissipated for the moment as another controversy has been taking over the UK with how deportations have begun for descendants of the Caribbean Immigrants who came to the UK.   This tweet reminded us of some of the work of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement here in the United States.   The Guardian of London captured it brilliantly

Notations On Our World (Special Thursday Edition): Official opening of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Bu...

The Commonwealth Head of Government Meetings has opened in London as the UK will assume the leadership--and as the Queen has nominated her principal heir, Prince Charles, to succeed her as Head of the Commonwealth.   What particularly caught our attention was the thoughts shared by a Young Man From Sierra Leon and a Lady from India.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On This #TaxDay2018 Here in the US

The Team at the Institute for Policy Studies created this "snapshot" on where Tax Receipts Were spent in the US--Americans spent 29 days working to get Pentagon Contractors Paid:


Monday, April 16, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Weekly Edition): Catching Up w/Our Editor.....

We had an opportunity to catch up with our Editor over the W-End as he was busy at a training at Camp San Luis Obispo--known as the original home of the California National Guard.    He was gracious enough to share these images he captured from a memorial grove dedicated to the fallen heroes of the California National Guard who died during Operation Iraqi Freedom

As He explained it, the first image is where the groove is that is centered with a retired F4 Fighter Jet from the California National Guard.   He also captured one of the images (as he told us he unfortunately ran out of battery!!)

We salute all the fallen and their families as we remember them in our thoughts & prayers.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Friday Edition): As We Prepare To Go Dark-#DreamStillLives

On behalf of all of us at the Daily Outsider, we wish to express our appreciation to the great Stevie Wonder for this beautiful 5 minutes as we say that the Dream Still Lives.   Our mission is to help to do whatever we can to sustain this Dream--and that we shall!!!

We will be dark in our properties over the ensuing days as we hope all enjoy our Broadcast Partners and our Twitter Channel Updates. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): @SpeakerRyan Will not Seek Re-Election

This has just been confirmed by multiple News Sources (Including NBC News Below)  as the US Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Will not seek Re-Election which can be quite a game changer: 

Paul Ryan will not seek re-election, NBC News confirms
House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek re-election, NBC News confirms. NBC’s Garrett Haake and Kasie Hunt report on how the House Speaker’s decision to not seek re-election will affect the Republican Party in Congress.
Read More

(Update:  The House Speaker just concluded a Press Conference within the past hour noting his justification citing his Family and touting his achievements.    One of the key questions was on the Trillion Dollar Deficits and how he noted his attempts at Entitlement Reform.     The comments from Professor Turley Was quite interesting in this regard as we await the interesting times before us as he (and we) ..."
.remain(s)  astonished that 
there was not more of an uproar over the massive budget just passed after lifting debt ceilings by both parties.  Now, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the combination of the new tax bill and our massive budget will push the national debt to nearly the same size as gross domestic product by 2028.  That is with an economic growth rate of 3.3 percent this year.