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Ian Frazier – THE VERTICAL FARM

No. 212 Rome Street, in Newark, New Jersey, used to be the address of Grammer, Dempsey & Hudson, a steel-supply company. It was like a lumberyard for steel, which it bought in bulk from distant mills and distributed in smaller amounts, mostly to customers within a hundred-mile radius of Newark. It sold off its assets in 2008 and later shut …

George Monbiot – The Golden Arches Theory of Decline

A wave of revulsion rolls around the world. Approval ratings for incumbent leaders are everywhere collapsing. Symbols, slogans and sensation trump facts and nuanced argument. One in six Americans now believes that military rule would be a good idea. From all this I draw the following, peculiar conclusion: no country with a McDonald’s can remain a democracy. Twenty years ago, …

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What the death of an oak tree can teach us about mortality

Amid this year’s titanic political and social upheavals, the town of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, found time for quiet mourning. One of the East Coast’s most famous trees, a centuries-old great white oak that spread its serpentine limbs over a cemetery beside the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, was dying. In October, the tree was pronounced dead; a month later, distraught …

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Tim Radford – Northeastern US faces fiercer hurricanes

LONDON, 7 December, 2016 – Hurricanes could hit harder and more often along the northern Atlantic coast of the US. A new study based on 450 years of documentary and fossil evidence suggests that climate change driven by human combustion of fossil fuels is shifting the pathways of the hurricanes linked with the western Caribbean, and that global warming in …

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First 13 cases of deadly fungal infection emerge in US

Thirteen cases of a sometimes deadly and often drug-resistant fungal infection, Candida auris, have been reported in the United States for the first time, health officials said Friday. The infection, which often spreads in hospitals and other health care settings, can invade the ear canal, urine and bloodstream. Four of the US patients diagnosed with the infection have died, although …

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DAVID CAY JOHNSTON – How to Pay Taxes (NOT!) Like Donald Trump

Imagine if you, like President-elect Donald Trump, didn’t have to pay a nickel to support the government he’s now preparing to lead. Trump, who has refused (unlike every other presidential candidate in recent history) to release his tax returns, made his last known payment to the IRS in 1977. In fact, thanks to a tax trick quietly deployed by a …