Is European Federalism a proxy for German imperialism?

This 3 minute Vox piece explains some of the economic challenges of trying to run one single currency across multiple speed economies. But then it also raises another point about what would happen if the Eurozone really integrated their various economies into one Federal nation.  After watching the following 3 minute video, I’m now convinced the world should stop fearing Federalism as some kind of sinister German and French imperialism. Rather, we should see it as one of the most generous and compassionate acts of national self-sacrifice in the history of nations!

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World now more middle class than poor

Interesting! Sept 2018 marks the point where (finally!) more of the world is wealthy than poor. I remember being told to refer to poor underdeveloped nations as the ‘2/3rd’s world’ because it was the majority. That has shifted somewhat. There’s still a long way to go, and this study defines ‘middle class’ globally VERY different to how you and I would in Australia (being $11 per day). But sadly 650 million still live in extreme poverty, struggling to find food each day. Yet this is reducing at the rate of 5 people per second! Also, the environmental impact per person is gradually reducing as technologies change.
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Stephen Fry on Brexit

For once I agree with Stephen Fry. Word.

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What’s all the fuss about Insight on Mars?

This is a nice Lockheed Martin piece animating everything Insight had to get right just to land on Mars. 3 minutes

This Australian scientist explains why the probe will be so groundbreaking — pun intended. 😉  5.5 minutes

Mars. It’s slowly happening.

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Imagine your car flying to Mars

Imagine being able to tell your sons “Look at the car in space. You guys have been in that car. I’ve driven you in that car!” as they watch the car float off to Mars on the big screen! I’ve time-set this National Geographic to the launch of the Falcon Super-Heavy. I like this coverage because it shows Elon laughing at the 6 sonic booms created by the 2 Falcon’s coming home to land. It’s science, but it’s also magic!
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The Californian fires and New Urbanism

New Urbanism uses 10% of the land of suburbia, housing a million people in 40 square miles instead of 400 square miles. With careful rezoning, suburbia could creep back in on itself over the next generation as the housing stock ages. Allowing for population growth the final city size might be half or even a quarter of the current city size. With normal attrition of the housing stock, suburbia could be replaced by New Urbanism within 60 years. As it collapses back in on itself it would free up heaps of space for natural ecosystems and parks and other firebreaks, and concentrate more wealth and resources in less area. Real Engineering reported that suburban sprawl wastes up to HALF their fresh water in plumbing leaks just because all that plumbing is spread out over such enormous areas. It’s just too hard to maintain in tip top condition. But concentrating everything means there is vastly more money covering vastly less area in such disasters. In other words, where suburbia would be lucky to have a few fire trucks racing around a whole sprawling suburb, New Urbanism is so compact that 2 fire trucks per neighbourhood could prevent most fires spreading. Every eco-apartment complex could afford to have an interior and exterior fire prevention spray system — and the water pressure saved (from suburban sprawl) could be allocated to wetting down a neighbourhood at risk of fire. It’s just another reason that New Urbanism is a superior city plan to suburban sprawl.
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Pacific Alliance a starting EU of South America

Hi all,

It seems that despite the dozens of crony gringo-bashing old-boys clubs in South America, one of the free-trade areas is starting to produce real results in increased trade and economic growth. It even has some political bite in creating the free movement of labour, and as we all know, that involves relaxing visas! Meet the Pacific Alliance. It’s even starting to raise eyebrows in other South American old-boys clubs, and if some of those member states make the move, could become the start of a South American EU. It’s another small step towards a better system of global democratic governance.

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