2019.06.09 / Robert / Comments Off on 88-Year Old Rafael Covarrubias Still Tends Bar in a Tux, and He Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way
Tess Barker writing for Los Angeleno:
Tonight, Covarrubias’ bar is full of diners, and he tends to them as he has done for the last 36 years — and prior to that, another 36 years at the Sheraton in Glendale. It’s nearing the end of the month, which means diners are coming in solo to cash in on their birthday meal. Members of the Pacific Dining Car’s 1921 Club get a free entree on their birthday.
“My birthday is coming up next month,” Covarrubias says. He’ll be turning 88. “Actually, I hate birthdays. They always give me a bunch of clothes. I don’t know where to put those clothes.”
“They,” presumably are the four women he lives with: his wife, his step-daughter, his granddaughter and his great-granddaughter.
2019.05.23 / Robert / Comments Off on Amsterdam to ban all petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030
Diesel cars older than 15 years will be barred from the Dutch capital next year.
Daniel Boffey writing for The Guardian:
“Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said the councillor responsible for the city’s traffic, Sharon Dijksma, announcing the municipality’s decision.
From next year, diesel cars that are 15 years or older will be banned from going within the A10 ring road around the Dutch capital.
Happiness does not follow prosperity. Otherwise kazillionaires would not be drinking and self-medicating themselves to death. Or jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
In America (and also in other countries), an impressive postwar rise in material well-being has had zero effect on personal well-being. The divergence between economic growth and subjective satisfaction began decades ago. Real per capita income has more than tripled since the late 1950s, but the percentage of people saying they are very happy has, if anything, slightly declined.
Ordinary people’s well-being depends mainly on their immediate surroundings. If you are an autoworker who loses your job in Massena, N.Y., when G.M. closes its local plant (moving some jobs to Mexico) and who spends years out of work and who watches as schools shut down and shops go dark and young people flee — for you, the fact that America’s big coastal cities are doing great, or that more than half a billion Chinese have been lifted out of extreme poverty, merely rubs salt in your wounds.
Second, all happiness is relative. Although moral philosophers may wish Homo sapiens were wired more rationally, we humans are walking, talking status meters, constantly judging our worth and social standing by comparing ourselves with others today and with our own prior selves.
The Canadian Liberal government is looking to lift two million Canadians out of poverty by 2030 without committing to new spending.
Justin Trudeau’s government will introduce legislation “as early as possible” to entrench the official poverty line into law. The new plan links multiple federal programs to efforts to reduce poverty and predicts those measures will lift about 650,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2019, next year.
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos pointed to a list of already announced federal programs to reach that goal.
Duclos was in Vancouver Tuesday to unveil the Liberal’s anti-poverty plan, called “Opportunity for All — Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.”
It calls for a reduction in the rate of poverty by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by 2020 and by 50 per cent by 2030.
That would mean about 2.1 million people would no longer live under the poverty line within 12 years.
“There are two key reasons to move,” BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in the report. “To find a job, if you don’t have one; or to take a better-paying job, if you do.”
BMO’s “ranking of labour market attractiveness,” as the report calls it, is purely data-driven. “Mountains vs. lakes, or seafood vs. beef, are among many other important considerations, but such lifestyle factors are ignored here,” Kavcic wrote.
BMO looked at factors such as median household income, job growth, house prices and rental rates to determine their rankings.