What We’re Reading

Speed of innovation:

History shows, however, that energy transitions don’t happen quickly. The key moment in the first major transition—from wood to coal—was in January 1709, when an English metalworker named Abraham Darby figured out how to use coal in order, he said, “that a more effective means of iron production may be achieved.” But it took two centuries before coal overtook wood and waste as the world’s No. 1 fuel. Oil was discovered in western Pennsylvania in 1859, but it was not until a century later, in the 1960s, that oil replaced coal as the world’s top energy resource.

Flu season:

Data from Australia, Chile and South Africa shows a tiny fraction of influenza cases from April to July, the months that constitute the typical flu season in the Southern Hemisphere.

In those three regions, there were just 51 influenza positive specimens among 83,307 tests for a positivity rate of 0.06 percent.

In contrast, the positive rate in those regions during the same time period in years prior was close to 14 percent.

Wikipedia entries:

Adding two paragraphs of text & nice pictures to randomly selected articles about small European cities led to an over 9% increase in hotel stays.

Energy:

For the first time ever, solar and wind made up the majority of the world’s new power generation – marking a seismic shift in how nations get their electricity.

Solar additions last year totaled 119 gigawatts, representing 45% of all new capacity, according to a report Tuesday by BloombergNEF. Together, solar and wind accounted for more than two-thirds of the additions. That’s up from less than a quarter in 2010. The surge comes as countries move to slash carbon emissions and as technology costs fall.

Setbacks:

Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?

While it’s not a principle, I often think of the parable of the Taoist farmer. The Taoist farmer has one horse, and the horse runs off. The villagers lament his misfortune, and he replies “We’ll see.” The horse returns with four more horses, and the farmer is praised for his good luck. He replies, “We’ll see.” His son then attempts to break the horses, and breaks his leg. Again, the villagers console him for his bad luck. The reply again is “We’ll see.” Then the army comes and conscripts all the able-bodied young men, but the farmer’s son is spared.

Have a good weekend, stay safe.


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