By Derek Melot/Bridge Magazine
“The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side” — James A. Baldwin, American author.
* OK, so it’s not “Jurassic Park” and velociraptors, but it’s still cool: A Northern Michigan man is cloning trees — and not just any trees:
* CNN created a two-page national map on gas prices. One map shows average fuel prices ($3.91 in Michigan at the time the map was created). The other one is more interesting. It shows the percentage of income that’s devoted to buying gas in each state. In Mississippi, more than $1 in $10 is spent on gasoline. Ouch:
* With the Detroit Three in pretty much boom mode right now, it might seem … out of place to make note of this report from February, which argues that manufacturing will not create lots and lots of new jobs. One interesting nugget out of this — only 56 percent of jobs in manufacturing firms actually are involved in making stuff:
* It was “plastics” in the 1960s. Now, it’s “hot sauces”:
* Make what you will of this: Only 61 percent of Republicans surveyed know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Don’t snicker, Democrats: Only 58 percent of you know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Democrat. Geez, good thing they didn’t ask party affiliations for Zachary Taylor or John Adams:
* Does this really work? SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments — a regional planning group) is touting the results of a poll that shows 84 percent of respondents favor raising money (i.e. fees and taxes) to improve roads and such. But it’s an online poll — not a random sample. The positive spin is that there are at least some folks who are motivated enough to fill out an online survey in favor of transport spending. The negative spin is that those who weren’t motivated are likely to be opposed to same, right? End result: Where’s the political advantage for elected officials to push higher fees and taxes?