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Author: matt

Projection mapping your dinner

Projection mapping your dinner

Le Petit Chef brings projection mapping to your plate! I first ran into projection mapped dinners when I was at Inamo in London. One of the best aspects of Inamo wasn’t so much the projection mapping on the plate other than the fact you could order more food, drink refills, and even hail a cab and see a livestream of the front door cam to know when it arrived – all without having to call over a waiter.

How to Talk Minnesotan – or Midwestern

How to Talk Minnesotan – or Midwestern

Learn the finer points of non-commital conversational style, body language, eating, hot dish, offers, and the long goodbye. Applies pretty much equally to anywhere in the Midwest like where I grew up

Of course, there’s also Charlie Berens who lets you know nothing has changed over the decades

The Line

The Line

What if I told you that Saudi Arabia was planning on building a mirrored building called The Line that will be 656 feet wide, 1,640 feet tall, and 105 miles long. It will house 9 million people in a eco-friendly paradise. It’s part of a $500 billion Saudi building project called NEOM being built in the country’s Tabuk Province. It’s already a divisive initiative that’s been beset with controversy from the time it started, because around 20,000 people will be forced to relocate by its construction along with the unknown environmental impact of such a structure.

It’s remains to be seen if it will even get off the ground or will end up like many of the other utopian-like efforts that have gone south in Dubai.

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Peruvian/Inca whistling vessles

Peruvian/Inca whistling vessles

These fascinating vessels create the most interesting animal sounds when filled with a little bit of water and tilting them.

How do they work? They use some cleverly designed chambers that create the different effects. Steve Mould does a great analysis below:

Oregon drug decriminalization – How’s that going after 2 years?

Oregon drug decriminalization – How’s that going after 2 years?

In 2020, Oregon voters passed the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act in 2020 which decriminalized possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs.

So how is it going?

Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country. Fatal overdoses have increased almost 20% over the previous year, with over a thousand dead. Of 16,000 people who were picked up in the first year of decriminalization, only 0.85% entered treatment. But around 60% of them accepted free needles.

Steve Allen, behavioral health director, said that they needed millions more and more time for the “bold and transformative approach.” Addiction researcher and professor at Stanford University and former senior adviser in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Keith Humphreys said, “If there is no formal or informal pressure on addicted people to seek treatment and recovery and thereby stop using drugs, we should expect continuing high rates of drug use, addiction and attendant harm,”

Places like Europe that decriminalized drugs also heavily enforce getting addicts into treatment programs, shut down drug dens, and still put people in jail if they don’t seek help. Yet they still have some conflicting results.

It seems like Oregon’s picked the worst of the policies – legalization with no enforcement and no consequences. Unfortunately, the real losers are the thousands of addicts that are now dead. Sadly, it seems that our politicians are more interested in making shows of public policy instead of saving lives.

The End of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy

The End of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy

I thought this a really interesting term and article: the End of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy. Many young people have grown up in a world in which they have never had to pay the real costs of things. How? Venture capital has been helping Silicon Valley companies run with big losses for over a decade now. The goal was growth at any cost – and cost overruns were not a problem with basically 0% interest rates and venture capital and stock market investors pouring money into tech and growth stocks. With rising interest rates however, the last 20 years of free money seem to be slamming shut. The real cost of the Uber trips, complementary next day shipping, cloud storage, free apps, and cheap eats are starting to come out.

Venture capital companies are warning startups that the money is drying up and they need to act fast. Across the entire startup landscape, VC money is dropping by double-digit percentages and costs must be cut. Even Facebook and Google are issuing dire earnings reports that show that the party is likely over. You can read lots of articles on Inc about this rapid change and it’s causing scores of startups to rescind offers and even lay off substantial amounts of their staffs – often 20% or more at a time.

Time will tell if we ever return to the heady days of 2% interest rates. Until then, I think a lot of young people might start experiencing things that many lived through in the late 70’s and 80’s – high inflation with just as high interest rates. Much like the Ghostbusters did:

‘Passive’ Real Estate Investing

‘Passive’ Real Estate Investing

I grew up in a family that owned a few houses. Besides the house we lived in my dad saw owning a few rental properties as good investments. The reality turned out to be a lot more work than I ever expected. I remember spending whole summers and free weekends painting or fixing various issues on the houses.

Fast forward to the 2000’s and I saw others try the same thing. Then many of them moved to simply buying and flipping. Why? Because actually owning homes is expensive and not ‘passive’ at all. It can, as I learned as a kid, become a major investment of your time and energy.

I found this article to be pretty much spot-on to what I saw us go through.

  1. Managing properties takes a lot of work. Everything from finding tenants, to keeping the buildings maintained (including emergency repairs), to dealing with bad tenants and damage. I learned this in spades. You’re now a home owner for not just your house but ALL the houses. This means each new house adds an entire house’s maintenance to your weekend task list.
  2. What makes a good house might not make a good rental. You need to be aware of what makes a good rental return (the 1% rule – the monthly rent should be 1% of the purchase price of the home or greater) and whether markets can support that.
  3. Rental properties in popular vacation spots doesn’t mean you’ll actually want to live there full-time. A lot of people buy a vacation home in a popular vacation spot with the idea of moving there later. But they often forget to ask themselves if that is where they really want to live full time. The Oregon coast is a great example. It’s absolutely gorgeous in the summer but rainy and isolated in the winter. Medical services and social activities are extremely limited.
  4. Real estate investing can actually distract you from your real financial goals. If your goal is really to retire early or give something to your kids, there might be better ways to get there.
  5. Real estate investing requires a lot of professional help. You can’t manage all the legal and professional repairs you’ll need to do yourself. You’re going to need to find and pay for good help.