Atomic Secrets, Kamikaze Drones & Killer Cops: June 30, 2015

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Last Secret of the Atom Bomb
By Paul DeRienzo
The search for a dirty-bomb in New York City has uncovered a history of radioactive contamination… and a lingering mystery from the Manhattan Project.

WHO

American Workers are Burned Out and Overworked
MarketWatch is calling it “the 21st Century Paradox.” More than half of Americans say they are “burned out” and “overworked,” but well over two-thirds also say they are “happy.” So, what gives? There are a number of possibilities, but it’s probably the fact that they’re just happy to have a job, particularly with chronic unemployment, underemployment and stagnant wages. In fact, the President has a new proposal to do something about the gap between rising productivity and stalled compensation.

US Police Killed More People in 3 Months than Egyptian Police Killed in the Past Year
Egypt is run by a repressive military regime that is notorious for human rights abuses. It also receives a tidy sum of US military aid, which it often uses on “its own people.” Remember those tear-gas canisters stamped with Made in USA? Well, speaking of using weapons on your “own people”… the scorecard so far: first full year of Sisi’s regime = 272 police-caused deaths vs. first three months of 2015 in America = 288 deaths. And, if you go by The Guardian’s count, the US total is 545 as of June 29.

Israel’s New Kamikaze Drone
The Israelis certainly have dealt with more than their fair share of suicide bombers. Now, they’ve developed a “suicide bomber” of their own. It’s a drone. It’s deadly. And it’s probably a grim peek into the dark future of warfare.

WHAT

The Problem with Completely Free Markets
The Fiscal Times takes a hard look at the reasons why free markets often need to be fettered by restrictions and regulations. Crucial to government involvement is the inability or the unwillingness of markets to provide social “goods” that are entirely necessary, but not completely rational (in the economic sense). Markets like healthcare, retirement security, energy and finance need some level of government involvement to ameliorate the impact of the unfettered profit motive, according to this fascinating piece by economist Mark Thoma.

WHY

Virus-Carrying Mosquitoes are More Widespread than Ever, and Spreading
Scientists have been mapping the tiger mosquito. It carries dengue and chikungunya. And their latest distribution map shows that this species has “rapidly expanded in parts of the US, Southern Europe and China over the past 10–15 years.” Haven’t heard of chikungunya? Since it arrived in the Americas it’s led to over one million cases…. all spread by the heretofore tropical mosquito species. Is it me, or is it getting hot in here?

‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ Is Still Beautiful To Us
Quasi Modo is doing pretty well for an “ugly” dog. She was abandoned at a shelter by people who just didn’t like her looks. But, after finding a home and finding her way into the hearts of onlookers, she just won the world’s championship of ugly and quickly became a celebrity ambassador for seeing dogs as more than just an accessory or accoutrement.

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