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Boy Scouts
Growing Older
In My Apartment
Summer 2008
The West
The Woods
Truck Camping
Where I Grew Up

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Rise Of The Contract Workers: Work Is Different Now

"A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is made up of workers under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. Workers across all industries and at all professional levels will be touched by the movement toward independent work — one without the constraints, or benefits, of full-time employment. Policymakers are just starting to talk about the implications."

A new theory for why Americans can’t get a raise.

"The paper—written by José Azar of IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, Ioana Marinescu of the University of Pennsylvania, and Marshall Steinbaum of the Roosevelt Institute—argues that, across different cities and different fields, hiring is concentrated among a relatively small number of businesses, which may have given managers the ability to keep wages lower than if there were more companies vying for talent. This is not the same as saying there are simply too many job hunters chasing too few openings—the paper, which is still in an early draft form, is designed to rule out that possibility. Instead, its authors argue that the labor market may be plagued by what economists call a monopsony problem, where a lack of competition among employers gives businesses outsize power over workers, including the ability to tamp down on pay. If the researchers are right, it could have important implications for how we think about antitrust, unions, and the minimum wage."

Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour – “Flush To Finish”

A very interesting video on how wastewater is turned into clean water at a typical sewage treatment plant ...

Most sewage treatment is biological (natural bacteria) encouraged by heat and stirring up of the sewage. Then there is screening. Chemicals are used very sparingly in sewage treatment, due to the the risk of chlorine disinfection byproducts, which cause cancer.

Google Maps: Waste Water Treatment Plants Of New York State

Do you live in a place that is hooked up to a sewer? This map shows the location of the outflows from every permitted sewage treatment in New York State., along with a detailed listing of the technologies used at each sewage treatment plant. Light blue are small plants, yellow and green are mid-size while red are very large sewage treatment plants.

Data Source: Current Descriptive Data of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants. https://data.ny.gov/Energy-Environment/Current-Descriptive-Data-of-Municipal-Wastewater-T/g5a2-qa6a

The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed

"It all started with an Instagram ad for a coat, the West Louis (TM) Business-Man Windproof Long Coat to be specific. It looked like a decent camel coat, not fancy but fine. And I’d been looking for one just that color, so when the ad touting the coat popped up and the price was in the double-digits, I figured: hey, a deal! The brand, West Louis, seemed like another one of the small clothing companies that has me tagged in the vast Facebook-advertising ecosystem as someone who likes buying clothes: Faherty, Birdwell Beach Britches, Life After Denim, some wool underwear brand that claims I only need two pairs per week, sundry bootmakers."

"Perhaps the copy on the West Louis site was a little much, claiming “West Louis is the perfection of modern gentlemen clothing,” but in a world where an oil company can claim to “fuel connections,” who was I to fault a small entrepreneur for some purple prose? Several weeks later, the coat showed up in a black plastic bag emblazoned with the markings of China Post, that nation’s postal service. I tore it open and pulled out the coat. The material has the softness of a Las Vegas carpet and the rich sheen of a velour jumpsuit. The fabric is so synthetic, it could probably be refined into bunker fuel for a ship. It was, technically, the item I ordered, only shabbier than I expected in every aspect."

Andrew Cuomo Tackles Hunger With ‘Breakfast After the Bell’

"You’re thinking, “Good for Cuomo. He’s helping hungry kids and using federal money to pay for it. Big deal. Who opposes that? It doesn’t change my opinion of him.” But it should. Issues like hunger are extremely important but not when it comes to elections. When people step into the voting booth, they have maybe a few things in mind: political party, basic impressions of each candidate’s character, and, at most, one or two specific policy issues that they like or don’t like about either candidate. Sadly, those one or two issues are rarely childhood hunger."