This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time:
A new site called OldNYC delivers a Street View-like view of what the city looked like in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The site includes a map of New York City and a slew of dots that can be clicked on to see different images of that particular location.
According to Business Insider, which earlier reported on the site, it was developed by Dan Vanderkam in collaboration with the New York Public Library, which has acollection of more than 80,000 photographs of New York City shot from the 1870s to the 1970s.
While OldNYC is not a Street View clone—users will not be able to "drive" their way through the streets like they would on Google's service—it's somewhat similar. Indeed, users can zoom in and out on a particular location, pick their favorite crossing, and click on the small red dot. Upon doing so, images related to that location are displayed.
I'll be playing with this for a few minutes...
For a couple of odd timing reasons, this is my first full 5-day week at my new job...and it's already a 5½-day week. So I've barely enough time to jot these articles down for future reading:
Have fun. I'll catch up to these in a day or two.
David Cameron is about to meet HM The Queen to tender his resignation. Earlier today he gave his last appearance in the House of Commons to answer questions:
Theresa May becomes Prime Minister with immediate effect. She's looking forward to winning the 2020 election—but it seems probable there will be an election this fall.
Brian Beutler says Trump poses an "invisible danger to our democracy:"
In a country divided such as ours is, an election can help break impasses by providing reasonably clear guidance on what changes the majority of people want to make. But the strangeness of Trump’s campaign is sidelining that guidance. Rather than serving as an exponent of white working-class interests, advancing a policy agenda that would materially benefit his supporters, Trump serves merely as their id.
This has made collateral damage out of ideology. Not since 2000 has a U.S. election been so untethered from substantive questions about how to make people more satisfied with the ways the government serves them. Trump has made this election a referendum on our national identity—are we the kind of country that turns to a demagogue when enough people are frustrated?—rather than on our policy status quo. Once that identity issue is resolved, the question of what comes next won’t have a clear answer.
Even a happy ending to this election—a Trump defeat—will leave our governing institutions paralyzed or powerless to respond to the signals voters will have sent. If the public is already worryingly disaffected by gridlock and dysfunction in government, this election promises to worsen the trend.
And just today, he and Justice Ginsburg got into a spat. Awesome.
British Home Secretary Theresa May became the last person standing in the Conservative party this morning when her only remaining challenger dropped out. So instead of waiting for the party conference in September to formally step down, PM David Cameron is buggering off this week:
May had been competing with Andrea Leadsom to replace David Cameron as party leader after he announced he would quit after losing last month's Brexit referendum.
However, Leadsom announced Monday she was dropping out, leaving May unopposed and forcing the Conservatives to abandon their plans for a ballot of members.
Cameron said he would offer his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday — a necessary formal step when changing leaders — meaning May would become leader the same day.
May will be the country's second female PM and the first since Margaret Thatcher stood down in 1990.
There is, however, a wrinkle:
[H]er premiership will be dominated by one subject, and one alone: Brexit. The new prime minister has said she will not rush to invoke Article 50, beginning formal exit talks, and in her public pronouncements has emphasised the importance of retaining single-market access to a greater degree than some of her more die-hard Eurosceptic colleagues, some of whom question whether she will drive a hard enough bargain with the 26 other EU states.
Given the coming storms—from the renegotiation to the economic fallout from Britain’s decision on June 23rd—Mrs May will surely be tempted to call an early election. She has previously ruled this out. But those around her obsess about avoiding the mistakes of Gordon Brown, another introverted master of detail who inherited the premiership rather than winning it at the polls. Mr Brown contemplated a vote in 2007 when he took over from Tony Blair, chickened out and lived to regret it. So as the home secretary prepares her move to that storied, terraced house in SW1 and contemplates a Labour Party tearing itself apart, the thought must cross her mind: time to go to the country and secure a five-year lease?
Fun times in the UK.
Between Bristol Renaissance Faire's opening on Saturday and a lot of lazy Sunday yesterday, I didn't do a lot of productive work this past weekend. I'll catch up on blogging this week, though; got a ton of stuff in the backlog.
Chicago saw the end of an era today:
The final Chicago-made Oreo cookies will roll off the line Friday, ending the iconic cookie's decadeslong run of delighting consumers and providing good-paying union jobs on the Southwest Side.
The last Oreo line at the Mondelez International plant is shutting down as the global snack and confectionary company shifts some of its production to Mexico. As part of the move announced last summer, the company said it would be laying off about half of the plant's 1,200 workers; many of them are already gone. The Chicago plant will continue to make other products, like BelVita breakfast biscuits and Mini Chips Ahoy cookies. Oreo cookies will continue to be made at three other plants in the U.S. — just not at the brick bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Ave.
In making the decision, Mondelez executives said they could save $46 million a year by installing the so-called "lines of the future" in Salinas, Mexico, rather than Chicago.
You can get a lot of Double-Stuf for $46m.
May was the 13th month in a row that had record heat globally; June will likely be the 14th. In fact, the entire continental U.S. had above-average temperatures last month, which is a first:
If last month, while excreting rivulets of moisture like a ham in the oven, you found yourself thinking, This is crazy hot—you weren’t wrong. It was the warmest June in the U.S. since records began in the late 1800s, surpassing 2015’s historically scorching June and perhaps adding to the world’s never-before-recorded streak of incredible heat.
The 22.1°C average temperature for the Lower 48 was more than 2°C above the historic norm, according to NOAA. It beat out the previous record-holder of 22.0°C in 1933, and made 2016’s year-to-date temperature the third-warmest in known U.S. history.
Aside from being alarmingly hot, June also marked the month in which 31 major U.S. scientific institutions warned Congress in a consensus letter that “climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary drive.”
And here we go, whistling past the graveyard...
Scott Adams believes Donald Trump will be the next president, because of Trump's ability to persuade people. Adams claims not to want this outcome, but all evidence suggests he supports Trump more than he's letting on. So I was surprised to agree with parts of Adams' analysis of James Comey's presser Tuesday:
The folks who support Clinton are sheepishly relieved and keeping their heads down. But the anti-Clinton people think the government is totally broken and the system is rigged. That’s an enormous credibility problem.
But what was the alternative?
The alternative was the head of the FBI deciding for the the people of the United States who would be their next president. A criminal indictment against Clinton probably would have cost her the election.
How credible would a future President Trump be if he won the election by the FBI’s actions instead of the vote of the public? That would be the worst case scenario even if you are a Trump supporter. The public would never accept the result as credible.
Comey might have saved the country. He sacrificed his reputation and his career to keep the nation’s government credible.
It was the right decision.
I think Comey made the right call too. I disagree with Adams, however, that the FBI's recommendation was "absurd." But that's another post.
Today marks the 49th anniversary of the most odiferous disaster ever to strike the shores of Chicago:
[D]uring the 1930s, these alewives got into Lake Michigan. They weren’t much of a problem because the bigger fish–like the trout–would eat them. But the sea lamprey came along and ate the trout. Sea lampreys didn’t eat alewives, so suddenly, the lake had all these alewives and no predators.
Pretty soon there are alewives filling the lake. That’s what today’s story is about—July 7, 1967. There are so many alewives around Chicago that it’s become national news. Even Time magazine is talking about it.
Of course, those alewives would be decaying, and you can imagine the smell—well, you probably don’t want to. The flies would come in, and the beaches would be a mess. The city would have to use tractors and bulldozers to clear off the beaches.
Nobody knew how many dead alewives there were. Experts said hundreds of millions, maybe a billion. A guy in a plane over the lake saw a ribbon of drifting dead alewives 40 miles long.
I remember these die-offs continuing until the late 1970s. Today, we have salmon in the lake, so fewer alewives. At least, until the carp get here...