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Showing posts from February 26, 2014

BACK FROM THE DEAD : Bitcoin Has Made A Really Impressive Recovery


FEB. 26, 2014, 4:35 AM 

There's an interesting divergence right now.

The news media is filled with BITCOIN IS DOOMED articles in the wake of the collapse of the exchange Mt. Gox.

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin community is mostly saying: "Yeah, this is bad, but not devastating, and we'll be fine."

And the market so far is much more on the side of the Bitcoin community.

Here's a chart going back a couple of days. The entire Mt. Gox crash is basically totally erased.


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~From facebook

Brazil is on the brink of a coffee shortage

Not only will coffee be more expensive, it may also taste worse.

Raw coffee beans imported from Brazil lie in sacks in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

Your morning caffeine fix is in jeopardy: Brazil is on the brink of a coffee shortage.

As the worst drought in decades bears down on Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee producer is reaching a breaking point. 

The crop may fall below 50 million bags, a staggering loss when compared to its potential yield of 58 million.

 As a result, the cost of Arabica coffee beans — the variety beloved by Starbucks’ baristas — is skyrocketing. 

While the 50 percent spike in coffee prices hasn’t yet translated to a more expensive ‘cup of Joe’ at the counter, it could soon. 

On Monday, the price of coffee per pound reached $1.75, the highest in over a year. Prices may even reach $2 in the not-so-distant future, Bloomberg reported.

More from GlobalPost: That coffee you are drinking might not be so fair trade after all

And the coffee could start tasti…

Who’s who: These are the key figures in Venezuela's political crisis

As protesters and security forces continue to clash in Venezuela, here's a breakdown of all the major players.

LIMA, Peru — Venezuela is close to breaking point. Shortages of basic goods and some of the world’s highest crime and inflation rates triggered protests earlier this month that appear only to intensify with each attempt to repress them.

More from GlobalPost: Why they're protesting in Venezuela

As the government and opposition struggle for the upper hand in bitterly polarized Venezuela, GlobalPost runs down the key players in the fight.

Nicolas Maduro

(Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

Before his death in March, El Comandante Hugo Chavez personally anointed Nicolas Maduro as his political heir, a decision the nation then ratified in April when the 51-year-old former bus driver and union leader won the presidential elections. Maduro was a longtime Chavez ally, first visiting the leftist army officer as he languished in prison for a 1992 failed coup attempt. During Chavez’s presi…

How America fell out of love with orange juice

By Roberto A. Ferdman @robferdman

February 26, 2014

Once upon a time. Flikr user april-mo

America has fallen out of love with orange juice.

Sales dropped almost every year for the last decade. Last year, orange juice sales hit their lowest level in at least 15 years, according to Nielsen. Over the same period, per-capita consumption fell roughly 40%. And this year is looking to be another rough one for big orange.

Orange juice’s precipitous decline is a big deal. For nearly five decades, the sweet beverage made its way onto more and more American breakfast tables nearly every year. At its height, almost three-quarters of American households bought and kept orange juice in their refrigerator, according to Alissa Hamilton 2009′s book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice

But shifting American eating habits—which stigmatize sugar and leave little time for breakfast—and surging juice prices have done significant damage to American demand.

Concentrate, Concentrate

America has lived wi…

Trying To ‘Fix’ Climate Change Will Probably Make It Worse


More: LiveScienceClimate ChangeGlobal WarmingGeology


FEB. 26, 2014, 4:21 PM

Kathleen Smith/LLNL

A diagram of the geoengineering project proposed to fight climate change

Current schemes to minimize the havoc caused by global warming by purposefully manipulating Earth's climate are likely to either be relatively useless or actually make things worse, researchers say in a new study.

The dramatic increase in carbon dioxide levels n the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution is expected to cause rising global sea levels, more-extreme weather and other disruptions to regional and local climates. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat, so as levels of the gas rise, the planet overall warms.

In addition to efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, some have suggested artificially manipulating the world's climate in a last-ditch effort to prevent catastrophic climate change. These strategies, considered radical in some circles, are known as g…

American Military Dominance In One Staggering Chart


FEB. 26, 2014, 11:27 AM 

Despite a proposed slashing of U.S. Army personnel to pre-World War II levels, American military might is beyond question.

This chart from April 2013, which is making the rounds again, shows that America's 2012 defense budget surpassed that of the next 10 countries combined.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation Defense spending accounts for about 20 percent of all U.S. federal spending.

Another example of American military dominance is all of the world's aircraft carriers: The U.S. has 19 aircraft carriers (including 10 massive ones), compared to 12 operated by other countries.

Courtesy of

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The California Drought In One Photo


More: EnvironmentDroughtCaliforniaWeather


FEB. 26, 2014, 10:04 AM

California Department of Water Resources

The terrible severity of California's drought is strikingly obvious these side-by-side images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir near Sacramento. On July 20, 2011, the lake was at 97% of its total capacity, according to NASA. On Jan. 16, 2014, the lake had dipped drastically to only 17% of its total capacity. At that time, water levels were so low that it exposed the remains of a Gold-Era-era mining town flooded in the 1950s.

Nearly half-a-million people get their water from Folsom Lake, which flows to the American River. In January, as the river and other major reservoirs dried up, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency and called for voluntary conservation measures

A lack of precipitation from October through December of last year has "intensified the deficit that had developed during the previous two water years," NOAA said.

Much-needed …