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Is The Era Of Meme Stocks And NFTs Already Over?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

With an excess of stimulus money and time on their hands, people’s attention landed on commission-free trading platforms, leading to an exuberant rise in prices this year.

Now, with vaccines rolling out, final stimulus checks being spent and warm weather returning, attention is returning to socializing and traveling.

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NEW INDUSTRY, NEW TECH: Businesses Use Software to Get Over Regulatory Hurdles

Article written for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s magazine, 2021 first issue. (PDF)

It could be fairly said that without technology, the cannabis industry may never have gotten off the ground.

Inevitably tight regulations make running a cannabis business touchier than selling office supplies or even whiskey. Cannabis businesses must track every gram of the product from “seed to sale.” This includes even when cannabinoid oil is divvied into many products for many customers. Businesses and regulators must be able to identify  where the products of a given plant are at any time.

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Competitor To Tesla’s Ultracapacitor Company Raises $48M After Hinting At IPO

Photo courtesy Skeleton Technologies

Skeleton Technologies is not a publicly traded company, but it’s one to keep an eye on as it traverses territory partly claimed by Tesla Inc TSLA 2.25%.

Next-Gen Battery Business: The Estonian maker of ultracapacitors, also called supercapacitors, completed a Series D round of funding this month, raising $48.1 million. It raised a combined $38.7 million in earlier rounds. The company was founded in 2009 and counts the European Investment Bank among its investors.

The company’s website lists as competitors: St. Louis-based EaglePicher Technologies; Pennsylvania-based C&D Technologies; Germany-based IBC Solar; and, tantalizingly, Maxwell Technologies, which was bought by Tesla in 2019. …

Read the full story at Benzinga.com.

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DTE EnergySmarts Summer 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Summer 2020 issue. (Three PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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DTE EnergySmarts Spring 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Spring 2020 issue. (Three PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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Every Person Counts

Oakland County’s Complete Count Committee working to raise 2020 census participation

A widely used rule of thumb says that each person counted in the U.S. Census represents $1,800 a year in federal funding. Oakland County has an estimated 211,507 people who are at risk of being undercounted, according to the Michigan Department of State. That would come to more than $380 million a year, or more than $3.8 billion over the course of a decade, in potentially lost revenue. For reference, Oakland County’s 2020 budget is $922 million.

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A Glimpse of Hong Kong Subversion

It’s very satisfying to at last be able to put up this post. It is full of — gasp! — messages against China’s central government. I visited Hong Kong in late November, about a month before leaving China for good. There I was able to take many photos of graffiti and other anti-government messaging put up by protesters.

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Broadcast Word Play

I used to loathe puns, but as a reporter and assigning editor I was grateful to have copy editors in my corner who could turn a phrase or come up with something clever on the spot for a headline or title.

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Street Banner Exhortations

Throughout China’s capital are red street banners with white lettering urging people to be more civilized, root out dark forces, not smoke, and engage in better behaviors.

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Tiananmen Ride

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while: Stick my phone in my shirt pocket and let it record while I ride a bike through Beijing traffic.

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“Limited Capacity for Civil Conduct”

How public rules are expressed in China.

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Making the ordinary interesting

Dongyue Temple, Beijing
Middle section of Dongyue Temple, Beijing

This is the payoff for living in another country. Immersion and immediacy. You get to experience something like this, with ease. This is the Taoist temple so close to my apartment it might as well be in my backyard. A two-minute walk, about a $1.50 entrance fee, and I can enjoy an ancient, ornately-designed spiritual creation. It doesn’t take a big production to make it happen, no exhaustive planning, no daylong bus tour full of obligatory stops and viewings so short and unsatisfying that they make you wonder if never seeing them at all would have left you better off.

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A trip to the Korean DMZ’s Joint Security Area (2004)

Winter 2004 tour of the JSA
A US Army private looks through the front window of a tour bus. The private, working under the auspices of the United Nations Command, is the guide for a Jan. 2004 tour of the Military Demarcation Line at the Korean DMZ Joint Security Area. The three soldiers just beyond are from the Republic of Korea’s (South Korean) forces. The two to the right are standing “ROK ready” — a “modified taekwondo stance” as the US Army private describes it. They face the North Korean side, just a few meters away. Photo by Gary Anglebrandt

Note: Posting this in fall 2017 because of the timely heightened tensions of late — and because it’s always striking to be reminded of how long this situation has taken to develop. This is based on notes and recordings from 2004, but they could just as easily be from this year. Little has changed… at the border, that is.

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A visit to Beijing’s Tiantan Park

Gallery: Beijing’s Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) park

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Making of a Jianbing

Beijing’s only real street food worth mentioning, the jianbing is a worker’s breakfast of tasty, greasy, slightly spicy, fried batter, egg, meat, and other fixins. I got a video of it being made on my way home from visiting the Public Security Bureau in Dongzhimen to pick up my renewed work permit for my second year in China. This street vendor was right outside the entrance to the Dongzhimen subway station.

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I-75 isn’t the only road to scenic Michigan waterways

Remnants of a train ferry dock, St. Clair River, Port Huron, Mich.
Remnants of a train ferry dock, St. Clair River, Port Huron, Mich.

The waters of St. Clair County and the month of June — two things for years I have been saying people could do more to take advantage of for summer recreation.

On the Friday of the first week of this month, I took these sentiments to heart and kayaked 27 miles in St. Clair County, starting in Lake Huron and ending at Algonac State Park, journeying nearly the whole length of the St. Clair River.

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Blue Water area navigates changing currents — including its own attitudes

The economy of St. Clair County has long lagged those of its metro Detroit neighbors to the south. But its biggest hurdle may be moving the mindset of its own residents.

High school graduates are as likely to head for the county border in search of greater opportunities as to stay, and residents see local leaders as just as likely to get in the way of new ideas as to encourage any. 

“The city didn’t get along with the county. The foundation stuck to itself. Everyone just did their own thing,” said Randy Maiers, president of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

But a spate of recent projects, totaling $234 million in planned or underway investment, has development officials touting a reversal of that trend. They say there’s a new appreciation for collaboration and making better use of the area’s natural asset, its water geography, to attract business. They aren’t predicting a massive economic boom or large-scale influx of new residents, but instead simply want to capitalize on what exists to create an improved quality of life for those who are there.

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Interview with Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D. (Flint water crisis whistleblower)

Profile for the 100 Influential Women recognition program, Crain’s Detroit Business, 2016

Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D.

Director of the pediatric residency program, Hurley Medical Center; assistant professor of pediatrics and human development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

 

Big win: Hanna-Attisha’s campaign brought the Flint lead issue to national and international attention. She has been honored about a dozen times, including Time magazine’s 2016 list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

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Detroit’s manufacturing heritage continues Downriver

Many places in metro Detroit can strike a person as feeling like the real heart of the area. Woodward and Jefferson, Eight Mile, Grosse Pointe with its old money, Dearborn with its entanglement with Ford Motor Co. Oakland County has its moments.

But there’s something about Downriver. Poor, downtrodden, derided Downriver. It’s long been the butt of jokes for locals of the greater Detroit area, for reasons I only partially get, having come from the other far end of the area, Port Huron, another waterfront place that isn’t exactly known as a bastion of high culture.

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Costs of proposed natural gas pipelines may outweigh benefits

In 2017, two big natural gas pipelines are scheduled to go into service, increasing the volume of natural gas entering Michigan by up to 35 percent.

That’s the scenario developing out of separate proposals, one by the developers of Nexus, a $2 billion pipeline backed by Detroit-based DTE Energy Co., and the other by developers of Rover, a $4.2 billion pipeline backed by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP