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DTE EnergySmarts Spring 2021

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Spring 2021 issue. (Two PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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China’s Paternalistic Attitude toward Korea

Image by BON-SIL KOO from Pixabay

The Diplomat has a piece on the backlash in South Korea against Chinese undermining of Korea’s cultural authenticity.

I noticed when I lived in Beijing a distinctly paternalistic air would come from Chinese people when the subject of Korea — North or South — came up (but especially South). There’d be a tone of incredulity in their voice and a look of skepticism would come across their face, as if to say, “You don’t really take our little Korea seriously, do you? They’re not even a real people; they’re just a wayward band of Chinese from the old days.” There’d sometimes be comments to that effect to go with it, as though Korea were a renegade province.

They waved off mentions of the accomplishments of South Korea, too. Never mind that it takes a lot more effort and responsibility of a country’s people to run a democracy, much less one of the most successful democracies in the world, one that kicked its corrupt president out of office and then had one of the most effective responses to COVID-19 in the world, despite — like Taiwan — being on the doorstep of the country where the outbreak started. It riles China to have these awkward counter-examples to its authoritarianism right next door.

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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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Clean Cultivation: CANNABIS PIONEER PLANNING NET-ZERO GROW WITH THE LATEST IN GREEN DESIGN

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

Anyone who’s ever been tempted by a project to go all the way on it, expense be damned, will appreciate what Dori Edwards is doing.

She’s going “all in” on her vision of creating a net-zero grow facility. Her plan is to build a super-clean pharmaceutical-grade grow facility that demonstrates sustainability in every one of its 25,000 square feet, from the heating and cooling system to the materials that make up the building itself.

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Still in charge: Whiskey businesses directly invest in wind and solar through MIGreenPower

Article for DTE Energy’s EnergySmarts publication, winter 2021

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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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Robinhood Shortens Its Restricted-Securities List To 8 Stocks

Robinhood has updated its list of restricted stocks, and the list has grown much shorter than the 50 stocks it was at on Friday.

What Happened: Robinhood updated the “Changes due to ongoing market volatility” page on its site, where it maintains a list of the stocks it has placed buying restrictions on.

The list now shows just eight stocks, and the restrictions on some have been loosened up. Nokia Oyj NOK 8.18%, for example, has gone from a limit of five shares to 2,000. …

Read the full story at Benzinga.com and see the full list of items written for the trading news site at my author page.

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Tesla Takes Legal Action Against Chinese News Outlet

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Inc TSLA 4.48% is taking legal action againt a Chinese tech media outlet called PingWest that earlier reported of harsh working conditions and quality control problem at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory.

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DTE EnergySmarts Fall 2020

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

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Finance and Trading News at Benzinga.com

I write and edit for stock-trading news site Benzinga.com, a great team of dedicated, hard-working professionals.

My latest work can be found here.

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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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Robinhood Traders, Unite in a Stock Strike

Robinhood traders and young investors have been a big factor in this year’s gravity-defying bull market.

That means they have the markets over a barrel.

I have long thought about how new forms of general strikes could have more impact than marches and other watery campaigns. If large numbers of traders agreed to pull out a mere 5-10% of the value of their portfolios on the same day in a stand against, say, climate change, the powers that be would be forced to stand up and pay attention.

Photo by Sides Imagery from Pexels

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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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WeChat Censorship Example

Last June, I sent my friend in China a voice text while I was back in the US for a visit. I ranted about annoying people in my home state. (I was on a short kayaking trip, and while transporting a kayak someone intentionally ran over my paddle that fell onto the street.)

My message rambled into talk about living in China, and in the process I mentioned Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.

Surprise, surprise — it never went through. And the “resend” button that usually appears if it’s a network issue never popped up either. I checked with my friend when I returned to Beijing and even looked at his side of the thread on his phone. Nothing had ever appeared on his end.

On my end, the message just pulsed ominously. Almost two years later, it’s still doing the same thing.

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DJ GB

After much fiddling around, I have finally gotten my Soundcloud page organized. Though I don’t DJ anymore, it’s nice to have some of the mixes I made over the years collected and reachable in place. And for my loyal fans, all three of you now can listen to them at will and don’t have to ask if I still have the mp3 files!

Good workout music too.

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Idea Sketch: Carbon League of America

Carbon dioxide molecule
Courtesy of Royalty Free Vectors by Meggi - Vectorstock 21149685
Carbon dioxide molecule
Courtesy of Royalty Free Vectors by Meggi – Vectorstock 21149685
Idea

Local groups organized through employers get together to plant trees. The groups make up a larger national network called the Carbon League of America that as whole would represent a massive endeavor to capture carbon that people have pumped into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. A 2019 research project by the Crowther Lab in Switzerland showed the earth has a lot of extra space for planting trees, enough to put a major dent in this accumulation. The work would extend to protecting existing forests and helping them flourish.

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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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Communist Party workplace materials for CCTV employees

You’ll never see CGTN come out and announce that it takes orders from the Communist Party of China, but it’s clear in the workplace who’s running the show. Party materials made specifically for CCTV (of which CGTN is a part) employees are littered throughout the newsroom.

I took some as souvenirs of my time working there.

"CCTV Party-Building"  an "internal" publication put out by China Central Television Communist Party Membership
“CCTV Party-Building” — an internal publication put out by the China Central Television Communist Party Membership Committee
Subtitle says (roughly): “Keep up with innovation and struggle” “Strive to create a world-class new mainstream media”
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Chinese censors physically remove pages from print editions of The Economist

You probably have heard of China’s “Great Firewall” that blocks outside news sites and social media. But somewhat to my surprise, I saw firsthand that the country also censors print publications.

My surprise wasn’t in the censoring so much as it was in the method: physically removing stories from print newspapers. I had a print subscription to the weekly newspaper The Economist, and the copies would show up with stories on China removed. Often the entire section on China had been taken out.