What are we reading? January 10, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

Canadian Malcolm Gladwell takes a lengthy look at the uncertainty about cannabis. He concludes the research is inadequate and the questions are worrisome, particularly about its effects on our mental health. It’s one thing to permit it, another to promote it, he concludes. - The New Yorker



Be proud of your “beautiful mess.” Science tells us that our own perceived vulnerabilities and flaws might be quite alluring to someone else. - The Atlantic



Locally we didn’t make the list (although nearby Orcas Island in Washington State did), and the only two Canadian destinations were (ahem) Calgary and the ice caves in northern Ontario. But The New York Times has published its annual 52 places to visit list. Number One: Puerto Rico. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/travel/places-to-visit.html


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Need a shot of post-holidays good cheer? This short piece by Indian economist Kaushik Bashu is a healthy reminder that the world, the current occupant of the U.S. Oval Office notwithstanding, isn’t necessarily all bile and bad combovers. - Brookings



Can Sears be saved in the U.S.? As the retail titan teeters on the edge of liquidation, its holding company agrees to consider a new takeover bid from Sears chairman Eddie Lampert. - Financial Post



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Attention, retailers and consumers: ready your cash-filled sandbags for the incoming tide of higher marine transportation costs triggered by the International Maritime Organization’s requirements that global container carriers reduce their sulphur emissions. - U.S. Energy Information Administration



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

B.C. isn’t the only jurisdiction that has had a slow rollout of legal retail cannabis. It’s a year after California legalized cannabis and there have only been 547 licences issued. There are now fewer legally licensed cannabis stores in California than before legalization - something that seems to foreshadow what is happening in Vancouver.

Article also has some good comparative stats on excise taxes. - Los Angeles Times https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-marijuana-year-anniversary-review-20181227-story.html


The first gay man to be elected governor of a U.S. state was sworn in on January 8, after a campaign in Colorado in which his sexual orientation was not an issue. Story shows how fast the social stigma over being gay has eroded. - New York Times



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

“What we didn’t fully think through when we legalized the industry we had is the fact that it was also primarily an export industry.” Three years into cannabis legalization and Oregon is dealing with a massive amount of oversupply that is threatening hundreds of millions in local capital. - Rolling Stone



There are many ways to examine the impact of the U.S. federal shutdown. This article looks at how it has impacted firefighters in the west. The shutdown has stopped training, pile burns and could affect federal firefighters’ preparation for the months ahead. - McClatchy



Anna Liczmanska, editorial researcher:

Each year in January thousands of books enter the public domain. 2019 is no different. - Motherboard



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

A byelection in Burnaby in February will seal the fate, one way or another, for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Andrew Coyne explains why he thinks the Justin Trudeau Liberals really, really want him to win a seat. - Vancouver Sun



After a decade of steadily declining GHG emissions in the U.S., thanks largely to the switch from coal power to natural gas and renewables, American emissions are expected to have ticked up by 3.4% in 2018. A cold winter in 2018 and economic growth partly explain the increase. - Forbes Magazine



In 1983, famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov predicted that, by 2019, “mobile computerized objects” would be commonplace and that automation and computers would disrupt the traditional workforce. Read here what Asimov got right, and what he got wrong about the future. - World Economic Forum



Tyler Orton, reporter:

Inside Facebook’s ‘cult-like’ workplace, where dissent is discouraged and employees pretend to be happy all the time. - CNBC



Trump’s immigration policy has foreign tech talent looking north of the border - Washington Post