What are we reading? January 31, 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:

Fareed Zakaria takes us on a trip into the modern reality of irrational behaviour, leaving us with the question of whether economics can be trusted as truth any longer. - Foreign Policy



Few stories are as wrenching or illuminating as Allen Hershkowitz’s search for family history as he explores his parents’ incarceration at Auschwitz and Dachau. - The New York Review of Books



I will watch the Super Bowl on Sunday in the trusted broadcasting hands of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, only a couple of years into the role, who I think has changed the quality of so-called colour commentary in football. This profile validates that belief. - The New Yorker



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Britain’s Brexit debacle boils down to its fundamental misunderstanding of what the European Union is all about, writes Jeremy Cliffe, the Economist’s Brussels bureau chief.

“Most of what the EU and its leading members say or do can be traced back to the quest for the quiet life,” Cliffe says. “Brexiters can forget their theories about Teutonic desires to rule the continent. Remainers can abandon their theories about Europe as a “peace project” per se. The reality is at once more prosaic and more poetic than either side allows: the European project knows no higher ideal than calm good living.” - The Guardian



Uber Canada has seen the future, and it has more electric bikes and scooters – and more booze. - Financial Post



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Is liquefied natural gas really worse than coal in terms of greenhouse gas emissions? That argument has been used of late by environmental activists opposed to an LNG industry in B.C. This assertion seems to be largely based on a study by a Cornell University professor, that found high amounts of methane from natural gas extraction meant that LNG has a higher GHG content than coal power. Now, a new study seems to put this “worse than coal” argument to rest. Chemist and energy blogger Blair King explains what the study shows. - A Chemist in Langley


Just how cold is it in the U.S. Midwest? So cold that wind turbines can’t operate. As this Bloomberg story relates, wind power is supposed to provide maximum power in the wintertime, when it tends to be windier. But wind turbines were apparently never designed to operate in the frigid cold that a wobbling polar vortex has brought to the midwest and eastern Canada and U.S.  - Bloomberg



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Don Pittis cautions that it will take more than a regime change to solve Venezuela’s severe economic challenges. - CBC


Trade rules were written when cloud computing was the stuff of science fiction.” A new initiative at the World Trade Organization aims to modernize global rules around e-commerce. Seems logical, but it’s not without controversy. - The Economist



Tyler Orton, reporter:

First, a fast-rising female esports star was threatened. Then she quit. Then she didn’t exist.

Vancouver will soon be welcoming its first Overwatch League team, the Titans. Here’s a case of what seemed to be male toxicity turning into something perhaps more problematic. - The Washington Post



Being Trapped Indoors Is the Worst.

Yes, yes – we can all chortle at the fortunes of our fellow Canadians forced to battle a polar vortex. Here’s why cabin fever is so effective at driving us out of our minds. - The Atlantic



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

I don’t use Facebook much, but its global influence cannot be ignored. Here’s a comprehensive New York Times account of how Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have navigated Facebook’s escalating series of crises over data breaches and invasive practices. Much was not previously reported, and the report is said to be based on interviews with more than 50 people. - The New York Times