What are we reading? March 14, 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:

Ah, internet, you could have been special. Instead. . . - Public Books



Beto O’Rourke has emerged as an intriguing presidential candidate. If he wins, he says he was made for it, which is why this profile might madden as many as it might gladden. There are plenty of elements missing from his platform. But make no mistake: he is aiming to shake up the race. - Vanity Fair



Uniqlo’s fast expansion in Greater Vancouver has bucked a retail trend. The outlets are successfully courting American millennials, maybe more, and this piece explains it away. - The Atlantic



Comedy’s Amy Schumer is a major target, in part because she plays the game her way. This profile provides a little more insight and suggests maybe she does care what you think of her. - The New York Times



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Hong Kong is home to the world’s least affordable housing market. The average wait for public housing is five and a half years. Consequently, more people are seeking shelter in steel containers that are not exactly legal. They aren’t exactly cheap, either. - BNN Bloomberg



This short video argues we are seeing a new kind of worldwide scramble for Africa. - The Economist



Emma Crawford Hampel, online editor:

Scientists have discovered a shape that blocks all sound, even your co-workers. A small 3D-printed ring was placed at the end of a PVC pipe. The ring dampened 94% of the sound of a loudspeaker booming through the pipe without the use of foam or any other noise-cancelling material. - Fast Company



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

As someone who had to retake my Math 30 exam in high school because of my slippery grasp of numbers (I finally passed – thanks, Mrs. Haig), I can only admire the achievement of Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao, who with her team just set a Guinness world record for calculating the most digits of Pi. The new record of 31.4 trillion decimal places left the old 22.4 trillion digit record in the dust. That’s a difference of … figure it out for yourself.  - Washington Post



As I write this, MPs in the U.K. are slated to vote on holding a second Brexit referendum. The question is, if another vote is held, will the same kind of foreign interference and military-grade psyops that tainted the first referendum be allowed to hijack the process again? - Guardian



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

A lot of informative late night reading for renewable energy fans in this Renewable Energy Data Book. Best read by candlelight. - U.S. Department of Energy



The Iris program and other aerospace technology promise to make commercial air travel greener. We are hoping that technology can help make it safer, too – European Space Agency



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

West Vancouver residents take notice. The rationale behind the recent successful opposition to a new B-Line service in West Vancouver was flawed. Many said their opposition was in part because removed parking spots would hurt retailers. Spanish bank BBVA, however, determined that Madrid’s experiment of closing its central business district to cars led to a 9.5% increase in transactions on a main shopping street during the holiday season. The air was cleaner too. - Forbes



Working at a Vancouver International Airport fast food restaurant is not a glamour job, but many of those workers enjoy and take pride in what they do. With the airport authority flipping contracts, however, many workers fear they will be out of work, or that they will have to forego years of salary increases in order to keep their positions under new owners. These situations will be front and centre when the B.C. government brings in changes to the Labour Code later this year. - The Tyee



Tyler Orton, reporter:

When Facebook goes down, an economy goes with it. - The Verge https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/14/18265002/facebook-instagram-outage-ad-revenue-lost


For those wondering what it takes to be in the 1% around the world … considerably less income required in Canada than the U.S. The numbers speak to the income gap here compared with our southern neighbour. But this also breaks down just what the 1% are spending their dollars on. - Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-04/a-global-guide-to-what-it-means-to-be-part-of-the-1