Summary of “Plasma and More Types of Matter”

Before scientists discovered the new state of matter last week, we were basically all used to just three states of matter.
In 1856, the legendary British scientist Michael Faraday was studying thin sheets of gold leaf.
Studying the properties of light and matter, Faraday was determined to make gold thin enough that it would be transparent to light.
While washing the gold in these chemicals, Faraday noticed that the action produced a faint ruby colored fluid.
Quantum mechanics, quantum physics, and quantum computing study a wide variety of things, but they’re all focused on what isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.
Faraday’s light-scattering gold particles were in a quantum state-the smallest they could possibly exist.
Through quantum studies, space exploration, and several other fields, there have been several discoveries of new types of matter, such as the five that follow.
They’ve all shown that existence is more than three states.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Insurance Companies Are Paying Cops To Investigate Their Own Customers”

Erie Insurance, one of the nation’s largest auto insurers, had not only provided the cops with evidence against its own loyal customer – it had actively worked with them to try to convict him of insurance fraud.
Insurance companies provide financial incentives to scores of police departments, prosecutors, and other public agencies to encourage them to focus on insurance fraud, a crime that has traditionally not been a priority for local law enforcement.
These efforts to fight phony claims have netted insurers at least a sevenfold return on investment since the ’90s, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a nonprofit that receives most of its funding from insurance companies.
Insurance company officials make up the majority of the authority’s board, which last year doled out $14 million in targeted grants to fund the work of roughly 100 prosecutors, investigators, and support staffers across the state dedicated exclusively to rooting out insurance fraud.
Those law enforcement officials collected $5.6 million in restitution from people accused of insurance fraud in 2018, money that went back to the insurance companies.
His salary of $93,549, as well as those of the police officers assigned to work on insurance fraud, was entirely covered by grants from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority.
Three years later, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a group composed of insurance companies, consumer groups, and other stakeholders, helped craft model legislation that guaranteed companies broad immunity from any customer who wished to sue for being wrongly accused of fraud.
NICB agents help vet thousands of suspected fraud reports shared by insurance companies, embed in task forces with the FBI, and help craft threatening letters to customers suspected of fraud on behalf of state insurance regulators.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Maine families face elder boom, worker shortage in preview of nation’s future”

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine – Janet Flaherty got an alarming call last October from the agency tasked with coordinating in-home care for her 82-year-old mother.
With private help now bid up to $50 an hour, Janet and her two sisters have been forced to do what millions of families in a rapidly aging America have done: take up second, unpaid jobs caring full time for their mother.
“We have added an entire generation since we first put the safety net in place but with no plan whatsoever for how to support them,” said Ai-jen Poo, co-director of Caring Across Generations, which advocates for long-term care.
Experts say the nation will have to refashion its workforce, overhaul its old-age programs and learn how to care for tens of millions of elderly people without ruining their families’ financial lives.
The nursing home near her has no open beds, so she drives an hour every day to care for her ailing father after spending months caring for her mother.
Care workers in Maine were paid about $11.37 an hour in 2017, according to an AARP report, with a 2019 minimum wage of $11 an hour.
Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president of the SeniorsPlus agency responsible for placing care workers with Medicaid enrollees, said she was not surprised by Flaherty’s story of failing to find a worker for her mother, despite qualifying for care.
The United States is projected to have 7.8 million job openings for care workers by the middle of the next decade, making it among the fastest-growing professions in the country, with millions of new openings created by higher demand; millions of care workers retiring; and millions more finding new professions, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, an advocacy organization.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Study: many of the “oldest” people in the world may not be as old as we think”

How do some people make it to 100 or even 110 years old? Why do some regions – say, Sardinia, Italy, or Okinawa, Japan -produce dozens of these “Supercentenarians” while other regions produce none? Is it genetics? Diet? Environmental factors? Long walks at dawn?
Newman looks at the introduction of birth certificates in various states and finds that “The state-specific introduction of birth certificates is associated with a 69-82% fall in the number of supercentenarian records.”
In other words, as soon as a state starts keeping good records of when people are born, there’s a 69 to 82 percent fall in the number of people who live to the age of 110.
It does mean that the majority of people claiming to be supercentenarians, born in areas that didn’t keep reliable, accurate birth records, are probably not quite as old as they say they are.
In other words, all of our research into the biomarkers, habits, and diets that predict extreme old age? Probably worthless, because a significant share of the sample was not actually as old as we thought.
Only about one in 1,000 people who live to the age of 100 make it to 110.
The vast majority of people would never impersonate their parent or older sibling for benefits, or forge a birth certificate, or participate in identity theft, or get confused about how old they even are.
If one in 1,000 people would do that, then fraudulent supercentenarians will be more common than bona fide supercentenarians.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How 13 Rejected States Would Have Changed The Electoral College”

Our perception of U.S. politics wouldn’t be the same without the Electoral College.
Thanks to most states’ winner-take-all rules, the Electoral College turns states into red and blue Legos.
Elizabeth Warren has called for the abolishment of the Electoral College, and a handful of states have signed on to a plan that would essentially bypass the Electoral College – members of the National Popular Vote initiative have pledged to throw their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner no matter who their state voted for, but the agreement won’t kick in until the states involved have enough electoral votes to guarantee that whoever they vote for will win.
One way to understand just how skewed the Electoral College can be is by rearranging the states inside of it.
What if some of these would-be states were around today? Would moving those state borders, without changing any votes, change our political reality?
These new maps did shift the Electoral College vote margin by as much as 38 votes, but since President Trump won by more than 70 votes, it wasn’t enough to swing the election to Clinton.
The “Current state borders” map above has a slightly different distribution of electoral votes because it apportions the Electoral College based on 2016 population and ignores the fact that Maine split its votes.
Even if the Electoral College isn’t going anywhere, it’s still worth remembering that nothing about our political map is inevitable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is it okay to laugh at the Florida man meme?”

This past April, I set out to meet a few Florida Men behind the clickbait and answer some questions, like: Is Florida Man a hero, a villain or a victim? And is it still okay to laugh along?
If aliens were to arrive in Florida – a state that ranks third in UFO sightings – they could tell a pop history through the way the Florida Man virus grafted itself onto other trending topics: “Florida man shoots at Pokémon Go players outside house.” “Florida man changes name to Bruce Jenner to preserve name’s ‘heterosexual roots.’ ” “Florida man says it’s okay to grope woman on flight because Trump says it’s okay.”
He saw the way the Florida Man meme immortalized even misdemeanors and seemed to overlap with the pay-to-redact mug shot publication industry, which the American Bar Association has dubbed an “Online extortion scheme” and which Florida only recently regulated, in July 2018.
In Tampa, Cigar City Brewing has named its Florida Man IPA after “a hero who’s forgotten more about amateur taxidermy and alligator rasslin’ than you’ll ever know.” In Miami, a drag performer named Florida Man has gone viral for performing an Ariana Grande hit in a Voldemort costume.
In Tampa, a tour guide leads Florida Man walking tours, and writer Tyler Gillespie has published an empathetic book of poems about Florida Man, including one inspired by his own DUI. In Jacksonville, Mike Alancourt, a white-bearded, 43-year-old teacher’s assistant, went viral this winter as “Florida man wins the internet with hip-hop dance routine.” He ended up on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and in an official Post Malone music video, and though he describes himself as “Technically the antithesis of Florida Man a gay bearded hippie who belongs in Seattle,” he’s since embraced the label.
In late July, the team will host a Florida Man Night, featuring a jorts-clad Florida Man bobblehead, a performance by at least one actual Florida Man and the breaking of “Weird Florida laws.” The night’s advertising sponsor is the law offices of John M. Phillips, an attorney who says he’s become “Florida Man as a lawyer.”
So when the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp planned their Florida Man night, they looked for a family-friendly mascot who represented the best of Florida Man without dragging along the worst of his baggage: a Floridian who hadn’t hurt anyone, who wasn’t being exploited, and who was happy to have people laugh along with him.
At the Jumbo Shrimp’s Florida Man Night, Pittman will play the national anthem on electric guitar because, the first time he went viral, he was “Florida man arrested after playing national anthem on July 4.” In the video seen everywhere from BuzzFeed to Fox News, Pittman, wearing jorts and an American flag tank top, shreds like Hendrix on a Neptune Beach sidewalk until hundreds of people gather around and he is arrested for obstructing traffic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better”

“We are unable to build bridges, we’re unable to build airports, our inner city school kids are not graduating,” is how JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon summarized the state of things during an earnings conference call.
During my travels up and down the American East Coast in recent years, I’ve come to focus on a more mundane explanation: The United States is falling apart because-unlike Canada and other wealthy countries-the American public sector simply doesn’t have the funds required to keep the nation stitched together.
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, a group of 35 wealthy countries, ranks its members by overall tax burden-that is, total tax revenues at every level of government, added together and then expressed as a percentage of GDP-and in latest year for which data is available, 2014, the United States came in fourth to last.
Its tax burden was 25.9 percent-substantially less than the OECD average, 34.2 percent.
If the United States followed that mean OECD rate, there would be about an extra $1.5 trillion annually for governments to spend on better schools, safer roads, better-trained police, and more accessible health care.
Denmark, with a tax burden of 49.6 percent, stands atop the OECD index.
Donald Trump seems intent on steering the country onto the same downward trajectory as Kansas: His “Taxpayer First” budget plan proposed enormous tax cuts that, his administration claimed, would pay for themselves through the economic boom they’d bring about.
There are a few scattered signs that GOP state legislators see the limits of this strategy: As The New York Times has reported, conservative lawmakers in several red states have grudgingly acknowledged that they need to boost tax rates to keep public services viable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lapham’s Quarterly”

The shoot served as both the debut of-and, in its grandstanding way, a metaphor for-the Indian government’s latest addition to its sprawling bureaucracy: the Ministry of Happiness.
The media blitz, the press photos, the public speeches, the calendar, the government’s promises-none of these really answered a central question: Was the ministry a sincere effort? Or was it merely a marketing campaign, an attempt to project the image of a happy country without actually addressing the concrete problems-food insecurity, homelessness, joblessness, violence, and uncompromising gender roles-that tend to hold most Indians back from pursuing happiness in their own way?
In 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declared, “Gross national happiness is more important than gross domestic product” and created a Gross National Happiness Index, which acts like a political barometer, slumping when social or political ills overwhelm.
The idea of a Gross National Happiness Index remained mostly foreign to the West until 2008, when French president Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned economists Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi to study how useful it would be to consider happiness when developing global indexes.
One of the results of Resolution 65/309 has been the annual World Happiness Report, the country-by-country ranking of national happiness on which India had fallen toward the bottom.
There is the United Arab Emirates’ robust Ministry of Happiness and Well-Being, designed to “Align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction.” There was Nigeria’s Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, in the state of Imo, which aimed to “Reduce the costs in skilling employees and improve the employability of young people.” And then-after India slipped seven places from its original ranking of 111 in 2013, and it was noted by Indian media that Pakistan ranked higher-the country created its ministry.
Two years before the Happiness Ministry was announced, Modi launched a “Make in India” campaign that attempted to officially market some of these practices, including yoga, as a UNESCO-protected Indian heritage.
A little over a year into the Ministry of Happiness’ existence, a strange incident occurred: Lal Singh Arya, the ministry’s director, went missing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Red State/Blue City Isn’t the Whole Story”

Increasingly, these electoral divisions are spilling over into open warfare as meddling states attempt to preempt or circumscribe the ability of their cities to reflect the views of their own residents.
A 2017 report from the National League of Cities lists preemption laws targeting local minimum wage ordinances in 24 states, prohibiting municipal broadband services in 17 states, and limiting local regulation of ride-sharing in 37 states.
Advocates of local control and the progressive resistance are rightly bringing attention to state-local preemption, but that focus gives only a partial picture of the complex structural relationship between states, their localities, and their citizens.
This is just one way out-of-touch state interests can preempt local know-how and disserve quality of life.
Some red states have progressive governance starting points; for example, laws enabling their cities to annex suburbs and grow a robust fiscal base.
At the same time, many blue states have rules that keep cities and suburban municipalities small and weak-“Little boxes with limited horizons,” in the memorable words of David Rusk.
This is particularly true in cities that are also state capitals, as Hartford is, dense with buildings and institutions that are exempt from tax.
Denmark also created a negotiated budget-making process between state government and municipalities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Quanta Magazine”

The system can reach this second state from the ground state by absorbing a photon of a different energy.
The state to and from which the researchers are actually looking for quantum jumps is the “Dark” state – because it remains hidden from direct view.
The researchers placed the superconducting circuit in an optical cavity so that, if the system is in the bright state, the way that light scatters in the cavity changes.
Every time the bright state decays by emission of a photon, the detector gives off a signal akin to a Geiger counter’s “Click.”
Before each jump to the dark state, there would typically be a short spell where the clicks seemed suspended: a pause that acted as a harbinger of the impending jump.
Surprisingly, the transition to the dark state still happened even without photons driving it – it is as if, by the time the brief pause sets in, the fate is already fixed.
That’s because, even though a direct observation could reveal the system only as being in one state or another, during a quantum jump the system is in a superposition, or mixture, of these two end states.
As the jump progresses, a direct measurement would be increasingly likely to yield the final rather than the initial state.

The orginal article.