Friday, June 13, 2008

Completely random morning musings

Semantics really matters when you are measuring things. PBT has a headline that says "Pittsburgh ranks among most charitable cities".. If I understand it, it is reporting on a study that looks at the financial conditions of regional charities themselves. Thus the story (if not the headline) is not contradictory at all to the recurring story that Pittsburgh is among the stingiest when it comes to charitable giving which I believe is mostly a reflection of local demographics and income levels, not any abnormal proclivity to be scrooge-like.
Somebody asked if I was serious when I posted a comment that said a plan years ago to build an indoor NASCAR track in town was really a backdoor way to get at a valuable coal seam. Well, now there is talk of strip mining a park even. So yeah, I was serious. There will be a few more things people are looking to dig up as coal continues to increase in price. Coal prices, especially Pittsburgh seam coal, is accelerating as much if not more than oil these days and lots of previously uneconomic coal deposits are becoming worth digging up. Maybe I should have taken out that mine subsidance insurance?

Since we are now going to be obsessing on Presidential polls for the next 6 months, the real statsgeeks at Columbia have a blog posting with some real comparisons of how presidential polls have trended in the last 11 presidential elections. Worth a look.
Speaking of politics...I really am not getting into if this is good, bad or whatever... but remember how big a brouhaha there was over the proposed pay hike in the state legislature? It is fascinating to see what is happening in Louisiana where there seems to be bipartisan approval of a plan there to triple their legislators pay. Its just weird that its being signed by a Republican who isn't seeing his career ended as a result, he is actually talked about as a VP candidate. The difference from here were folks were tarred and feathered is weird is all.

Worth a look.. SSTI now has an interactive web page called the: State Venture Capital Dashboard

Governing has a column on viral video government. I think the meeting of the City's Cable Communications Advisory Committee last week was about as anti-viral as you can get.


I had a link last week on this, but being overly abtruse I doubt anyone saw it.. but it's kind of important. Remember Pittsburgh is still sometimes considered the largest inland port in the US. That is a half-true kind of factoid, but I will leave that for another day. Suffice it to say there is a nautical industry here (think coal barges) and the Department of Transportation has a report out looking at how difficult it is hiring workers in the maritime industry.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you mean by "half-true kind of factoid"?

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:28:00 PM  

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