The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Josh and Chuck read tons of material and a lot of it is really good. Here's the best of the bunch.

Back in 1839, a man named Charles Goodyear figured out how to vastly improve rubber beyond its natural state with a process called vulcanization. Once vulcanized, rubber -- which is naturally gooey at warmer temperatures and rigid at cool temps -- becomes capable of withstanding punishing heat and pressure. Suddenly the uses of rubber opened up considerably -- tires, hoses, shoe soles, fan belts -- and since this coincided with the Industrial Revolution, mass production of these products meant vast supplies of raw rubber were needed.

Why You're too Starving to Grasp Climate Change

It's fairly easy for us to pursue avenues toward sustainability in the developed West. We've made a ton of cash from operating all the machinery that's prematurely unleashed the massive amounts of carbon into the carbon cycle from burning fossil fuels. We're pretty flush, so we can do things like divert a quarter of the 33 million metric tons of corn the U.S. produced in 2007 into cellulosic ethanol production.

Why You're too Stupid to Grasp Climate Change

Here's what happens the next time that you toss a Diet Coke can in the trash can in your kitchen instead of taking the extra time to put it in a recycling bin, you lazy cow. The can gets wrapped up along with the rest of the trash in what is likely a 0.9 mm-thick polyethylene bag that you will eventually take to your trash can (which, ironically, is probably located beside your recycling bin). In a few days, a truck that gets an average of 2.8 miles per gallon will come by and pick up your bags of trash, including that Diet Coke can and take it to a dump, where it will be added to the other 249.6 million tons of municipal waste generated that year in the U.S. Plowed into a mass grave, the bag containing the Diet Coke can will be backfilled and left buried, where it will take around 100 years to degrade.

And a fine how do you do to you and yours. Here I am prepping to go out of town on a bona-fide vacation and yet the podcast goodness recap must happen. Yes, this time next week the wife and I will be winding down from a week in San Francisco and Napa Valley wine country. It can't get here soon enough, but fear not -- we pre-recorded so you'll never know I was gone.

Fascism is a specific political philosophy that's often mistakenly used to describe any authoritarian, supressive movement or regime. Josh and Chuck discuss the origins, history and markers of Fascism in this episode.