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Strong Economies Lift Presidents. Trump Seems an Exception.

SectionsSEARCHSkip to contentSkip to site indexSubscribeLog In SubscribeLog InAdvertisementStrong Economies Lift Presidents. Trump Seems an Exception.His approval ratings reflect political weakness despite good news on several fronts.ImagePresident Trump’s approval ratings are in the upper 30s.CreditManuel Balce Ceneta/Associated PressBy Nate Cohn Jan. 8, 2018The stock market has surged. Unemployment is at 4.1 percent. ISIS has largely been vanquished from Iraq and Syria.But despite it all, Donald J. Trump’s approval ratings are mired in the upper 30s. No president has had worse ratings at this stage of his term since modern polling began more than three-quarters of a century ago.With President Trump starting the new year with a blizzard of tweets and fresh controversy seemingly every day, there are still debates about whether he is as weak as he looks. After all, he managed to win the presidency with terrible favorability ratings a little over a year ago. Analysts have understandably been cautious about assuming that his weak ratings will doom him or his party again.But it seems clear that Mr. Trump’s approval ratings betray significant political weakness.Setting aside the question of how much credit first-year presidents deserve for a strong economy — they have less influence than you might think — President Trump’s ratings should be much better […]

13 commonly asked questions about making perfect fresh corn

From buying and storing to cooking times and feeding a crowd, we tackle the myths and tricks for the best corn on the cob. […]

It’s World Meat Free Day, but maybe we should call it something else

The name suggests deprivation, which is unfortunate, because people will only give up meat if they believe there’s something fabulous to be gained. […]

Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Back in February, when France’s then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron thumbed his nose at President Donald Trump and invited jaded U.S. scientists and inventors to come build a sustainable future in France, I applauded and played along.

“[L]et’s face it,” I wrote. “France is a tough sell. The food is irritatingly fresh, the architecture tends to distract people from their cellphones, and the high-speed rail lines get in the way of SUVs.”

But now that Macron is president and has backed up his words with substance, setting up a program to bring American climate visionaries to France, it’s no longer funny. If you’re an entrepreneur, scientist, or engineer disillusioned with Trump’s America and tempted by this offer, please don’t go. It’s a terrible idea. Do you hear me, Katharine Hayhoe?

Mais porquoi? you say, after thumbing through your French phrasebook. Because the United States, the world’s second-biggest polluter, is a much more pernicious driver of climate change than France, the 18th. We need you here. The world needs you here. The future needs you here.

OK, I’ll cop to getting a little carried away. We should give Macron his due. He’s offering a four-year grant to people from anywhere in the world, so they can come work on climate change projects in France. That’s great! Science, technologies, and companies created in France won’t be constrained by French borders. We’ll all benefit. And it’s just for four years, the nominal length of Trump’s (first) term. But c’mon, be real: Nobody goes to France to live for just four years.

This screenshot from Macron’s new website, titled “Make Our Planet Great Again” seems to confirm my concerns that France wants to keep our smarties forever.

I’m worried about a brain drain. We can’t afford to lose the political heft of scientists as communicators and U.S. citizens. The United States needs people who weigh evidence and allow that evidence to change their minds. We need men and women like this of all political stripes living in American towns, talking to their American friends, going to American churches, and helping to make this country sane again. If we all sort ourselves into like-minded factions, and a chunk of the rational faction moves to France, we’re screwed. We really can’t afford to lose Neil DeGrasse Tyson to the Riviera. James Hansen, Pam Ronald … stay!

[…]

Here’s how no-slaughter meat goes mainstream.

In a new report, Grist 50-er Liz Specht identifies the obstacles that prevent earth-friendly meat from taking over the world. If meat stopped coming from cows and was instead grown in the lab, she argues, it would slash meat production’s environmental footprint.

So, Specht and her colleagues at the Good Food Institute hope to midwife the birth of a new clean-meat industry. To get there, we’d need some crucial innovations. Here’s a taste:

Better bioreactors: Bioreactors are big tanks that slowly stir meat cells until they multiply into something burger sized. They already exist, but we need the a new generation that do a better job at filtering out waste, adding just the right nutrients, and recycling the fluid that the cells grow in.

Scaffolding: If you want nice tender meat, instead of a soup of cells, you need a scaffold — a sort of artificial bone — for meat cells to cling to so they can take shape. People are experimenting with spun fiber, 3D-printed grids, and gels that cue cells to form “the segmented flakiness of a fish filet or the marbling found in a steak.”

Growth fluid: At the moment, meat cells are mostly raised in fluid taken from cattle embryos. But there won’t be enough embryonic fluid if reactor meat replaces the livestock industry. So scientists are working to mass produce fluid that nurture’s developing cells.

For more detail, see the report here.

[…]

Startup upcycles discarded chopsticks into new decor & furniture (Video)

Billions of chopsticks are thrown out each year worldwide. This Vancouver company is trying to turn some of of these into new items for the home. […]

The $149 SolSource Sport is a powerful portable solar cooker

The latest product from One Earth Designs weighs just 10 pounds and packs down into a small carrying bag, but still delivers high performance fuel-free cooking. […]