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Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn
carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, Google Earth, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, intermodal, Isaac Newton, means of production, microbiome, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, post-Panamax, profit motive, Skype, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman
You’re wondering when and why yellow ducks became icons of childhood. You want to know what it’s like inside the toy factories of Guangdong. You’re marveling at the scale of humanity’s impact on this terraqueous globe and at the oceanic magnitude of your own ignorance. You’re giving the plight of the Laysan albatross many moments of thought. The next thing you know, it’s the middle of the night and you’re on the outer decks of a post-Panamax freighter due south of the Aleutian island where, in 1741, shipwrecked, Vitus Bering perished from scurvy and hunger. The winds are gale force. The water is deep and black, and so is the sky. It’s snowing. The decks are slick. Your ears ache, your fingers are numb. Solitary, nocturnal circumambulations of the outer decks by supernumerary passengers are strictly forbidden, for good reason. Fall overboard and no one would miss you.
What made Frankel start wondering now was a fax he received from the headquarters of APL, American President Lines, which, despite what its name suggests, belongs to a shipping company in Singapore. “Please be advised that the APL China v. 030 has been delayed due to severe weather encountered enroute to Seattle,” the fax began. “The ship has suffered some weather damage, but we do not yet know the full extent.” To appreciate the full extent of the damage the APL China had suffered, one must first appreciate the full extent of the APL China. The China was a C-11-class post-Panamax ship, meaning that—at 906 feet long and 131 feet wide—it was too big for the locks of the Panama Canal. Standing on a dock beside it, you would have felt as though you were standing at the foot of an unnaturally smooth cliff, a palisade of steel. The carrying capacity of a container ship is measured in TEUs, or twenty-foot-equivalent units, because a standard shipping container is twenty feet long.
In mid-January, when I’d be returning from China, there were no NSB ships departing from Hong Kong for Seattle, but there was one ship—the Hanjin Ottawa—departing from Pusan, South Korea, for Seattle, following roughly the same route the Ever Laurel had taken sixteen years before, and roughly the same route the China had taken in 1998. Along this route, the toys had broken free, changing from containerized cargo into legendary characters. Along this route, some oceanic force had beaten a post-Panamax ship to ribbons. Now, from Pusan, I’d travel this route. I also had other, vaguer, more philosophical reasons for shipping out, reasons that the actuarial phrase “act of God” helps explain. I didn’t expect an ocean crossing to restore my faith in God, exactly—at least not in a biblical God; I lost that irretrievably long ago. But I did hope that it might refresh my capacity for awe. Rich Austin thought the sight of the devastated China was ominous.
The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen
affirmative action, anti-communist, big-box store, collective bargaining, Google Earth, intermodal, inventory management, jitney, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, Panamax, place-making, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, strikebreaker, women in the workforce
Therefore, you could find yourself driving Toyotas off a ship one day and lashing the next. (However, those in skilled positions such as crane drivers are often sent only to jobs that require their particular expertise.) When the lashing jobs are doled out, longshoremen will occasionally refuse them, a decision called flopping, and wait their turn for another, easier position. While the lashers are busy, the crane drivers position the terminal’s four Super Post-Panamax cranes, better known as hammerheads, that can reach over any ship’s girth and, with a 1,000-ton capacity, snatch the containers one by one. The eight-story cranes creep almost silently along rails that are buried in the asphalt dock and covered by a thick rubber strip that ripples off to the side as the wheels push through it. While the cranes slowly move, they announce themselves with a sirenlike whoop-whoop that echoes against the ship’s hull and produces â•¯ â•¯ â•¯ â•¯ A lasher at the bottom of a container stack releases a lashing bar in preparation for cargo discharge.
Coast Guard Coast Progress, 194 cold ironing, 50, 81 Committee of 500, 101 communism, 108, 109; fear of, 98 Communist Party, 101, 108, 109, 114, 115, 118, 119, 122; and Harry Bridges, 119 containers, 28, 39, 40, 247; first use of, 36; size of, 34 container seals, 245, 251, 252 COSCO-CKYH Alliance, 261 Costco, 135 Covarrubias, Jose, 169, 170, 176 Coynes, Mark, 274 CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency, Los Angeles), 85, 91 cranes: low-profile, 61; Super Post-Â� Panamax, 38 Crescent shipping line, 94 Crouthamel, Charles, 49 Crouthamel, Jeff, 47 Crowley, Tom, 265 Crowley, Tom Jr., 266 Crowley Maritime Services, 265 cruise ship terminal, 52, 241 customs. See U.S. Customs and Border Protection cycloidal propulsion system, 268 Dallas Logistics Hub, 159 Darcy, Sam, 115 DDT, and hold men, 185, 191 DiBernardo, Michael, 262 Diesel Death Zone: origin of term, 72 Indexâ•… /â•… 305 diesel particular matter, 34; fine partiÂ� cles, 73; health effects of, 73; ultrafine particles, 73 Digges, Robert, 176 Dispatcher, 45, 140, 194 dispatch hall, 38, 116, 187, 197 Dunbar, Eugene, 111 Dwyer, Jim, 275 East Basin, 236, 273 E-Modal software, 182 EPA, 73, 167 Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corporation, 26, 66, 164, 244; lease with port, 80 Ewert, Nathan, 239 Exxon/Mobil oil liquid bulk Â�terminal, 67 Fairley, Lincoln, 193 fink hall, 94 flopping, 38, 188 Flores, Mark, 217 Foley, Thomas, 122 Forbes, John F., 108 four-on, four-off, 192 Fox, Mike, 168, 174, 182; on ATA Â�lawsuit, 179 Fox Transportation, 166, 170 Freeburg, Steven J., 217 Freeman, David, 58, 62, 77, 78, 81, 256 Gabrielino Indians, 3 Garcia, Al, 241 Genis, Sandra, 70 Golden, Deborah, 208, 210, 211 Golden Consent Decree, 212, 218 Goodman, Louis E., 124 Great Wines International, 142, 147, 151, 155 Green Fleet Systems, 172 “green growth,” 76 Gunter, Janet, 65, 66, 70; and aesthetics issue, 70; and Geraldine Knatz, 87 Hahn, James, 64, 68 Hall, Edward, 45 Harbor Ship Supply, 47 hawse piper, defined, 270 Herman, Jimmy, 199 Hoertkorn, Thomas M., 110 hold men, 185, 191; defined, 96; and DDT, 185, 191; and “penalty wage,” 103 Holmes, Jan, 134 Holmes, John, 177, 180, 237, 242 hooks, of hold men, 96, 189 Horizon Lines, 131 House of Trades, Spain, 3 Houston, 36, 82, 135, 152, 157, 159, 260, 261 Huang, Weihang, 245, 247 Hunt, A.
., 108, 109 SAFE boats, 240 Salcido, Ray, 106 Samra, Balwinder, 254, 262; background, 255 San Francisco Daily News, 112 San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowner’s Coalition, 62, 68, 87 San Pedro Coordinated Plan Subcommittee, 64 San Pedro Magazine, 63 “Saving Lives” initiative, 82 Schmidt, Henry, 122 Schneier, Bruce, 238 Schomaker, John, 108 Sea-Land Service, 36, 130 “Seventh Heaven,” 105 shape-up, 102 Shibley, George, 213 ship chandler, 47 “shirt time,” 192 shoreside electrical power, 34, 50, 69, 81 Sierra Club, 174, 177 slings, 96 Smith Act, 121 Snyder, Christina, 179 “Song for Bridges” (Almanac Singers), 121 South Coast Air Quality Management District, 71 Southern Counties Express, 170, 172 Southern Pacific Railroad, 3 Spanish missionaries, 3 Sperry, Howard, 114 Spinosa, Jim, 82, 125, 136; on Dave Arian, 199; on TWIC cards, 249; 2002 contract talks, 138; on union busting, 201 SSA Marine, 223 S.S. Sansinena, explosion of, 84 Stahl, Joe, 106 Stallone, Steve, 126 strad (straddle carrier), 40, 173 strikebreakers, 104, 107 strikes: “big strike,” 107; “Bloody Thursday,” 112, 114; ILA strike of Indexâ•… /â•… 309 1916, 99; ILA strike of 1934, 104, 107; riot of July 3, 1934, 110; San Francisco general strike, 115; use of tear gas, 109, 110, 113 St. Sure, Paul, 123, 193 Super Post-Panamax cranes, 38 swampers’ board, 190 Swift Transportation, 172 Taft-Hartley Act, 140 Takasugi, Robert M., 212, 218 Teamsters, 115, 174, 177, 192 Terminal Island, 27 terrorist attacks, 232, 233 Terrorist Watch List, 249 Tier II Community Advisory Committee, 63 “topping the boom,” 189 Torm Sara, 273 Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI), 177, 180, 181 trade deficits, 160 traffic mitigation fee, 165 tramp ships, 100 Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), 171, 249 transtainers, 223 TraPac terminal, 274 troquero, defined, 166 TTSI (Total Transportation Services, Inc.), 177, 180, 181 tugboats, 273; availability of, 16; Leader, 264, 269, 270; Master, 264 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), 34, 77 TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential), 171, 249 ultra-fine particles, 73; distances traveled, 74.
Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan
3D printing, augmented reality, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, friendly fire, global supply chain, Internet of things, Mason jar, off grid, Panamax, post-Panamax, ransomware, RFID, security theater, self-driving car, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning
Rush still stares out across the box city, though, silent in the morning light. He goes through this every time they pass one of these ports, regardless of the continent—transfixed by the sight of capitalism on pause, the secret network that kept the world running mothballed and abandoned. His train of thought is interrupted by a huge burst of light above them. One of the Zodiac crew has climbed the top of the vast, five-hundred-foot-high super-post-Panamax crane that towers above and over them, and lit a flare. As it’s slowly waved back and forth it scatters light across the crane’s vast skeletal frame, yet more smoke rising into the dark sky. It looks to Rush like an act of victory and defiance; like news footage of freshly liberated citizens climbing to the top of statues of their now-fallen dictators, to deface their heads and celebrate their liberty in that brief moment of joy before worrying what will happen next.
On his previous, precrash voyages Simon had ferried dozens of architects, designers, journalists, and futurists on the Dymaxion—all the hip infrastructure tourists, ready to pay him thousands so they could see it all firsthand, so they could ooh and aah at the Apollo-project levels of human engineering, so they could be wooed by this moonshot built to fill shopping malls. They’d spend a few weeks on the ship, staring out at the fields of containers in awe, before returning home to their speculative models, VR art installations, and thousand-word prose-poem odes to post-Panamax cranes. But Simon had started to hate it all. It had silently consumed him with anger and fury at its extravagance, its wasted potential, its inhuman cost. This, Rush was sure, was why this final voyage was taking place. Simon wanted to see it dead. He wanted to make sure, while the rest of the world crumbled, that it was crumbling too, and that it couldn’t come back to life, that it couldn’t start up again and reanimate the globe-consuming consumerist beast it had grown and fed.
Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day
But in 1984, the capacity of container ships topped out at about 5,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, or the size of a standard container), and remained stuck at that threshold for the next 12 years. It had nothing to do with the technology of shipbuilding. Rather, it was because a 5,000 TEU ship was the biggest that could squeeze through the locks of the Panama Canal (such ships are labeled “Panamax”), and no one wanted to buy a container ship that could not serve global shipping’s most important route: the canal link between the Americas’ Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In 1996, however, one of the biggest shipping companies in the world, Maersk of Denmark, decided to challenge that orthodoxy. It took delivery of the 6,400-TEU “post-Panamax” ship Regina. The economic center of gravity, Maersk reasoned, was shifting. The Panama Canal was irrelevant to the fastest-growing trade routes: the Pacific routes connecting the Far East (China, Korea, Japan), the Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan) and the west coasts of North and South America; the Atlantic routes connecting Europe to South America; and the Indian Ocean routes connecting Europe to the Middle East and Asia (via the Suez Canal).
Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy, Grant (CON) Blackwood
active measures, affirmative action, air freight, airport security, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Benoit Mandelbrot, defense in depth, failed state, friendly fire, Google Earth, Panamax, post-Panamax, Skype, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl
Sex, for all its power, was simply a stepping-stone, and if she judged her mark correctly, she was but a few stones away from the prize. The question that Allison didn’t let herself wonder too much about was the nature of the information her employer was seeking. Why in the world, she wondered, did they care about groundwater in the middle of a desert? As Panamax “box ships” went, the Losan was small, a “twelve abreast” 2,700 TEU—twenty-foot equivalent units—vessel measuring 542 feet, whose capacity had long since been surpassed by Post Panamax descendants, but Tarquay Industries of Smithfield, Virginia, was less interested in modernity than it was in cutting its losses. Of the 120 five-hundred-gallon propane tanks it had sold to the government of Senegal, forty-six had proved defective, having slipped through quality control with improperly welded lifting lugs.
After thirty seconds, he said, “Okay, if it’s that important to you—” “It’s not that that’s important to me. It’s you.” Arms still folded, she turned to face him. She forced some tears into her eyes. He held out his hand to her. “Come here.” “Why?” “Just come here.” She stepped over to him, to his hand. He said, “Just don’t tell anybody I talked about this stuff, okay? They’d throw me in jail.” She smiled and wiped a tear from her cheek. “Promise.” The Panamax cargo ship Losan was three days from its destination, having made the bulk of the Atlantic crossing on calm seas and under clear skies. Losan’s captain, a forty-seven-year-old German named Hans Groder, had been the box ship’s master for eight years, having spent ten months out of every one of those years at sea. A tougher schedule than his previous job—captain of a German Navy Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment oiler—but the pay was much better and the stresses much fewer.
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson
"Robert Solow", air freight, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, global supply chain, intermodal, Isaac Newton, job automation, Jones Act, knowledge economy, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, oil shock, Panamax, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, Productivity paradox, refrigerator car, South China Sea, trade route, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game
Shipowners decided to build slower vessels to save fuel: the average speed of newly delivered containerships dropped steadily from 25 knots in 1973 to 20 in 1984. Naval architects were no longer forced to design streamlined shapes to help achieve high speeds, and could concentrate instead on increasing payloads. Without getting much longer, vessels got much larger. The ships entering service by 1978 could hold up to 3,500 20-foot containers—more than had entered all U.S. ports combined during an average week in 1968. These Panamax vessels—the maximum size that could fit through the Panama Canal—could haul a container at much lower cost than could their predecessors. The construction cost itself was lower, relative to capacity: a vessel to carry 3,000 containers did not require twice as much steel or twice as large an engine as a vessel to carry 1,500. Given the extent of automation on board the new vessels, a larger ship did not require a larger crew, so crew wages per container were much lower.
By the 1980s, new ships holding the equivalent of 4,200 20-foot containers could move a ton of cargo at 40 percent less than could a ship built for 3,000 containers and at one-third the cost of a vessel designed for 1,800.5 And still the vessels grew. The economies of scale were so clear, and so large, that in 1988 ship lines began buying vessels too wide to fit through the Panama Canal. These so-called Post-Panamax ships needed deeper water and longer piers than many ports could offer. They were uneconomic to run on most of the world’s shipping lanes. They offered no flexibility, but they could do one thing very well. On a busy route between two large, deep harbors, such as Hong Kong and Los Angeles or Singapore and Rotterdam, they could sail back and forth, with a brief stop at each end, moving freight more cheaply than any other vehicles ever built.
Lonely Planet Panama (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy
California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, land tenure, low cost airline, Panamax, post-Panamax, Ronald Reagan, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, women in the workforce
Although as much as 5% of the world’s total sea commerce traverses the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal in Egypt, which is capable of handling larger vessels, serves more than 6%. Furthermore, the Panama Canal is already operating at more than 90% of its maximum capacity and will reach its saturation point in less than five years. The biggest challenge the Panama Canal faces is luring the enormous post-Panamax vessels, which currently depend on either the US Transcontinental Railroad or the Suez Canal. But those in favor of the canal expansion are hoping that this lucrative market will adopt the Panama route, especially as trade volumes between Asia and the continental east coast increase. There is concern that the expansion will not offset its construction costs. Furthermore, critics from all sectors of society are pessimistic that the government can actually pull off the project at its stated price tag.
Furthermore, critics from all sectors of society are pessimistic that the government can actually pull off the project at its stated price tag. Financing the project requires US$2.3 billion in loans from various foreign government-owned banks, in addition to funding by the Panamanian government and the Panama Canal Authority. Since it’s estimated that the value of tolls will increase significantly over the next 20 years, the hope is that the expected flow of post-Panamax vessels through the canal will eventually pick up the tab. Sights 1 Miraflores Locks Miraflores Visitors Center MUSEUM ( 276-8325; www.pancanal.com; viewing deck/full-access US$5/8; 9am-5pm) The easiest and best way to visit the canal is to go to the Miraflores Visitors Center, located just outside Panama City. The recently inaugurated visitors center features a large, four-floor interactive museum, several viewing platforms and an excellent restaurant serving sumptuous buffet spreads within panorama view of teh canal transit.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Wilhelm, Leon remembered now, his name was Wilhelm, but what was the surname? It was troubling that he didn’t know. He’d known everyone in senior management once. “Maybe we put the ships out to anchor now, then commit to revisiting the question in a year, two years, and if we still don’t need them, we scrap the excess.” “Seems like a reasonable course of action to me,” D’Ambrosio said. “Thoughts, objections?” “There’s the question of the new Panamax vessels,” Miranda said. There was a collective sigh. The company had commissioned two new ships back in the lost paradise of 2005, when the demand had seemed endless and they were struggling to keep up, and the ships—under contract, paid for, two and a half years into the building process, and now extravagantly unnecessary—would be delivered from the South Korean shipyards in six months. “I say we send them straight to the ghost fleet.”
Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock
Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working-age population, Yom Kippur War
Petersburg, Russia: International Energy Agency, 16 June 2011). CHAPTER 6 Old Coal Still Burning Brightly Steam is no stronger now than it was a hundred years ago, but it is put to better use. —Nineteenth-century American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson For the Panama-flagged coal ship Pasha Bulker, there was nowhere to hide from the violent storm known as an “east coast low,” that overwhelmed it one winter’s morning in June 2007. The 77,000-dwt Panamax-class ship, which had been launched in Japan only a year earlier, had spent the previous two weeks in the coal queue that forms off the Port of Newcastle on the Australian east coast. As the first storm warnings went out from the local weather bureau, the master of the Pasha Bulker made an ill-judged call to stay put—he was there to load 58,000 tonnes of coal. By early morning on June 8, with his anchor dragging and the waves growing ever larger, the situation had changed enough for the captain to decide he had to make a run for deeper water.
Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George
Admiral Zheng, air freight, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, bank run, cable laying ship, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Costa Concordia, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, global supply chain, Google Earth, intermodal, Jones Act, London Whale, Malacca Straits, Panamax, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Skype, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche
There are other ships waiting. CMA-CGM, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company, though its nickname replaces ‘Mediterranean’ with ‘Mafia’), Evergreen, China Shipping. French, Italian, Taiwanese, Chinese. The cogs, wheels and motors of the world and all its stuff. All these ships are rated Suezmax and above, according to the vital statistics of shipping, in which ships are sized by places they can fit through or round. Panamax is smaller than Suezmax, although Panama is now widening its canal in an expensive but surprisingly on-time development programme known as the Big Ditch. Kendal can’t yet fit through Panama, nor can E-class like Emma. Maersk may build a modified version that can if the Big Ditch ever becomes a Bigger Canal. We stay in green waters until the order comes to move south, to the canal lay-by of Great Bitter Lake.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Later that evening she would find herself troubled and at moments even a little amused by the memory of how casually everyone had once thrown the word collapse around, before anyone understood what the word truly meant, but in any event, there had been an economic collapse, or so everyone called it at the time, and now the largest shipping fleet ever assembled lay fifty miles east of Singapore Harbor. Twelve of the boats belonged to Neptune Logistics, including two new Panamax-class vessels that had yet to carry a single cargo container, decks still gleaming from the South Korean shipyards; ships ordered in a moment when it seemed the demand would only ever grow, built over the following three years while the economy imploded, unneeded now that no one was spending any money. Earlier that afternoon, in the subsidiary office, Miranda had been told that the local fishermen were afraid of the ships.
The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past) by Cixin Liu
back-to-the-land, cosmic microwave background, Deng Xiaoping, game design, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Norbert Wiener, Panamax, RAND corporation, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Von Neumann architecture
The parts of the ship below the waterline are used for engines, fuel, and ballast, causing a lot of noise, vibration, and interference. The conditions are too poor for computing centers and other similar facilities to be located there. But for the parts above water, a tighter nanofilament net will give better results.” “Then it’s best to set the trap at one of the locks along the canal. Judgment Day is built to Panamax specifications, just enough to fill the thirty-two-meter locks. Then we would only need to make the Flying Blade filaments thirty-two meters long. This will also make it easier to erect the pillars and string the filaments between them, especially for the underwater parts.” “No. The situation around the locks is too unpredictable. Also, a ship inside the lock must be pulled forward by four ‘mules,’ electric locomotives on rails.
Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day
Panama City is now positioning itself as the Dubai of Central America—the longest flight in the world now connects the two cities—upping its game in sectors such as real estate, free trade zones, and aviation, even attracting Asian airlines to make stopovers in Panama en route to South American destinations. And with a major expansion of the canal under way (just missing the centennial completion goal) to allow for simultaneous two-directional flow of large post-Panamax tankers, Panama will once again dent Valparaíso’s recent comeback as a pit stop for ships once too wide for the Panama Canal. Already Valparaíso’s container traffic trade with the United States is falling by double digits every year. Eventually, cruise ships may outnumber tankers as the city refashions itself into a cultural tourism hub. Efficiently reaching America’s Eastern Seaboard is a strategic imperative for consumer and tech goods exporters such as Japan, South Korea, and China.
Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.
active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve
In the UK, the Bank of England’s agents report a series of scores they calculate from their visits to business contacts.24 Their scores for turnover, profitability, capacity constraints, and investment and employment intentions all started tumbling from around May 2007. Nobody much noticed. Well, some did. Figure 7.3. The Baltic Dry Index, 2006–17. Of special note here is the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which collapsed in the fall of 2008 and has hardly recovered (figure 7.3).25 The Baltic Dry Index is issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. The index covers Handysize, Supramax, Panamax, and Capesize, massive dry bulk carriers of a range of commodities around the world including coal, iron ore, and grain. BDI covers 100 percent of dry bulk cargo in transit on the world’s oceans but does not include ships transporting freight via container or transport of energy liquids by tanker. 26 On May 20, 2008, the index reached its record-high level since its introduction in 1985, of 11,793 points.
Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
It tells us nothing about what will happen on the million or so hectares – about half the area of Wales – that will provide the fuel, because it doesn’t even know where they will be.35 There is no attempt to examine what energy costs might be involved in planting, growing, felling, extracting and processing the timber, turning it into wood chips, transporting them to the coast, shipping them to Britain in 45,000 tonne Panamax boats, re-equipping the docks to unload them, constructing the 24 new buildings and silos at the £400 million plant (life expectancy 25 years), and constructing a new 250,000 volt connection to the national grid – not to mention all the ancillary stuff such as the journeys to work of the lumberjacks, dockers, power station operatives and electric meter measurers, or the computers used to provide environmental statements and calculate electricity bills.