I Zinc This Is A Good Thing

See, the "joke" in the subject line works because the English language has words that sound alike, but with different meanings. Here I am "playing" on them, so to speak. Also, I just read that Yemen is investing in a $200 million zinc mine, apparently the first mine in Yemen. Output is projected to reach some 80,000 tons annually. A few quick thoughts.

1)I have no idea if that is a lot of zinc. Frankly, I am not even sure what one uses zinc for. I'm reasonably sure I have never purchased any.

2) I just read that zinc "also acts as a sacrificial anode in cathodic protection", which leaves me even more confused and frankly a little scared. It all sounds very religious.

3) Regardless, there is a chance- albeit a small, laughable one- that simply because I don't know something doesn't mean it is unimportant. The important thing, of course, is the diversification of the economy. Even though this is only expected to create 400 direct jobs (mining, supervision) and 1800 indirect jobs (lodging, maintenance, food), it has the potential to add another wrinkle to the economy, which right now rests largely on shrinking oil reserves and tourists, the latter group being deliberately driven away by al-Qaeda. Coupled with the oil investments below, I'd say this is a good start to the week for Yemen. It is too early to tell- and clearly these are medium-to-long term strategies which could be undermined with the next explosion- but the country's staggering walk along the brink seems to have focused some thought.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less