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Quick Takes June 29, 2023
Electricity Reliability, Leisure Class Stress, Moral Issues Poll from Gallup, & Collaborating with Math
Quick Takes are news items that caught my attention this week.
The eia reports that
If temperatures spike this summer, parts of the United States could face electricity supply shortages as demand for cooling increases, according to analysis by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The latest summer reliability report from NERC warns that two-thirds of North America is at risk of energy shortfalls this summer during periods of extremely high electricity demand.
The article Two-thirds of North America is at risk of energy shortfalls in high summer heat, NERC says has a nice map and reports from various electricity-supplying regions in the U.S.
The Harried Leisure Class
That’s the title of a Marginal Revolutions post. Two quotes:
When you do the numbers correctly, Winship and Horpedahl show that the cost of thriving is falling. It’s falling more slowly than we would like–but it’s still the case that current generations are, on the whole, better off than previous generations.
In previous eras, a spouse who stayed at home served as a reserve pool of time, providing a buffer to manage unexpected disruptions such as a sick child or a car breakdown with greater ease. Today, the same disruption require a cascade of rescheduling and negotiations to manage the situation effectively. It feels hard.
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A Gallup Poll on Moral Issues
In Gallup’s poll on morale issues, there were two statistically significant changes. There was a seven-point decrease in saying gay and lesbian relationships are morally acceptable (71 to 64) and a five-point increase in the death penalty (55 to 60). Both would be considered moves in the conservative direction. Keep in mind, though, that there were 19 questions asked, and based on chance, a couple would end up significant (assuming they didn’t correct for this).
The decline in the percentage of Americans believing gay or lesbian relations are morally acceptable is mainly a result of fewer Republicans holding that view -- 41% do now, down from 56% a year ago. The current figure is the lowest Gallup has measured for Republicans since 2014 (39%). Between 2020 and 2022, majorities of Republicans approved of gay or lesbian relations.
Democrats (79%) and independents (73%) continue to be much more likely than Republicans to find gay or lesbian relations morally acceptable.
They didn’t mention in the text that the Democrats dropped six points on this issue, but it is in their graph.
Republicans and independents are modestly more likely to say the death penalty is morally acceptable, including a six-percentage-point increase among Republicans to 82% and a seven-point increase among independents to 59%. Democrats’ acceptance is essentially unchanged at 40%.
Nice interactive graphs in the article.
Collaborating with a Math Person
From the nature article How to hatch, brew and craft the perfect maths partnership:
Hendon partnered with Jamie Foster, an industrial and applied mathematician at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and coffee-industry specialists to investigate how to brew high-quality espresso reproducibly. “Mathematics is difficult, and I think sometimes mathematicians forget they’re uniquely skilled at it,” he notes.
Nature spoke to six researchers — three mathematicians and three from other fields who have partnered with them — about crafting successful and lasting collaborations
Us mathematicians (applied or otherwise) can be useful to have around.
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