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Tuesday, 16 February


Solar homes facing meter bill shock, delays as premium tariffs end Renew Economy

Solar households are facing hefty bills to change their meters when their solar bonus tariffs end this year. Worse, they are facing long delays. It's a potential train crash that could deepen desire to add battery storage.


Redflow says will compete with lithium, lead batteries on cost Renew Economy

Redflow says zinc bromine flow batteries will be cost-competitive with lithium-ion and lead acid rivals, with more cost reductions to come.


Connected Energy & Renault partner in second-life EV battery energy storage tech Renew Economy

Connected Energy and Renault are partnering together for the creation of second-life electric vehicle battery energy storage technologies.


Prosper’s President in the news Prosper Australia

Prosper Australia President Catherine Cashmore was interviewed by Michael Bleby in the weekend Australian Financial Review. The interview stepped behind the intrigue of Henry George and Land Value Tax. Some selected highlights: Economic thinkers don’t often draw large crowds, but George did. “Thousands on thousands” of people filled the streets upon the death of the […]


How big can wind turbines get? Renew Economy

The latest wind turbines have blade tips reaching up as high as the Gherkin in London. Next stop, Eiffel Tower.


The European circus continues Bill Mitchell – billy blog

Yesterday, I briefly examined how a pack of big-noting financial market traders were trapped in stupidity by patterned behaviour and self-reinforcing group dynamics (aka Groupthink). Today, we consider the neo-liberal Groupthink that continues to trap political leaders and policy makers in Europe into a web of denial and stupidity. In both case, innocent people have suffered huge negative impacts while, by and large, the idiots have escaped fairly unscathed. The recent data from Eurostat shows that growth is fairly flat in the Eurozone and industrial production is in recession. It also shows that the banking system is in deep jeopardy and the so-called reforms that were introduced post-GFC are not considered robust by investors. With massive bank deposit flight going on and banking share prices plunging, it is clear that the ‘markets’ have lost faith in the financial viability of the Eurozone. Meanwhile. Mario Draghi winds the key up in his back and tells the world that everything is fine and the ECB is on top of the situation. With chaos descending on the monetary union again, the ECB cannot even achieve its single purpose – a stable 2 per cent inflation rate. It has failed to even achieve that over the last four years. One couldn’t write this sort of stuff if they were trying.

On Monday, February 15, 2016, the President of the ECB, Mario Draghi appeared before the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament.

In his – Introductory statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB – he said:

The recovery is progressing at a moderate pace, supported mainly by our monetary policy measures and their favourable impact on financial conditions as well as the low price of energy. Investment remains weak, as heightened uncertainties regarding the global econo...


It’s time to shine for 24-hour solar power Renew Economy

With nuclear ruled out as way too expensive, it may finally be time to turn to solar tower and storage technology. The technology is proven, dispatchable and cheaper than most people think.


Melbourne Uni taps CEFC loan to cut power costs, grid dependence Renew Economy

University of Melbourne hopes to cut grid electricity use by 8% using CEFC finance to install voltage optimisation technology, solar and wind micro-turbines.


What the death of US Supreme Court Judge means for climate change Renew Economy

Just days after a US Supreme Court ruling clouded the future of the Paris climate pact, the passing of one of its justices has boosted the pact's chances of succeeding.


Aurizon write downs signal end for Hancock’s Galilee Basin coal projects Renew Economy

GVK Hancock Coal’s plan to exploit deposits containing over 7 billion tonnes of coal in the Galilee Basin are all but officially dead.

Thursday, 28 January


288 – Bowie albums ranked Pannell Discussions

Since David Bowie’s death a couple of weeks ago, I’ve playing his albums pretty incessantly. Playing them all within a short time made me think about which ones I prefer. I’m sharing, in case it’s helpful to others thinking of expanding their Bowie collections.

David Bowie is in my second rank of favourite musicians: not someone whose music I’m completely obsessed with, but definitely one of the greats. He fits into mainstream rock, but like the most original and creative rock artists (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Radiohead) he was renowned for making radical changes in his music from time to time. In fact, Bowie’s changes were more radical and more frequent than any other major artist.

My decade-by-decade summary would be:

  • The 1960s: An awkward debut, one brilliant single, and a very good second album.
  • The 1970s: Mostly stunningly good, progressing through five utterly distinct phases.
  • The 1980s: Starts with one very good album. After that, several dreadful albums that I can’t bear to listen to it.
  • The 1990s, 2000s and 2010s: Everything from 1995 on was very good to excellent.

You can see that I have a strong preference for his more adventurous work, and a very strong dislike of his most commercial work (from the mid 1980s).

To be more specific, here is my ranking of all his albums, from best to worst, with some comments about each.

1. Low (1977). The secon...

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