Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Age of Micro Mobility is Here

The era of the private automobile had its ups and downs. Who can dispute that the car vastly expanded our lifestyle options? On the other hand, traffic and pollution are not in anyone’s dream of paradise.

So where are we headed? Most do not think that the era of private car ownership will soon be over. Many do think, however, that its dominance over other forms of local transport is ebbing.  Consider this

Just 26% of 16-year olds in the United States earned a driver’s license in 2017. Less than four decades ago, close to half of 16-year olds would have become licensed drivers. In the United Kingdom, the number of 17-year olds seeking driver’s licenses fell by 28% in the last ten years.

So where are we headed? We are going to see lots more micro.mobility options.

For example, micro mobility already provides solutions for some of the principal unbundled uses. Electric scooters are ideal for trips up 10km. Electric bikes are perfect for trips between 10km and 24km. Cars find their sweet spot above 24k, although ideally in a metro area autonomous vehicles (“robo taxis”) would be deployed for this use. Other services such as cargo hauling could be fulfilled with paid access to a shared truck (electric, and autonomous of course).

You already see folks praising the availability of bikes for NY short hops.

I honestly don’t think there is a better way to get around NYC for short distances on a lovely spring day. It is one of the things that makes living in NYC so enjoyable.

The above is from  VC Fred Wilson. He is raving about a 7 minute ride that took him one city mile where he burned 41 calories.

Very cool!

I would put in a word here as well about walking. Health experts have been shouting out for a while that walking is nearly as healthy in terms of aerobic exercise as running — and it puts far less stress on the legs. I have been on  walking regime for several months now, and have lost more than 25 pounds.  No gym memberships. No fancy clothing or equipment needed. Just a pair of sneakers. In addition to the weight loss, I am feeling a lot more fit than I was.

Not bad!

 

Advertisements

Claire Sulmers is in the Avant Garde of “Influencers”

What is an “influencer”?

Claire Sulmers is one. She tells her story here.

For our purposes, influencers are folks who use their own channels and platforms to persuade their target groups to do certain things. Like buy fashion.

Here is Claire, doing her thing

Image result for Claire Sulmers

We are likely to see more folks like Claire. So stay tuned on this one!

In Trump World “Shall” Means “Shall Not”

Before we jump on his roller coaster ride, we should get one thing straight.  The Internal Revenue Code Section 6103(f) says

Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, …  the Secretary SHALL furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request…. (emphasis added)

The Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee has made such a request to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns. An there is little doubt that the Trump Administration will either ignore it or  refuse. it

Before going any further, one should understand that in law “shall” means “must”. There is no wiggle room. And so if the Trumpsters refuse the request, they will have to argue that “shall” does not mean “shall”. It means “may”

Trump’s lawyers have already laid their cards on the table. They say that giving over Trump’s tax returns would violate Trump’s right to free speech. In other words, the request is an attempt to harass Donal Trump and punish him for exercising his right to say things that Congress doesn’t like.  And of course, there is such a right. Bu as will all rights, i is no an absolute right. Congress may limit that right within the legitimate exercise of its powers.

So his is BS if the Chairman can show that his request is consistent with any legitimate exercise of authority. And that is why the Chairman’s request was so carefully written — to maximize the chances hat a judge or judges will see that there are reasons to compel release of the returns.  Given the enormous potential negative impact of abuse of presidential power, it will be difficult to say with a straight face that Congress cannot see the most important evidence that presidential abuse has or may occur. In other words, this looks like a loser argument for Trump.

Where is this headed`? As with many things Trump, it is headed for the courts. Trump hopes that he can at least delay having to comply with the request until after the 2020 elections. That strategy may work.

It may also backfire. Democrats are looking for wedge issues to help conservative voters break from Trumpism. They have a whopper in health care policy. They may have a second one here — slime.  The Trumpsters have been guilty of slime on many fronts. And Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns could persuade voters that that there is a lot more slime there than meets the eye.  That a vote for Trump is a vote for more slime.

So, yes, yet another slow moving crisis that distracts us from policy making.

 

 

 

Sixers Rise from the Dead and Demolish the Nets

It is easy to forget that the Sixers have had trouble with the Brooklyn Nets. Not last night.

After losing to the Hawks — they actually lost to the Hawks? — and the Magic, the Sixers had to prove something last night in Philly, and prove it they did. You saw it from the opening tap. They came to play and jumped out to an early lead that they never gave up.

So what sparked this? The main thing was that the Nets do not have anyone in the paint who can defend Joel. When you add to that (1) Joel hitting 3’s, and (2) JJ hitting 3’s, and (3) no bad perimeter defense o slow down Dimwidde and Russell, the Nets just were not really in this game. BTW, the Nets are lucky to have Harris who really can shoot well from outside.

Give the Nets credit. Under Kenny Atkinson, they play tough. And they hung in the game almost to the end. They execute well. But even when they were only down by 6 in the third, you had the sense that the Sixers had another gear to switch into and they did not.

A couple of side points

is getting more clear that TJ is playing too many minutes. It is wearing on him, and he loses his spark. For that reason, the Sixers are lucky that Shake Milton is coming along. Shake gets lost on defense (learning curve) but he is bigger and faster than TJ and he can shoot. He id no stand out last night, bu I was glad to see him  get some minutes.I liked his effort.

Can Boban reliably back up Joel? The initial thinking was “you must be joking. He is too slow.” Boban is slow. And quicker players can get him out of position. He also is not going to be able to guard stretch 5’s. So, yes, he has limitations. But he is showing that he has a soft touch and is an offensive weapon. Hitting a few 3’s helps. He is also not a bad rebounder. Not great, but he is so all that he has a shot at pretty much every miss that goes up. And he sets huge picks. So it looks like we will see Boban in he playoffs. Hold your breath on that one.

How long will Tobias Harris slump? He has been off for a few games. My take — all shooters have these spells. D’Angelo Russell is in a much deeper slump for the Nets. He will be back*!

Is Jimmy Buckets not scoring enough? Jimmy is not scoring the way he can. But he is trying to be more efficient. I am not concerned.

And where is Zharie? I want to see the due play some more minutes!

Tomorrow night  The Celtics play the Pacers – two eastern conference top five teams go at it. Saturday, the Sixers take on the ‘Wolves (who will be playing the second part of a back to back after taking on the Warriors tonight).

Onward to the playoffs!

Ben Simmons Deconstructed

Ben Simmons is one of the most heralded young players in the NBA. Few have his combination of size, quickness, agility, and vision. And yet, despite that, Ben Simmons gets roasted in the media for his flaws. Mainly, he lacks an outside game.

I have kept a close eye on Ben has he played through his rookie season last year and his second year now. His flaws have been obvious.  Like any young player, he makes some mental errors. And he doesn’t look for, let alone take, outside shots. So, yes, he oes lack an outside game.

So is he a flawed prospect?  If Ben stays the way he is now for another 2 or 3 years, you might be right to ask that question. But at this stage of his career? No way. Ben can do so many great things on the court, we can easily accept his limitations.

And consider — a while back Ben lacked a foul shot and a post up game. His foul shot percentage was so bad that opposing teams sought him out to foul at the end of close games. It was painful to watch him miss. But against the Celtics, it was Ben who sunk a clutch foul shot with less than a minute to go (completing a 3 point play) that gave the Sixers their margin of victory. And it has been Ben in the post, taking smaller guards to the so called “weight room” this season.

In other words, Ben is working on his game. He will develop an outside shot. He will get even better at reading defenses and offenses. I would argue that Ben is already a top 20 NBA player. IN a year or so, I would be surprised if he is not a top 5 player. I am that confident in his work ethic.

BTW, JoJo has been working hard on his game as well. He is a far better player this year than he was last season. He will keep getting better and I expect that he will be MP if his health holds out.

So cool i! Ben is already good enough to star  on a team that is loaded with talent. He will get better still. And that will be a pleasure to watch.

Go Sixers! They play the Hawks tonight and the Magic on Monday as the season winds down.

Where to Tipple in Asia

Fulls disclosure: I am no one who travels frequently in Asia. On the other hand, I am always looking for places that would make a trip anywhere more exciting. That would include bars.

Not just places to sit on a stool and sip a brew. Though there is nothing wrong with that. Places that you would want to be part of your routine. Places that serve up ambiance and great cocktails.

So with no further intro, here is a list of the top 50 bars in Asia.

You might notice that a number of these establishments are to be found in the top 50 bars of the world.

Go for it!