Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together a collection of articles, all loosely related by being unexpected byproducts of change:
- Water Wars. Those who know Los Angeles history know of the strong animosity between the LA Department of Water and Power and the folks in the Owens Valley, going back to the early 1900s and the start of the LA Aqueduct. But a change in attitude at the DWP is now fostering a spirit of cooperation between the two former enemies.
- Atheist Church. Despite what you might hear from the deep South, people are becoming less attached to religion. So should it be any surprise that Atheist Churches are springing up? After all, a church is more than a house of worship: it is a house of study as well as a house of community, and atheists still have a need for study and community.
- Gender Neutrality. As the push for equality has continued, there has been a push for gender neutral language. Well, you can do it stupid or you can do it smart. Time has an interesting article on how state legislatures are coping with the problem.
- Bookstores and E-Readers. If you asked people a few years ago, they would have said that Borders and Barnes and Noble would be the death of the independent bookstore. Well, it’s 2013. Borders is gone, and B&N is shrinking. Guess what is popping up to fill in the niche — that’s right — the independent bookstore! Related to this was an article I heard on the NPR technology podcast: It appears an unexpected side-effect of using electronic readers is that they can collect statistics on how you read… and then provide that back to the publishers and authors.
- Money Laundering. Bruce Schneier’s blog alerted me to this one. When you make it harder to launder money, what do criminals do? Answer: Turn to laundry detergent. Specifically, Procter & Gambel’s Tide has become a readily-convertable currency for drug transactions. It is not traceable, and has high value.