Megan McArdle, “Showdown in Wisconsin” – from the article: State governments are where some of the hardest choices about taxes and spending have to be made. And thanks to a confluence of factors–ObamaCare rules that keep states from cutting Medicaid spending, poorly thought-out pension obligations that are now coming due, crashing revenue thanks to the recession, and in all but one states, a balanced budget requirement–those choices have to be made now. Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion shortfall over the next two years.
“Why Do the World’s Fattest People Live on Islands?” (h/t aldaily) – The ready availability of imported food has coincided with the conversion of farmland to more lucrative industries such as mining. Nauru’s land area has been almost entirely turned over to phosphate mining, forcing its people onto a tiny sliver of livable land. While the traditional Pacific diet was dominated by fish, fruits, and vegetables, Nauru’s islanders have now developed a taste for imported rice, sugar, flour, soda, and beer. (Spam is a particular favorite.)
“Books From Jefferson’s Library Turn Up After More Than a Century” (nytimes) – from the article: Jefferson initialed his books (to affirm his ownership), often corrected typographical errors in the texts and also occasionally wrote marginal notes or comments about the substance. Researchers are combing the newly discovered collection to find such notations.