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  • New National Park Service guidelines proposed

    Dueling stories in the NY Times and LA Times today on a document that would loosen restrictions on what qualifies as recreation and is allowed in national parks. The changes, which would allow snowmobiles, cell phone towers, and low-flying tour planes, are the "brainchild" of Paul Hoffman, a "high-ranking appointee at the Interior Department" according to the Times.

    The change that's getting the most attention is the insertion of "irreversibly" into the language describing what makes a use illegal, to the effect that a use that harms the park's resources but does not do so "irreversibly" would be just fine.

    400 Park Service employees have started a campaign to block the plan.

    Marketplace has a slightly more humorous title.

  • Oiloholics

    The Economist has on its cover this week a not-so-flattering caricature of Uncle Sam and a dragon, both sipping down oil like there's no tomorrow. The article is "The Oiloholics."

    Why do I mention this now? Usually you have to subscribe to the magazine to read this article. But today you can promise to watch an ad and do something else for 30 seconds watch an ad and get access for free.

  • What are ‘price caps’

    Hawaii has responded to soaring gas prices by capping wholesale prices at $2.74/gallon including taxes, starting September 1st. This would put the retail cap at about $2.86, slightly higher than the state-wide average but significantly lower than prices in Maui, which are over $3/gallon.

  • Africa goes cellular

    One in eleven Africans is now ... a mobile phone subscriber.

    Africa has an average of just one land line for every 33 people, but cellphones are enabling millions of people to skip a technological generation and bound straight from letter-writing to instant messaging.
    Sound familiar?