Hard numbers: Tanks a lot America!

29: The UN cultural agency UNESCO added 29 new sites to its World Heritage List, including iron-age furnaces in Burkina Faso, a wine-growing region of Italy known for Prosecco, the city of Jaipur, India, and — your Wednesday author's personal favorite — eight major buildings designed by the US architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Overall, UNESCO has granted special status to over 1,100 sites of "outstanding universal value."

90: The price of opium extracted from poppies — the precursor of heroin — has fallen by 90 percent in parts of southwest Mexico over the past 18 months, possibly due to increased competition from heroin alternatives like fentanyl. The price crash has hurt local farmers, contributing to a surge of migrants headed to the US border.

5: The five richest men in Nigeria havecombined personal fortunes of nearly $30 billion. That's more than the country's entire national budget. About 60 percent of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 per day.

2.2 billion: The State Department on Tuesday approved $2.2 billion of arms sales to Taiwan. The deal, which has yet to be concluded, includes 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The approval came despite a warning from China's Foreign Ministry that the deal would be "extremely sensitive and damaging."

Technology is changing the way modern geologists locate precious resources and harness energy. With supercomputers capable of processing geophysical data from all over the world, geologists are reconstructing models of the subsoil to identify hydrocarbon deposits. The efficiency of these powerful data processors can scan massive rock formations to help laboratories analyze geological systems. While today's modern geologists still have a compass and hammer to collect samples, petaflops of computing power are changing energy research at lightning speed.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Are e-Cigs an example of tech gone wrong?


There's a real tradeoff in e-cigarettes. To the extent that people stop smoking regular cigarettes to use e-cigarettes, that's good. To the extent that new people who wouldn't have been smokers, particularly young people, start smoking, that's bad. Now there are real societal problems and health problems and the data show that there are lots of new people starting to smoke. I don't think of it as much as a tech problem though or tech gone wrong as much as a social problem.


Moviepass has shut down. Final thoughts?


Moviepass was this insane business. You pay them ten dollars a month and then they let you see all the 2D movies you want. That was one business plan. They had about 20 business plans. It's kind of just, there lots of tech companies where the business model is: pay us a dollar and we'll pay you two dollars. And then they say to the venture capitalists: "Look we're growing. Give us more money." Of course that's going to run out.


Nostalgia. What's the next old tech about to make a resurgence?


Snapchat. A year ago, it looked like they were poached. That Instagram was just going to knock them out. And now, everybody's using Snapchat again.

Following another inconclusive election this week, Israel's politics are in turmoil, and the man at the center of the battle to form the next government is neither the embattled prime minister nor the opposition leader who appears to have bested him.

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Justin Trudeau's Bid to Save Face – Canada's prime minister shouldn't play dress-up anymore. An unfortunate series of outfits he and his family wore during a visit to India in 2018 drew widespread mockery, and now there are old photos and video of Justin Trudeau wearing brown and black makeup on separate occasions at costume parties years ago. Trudeau has acknowledged that the costumes are racist and apologized profusely. It'll be up to Canadian voters to decide on October 21 just how seriously they take these spectacular lapses of judgment and good taste. In the meantime, Signal readers can enjoy this video of Trudeau throwing himself down a flight of stairs.

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30: A U.S. drone strike aiming to hit an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan, killed at least 30 civilians. There are around 2,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, but some have been known to switch alliances between different insurgent groups, according to the US military.

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