I’m less than impressed with some of Google’s free stuff. I supposed I shouldn’t complain, right?
I use Gmail, and there are some convenient aspects of Calendar which comes with it.
Printing isn’t one of them.
I don’t need to print my Google Calendar very often, so this isn’t a big deal. But, if I want anything that isn’t the plainest vanilla, the printing facilities offered by Calendar are inadequate.
But I figured out an easy workaround this morning.
Set up your calendar the way you want it to look.
Select print from the “More” drop down menu.
Instead of sending it to a printer, choose “Save as” at the bottom; PDF is the only option (but saving to PDF is quicker than printing to a PDF file).
Open the PDF calendar in Abobe. You still can’t edit it. But if export it to Word, it will be run through an OCR routine on the way.†
Open the calendar in Word.
This actually takes advantage of the lack of features in Google’s Calendar: there’s nothing unusual in the layout that interferes with the OCR.
So you end up with a calendar in Word which is almost completely editable.
FWIW: I must not be the first person to have this problem. You’ll get several hundred thousand hits with the keywords “edit printed google calendar”, but many of them are for specialized software that you don’t need.
† OCR is short for optical character recognition: basically turning a picture of words into characters. The PDF that Calendar exports is the picture that can’t be edited like text, but the Word document will be in characters that can be edited like text.
Politicians want to sell you infrastructure investment. Don’t buy it.
What is infrastructure anyway? It’s basically big capital projects that are kinda’ sorta’ public goods: bridges, roads, airports, and so on.
There’s a notion that in the U.S. our infrastructure is “crumbling”. Maybe. There is no very good way to measure this. One thing we do is talk about how old our infrastructure is. But that misses the “compared to what’ question you should always ask: how do we know a specific age is “old”?
The biggest name in urban economics is Ed Glaeser from Harvard (no one regards Glaeser as a supporter of political conservatives). He’s just published a piece in City Journal entitled “If You Build It …” that’s getting a lot of talk.
Why do politicians always tout infrastructure?
The progressive romance with infrastructure spending is based on three beliefs. First is that it supercharges economic growth. … [Second], by putting people to work building needed things, infrastructure spending is an ideal government tool for fighting unemployment during recessions. [Third] Infrastructure should also be a national responsibility …
None of this is right. …
First, let’s The thing is, no one spending their own money would do stuff like this.
In 2009, [Glaeser] calculated a rough cost-benefit calculation for a (fictional) high-speed rail link between Houston and Dallas and found that costs outweighed benefits by an order of magnitude.
Note that when a scientist says “an order of magnitude” they mean something is multiplied by the base of log. Typically this is ten for casual use of order of magnitude, but e is probably a reasonable lower bound. Anyway, he’s saying the costs are several times the benefits. That’s not off by a little bit; it’s more like offering to pay $10 or $20 for every gallon of gas. And, if you’re not up on this stuff, Dallas to Houston is one of the corridors across the country that the infrastructure people are always proposing for high speed rail. So it’s not like he picked that example out of a hat.
And who are we trying to help with infrastructure spending anyway?
The relatively simple technology of infrastructure construction of the 1930s meant that the unskilled unemployed could easily be put to work building roads. Among the iconic images of the Great Depression are scores of men wielding shovels and picks. That isn’t how roads and bridges are built anymore, though. Big infrastructure requires fancy equipment and skilled engineers, who aren’t likely to be unemployed. The most at-risk Americans, if they’re working at all, usually toil in fast-food restaurants, where the average worker makes $22,000 a year. They’re typically not trained to labor on complex civil-construction projects. Subsidizing Big Mac consumption would be a more effective way to provide jobs for the temporarily unemployed than subsidizing airport renovation.
I love that last sentence. That really gets to the heart of what progressives ought to be telling Americans. But if they did, we’d recognize how silly their ideas actually are.
It turns out that the Council of Economic Advisors has a number they’ve estimated for how much it costs the government to create a “job-year” (that’s one job lasting one year). It’s $92K. What that means is that if you can’t create a job that pays more than that per year, you shouldn’t bother. The thing is, income distribution data shows us that only 15-20% of jobs pay that much. So government is really only capable of economically creating jobs for the rich, but keeps telling us how good it is at creating jobs for the poor. Not so.
On the third point, I love this turn of phrase:
The most pressing problem with federal infrastructure spending is that it is hard to keep it from going to the wrong places. We seem to have spent more in the places that already had short commutes and less in the places with the most need. Federal transportation spending follows highway-apportionment formulas that have long favored places with lots of land but not so many people. …
… Low-density areas are remarkably well-endowed with senators per capita, of course, and they unsurprisingly get a disproportionate share of spending from any nationwide program. [emphasis added]
In the end, Glaeser recommends basic economics: use newer technology (like EZ Pass) to get users to pay for the infrastructure they actually use.
This is cross-posted from SUU Macroblog, which is required reading for my intermediate macroeconomics students.
I’ve had a growing suspicion, the more I learn, that essentially the entirety of one side of my wife’s family moved to the U.S. just before World War I. Every last one of them.
Here’s one more bit of evidence. This is a site that maps locations of surnames. I’ve typed in just about every last name of someone with European ancestry that I can think of, and her grandfather’s last name is the only one that shows … nothing … in Europe.
Take a look:
Now here’s mine, showing a definite origin in southeastern Norway:
You can actually tunnel down a bit. The most common location for her grandfather’s surname is … the suburb of Buffalo where most of her relatives still live. In the whole world, the only cluster of people with that name are in that one place.
Word let’s you divide documents into sections. Those sections can get their own page numbers (starting at anything you like, and even with different formats). One possibility is that the whole document is numberered normally starting at one. This is what most people do with a mix of portrait and landscape pages.
In Word, you can also print only selected pages from a document.
So how do you do this when you’re drawing pages from different sections?
Supposedly Word does a good job of this, but I seem to always find it problematic. In fact, I often have Word not only report errors, but sometimes act as if it printed correctly without delivering an error message at all!
This is most annoying when doing a mail merge. In this, Word will create a document in which each letter is its own section.
Here’s what I found with a document with about 200 sections, each of one page each (so 200 short letters). The pages are not numbered in the footer. Even so, Word does keep track of them in the status bar at the bottom of the screen (it shows section numbers here too).
What you’re supposed to do when doing a custom print is list a range of consecutive pages:
This way if they are consecutive: 10-17 (prints all 8 pages)
Or this way if they are singletons: 10,17 (print just 2 pages)
This all goes out the window when you have sections in your document.
What you’re supposed to do is something like this. For the sake of example, suppose my document is composed of 3 page letters. So page 10 is the first page of the 4th letter, and page 17 is the second page of the 6th letter. You’d enter something like the following in the custom print box:
That’s right. At the bottom of this page there’s a table that everyone uses to figure this out, and it shows that the above would have the section numbers before the page numbers, so:
Aaargh! If you actually type it that way, you get an error message that is generic, and completely uninformative about this specific problem.
If you actually read that webpage, it does have the correct form in the body of the explanation. Somehow, the author reversed those in the table, and many thousands of hits later this page is still unchanged.
Now, there is a saving grace if your sections are all one page. If this is the case, you can just tell Word to print sections rather than pages, like so: s4-s6. But if you have multi-page sections, this will get you complete sections. That can be rather a lot.
They were never heard from again. It is known the crews abandoned the ships and tried to march south; artifacts have been found on land from tiime to time.
The loss of the two ships has been one of the biggest maritime disaster stories for almost 170 years.
It was announced today that the wreck of the Terror has been found in 80 feet of water, several dozen miles south of where she was suspected to lie. Erebus was found 2 years ago.
Interestingly, both ships were found on the south side of King William Island, even though a note was left behind on the north end of the island.
King William Island is roughly triangular (with one apex pointing north). The Arctic Ocean is relatively shallow in the Canadian Archipelago, and prevailing westerly winds drive sea ice into the shallow passages. These are sometimes blocked for years. The “trick” to navigating the Northwest passage is to go along the east side of King William Island where the water — protected by the island — stays ice free for the longest, and then to run west along the south side of the island, continuing on until you reach the open waters of the Beaufort Sea. This is how Amundsen made it the first time. He wintered in a harbor along the lower east coast of the island. The location of Terror and Erebus suggests they got stuck in ice on the west side of the island, and were carried south without ever breaking free. So I wonder if they made a critical mistake from which recovery was not possible (not that they would have known that “trick” at the time).
Now that the ships have been found, the new mystery is how they got there. Terror looks like it was abandoned in ship-shape, and was found in a natural harbor. I wonder how the ice carried it south, then east, then north into the harbor without crushing it.
Also, the note indicating abandonment was found on the northern corner of the island. Yet most artifacts were found on land to the south … much closer to the ships’ final resting places. Did some men stay with the ships? Did the sea ice open for a week or two, permitting one last sail of a hundred miles or so. Or did the men proceed south, while the ships were pushed along parallel to them, and perhaps not wish to stray to far from them?
In America, students from American Samoa are regarded as exchange students. You can’t make that stuff up, but I suppose it’s a lot better than many other countries that don’t even let their own domestic minorities get into college. Anyway …
One of these exchange students asked me if GDP (or GSP) is calculated for American Samoa. So I looked it up.
According to the BEA and the Department of the Interior (!!!), their real GDP was $648M per year in 2015.* Further, they appear to have only come out of the 2007-9 recession over the last couple of years (which is a good example of how recessions are geographically uneven).
With a population of about 55K, this amounts to a per capita real GDP of about $12,000 per year. That’s a bit less than a fourth of the rest of the U.S. But, internationally, it’s comparable to say Peru, Egypt, South Africa, Serbia or Indonesia.
That GDP figure is far smaller than any of the 50 states, or even most of the major metropolitan areas of the U.S. We’re in Utah, so using the Salt Lake City metropolitan area as an example, its GMP is just over $60,000m per year. That’s about 90 times as big as American Samoa, which isn’t surprising given that it has about 20 times the population. For curiousity’s sake, Vermont has the smallest GSP, which is about half of Salt Lake’s.
But, American Samoa actually looks pretty good compared to independent countries in the Pacific Islands. American Samoa would be about halfway down that list by GDP (if it were independent), and it beats almost all of those in terms of real GDP per capita.
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