Links: Teachers and pay, authoritarianism on the rise, “Stranger Things,” bikes, energy, and more!

* “Pay Gap Between Public-School Teachers and Similar Workers Is Wider Than Ever.”

* “Donald Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin underscores an unsettling truth about the two leaders: Trump and Putin are two of a kind: xenophobic, bigoted demagogues with dual histories of corruption, aggression, and celebration of white supremacy repackaged as patriotic nationalism.”

* Also: “None Dare Call It a Conspiracy: Who was behind the Moscow apartment bombings that accelerated Vladimir Putin’s rise to power?” It would appear that Putin himself and those associated with him are behind the bombings. Note that the link is not to fiction.

* “The Old, American Horror Behind ‘Stranger Things.'” Where there is horror there is Lovecraft.

* “Making bicycles in Detroit is an uphill climb.” My bike came from REI and was made in China.

* “It’s the first new U.S. nuclear reactor in decades. And climate change has made that a very big deal.” Nuclear power is still, oddly, underestimated; note that New England and Germany, both places with lots of superficial climate change worry, are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they used to—because they are phasing out nuclear plants and failing to replace them. In good news, “America’s First Offshore Wind Farm May Power Up a New Industry,” but pay attention to the orders of magnitude involved: “By global standards, the Block Island Wind Farm is a tiny project, just five turbines capable of powering about 17,000 homes.” That’s about 3% of the energy production of the new nuclear reactor.

* “The Legendary Ted Chiang on Seeing His Stories Adapted and the Ever-Expanding Popularity of SF.”

* “Cycling Matches the Pace and Pitches of Tech.” Probably a bogus trend story, but I like riding so I hope not.

* “‘I’ve done really bad things’: The undercover cop who abandoned the war on drugs: Neil Woods used to risk his life to catch drug dealers. But as gangs responded with escalating violence and intimidation – some even poisoning users who talked to the police – he started to see legalisation as the only solution.”

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