Yesterday, I showed you the first photos of the new NYC waterfalls in action, taken during a test run. This morning, a grey and muggy NYC morning, they were turned on officially. Here's a close-up video taken of the waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge from Fulton Landing in Brooklyn. I can't wait to see it at night all lit up from the Manhattan Bridge. [Gothamist]
@nutbastard: Uh, whaa?
... the national debt will never be paid off unless we reform the fiat monetary system and go back to the gold standard ...
Return to the gold standard? You're kidding, right? Pegging the amount of currency available to the amount of a certain element that is dug from the ground is lunacy in the present day. It doesn't work when you have consistent economic growth from year-to-year. When growth rates were much slower, like one or two percent over a century (a series of expansion years moderated by periodic years of contraction), states could do this, much like England and Spain used to.
What happens is that if gold becomes more rare (as in the case where the amount of gold dug from the earth does not exceed growth in the general economy), it takes more goods to buy that gold, devaluing those goods. Even if the price of gold remains constant, you get deflation in the long run. If you have a surplus of gold dug from the earth (where economic growth is slower than the increase in the amount of gold available), states have to buy gold to support its value, keeping the price of gold artificially high and forcing state expendiature of funds that could be better used elsewhere.
Consider also that gold is a terriby useful material. To go to a gold standard would sequester and affect the price of it in ways that would affect its use as a material. I recall hearing that the Fed keeps a fractional metals reserve of about 25% of available dollars. It seems to be working, and it's more along the lines of a fractional basket of commodities. It's my opinion that the basket should hold a more diverse set of commodities, but I don't have any power to change it.
The gold standard is an artifact from economic times that were much more simple... in the present day it's an anachronism.