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Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 388 Institutions

Calculated Risk - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 05:05
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Jan 30, 2015.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:
As expected, the FDIC released an update on its enforcement action activities through December 2014 that contributed to all of the changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List this week. In all, there were five removals and three additions that leave the list at 388 institutions with assets of $122.5 billion. A year ago, the list held 590 institutions with assets of $195.4 billion. When the weekly was list was first published back on August 7, 2009 it had 389 institutions, so this is the first time a subsequent list held fewer institutions than its inception. There are still 53 institutions from the original list that still remain on it.

FDIC terminated actions against Signature Bank of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR ($492 million); Village Bank, Saint Francis, MN ($176 million); Golden Eagle Community Bank, Woodstock, IL ($136 million); The Wilmington Savings Bank, Wilmington, OH ($127 million); and VistaBank, Aiken, SC ($107 million).

FDIC issued new actions against Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, IL ($522 million); International Bank, Raton, NM ($292 million); and Sage Bank, Lowell, MA ($208 million).

Next week will likely see fewer changes to the list.
CR Note: As Surfer Dude noted, the list has come full circle (back to number when we started)!

Turkey Unveils the World’s First Intercontinental Underwater Rail Tunnel

Inhabitat - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 04:45

Abdoul Medjid, Erdogan angers locals, major archaeological discoveries, Bosphorus Strait, Ottoman Empire, First Intercontinental Sea Tunnel, Sea Tunnel Links Europe and Asia, Sea Tunnel will relieve Istanbul's congestion, anti-government riots in Istanbul,

The ambitious idea to link Europe and Asia via a sea tunnel was first conceived in 1860 by a sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but Abdoul Medjid lacked the technology and funds to turn the idea into reality. In 2004, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was then mayor of Istanbul, revived the plan along with other excessive ideas such as a third airport, a parallel canal and a third bridge. These ambitious projects, which locals blame for the destruction of green spaces and the loss of homes, helped to fuel mass anti-government protests across the country earlier this year.

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Categories: Building Green

DIY: How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Inhabitat - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 22:38

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The first time I heard about kombucha was when a friend of mine sent me a picture of a strange, somewhat bubbly liquid that had a slimy film on top of it. I asked if she was planning to put any of that in her mouth, and she reassured me that it wasn’t just delicious, it was loaded with health benefits. It took months before I was prepared to try it, but it turns out that it really is quite fabulous, and it’s also easy to make at home—you need just a few simple ingredients, and enough patience to let things ferment for a couple of weeks.

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Categories: Building Green

Register now for the Field Constructs installation competition in Austin, TX

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 17:50

The international Field Constructs Design Competition is currently open to all emerging architects, designers, landscape architects, and artists for temporary installation proposals for the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas. If you haven't registered yet, now's the chance: the early-bird deadline is February 15.

The FCDC jury will select 5-8 proposals to be realized and then publicly exhibited at the nature preserve during a week-long series of creative community events in November. Aside being innovative, proposals should also be engaging minimal-impact outdoor installations that reflect the cultural and natural characteristics unique to the evolving city of Austin.

All submissions are due on April 1, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Winners will be announced on June 1. They'll receive a US$5,000 reimbursable budget to build their proposals. Authors of the winning proposals will be honored during a public reception.

FCDC Jury:

  • Benjamin Ball, Ball-Nogues Studio, Los Angeles
  • Eva Franch i Gilabe...
Categories: Design Feeds

Archinect's Lexicon: "Magpie Architecture"

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 15:55

magpie [maɡˌpī], adjective: architecture that is, in the words of Copenhagenize's Mikael Colville-Andersen, “attempting to attract people to big shiny things that dazzle but that have little functional value in the development of a city”.

Colville-Andersen uses the term to chastize Norman Foster's "Skycycle" proposal for London, published in Copenhagenize on January 20, 2014: "Now of course this isn't a good idea." His use of "magpie architecture" is less about critiquing design elements, and more about deriding Foster's entire concept: "Ideas like these are city killers. Removing great numbers of citizens who could be cycling down city streets past shops and cafés on their way to work or school and placing them on a shelf, far away from everything else."

Given that the author is an urban designer specializing in urban mobility, and whose Copenhagenize blog champions cycling as a key aspect of thriving cities, it's no surprise that Colville-Andersen isn't a fan of pushing cycling towa...

Categories: Design Feeds

Dissecting NYC's transit shutdown after an underwhelming snowstorm

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 15:27

By shutting down New York City’s subways, commuter rail, and roads for this week’s storm-that-wasn’t, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) made the right call. [...] The city has learned the hard way that the best way to keep people off the streets is by shutting down mass transit. [...] Preemptively shutting down subways before Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 worked well in keeping people home.



Categories: Design Feeds

Restaurant Performance Index shows Expansion in December

Calculated Risk - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 14:47
I think restaurants are happy with lower gasoline prices (except, I hear, McDonald's) ...

Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Finished the Year on a Positive Note
Driven by positive sales and traffic and an uptick in capital expenditures, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) finished 2014 with a solid gain. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.9 in December, up 0.8 percent from its November level of 102.1. In addition, December marked the 22nd consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“Growth in the RPI was driven by the current situation indicators in December, with a solid majority of restaurant operators reporting higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, six in 10 operators reported making a capital expenditure during the fourth quarter, with a similar proportion planning for capital spending in the first half of 2015.”

“Overall, the RPI posted three consecutive months above 102 for the first time since the first quarter of 2006, which puts the industry on a positive track heading into 2015,” Riehle added.
emphasis added
Restaurant Performance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The index increased to 102.9 in December, down from 102.1 in November. (above 100 indicates expansion).

Restaurant spending is discretionary, so even though this is "D-list" data, I like to check it every month. This is a very solid reading - and it is likely restaurants are benefiting from lower gasoline prices.

Planned downtime for Collaboration for Revit

The Revit Clinic - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:49

Due to a security update to Collaboration for Revit, there will be a planned downtime nn Friday, January 30th beginning at 5pm PST when the A360 Collaboration for Revit (C4R) service will be updated to version 3.

For more information, please see this post on the A360 Blog.

Categories: Revit/BIM

Read the Urban Land Institute's full report on the micro unit housing trend

Archinect - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:49

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently published a report titled "The Macro View of Micro Units", which shares the latest findings in the revived trend of micro dwellings in the United States. The report arose from a ULI Foundation research grant that the Multifamily Housing Councils received in 2013 to evaluate the market performance and acceptance of small living spaces.

The 23-unit SMARTSPACE SoMa micro apartments at 38 Harriet St. in San Francisco.

Bill Whitlow, a partner of Terra Search Partners, led the ULI Research Committee that wrote the 46-page report. The Committee worked with ULI Multifamily Council members as well as other developers, operators, and design professionals familiar with micro unit developments in conducting interviews. The findings were presented at the ULI's annual fall meeting in New York.

The report focuses especially on high-density and pricey metropolitan cities like New York, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. The prefab SMARTSPACE ...

Categories: Design Feeds

Algorithms in the Wild

BLDG BLOG - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:41
[Image: Jasper National Park, courtesy of Parks Canada].

There's an interesting article over at Highline Magazine about a lost hiker named George Joachim whose subsequent behavior in the landscape was so spatially unexpected that he eluded discovery for eleven days.

He was a "behavioral outlier," we read, and his mathematically unpredictable actions forced a revision of what is, in effect, the search algorithm used by Parks Canada for tracking human beings in the wild.

[Image: Jasper National Park, courtesy of Parks Canada].

From the story:
Parks Canada uses a statistical model to help predict where the lost person might be. The model uses data collected from similar lost person cases to learn the size and location of the search area. Combining the experience of the searchers and research on the lost person, the model then suggests the likelihood the person will be in various locations based on how previous people in their situation have behaved.

Joachim unintentionally misled searchers by listing his destination incorrectly in the climber’s registry, and then behaved so unlike other people previously have in his circumstance that he was repeatedly missed in the search. Parks Canada’s search and rescue community considers his case a valuable learning experience and have since tweaked search protocols to account for other behavioral outliers.
The idea that human movement through the wilderness corresponds—or not, as the case may be—to a mathematical sorting algorithm is fascinating, especially and precisely when that model diverges so drastically from what a person really chooses to do out there.

Put another way, this hiker exceeded the agent-based mathematical model used to track him. As a result, his searchers were forced to develop what the author calls the "Joachim profile," a kind of makeshift simulation that, in theory, should have been able to predict where he'd pop up next.

In fact, it's interesting to speculate that divergence from a mathematical model of expected wilderness use is, in many ways, a truer or more "wild" experience of the landscape—as if certain activities can be so truly "wild" that no known algorithm can describe them.

[Image: Jasper National Park, courtesy of Parks Canada].

In any case, it's by no means the world's most gripping story of human survival, but it's a great example of human landscape expectations and the limits of abstract modeling. Click over to Highline to read the whole thing.
Categories: Building Green

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by Dr. Radut