By Haddon Libby

Network news is often limited to a few stories of the day, politics, weather, and sports.  The format limits the number of news items that can be shared to a precious few.  This week’s article only has so much space but will focus on much of the news that is regularly bypassed.

Switzerland and Climate Change

Climate change is rapidly shrinking Switzerland’s Alpine glaciers, home of the Matterhorn.  With the melting ice, the glacier has separated from its neighbor, the Gornier glacier.  Land covered by ice and snow for thousands of years now lays bare.  To protect some of these melting glaciers, the Swiss are wrapping the ice in protective sheathing during the summer months.


The Italian and Swiss border has shifted as the drainage divide which marked the border has shifted.  As a result of the melting ice, each summer brings new discoveries while solving old mysteries.  The principal discoveries are of the remains of lost hikers.  Another change is that the famous Italian mountain lodge named Rifugio Guide del Cervino is now technically in Switzerland.

As was the case last year, the river levels of the Rhine and Danube rivers are too low to host the freight barges that travel between the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Climate Change and Toxic Algae

Blue-green algae is toxic to people and many animals.  Exposure can cause flu-like symptoms, ulcers and rashes.  The beaches in Portrush, Northern Ireland have been closed due to a toxic, blue-green algae that came from the Lower Bann River.  Algae blooms are at the highest levels since the 1970s.  While the saltwater with eventually kill the algae, the loss of beaches in the area during the all too short summer is having a big impact on local businesses.

Just two hours west of us in Los Angeles, a similar problem is happening in the Castaic and Pyramid Lakes.  The California Department of Water Resources began chemically treating the lakes on August 2nd.

Africa and Military Coups

US researchers Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne found that African nations have had more than two hundred attempted coups over the last seventy years with half being successful.  Since 2020, fourteen coups have occurred with six successful.  This is only one shy of all coups in the previous decade.  Troublemakers like the Russian Wagner Group have been instigators in many.  Over the seventy- year period, Sudan has had 17 successful coups followed by Burundi with 11 and, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso tied with 10.  Of the 17 military coups occurring over the last five years, Myanmar is the only non-African country.

A.I Newscasters

Odisha TV News in India recently debuted its newest anchor.  The brown-haired, multi-lingual chatbot is named Lisa and was created with artificial intelligence.  She competes with Sana of India Today (pictured).  While a virtual newscaster may be less costly than one of our celebrity newscasters, the need is born from necessity.  With a population of 1.35 billion people, the Indian people speak 780 dialects.

A.I. Music

Google has an A.I. model that will create music from your brain activity.   This is done through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging data (fMRI).  What the A.I. model does is study your fMRI when listening to samples of different types of music. When the A.I. model asked to create a version of Britney Spears, “Oops!…I Did It Again”, it created a similar sounding music from brain waves.

If you want to try this, sign up with MusicLM.  This will set you up with Google’s A.I. Test Kitchen.  While the end result will not replace Spotify, it is a cool way to kill some time during the dog days of August.

Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Drake Investment Management.  For more information on our services, please visit