For once, social scientists have discovered a flaw in the human psyche that will not be tedious to correct. You may not even need a support group. You could try on your own by starting with this simple New Year’s resolution: Have fun ... now!Read the rest of the NYT piece here. (Jules is on a roll!)
Then you just need the strength to cash in your gift certificates, drink that special bottle of wine, redeem your frequent flier miles and take that vacation you always promised yourself. If your resolve weakens, do not succumb to guilt or shame. Acknowledge what you are: a recovering procrastinator of pleasure.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Cathy Horyn compares Michelle Obama's style with Sarah Palin (minus the politics). Read the entire NYT Fashion piece here. (Thanks Lucy!)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Kremlin has long been irritated by the way the United States dominates the Internet, all the way down to the ban on using Cyrillic for Web addresses — even kremlin.ru has to be demeaningly rendered in English. The Russian government, as a result, is taking the lead in a landmark shift occurring around the world to allow domain names in languages with non-Latin alphabets...Read the rest of the NTY article here.
...But now, computer users are worried that Cyrillic domains will give rise to a hermetic Russian Web, a sort of cyberghetto, and that the push for Cyrillic amounts to a plot by the security services to restrict access to the Internet. Russian companies are also resisting Cyrillic Web addresses, complaining about costs and threats to online security...
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
English, although seemingly positive to break down social class barriers, can miss the mark for intimacy. Read the full Economist article here.
...But not enough young people are embracing computing — often because they are leery of being branded nerds. Educators and technologists say two things need to change: the image of computing work, and computer science education in high schools...Read the NYT article here.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
- Wal*Mart employs some 1.4 million people in the United States. (U.S. population 300 million. ~138 million taxpayers in the United States, which means that Wal*Mart employs around 1% of the entire working population! Yes?)
- The assistance manager walks about 5 miles per work day on the job.
And then click here to see a SketchUp of a trillion dollars. Very cool, but I'm biased. Thanks Lucy!
Friday, December 18, 2009
- 5,248: Israel-Palestine Connections in the Past 24h
- 6,702: India-Pakistan Connections in the Past 24h
- 55,219: Muslim-Christian Connections in the Past 24h
- 540: Sunni-Shiite Connections in the Past 24h
- 17,374: US Conservative/Liberal Connections in the Past 24h
- Multiple other universes—each with its own laws of physics—may have emerged from the same primordial vacuum that gave rise to ours.
- Assuming they exist, many of those universes may contain intricate structures and perhaps even some forms of life.
- These findings suggest that our universe may not be as “finely tuned” for the emergence of life as previously thought.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Or if you like a live version:
Saturday, December 12, 2009
New federally financed drug research reveals a stark disparity: children covered by Medicaid are given powerful antipsychotic medicines at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have private insurance. And the Medicaid children are more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions than their middle-class counterparts, the data shows...Read the rest of the NYT article here.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
8. Hadron (<3)
And the winners for years past:
Enjoy the full article here. (Thanks Cass!)
Monday, December 7, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The contest takes place on Dec. 5. It is sponsored by Darpa, the Pentagon’s research agency. Read the NYT article here.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
...Plenty of other laid-off workers across the country, burned out by a merciless job market, are building business plans instead of sending out résumés. For these people, recession has become the mother of invention.Read the article here. (This article even features recent Duke grad, Alex Andon!)
Economists say that when the economy takes a dive, it is common for people to turn to their inner entrepreneur to try to make their own work. But they say that it takes months for that mentality to sink in, and that this is about the time in the economic cycle when it really starts to happen — when the formerly employed realize that traditional job searches are not working, and that they are running out of time and money.
Mark V. Cannice, executive director of the entrepreneurship program at the University of San Francisco, calls the phenomenon “forced entrepreneurship"...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
When the economy collapsed last fall, many companies had to make some quick decisions about travel, typically one of the first areas they trim when finances are tight. Should they cut back as most of their competitors were, continue business as usual or spend even more to get a leg up?Read the NYT article here.
Most companies — about 85 percent — decreased travel spending, according to the National Business Travel Association, a trade group. But two recent reports, commissioned independently by the business travel association and another trade group, the U.S. Travel Association, found a clear link between business travel and corporate profit.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
"I think sometimes that being overly type-sensitive is like an allergy."
"Choosing an inappropriate typeface is one problem. Applying one inaccurately is another. Sadly for type nuts, movies often offend on both counts. Take 'Titanic,' in which the numbers on the dials of the ship’s pressure gauges use Helvetica, a font designed in 1957, some 45 years after the real 'Titanic' sank."
Read the NYT Design article here.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
There are many words to describe this video -- but having a baby dance on a table near the edge seems rather dangerous.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
For the first time, women make up half the work force. The Shriver Report, out just last week, found that mothers are the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families. We have a female speaker of the House and a female secretary of state. Thirty-two women have served as governors. Thirty-eight have served as senators. Four out of eight Ivy League presidents are women...Read the NY Times article here.
...Consider the facts: When I graduated from college in 1983, women earned only 64 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
Today? Women earn just 77 cents. By other measures, women’s gains have stalled: board seats and corporate officer posts have been flat — or declined in recent years.
More proof: According to the American Bar Association, women in 2008 made up almost half of all associates, but only 18.3 percent of partners. Only 15 women run Fortune 500 companies.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
"The idea behind VisualMD is to be the Google Earth for medical imagery. News organizations, for instance, might use the images from VisualMD to explain health concepts to their audiences just as how now they use Google Earth to convey geographic information.
[The creator's] goal is to make all of the data free and available and to serve as a resource for individuals, as well as doctors explaining health matters to their patients. Their images are beautiful 3D reconstructions of organs that the user can spin around, interact with, annotate, and even create their own slide shows for easy email to others."
Check out the VisualMD website here.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Also, guess the two states in the country that are set to meet their budgets in 2010 (North Dakota and Montana). A little know fact and possible reason why ND is doing so well economically: North Dakota is the only state in the Union to own its own bank.
Read the entire article here.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Simply, Krugman accuses Levitt is of disingenuously quoting a famous climate researcher's work and incorrectly, which Levitt claims was unintentional.
...For many people who do not have bank accounts, or cannot get a credit card, the appeal is irresistible, making the reloadable cards among the consumer banking industry’s fastest-growing products. But their convenience comes with a catch: fees, often hidden in the fine print.You would need to accumulate massive overdraft fees on your bank account, if you have one, for this to be a good deal. To learn more about the prepaid debit card appeal, read the full article here.
A cottage industry only 10 years ago, reloadable prepaid cards have tapped into the vast pool of about 80 million consumers (!) who have little or no access to bank accounts. The market includes college students who do not want to carry around wads of cash and consumers who do not want to type their credit card number into the Internet...
As President Obama prepares to increase the loan portfolio for the Small Business Administration, let's not forget a little-known but troubling controvery that happened last summer. Read the NY Times article here.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Check it out here. (Thanks Freed for the find!)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"The vehemence in these e-mail messages made me wonder why so many people were furious at those who had more than they did. And why are the rich shouldering the blame for a collective run of bad decision-making? After all, many of the rich got there through hard work. And plenty of not-so-rich people bought homes, cars and electronics they could not afford and then defaulted on the debt, contributing to the crash last year."Read the NY Times article here.
"A big concern among the wealthy right now, their advisers say, is not populist anger but how it might translate into tax-the-rich legislation on the federal and state levels. Their concern is twofold.
The first is that any tax increase has a direct impact on the income they withdraw from their portfolios. More money going to the government means less to live on. “They’re very concerned about taxes going up,” said William Woodson, managing director at the Family Wealth Management group at Credit Suisse. “The percent that goes to taxes is significant if it’s a 15 percent capital gains vs. 25 percent capital gains. It makes a big difference.”
The second concern may be disheartening for those who are angry at the rich but like the museum exhibition or scholarship they pay for: increased taxes could cut into donations. While there is not a direct correlation between tax deductibility and personal donations, there is a correlation between increased taxes in a continued weak economy and charitable giving."
Monday, October 12, 2009
The index is an attempt to say something profound based on the reports of daily life that Facebook users impose on — um, share with — their friends.The idea, one that is generally accepted in social psychology, is that word choice can reveal a person’s mood.Read the entire NY Times article here. Check out the Happiness Index here.
This is true in ordinary writing, these experts say, and even more so in writing like Facebook updates or the tweets of Twitter users, which ostensibly are attempts to describe what you are doing right now and how you feel. (While tweets limn the psyche in 140-character installments, Facebook updates are downright Augustinian, with some running as long as 420 characters.)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Doctors know that if we don’t give our patients a diagnostic label to show friends and family they are liable to storm out of the consulting room like spoilt toddlers who didn’t get a goodie bag at the end of the party.Read the rest of the article here.
Besides, patients given a definite diagnosis tend to make better progress than those who are simply told: “It’s probably a virus.” I play my part in this charade by making an educated guess as to what particular virus might be the root cause of whatever symptom they’ve just presented: “And those blisters on your sore throat suggest that you’ve picked up the Coxsackie A strain.”
Pause while patient feigns a working knowledge of virology and contemplates the implications of the diagnosis. “Coxsackie A you reckon?” “Could be worse. As you probably know, Coxsackie B is a bastard.
Got off lightly there.” “Yeah, right. Thanks anyway, Doc.” Game over.
Before the world wide web intruded doctors could offer vague diagnoses such as spastic colon, night starvation and fibrositis, and get away with it. The arrival of Google, Wikipedia and broadband demanded a new lexicon of woolly, all-purpose, one-size-fits-all medical terminology...
And another good one:
You know those depressing moments at parties when the gaze of the person you’re talking to wanders as he or she scans for more rewarding company? You don’t? Oh. Maybe that’s because you don’t share my passion for narrow-gauge railways. Whatever. The point is that this syndrome of rudely wavering attention also happens in the doctor-patient interaction: you do it to us, and you ought to be ashamed....Read the article here.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.Read the entire article here. You can find a climate change primer here.
The plateau in temperatures has been seized upon by skeptics as evidence that the threat of global warming is overblown. And some climate experts worry that it could hamper treaty negotiations and slow the progress of legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.
Scientists say the pattern of the last decade — after a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s — is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere. But trying to communicate such scientific nuances to the public — and to policy makers — can be frustrating, they say...
...“People understand what I’m saying, but then basically wind up saying, ‘We don’t believe anything,’ ” he [Dr. Latif] said in a telephone interview...
NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs and connecting their work to systems change.Learn more about the NewSchools Venture Fund on their website here.
"Eco Factor: Concept car designed to run on electric motors.
Designed by Ahmad Moslemi Far, the Peugeot Globule is made up of four separate parts, each with the capacity of one passenger and powered by an electric motor, and these parts are connected together to a centralized battery system. These four parts are contained in a very flexible polymer covering, which holds the parts and their connections together."Check out the story here. (Thanks Cassie for the find!)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.Read the NY Times article here.
That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
CLAIMS of clairvoyance, particularly when they come from economists, deserve a sceptical reception. Hal Varian, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley who also happens to be Google’s chief economist, has no such pretensions, but he does believe that data on internet searches can help predict certain kinds of economic statistics before they become available....Check out the Economist article about Google here. Check out the Google Forecast site here.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Read the entire article here.
"Notice to my friends: I love you all dearly.
But I don't give a hoot that you are "having a busy Monday," your child "took 30 minutes to brush his teeth," your dog "just ate an ant trap" or you want to "save the piglets." And I really, really don't care which Addams Family member you most resemble. (I could have told you the answer before you took the quiz on Facebook.)
Here's where you and I went wrong: We took our friendship online. First we began communicating more by email than by phone. Then we switched to "instant messaging" or "texting." We "friended" each other on Facebook, and began communicating by "tweeting" our thoughts—in 140 characters or less—via Twitter..."
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Also, here is a novel alum-to-student (peer-to-peer) interest free loan program at Harvard, UniThrive. (Calling Duke alums?)
This is one of the best articles I have found synthesizing academic economics with the current financial crisis. Read the article here.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
"Two British academics say so, and they claim to have proved it this year. In one study, they took 83 businesspeople — roughly half of them women — and described to them two companies, one that was steadily improving in profitability and another that was steadily declining.Read the rest of the NY Times article here.
" The subjects were told to pick a new financial director for the firm and were presented with three candidates: a man and a woman who were identical in experience and a lesser-qualified male. The subjects were slightly more likely to pick a man to lead the successful firm but were far more likely to pick the woman to lead the failing one.
"Two other experiments with similar designs yielded the same result: When presented with men and women to lead a company that’s going down the tubes, people pick the woman. What's going on?..."
... Technology has shaken up plenty of life’s routines, but for many people it has completely altered the once predictable rituals at the start of the day.Read the rest of the article here.
This is morning in America in the Internet age. After six to eight hours of network deprivation — also known as sleep — people are increasingly waking up and lunging for cellphones and laptops, sometimes even before swinging their legs to the floor and tending to more biologically urgent activities...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
YES PREP STUDENTS
- 90% of YES students are first generation college-bound
- 80% of YES students are economically disadvantaged
- 95% of YES students are Hispanic or African American
- Most students enter YES at least one grade level behind in Math and English
YES PREP CLASS OF 2009
- 100% of the Class of 2009, 82 graduating seniors, were accepted to four-year colleges
- Over 90% of the Class of 2009 graduates are first generation college-bound
- Over 95% of seniors have been accepted to at least two colleges/universities
- 82 seniors submitted 690 applications (average of 8 applications per student)
"A good laugh, like a good cry, has long been thought to be the right medicine at certain moments. Now scientists are exploring how regular laughing can do more than just put a smile on your face.
"After laughing, you have a relaxation response (in your body). Everything goes down—heart rate, blood pressure, your muscles relax," says Mary Bennett, PhD, APRN, whose research has investigated how humor and laughter affect physical and psychological well-being..."
Read the rest of the article here.
Monday, July 13, 2009
"...It remains unclear how much Ms. Bass will fight for the commission's recommendations. Underscoring the political sensitivity of tax reform, she has been cautious in recent public comments, emphasizing that she is "open-minded" about supporting the recommendations herself. She told me she didn't like the idea of a "flat tax" if it meant raising the tax burden on poorer and middle-class Californians. But she also said she worried about the state's heavy reliance on about 144,000 wealthy people to pay half of all income taxes for a state with a population of 38 million. "It's a crazy statistic," she said...."Check out the full article here.
"It had created the very conceit of affordable luxury. Now that sense of expansiveness, opportunity, even desire, was diminished. Coach had to adapt. So began a nearly yearlong quest to design a line of purses and accessories that could be priced to fit the times without cheapening or otherwise damaging Coach's image. Doing so would require executives to find new sources of leather, fabric, and hardware, renegotiate deals with suppliers, and collaborate more than they ever had.
"The resulting collection, which will be introduced in late June, is called Poppy. It's more youthful; CEO Lew Frankfort describes it as eclectic and spontaneous. The average price will be about 20 percent less than the usual Coach purse."
Check out the full article here.
"If LG crowdsources a new cell-phone design on CrowdSpring for $20,000, as it did recently, what happens to the old model of paying a design firm millions of dollars for the same project? Most likely, the practice will continue evolve, supplying a more efficient and creative way for companies to engage with and harness the crowd for help."
Check out the full article here.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .
A few insights on why gender stereotypes suck for everyone involved: Masculinity, in essence, is something that men earn, rather than so...
A return to the past should not blind us to present problems. Check out Anne-Marie Slaughter's post in FT . Thanks, +Claire Packer ...