Monday, July 27, 2009

Vanishing Chinese Academic Files

"Local officials are suspected of stealing individuals’ academic records — which are vital in China — and selling them to underachievers seeking better job prospects." Read the article here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy feet?

Check out these funky shoes at

"Where Thin People Roam, and Sometimes Even Eat"

Guess the "thinnest" US city. Find the answer in the NY Times here.

Yes Prep

Houston has some impressive schools. Check out these stats on "Yes Prep":

  • 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

  • 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)
Check out their website here.

Laughing is good for you

A few quotes:

"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.

Fun Wedding Entrance

Monday, July 13, 2009

Democrats for a Flat Tax?

It's not the typical economic argument: more and more democrats are advocating a flat tax. Why?
"...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.

Coach's Poppy Line Is Luxury for Recessionary Times

"In July 2008, amid the spreading gloom, the senior executives of Coach gathered for a private annual meeting. At the end of the first day they made an important decision. The brand had emerged from its modest origins in the 1940s to become an emblem of the working woman and then, remarkably, a favorite among the fashion-conscious.

"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.

Crowdsourcing: What It Means for Innovation

"Some predict that crowdsourcing is the future of the marketing, advertising, and industrial design industries. The phenomenon, they argue, will accelerate creativity across a larger network. Others predict that this practice of opening up a task to the public instead of keeping it in-house or using a contractor will be the demise of those businesses because of the downward pressure on prices.

"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.

The Productivity Holy Grail! just came out with the Top 10 Productivity Tips. I'll bet you aren't doing 1/2 of them.

Inbox Zero

These posts from 43 Folders explain the "Inbox Zero" philosophy. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

11 Health Myths That May Surprise You

Some of the myths discussed: "It’s okay to double dip in the chip dip," "Singles have better sex lives than married people," "Sugar makes kids hyper," and"You lose most of your body heat through your head." Check out the 11 health myths here.

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .