Monday, November 30, 2009

Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades

Incredible: "A program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children." Read the full NYT article here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own

Recessions often push people to sharpen their entrepreneurial talents.
...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.

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"...
Read the article here. (This article even features recent Duke grad, Alex Andon!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charity is an insult to small business

Here is a different view: "While Goldman may see this as a generous move, its charity is an offense to struggling entrepreneurs and a symbol of failed government policy. The $500 million allocated to fund the initiative is a small share of the massive profits Goldman has earned on the back of huge government subsidies it has received since the onset of the financial crisis." Read the article here.

4 year old calls 911 for math help

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grameen America

How often does something move from the developing world to the US? Grameen Bank, the microfinance institution form Bangladesh, is starting to develop roots in NYC. Check out the slide show here.

First Mutual Fund Investment in Microfinance in India

A mutual fund based on microloans? It happened. In India. Check out the article here.

Some Rediscover the Benefits of Business Travel

Cutting back on business travel could be a bad decision during the recession:
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?

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.
Read the NYT article here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mistakes in Typography Grate the Purists

Here are a couple quotes from typography purists:

"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

Changing your Surname

Have you ever wondered how much of a hassle it is to change your name? For a woman changing her surname at marriage, it can cost hundreds of dollars! Learn more about the steps for a name change here.

Colorblindness

Have you ever wanted to see what the world looks like for someone who is colorblind, or perhaps, color-weakness? Check out a cool simulation here. You can test for multiple types of color-blindness.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Readability: Making Web Pages Easy to Read

If you want to have a better style for your websites, check out this site on graphic design. Also, read up on serif or sans serif debate here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"The Mismeasure of Woman"

Joanne Lipman writes about the great strides and the hidden struggles of women in the world. Here are a few excerpts:
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...

...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.
Read the NY Times article here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tackling ‘the Russian God’


"Security camera footage of an accident at a warehouse outside Moscow that destroyed more than $150,000 worth of vodka, according to Russian television. The driver sustained minor injuries." Read the NYT article here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

VisualMD

Sent from Julia:

"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

"Cut Wall Street Out! How States Can Finance Their Own Economic Recovery"

The citation was a bit dubious, but allegedly, "According to a German study, interest composes 30 percent to 50 percent of everything we buy."

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.

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 .