Friday, July 30, 2010

GE's Energy Treasure Hunt Saves Roosevelt Hospital $2.1 Million


If there's excess cash lying around in your organization, you could probably use it. And GE thinks it can help you find it as part of a Treasure Hunt program launched in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The aim is to find energy savings at companies, universities, and even in entire cities. The first program, conducted at Roosevelt Hospital as part of New York City's Hospital Challenge, found $2.1 million in energy savings (with a payback period of 2.6 years) that will save 7,500 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

The process is fairly simple: Treasure Hunt teams (made up of staffers) are trained by GE experts to survey facilities, looking for energy savings of all sorts...
Read the rest of the FastCompany article here.

Why Tech Nerds Love Flying Virgin America

Such a brilliant marketing idea:
Last month, Virgin America teamed up with the online influence measurement company Klout to promote their new routes between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto. The campaign offered free tickets to select influencers--with no strings attached. I spoke with Virgin America’s social media manager Jill Fletcher about managing an airborne viral campaign, how Virgin became the airline of choice for the nerd set, and the customer service challenges presented when everyone on board is connected...
Read the rest of the FastCompany article here.

Google Earth Now Shows Rain and Snow in Real Time

So cool! Check out the FastCompany article here.


Finally! A bus tracking system at Duke University. Matt Ball is a genius. (Thanks, Will)

Getting into Med School without Hard Sciences

Find out one of "med school's best kept secrets" here in the NYT.

UbyKotex: So Obnoxious

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friendship in an Age of Economics

Check out a somewhat rare philosophical article from the NYT here. (Thanks, Lucy!)

ToneCheck Test Drive: Spots "Unprofessional" Email, Knows Dick Cheney Sounds "Sad," "Angry"

"Program helps make sure missives arrive with their intended messages. Check yourself before you wreck yourself." Read the FastCompany article here. Check out ToneCheck here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Protest Hiring of Nonunion Help, Union Hires Nonunion Pickets

Perhaps the most hilarious WSJ article written this month: "Jobless Recruits Get Minimum Wage 'To March Around and Sound Off.'"
Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.

Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.

"For a lot of our members, it's really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else," explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.

So instead, the union hires unemployed people at the minimum wage—$8.25 an hour—to walk picket lines. Mr. Raye says he's grateful for the work, even though he's not sure why he's doing it. "I could care less," he says. "I am being paid to march around and sound off..."

...The union's Mr. Garcia sees no conflict in a union that insists on union labor hiring nonunion people to protest the hiring of nonunion labor...
Read the WSJ article here.

Cognitive Surplus

"Cognitive surplus – the idea of spare brainpower in the world’s collective mind just sitting there waiting, wanting, to be harnessed. – the idea of spare brainpower in the world’s collective mind just sitting there waiting, wanting, to be harnessed."

Read the Information is Beautiful post here.

Death Ray-theon: Anti-Aircraft Laser Unveiled

Star Wars? Read the Fast Company article here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Argentina Approves Gay Marriage, in a First for Region

One of the most Catholic countries on the planet just approved gay marriage.

Female Priests v Pedophilia

Oh really? From the Vatican yesterday: "ordaining women as priests [is] as grave an offense as pedophilia."

The freedom to say 'no'

"Why aren't there more women in science and engineering? Controversial new research suggests: They just aren't interested." This article suggests that some of the reason for a lack of gender equality in the sciences is caused by women preferring other fields. (Thanks, Chrissy)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Economics Behaving Badly

Read Loewenstein and Ubel's take on behavioral economics in the NYT here. They also mention a Duke study about consumers and "miles per gallon" v "gallons per mile" here.

And a response from the Nudge blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Scientist Takes On Gravity

Dr. Erik Verlinde says, “For me gravity doesn’t exist.” In a recent paper he expounded on his theory. Check out the NYT article here. (Thanks, Dad)

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 .