Saturday, April 30, 2011

If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time

"Time, Not Money, Is Your Most Precious Resource. Spend It Wisely." Check out the article published by the Stanford School of Business. (Thanks, Gloria)

Ten Things You Need to Do if You Were Hired Today

Read James Altucher's post in the Freakonomics blog. It has some interesting (and rather intense) advice about how to succeed in corporate culture.

TED Talk - Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

Funny stories on perception (and Shreddies).

Ends with a great quote: Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar thing new. (Thanks, Joyce)

Disfluency and Ethics

Difficult fonts make for better learning, researchers say. But is that really a good thing?

"You’ve probably seen Princeton’s recent study, which suggests that easy-to-read fonts actually make the content more difficult to remember than harder-to-read fonts. The idea is that when reading simple fonts, our brains oversimplify, we start to gloss over things, and we lose concentration. Are you still with me? So if we’re reading a passage written in a font that’s harder to decipher, the task feels more difficult (called disfluency) and we think harder about what we’re doing."

Read the BlogLESS post.

GM Saves Energy Through Smart IT

"In a shockingly straightforward change in how it runs its manufacturing plants, GM recently announced a new way to find easy savings. The auto giant is saving $3 million annually in energy costs across 10 plants by shutting down equipment when it is not needed.

"Seeing the quick payback, the managers added all energy-using systems to this automated network, from heating and cooling systems to pumps and compressed air units. The investment in connecting an entire plant is paying back through energy savings alone in just six months."

Read the full HBR article.

Taking Advantage of the Wine Glut

"Amid an oversupply, Cameron Hughes buys top wineries' excess and resells it for bargain prices." Supposed to be one of the best priced, but high-quality wines on the market (and fantastic business model).

Check out the WSJ article. (Thanks, Tom)

Are you an Excel Hero?

Test out your short-cut skills in the Excel Hero game. Yes, you ibankers. Prove your skills.

(Thanks, Adam)

Ueli Steck speed solo Eiger record

What an incredible feat! It was an adrenaline-rush just to watch the video. (Thanks, Jules)

Real life Mario Kart

(Thanks, Adam)

College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity

"South Florida began counting its track athletes on its women's cross-country roster to comply with Title IX rules after adding football in 1997."

Read the first in a series of Title IX in the NYT.

Three Cups of BS

Fantastic article on why people were able to look past the warning signs about the Three Cups of Tea story... because the world really wanted to believe the story be true. Read the Foreign Policy article. (Thanks, Claire)

The Secrets Behind Google's Push Into Renewable Power

"In the past two weeks, Google has made two staggeringly large renewable energy investments: a $168 million investment in the Ivanpah solar farm, and a $100 million investment in the world's largest wind farm."

Read the FastCompany article. (Thanks, Claire)

Generating the Unlikeliest of Heroes

"Norti Devi, left, a solar cooker engineer who received training from Barefoot College, teaches a program participant how to use a solar cooktop at the college campus."

Read the full article in the NYT. (Thanks, Claire)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cutest giggle!! (Cookie the Little Penguin)

(Thanks, Jamie)

Fainting Goats

(Thanks, Cassie)

Mining Human Behavior At MIT

"How to better understand the way humans work? Tag them and release them into the wild." The article tells the story about the Darpa red balloon experiment that you might have heard about last year:
Late last year the Pentagon's mad-scientist research wing, Darpa, announced the Network Challenge, a $40,000 prize for the first group to find and report the locations of ten red weather balloons that the agency would set aloft one day in secret locations around the country. Most of the thousands of groups that signed up quickly realized that crowdsourcing was the way to find the 8-foot spheres. So, naturally, they offered bounties to balloon hunters...
Read the Forbes article. (Thanks, Joyce!)

Florence + The Machine - Cosmic Love

Also, check out Florence + The Machineut's "Dog Days Are Over" and "You've Got the Love."

(Thanks, Jamie!)

TED Talk - Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

(Thanks, Gloria)


"USA a non-partisan report that looks at the U.S. federal government (and its financials) as if it were a business. Mary Meeker, partner at KPCB and former financial analyst at Morgan Stanley, created and compiled the report with the goal of informing the discussion about our financial situation and outlook."

USA Inc in PowerPoint? You are speaking my language! Read the report at KPCB. (Thanks, Yousef)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thomas Merton Quote

"The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!"

(Thanks, Monica)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Global Rich List

HOW RICH ARE YOU? Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash.

But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out. (Thanks, Jules)

Where Have The Good Men Gone?

The WSJ's Kay S. Hymowitz argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence.

In the defense of men, PYP published a more balanced post.

Ahem! Are you taking to me? (Or texting?)

NYT on the social norms of texting: how texting has become fashionable and accepted, but is it rude? (Thanks, dad)

Drastically Different 4th Grade Stories

Read more profiles in the My Modern MET post. (Thanks, Jillian!)

Ah, the vengeance of comic sans...

(Thanks, Rish)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Belizean Grove, a mighty women's club, keeps a low profile

Women backing women: Ann Kaplan, right, a member of Belizean Grove, helped Alexa von Tobel, center, with seed funding for her company. That led to an investment by a venture capital firm where Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, left, is a partner.

"A group that is building a good-old-girls club: Belizean Grove brings women of great power together for networking." Read more in the NYT. Or on MSNBC. (Thanks, Claire & Clare!)

The Sleepless Elite

Why some people can run on little sleep and get so much done. If only I were a genetic "short sleeper." Read more in the WSJ.

CNN Hero Narayanan Krishnan

This is an incredibly touching video on YouTube, but unfortunately embedding is blocked. You'll have to click the link to see it. (Thanks, Gloria)

Aaron Koblin 'flight paths'

(Thanks, Cong)

TED Talk: Eric Whitacre's virtual choir

(Thanks, Cong)

Brand Anna

"The editor of Vogue has always occupied the most powerful seat in the world of American fashion. But Anna Wintour's web of influential friends and allies has helped turn her into a global brand that transcends fashion."

(Thanks, Cong)

Emily V. Gordon: Did You Know, Deep Down, That You'd Get Divorced Someday?

Read the full HuffPo article (and check out the comments below). (Thanks, Jules)

Feel Like a Wallflower? Maybe It’s Your Facebook Wall

How social media can induce feelings of "missing out." It also features Dan Ariely on FOMO -- the fear of missing out. Read the full NYT article. (Thanks, Jules)

6 painful social media screwups

"Corporate America has been trying to embrace social media, but companies don't always get it right. These six big names got tangled in public snafus." My favorite is the Red Cross snafu. Check out the CNN Money slide show. (Thanks, Jamie)

Fearful of Genetically-Modified Crops? You're Too Late

I wonder what happened in 1997 to make such a big change in the food industry. Does anyone know? Regulation perhaps?
"Ethonomic Indicator of the Day: 93% of U.S. soybeans are genetically modified." Read the FastCompany article.

Word Cloud: How Toy Ad Vocabulary Reinforces Gender Stereotypes

Can you guess which is the mash-up of words from girl's toy advertisements v. boy's? The post has received a lot of controversy. Read the full Achilles Effect article.

Tsunami hits North Dakota

"This is not an ocean: Heavy snow melt, moist soil, and North Dakota's peculiar geography combined over the weekend to turn the roads and fields around Fargo into a seemingly giant shallow ocean. Called overland flooding, it creates bizarrely apocalyptic scenes like this."

Check out more pictures here. (Thanks, Mom)

Coaching Urged for Women

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, pictured with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, far left, and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt in June 2010, is among the few women to reach the pinnacle of U.S. corporate leadership.

The WSJ and McKinsey & Co teamed up to produce a report on high-educated women and their career development.

Small Changes, Big Results (Behavioral Economics / Economic Development)

"The principles of behavioral economics have already begun to affect policy in developed economies. Could they also be used to help alleviate poverty in developing countries?

Evidence from randomized evaluations in the developing world suggests they could. Procrastination, convenience, and bias affect individuals in developing countries, causing them to act in ways counter to their best interest, just as they do individuals in the developed world. Across a range of programs, small incentives can help alleviate barriers to beneficial behavior.

This article in the Boston Review provides examples of how behavioral principles are being applied in a number of contexts in the developing world, including education and health."

Grameen Bank and the Public Good

David Bornstein, a prize-winning journalist and author who focuses on microfinance and social innovation, argues in defense of microfinance in the wake of recent attacks by the government of Bangladesh against Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank.

The defense rests largely on research conducted by economists such as Jonathan Morduch, whose book Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day* "takes a penetrating look into 300 poor families in Bangladesh, South Africa, and India, with interviews conducted every two weeks to track expenses, earnings, and cash flow at a granular level."

(*I reviewed this book last year in the Journal of South Asian Development.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lost your smartphone again? Wish you had program that could tell you where it is?

Have you ever lost your phone and needed to locate it? Ever left it in a taxi or had it stolen and wish you could remote wipe all the date (and make a loud alarm sound so the thief knew that you could catch them?) Worried about viruses on your smartphone?

If yes, you need to look no further. Check out the Lookout website. (Recommended by my company's head of IT for North America)

8 Year Old Kenzie Proves Weekday Rainfall Declining

Young scientists are the best:
"We Affect Weather?" Do you ever have the feeling it always seems to rain on the weekends but not on the weekdays? So did 8 year old Kenzie Brown, of Phoenix, Arizona. But Kenzie did more than just curse nature's folly for raining out the playtime but not the worktime. Kenzie put on her junior atmospheric scientist lab coat and went to work...
Read the TreeHugger post.

I am only 6 but I think I can do this job

The Director of Fun's first day at work
Read the letter in Letters Of Note.

When the Data Struts Its Stuff

If you are a Hans Rosling (a founder of Gapminder) fan, check this out. (Thanks, Jules)

The Haves and the Have-Nots

A rather incredible stat:
India’s poorest ventile corresponds with the 4th poorest percentile worldwide. And its richest? The 68th percentile. Yes, that’s right: America’s poorest are, as a group, about as rich as India’s richest.
Read the Economix post for details and a couple thoughts on Brazil. (Thanks, Eric!)

Artificial Clouds May Be Used To Shade 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The 2022 World Cup has been awarded to Qatar, a country that averages 41 degrees Celsius (106°F) during June and July when the tournament is held.

There aren't too many spectators that will be able to keep up their team spirit in that kind of heat, so organizers have been looking for a creative solution to help block the sun's sizzling rays.

A group of engineering scientists from Qatar University have taken a cue from Mother Earth and "reportedly developed a type of artificial "cloud" designed to float above the World Cup venues and provide fans and players with relief from the blazing sun"...
Check out the Treehugger post.

Track your daily stress and health levels with Basis

Read the FlowingData post.

Blind Man Gets His Blind Guide Dog a Guide Dog, and Deaf Couple Teaches Deaf Puppy Sign Language

Heartwarming! Read the Treehugger post and check out the BBC video.

This Data Isn’t Dull. It Improves Lives.

Richard Thaler writes about the new government initiates that are changing the way Americans receive previously undisclosed data. Read the full NYT article. (Thanks, Clayton)

Microfinance Under Fire

David Bornstein of the NYT provides an update to the Yunus / Grameen situation in Bangladesh.
I hope this gets resolved soon. Millions of people depend on Grameen loans and on the bank's solvency. Read the full NYT article. (Thanks, Dad)

Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer

"Computers mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence.

Choose from two different modes: novice, where the computer learns to play from scratch, and veteran, where the computer pits over 200,000 rounds of previous experience against you."

I lost to the computer. Can you do better? (Thanks, Jules)

Jennifer Aniston goes viral

I love this. (Thanks, Jamie!)

Authentic Happiness

UPenn has a site where you can survey different levels of your happiness. You have to register, but it's free.

Here are a couple of the tests:
  • Compassionate Love Scale: Measures your tendency to support, help, and understand other people
  • Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire: Measures Overall Happiness
  • CES-D Questionnaire: Measures Depression Symptoms
  • General Happiness Questionnaire: Assesses Enduring Happiness
  • Brief Strengths Test: Measures 24 Character Strengths

Twitter mood predicts the stock market

Wondering how to use the 140-character site for your financial decisions? Check out this economic paper -- that even some hedge funds are using! (Thanks, Lucy)

XKCD: Radiation

Ever wonder how much radiation you get from flying (or sleeping next to someone)? Check out XKCD's chart.

Back to the Future by Irina Werning

Check out more back-to-the-future photos. (Thanks, Cassie)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4 Reasons an MBA Is Bad for Entrepreneurs

The premise of the post is that entrepreneurship can't be taught. In fact, going through an MBA program can actually dull the effectiveness of an entrepreneurial mind.

It had an excellent analysis of how bankers and consultants are fundamentally different from entrepreneurs (although as a consultant, I'm hoping this isn't true! But a great reminder nevertheless).

Read John Warrillow's bnet article. (Thanks, Julia)

Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Into Finance

Vivek Wadhwa wrote a TechCrunch article about how finance is cannibalizing students from engineering and the scientists. Vivek's a Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University. He's analysis of the recession how it affected jobs is also worth about.

(Thanks, Gloria)

North Dakota's black gold rush

"A fast developing oil and gas industry is taking a toll on infrastructure and raising concerns among local tribes." Check out this Al Jazeera piece (watch the video!).

(Thanks, Mark and Guy)

Autistic boy,12, with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity

Check out the DailyMail article about Jacob Barnett. I hope he creates something incredible for our world.

Also here's a video of Jacob when he was 9:

(Thanks, Lucy)

Getting In: The social logic of Ivy League admissions (by Malcolm Gladwell)

Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article back in 2005 about Ivy League admissions and who gets chosen for the universities. Much of it still rings true today (e.g., the birth of affirmative action -- and it started for reasons that were definitely different from what I expected).

Check out the full piece in the New Yorker. (Thanks, Claire)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Banksy is one of the greatest street artists. If you don't know much about him, check out this interview transcript and his portfolio on his site.

He was also quite an enigma before someone started to film a documentary about him. Check out this 2005 article of an alleged picture of him. (Thanks, Nat and Claire)

Before I Die: Nola

Check out this interactive art exhibit in Nola. (Thanks, Gloria)

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 .