Monday, September 19, 2011

Bioethicist Bets Bachmann $10,000 on HPV Vaccine Link to Damage

Why does she make these types of unfounded claims?
Bioethicist Art Caplan is challenging Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann with a $10,000 bet to prove a claim that a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer caused mental retardation.

Bachmann chastised Texas Governor Rick Perry at a Sept. 12 Republican debate for requiring girls in his state to get Merck & Co.’s Gardasil in 2007 to ward off a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer. The next day in television interviews, Bachmann said a woman told her the shot, usually given at age 12, triggered mental retardation in the woman’s daughter.
Read the entire Bloomberg article.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First, Make Money. Also, Do Good.

Do "corporate responsibility" and profits have to be at odds? NYT author, Steve Lohr, doesn't think so.

"If You Wouldn’t Do Your Job For Free, Then Quit"

A couple familiar words of advice:
  • An hour of sleep before midnight is worth two, and an hour of work before noon is worth two.
  • Always pick your kids up from school. That's when they want to talk.
  • Never let your skill exceed your virtue.
  • Never take less than two weeks off when you have a child or for your honeymoon. Don't let them talk you down.
  • When you mess up, admit it frankly and quickly, and move on.
  • Always do your very best in your job, but if you don't like what you're doing enough that you would do it for free, quit. (This seems extreme, but at the same time mentally liberating.)
Read David Fuhriman's Lifehacker post.

When Roommates Were Random

Read the NYT article. (Thanks, Claire)

"Find What You Love," Steve Jobs' at Stanford University

Steve Jobs, who stepped down as CEO of Apple Wednesday after having been on medical leave, reflected on his life, career and mortality in a well-known commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. This was my favorite section:
...Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life...
Read the full text in the WSJ. (Thanks Alex and Nikhil)

Why governments don't get start-ups

The overwhelming number of entrepreneurs and startups in the United States are still small businesses. There are 5.7 million small businesses in the U.S. They make up 99.7% of all companies and employ 50% of all non-governmental workers.

Even with this in mind, the government still misses the mark on regulation for small business. Why?

Read Steve Blank's thoughts. (His breakdown of the types of start-ups is particularly good!)

The Business of Austerity

"There are those, on both the left and the right of the US political spectrum, who would argue that Republicans have been pushing for austerity in the debt ceiling debate because, whatever its consequences for workers and borrowers, it serves the interests of business and the wealthy. But it doesn't serve those interests at all. Decades ago, America's rich were a true rentier class.

"They got most of their income from bonds and lived off their investments, and their main priority was keeping inflation low, regardless of anything else that happened. So austerity suited them nicely. The rich of today, by contrast, get much more of their income from their jobs and from the stock market, which means that they do better when growth is strong. And, while companies have figured out how to make money even during steep downturns - during this very weak recovery, corporate profits have rebounded strongly - overall corporate profits are below where they were in 2006.

"That's been reflected in the stock market, which, even before last week's precipitous tumble, was nearly 25 percent below its 2007 peak. In fact, the S&P 500 hasn't really budged in a decade. So, while corporate America has been doing well relative to everyone else, it would be doing much better, and investors would be much happier, if growth were stronger and unemployment were lower, even if inflation and government spending were higher. Austerity during an economic slowdown isn't just bad for the unemployed. It's also bad for business."

Read the New Yorker article.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Republicans Against Science

...Of course, we know what’s motivating Mr. Romney’s sudden lack of conviction. According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution). Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates, one that Mr. Romney is determined to pass at all costs...
Read Paul Krugman's Op-Ed piece. (Thanks, Alessia)

Asian demography: The flight from marriage

Asians are marrying later, and less, than in the past. This has profound implications for women, traditional family life and Asian politics. Read the Economist article. (Thanks, Tom)

Tests show fastest way to board passenger planes

LinkThe most common way of boarding passenger planes is among the least efficient, tests have shown. If you ever wonder this question while waiting in a super long boarding line, check out the BBC news article for details. (Thanks, Jonathan)

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 .