Monday, December 26, 2011

A Day Made of Glass

Dow Corning's vision for the future with specialty glass at the heart of it. (Thanks, Jamie)

Friday, December 23, 2011

2010 American Economic Association humor session

Nerdy, but hilarious if you like econ jokes. (Thanks, Tom!)

Can America regain most dynamic labour market mantle?

Postwar, the US maintained lower unemployment than the Europeans and a higher rate of jobs turnover, enabling it to get away with more meager benefits; "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay" was within the grasp of most.

That gave the US a booming middle class that until recently was the most important engine of global demand. No longer. Today, somewhat remarkably, US joblessness is higher than in much of Europe.

And the US consumer is mired in high personal debt. As the jobs crisis deepens, so too does US political polarization. Allegations of "class warfare" are a staple of Washington debate. In contrast to the 1960s, dominated by protests for peace and civil rights, today's battles are economic.

Yet there are few signs that either policymakers or economists are closer to finding answers. Indeed, the signs are that the problem is intensifying. In the words of David Autor, a leading labor economist at Harvard University, the labor force is suffering from a growing "missing middle."

Read more in the Financial Times.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Global Food Disparity: A Photo Diary

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Food expenditure for one week $341.98.

Chad: the Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp. Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23.

Meet the The Manzo family of Sicily. Their weekly expenditure is 214.36 Euros or $260.11. Note the copious amount of bread.

See more families in the Daily Kos. (Thanks, Joyce)

Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts

"At Kmart stores, Santa gets help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts." It's a heartwarming holiday story!

Read more in Yahoo Finance. (Thanks, Liz!)

Forbes: 30 under 30 in Energy

Congrats Dave Barry (Clean Line co-founder), Tom Steiner (former McK BA), and Jason Ethier (Duke and DVF alum)!

Read about the winners in Forbes. (Thanks, Claire)

Coke's new ad: What if you got your Christmas wish?

A couple tears! (Thanks, Anna!)

The poor are doing better than you think

A provocative article following on the tails of the OWS movement. Read more in the Globe and Mail. (Thanks, Tom)

Baby Seal Enters House and Naps on Couch

Annette Swoffer fell victim to a home invasion – of cuteness! Read more in ABC News. (Thanks, Jules)

Romney Honed the Right Skills in Private Equity

Read more in Bloomberg.

Plan B: When Politics Beat Science

"President Obama came into office promising to restore scientific integrity to policymaking, but his Administration has allowed politics to trump science several times—including with this week's move to keep the emergency contraceptive Plan B from being sold without a prescription.

"But science—in climate change and in other areas—can only tell us so much. Ethics and values—and politics—are what really control policymaking, and it's on climate advocates should focus their energy on changing those, instead of harping on the science."

Read more in TIME. (Thanks, Tom)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not "Crazy"

Interesting perspective in the HuffPo:
You're so sensitive. You're so emotional. You're defensive. You're overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You're crazy! I was just joking, don't you have a sense of humor? You're so dramatic. Just get over it already!

Sound familiar?
(Thanks, Gloria!)

The Neuroeconomics Revolution

Read Robert Shiller's piece in Project Syndicate.

Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low

"New Marriages Down 5% from 2009 to 2010." Read more at Pew's Research Center site. (Thanks, Scott!)

Rebooting Philanthropy in Silicon Valley

References a lot of companies that have come up on this blog recently: Kiva,, Samasource and Causes. Read the NYT article.

NYC Now Offering Financial Counsel

"In post-recession New York, financial counselors have emerged as the city's newest breed of social workers. Advice on how to get out of debt hasn't traditionally been part of city-run programs for domestic-violence victims, former prison inmates or those facing foreclosure. But money troubles are often at the root of those ordeals, so city officials have moved to pair interventions with financial counseling." Read the WSJ article here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel strikes again

(Thanks, Jamie)

They Call It the Reverse Gender Gap

Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Jules!)

You can unlock the potential of India’s Dalit girls, but where can they use it?

Breaking the Caste. Read more in the Globe and Mail. (Thanks, Tom)

Five Truths about Our Energy Future

"Fatih Birol - the Turkish-born chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) - has one of the toughest jobs in the world. Birol helps put together the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook, a much anticipated report that gathers trends in global energy use and tries to project them into the future.

"A lot of the trends highlighted in the new report are worrying. Time discusses five of them with Birol: shifts in oil security as the US imports less oil while Europe and China import more; a promising future for gas put at danger by the risks of fracking; decreasing energy efficiency; increased use of coal and, with it, increased pollution and continued global warming; and lack of any access to modern energy for 2 billion people." Read more in TIME Science.

Women and Work: Too Many Suits

"Across Europe the proportion of women on company boards averages around 10 percent, though with large variations: from less than 1 percent in Portugal to nudging 40 percent in Norway, thanks to that country's much-cited quota system. America, at 16 percent, does somewhat better than the European average, and most emerging markets do less well.

"One reason is that female managers tend to work in so-called functional specialties (such as HR) rather than line management, which is the main hunting ground for the very top but often involves extensive travel and unsocial hours. More importantly, boards have traditionally been made up of white middle-aged males of similar backgrounds who are comfortable with each other and recruit new colleagues in their own image.

"Women, even if they can be found, "are a bigger risk," says Joanna Barsh, a director in McKinsey's New York office; they have a different style and are more visible, so if something goes wrong everyone notices. Some women find the culture of organizations so off-putting that they see little point in rising to the top." Read more in the Economist.

Consultant Nation

Read more Consultant Nation in the NYT. (Thanks, Griffin)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where Are the Women Executives in Silicon Valley?

Meg Whitman, left, chief of Hewlett-Packard, Marissa Mayer, center, head of local products at Google, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook.
Read more in the NYT.

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 .