Tuesday, October 30, 2012

People Lose Their Sh*t in Hilarious Haunted House Photos Part Two

These pictures are hilarious! See more at WIRED(Thanks, Chrissy)

Top 10 Things Women in Business Should Know

Check out Whitney Gretz's article in the HBS Student Newspaper.

France: Free Abortions for Teenagers

The lower house of the French Parliament voted on Friday to fully reimburse all abortions and to make contraception free for minors from the age of 15 to 18. France’s national medical insurance pays for abortions for minors and the poor, while other women are reimbursed for up to 80 percent of the procedure’s cost, which can be as much as $580. Contraception is partly reimbursed. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to pass.

Read the NYT article. (Thanks, Alessia)

Asana: the modern way to work together

New tool to minimize the times spent on busy-work and management. Great video! (Thanks, Howie)


EconomicInclusion.gov is a treasure-trove of US-based unbanked and underbanked data by state and region.

They also recently posted the 2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked households.

(Thanks, Nate and JJ)

Banking on Opportunity

Since its successful inception in 2006 in the city of San Francisco, the Bank On model has gained support from state and local officials across the U.S. as a way of bringing unbanked and underbanked consumers into the financial mainstream. In addition to connecting unbanked individuals to low-cost accounts, Bank On initiatives involve efforts to raise public awareness, provide targeted outreach, and expand access to financial education.

The appeal of Bank On is straightforward: it addresses the widely-recognized challenge of financial access through interventions that are low-cost and responsive to the needs of both consumers and providers of basic financial services. There are currently dozens of communities that have implemented Bank On initiatives, and many more are planned

Check out the scan of Bank On opportunities (from 2011). (Thanks, Nate)

Banking on Wealth: America’s New Retail Banking Infrastructure and Its Wealth-Building Potential

The $100 billion size of the high-cost non-bank basic financial services industry, including check cashers, payday lenders, and pawnshops, points to the high demand for basic financial services among low- and moderate-income customers. Alternative products sold by banks could meet those consumer needs, while also creating an opportunity for households to convert their current spending on high-cost services into savings and even wealth.

To explore that potential, this study conducts a comprehensive review of the location of all basic retail financial services firms to determine their accessibility to low- and moderate-income consumers. The study also generates new projections on the potential savings incurred by several scenarios of hypothetical unbanked workers if efforts were made to transfer their high-cost fees into savings or investment vehicles. The study finds:

  • Moderate- and lower-income households pay over $8 billion in fees to non-bank checkcashing and short-term loan providers to meet their basic financial services needs
  • Over 90 percent of these non-bank basic financial service providers are located within one mile of a bank or credit union branch
  • Despite popular perception, bank and credit union branches are more likely to be located in low-income and lower middle-income neighborhoods than non-bank financial services providers
  • A full-time worker without a checking account could potentially save as much as $40,000 during his career by relying on a lower-cost checking account instead of check-cashing services.

Read the 2008 Brookings Institute Report. (Thanks, Nate)

With 2 Big Deals Approaching, Rosneft Stands to Become a Global Oil Power

Russia appears poised to approve deals that would all but double the size of the state oil company Rosneft, bringing more than half of the country's oil industry under government control for the first time since the early 1990s and creating a new player on the world stage. At the heart of the maneuvering is the country's third-largest oil company, TNK-BP, which is a joint venture between the British oil giant BP and four Russian billionaires. Rosneft is negotiating to buy out one or both partners.

If both deals happen, Rosneft would become the world's largest publicly traded oil company in terms of crude-oil production, with the Russian government as the majority owner. However, the shift of BP's Russian operations from private to state hands is fraught with risks, both for the company and the Russian industry more broadly. For instance, Rosneft's expansion could tempt the Russian government to use it strategically, just as Aramco, the Saudi Arabian company, is used to influence oil prices

Read more in the NYT.

HBR Stat: Smaller Teams Are Quicker

Two-person teams took an average of just 36 minutes to assemble 50 Lego pieces into a human figure, a task that required 52 minutes for four-person teams, according to an experiment by Bradley R. Staats of the University of North Carolina, Katherine L. Milkman of Wharton, and Craig R. Fox of UCLA. Moreover, people consistently underestimate the additional time needed by larger teams, with the forecasting errors growing larger as teams get bigger. Increasing a team's size can hamper coordination, diminish members' motivation, and increase conflict, the researchers say.

Read the paper here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

TED Talk - Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers -- and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns -- like conflict avoidance and selective blindness -- that lead managers and organizations astray.

11 Simple Ways to Create Genuine Connections with the People Who Make Failure Impossible

All of them were good  -- physically wrote a list for myself on #4 and 5. But #11 is my favorite one of all:
Show Up. Nothing happens if you don’t show up. If you never press send on that email, dial that number, or walk through the door of your local event, you will never find the surroundings you need. And often times that leads to 99% of the results … showing up. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that has lead to the connections that have changed my world. And it’s the only thing that ever will.
Read Scott Dinsmore's guest post in Zen Habits.

Stoicism for Modern Stresses: 5 Lessons from Cato

Read Tim Ferris's (of the 4-hour workweek) blog post. He had two guest authors, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni.

At age 22, Rob Goodman became the speechwriter for Senator Chris Dodd, and then moved on to be the speechwriter for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. At age 26, Jimmy became the youngest-ever Managing Editor of the Huffington Post, reporting directly to Arianna Huffington to help oversee a global, 24/7 newsroom.

Think about this excerpt:
Fear can only enter the mind with our consent, Cato had been taught. Choose not to be afraid, and fear simply vanishes. To the untrained observer, Cato’s physical courage was reckless. But in fact, it was among the most practiced aspects of Cato’s self-presentation. And it was this long meditation on the absurdity of fear—on its near-total insignificance but for our own belief in it—that enabled him to press forward where others gave in.
You can buy Jimmy and Rob's book on Amazon

CIA moonlights in corporate world

The CIA is offering operatives a chance to peddle their expertise to private companies on the side. Business Intelligence Advisors (BIA), based in Boston. BIA was founded and is staffed by a number of retired CIA officers, and it specializes in the arcane field of “deception detection.” BIA’s clients have included Goldman Sachs and the enormous hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, according to spokesmen for both firms.

It make sense to bring these skills into the business community. Read more from a 2010 article in Politico

The other unemployment rate

U.S. unemployment fell to 7.8% in September. But that doesn't mean the other 92.2% of adults are working.

What do you think the actual rate is for working adults? The number is shockingly low -- find out more at CNN. (Thanks, Tom and Alessia)

The birthday problem explained

How many people does it take for there to be a 50% chance that a pair in the group has the same birthday?

Only 23 people.

What about a 99% chance?

Maybe even more shocking: 57 people.

This is the birthday problem, which every undergrad who's taken a stat course has seen. Steven Strogataz explains the logic and calculations. Read more in FlowingData. (Thanks, Joyce!)

German Catholic Church Links Tax to the Sacraments

Incredible tie between Church and State in modern Germany. Check out this excerpt:
Last week one of Germany’s highest courts rankled Catholic bishops by ruling that the state recognized the right of Catholics to leave the church — and therefore avoid paying a tax that is used to support religious institutions. The court ruled it was a matter of religious freedom, while religious leaders saw the decision as yet another threat to their influence on modern German society... 
...Income from church taxes in Germany amounted to about $6.3 billion for the Roman Catholic Church in 2011, and $5.5 billion for the Protestant, mostly Lutheran, churches in 2010, official statistics show. The money goes to support hospitals, schools, day care and myriad other social services, but a sizable amount of the Catholic money is also channeled to the Vatican.  
The German church tax — which is 8 to 9 percent of the annual income tax — is so steep, however, that many people formally quit the church to avoid paying, while nevertheless remaining active in their faith. That is what is angering Catholic Church officials...
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Tom!)

Alot is better than you at everything

This humor piece about bad grammar is HILARIOUS! (Incredible find, Austen and Claire)

Who Wears the Pants in This Economy?

This article made the trade-off very stark (and somewhat depressing) -- story about a small town in Alabama. Read more in the NYT.

Custom Fingerprint Jewelry by Brent & Jessica Williams

This is special! (And yes, recognizing the irony considering the post right before this, ha)

See the more pictures on Etsy

You Probably Have Too Much Stuff

Favorite excerpt:
"Americans in particular like to be prepared for the worst-case-scenario, having separate cookie cutters for Christmas and Halloween. We seldom consider how negligible the consequences are when we running out of something or are unprepared. Nor do we consider how high the consequences are for being over-prepared…" 
Think about that for a second: there’s a consequence for being over-prepared. Often that consequence goes beyond the financial cost. It can easily have a physical cost that we didn’t expect, say in the need for more space to put all of our stuff.
Read the NYT Bucks post. Rings a little too true.

Track and field Olympic performances in perspective

The Proust Questionnaire

Have you ever filled out your own Proust Questionnaire?

Read Sarah's post on ItStartsWith to make your own. (And if you are brave enough - share it!)

Czech Out This New Small Prefab Design From Architect Marek Štěpán

The Entitled Generation

It's not the generation you might think. Read more in the NYT.

When Mom Is CEO: ‘Something Usually Has to Give’

Ostrich Pillow

Obsessed? You can buy one at Kickstarter. (Thanks, Claire)

Obama And Romney's Campaign Donations Visualized [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mitt Romney Style (Gangnam Style Parody)

(Thanks, Alessia and Tom)

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

John Franklin Stephens
This letter in the Special Olympics Blog is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last week's Presidential debate.

(Thanks, Claire)

An Online Network Supports The Growing World Of Young Female Entrepreneurs

Jennifer Donogh found that there were few resources (and fewer peers) when she tried to start her own business as a young woman. So she created YoungFemaleEntrepreneurs.com to give herself and others a chance at making new connections with other burgeoning entrepreneurs with the same concerns.

Read more in FastCompany. (Thanks, Cassie)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

HBR Daily Stat: Companies Pay More Attention to the Sounds That Products Make

A team at Clinique fiddled with about 40 prototypes of the container for its High Impact Extreme Volume mascara before settling on a mechanism that emits a soft, crisp click when the top is twisted shut, subtly conveying elegance, says the Wall Street Journal. The sounds produced by consumer products are increasingly important to marketers — and to consumers: Sharpie considers the "scritch-scratch" sound to be an important part the experience of using its markers, and Frito-Lay's sales fell when the company introduced a compostable chip bag that was noisy and annoyed customers, the newspaper says.

Read more in the WSJ.

"Why I Am Pro-Life"

Thomas Friedman writes about the contradiction between being "pro-life" for abortion, but missing other aspects of human life. A couple well thought out excerpts:
In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.” I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as “pro-life.” 
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Olivia)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Lie Factory

How politics became a business. Read the New Yorker article. (Thanks, JJ)

5 Ways to Hack Voters' Brains

How science is remaking the art of political campaigns in America. Read more in the WSJ. (Thanks, Steve)

A Home at the End of Google Earth

Separated from his older brother at a train station, five-year-old Saroo Munshi Khan found himself lost in the slums of Calcutta. Nearly 20 years later, living in Australia, he began a painstaking search for his birth home, using ingenuity, hazy memories, and Google Earth.

Read more in Vanity Fair. (Thanks Neal and Julia)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bill Drayton (founder of Ashoka) on Social Entrepreneurship

And he's an Andover and McKinsey alum!

Ashoka's Empathy Project

Empathy plays a crucial role in innovation, changemaking, and solving entrenched systemic problems. We need the skill of applied empathy - the ability to understand what other people are feeling and to guide one's actions in response - to succeed in teams, to solve problems, to lead effectively, to drive change.

In recent years, Ashoka (a non profit that invests in social entrepreneurs) has been working with social entrepreneurs around the world to develop programs teaching empathy to children in their home, schools, and communities.

Ashoka has collated a collection of articles and videos about empathy that we can all learn from on their website (look under resources). Empathy 101 shows leading innovators and educators explain, in two minutes or less, how we can cultivate empathy in our own lives. 

(Thanks, Grace!)

More Money than They Know What to Do with

Private-equity companies now have approximately $1 trillion in reserves. Of that money, they must spend nearly $200 billion from funds raised in 2007 and 2008 over the next 12 months or give it back to investors. Faced with this deadline, many firms have already been spending lots of cash, and some have put the word out to Wall Street banks that they are seeking big deals worth as much as $10 billion and will pay a special bounty for acquisition targets. As money floods into the market, there could be a glut of bad deals with even worse returns. In addition, acquisition prices are likely to balloon over the near term as firms overbid for assets. If the private-equity firms don't spend the money that they have in reserve, they are unlikely to raise more funds in coming years and will see a drop in the management-fee income on which they have become increasingly dependent.

Read more in the NYT Dealbook.

Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol

In her latest book, Daring Greatly, University of Houston professor Brené Brown explores how vulnerability - the subject of her research - ultimately leads to a more deeply fulfilling professional and personal life. In this article, which is presented in question and answer format, Brown shares her thoughts on how today's workplace too often prevents people from admitting to their vulnerabilities. Topics discussed include heavy workloads that leave employees constantly feeling overwhelmed (especially since technology makes it more difficult to disconnect with the office), the value of providing and receiving positive feedback, setting boundaries around work (for instance, by limiting hours when work calls will be accepted), the benefits of replacing perfectionism with healthy striving, and the importance of enjoying leisure time.

Read more in the Washington Post.

More Luck than Judgment

Most business leaders will tell you that hard work and skill, rather than chance, are the keys to success - a belief that jives with our standard view of entrepreneurs and business leaders. We think that if they take purposeful action, and if they have the right skills and drive and the right team around them, success will follow. But is this really the case? This article discusses the views of various economists, leadership experts, and others on the role of skill, expertise, and luck in business success.

Read the Financial Times article.

The Greek Island Where People Forget to Die

Learn the secret in the NYT. (Thanks, Jules)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Anis Mojgani - Equal Parts Science and Magic

Anis Mojgani's grace and rhythm are mesmerizing. Oh yeah, and he's also a two time National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, and a National Book Award Nominee along with various other extraordinary accomplishments.

Here's one of his most famous poems:

(Thanks, Gloria)

Please Move The Deer Crossing

Bahaha, this can't be real! From North Dakota. (Thanks, Tom)

Who Won the "First Lady Debate"?

Who do you think won? (Thanks, Tom)

HBR Daily Stat: To Be Truly Happy, Be a Boss in a Small Company

People who work for small organizations are about 25% more likely to be happy than those toiling in large organizations of 1,000 employees or more, according to early results of an ongoing survey of visitors to Delivering Happiness at Work, cofounded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Among the other findings: Supervising others (as opposed to being supervised) is associated with more happiness.

Read more about happiness at work.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Income Inequality May Take Toll on Growth

Here's one take on income inequality's impact on growth:
Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression, and the recession has done little to reverse the trend, with the top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery. 
The yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots — and the political questions that gap has raised about the plight of the middle class — has given rise to anti-Wall Street sentiment and animated the presidential campaign. Now, a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead, as well.
“Growth becomes more fragile” in countries with high levels of inequality like the United States, said Jonathan D. Ostry of the International Monetary Fund, whose research suggests that the widening disparity since the 1980s might shorten the nation’s economic expansions by as much as a third...
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Alessia)

Vaccine for HPV doesn't make girls promiscuous

Not surprising! Read the study posted on CNN. (Thanks, Tom)

Scott’s Story and the Election

Nicolas Kristof wrote about his friend Scott's story I thought these sections were (controversial) and poignant:
I wrote in my last column about my uninsured college roommate, Scott Androes, and his battle with Stage 4 prostate cancer — and a dysfunctional American health care system. I was taken aback by how many readers were savagely unsympathetic....
...That harsh view is gaining ground, particularly on the right. Pew Research Center polling has found that the proportion of Republicans who agree that “it is the responsibility of the government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves” has slipped from 58 percent in 2007 to just 40 percent today.
Let me offer two counterarguments.
First, a civilized society compensates for the human propensity to screw up. That’s why we have single-payer firefighters and police officers. That’s why we require seat belts. When someone who has been speeding gets in a car accident, the 911 operator doesn’t sneer: “You were irresponsible, so figure out your own way to the hospital” — and hang up.
To err is human, but so is to forgive. Living in a community means being interconnected in myriad ways — including by empathy. To feel undiminished by the deaths of those around us isn’t heroic Ayn Rand individualism. It’s sociopathic. Compassion isn’t a sign of weakness, but of civilization.
My second argument is that if you object to Obamacare because you don’t want to pay Scott’s medical bills, you’re a sucker. You’re already paying those bills. Because Scott wasn’t insured and didn’t get basic preventive care, he accumulated $550,000 in bills at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, which treated him as a charity case. We’re all paying for that.
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Alessia)

Friday, October 19, 2012

HBR Stat: You're More Selfish When You Feel Close to a Selfish Person

People who were encouraged to identify with a selfish individual became more selfish, keeping 11% more cash when they were asked to divide money between themselves and another person, say Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School and Adam D. Galinsky of Northwestern University's Kellogg School. The reason for the effect: When people feel psychologically close to someone who behaves selfishly, they're more likely to consider the behavior to be less shame-worthy and less unethical, the researchers found

Read more in the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process.

Internet goes wild over 'Binders full of women'

If you haven't heard about "Binders full of women" yet, check out this CNN article. For those of you who have, anyone interested in this item on Amazon? Or a trap her, keep her?

(Amazing find, Julia)

This is why I love Katy Perry

(Thanks, Claire)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Boring IS Productive

Making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of a limited resource: your mental energy. I'll have to think about what additional things I can put on "auto-pilot."

(Neat finding: this post referenced my 3 favorite behavioral economists! And two are rare. Most don't know about Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs.)

Read the HBR Post. (Thanks, Claire!)

Thurston Howell Romney

The Peak Time for Everything

Could you pack more into each day if you did everything at the optimal time?

A growing body of research suggests that paying attention to the body clock and its effects on energy and alertness can help us pinpoint when we'll perform our best at different activities.  Most people organize their time around everything but the body's natural rhythms. Workday demands, commuting, social events and kids' schedules frequently dominate—inevitably clashing with the body's circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping.

Here's some advice on the best time to do certain activities
  • 6am - Send emails - Messages are most likely to be read before the morning rush
  • 8am - Write upbeat Tweets - Twitter users tend to be more upbeat after waking, sending more cheery tweets and fewer angry/critical ones
  • 9am - Have a tough talk - Difficult conversations are best done at times of high energy and clarity - for most people, this is in the morning
  • 10am - Do cognitive work - As body temperature rises through the morning, cognitive skills improve as well. Working memory and concentration tend to peak in mid-late morning
  • 2pm - Take a short nap - Sleepiness hits its daytime peak just as post-mealtime drowsiness sets in
  • 4pm - Do physical work - Hand-eye coordination tends to rise in late afternoon.  This is also a time when physical strength and alertness are still high
  • 5pm - Work out - Muscle strength and flexibility tend to peak late in the day.  Lungs function 18% better at 5pm than at midday
  • 8pm - Update your Facebook status - This is the time when you're mostly to get "Likes" on your posts.  People are less stressed and have more time to interact
  • 9pm - Think creatively - Our freshest thinking may occur at non-peak times of the day, which for most adults is in the evening. Fatigue may lower inhibition and increase openness to offbeat ideas / solutions 

As for eating, the article suggests that we should concentrate our food intake in the hours when we're most active.  Researchers put two groups of mice on the same high-calorie diet. One group was allowed to eat anytime; the other group was restricted to eating only during an eight-hour period when they were normally awake and active. The mice that ate only while active were 40% leaner and had lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Read more in the WSJ.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Friends You Can Count On

Check out this excerpt:
You spend your time tweeting, friending, liking, poking, and in the few minutes left, cultivating friends in the flesh. Yet sadly, despite all your efforts, you probably have fewer friends than most of your friends have. But don’t despair — the same is true for almost all of us. Our friends are typically more popular than we are.
 Don't believe it? It's the friendship paradox. Similar to how when you go to the gym you feel like a below-average person there in terms of fitness -- because you probably are. It's all about weighted averages. The people at the gym more often are the ones that go more often. The friends you connect with on Facebook are the type of people to generally connect with more people. The authors found:
... a user’s friend count was less than the average friend count of his or her friends, 93 percent of the time...
Check out the NYT article for more examples. (Thanks, Joyce!)

Post-Vacation Strategies for Hitting the Ground Running

Summer is over and many employees are returning to the workplace from relaxing vacations. Although the transition back may be difficult, a few strategies can lessen the pain. A return flight, for instance, might provide a good chance to review an email backlog. And on the first day in the office, people can avoid feeling overwhelmed by setting aside a few hours on the calendar to reconnect with colleagues, return phone calls, and conduct any urgent meetings. In addition to increasing productivity, these steps will help lessen stress.

Read more at FastCompany.

Why Men Fail

Check out David Brook's NYT Op-Ed piece. (Thanks, Alessia)

Till Death, or 20 Years, Do Us Part

Several institutions are re-thinking the bounds of marriage. This one was among the most... interesting?
Last year, several lawmakers in Mexico City proposed the creation of short-term, renewable marriage contracts with terms as brief as two years. The idea was to own up to the reality that marriages fail about half the time.
 Read the full NYT article. (Thanks, Cassie)

The Myth of Male Decline

A fun fact from the article: "Among dual-earner couples, husbands with the least education do as much or more housework than their more educated counterparts. Men who have made these adjustments report happier marriages — and better sex lives."

Read more in the NY Times. (Thanks, Alessia)

Valium’s Contribution to Our New Normal

Here's an excerpt:
Nearly 50 years after Valium was introduced and aggressively marketed, we’ve learned its lessons well. My generation of aging baby boomers does its brain styling, by and large, with antidepressants: Prozac, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft. And for my daughters’ generation, the millennials, the pills of choice tend to be Ritalin and Adderall, for mental focus. 

But when Americans are feeling out of sorts, we are still more likely to turn to anti-anxiety drugs than to any other kind. The leading successor to Valium, Xanax, outsells every other psychiatric drug on the market (48.7 million prescriptions last year). And even Valium is still out there, the classic little-black-dress of tranquilizers. In 2011, 14.7 million prescriptions were written for the drug that first made its cultural mark as a Rolling Stones song (“Mother’s Little Helper”) back in 1966.

Read more the the NY Times. (Thanks, Alessia)

Study Shows Power of Cute Improves Concentration

YES! My obsession with cute is justified. Read more in the WSJ. (Thanks, Claire)

Bachelor Padding

How lonely single men created China's dangerous real estate bubble. (Note: between 1998 and 2008 alone, 14.4 billion square meters of residential housing space were constructed in China, according to China Statistical Yearbook figures. That's equivalent to 160 times all the residential space on the entire island of Manhattan).

Read more in Foreign Policy. (Thanks, Ed!)

Hustlin' Through the Circle of Life (Lion King Remix)

(Thanks, Brandon!)

Think Like a Doctor: The Girl in a Coma

Can you figure out what happened to her? Check out the NYT Blog. (Thanks, Julia)

‘Abortion Ship’ Aims to Dock in Morocco Despite Wary Moroccan Officials

Where there's a will there's a way. Read more in Jezebel. (Thanks, Claire and Devon)

HBR Daily Stat: Climate Change Will Make Fish Littler

By mid-century, reduced oxygen levels in warmer waters will stunt the growth of more than 75% of the fish in the oceans, says a team led by Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia. Average fish size is expected to decrease by 24% in the Indian Ocean, 20% in the Atlantic, and 14% in the Pacific. The changes, which are due to global warming, portend a significant decrease in the world's protein supply, the researchers say.

Whoa! Read more at CNN's Light Years Blog.

Moving Around Without Losing Your Roots

"Big questions always strike unexpectedly, when our guard is down. I was watching my toddlers splash in the pool last summer when a fellow dad plunged me into revisiting the meaning of home in a globalized world. He didn't mean to. He just asked where we were from."  

Read more in HBR. (Thanks, Lucy!)

IKEA's Saudi Arabia catalog erases women; company expresses regret

The Oct. 1 2012 issue of daily Metro fronted with two images from Swedish and Saudi Arabian IKEA catalogue for next year.

Ha whoa, seriously?! Read more in the LA Times. Check out the images in Metro -- in Swedish but easy to navigate. (Thanks, Tom!)

In Alabama, Legal Immigrants Wanted for Dirty Jobs

Mbanfu is helping African refugees get jobs in Alabama poultry plants

Read more in BusinessWeek. (Thanks, Tom)

Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School

On the Rocafort family’s kitchen shelf in Canton, along with their peanut butter and chicken broth, sits a wire basket brimming with vials of their four children’s respective medications: Adderall for Alexis and Ethan, Risperdal for Quintn and Perry, and Clonidine (a sleep aid to counteract the other medications) for all the children, taken nightly.

Whoa. Read more in the NY Times. (Thanks, Lucy)

ho Destroyed the Economy? The Case Against the Baby Boomers

Retirees and near-retirees are leaving behind a devastated economy for their children ... but are we doing anything to fix it? Here, two generations debate who's really to blame for the wreckage.

Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, Jamie)

Wounded Pakistan teen is now face of girls education movement

Malala Yousafzai, who publicly demanded an education and was shot by Taliban militants, becomes a potent symbol for the global push to improve developing countries by educating their girls. Read more in the LA Times.

Also, check out Nicolas Kristof's article on her "crime" (of loving school)

Doctors say the next few days are critical for her survival. Lots of people rooting for you Malala! (Thanks Alessia and Gloria)

'To my 15-year-old self': Things I wish I'd known

Check out CNN World's Leading Women slideshow. (Thanks Caro)

WATCH LIVE! Red Bull Stratos - Felix's freefall from the edge of space

Here's the LIVE feed (@12:56PM ET on 10/14)

The New York Times wrote a background story on "Fearless Felix." The mental prep for this fall was incredible. (Thanks, Lucy and Jamie)

In Descent Proposal

She thought we were dying and ended up with a ring! (Thanks, Julia!)

Ben's story: Going the extra mile

This past Sunday, Ben took part in Florida's Sea Turtle Tri Kids triathlon. Not the typical athlete, Ben lost his right leg to bone cancer at the tender age of six, having his fibula and tibia removed. He now uses a mechanical knee and prosthetic leg to help him walk.

Ben had already swam 150 yards, biked 4 miles and had powered halfway through his one-mile run when a screw came loose and his running leg broke in half...

Read the CNN story to see what happened next. (Thanks, Claire)

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 .