Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil

If this happened to me, I'd be in therapy forever. Or, maybe end up in the situation below. (Thanks, North)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Obama’s Way

To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States—and this president in particular. Hanging around Barack Obama for six months, in the White House, aboard Air Force One, and on the basketball court, Michael Lewis learns the reality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who sent Stark into combat.

Read the VanityFair article. (Thanks, Lucy)

How to Live Without Irony

Here's the kick-start:
If irony is the ethos of our age — and it is — then the hipster is our archetype of ironic living.
The hipster haunts every city street and university town. Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the mustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone). He harvests awkwardness and self-consciousness. Before he makes any choice, he has proceeded through several stages of self-scrutiny. The hipster is a scholar of social forms, a student of cool. He studies relentlessly, foraging for what has yet to be found by the mainstream. He is a walking citation; his clothes refer to much more than themselves. He tries to negotiate the age-old problem of individuality, not with concepts, but with material things. 
He is an easy target for mockery. However, scoffing at the hipster is only a diluted form of his own affliction...

Read the NYT post. (Thanks, Lucy)

America’s Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure

"Europeans visiting the Northeastern United States – and many parts of the East Coast — can show their children what Europe’s infrastructure looked like during the 1960s."

Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Claire)

Why Radi-Aid

Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway”-video, and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway? (Thanks, Cassie)

Saudi Arabia Struggles to Employ its Most-Educated Women

A rising generation of young Saudi women is caught between a government spending billions to educate and employ them, and a deeply conservative religious society that fiercely resists women in the workplace. Unemployment among Saudi women who want to work is 34 percent - almost five times as great as the 7 percent unemployment rate for men, according to government figures. Those unemployed women are disproportionately college-educated. Of Saudis receiving unemployment benefits, 86 percent are women, and 40 percent of those women have college degrees. Saudi women have traditionally worked in fields such as medicine, nursing, and teaching. It is still unusual to see a woman working in public anywhere other than shop, and even then mostly in shops that cater to women by selling clothing, lingerie, or groceries. King Abdullah's government is trying to open more jobs for women, in some cases by urging employers to create gender-segregated work areas in factories and other businesses. It also trying to encourage the private sector to hire more Saudis, male and female, for jobs that have traditionally gone to foreigners.

I wonder why.

Read more in the WashingtonPost.

U.S. to Be World’s Top Oil Producer in 5 Years, Report Says

Here's something no one guessed five or ten years ago:
The US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said recently. That increased oil production, combined with new US policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the US will become "all but self-sufficient" in meeting its energy needs in about two decades - a "dramatic reversal of the trend" in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says. The report also predicted that global energy demand would grow between 35 and 46 percent from 2010 to 2035. Most of that growth will come from China, India, and the Middle East, where the consuming class is growing rapidly. The consequences are "potentially far-reaching" for global energy markets and trade. For instance, Middle Eastern oil once bound for the United States would probably be rerouted to China. Although there are several components of the sudden shift in the world's energy supply, the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the US, particularly the unlocking of new reserves of oil and gas found in shale rock.
Read more in the NYT.

Entrepreneurs Don’t Think Enough. Here’s What You Can Do About It …

The entire post is fantastic. Here's my favorite excerpt:
There is a sort of rhythm to people’s personality types that often slot them into one of three buckets. 
1. I think the best leaders are Thinkers. They often need teams of people to help them Plan how to turn their ideas into realities. They are “shapers” not “completer / finishers.” The best leaders know this about themselves and surround themselves with people who complement them. Without c/f’s I’d be hosed. Just ask my wife.  
2. The best managers are Planners. They are really good at creating lists of actions and monitoring performance of those actions. Manager isn’t a bad word. They are the absolute lifeblood of any organization. If this is you, you know the drill. You’re very organized. You keep meticulous notes. You are very good about getting things done and make sure others do as well. You keep the trains running on time. You’re not quite as creative in “breaking out of the box” and doing daring new things. That’s ok. You know that about yourself. And you’re comfortable having that crazy CEO around you. Secretly, you love that you know she couldn’t do her job effective without you. 
3. And the best individual contributors are Doers. This can be your star Chief Architect who loves to code but hates having to handle the admin like testing, documentation, recruiting, etc. It can also be your star salesperson who doesn’t want to have to manage a team because he simply wants to earn his paycheck and get on with his life. I’ve written about these sales mavericks before. A great team needs all types. And you need to identify your own strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur and how to surround yourself with people who complement you.
Read Mark Suster's blog, Both Side of the Table, for the full post

"A Few Things I Learned in College"

Really enjoyed Ted Gonder's (founder of MoneyThink) list of things he learned in college. Check out on his blog -- and make sure to click on a few of the links.

The Heart Grows Smarter

Here's an excerpt:
...Body type was useless as a predictor of how the men would fare in life. So was birth order or political affiliation. Even social class had a limited effect. But having a warm childhood was powerful. As George Vaillant, the study director, sums it up in “Triumphs of Experience,” his most recent summary of the research, “It was the capacity for intimate relationships that predicted flourishing in all aspects of these men’s lives.”  
Of the 31 men in the study incapable of establishing intimate bonds, only four are still alive. Of those who were better at forming relationships, more than a third are living...
Check out David Brook's NYT Op-Ed piece. (Thanks, Claire)

8 Signs You Are Becoming Boring

Two of my favorites:
1. You see students out having fun and are exasperated. It starts with the high school kids. You see them out at the mall, scowling at things, drinking their energy drinks and just generally being assholes in front of the Pacsun or the Hot Topic. You think, “God, what irritating little warts. Good thing I was never 15,” and then carry on your boring way to go get a loofah at Bed Bath and Beyond or whatever you are there to do. Then you see college kids, getting rowdy in a bar, potentially using terrible fake IDs but still getting away with it because the bartender is cool and they want the money. Despite the fact that you, too, used a fake ID just a few short years ago, you are filled with righteous indignation. “Wait your turn, you brats,” you long to say, “Go drink 4 Loko in your bedrooms until you turn 21, like God intended. The bar is for people with jobs."  
5. You are excited when people cancel plans.
I think we’ve all had a moment or two where you are sitting there, not at all pumped to go to this social outing that you agreed to (it’s not that you don’t like the person, you just don’t like having to go outside right now), when all of a sudden they call you with the thrilling news that they are unable to make it! It’s as though the heavens themselves have parted and shone a light down on your lazy, boring ass personally to sing to you with the voice of a thousand golden angels “Fear not, for you have a few more hours of dicking around on Tumblr ahead of ye."
Read more at Thought Catalog. (Thanks, Katie)

The People’s Bailout: Occupy Wall Street To Erase $1 Million In Debt—Maybe Even Yours

"It might be Occupy’s most radical idea: buy up overdue debt on the secondary market and cancel it, leaving lucky people across the country debt free."

If you really think about this -- the ones that will truly benefit are going to be the banks who get this debt off their balance sheet. It would take a lot of legal maneuvering to stop turn around the credit-report hit.

Read more in Fast CoExist.

Sh*t Project Managers Say

For all the consultants out there...

(Thanks, Sean!)

Electronic tracking: new constraint for Saudi women

Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.  
Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.  
Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple. 
The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.
Read more in France 24. (Thanks, Tom)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

HBR Daily Stat: Why You Feel Broke When You're Raising a Child

The total cost of raising a child to full independence in the Northeast U.S., including food, clothing, health care, housing, transportation, entertainment, half of a typical college tuition, and Mom's lost wages, comes to $1.8 million, calculates journalist Nadia Taha. Concern that she might not be able to guarantee financial security for her family is a major factor in her decision not to have children, Ms. Taha writes in The New York Times.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Girl Football Player, 9, Dominates Boys Program (interview with dad)

(Thanks, Tom!)

9-Year-Old Girl Sam Gordon Beasting At Her Youth Football League! (Destroys the boys)

The least helpful Yahoo! Answers responses ever.

Yahoo! Answers provides Internet users with a place to go to solve life's problems. It's also a great example of how the Internet can be both the best and worst thing in the world. When users join forces to solve a problem, Yahoo! Answers is a great tool. When users gang up on a stupid, crazy or just plain confused questioner, then all hell breaks loose. Here's a collection of the least-helpful Yahoo! Answers interactions ever.

Incredible. (Thanks, North)

Special team

If you can spare it, take a few minutes to read this article about Chy Johnson (yes it's from ESPN, but no, it's not really about sports).

You will be bawling like it's the first 5 minutes of "Up" but it will be worth it. (Thanks, David)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What The 2012 Election Would Have Looked Like Without Universal Suffrage

These five maps look at how the 2012 election would have played out before everyone could vote.

Map 1: 1850
Before 1870, only white men could vote. Here's how the election would have looked before the 15th Amendment.

Check out the other four at Buzzfeed. (Thanks, Olivia)

HBR Daily Stat: Just a Little Meditation Causes Brain-Wave Changes

After just 5 weeks of daily 5-to-16-minute training sessions in focused-attention meditation ("Relax with your eyes closed, and focus on the flow of your breath…"), research subjects showed strong brain-wave changes associated with positive emotions, says a team led by Christopher A. Moyer of the University of Wisconsin. The findings suggest that the benefits of meditation may be more accessible than was previously believed, the researchers say.

Read more at SagePub.

HBR Daily Stat: Would You Recommend Your Job to Your Children?

67% of people in agriculture and ranching say they'd recommend their jobs to their offspring—by far the highest percentage of any industry, according to an online survey of nearly 3,000 respondents by Salary.com.

The next highest are professional services (44%), IT (43%), health care (42%), energy and utilities (41%), engineering and design (36%), education (36%), and arts and media (36%).

The workers least likely to recommend their jobs to their kids are in hospitality and tourism (25%), finance and banking (24%), and retail (18%). Overall, just 36% say they'd recommend their line of work to the next generation.

Read more at Salary.

Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort

A team of elite behavioral economists subtly influenced Obama's political campaign this year. Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Alessia)

It's a more polished take on "5 Ways to Hack Voter's Brains."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect

"Sure, we have powerful jobs, well-run homes, and perfect children. But we're still not making it to the very top. There are things we can learn from the rest of the world."

Read the full DailyBeast article. (Thanks, James)

Angelina Jolie: We All Are Malala

"I told my kids—and you should too: Girls’ education is under threat in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and around the world. It’s time we all took a stand."

This is why I admire Angelina Jolie. Read her piece at the DailyBeast.

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 .