Saturday, November 30, 2013

HBR Daily Sat: An Oddity: Ex-Smokers Earn More than Those Who Have Never Smoked

It has been well documented that smokers make less money than nonsmokers, but it’s less widely known that former smokers earn a 7% wage premium over people who have never smoked, according to an analysis of nearly two decades of U.S. data by Julie L. Hotchkiss of Georgia State University and M. Melinda Pitts of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The reasons for the ex-smokers’ higher wages are unclear; the authors cite past research suggesting, somewhat cryptically, that people who are able to stop smoking tend to have individual characteristics that are associated with higher productivity.
Read more in HBR.

Tourist draw Antigua suffers crime, political mess

Sad situation for a lovely area. Wishing all my friends in Antigua and surrounding areas that they are able to clean this up quickly. Read more in AP News(Thanks, Dad)

Cat Heaven

A Japanese photographer named Fubirai spent 5 years photographing and documenting the lives of semi-feral cats who live off the coast of Fukuoka, Japan. Read more at Amazing Oasis. (Thanks, AF)

The Ultimate Guide to Hosting Family and Friends in SF

Ideas on how to entertain out-of-towners and give them the quintessential city experience in just a few days. Read more in 7x7.

Why I love flying through my home airport

Reasons why flying through SFO this holiday season will be incredible:
The Wag BrigadeIn December, the airport will bring in trained dogs to all terminals for your petting enjoyment. Courtesy of the SPCA and their Animal Assisted Therapy Program, the pups were carefully selected for their chill temperament and willingness to be pet by half a million people. The dogs represent all breeds and will wear red vests that say "Pet Me!" 
Read more events SFO is putting on this holiday in 7x7.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Is your next great CEO a management consultant?


  • 28 out of 541 CEO transitions between 2004 & 2010 were former mgmt consultants
  • Companies run by former mgmt consultants outperformed the rest
  • Even strong “people leadership” in a consulting context may not necessarily translate — leading teams of highly educated, motivated MBAs in the “up or out” environment of most management consulting firms is quite different from leading an employee population with a mixed set of skills and backgrounds

Read more in HBR. (Thanks, John)

Monday, November 25, 2013

HBR: The Bonus Employees Really Want

"Does giving employees extra money to spend on whatever they choose make for a happy workplace? Surprisingly, individual financial rewards can be detrimental to morale; jealousy and competition can arise, damaging team dynamics. Consider switching to a more altruistic program, in which you provide employees the same bonuses with one caveat: A portion must be spent on "prosocial" contributions that benefit others, like charities.

"At a company which gave employees charity vouchers, and encouraged them to contribute to a cause of their choice, people reported being more satisfied with their jobs and happier overall. Another organization asked employees to spend on each other: Some teams indulged in chocolate or wine; one team bought a piñata, which they gladly bashed together. Prosocial bonuses resulted in gifts that increased shared experiences—and teams that received them performed better than teams that received money to spend only on themselves."

Read more in HBR.

Harrison Ford Has the Best Possible Reaction to a David Blaine Card Trick

See more at SlashFilm. (Thanks, Bri)

Fuck yes or no.

Question: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?

It's a good mantra. Read more in Mark Manson. (Thanks to Lucy for this find!)

The Period Is Pissed - When did our plainest punctuation mark become so aggressive?

Read more in the New Republic. (Thanks, Ashby)

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Faces of the Moneythink Movement

The Faces of the Moneythink Movement from Moneythink on Vimeo.

Recognized by President Obama, Moneythink is the only movement of young people working to restore the economic health of the United States through financial education. By placing trained college volunteers in urban high schools as near-peer role models and financial mentors for teenagers, Moneythink equips students with the support and skills to succeed in the real world. It's a high impact organization.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today

Here's a new frame on a familiar question:
If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything. 
Everyone wants that. So what's the point? 
What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up. 
Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence -- but not everyone is willing to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, with the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth...
Read more in HuffPo. (Thanks, Claire and Emily)

‘Great Expectations for Female Lawyers’

Twelve years after being interviewed by The New York Times Magazine, five women, who all started their law careers at Debevoise & Plimpton, reflect on ambition, leadership and success.

Having trouble linking the video to this post. Check out the NYT article. (Thanks, Lucy)

Colin Powell's 13 Life Rules For Any Future Leader

In his book "It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership," the four-star general and former secretary of state shares the 13 rules he lives by and how he learned them. From staying optimistic to checking your ego, the tips and stories are useful and thought-provoking for anyone, veterans and civilians alike.

These were two of my favorites:

  • "Things will get better. You will make them get better."
  • "You can't make someone else's decisions. You shouldn't let someone else make yours."
  • "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier."
  • "Have a vision. Be demanding."

The stories that follow the quotes are good, too. Read more at PolicyMic. (Thanks, Becky)

Healthsherpa Helps Thousands Get Insurance Quotes

The computer coders who made may not have had the best of e-commerce in mind. The site looks like something melded together by a dozen government bureaucracies, and is so bad, it's driven away online shoppers.

 But a group of coders in Silicon Valley says it doesn't have to be this way. They've created in about 3 days (!).

Read more in NPR. (Thanks, Tom)

inFORM - Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display

Neat test at MIT's Media Lab.

Mariah Carey Surprises Super Fans with "The Art of Letting Go"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bus Driver Saves Woman From Jumping Off Bridge

Delta turned one viral video into another

The original: The Delta remake -- announcing the new FAA phone policy.

This Woman Was About To Go In For Surgery. What She Did Moments Before Was Awesome.

What do you do moments before a life-changing surgery? Read the HuffPo article here.

On the Road: Middle school football players execute life-changing play

Best heartwarming story this week. This is the best of the human spirit. (Thanks, Jules)

YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy

Third year. (Thanks, Jules)

Corgi puppies. Full stop.

(Thanks, James!)

Dog tired! Adorable toddler and his 'puppy brother' Theo who nap together every day

Read more in the DailyMail. (Thanks, Jules and Stiner)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Aziz Ansari thinks texting ruined dating

Aziz compares dating now to being the secretary of a crappy company filled with flaky jerks. Hilarious. See more on CNN. (Thanks, Claire)

HBR Daily Stat: Yes, It’s Worth It to Work Those Long Hours

"For young, highly educated workers who usually put in long hours, working 5 extra hours per week is linked to a 1% increase in annual wage growth, according to a study of thousands of U.S. workers by Dora Gicheva of the University of North Carolina. The finding holds only for those who work at least 48 hours per week; when hours are lower than that, there’s no correlation between additional work and wage growth. Males’ willingness or ability to work long hours accounts for some, but not all, of the gender difference in wage growth, Gicheva says."

Read more in HBR.

Big sister drops to her knees to show affection to newborn

Adorable. See more in National Geographic. (Thanks, Claire)

Here's where teens are going instead of Facebook

Read more in Forbes. (Thanks, Tom)

Monday, November 11, 2013

20-Year-Old Hunter S. Thompson’s Superb Advice on How to Find Your Purpose and Live a Meaningful Life

An excerpt:
To give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania. To presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal — to point with a trembling finger in the RIGHT direction is something only a fool would take upon himself... 
...Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective...
Read more in Brain Pickings. (Thanks, Lucy)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

HBR Tip of the Day: Develop Your Emotional Agility

"Everyone has felt critical, doubtful, or scared, even at work—and attempting to minimize or ignore such emotions can amplify them. Effective leaders neither buy into nor try to suppress their inner experiences—instead, they develop “emotional agility,” a skill which enables them to approach their inner experiences in a mindful and productive way. These practices can help you do the same:
  • Recognize your patterns. In what instances does your thinking become rigid and repetitive, playing like a broken record you’ve heard time and time again? That’s a telltale sign that you’ve been hooked by a thought or feeling.
  • Label your thoughts and emotions. This allows you to see them as they are: transient sources of data that may or may not prove helpful. Taking this “helicopter view” of your emotions simplifies them; it turns the thought “My coworker is wrong—he makes me so angry,” into “I’m having the thought that my coworker is wrong, and I’m feeling anger.”
  • Accept feelings with an open attitude. They may be signaling that something important is at stake, like your values. This gives you the chance to act on them."
Such good learnings for self-awareness. Read more in HBR.


The FDA is moving to ban all trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) citing health concerns. Read more in the NYT.

HBR Daily Stat: The Threat of Dismissal Shakes Up Chicago Public Schools

"After the Chicago teachers’ union signed a 2004 contract allowing principals to bypass a cumbersome dismissal process and fire recently hired teachers for any reason, faculty absences fell by about 10% and the prevalence of educators with 15 or more annual absences declined by 25%, according to a study by Brian A. Jacob of the University of Michigan. The effect was driven by the voluntary departure of certain teachers after the new policy was announced, he says. Nevertheless, principals were reluctant to enforce the policy: 40% of schools, including many that were low-performing, didn’t dismiss any teachers."

Read more at HBR.

They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets

How the Amazon Warehouse Works

For all the fellow operations geeks out there, read more in Chronday. (Thanks, Claire)

BNV Slam Poetry 2013 Finals Round #4 - Washington D C

Read more in UpWorthy. (Thanks, Sam) 

Monday, November 4, 2013

KKR Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Buying

WSJ + Miley + KKR. Best headline I have seen all day. 

Cancer Nurses, Kid Patients Music Video Performing 'Brave' By Sara Bareilles Goes Viral

(Thanks, Dad)

Make-A-Wish Foundation Turns San Francisco Into Gotham City For Batman-Loving Kid

"In his battle against leukemia, five-year-old Miles finds inspiration in the strength of superheroes -- Batman, in particular. Next month, all of San Francisco is getting in on a stunt that enlists Miles’ help to save the city.

"On November 15, the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation is turning San Francisco into Gotham City, and when trouble strikes that morning, the city’s police chief will call upon Miles -- aka Batkid -- to leap into action for a day of noble crime-fighting around town."

Read more at HuffPo and at the Make A Wish Foundation. (Thanks, Jerrod and Claire)

When marriage isn't about you

This was an insightful and courageous post to write:
... The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy? 
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad. 
Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget. 
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
Read Seth Adam Smith's blog. (Thanks, Brandon)

10 simple, science-backed ways to be happier today

Did you know that the perfect temperature for happiness is 13.9C? Adjust your thermostat, then check out these quick tips for maximizing mirth. Read more in FastCompany.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mystery Man, Painting the Town

Banksy makes NYC his gallery for a month. Check out the NYT article. See the interactive map at NY Mag. (Thanks, Jules)

Big week for MoneyThink

Sending a BIG congrats to Ted Gonder and the team at Moneythink this week.

They won the top prize at the MassChallenge start-up accelerator, and the Hitachi Foundation honored them as one of five enterprises that address some of society’s most persistent challenges.

Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

(Thanks, Ally)

The Ohio State University Marching Band Performs


Evolution of Beyoncé - Pentatonix

Yeah Kevin!! Woot woot '06. 

What does the farmer say? Ylvis Parody

A Man Stole This Woman’s Wallet, and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

A touching story:

Jessica Eaves from Guthrie, Oklahoma recently had her wallet stolen by a man while she was grocery shopping. Most people in that situation would immediately get the authorities involved, but she found a way to resolve her problem herself. 

 "I saw this gentleman down the aisle from me," Jessica tells us. "He walked behind me, and when I got a couple of aisles over, I realized my wallet was gone." 

"I spotted him in a crowded aisle and approached him," she continues. "I'm a pretty out-there personality, but I was quiet and calm."

"I said to him, 'I think you have something of mine. I'm gonna give you a choice. You can either give me my wallet and I'll forgive you right now, and I'll even take you to the front and pay for your groceries." 

The alternative? Jessica reporting him to the police. 

"He reached into his hoodie pocket and gave me my wallet," she recalls, adding that the man was extremely grateful for her help and forgiveness. 

"He started crying when we walked up to the front," she says. "He said he was sorry about 20 times by the time we went from the pickle aisle to the front. He told me he was desperate." 

She spent $27 on his groceries, which included milk, bread, bologna, crackers, soup and cheese. "The last thing he said was, 'I'll never forget tonight. I'm broke, I have kids, I'm embarrassed and I'm sorry.'" 

"Some people are critical because I didn't turn him in, but sometimes all you need is a second chance," she adds... 

Read more in Yahoo! (Thanks, Lucy)

Pirate Medley - 100% Acapella - Peter Hollens & Gardiner Sisters

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 .