A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: April, 2015

Read — 2015/04/30

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Shrugging off slow growth, Fed predicts a rebound“, by Binyamin Appelbaum & Nelson D. Schwartz (NY Times). Initial estimates of US GDP growth in 2015 Q1 were reported at .2%. Job growth also slowed. Most economists predict a Fed interest-rate hike won’t occur before September.
  2. Nepal earthquake response challenges logistics experts“, by Paul Page (Wall Street Journal).
  3. Churches brace for same-sex marriage ruling“, by Tamara Audi (Wall Street Journal). Likening opponents of gay marriage to “first century Roman Christians” is, frankly, ludicrous imagined martyrdom — I have yet to see Americans being thrown to lions for their beliefs. Reverend Lino’s comment about a “holistic view” of marriage is more honest and insightful.
  4. Flashcards get smarter so you can, too“, by Sue Shellenbarger (Wall Street Journal). Big data meets small time.
  5. You suck at flirting“, by Nathan Siegel (OZY). Skip to the last paragraph. Know the signs, show some respect, and carpe diem.

Read — 2015/04/26

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Earthquake devastates Nepal, killing more than 1,900“, by Ellen Barry (NY Times). The magnitude-7.8 earthquake was centered “about 50 miles northwest of Katmandu”.
  2. As cognition slips, financial skills are often the first to go“, by Tara Siegel Bernard (NY Times). As retirement nears, consolidate financial clutter, assemble a trusted “protective tribe” to help manage finances, and heed warning signs of cognitive decline.
  3. The art of being apart“, by Lisa Grunwald (NY Times). “But let there be spaces in your togetherness” (Kahlil Gibran, The prophet).

Two investing-related articles:

  1. Thomas Staggs: Disney’s heir, apparently“, by Brooks Barnes (NY Times). A look at the trajectory past and future of the Disney CEO heir-apparent. Disney makes a point of preening its “family-friendly” brand image and maintaining warm consumer relations.
  2. Apple won’t always rule. Just look at IBM.“, by Jeff Sommer (NY Times). A cautionary tale about market dominance. I didn’t know that the IBM of the 1980s was heavily invested in, and excelled at, basic scientific research. (The article cites analysis from Dr. D. Quinn Mills at the Harvard Business School suggesting that despite the impressive research, “[IBM’s] focus on its own product lines and customer service flagged” in the early 1980s.) Also intriguing is the video of Steve Jobs’ 1983 Apple address.

And in historical news on this day:

  1. Soviet announces nuclear accident at electric plant“, by Serge Schmemann (NY Times, 26 April 1986). “An accident has occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as one of the reactors was damaged. Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the accident. A Government commission has been set up.”

Science — 2015/04/25

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Symbionts on the road to a single species“, by Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink (Science). And the two (symbionts) shall become one. Links to the Perspective article by Kiers & West (“Evolving new organisms via symbiosis“).
  2. The delicate dance of translation and folding“, by Joseph D. Puglisi (Science). Two recent studies shed light on the timing of protein folding and its interaction with the translation process. Links to research articles by Goldman et al. (“Mechanical force releases nascent chain-mediated ribosome arrest in vitro and in vivo“) and Kim et al. (“Translational tuning optimizes nascent protein folding in cells“) in the current issue of Science.

Read — 2015/04/19

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Workers seeking productivity in a pill are abusing A.D.H.D. drugs“, by Alan Schwarz (NY Times). Does the public really expect behavior patterns instilled in university to evaporate upon graduation into “the real world”?
  2. Technology that prods you to take action, not just collect data“, by Natasha Singer (NY Times). We need to understand and act on the data gathered by wearable devices and other personal informatics, not just marvel in the deluge of data they produce.
  3. The other side of boredom“, by Mary Mann (NY Times). I like Ms. Mann’s simile comparing the meanderings of a bored mind to the movements on a Ouija board.

Read — 2015/04/06

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Iran nuclear talks: Obama hails ‘historic’ agreement“, by Lyse Doucet (BBC News).
  2. Taking feminist battle to China’s streets, and landing in jail“, by Andrew Jacobs (NY Times). Five influential leaders of China’s feminist movement are imprisoned for “provoking social instability”. #freethefive
  3. Antitrust and other inquiries in Europe target U.S. tech giants“, by Mark Scott (NY Times). Apple, Facebook, and Google find themselves under the European microscrope.
  4. Drones could carry blood to critically injured patients“, by Kelsey D. Atherton (Popular Science).
  5. Poland developing liquid body armor“, by Kelsey D. Atherton (Popular Science).
  6. The best Spring 2015 denim model selfies” (Vogue).
  7. Catch up on Mad Men in just 30 seconds“, by Jessie Heyman (Vogue).

Science — 2015/04/06

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Infants explore the unexpected“, by Laura Schulz (Science). Here is the full article by Stahl & Feigenson.
  2. Epigenetic inheritence uncoupled from sequence-specific recruitment“, by Kaushik Ragunathan, Gloria Jih, & Danesh Moazed (Science). Chromatin marks appear to be inherited over many cell generations in fission yeast.
  3. Realizing the promise“, by Kirsten L. Mueller (Science). A brief look at the state of cancer immunotherapy.
  4. A career is like a love affair“, by Madeleine Jacobs (Science). Career advice from a science journalist and editor.

Read — 2015/04/02

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. The best way to find an airfare online“, by Scott McCartney (Wall Street Journal). Why it’s easier than ever to compare flights — and harder than ever to find good deals.
  2. Beijing: Taipei can apply to AIIB but needs ‘appropriate name’” (Japan Times). Beijing gives Taiwan a green light for participation in the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB).