The big news is still the massive 8.8 earthquake in Chile and the luckily mild tsunami that followed. Here’s an update, though I’m sure there will be more today.
The NYTimes Caucus Blog has the sunday political show line up, for whatever that is worth. Sounds like Nancy Pelosi is planning on making appearances to continue slamming Republicans for not taking the healthcare show circus debate seriously. Riiight. Nancy, we noticed how seriously you took those by the fact that it was the one and only discussion to be held. If Obama and the Democrats were serious, they would keep those coming every day to hammer out something. Nonetheless, the earthquake news I’m sure will take up some of that space that would otherwise be used for the usual hot air generation.
Since we’ve been all about exercise the last few weeks. What? You know, because of what’s happening in Canada. Anyway, here’s some interesting exercise news. Interval training can cut exercise hours sharply:
People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse.
Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week’s workout into less than an hour. Intense exercise regimens, or interval training, was originally developed for Olympic athletes and thought to be too strenuous for normal people.
“High-intensity interval training is twice as effective as normal exercise,” said Jan Helgerud, an exercise expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. “This is like finding a new pill that works twice as well … we should immediately throw out the old way of exercising.”
The 2010 winter olympics will close today, with I’m sure a lovely closing ceremony this evening. Canada has the most golds which is a big change from previous times Canada hosted the olympics where they won no gold medals. Some memorable events included South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na winning gold for women’s figure skating where South Korea had never one any medal before. Here are some links for those so inclined to read further: official olympics page, NYTimes olympics page, and an interesting wrap up from Slate.
And while we’re still flipping through Discover News from the exercise article, there seems to be some promising development towards a perfect insulator which could eliminate the need for heating systems in the home:
A perfect insulator, or a material that reflects heat while absorbing none of it, has been created by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories.
Besides eliminating your heating bill, perfect insulators could make computers cooler and speed up cell phone downloads.
“All the heat that hits it gets shot back in the other direction,” said Edwin Thomas, a scientist at MIT and co-author of a recent paper in the journal ACS Nano Letters describing the creation of a low-temperature perfect insulator. “If you could put the right material on the wall (of a home), the heat from your body would be enough to heat it.”
In ever so slightly less fun news, here’s an article about how this new jobless era will transform America:
After nearly two brutal years, the Great Recession appears to be over, at least technically. Yet a return to normalcy seems far off. By some measures, each recession since the 1980s has retreated more slowly than the one before it.
The unemployment rate hit 10 percent in October, and there are good reasons to believe that by 2011, 2012, even 2014, it will have declined only a little. Late last year, the average duration of unemployment surpassed six months, the first time that has happened since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking that number. As of this writing, for every open job in the U.S., six people are actively looking for work.
If it persists much longer, this era of high joblessness will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults—and quite possibly those of the children behind them as well. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar white men—and on white culture. It could change the nature of modern marriage, and also cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a kind of despair and dysfunction not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years.
Historically, financial crises have spawned long periods of economic malaise, and this crisis, so far, has been true to form. Despite the bailouts, many banks’ balance sheets remain weak; more than 140 banks failed in 2009. As a result, banks have kept lending standards tight, frustrating the efforts of small businesses—which have accounted for almost half of all job losses—to invest or rehire.
It’s likely, then, that for the next several years or more, the jobs environment will more closely resemble today’s environment than that of 2006 or 2007—or for that matter, the environment to which we were accustomed for a generation. Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, notes that if the recovery follows the same basic path as the last two (in 1991 and 2001), unemployment will stand at roughly 8 percent in 2014.
“We haven’t seen anything like this before: a really deep recession combined with a really extended period, maybe as much as eight years, all told, of highly elevated unemployment,” Shierholz told me. “We’re about to see a big national experiment on stress.”
And speaking of jobs and how to make them, this article discusses how entrepreneurs are made not born:
Silicon Valley investors often have a picture in their heads of the type of person who is worthy of funding: young, brash, stubborn, and arrogant. They believe that successful entrepreneurs come from entrepreneurial families and that they start their entrepreneurial journey by selling lemonade while in grade school. (snip)
Jason, Fred, and Silicon Valley VCs, I’ve got news for you: you’ve got it all wrong. Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made. And they aren’t anything like you think they are. My team surveyed 549 successful entrepreneurs. We found that the majority didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. They didn’t even have entrepreneurial aspirations while going to school. They simply got tired of working for others, had a great idea they wanted to commercialize, or woke up one day with an urgent desire to build wealth before they retired. So they took the big leap.
We found that 52% of the successful entrepreneurs were the first in their immediate families to start a business — just like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, and Russell Simons (Def Jam founder). Their parents were academics, lawyers, factory workers, priests, bureaucrats, etc. About 39% had an entrepreneurial father, and 7% had an entrepreneurial mother. (Some had both.)
What did affect their successes? Education — but not the college they graduate from. In a different study of the 652 CEOs and CTOs of 502 tech companies, we researched the correlation between education and the sales and headcount of companies founded. We learned that the there was a significant difference between companies started by founders with just high-school diplomas and the rest. Education provided a huge advantage. But there wasn’t a big difference between firms founded by Ivy-league graduates and the graduates of other universities.
So there you have it. No jobs to be had, but if you want to create some you don’t need an ivy league education or to come from an entrepreneurial family. Just don’t ask me where you get the funding however.
Roger Ebert has his voice back due to some neat technology:
Nearly four years after a battle with thyroid cancer robbed him of the ability to speak, iconic film critic Roger Ebert sounded like his former self Friday during a taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the show’s producer said.
It was no medical miracle, but rather a demonstration of new software using audio recordings of Ebert to create a synthetic voice that sounds like his own.
CereProc, a company based in Edinburgh, Scotland, created the voice for him using mostly audio of Ebert’s DVD commentaries on “Citizen Kane” and ” Casablanca.”
In social networking etiquete news and views, here’s an article on how to decline Facebook friends without offense:
A colleague I just met at work has invited me to be their friend on Facebook. I don’t want to offend them, but nor do I want to share my candid photos and lousy Scrabble scores with someone I hardly know. (snip)
Of course, many people don’t have a problem with being Facebook friends with colleagues, especially those they know well. But for those who would rather keep their work and private lives separate, there are options other than ignoring an unwanted friend request.
One is to accept the invitation and then use Facebook’s privacy settings to limit the flow of information between you and your new “friend.” To do this, you can create a “colleagues” list from the Friends menu and then add to it your new friend. Then navigate to the privacy settings and use the “Profile Information” section to control what information people on the “colleagues” list can see.
An alternative, says workplace etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, is to suggest to the colleague that you connect instead on LinkedIn, a social network for professional relationships.
Did I just accidentally put something useful in a post?
In other news:
Ron Paul is getting blowback from the CPAC straw poll.
Three of London’s most prestigious hotels may end up in the hands of the Irish government.
UK in Israel probing use of fake passports.
Germany, France, Netherlands to buy Greek bonds. What a pickle.
What’s new in your neck of the woods?