May 27, 2014
1. The Graduate
A tight job market. A national student debt level that has topped $1 trillion. Teenage entrepreneurs who are already a few years vested into their start-up equity packages. It’s enough to make a person wonder whether or not college is worth it. According to the NYT, the answer is a resounding yes, and it’s not even close. “Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s.”
+ “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word … Are you listening? Plastics.” That was the career advice offered to Benjamin Braddock in the movie, The Graduate. Today’s top grads hear another one-word piece of career advice: Technology. And while a lot of them are taking the bait, there are still plenty who head into consulting and investment banking. Learn about career directions and much more in The Harvard Crimson’s interesting look at the Class of 2014 by the numbers.
2. Precious Metal
It’s good to be the CEO. The median pay package for the leader of a large company just passed the $10 million mark. “A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker’s salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009.”
+ The CEO just got a huge raise and you didn’t. Here’s why.
+ Want to improve your quality of life? Try moving to place where heavy metal is huge. It turns out that “this music of disillusion and despair is, strangely, biggest in countries with very high quality of life.” (Somewhat related: My McSweeney’s piece: An open letter to the guy who puked next to me at a heavy metal concert.)
The Nigerian government says it knows where the abducted schoolgirls are being held, but also stated that they would not risk “going there with force.” Meanwhile, Buzzfeed has a collection of mostly dubious things the Nigerian government has said so far.
+ Could U.S. Special Forces get “tweeted” into combat? “According to two well-placed defense department sources, senior Special Operations commanders … have told their men to be ready, assuming that eventually ‘the hashtag will bring us out.’”
4. The Militia is Not Well Regulated
“They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness; we don’t have to live like this?; Too many have died. We should say to ourselves: not one more.” That was Richard Martinez: a parent of one of the victims of the Isla Vista killings.
+ Martinez later followed up with this: “I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a shit that you feel sorry for me. Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”
+ “How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, ‘It’s not fair.’” Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow were none too pleased when Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday drew a connection between the slayings and their movies. (Whenever a sociopath does something horrific, there is a race to explain how that singular act is representative of a broader societal trend. But what if it’s just representative of extreme sociopathic behavior and the unfortunate availability of killing tools?)
5. The Driver Gets the Grey Poupon
No matter where you want them to take you, Uber drivers appear to being following the money. “According to Uber, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week in New York City is $90,766 a year. In San Francisco, the median wage for an UberX driver working at least 40 hours a week is $74,191.”
+ Contrast that with this 2013 report on Boston cabbies; a losing battle against the numbers.
+ Another industry being shaken up by the Internet: Beauty. As of last year, beauty-related videos on YouTube were racking up a cool 700 million views a month. And most them are being uploaded by individuals with no direct relationship with the big brands.
6. Sunny Side Up
Here’s an idea. What if we paved all the streets with solar panels that could provide three times the electricity the country needs, filter stormwater, replace above-ground power cables, melt ice from dangerous roads, and even provide a warning when a large animal wanders onto the road? It may sound impossible, Julie and Scott Brusaw are trying to raise $1 million on Indiegogo to get the ball rolling. And they’ve already surpassed their goal by about half a million.
“If all the latest cutting-edge scientific research says that outdated barbell movements have to be updated with core stability tricks and then integrated into super-short high-intensity muscle-confusion routines, how come none of that did much for me, while the same five lifts repeated for a year caused profound structural changes to my body? The answer, it turns out, is that there are no cutting-edge scientific studies.” In the NYT, Daniel Duane reflects on the over-complication of exercise: Fitness Crazed. (I’m even beginning to think that my body benefits from walks that are not tracked by my FitBit.)
+ A lot of people have heard the question: “How much do you bench?” Only one person has answered: 882 pounds.
8. Never Home Alone
You walk into your home. Your phone senses the temperature and tells your cooling system to engage, turns on your favorite playlist, preheats the oven for the dinner you ordered earlier in the day, and pings your kids’ devices to see if their homework is complete. Come to think of it, you might as well just throw your phone in your front door and take off. You’re obsolete. Wired explains why Apple wants to make a remote control for your home. And Google took a big step into your house with the acquisition of Nest. Will Dropcam be next?
9. Playing Keep Away
The buzzing in my ear and the sight of my wife standing on the edge of our bed clapping in the air was a stark reminder that the mosquitoes are back. So it’s time for a MoJo refresher course on how to avoid being eaten alive. (I have to admit that, for a second, I thought I was getting a standing ovation.)
10. The Bottom of the News
“Edsel, the son of Sam Wo’s owner, began as a waiter and soon became the restaurant’s coming attraction — and for an unlikely reason: he was the rudest, most despotic waiter to ever walk the earth.”
+ So Bill Murray walks into a bachelor party…
+ Steve Perry performs publicly for the first time in 19 years.
+ How Don Draper will die, according to the CDC.