What is Fifteen on Friday?

Fifteen on Friday (Fof) is a weekly newsletter that is delivered every Friday afternoon directly to your inbox.  The goal is to curate a thoughtful list of the most interesting pieces of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, science, technology and occasionally fashion.

The Week’s Best Articles – 08/17/18

This week’s highlights:  Success in College, Managing the Helmsley Trust, and The Magic of Bees.


Fifteen on Friday – 08/17/18 – Issue 297

Happy Friday Everyone –

Periodically I post updates of a few interesting books that may be worth your time (in addition to your regular reading from Fifteen on Friday).  It had been a few months, so I posted an update yesterday with 3 books I think you will enjoy.

Have a great weekend,


Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – How to Get the Most Out of College  They’re privileged, pivotal years. Navigate them with as much care as you did the path that got you there.
  2. IndependentUK – London is over. Like thousands of young people, I’m so glad I chose to leave  It’s only 50 miles from our previous home, but it feels worlds away – and my mental health improved almost overnight
  3. BA – Bribes, Backdoor Deals, and Pay to Play: How Bad Rosé Took Over  A sommelier opens up about the shady business practices that are behind the rise of watery, terrible rosé.
  4. NYT – How to Quantify a Nurse’s ‘Gut Feelings’  I had a nagging sense that something was wrong, but I couldn’t articulate it.
  5. Strategy& – How to Cultivate Leadership That Is Honed to Solve Problems  Achieve breakthroughs by bringing together experts who love challenges.


  1. AWCS – The Half-Life of Investment Strategies
  2. Guardian – Where even Walmart won’t go: how Dollar General took over rural America
  3. TheAtlantic – The Strange Infinities of e-Commerce  When it costs as much to retail 200,000 things as one thing, the world gets a little odd.
  4. CAP – Interview with Roz Hewsenian. CIO of the Helmsely Trust, Hewsenian has had a wide ranging career.  More interesting is her opportunistic approach to endowment fund management, accompanied by a measure of forced concentration in positions.
  5. CEO Mag – T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture.  IDEO is famous for its method of innovation based on intense cross-disciplinary project work. To pull this off, the company has long practiced the art of collaboration and the development of a certain kind of talent: T-shaped people.


  1. NYT – The Super Bowl of Beekeeping  Almond growing in California is a $7.6 billion industry that wouldn’t be possible without the 30 billion bees (and hundreds of human beekeepers) who keep the trees pollinated — and whose very existence is in peril.
  2. NewsObserver – ‘Like you just have no brain after the game.’   Inside a UNC lineman’s concussion ordeal.
  3. NYT – Kenan Thompson, the Reluctant Star of ‘Saturday Night Live’  He has always been most comfortable as a supporting player. The longest tenure on the show and an Emmy nomination have helped change that state of mind.
  4. Vox – It’s easy to become obese in America. These 7 charts explain why. In America, the unhealthiest foods are the tastiest foods, the cheapest foods, the largest-portion foods.”
  5. NYT – Give a Cow a Brush, and Watch It Scratch That Itch  Some researchers think mechanical brushes aren’t just some spa amenity for dairy cows — they’re important to the animal’s well-being.

This Week’s Best Reads – 08/10/18

This week’s highlights:  Humanities vs. Technology, Active Management, and the Physics of Pizza


Fifteen on Friday – 08/10/18 – Issue 296

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – Oh, the Humanities! New data on college majors confirms an old trend. Technocracy is crushing the life out of humanism.
  2. TheGuardian – What would you do if your teenager became an overnight Instagram sensation?  After photographs go viral, your child becomes a social-media influencer and a celebrity on Instagram. Should you step in? Parents reveal the contrasting conflicts of instant fame
  3. NYT – Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later.  The way we teach math in America hurts all students, but it may be hurting girls the most.
  4. BusinessWeek – To Sue Goldman Sachs, You Have to Be Willing to Hang On—For a Long, Long Time  Cristina Chen-Oster’s fight against sex discrimination began in 2005. She just got her big break.
  5. TheAtlantic – Hollywood Doesn’t Make Movies Like The Fugitive Anymore The Harrison Ford–starring thriller represents the best of a genre that has faded: the character-driven action movie for adults.


  1. Bloomberg – The Active Money Manager Model Is No Longer Viable Successful investors will be defined by highly idiosyncratic and concentrated portfolios.
  2. TW – The secretive mega-companies behind your glasses – Credit TP –
  3. Forbes – The ‘Backsies’ Billionaire: Texan Builds Second Fortune From Wreckage Of Real Estate Empire He’d Sold
  4. Bloomberg – Tesla Does Some Going-Private Stuff  “What will happen here? One possibility is that Musk has $80 billion in committed financing that he has kept secret for Reasons, and he will eventually reveal who is providing it, and everyone will be like “oh right that guy, of course,” and then this will proceed to be just a very weird and interesting management buyout negotiation. Another possibility is that he was just kidding, just trying to troll short sellers on Twitter, and then this will proceed to be just a very weird and interesting securities-fraud investigation.”
  5. CNBC – After almost a decade and billions in outside investment, Magic Leap’s first product is finally on sale for $2,295. Here’s what it’s like.


  1. NPR – Pizza Physics: Why Brick Ovens Bake The Perfect Italian-Style Pie
  2. NYT – Kaboom! Cody! Rudi! Young Flippers Embrace Gtramp, a New Sport for the Instagram Set The trampoline offshoot blends the countercultural aspect of skateboarding with the raw daring of parkour and freestyle snowboarding, all of it fueled by social media.
  3. Bloomberg – The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes  DIYers used a security flaw to bypass the $8.3 billion insulin delivery business with a cobbled-together artificial pancreas.
  4. RIL – The 2018 Barkley Marathons – Confidence Through Failure – Want to know what running the Barkley is really like?
  5. Medium – How to Fall Asleep in 120 Seconds.  Trouble sleeping? Here’s a military-tested trick for guaranteed slumber
« Older posts

© 2018 Fifteen on Friday

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑