This week’s highlights: Star Wars, Walmart vs. Amazon, and Adjunct Professor Poverty?

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Issue 338

by David Wells – Nashville TN
From business to culture, technology to design, finance to entertainment, each week Fifteen on Friday sources the most thought-provoking articles to help us all live life well and well-informed.  Enjoy.

Food for Thought:

Top Read(s) of the Week:  VF – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Ultimate Preview

Why It Matters:  I was admittedly hesitant to read this month’s cover article of Vanity Fair  fearing spoilers.   When I finally decided to risk it, I very much enjoyed this reflection on Star Wars, its cinematography and broader place in our cultural landscape.  No spoilers that I detected…

“After four decades, Star Wars is drawing to its epic conclusion. Lev Grossman goes behind the scenes with director J.J. Abrams and the cast for the inside scoop on The Rise of Skywalker.”

Consider as well:  

  1. Bloomberg – The Hotel Hackers Are Hiding in the Remote Control Curtains  Back doors to your personal data can be found in everything from smart fish tanks to Wi-Fi pineapples.
  2. NYT – Do Hand Dryers Hurt Kids’ Hearing? This 13-Year-Old Studied It  Nora Keegan noticed that dryers tended to be closer to children’s ears. So she set out on a study that was eventually published in a medical journal in Canada.
  3.  BecMin – This Is What Death Cleaning Taught Me About Life   “Do not ever imagine that anyone will wish—or be able—to schedule time off to take care of what you didn’t bother to take care of yourself. No matter how much they love you, don’t leave this burden to them.”
  4. NYT – How the U.S. Beat England to Reach the World Cup FinalGame time is Sunday at 11 ET / 10 CT – Tune in live or set your DVR

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week:  Recode – Inside the conflict at Walmart that’s threatening its high-stakes race with Amazon 

Why It Matters:   Walmart bought Jet.com to compete with Amazon, but Jet founder Marc Lore is feeling the heat as e-commerce losses surpass $1 billion.

Consider as well:

  1. NYT – Apple Watch Hasn’t Crushed the Swiss. Not Yet.
  2. Bloomberg – Can Goldman’s Trading ‘Rainmaker’ Bring Back the Glory Days?
  3. Vox – CEOs made 287 times more money last year than their workers did  Companies have finally started reporting CEO-worker pay ratios.
  4. HBR – When Having Too Many Experts on the Board Backfires

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week:  Splinter – The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It’s Big.

Why It Matters:   If I had to guess at the most common misconception about where the average person thinks that runaway college tuition inflation is landing, most people would say in professor’s pockets.   As this article highlights, the use of adjuncts is an expanding phenomena at universities often times at poverty level wages.  This is obviously a multi-faceted issue and probably warrants greater transparency out of Phd programs in certain disciplines about the reality of getting a tenure-track seat.

Consider as well:

  1. Engadget – Apple’s new iOS 13 feature corrects your gaze during video calls.  Finally!
  2. 538 – KD And Kyrie Were The Final Pieces Of Brooklyn’s Brilliant Rebuild
  3. NYT – What’s It Like to Live in Barcelona’s Most Famous Gaudí Home? A Bit Inconvenient
  4. NYT – A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel