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This Week’s Best Reads – 07/13/18

This week’s highlights:  The Extinction of Middle Children, Excess Firefighters, and Flying Spiders


Fifteen on Friday – 07/13/18 – Issue 293

Food for Thought:

  1. TheCut – The Extinction of the Middle Child.  They’re becoming an American rarity, just when America could use them the most.
  2. Governing – What Kind of Place Does Nashville Want to be?  – Credit DH – Amid Scandal and Explosive Growth, Nashville Ponders Its Future
  3. Vogue – Can Gisele Save the Planet? 
  4. PostHaven – Grow the Puzzle Around You – Credit FarnamStreet – You are a jigsaw puzzle piece of a certain shape. You could change your shape to fit an existing hole in the world. That was the traditional plan. But there’s another way that can often be better for you and for the world: to grow a new puzzle around you.
  5. HuffPo – 35 Hilarious Quotes About Fatherhood From Jim Gaffigan – On a lighter note…”Whoever came up with the term ‘terrible twos’ must have felt very foolish after their kid turned three.”


  1. MarginalRev – What Firefighters Do Over the past 35 years, the number of fires in the United States has fallen by more than 40% while the number of career firefighters has increased by more than 40%. The decline of demand has created a problem for firefighters.
  2. FastCo – From Muji to Ikea: Why the best retailers think like UX designers The most successful brands treat their customers as users, not buyers. Here’s how.
  3. Penta – What to Do With Excess Cash
  4. QZ – You don’t need a Mac laptop Now my $1,800 machine is effectively used as a web browser. It’s a super nice web browser, cased in aluminum and sporting a retina display, but its core functions are checking the internet and occasionally editing photos of my cat.
  5. AAII – A Quantitative Method for Asset Allocation


  1. TheAtlantic – Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity  Scientists are finally starting to understand the centuries-old mystery of “ballooning.”
  2. RobbReport – The 30 Most Influential Restaurants of the Last 30 Years  We’ve asked some of the world’s leading chefs what restaurants they think most changed how we dine.
  3. MF – The Hole Story: A History of Skee-Ball
  4. NYT – I Used Apple’s New Controls to Limit a Teenager’s iPhone Time (and It Worked!)
  5. Curbed – Our homes don’t need formal spaces.  The entertaining rooms meant to make us social actually foster isolation

This Week’s Best Reads – 07/06/18

The highlights:  The Enduring Appeal of Cruises, 10 Years After the Financial Crisis, and the Price of Pets


Fifteen on Friday – 07/06/18 – Issue 292

Food for Thought:

  1. NYT – Cruises Are So Uncool They Are Cool  Hating on cruises is a favorite of travel writers…here the NYT weighs in that their greatest drawback is in fact their greatest feature…”What I believe is the flowering root of the widespread appeal of cruises: their unapologetic, gleaming banality.”
  2. Rolling Stone – The Trouble With Johnny Depp. Multimillion-dollar lawsuits, a haze of booze and hash, a marriage gone very wrong and a lifestyle he can’t afford – inside the trials of Johnny Depp
  3. Economist – Tortured by meetings  You take minutes and waste hours
  4. Medium – The Way You Read Books Says A Lot About Your Intelligence, Here’s Why.  This is why the smartest people in the world own tons of books they don’t read.
  5. Investopedia – Staying Rich Is Harder than Getting Rich – Credit TP – More than 70% of the Forbes 400 (or their heirs) fell off that list between 1982 and 2014.


  1. WIC – Full of Surprises, Even After All of These Years – Market Commentary – Woodmont’s look at the market during Q2’18.
  2. London Review – After the Fall.  Some of the more pessimistic commentators at the time of the credit crunch, myself included, said that the aftermath of the crash would dominate our economic and political lives for at least ten years. What I wasn’t expecting – what I don’t think anyone was expecting – was that ten years would go by quite so fast.
  3. CBM – The Next-Gen Director Dilemma  Ninety percent of directors say diversity of age is important—and for good reason. Yet, there are only 315 directors age 50 and under in the S&P 500, according to PwC’s annual corporate directors survey.
  4. BothSides – All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding
  5. CBM – Get Ahead of the Next Big Investor Push: Human Capital Reporting  Scan pretty much any proxy statement and you’ll find that boilerplate line that says something like “our people are our most important asset” or some such. But keep reading and you’re equally likely to see little else about how the company actually engages with this crucial “asset,” let alone any meaningful metrics to help investors understand and compare performance.


  1. NYT – The Secret Price of Pets  The care and feeding of America’s “fur babies” has grown increasingly baroque.
  2. TO – Are we stuck with cement?  The cement industry has little reason to improve its material’s enormous environmental impact.
  3. ITS – Ridehail Revolution: Groundbreaking ITS dissertation examines discrimination and travel patterns for Lyft, Uber, and taxis – Credit CM – Lyft and Uber nearly eliminate the racial differences in service by taxi operators.
  4. Forbes – The Model S Finally Has Competition–From The Model 3–And That’s Not Good for Tesla
  5. BI – Why Rolex watches are so expensive – Credit SF
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