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Why Facebook (the company) Is A Juggernaut

As I'm prepping for CNBC's Squawk Alley this morning, here's the big story on my mind:

Let's put it this way: Facebook's earnings last night showed it's in a class of its own in the social media world.

Revenue came in at $2.92 billion. Profit (as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) came in close to $2 billion. Mobile ads delivered 62% of overall ad revenue. And 1.32 billion people logged into Facebook at least once a month.

These numbers so far outstrip any other social media player, you'd be forgiven for picturing Mark Zuckerberg as the Juggernaut with his helmet super-glued on. (Comic book fans will know what I'm talking about.) Unstoppable, basically.

Read more: Why Facebook (the company) Is A Juggernaut

Why Mediocre Bosses Get Promoted #zoomer #business

 

Are you disgusted by the promotion of inept or mediocre executives?

How many times have you seen the mediocre, or even inept executive not get fired, but get promoted -- 1, 5, 10, 100 times?

You have to ask how dumb are the big bosses, or the boards? I just read an article that corroborates this entitled, “Higher Paid CEOs Do A Worse Job – Study Says.”

The January 30, 2013 study, “Performance for Pay? The Relation Between CEO Incentive Compensation and Future Stock Price Performance,” was authored by Michael J. Cooper , University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business; Huseyin Gulen Purdue University - Krannert School of Management; and P. Raghavendra Rau University of Cambridge; UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

Read more: Why Mediocre Bosses Get Promoted #zoomer #business

Why Millennials Fell Out of Love With Obamaals Fell Out of Love With Obama #millennials

There's no heartbreak like the heartbreak of first love, and when it comes to politics, no disappointment more bitter than that of a young person who grows up to realize her one-time idol is all too human.

That's the explanation offered by Harvard Institute of Politics pollster John Della Volpe and IOP Director Trey Grayson for the precipitous drop in Millennial generation support for President Obama in this year's annual Survey of Young Americans’ Attitudes toward Politics and Public Service.

"We are now seeing a sea change among this critical demographic," Grayson said. "The president has experienced a double-digit drop among Millennials over the past seven months and that rating is now the lowest we've seen during his presidency."

The poll, conducted between October 30 and November 11, found that the president's approval among 18- to 29-year-olds had dropped from 52 to 41 percent over the course of the year, and that younger Millennials—those between 18 and 24—were trending less Democratic.

"For the better part of four or five years, young people have been the outliers. They've been the folks who have been the most optimistic and most trusting of the president and Congress to actually solve the problems they most care about," Della Volpe said, explaining what happened.

Read more: Why Millennials Fell Out of Love With Obamaals Fell Out of Love With Obama #millennials

Smoking While Pregnant Could Alter Baby's DNA #smoking #pregnancy

Women who smoke while they’re pregnant may actually be impairing the DNA of their future babies. A new study comparing nearly 900 infants identified 10 genes with newly established links to maternal smoking.

A plethora of problems could result from smoking during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: premature birth, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and a cleft lip or cleft palate, for example. Certain health and behavioral problems could follow these children into adulthood.

We have a limited understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying these effects, Science explains, though one possibility is epigenetic changes. That’s when environmental factors, like smoking or diet, chemically modify DNA by turning certain genes on or off. DNA methylation is one such epigenetic modification. This occurs when a methyl group -- a chemical tag consisting of one carbon bonded to three hydrogen atoms -- is added to certain DNA bases.

A team led by Christina Markunas from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) conducted an epigenome-wide association study to investigate the alterations in DNA methylation in infants who were exposed “in utero” to tobacco smoke by their mothers. A genome-wide association study is a tool used by researchers to compare DNA from people with a disease (or a set of circumstances of interest) to similar people without it, in order to see what shows up more frequently with the disease being studied.

Read more: Smoking While Pregnant Could Alter Baby's DNA #smoking #pregnancy

Why Successful People Don't Become Very Successful #biz

Why don't successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call "the clarity paradox," which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.

Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.

Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.

Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

We can see this in companies that were once darlings of Wall Street, but later collapsed. In his book How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins explored this phenomenon and found that one of the key reasons for these failures was that companies fell into "the undisciplined pursuit of more." It is true for companies and it is true for careers.

Here's a more personal example: For years, Enric Sala was a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. But he couldn't kick the feeling that the career path he was on was just a close counterfeit for the path he should really be on. So, he left academia and went to work for National Geographic. With that success came new and intriguing opportunities in Washington D.C. that again left him feeling he was close to the right career path, but not quite there yet. His success had distracted him. After a couple of years, he changed gears again in order to be what he really wanted: an explorer-in-residence with National Geographic, spending a significant portion of his time diving in the most remote locations, using his strengths in science and communications to influence policy on a global scale. (Watch Enric Sala speak about his important work at TED). The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.

Read more: Why Successful People Don't Become Very Successful #biz

Simple Blood Test Could Detect Suicide Risk #suicide

Researchers say they’ve discovered that a chemical alteration to a single gene could make a person at risk of attempting suicide. If confirmed, these findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry this week, could be translated into a simple blood test to predict suicide risk.

“Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves,” Zachary Kaminsky of Johns Hopkins says in a news release.

This gene of interest, called SKA2, is linked with the brain’s response to stress hormones. Changes to this gene could turn everyday strain into suicidal thoughts. SKA2 is expressed in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved with inhibiting negative thoughts and controlling impulsive behavior. SKA2 is specifically responsible for chaperoning stress hormone receptors, and if there’s not enough SKA2 -- or if it’s altered in some way -- someone under stress won’t be able to shut down the effect of the stress hormone.

Read more: Simple Blood Test Could Detect Suicide Risk #suicide

You Have A Higher Chance Of Being Bitten By Uruguay’s Luis Suarez Than By A Shark #luissuarez

When Uruguay takes the pitch this weekend against Colombia in the World Cup, they will do it without star forward Luis Suarez. Why? Because FIFA banned him for four months from so much as stepping foot inside a stadium for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. On purpose. While playing soccer. Seriously. To make matters worse, this wasn’t even his first offense. This wasn’t even his second offense. This is seriously the third time that Suarez, who also plays for Liverpool, has bit an opponent during a match.

Ian Steadman from New Statesmen got curious about the sheer odds of the danger an opponent has of being bitten by Suarez, and how it compares, say, to the odds of getting bitten by a shark.

Since 2005, Suarez has played in 441 senior matches for Uruguay’s national team and various clubs. Assuming 11 starting players and 3 substitutions per game, 6,160 players have gone up against Suarez and have been at risk of getting bit. That puts the odds Suarez biting an opponent right around 1 in 2,000. The odds of getting killed by a shark while swimming in the ocean? 1 in 3.7 million.

Read more: You Have A Higher Chance Of Being Bitten By Uruguay’s Luis Suarez Than By A Shark #luissuarez

We are all Neanderthal #science

On the Tibetan plateau, where altitudes reach 4,000 m and up, most people would get sick from lack of oxygen. But, because of a unique adaptation, Tibetans produce less oxygen-carrying hemoglobin (the majority of us do the opposite), protecting them from hypertension, increased risk of stroke, and other common side effects of life at high altitude. It turns out they have an ancient relative to thank for this: Denisovans, who, like Neanderthals, went extinct tens of thousands of years ago. In a recent study in Nature, a team of scientists describes how modern Tibetans inherited this genetic variant from ancestors who mated with Denisovans. About 87 per cent of Tibetans have the high-altitude version of the gene, the scientists found, compared to just nine per cent of Han Chinese.

Better genome sequencing technology is giving new insight into early humans. In December 2013, scientists unveiled the most complete sequence yet of the Neanderthal genome, using DNA from a woman’s 50,000-year-old toe bone recovered from a cave in southern Siberia. That same cave has yielded a small piece of a finger bone from a Denisovan, from which the Denisovan genome was sequenced. One of the most surprising revelations so far is just how much of their genetic legacy we carry with us, even today. About 20 per cent of the Neanderthal genome lives on in modern people, influencing our health, and risk for disease, in ways scientists are now starting to unravel.

Just how much Neanderthal DNA we carry, if any, depends partly on where we come from. Indigenous Africans have little or none, because their ancestors didn’t mate with the Neanderthals of Europe and Asia; the DNA of people descended from Europeans, Asians, and other non-Africans is, on average, two per cent Neanderthal. (Melanesians, on the other hand, carry Denisovan DNA, as do Eastern Asians, to a lesser extent.) Scientists are now busily trying to find areas of our modern genomes that are rich in ancient humans’ DNA­, suggesting it conferred some kind of advantage, and other areas that are devoid of it, where natural selection knocked out mutations that hurt chances of survival.

Read more: We are all Neanderthal #science

New Study Finds 88 percent of Earth’s Ocean Surface Now Polluted With Plastic Trash #oceans

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that at least 88 percent of the Earth’s ocean surface is polluted with plastic debris. (1) The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Cadiz, Spain as well as the University of Western Australia. These findings obviously raise very large concerns surrounding marine life, climate, food chains and much more.

Plastic materials were introduced in the 1950′s, and ever since, the total global production of plastic has increased exponentially and will continue to do so over the coming decades unless we change our ways and figure out something new.

The study is based off of 3,070 total ocean samples that were collected all around the globe, and the total amount of plastic in the open-ocean surface is estimated to be between approximately 7,000 and 35,000 tons. Although this amount is huge, scientists were surprised as it is much lower than the amount they expected.

Read more: New Study Finds 88 percent of Earth’s Ocean Surface Now Polluted With Plastic Trash #oceans

How to Prepare for an Interview — no Googlestalking #interview #business #tips

This is my best advice on how to prepare for a job interview. You need read only the third word of the headline: Prepare. But there is a catch. Keep reading.

I interview no more than a few candidates for a limited range of openings. By the time someone sees me, they usually are finalists. More typically, I meet new hires after they have started.

But as I am asked for advice by those who are on the market, I continue to be surprised at the level of knowledge of people who wish to join an enterprise; or, more exasperatingly, their failure to realize they should develop any background in advance. In the internet era, it is easy enough.

Take the possibility of coming to University of California Hastings College of the Law as a professor or staffer. The industry (legal education or higher education more generally) is widely covered in the media nowadays. The institution itself has received positive mention for our strategic plan. Various initiatives — whether clinics, online courses, interdisciplinary training, or class size reduction — are described in ample detail on the website. I expect people to have glanced at this material, at a minimum.

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview — no Googlestalking #interview #business #tips

Is This Proof of Heaven? A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife #atheism #afterlife

Do we have a soul? Is there life after death? In a society where science and empirical testing have taken over as requirements for truth, the idea of there being a life after death is sometimes thought of as wishful thinking. The afterlife, however, is something that has been experienced by countless people since recorded history who have returned to tell their tales, with the most noteworthy account experienced first-hand by Harvard trained brain neurosurgeon of 25 years, Dr. Eben Alexander.

Before his experience, he did not believe existence of a non-physical spirit. Trained in western medical school and surrounded by medical colleagues who are deeply invested in the materialism view of the universe, he thought that the idea of a soul was outlandish. Dr. Alexander changed his mind after he was in a coma for seven days caused by severe bacterial meningitis and experienced a vivid journey into the afterlife. He was guided by an beautiful angelic being and shown the Divine Source, which he referred to as “Om”. He then returned to his physical body, experienced a miraculous healing, and went on to write the NY Times #1 best selling book “Proof of Heaven.”

Read more: Is This Proof of Heaven? A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife #atheism #afterlife

Connecting via sex and via words succeed by the same principles #sex #dirtytalk

Sexual and verbal intercourse--intercourse being a fancy word for connecting--are two of the main ways that two people experience being one couple in a long-lasting and healthy relationship. Shared words and shared sexual feelings both can provide a glue that bonds two into one. At the same, important factors during these bonding activities determine whether sex and talking together will loosen or strengthen the bonds.

Symmetry makes for more satisfying intercourse for both partners.

When people talk together, equal airtime creates a relationship in which both people count. Same with the symmetrical pleasuring of sexual activity; equal attention to both partners' satisfaction conveys that both partners care about each other.

Read more: Connecting via sex and via words succeed by the same principles #sex #dirtytalk