Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Online overkill – week of April 12

April 18, 2009

Good, bad and inspiring, these are some of the items that filled my RSS feed this week. 

Susan Boyle. Wait. You mean unattractive people can sing too? I’m with Jordan Green. The reasons the video is so inspiring and capturing millions of hits on YouTube are kind of sad. 

Ashton Kutcher. Now, if Dude Where’s My Car got all million of his Twitter followers to give money to the poor that would be a good story. 

Tea partying. If you’re disgusted with the sexual innuendo used in the coverage of the tax protests this week raise your hand. 

New Yankee Stadium. Plenty of people weighed in with opinions about the grossly expensive new home for the recession-what-recession Yankees, but Jeff Passan did a bang-up job making me feel sick to my stomach

Torture memos released. The details of the abusive interrogation techniques included in the memos and the right-wing talking point defense of the human rights violations made me sick to my stomach for another reason entirely. 

A mall with a baseball field in the middle

April 17, 2009

It’s unclear whether Yankee Stadium wants to be a ballpark with killer amenities or a mall with a baseball field in the middle. The inside of the stadium is freakishly loyal to its predecessor, like twins who look identical but are actually fraternal. The differences are ornamental, and because of its classic look, the initial thought is: Really, $1.5 billion? And you didn’t reinvent the baseball stadium like Camden Yards in 1993? The toilet seats are definitely gold-plated, right?

One trip around the concourse, and suddenly the cost makes more sense. It is a sea of goods, the free market through a Yankee kaleidoscope, a study in old-fashioned gluttony. It is a cheesesteak line 50 people deep, and a beer garden serving 14 sudsy favorites, and pink foam fingers next to pink hats with flowers alongside pink hats with glitter-covered NY logos.

Jeff Passan

$20,000 rock star vacation

April 14, 2009

Something tells me the 19-year-old who spent $20,000 to hang out with a rock star for a week wasn’t exactly spending money he saved up delivering pizzas or working the register at Target.

I wonder if the reporter even bothered to ask where he got the money. Or better yet, whether it was his mom or dad’s name on the check.

College basketball oligarchy

April 3, 2009

The dynastic UCLA period that ended that weekend had not been good for the tournament. The Bruins even managed to win two championships in the Sidney Wicks-Steve Patterson interregnum between the lordly reigns of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. There was a sense, always, of forgone conclusion to the proceedings. Once UCLA finally lost, though, and its 1975 championship notwithstanding, the tournament cracked wide open. The next five champions were, in order, Indiana, Marquette, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Louisville. There wasn’t another repeat winner until Duke went back to back in 1991 and 1992. Why, then, did this year’s tournament—which has been one of the most boring on record with one, count it, memorable game, the Villanova-Pittsburgh East Regional final—seem to have about it the musty, fusty aroma of those days when UCLA won it every year? Because instead of UCLA winning it every year, there are now between five and nine UCLAs that can win it every year. It’s just as sterile and dynastic as it used to be.

Charles Pierce

Teixeira’s cocoon

April 1, 2009

“Like every election, it’s the economy…In tough times, disposable income may not be there.”

-New York Yankees star Mark Teixeira, who signed a $180 million, eight-year contract in the offseason.

Though you might not think it by the way teams like the New York Yankees are spending money, the No. 1 concern of Major League Baseball fans going into the new season is ticket prices, which are being jacked up considerably in New York to overpay for guys like Teixeira.

Good thing Teixeira can afford to put food on the table.

Laughably inefficient newsprint

March 23, 2009

Not that it’s anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead.

Nicholas Carlson

(Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan)

Taking the Snuggie for a walk

March 3, 2009

As New York Times reporter Allen Salkin discovered walking the streets of the Big Apple wearing a Snuggie, you have to watch your back and be mindful of static electricity.

Click HERE to read his humorous first-person Snuggie-wearing account and check out more photos like the one above.

Contentment in an age of excess

March 1, 2009

Lexington, Ky.-based authors Will and Lisa Samson, who last teamed up on an enlightening and challenging book called Justice in the Burbs, have a new book coming out this week called Enough: Contentment in an Age of Excess.

Like the their previous collaboration, the title sounds pretty self-explanatory:

In an age of conspicuous consumption, where children worry more about their clothes than their grades, the world is being drained of its natural resources, and every universal temptation is dangled in front of us, is it possible to be content?

In Enough, Will and Lisa Samson address the idea of finding contentment in this age of excess. With a casual, accessible writing style, the Samsons discuss consumerism, contentment as a Christian discipline, and the notion of stewarding our resources. In four sections, they outline the ideas that drive a consumerist mindset; the effects those ideas have on ourselves, our communities, and the earth; conclusions about the situation; and practical solutions for negotiating everyday life once we understand that our abundant God is, in fact, enough.

You can order a copy HERE.

Our unique view of recycling

February 23, 2009

That we in the developed world view recycling as a moral responsibility with tangible environmental benefits is astounding, a PR effort whose success is on par with DeBeers and the global obsession with diamonds. And that’s a good thing (the recycling bit, not the diamond-craving)—we’ll never achieve any sort of long term environmental stability without fundamentally incorporating the principle of reuse into our lives. But it’s also unique. Other countries are primarily in this game for the money, and the money is bad right now. Our entire recycling effort is predicated on the fact that someone, somewhere, finds it valuable—nay, profitable—to sift through our waste in search of raw material. When that stops being true, it’s cause for alarm.

Zach Frechette


February 22, 2009

(Hat Tip: Boing Boing)