Thursday, October 24th, 2013


You Better Love Your Job

The word retirement may soon need to be retired. More than half of American households have less than $10,000 in savings and won't have enough money for retirement. Back in 1991, only about ten percent of American workers expected to work past the age of 65. Today, that number is over thirty percent. And nearly a quarter of all workers will be over the age of 55 by 2016. From the PBS Newshour: New Adventures for Older Workers.

+ CNN: Many middle class Americans plan to work until they die.


Code Red

The health care site will be partially dysfunctional for a few weeks. Congress has been completely dysfunctional for 237 years. So I don't expect a lot of positive progress to come from hearings in which tech contractors are trying to explain website bugs to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Here's an overview: The client was too demanding and wanted the project to roll out before it was ready, the contractors were late and unorganized and they all blamed each other for the bugs, and the people trying to get to the bottom of things don't really know much about technology. In other words, it's basically the story of every tech project ever built.

+ Why doesn't the White House just call in the now wildly famous technical team behind Obama's re-election bid? Because none of them would want anywhere near this project.

+ At least the website woes have led to a decent meme: The search for the mysterious health care website girl.


Report Card

We're not good at problem solving. We are less than proficient when it comes to literacy. And we're not all that good with numbers. From The New Yorker's John Cassidy: Measuring America's decline, in three charts. Ironically, the last thing we're any good at is chart reading.


You Snooze, You Lose

"The bargain is struck nine minutes at a time. I am Faustus, but the devil is my alarm clock or cell phone, whichever I've managed to set the night before. The devil offers me little extensions of nine minutes, and I happily accept three or four installments every single morning." How your snooze button is totally ruining your sleep.


From a Latte in Verona…

"So how did Schultz take Starbucks from a small chain -- six stores as of 1984 -- to world domination: 18,000 stores in 60 countries, generating $13 billion in sales? First, he quit." From Slate: An abbreviated guide to Starbucks' world domination.

+ Can Starbucks do the same thing for tea that it did for coffee? They are about to try. They should just start selling cocaine. We all need something to level us out.


Too Much Pepper

For a brief time in 2011, former UC Davis police Lt. John Pike was one of the most famous people on the Internet. You probably remember him better as Pepper-Spray Guy. Well, he was just awarded "$38,000 in workers' compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident." Following the viral spread of a video showing Pike pepper-spraying Davis protesters, he received 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 texts, and even a few hundred letters. Is it really worth thirty-eight grand to get the Internet mad at you again?


Hard Copies

Even in this age of cloud computing, companies are often required to keep hard copies of "printouts, photocopies, purchase orders, meeting minutes, invoices, correspondence, training manuals, personnel files, audit reports, PowerPoint decks, tax returns, financial statements, contracts" and more. So where does it all get stored? Joshua Rothman takes you to Iron Mountain. One day, all this stuff will probably be copied onto a thumb drive.


The Mile High Wedgie

Relax. You're not getting wider. The seats in many airplanes are just getting more narrow. Over the past few years, airlines have reversed previous efforts aimed at making coach seats more comfortable, and have instead wedged an extra seat into each row. From WSJ: The Incredible Shrinking Plane Seat.


Flipping Out

Syndicated from Kottke: This video of Atlanta cheerleader Mikayla Clark breaking the world backflip record is mesmerizing. I did not know there was a world backflip record...


The Bottom of the News

The Atlantic takes a look at several recent studies to try to determine why you look like your pet. Now I'm sorry I bought that blowfish.

+ Where did the fear of poisoned Halloween candy come from?

+ A woman rode a horse to the DMV. And to anyone who's ever been to the DMV, that probably makes perfect sense.

+ According to a study, men walk slower when they're in love. I don't want to brag or anything, but I barely move.