Ready or Not…
There’s no doubt that recent college graduates have faced a challenging job market. But a few recent surveys suggest that there’s another reason so many of them find themselves living back home with their parents: They’re not prepared for the job market. I’m guessing that economic factors play a bigger role, but I have heard a few friends complaining about the lack of preparation factor when it comes to young employees who are used to a lot of continual support from hand-holding helicopter parents and grade-inflating educators.
It sounds odd that a city would be digging out from a few inches of snow. But Atlanta residents were faced with a whole lot of chaos (and even more traffic) when they were hit with some unusually white weather.
+ We’re talking abouts kids spending the night their schools, commutes a few miles that took more than ten hours, helicopters searching for stranded drivers, and a call to the National Guard for help.
+ From InFocus, here’s a collection of photos that will give you a good idea of what happens when snowstorm hits a population not accustomed to that kind of weather.
+ Talking about the weather used to be a euphemism for talking about nothing. Now it can mean talking about everything.
State of the Union
“So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.” In many ways, that was the key line in the State of the Union address given by a president who’s had little luck working with Congress. Other key moments of the speech included his threat to veto any bill that would derail talks with Iran, his insistence that women deserve equal pay for equal work (“It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.”), and this line that makes a whole lot of sense: “No one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.” Here’s a full transcript of the speech. And here’s a version of the State of the Union you can watch in two minutes.
+ The most memorable and moving moment in the speech was Obama’s introduction of Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was severely injured during his tenth (yes, tenth) deployment. Here’s The New Yorker’s John Cassidy on the meaning of Cory Remsburg. Obama had met Remsburg three times in the past. Here’s an NYT piece from last August: President and Soldier: 3 Meetings, and a Lesson in Resilience.
+ And it wouldn’t be a State of the Union without at least one weird video cut. And who else could star in that video other than Joe Biden?
The Rise of Natural Gas
Perhaps no single topic of Obama’s speech will have a greater impact on everything from the economy to the environment to the geopolitical landscape than the rise of natural gas. NPR takes you inside an oil and natural gas boom in North Dakota to see a modern-day gold rush In motion.
+ There’s another kind of boom happening in Colorado. Here’s The Daily Beast on the rise of the Ganjapreneur.
The Doctor Will (Not) See You Now
It turned out to be nothing, but a few years ago around Thanksgiving, I called my doctor’s office complaining of some minor chest pain. The receptionist put me on hold, then came back on the line and told me that my doctor’s next available appointment was in mid January. It turns out that wait times like that aren’t a very rare condition. In American cities, the average wait time for a new patient to see a doctor is 18.5 days.
Play Misty for Me
We’re in the middle of an increasingly troublesome drought here in the Bay Area where this morning we experienced the first precipitation in weeks (and it was mist). So I am especially interested in stories about water use; especially those that explain how a single slice of pizza requires 42 gallons of water.
Sharing the Blame?
Commutes have never been more complicated. Some drivers that participate in ride sharing programs are learning that their car insurance may not cover them if they get into an accident.
+ Wired: Why Uber’s fate could hinge on this tragic accident.
It lasted for about nine-sixteenths of a second. But that was all it took. America saw Janet Jackson’s nipple. And nothing would ever be the same. (Can you imagine if we had Twitter back then?). From ESPN’s Marin Cogan: In the Beginning, There Was a Nipple. “If our children or our children’s children ever dig up a time capsule from the beginning of the new millennium, they will find that in February 2004, America collectively lost its damn mind.” This year, about the most excitement we can hope for is a lanky white guy screaming “Omaha” forty times.
+ The Atlantic: The forgotten history of the first star-laden Super Bowl.
+ Syndicated from Kottke: If you haven’t been watching the NFL at all this season but are planning on tuning into the Super Bowl, this video by ESPN will prepare you by recapping the entire season in under three minutes.
+ If you want to go a little deeper, here’s a look at some of the players before they became famous.
+ More interested in the commercials than the game? You can already see a bunch of the Super Bowl commercials right here.
Half and Half
During a post-SOTU interview, New York Rep. Michael Grimm threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony and added: “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half, like a boy.” On a positive note, breaking a person in half is about the closest anyone in Congress has come to a compromise.
+ Meet Michael Grimm, the ex-FBI Congressman who will break reporters in half.
+ And from The New Yorker in 2011, a look at one of Grimm’s most famous undercover busts.
The Bottom of the News
The petition demanding the deportation of Justin Bieber now has more than 100,000 online signatures. That means the White House must respond. “We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture.”
+ There are a few reasons why the dollar bill never changes. One is that a change would really piss off the vending machine industry.
+ A judge sentenced an eco-terrorist to time in jail, and ordered her to read a book by Malcolm Gladwell (cruel and unusual?).
+ Mayonnaise dominates.
+ Ever wonder what it looks like to get caught in a 25 foot wave? It goes something like this.