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Fifteen on Friday – The Week’s Best Articles – 08/26/16

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Food for Thought:

  1. RS – How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders.  Read the incredible true story behind the movie ‘War Dogs’.
  2. ATEM – The Conversation I’m Tired of Not Having.  Hat tip to Bill Gates for highlighting this piece – 1 award winning teacher’s look at the realities of race in America’s classrooms.
  3. NYMag – An MIT Scientist Claims That This Pill Is the Fountain of YouthLeonard Guarente is certain he’s succeeded where doctors (and quacks) before him have failed. His pill will either extend lives or tarnish his career.
  4. WSJ – When to Let Children Quit.  Over-scheduled lives lead to questions of whether to stop an activity; teaches decision-making and relieves family tensions.
  5. FC – This 100-Year-Old To-Do List Hack Still Works Like A Charm.  The “Ivy Lee Method” is stupidly simple, and that’s partly why it’s so effective.


  1. WSJ – In Scramble for Yield, Pension Funds Will Try Almost Anything.  Options strategy used by pension funds aims to work like a volatility dampener.
  2. Economist – Prison breakthrough. The fifth of our series on seminal economic ideas looks at the Nash equilibrium.
  3. WSJ – At Kimberly-Clark, ‘Dead Wood’ Workers Have Nowhere to Hide.  Diaper and tissue maker shifts from a paternalistic company to one focused on pushing workers to constantly improve, closely tracking progress and shedding laggards.
  4. BHI – A 1977 Warren Buffett Interview From the WSJ Archives
  5. CIO – Specialization Means Outperformance, Report Claims.  Large, diversified asset managers often underperform their smaller, more focused rivals, research shows.


  1. LinkedIn – What Would Alexa Do?.  Every once in a while, a product comes along that changes everyone’s expectations of what’s possible in user interfaces. The Mac. The World Wide Web. The iPhone. Alexa belongs in that elite group of game changer.
  2. NYP – KFC’s secret fried chicken recipe might have finally been discovered
  3. BI – How Microsoft built a computer so good, even Apple wanted to copy it.  As a Surface Pro 4 owner myself, I can attest to how great a product it is.
  4. VF – The Rise and Fall of Charivari, the Cult Boutique of Fashion’s Cutting Edge.  The Weiser family built Charivari from one storefront in 1967 into a $20 million mini-empire.  An interesting look at an UWS icon whose first stock boy was Marc Jacobs.
  5. R&T – What It Took to Build ICON’s ‘Get Out of My Lane’ Chevy Caprice.  ICON chief Jonathan Ward breaks down how his team created the ultimate highway car out of a 1996 Chevy Caprice.

Podcasts Episodes:
Trying something new this week by including a web link and an iPhone link that will hopefully open the episode on your phone.  Let me know your feedback.

  • Freakonomics Radio – Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset? – iPhone Link – We spend billions on end-of-life healthcare that doesn’t do much good. So what if a patient could forego the standard treatment and get a cash rebate instead?
  • Placemakers – Self-Gentrifying in the Bronx – iPhone Link – Majora Carter embraces the idea of “self-gentrification” in her native South Bronx. She founded a park in a spot slated to become a waste-transfer facility. She’s hired local gamers to test software and provide customer service for major tech outfits. And now she’s opened the first boutique coffee shop in Hunts Point, a marginalized neighborhood that, once upon a time, she swore she would leave forever.
  • Revisionist History – The Satire Paradox. – iPhone Link – In an age dominated by political comedy, “The Satire Paradox” asks whether laughter and social protest are friends or foes.

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