Futures Market

The orange juice futures market predicts Florida weather better than the Weather channel.

Markets, “information markets”, are very good predictors of the future, probably because they are able to incorporate the knowledge of a lot of people. And those people are betting real money, so they are making the best, most educated guess they can. If you want to see how it works, and try it out for yourself, The Iowa Electronic Markets run by the University of Iowa has a number of futures markets where you can buy options on different outcomes. For example you can buy a contract on who you think will win the Presidential Election in 2004. You can either try the trial version or you can open an account with real money.

I read about this in United’s inflight magazine, Hemispheres Magazine.

I’m A Bad Boss? Blame My Dad

This business week article I’m A Bad Boss? Blame My Dad says that workplace dramas eat up 20-50% of employees’ time!

Although I’m not sure the analogy to family dynamics is the way to go, I think paying more attention to relationships at work is important, as the article says it’s an increasingly important factor of why employees stay or leave or get fired: “corporations become ever more cognizant that talented employees quit bosses, not companies, and that CEOs often get hired for their skills — and fired for their personalities.”

We Should Abolish the CIA

John Kerry said “We should abolish the CIA. Because the CIA completely and totally missed the Soviet revolution.” in this New York Times interview. I’m sure he has more reasons than that – since it’s been a long time since the Soviet revolution and the CIA has done a lot (or not) since then. I wish he’d share them. If you have links to other information, please comment.

Heifer International

A friend told me about Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that donates livestock to poor people around the world. The idea is that Heifer gives a poor family or community an animal that produces food, like a milk cow or a chicken. The family can than live off the proceeds, milk or eggs in this example, directly or sell it for other food that they need. In exchange, they agree to give at least the first offspring of their animal to another family in need.
They also have other projects. For example, they are working in the US to increase the number of young farmers.
You can read more about Hiefer International on their website. They’ve also been featured in the New York Times and Fortune magazine – the links are on their website.