Once Again, the Greatness That Is the WSJ

A while ago I wrote a post that shared some facts and figures from that weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, and at the time I noted that I may make doing so a regular occurrence.

Welcome to the second edition of that regular occurrence.

This Saturday’s paper had lots of great stories, and I thought I’d share my favorite ones:

Shakespeare’s Uncomfortable Message for Baby Boomers

I don’t know Macbeth from Hamlet from King Lear, but this was an interesting piece. The writer notes that King Lear has been called Shakespeare’s least popular play—but also his greatest, and perhaps the reason for this is because King Lear confronts the challenges of the empty nest, retirement, and facing one’s own mortality.

The Fantasy of ‘Democratic Socialism’

This commentary piece claims that democratic socialism is not only an unrealized dream, but it is also a contradiction in terms. The author states that a strong market economy is a necessary condition for freedom, though not a sufficient one. He concludes by saying that the nature and extent of market regulation will always be a matter of debate, but the more the government interferes in the market, the less competitive an economy will be.

Some 43% of College Grads Are Underemployed in First Job

A new report by labor analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. found that the chances of graduates using some humanities degrees in their first job can be better than some vocational degrees like business and fitness studies. The data showed, as one example, that the probability of a college graduate’s first job not requiring a college degree was 45% for English Language and Literature majors. while it was 47% for Business, Management, and Marketing majors.

Americans Are Divided—About Candy Corn

Everything you wanted to know about Halloween candy sales, by state. Candystore.com’s interactive map (below), which has been making the rounds in recent weeks, portrays a weighted average of 11 years of sales data showing pounds of candy sold from August through October. The data, which were provided to the online retailer by more than 40 manufacturers and 15 distributors, are not necessarily representative of all U.S. candy sales, and a full account could alter the rankings.

CandyStore.com Top Halloween Candy by State

Source: CandyStore.com
New Immersive Haunted Houses Mean More Thrills for Guests—More Rules for Zombies

A new wave of Halloween-inspired amusement centers that use a bit of roughhousing to scare the bejesus out of customers—an experience that has to fall well short of a criminal complaint. This Halloween, it’s getting tougher to be a working zombie, now that haunted houses have gone immersive. That also goes for evil clowns and demonic spirits. The undead and their creepy colleagues have to follow do’s and don’ts—biting is forbidden!— as they advance on crowds of scare-hungry patrons eager to be grabbed, dragged and threatened at blunted knife-point. Chain-saw maniacs must show some restraint. ‘Putting someone against a wall by their shoulders’ is OK but no touching torsos. Some places even have a safe word or phrase, such as ‘Go away, monster’.

AI Guru Andrew Ng on the Job Market of Tomorrow

The co-founder of Google’s deep-learning research team on the promise of a conditional basic income, the need for a skills-based education system, and what CEOs don’t understand about artificial intelligence.

What Investors Can Learn From Gamblers

Mega Millions mania laid bare humans’ misperceptions on money, probability, and risk. Even if you didn’t buy a Mega Millions ticket and never would, observing other people’s lottery fever should teach you these investing lessons as little else can. The feeling of “someone is bound to be win, so it might be me” is hard to shake: In one British survey, 22% of people said they would win the national lottery jackpot during their lifetime!

Fortnite Creator Epic Games Valued at Nearly $15 Billion

What can I say? The headline says it all…

Bringing Up Baby’s Market Share at J&J

After missing out on major shifts in consumer tastes and watching sales stall, the company has remade its baby line from head to toe. It’s a high-stakes corporate gamble, full of peril: for example, Johnson & Johnson has turned its iconic, golden-hued baby shampoo clear.

Working Like Crazy May Actually Be, Well, Crazy

Are you griping about working too much, or bragging about it? What if working all the time is a symptom of dysfunction, not excellence? What if it turns out to be dreadfully inefficient, a recipe for burnout and turnover and eventual collapse? That’s the premise of a new book, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work,” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

The Multicultural Past of Our Commercial Halloween

Ancient pagans, medieval Christians and Irish immigrants helped to create the holiday we know today. An interesting look at the history of Halloween.

6 Albums Ideal to Listen to on American Road Trips

For several classic drives, Dan Neil picked a musical selection that thematically echoes the journey and lasts just long enough to get you there. Springsteen’s The River is one of the album choices, for the one and a half hour drive from Asbury Park, N.J., to Atlantic City via Garden State Pkwy.

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