Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sustainable Store Design in Action |

I recently had the pleasure of cracking open my first built project for Starbucks: Reclamation Drive-Thru in Tukwila, Washington. This small project came at a perfect time here at Starbucks as we challenge ourselves to deliver LEED-certified stores across the US. Pending LEED certification, this project is just one step toward our goal of universally building all new company-owned stores to be LEED-certified Starbucks Stores. I wanted it to be green, thought provoking and sustainable – the sort of project that stirs chatter. I think we got it.

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How Blue Man Group learned to see green |

Fortune — When the founders of Blue Man Group decided to get bald and blue, they had no idea that shooting goo out of their chests and teaching fractal geometry would turn into two decades of fun and a multimillion-dollar show business enterprise. Today an average of 60,000 people a week attend Blue Man Group performances in six cities around the world — not including the touring shows — at an average ticket price of $59, or roughly $3.54 million in revenue a week from sellouts. Co-founders Matt Goldman, 51, Phil Stanton, 52, and Chris Wink, 51, continue to write and produce the shows, perform for special events — and have no thoughts of retiring. Their story:

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Classic Brain Booster |

In a world of Sudoku and weekend national newspaper crossword puzzles, the lowly jigsaw puzzle may seem to be mere child’s play.  If you think this, get your hands on a good 500 piecer, and you are in for a spanking!  Jigsaw puzzles can be mind-bendingly tough, providing your brain (and your patience) with an extensive workout that enhances several mental functions.

The benefits of solving jigsaw puzzles include exercising and sharpening your memory, strengthening the connections between your memory centers, improved hand-eye and spatial coordination, and observation skills.  The process of referencing the big picture and hunting for the right pieces at the right time nurture logical thought processes, including analyzing, sequencing and deducing skills.

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Ex-U.S. Ambassador Helps Companies Break Into China |

Frank Lavin is a guy with lots of guanxi—which loosely translated means “connections” in Chinese. The Ohio native has served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore, led trade negotiations with China while working at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and held senior posts in the Asian offices of Bank of America (BAC), Citibank, and public-relations firm Edelman. When Lavin published a business guide on how to conquer overseas markets last year, his friend Karl Rove blogged a positive review.

Lavin is using those contacts to build an unusual type of export business. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Akron, Export Now’s 15 employees handle customs clearance, trademark registration, order fulfillment and other back-end tasks for 24 U.S. companies. Rather than negotiate for shelf space with Chinese retailers as a traditional distributor would, Export Now runs its own virtual storefront on Alibaba Group’s, an (AMZN)-like e-tailing colossus with nearly 500 million registered Chinese users. “China is the fastest-growing consumer market in the world, but it’s still viewed as largely inaccessible for all but the top-tier U.S. companies or global [multinationals],” says Lavin, whose outfit also has an office in Shanghai. “We have a department store in the shopping mall, and any U.S. company can have shelf space in the department store.”

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Babies Driving Robots and Racecars Helps Tiny Needs |

At the 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival, children swarmed a National Science Foundation exhibit booth featuring electric-powered, child-sized toy cars. Assistants carefully explained how to operate the cars, which featured unique designs and operating features. One of cars, for example, would move only if the child driver remained standing. To stop, the driver had to sit down.

Excited children and their parents wondered about the cars’ purpose; after all, these cars weren’t being exhibited at a science and engineering event for being ordinary toys.

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6 Ways to Delegate More Effectively |

“The surest way for an executive to kill himself is to refuse to learn how, and when, and to whom to delegate work,” said James Cash Penney, founder of the J.C. Penney retail chain.

When you grow, you have to know when to let go. You have to know when to delegate down so you can rise up. I’ve learned that people will seldom let you down if they understand that your destiny is in their hands, and vice versa.

The inability to delegate properly is the main reason that executives fail. But managers often mistake delegation for passing off work. So they don’t do it–and they wind up wasting their time as well as the company’s time and resources.

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Third Pole Melting Down |


Himalayan glaciers have been the subject of intense debate amid growing concern that melting ice could imperil a wide swath of South Asia that relies on groundwater from the “Third Pole.”

Scientists have struggled to improve their understanding of the glaciers’ fate using satellite data and limited ground measurements, bumping up against the limits of the region’s extreme topography and political barriers.

The picture that has emerged is complex, with wide variation among ice in the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Tibetan Plateau. Studies suggest glaciers are stable or accumulating in the Karakoram Range on the Pakistan-China border. But in the eastern Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, they appear to be shrinking.

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Its Becoming Clear That No One Actually Read Facebooks IPO Prospectus Or Mark Zuckerbergs Letter To Shareholders – Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg set up the entire structure of the company so he wouldn’t be forced to make dumb short-term decisions by whining public-market shareholders. And he TOLD them that he wasn’t going to make those decisions. They just didn’t listen.

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ZNGA Zingered | ZeroHedge

Invest in a company that is nothing, has nothing, and makes nothing, on the hope that it turns into something.  A sure thing.

– Ned Zeppelin, Zero Hedge comment

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Somali sea gangs lure investors at pirate lair | Reuters

“Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 ‘maritime companies’ and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking,”

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