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Let Us Now Give Thanks for Oil Busts, a Great American Tradition

December 11, 2014 In recent years, America’s oil and gas sector has flared brightly against an otherwise gloomy economic backdrop. Since the end of the Great Recession, the number of jobs in oil and gas extraction—not counting related industries such as transportation—has jumped 35%, while total US jobs have risen only 7%. Unemployment ...

This US Navy Ship Is Now Armed With a Drone-Killing Laser Beam

November 17, 2014 The U.S. Navy now has a ship in the Persian gulf armed with a “laser gun.” That’s how the U.S. chief of naval operations described it, in passing, to a congressional hearing back in March. The Laser Weapons System, as it’s officially called, has been mounted on the USS Ponce, ...

This US Navy Ship Is Now Armed With a Drone-Killing Laser Beam

November 16, 2014 The US Navy now has a ship in the Persian gulf armed with a “laser gun.” That’s how the US Chief of Naval Operations described it, in passing, to a Congressional hearing back in March. The Laser Weapons System, as it’s officially called, has been mounted on the USS Ponce, ...

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How the Dollar Went From a Simple Banknote to the World's Currency

November 13, 2014 It must be wonderful to be so desirable at age 100. Yes, it was in late 1914 that the U.S. Federal Reserve note, the official incarnation of the U.S. dollar, first shot from the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Printing and Engraving. There’s been little official fanfare. But the dollar itself ...

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One in Four Americans With College Degrees Shouldn’t Have Bothered

September 5, 2014 Roughly 25% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the US derive no economic benefit from their diplomas. That’s the takeaway from analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The same analysts have argued in the past that the benefits of a college degree, on average, still outweigh the ...

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Maybe Less Productive Employees Just Need a Little Siesta Time

July 21, 2014 In an effort to boost productivity during the summer months, the city of Seoul is encouraging government workers (paywall) to take a siesta of up to an hour. This might be a good model for the country, which appears to be the most sleep-deprived of the world’s developed economies. The ...

Bitcoin Is No Longer the Worst Investment in the World

June 3, 2014 Great news for the bitcoin faithful. The crypto-currency, which crashed after reaching highs of over $1,100 late last year, is no longer the absolute worst thing you could have bought this year. Now it’s merely the third worst. Bitcoin is down 15.2% against the US dollar since the end of ...

Target’s Traffic Still Hasn’t Recovered From the Giant Data Breach

May 22, 2014 Shoppers still haven’t forgiven Target for its giant data breach. Customer transactions continued to decline relatively sharply during Target’s fiscal first quarter. (The company reported those results today, and they weren’t great. Profit fell 16%.) During the three months that ended May 3, customer transactions fell 2.3% compared to the ...

Shoppers Decided to Avoid Target After Its Giant Data Breach

February 27, 2014 US big-box retailer Target posted earnings that actually weren’t as bad as Wall Street feared. Still, profits fell 46% and sales slipped 5.3%. Perhaps most striking was the 5.5% decline in customer transactions during Target’s fiscal fourth quarter compared with the previous quarter. That shows how traffic at Target tanked ...

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Countries Without Paid Maternity Leave: Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and the U.S.

January 16, 2014 The world’s sole superpower requires the same level of paid maternity benefits as fellow economic powerhouses Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. That is to say, zilch. Here’s a map of how different countries around the world fund legally required paid maternity benefits. It’s compiled by the United Nation’s International ...