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Posts from the ‘Culture’ Category

10
Nov

Consider Brandless™

Brandless™ is a relatively new company launched in July, 2017 that focuses on better access to better quality (i.e. Non-GMO, organic) goods at a more competitive price.

Instead of relying on grocery stores for common household goods (i.e. beans, ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, tomato sauce, jam, dried fruits and nuts, grains, rice, peanut butter, and more), consumers can buy directly from Brandless™ – a company that sources their goods directly from suppliers.

There are no distribution costs, wholesale to retail markups, shelf stocking fees, breakage and settlement costs, and no retail marketing costs because the supplier is linked directly with Brandless™ who delivers the goods directly to the consumer, for free (orders over $39 are shipped free, otherwise shipping is a flat rate of $6). Read more »

2
Nov

The Vitamin B12 Issue

Vitamin B12 has always fascinated me and even more so since I started following a whole grain, low oil, whole food plant-based diet (that’s a mouthful). This super vitamin can only be obtained naturally through the consumption of animals and yet, the consumption of animal products have also been shown to do us the most harm. So, there must be something in our physiology to account for this irony. Read more »

31
Oct

The Halloween of My Dreams

In the November 3, 2004 issue of the Washington Post, Marjorie Williams, a writer wrote a column called “The Halloween of My Dreams” which described a day helping her daughter with a Halloween costume – glitter and all – and watching her 8-year old run out the door to go trick or treating.  The story touched my heart and I have never forgotten it.  For any mother who realizes those seemingly normal moments with our children are really gifts that pass by in a blink of an eye, it’s a must read.  

In 2011, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists rightly named it one of the top 15 newspaper columns in American History.

Read more »

29
Oct

Executive Compensation at Stanford

Most people probably don’t know that Stanford’s legal name is “The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University” doing business as Stanford University. And most people probably don’t realize that Stanford’s revenue exceeds expenses by more than a billion dollars a year (for the last several years) which has allowed the university to grow their endowment. With $31.7 billion in net fund assets, Stanford is one of the wealthiest universities in the US along with being what some would refer to as a money-making machine. Read more »

23
Oct

Say It Ain’t So, Christo!

If you live in New York City, then you can’t help but be captivated by what’s going on in the city’s parks and particularly with the winged creatures who place a high priority on space and fight about territory as often as their human counterparts.  But, if you don’t live in the city – and The Real Housewives of New York City is not your idea of turf warfare – read on. Read more »

7
Oct

Sexual Assault Victims: What I Remember

In the summer of 1972 or 1973 when I was 11 or 12 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a gang of boys, which included my five brothers, cousins, and a boy unrelated to me.  I was with my family (my parents, five brothers, aunt, uncle, and cousins) in Maine, staying at a rustic vacation retreat owned by friends of my parents. Actually, the owners weren’t exactly friends of my parents. My father worked with a man named Kearney at Paine Webber whose wife’s family owned the vacation property in Maine. The Kearney’s had several children including a son named Dave who were roughly the same age as us so vacationing together seemed like a good idea. Read more »

3
Oct

The Elephant in the Room with Kavanaugh, Ford, and the Senators

Over the past week, the people of our nation have been mesmerized by the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, particularly those by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 years old and Kavanaugh was 17.

The Republicans claim the Democrats are using Ford as a political tool to prevent a conservative federal judge from being appointed to the nation’s highest court while the Democrats claim the Republicans – primarily white, middle-aged or old men – are not giving enough consideration to a woman’s allegations of sexual assault, which brings us not to a discussion of who – Ford or Kavanaugh – is more believable (by most accounts both individuals were believable) but to a perverse idea that many people – and particularly Republicans supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination – don’t verbalize: Ford’s allegations – although believable – should not prevent a white, middle-aged man who represents their ideals from being appointed to a prominent lifelong post on the nation’s Supreme Court. So the question becomes why? The reason appears to be related to the extent of the assault. Read more »

25
Sep

Executive Compensation at Columbia (2017)

2017 was a great year for Columbia University (Columbia) and many of its employees. Total revenue reached $5.7 billion while expenses totaled $4.5 billion (not including depreciation) which contributed to the endowment increasing from $13.2 billion to $14.7 billion at year-end, of which only $3.4 billion is permanently restricted.

In terms of compensation, 34,811 employees were compensated $2.8 billion, which equates to an average compensation of $81,000.  The 17 most highly compensated individuals (listed below) received $40 million which equates to an average compensation package of $2.4 million each: Read more »

23
Sep

Executive Compensation at Columbia (2016)

People often joke about the low compensation in academia but many individuals working for non-profit educational institutions (i.e. colleges and universities) receive very high compensation packages. Although the most highly compensated tend to be investment managers for the endowment, presidents, provosts, department chairs, professors, and fundraisers, the overall average compensation package is often nothing to make light of.

At Columbia University (Columbia) – a private, Ivy-League educational and research university on the Upper West Side in New York City (although there are six campuses, five in New York and one in Paris), 34,437 employees were compensated $2.6 billion (or an average of $76,000 each) in the school year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016. 4,928 individuals received more than $100,000 in total compensation. Read more »

21
Sep

Imagine the Donald Trump Presidential Library

Presidential libraries are relatively new to the United States with the first one established in 1941 for Franklin Roosevelt when he proposed to leave his presidential papers to the public (instead of keeping them as private property).

The people of the United States generally bought into the idea that the sitting President’s documents, artifacts, and gifts of state were public property so presidential libraries have been built for every president since Herbert Hoover (his being opened in 1962 when he was 88 years old). Read more »