Just Odds (no Ends today)

Luna thought that Ron might suffer from a variety of this problem.

Awe-inspiring: a type II-P supernova caught in mid-burst. The explosion takes months, then hours, then no time at all. (Kind of like Hemingway’s character’s bankruptcy.)

An MIT course in how to make your own videos to publish on YouTube. (Ignore the headline.)

Finally, a beautiful video of undisturbed places. Trust me.

How CEOs Speak

In (of all things) a discussion of last night’s SOTU address, Megan McArdle describes listening to CEOs talk to financial analysts on earnings calls. I never used to do that; all the times I’ve heard CEOs talk to me it was because I was one of their underlings. But one thing certainly seems to be the same, no matter whom the CEO is talking to:

The absolute favorite tactic, however, is the management reorganization. You may be in a saturated market where your second-rate franchisees are slowly destroying your brand, making it impossible to attract higher-quality franchisees . . . but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed by creating a new Chief Strategy Officer under the CEO, and giving that officer oversight of marketing, research, and HR. Perhaps a much larger competitor whose cost structure allows them to undercut your prices by 32% has entered your niche, but can they really withstand the fearsome might of your ISO 9000 certification and your new cross-functional product teams? The government regulators who just outlawed your three top-selling products and made two-thirds of your capital plant obsolete may be powerful–but not as powerful as your revolutionary sales force compensation scheme!