The NBA Bubble, and More

The $2 Billon Bubble?Grantland

“Franchise valuations are escalating at a nutty pace; the Bucks’ sale for $550 million broke the Warriors’ previous record, and Ballmer and partners were ready to go well over that to relocate the sad sack Kings to Seattle. Sales figures from 2010 and 2011 look like ancient relics now, like Don Draper paying some absurd price to go to the movies on Mad Men. Michael Jordan’s crew got the Bobcats (now Hornets) almost for free, on the condition they assume all the debt the franchise had piled up. A bunch of private equity dudes bought the Sixers, a huge-market team, for $280 million in 2011. Three years later, two other finance wizards paid nearly double that for the freaking Bucks, and they even agreed not to move the team to a more profitable market.”

Why Licence a Florist?The New York Times

“In Minnesota, more classroom time is required to become a cosmetologist than to become a lawyer. Becoming a manicurist takes double the number of hours of instruction as a paramedic. In Louisiana, the only state in the country that requires licenses for florists, monks were until recently forbidden to sell coffins because they were not licensed funeral directors.”

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t WinWired

“Crazy Stone and Nomitan are locked in a game of Go, the Eastern version of chess. On each screen, you can see a Go board — a grid of 19 lines by 19 lines — filling up with black and white playing pieces, each placed at the intersection of two lines. If Crazy Stone can win and advance to the finals, it will earn the right play one of the best human Go players in Japan. No machine has ever beaten a top human Go player — at least not without a huge head-start. Even if it does advance to the man-machine match, Crazy Stone has no chance of changing this, but Coulom wants to see how far his creation has come.”

How a raccoon became an aardvarkThe New Yorker

“In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati. The coati, a member of the raccoon family, is “also known as … a Brazilian aardvark,” Breves wrote. He did not cite a source for this nickname, and with good reason: he had invented it. He and his brother had spotted several coatis while on a trip to the Iguaçu Falls, in Brazil, where they had mistaken them for actual aardvarks.”

‘Genericide’: Brands destroyed by their own successBBC

“When was the last time you “vacuum-cleanered” the front room, took a dip in a “whirlpool bath”, or played in the park with your “flying disc”? It may seem like a fairly innocuous linguistic slip to confuse brand and product – indeed, you might think it a compliment to the company behind such a successful name – but it could be the sign of a brand in its death throes.”

Sitcoms are being strangled by a lack of conflictAV Club

“As a thought experiment, consider this: How many times have you watched an episode of a sitcom—especially a single-camera sitcom—where the episode featured the characters getting mildly perturbed at one another, blowing things out of proportion, then forgiving each other because they realized their friendship was more important than their petty grievances? And how many times has that episode ended with a slow pull-back from the whole group laughing and chatting together while they celebrate the maintenance of the status quo, often with jaunty pop music taking over the soundtrack? Obviously, I watch a lot of TV, so the thought of how often this particular ending pops up may have occurred to me more readily. But I’m willing to bet if you’re any kind of TV comedy fan, you’ve thought of a bunch of examples, both on shows you love and shows you can take or leave.”

Jobs confidential: 15 people reveal the truth about their workThe Guardian

“Ever wondered what it’s really like to be a vicar or a dominatrix? Or what a brain surgeon or a bikini waxer think about their job? Here, 15 people with very different careers reveal – anonymously – the trade secrets of their working day.”
Photo courtesy of Musgo Dumio_Momio

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