Posts tagged “virus”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Target jumps into book price war started by Wal-Mart, Amazon – What started as a book price skirmish between Wal-Mart and is showing signs of becoming a much broader holiday battle. Today retail giant Target announced it is matching Wal-Mart's online price of $8.99 for top selling, soon-to-be-released titles, including "Under the Dome" by Stephen King and "Breathless" by Dean Koontz.
  • Health Concerns Drive New Rituals (or attempts to create new rituals, top-down) – The handshake, with its potential to transfer the flu virus, should be replaced with the safer — and more contemporary — pound [aka fist bump] says the dean of medicine at the University of Calgary.

    "It's a nice replacement of the handshake because you can't just refuse to shake someone's hand. It's rude and seems almost un-Canadian," he said. "This is a nice, intimate gesture: a gentle bump of the fist that replaces the handshake if you get used it."

    The pound, or fist bump, is a greeting that originated with American black youth in the 1960s and is commonly used among sports teams.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Steven Johnson in TIME on Twitter and innovation – The speed with which users have extended Twitter's platform points to a larger truth about modern innovation. When we talk about innovation and global competitiveness, we tend to fall back on the easy metric of patents and Ph.D.s. It turns out the U.S. share of both has been in steady decline since peaking in the early '70s. (In 1970, more than 50% of the world's graduate degrees in science and engineering were issued by U.S. universities.)…

    But what actually happened to American innovation during that period? We came up with America Online, Netscape, Amazon, Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, Craigslist, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, the iPod and iPhone, Xbox, Facebook and Twitter itself. ..if you measure global innovation in terms of actual lifestyle-changing hit products and not just grad students, the U.S. has been lapping the field for the past 20 years.

    How could the forecasts have been so wrong? The answer is that we've been tracking only part of the innovation story.

  • New Yorker on the significant power of storytelling in the unfolding of the Parrot Flu outbreak in 1929-1930 – Press plays role in raising awareness, hype ensues (kill all parrots!), backlash ensues (Americans are hypochondriacs and there's no such thing as Parrot Flu), small but significant number of sicknesses and deaths (pre-antibiotics) occur, scientists triumph, National Institute of Health is founded. Curious to read this right after watching 1950s plague thriller "Panic in the Streets."


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