The Times' Pricey Printing Problem

I can already hear Andy Rooney complaining. In the continuing saga of the death of the newspaper, a recent thought experiment takes another punch at the New York Times.

According to back-of-the-envelope calculations, The New York Times could send every subscriber an Amazon Kindle (retail $359) for half as much as they spend to print the paper each year.


The Silicon Alley Insider came up with the calculations based on the Times' 10-Q quarterly report.

While print costs are estimated at roughly $644 million, providing all 830,000 subscribers with a Kindle would cost $297 million. While this is illustrative of the inefficiencies of tactile print media, these prognosticators make several wrong assumptions.

First, they compared the costs of printing all papers, including those sent to newsstands, to the costs of sending Kindles to only local subscribers. Other hidden factors in the analysis include the ad sales and marketing benefits that favor the visibility and accessibility of print media, over personal e-readers. 

And as one observer astutely comments, "Imagine how expensive it will be when you have a new puppy and you have to cover the floor with a collection of Kindles while potty training."

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

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  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
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Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

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  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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