Sunday Linkfest

Here is delayed version of this week’s Linkfest. I apologize for the bad formatting — I’m working on a weird computer.

General Interest:

Making Yourself More Likeable at Work: Ask yourself: Do people like me? You get promoted in this world because people like you, not because you get work done. There’s always more than one person who can get a job done. But everyone’s personality is different, so when you want to differentiate yourself at work, focus on your personality. (Yahoo! Finance)

The Best Novels You’ve Never Read: A few ideas for beach reading. (New York Magazine)


Economy:

Another reason why rising real estate values are not a good thing:
To the Barricades! Property Taxes Spur Revolts: John F. Wasik: In a rising market, the local assessor will raise his estimate of your home’s worth, which usually results in a higher real-estate tax bill. Nowhere has the burden incensed more taxpayers than in New Jersey. The state has the dubious honor of having the highest property-tax bills in the country, averaging $6,300 last year, a 7 percent increase over 2005. (Bloomberg)


Here is a fascinating article about oil shale and its potential as a huge new source of oil:
Colorado, Utah Rival OPEC Reserves, Lure Chevron, Exxon, Shell: Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined.

That’s not science fiction. Trapped in limestone up to 200 feet (61 meters) thick in the two Rocky Mountain states is enough so-called shale oil to rival OPEC and supply the U.S. for a century.

“The breakthrough is that now the oil companies have a way of getting this oil out of the ground without the massive energy and manpower costs that killed these projects in the 1970s,” said Pete Stark, an analyst at IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado, research firm. “All the shale rocks in the world are going to be revisited now to see how much oil they contain.” (Bloomberg)

5 Myths About That $3.18 Per Gallon: Here are five common myths about why we’re paying so much at the pump. (Washington Post)


Investing:

Investors Learn a Lesson as Stock Index Hits High: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index — a stock market benchmark for the retirement savings of millions of Americans — hit an all-time high Wednesday, raising hopes that Wall Street’s 4 1/2 -year rally will keep on rolling.

But for many average investors, the event is a painful reminder that a key part of their portfolios has done little better than break even over the last seven years. The S&P index has just regained the last of its nearly 50% decline from 2000 to 2002, when plummeting shares of technology companies led the market down in the worst slump since the Great Depression. (LA Times)

Nikkei Climbs to 3-month closing high, techs up: Market participants said the Nikkei’s rise may also be a sign that investors are reevaluating Japanese equities. The share average has inched up just 3.8 percent so far this year, making Tokyo one of the world’s worst-performing equity markets. “If there is a global sell-off, Japan is likely to see the least amount of damage. The markets have yet to advance this year.” (Reuters)


Kuwait Kicks Sand on the Dollar: The combination seems to be heading toward a jury-rigged global monetary system. This system doesn’t rely on market mechanisms to adjust the relative value of currencies. Instead, individual countries opt in and out of those market mechanisms as they choose with their policy moves designed to maximize their own return from the rules of the market. (
Jubak’s Journal — MSN Money)

Technology:

Google Street Level View Maps. This is incredible! Here’s a picture of my apartment from the site:


Health:

Ex-China Drug Regulator to be Executed: China’s former top drug regulator was sentenced to death Tuesday in an unusually harsh punishment for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

The sentence was unusually heavy even for China, which is believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than all other nations combined — and likely indicates the leadership’s determination to deal with the recent scares involving unsafe food and drugs.

According to the official magazine Outlook Weekly, a survey by the quality inspection administration found that a third of China’s 450,000 food makers had no licenses. Also, 60 percent of the total did not conduct safety tests or have the capability to do so, the survey found. (Yahoo! News)

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