Economic fowl. You may have thought buying a rotisserie chicken from Costco or your local grocery was just a time-saver. But Megan McArdle points out that supermarket rotisserie chicken is evidence of the kind of innovation that keeps our economy humming. Read also the essay about the economics of rotisserie chicken that prompted her column.
Epic infographics. Classics teacher Laura Jenkinson publishes infographics to entertain and inform students who are studying the Iliad or Odyssey. Her most recent effort, “Deaths in the Iliad,” includes battle stats and other gory details. Other charts: “What Makes a Homeric Hero” and Kudos and Aidos.
Hip entrepreneurs. Are millennials the entrepreneurial generation? An essay on the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics (IFWE) blog says they are and suggests even those of us who aren’t millennials or entrepreneurs have something to learn from the movement. And here is the New York Times essay mentioned in the essay. It asks how today’s hipster is different from yesterday’s beatnik or hippie.
Instructive intonations. The release of Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album, Mandatory Fun, inspired NPR to do a piece on other songs that teach. That made me think of a favorite album when my kids were young: Our Dinosaur Friends by Pam Johnson, Wayne Parker, and Eric Miller. Robert Andreason has posted the songs on YouTube, including ones about Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, and T-Rex.
Changing cities. New York City has been the largest U.S. city ever since the first census in 1790, but 272 others have been at one time or another on the list of the nation’s 100 biggest. Jason Segedy in New Geography explores reasons for the changing fortunes of cities and asks what it means for the future. At the end of the article, he includes maps plotting the decade-by-decade growth of cities along with paragraphs describing contributing factors (like the importance of rivers and the growth of canals). Reading through the maps offers a brief, visual history of America.