Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sales Effect

JCPenney adds sales, after dropping them
JCPenney had a big sale last Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Nothing out of the norm there. Except that back in January, Penney said was done with sales. The new strategy was going to be low prices all the time with sales "only on certain special occasions."

Note to retailers:

A sale does not really help me spend less and thereby you, the seller, earn less.

A sale helps me, the customer, think my purchase is worth more than I'm paying—and now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Advantages of Quiet

Susan Cain: Individuals, extroverts included, produce better ideas when they're riffing alone than when they're in a group.

By elucidating introversion's benefits, Cain is inspiring a reexamination of corporate structure and processes, spurring change through the classic public-intellectual approach: by encouraging us to think.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Every part has the whole plan

Steve Jobs: If you look at your own body, your cells are specialized, but every single one of them has the master plan for the whole body. We think our company will be the best possible company if every single person working here understands the whole master plan and can use that as a yardstick to make decisions against. We think a lot of little and medium and big decisions will be made better if all our people know that.

One way to drive fear out of a relationship is to realize that your partner's values are the same as yours, that what you care about is exactly what they care about. In my opinion, that drives fear out and makes for a great partnership, whether it's a corporate partnership or a marriage.

Read more from Fast Company

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What I am doing?

Little people learning to speak are fun to watch. It's amazing to watch the development, and once language learning takes hold, it becomes impossible to track where they learn everything.

As they learn to communicate, they think they have learned how to say something correctly within the parameters of their native language. And then they hilariously bump up against the rules of grammar.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hope in Heaven?

Last week in Sunday School we made it to the part of Peter's sermon where he is quoting David.
Moreover, my flesh will also camp out in hope.
I asked them the question, "Will there be hope in heaven?"

One of the third graders nailed the question immediately. He basically said, "No, we won't have hope because we'll already have everything."

That's exactly right. Paul told the Romans, "Hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wait, they're the same!

Sunday mornings, we are studying the book of Acts. It's an elementary school-age Sunday School class.

A couple Sundays ago we made it to Peter's sermon in response to the crowd that was responding to the Holy Spirit arriving at Pentecost.

Peter begins by explaining the prophet Joel told us long ago that what was happening would happen.

I told the students that Peter was quoting Joel, and I had them look at both Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32.

Upon reading the same thing in both places, one of the students exclaimed, "Wait, they're the same!"

Yes, they're the same. That's what I meant when I said Peter was quoting Joel!

The New Testament is built on the Old Testament.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can abortion save the mother's life?

Anthony Levatino, MD, JD: I want to make a comment on the claims that I often hear that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women’s lives, or prevent grave physical health damage, in cases of acute conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy.

Albany Medical Center, where I worked for over seven years, is a tertiary referral center that accepts patients with life-threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy. I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there.

There are several conditions that can arise or worsen, typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy, that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or “terminating” the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life saving, but "terminating a pregnancy" does not necessarily mean "abortion." I maintain that abortion is seldom if ever a useful intervention in these cases.

Bishop Darryl Husband: We must sound the alarm

Dear Friends:

I must admit that I was reluctant to publicly share my perspective on President Obama’s recent statement regarding same sex marriage because too often his presidency has caused separation within the ranks of African American leadership. And yet, what does an African American pastor do when his Africa American president makes a decision that eventually will destroy the foundation of not only the African American community, but the nation as a whole? Does that pastor take a risk that he will be misunderstood and labeled as an “Uncle Tom”, a Republican Party pawn, or someone “the white man has bought out”?

Monday, May 21, 2012

British Education Reform

Education is being made over in Britain.

The government’s signal reform involves freeing schools from local-authority control, letting them set their own budgets, alter their hours and change how they teach. Michael Gove, the education secretary, entered office privately hoping that half of all state secondary schools would shake off their local shackles by 2015. That target will probably be hit this year.

Most of the new schools are “academies”, which are existing schools that have secured these freedoms.

“Free schools”, which have identical powers but are created from scratch, might really take off if the government allows them to be run for profit, bringing a wider range of suppliers into the mix. Mr Gove’s priority, however, is to expand the academy revolution to primary schools.

The Economist

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Economic Calendar, Week of May 21, 2012

Next week's economic data includes April's existing home sales on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Existing home sales are forecast at a 4.60 million-unit annual, up from 4.48 million in March.

New homes sales figures are due on Wednesday at 10 a.m. April's new home sales are also expected to post an increase, gaining about 7,000 units over a 328,000-unit annual rate in March.

Initial jobless claims and durable goods orders will be published on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Consumer sentiment is due at 9:55 a.m. on Friday.

Read more from MSNBC

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