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12/14/2018

Why it mattersSometimes, getting a sense of the relative success of a generation hinges on taking the long view. A Pew Research Center study of millennials found that they are, on average, earning more than people in their age group brought in at any other time in history. 

Why it may be misleading: All this positive information doesn't mean today's millennials are awash in disposable income, though. Turns out student debt and rising real estate rates can put a hit on the pocketbook, whether it's a trendy messenger bag or Grandma's fanny pack

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CBS News
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Pew Research Center
12/14/2018

Why it mattersBaby Benedicte, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is being called the youngest-ever survivor of Ebola. She's one week old and lost her mother to the virus.

"She is my hope," said her father, who will care for Benedicte along with the infant's aunt. As a parent myself, I have to agree that a situation the World Health Organization calls "unforgiving" needs such incredible signs of hope -- and a more robust international response.

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The Associated Press
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Ebola, World Health Organization
12/14/2018

Why it matters: Machine learning, a feature of technology that allows it to modify itself when exposed to more data, has become all the rage as businesses rush toward the latest and greatest to differentiate from their competition. This article serves as a helpful reminder that the data you pair with new technology are just as valuable, if not more so, than the technology itself.

One important thing to note: One can make the case that this article, while potentially very helpful, makes "machine learning" and "artificial intelligence" sound more like interchangeable terms than they actually are. For those unfamiliar, all machine learning is AI, but not all AI is machine learning.

12/14/2018

The SmartBrief holiday party is tonight, so folks around the office are getting ready to boogie. To mark the occasion, I want to conduct a little WYWW experiment.

I am of the opinion that it is physically impossible for people of a certain age to listen to Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" without breaking out the ol' air guitar and getting their groove on. Around my house, the crowd (and by "crowd" I mean my 6-year old and my 9-year old) goes wild when I crank that song up to 11 and bust out the leg guitar. And when I am really feelin' it, I've even been know to throw in the Billy Idol snarl!

What about you? Can you resist vital Idol? Give the song a listen when you are getting ready for your night out and use the poll below to let me know what happens.

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YouTube
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Billy Idol
12/14/2018

Pour the tea, stiffen up your collars and be as contrary as you choose. "Downton Abbey" is coming back, at least on the big screen.

No one knows much about the movie, but the trailer reveals that we'll see faves Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt when we set foot on the estate again on Sept. 20, 2019. 

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Vanity Fair online
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Downton Abbey
12/14/2018

Listen to this podcast if you're fascinated by the idea of a country that gives dads two weeks off after their baby is born as well as the option to divide another eight months with the child's mom. Even though Denmark is considered a bit utopian by some, Vox explores the fact that the average Danish mom takes 10 months of parental leave, while the average dad just takes a month. You don't have to be a math genius to know this doesn't necessarily even things out for Mom and Dad.

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Vox
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Vox
12/14/2018

Try to get your head around this amount of sparkle: 552 carats. That's about 1.5 inches around and 2 inches high. This yellow diamond, found in Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada, outdoes the previous record-breaker from the same mine, which weighed in at 187.7 carats.

A decision is pending about the diamond's fate, because the process of deciding how to cut it is apparently pretty nerve-wracking. Wonder what the Earth will cough up next to amaze us all. 

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Forbes
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Diavik Diamond Mine
12/14/2018

I would bet that not a single one of you reading this hasn't asked for space from a significant other or been asked for space. It's commonplace now, and a frequent concept used between more public couples and regular duos alike. Let's rewind a few decades though -- to the 60s -- and "space" would not be a topic in a relationship.

The origins of needing "space" date back to the 70s and may have roots in changing relationship patterns that led couples to delay marriage, to the self-focused Gestalt therapy popular at the time and to the evolution of self-help concepts. Therapist William Bumberry said the request for space usually boils down to either a tentative move away from a relationship's bonds or a need for a simple breather and opportunity to reflect. It's one of those five-letter words that means about five pages worth of sentiment, I think.

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The Atlantic online
12/14/2018

I have to hand it to you straight on this one. If you took any pictures you didn't love between Sept. 13 and 25, started uploading them to Facebook, then decided, "Nahhhh," Facebook may have allowed them to be uploaded anyway, through an application programming interface..

Don't be expecting contrition from them. As of today, the official response was, "We're sorry this happened." Dislike, Facebook, dislike.

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TechCrunch
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Facebook
12/14/2018

Candy canes used to be so straightforward. Red, white and minty. No more, as these intrepid tasters discovered. They tried five novelty flavors -- macaroni and cheese; pickle; roasted chicken; bacon and clam -- and deduced that clam took the prize no one wanted of worst-tasting.

Maybe as a swizzler in a bloody mary?