If you like tilt-shift photography.....

...like this great shot of Fenway Park (courtesy of B Tal at flickr)

A "Model" Fenway Day

then check out 50 Beautiful Examples Of Tilt-Shift Photography.

I haven't had the chance to try this yet myself, but I've found instructions for how to achieve the tilt-shift effect in Photoshop. John Nack's Adobe blog also has some tips.

Books = Gifts

Check out this video - it's a new holiday season campaign from a number of book publishers working together.

Mmmmm - Pumpkin Pie

I'm a big fan of Cooks Illustrated magazine (the website is a great resource and is definitely worth the cost of subscribing). A recent issue featured a new approach to pumpkin pie, and knowing that Thanksgiving was just around the corner, I prepared the recipe as a trial run for this week. The pie is delicious and I will be making one today for tomorrow's Thanksgiving meal.

Here's a story from the New York Times of one cook's experience with the recipe: How to Cook…Something: Pumpkin Pie.

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WSJ Book Review - Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers

I enjoyed the Wall Street Journal review of Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers, and was particularly struck by this comment:
"Outliers" offers an implicit message for companies as well: There is great competitive advantage for the organization recognizing that the work environment can nurture talent -- and also suppress it. The best companies will not only seek to provide their employees with enrichment but will also have the insight -- and courage -- to identify and recruit exceptional though neglected talent that could flourish under the right conditions. In the end, we aspire to be the graduate-school admissions officer at Iowa who selected John Irving for the creative-writing program -- not the high-school English teacher in New Hampshire who noticed only the poor speller struggling in the back of the classroom.

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What's Up In The Global Economy

I had the great fortune while at an Executive Education course at Harvard Business School last week to participate in a case discussion with Professor Rawi Abdelal, an expert in international political economy. We studied a case concerning the U.S. current account deficit and the various causes and effects of the issues now affecting the global economy. It would be hard to put in a nutshell everything that was covered, so I'll just share what I left the room thinking about.

First, the fact that the savings rate in the U.S. is zero is extremely unhealthy and Americans need to start saving more (understandably hard to do when incomes are stagnant/falling and unemployment is rising). Second, solving the problems will be incredibly difficult and complex because it is likely to require close coordination of many countries around the world and such coordination is difficult under the best of circumstances; in addition, for Americans to save more, we will need to spend less - which doesn't exactly help an economy that is in recession. The final message I took away is that macroeconomic factors are likely to play a disproportionate role in the performance of businesses over the next several years, and it's therefore critically important to understand how those factors will affect each business leader's own business.

The class reminded me of two terrific articles by James Fallows which are linked below. The first article was written in 2005 and imagines what the world economy will look like in 2016; what's scary is that many of the things Fallows predicted have already come to pass. The second article looks more specifically at China and the nature of the economic relationship between China and the U.S. ; the bottom line is that they need us to buy their exports (which creates jobs in the rapidly populating Chinese cities, providing the stability the Chinese government desperately wants) and we need them to buy our treasury bills and bonds (to finance our deficits).

The first article is Countdown to a Meltdown; the second is The $1.4 Trillion Question.

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Seen in Cambridge, MA

While walking through Cambridge last weekend (on the Sunday before the Presidential Election), a young woman jumped out of a car to tape a sign to a fence. Here's what she had to say.....

And here's the house behind the fence....