Friday, March 30, 2007

Corn, wonderful corn

As we all have been tracking corn prices, we know that corn typically trades between $2 and $3 a bushel. Over the last several weeks, prices have been hovering around $4. A bushel of corn for May delivery was trading at $3.74 a bushel today (Friday) on the Chicago Board of Trade.

It looks as if farmers are responding to the increased price (in part, due to ethanol production) with an increased planting. Let's hope the weather holds!


(graphic from the NYTimes)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Avian flu in the news

A new article in the NYTimes highlights the probability (NOT possibility) that the avian flu will mutate and infect humans.

Nature reports that:

The first human case of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus has been reported by the Ministry of Health in Laos. The cumulative number of human H5N1 infections worldwide on 1 March 2007 was 277, with 167 deaths.

further, their study guide on the 1918 pandemic is sobering indeed.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Birds and Dinosaurs

It's spring break in Happy Valley, and it's a great time to catch up on some reading.

One of my favorite books (which I use in both Avian Biology and the PA Governors School for Agricultural Sciences) is Pat Shipman's Taking Wing. This wonderfully readable book details the discovery, evaluation and interpretation of the Archaeopteryx fossils.
... so ... it was a real treat to finally get my copy of Luis Chiappe's Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds. A wonderfully illustrated and the color photos are fantastic; I can't wait to use it in class. If you like birds (or dinosaurs), this book is definitely for you.

It was also a wonderful coincidence to simultaneously see Chris Organ's new paper in Nature, Origin of avian genome size and structure in non-avian dinosaurs. More technical, perhaps, but with some interesting insights!

and... who says professors do nothing during spring break!?!?

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Manager resources

Webwise, there are many resources to find (legitimate) management (re)sources. e.g., Free Management Library .

However, the sine qua non of the managerial lifestyle, is the management text! These books go through surges and resurgences .. usually based on their appearance in assorted M.B.A. programs!

A few of my favorites are (not in order):

... as you can see, I've been highly influenced by eastern philosophies. These are the books I return to time after time. Having said that, I am currently enjoying The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. The sub-title says it all: "Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn't".

How about you?? What are your top 5??

[cross-posted at gfb.log]

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