What We’re Reading: Aug. 11 – Aug. 17

Top office rents, bragging and self-image, and a new use for eminent domain laws

Manhattan has long been the price leader among US office markets in terms of rent. However, demand in Palo Alto has pushed rents at the top of that market passed Midtown for the first time and rents in nearby Mountain View are catching up too.

Social media gives us a custom-built platform for bragging. New car? Wonderful vacation? Darling children? Let everyone know! An article in the Wall Street Journal says bragging has gotten out of control. In today’s competitive environment of reality tv games coupled with the poor economy and fears of appearing to be the weak link, people naturally crow about their achievements. Add downplaying or hiding the bad, and it’s no wonder a study released earlier this year shows that social media sites like Facebook can actually make us feel sadder. The author’s advice? Hit ‘like’ and move on.

A novel solution proposed for underwater mortgages— local government condemnation through eminent domain. San Bernadino County in California is considering this radical move. Would this help or go too far to fix the problem of underwater mortgages? The mortgage industry and the Federal Housing Authority oppose this plan.

Remember the 1990s and the glory days of AOL? Miss that cheery announcement every time you dialed in to your account that let you know you had mail? Fear not! You can recapture the moment with a new extension for Gmail that will chirp out “You’ve got mail!” every time you get a new message. Of course you have to be using Google’s own Chrome browser. But as an added bonus(?) you can also download an app that will make that screechy-screechy sound like you’re dialing in on a 14.4k modem. That’s too much 90s for me.

This week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Time lets you in on 10 lesser known facts about our favorite French Chef. And PBS auto-tunes and remixes a gem. Watch below the fold…

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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