May 16, 2010 |
Chris Fargis thought his big job interview was over. But when the partners at Wall Street upstart Toro Trading finished with their questions, they broke out a deck of cards and a green-felt card table. Mind playing a few hands of poker? It was a final test, and Fargis was relieved. The 30-year-old never went to business school or even took a finance class. But he knew poker. He had made a living playing the game online for six years from his Manhattan apartment, betting on up to eight hands at a time.
October 21, 2009 |
It is a story that no doubt will shock fans of the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. According to the Wall Street Journal, NFL teams that play in domed stadiums have an advantage over those who don't. In an article bearing the headline, "Is it time for the NFL to ban domes?" the Journal points out that three domed teams -- the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints -- are undefeated and another -- the Atlanta Falcons -- are 3-0 at home. The Saints are on pace to break the league record for most points in a season, the Vikings rank second in points and the Colts are third in yardage.
September 25, 2009
Conservative critics of President Obama's foreign policy initiatives are having a tough week. On Thursday, Obama achieved a signature victory when the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved his resolution aimed at halting nuclear proliferation. His warm reception by the General Assembly -- some delegates were so awed by the American president that they couldn't resist snapping pictures during his Wednesday speech -- stood in sharp contrast to the welcome accorded George W. Bush, whose U.N. speeches were typically met with stony silence.
September 12, 2009 |
It's been another sorry season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as their streak of consecutive losing seasons reached a record 17 years. At least Pirates fans have one thing to rejoice about: bargain beer prices. According to the Wall Street Journal, the higher a baseball team's winning percentage, the higher beer prices tend to be. A study of major league clubs showed that a team with at least a .600 winning percentage charges about $1.30 more per 16-ounce beer than a miserable team floundering with a .400 winning percentage.
September 10, 2009 |
Arnold Palmer turns 80 today, and for generations of golf fans, he's still "the King." In the early 1960s, Palmer's magnetic personality and brash playing style lured new fans, fattened tour purses, boosted TV ratings and helped usher pro golf into the modern age. He drew huge throngs at tournaments that followed him en masse, the crowds so deep that many in his "Arnie's Army" relied on cardboard periscopes to watch him play. His rivals, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, won more major tournaments; Palmer won over more fans.
August 22, 2009 |
The Dow Jones industrial average might be up for sale by its owner, News Corp., a move that conceivably could result in a name change for the 125-year-old stock market barometer. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that News Corp. was considering selling its stock index business and had reached out to potential buyers. News Corp., which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, declined to comment. Dow Jones & Co., which News Corp. acquired in 2007, offers thousands of stock indexes that are used as benchmarks by investors and licensed for use by mutual funds and other investment products.
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August 17, 2009 |
Kenneth H. Bacon, 64, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who was top spokesman at the Pentagon during the Clinton administration and later became a prominent advocate on behalf of international refugees, died Saturday of melanoma at his vacation home on Block Island, R.I. His primary residence was in Washington. Bacon had spent 25 years at the Journal's Washington bureau before becoming the chief spokesman at the Pentagon in 1994. After leaving the Pentagon in 2001, Bacon became president of the D.C.-based advocacy group Refugees International and emerged as one of the strongest voices for the dispossessed around the globe.
July 19, 2009 |
Critics don't get much respect. (Pause here for raucous laughter.) If you doubt it, look up the word "critic" in any book of quotations and see what you find. H.L. Mencken's "New Dictionary of Quotations" is full of zinger after zinger, most of which revolve around a single theme: Those who cannot do, review. I especially like this sulfurous couplet by John Dryden: "They who write ill, and they who ne'er durst write / Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite." Is that true?