Summary of “Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination”

The Bastrop Buc-ee’s opened in 2012, and it has more or less the same relationship to the first Buc-ee’s store that a Boeing 747 has to the biplane the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.
“We’ll have people come from out of state and say, ‘I was told that we couldn’t go to Texas without stopping here.’ ”. The Buc-ee’s store in Bastrop may be staggeringly oversized in just about every way, but in the Buc-ee’s empire, it’s not particularly special, just one of fourteen enormous stores and not even close to the biggest.
Their regular stores became ever spiffier too, with Aplin enlisting the well-known convenience-store designer Jim Mitchell to help make Buc-ee’s both more welcoming and more profitable.
The Katy Buc-ee’s, which opened in late 2017, has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the world’s longest car wash.
As Buc-ee’s has become an ever bigger part of Texas, Aplin has gotten more active in the politics of the state.
In the early days of Buc-ee’s, Aplin served on the local school board.
Over the past six years, Buc-ee’s has pursued trademark-infringement lawsuits against a series of smaller convenience stores-Chicks, in Bryan; B&B Grocery, in Uvalde; Irv’s Field Store, in Waller-all of which Buc-ee’s believed had ripped off part of its brand.
Last year, a Buc-ee’s lawsuit against an Atascosa travel center called Choke Canyon made it all the way to trial in federal court, where Buc-ee’s accused its rival of stealing key parts of the Buc-ee’s brand, among them a “Friendly smiling cartoon animal similarly oriented within a circle and wearing a hat pointed to the right” and even Beaver Nuggets themselves, which Choke Canyon passed off as “Golden Caramel Corn Nuggets.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “If you want to tackle big problems, try thinking like a bee |”

So you’ve woken up and decided you’re finally going to take on the big, big problem that’s been weighing on you – perhaps it’s shoring up your public libraries, helping homeless dogs and cats, or fighting climate change.
Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for inspiration – like the humble honey bee.
They can show us that thinking small may be the best way to think big, according to beekeeper Marianne Gee, who lives in Ottawa, Canada.
The lifespan of a worker bee ranges from six weeks to twenty weeks.
Most of her brief existence is spent gathering nectar to make honey.
According to Gee, “a bee in her lifetime makes only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey” – a tiny fraction of the hundred pounds of honey that a typical colony needs to survive.
A bee won’t directly benefit from the honey she makes; instead, it will allow future generations to thrive after she is gone.
Gee herself was distressed by the pesticides and diseases that were harming the world’s honey bees and ruminated about what she and her husband could possibly do to fix the ailing agricultural system.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Good Man, and Thorough: The Genius of ‘The Big Lebowski'”

In the published screenplay for The Big Lebowski, a character named “The Dude” is introduced in the stage directions as “a man in whom casualness runs deep.” Of all the Coens’ movies, The Big Lebowski is, at least on the surface, the most ambling and aimless.
The Big Lebowski was released in 1998, after the success of Fargo had rerouted the Coens’ career.
The claim made by The Stranger that Jeffrey Lebowski is “Possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County … which would place him high in the running for laziest worldwide” is backed up by Bridges’s soporific comportment, which suggests a character hypnotized by his own passivity-a waking trance state that leads him to subconsciously absorb information from the world around him.
After being roughed up at his squalid pit of an apartment by thugs who’ve mistaken him for a different, considerably more prosperous man with the same name-who pee on his rug to make the humiliation complete-The Dude goes to the other Jeffrey Lebowski for compensation and, after being rebuffed, tells him that “This aggression will not stand.” In lieu of any strongly held beliefs, The Dude is wide open to suggestion, and hearing saber-rattling Republican platitudes being parroted by an aged hippie is the pivot point of The Big Lebowski’s 360-degree sociological satire.
Then there’s the Big Lebowski himself, acted by the late David Huddleston as a physical and ideological double for Dick Cheney, who proudly displays photos of himself with a host of Republican power brokers.
By rejecting The Dude’s request for a new rug to replace the soiled one, the Big Lebowski claims to be standing for conservative notions of self-reliance.
It’s a ridiculous oversimplification to call The Big Lebowski a movie about a man who wants to replace his rug.
The Big Lebowski is a film dominated by circular, reiterative dialogue, and The Dude isn’t the only one who absorbs and parrots key phrases from the people around him.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Big Bang Theory is better at portraying geekdom than haters admit”

The Big Bang Theory is still filled with punchlines about Leonard’s lactose intolerance and Sheldon’s germophobia, such that anyone dropping in on the show for the first time, or only encountering it through short clips in anti-BBT YouTube rants, might come away thinking it’s just stale, lazy digs at nerds.
From roughly its third season onward, The Big Bang Theory has been one of the premiere “Hangout” sitcoms of its era, like Friends in its heyday.
There’s a reason I’ve tagged season 3 as the point where The Big Bang Theory becomes something special.
The Big Bang Theory became a consistently enjoyable show about halfway through season 1, as Parsons, Galecki, Helberg, Nayyar, and Cuoco started bringing more nuance and individual personalities to their characters.
The Big Bang Theory subtly suggests that maybe these gentlemen should lighten up, treat women as equals and as people, and start looking for friends and partners, not just hookups.
Enjoying The Big Bang Theory requires a higher tolerance for the classic sitcom form than many younger viewers have had the chance to develop.
It’d be nice if everyone who slams The Big Bang Theory for what they insist is a sneering attitude toward geekdom would recognize how knowledgeable Lorre, Prady, and their writers actually are about all the things their haters love.
At a time when superhero movies top the box office and technology wonks like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are household names, The Big Bang Theory has helped promote the idea that nerds are the new normal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Life Aboard the Rocket Ship: An Interview with an Anonymous Engineer”

Even if a big company is not directly threatened by a startup as a competitor currently, the thinking is that if they need to buy them later, they’re going to pay a lot more for it.
If they’re going to pay you more like 8x or 10x, it breaks the whole idea of salary bands, which is how big companies organize compensation by experience level.
I’ve worked on some ambitious projects at several of these big companies, and none of them have succeeded.
The average time spent on a team is well under two years at most of these big companies.
The incentives of a VC firm are different from those of a tech giant, right? The former is giving you capital to help you grow into a bigger company, whereas the latter is buying you to make sure you don’t grow into a bigger company.
So long as you’re working for an advertising company, what other metric besides time spent could there be?
So long as you’re working for a company, what other metric besides profit could there be? That’s a similar question.
You could imagine a world where these companies empower rank-and-file workers to make certain decisions themselves, and give users a voice in those decisions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The financial scandal no one is talking about”

Nestled among the hedge-fund managers on Grosvenor Street in Mayfair, Number Twenty had recently been opened by accountancy firm KPMG. It was, said the firm’s then UK chairman Simon Collins in the fluent corporate-speak favoured by today’s top accountants, “a West End space” for clients “To meet, mingle and touch down”.
The following year the number edged up – as it did for the other three big four firms despite the stiff competition – to $36bn.
Where a degree of independent oversight does exist, such as from the regulator established in the US following the Enron scandal and the other major scandal of the time, WorldCom – in which the now-defunct firm Arthur Andersen was accused of conspiring with the companies to game accountancy rules and presenting inflated profits to the market – powers are circumscribed.
In what one former big-four partner described to the FT as a “Faustian relationship” between government and the profession, the firms escape official scrutiny even at low points such as the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Covering every area of business and public service, the big four firms have become the reporter’s friends.
With serious financial incentives to get to the top, the major firms end up run by the more materially rather than ethically motivated bean counters.
In the UK in 2017, none of the senior partners of the big firms had built their careers in what should be the firms’ core business of auditing.
“Whether serving as a steward of the proper functioning of global financial markets in the role of auditor, or solving client or societal challenges, we ask our professionals to think big about the impact they make through their work at Deloitte,” say the firm’s leaders in their “Global Impact Report”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Danish Architect Designing the Future”

In 2009, BIG released a manifesto titled Yes Is More, riffing on Mies van der Rohe’s signature aphorism “Less is more.” The book, presented as a graphic novel, documents the firm’s work, including multipeak mountainous complexes in Azerbaijan; the morphing, Hadid-like World Trade Center in Vilnius, Lithuania; and the torqued skyscraper Escher Tower for a Norwegian hotel developer, which weaves three monoliths into one.
In Big Time, a new documentary by the Danish director Kaspar Astrup Schröder, Ingels refers to it as a “Courtscraper,” since the center of the pyramid is left open for a planted courtyard that Ingels likens to a private Central Park.
Like a good start-up, BIG is scalable and self-replicating; the bigger it gets, the more it can grow and the more arenas it can enter.
The perfect merging of BIG’s concerns with those of Silicon Valley might be its designs for the Hyperloop-a hypothetical transportation method that involves carriages speeding through a low-pressure tube.
For Dubai, BIG designed a floating, airportlike Hyperloop station made of warm wood and glass that arcs out in two semicircles with small ports for each car-pod, which band together into cylindrical carriages.
In 2015, BIG’s design replaced Norman Foster’s for 2 World Trade Center, in part at the preference of James Murdoch, whose family’s companies 21st Century Fox and News Corp were going to be the anchor tenants.
These buildings benefit the BIG brand, even when they don’t get built-as long as the viral renderings attract more fans and followers.
You can live in a BIG tower, work in a BIG office, send your kids to a BIG school, tell the time by a BIG watch, sit in a BIG chair, ride a BIG bike, and stream a film about BIG on Netflix.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Ghost of Big Freedia”

In the first scene of Drake’s “Nice For What” video, you hear the voice of the black, queer New Orleans bounce artist, Big Freedia.
Big Freedia has been continuously used for her voice, words, and energy, but her body is always abstracted from the visual element of these mainstream moments.
Usually when you only hear a voice and never the body and face of someone in music videos, it is because they are dead. Yet in the case of Big Freedia, although she is alive and kicking, she is still treated like an apparition when mainstream artists want to collaborate with her.
Big Freedia is one the biggest voices that has come out of New Orleans in the last decade and has brought bounce music to the forefronts of popular culture.
The fear of alienating people who may not be receptive to seeing a big, black queer person on their screen is limiting the places Big Freedia can go as an artist and brand.
Surely a generation that accepts the queer-inspired performances and aesthetics of Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, and Tyler, The Creator could find space to accept Big Freedia.
Still, it appears as if Big Freedia has been the queer black artist that has most blatantly been used and hidden in comparison to her peers in order to not alarm the hegemonic culture.
Big Freedia checks too many of the boxes of what society has made clear is unacceptable, and attempting to transgress that is a commercial risk many are not willing to take it seems.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Whales Got So Big”

To him, the ocean makes mammals big not because it relieves them of limits, but because it imposes new ones.
Animals can’t become infinitely big because larger bodies also demand more fuel.
The need to stay warm sets a floor for the body size of oceanic mammals, while the need to eat sets a ceiling.
Together with Jonathan Payne, also from Stanford, and Craig McClain from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Gearty collected data on the sizes of almost 7,000 mammal species, both living and extinct.
To thrive in it, mammals must be just the right size-big, yes, but not too big and not too small.
These equations predicted both the optimum 1,100-pound average that seagoing mammals have evolved toward, and the narrow range of sizes around that ideal.
Sea otters, for example, are unusually small for marine mammals-they’re about as big as a Labrador.
The emergence of concentrated prey, and the evolution of a technique for capturing them, allowed whales to smash through the diet-imposed ceiling that keeps other marine mammals big, but not too big.

The orginal article.