Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Teacher supplies.
Compensating Teachers for Riskier Jobs -- Economist Jesse Rothstein has anew paper where he constructs a model of teacher labor supply and how it interacts with education reform policies meant to affect teacher quality. As a theoretical exercise I wouldn't draw too strong conclusions from the study, but it does tell an important story that I think is often ignored in the education debate: many reforms increase risks to the teaching profession, and absent some offsetting benefits, this will decrease labor supply.

Olympic retail supply chains...
Supply Chain – What are the Olympic risks for retail? -- Horn told Retail Gazette: "I believe the business impact on UK companies during the Olympics will be vast – crossing every aspect of the operation, not least the supply chain. "In unprecedented events such as this, the accuracy of stock requirement is difficult to predict, particularly when you consider there hasn't been an Olympic games in the UK since 1948. "While this event will provide businesses with key forecasting knowledge that can be used in the future, when it comes to the 2012 Olympics, it is crucial that businesses buffer the supply chain from potential risks." Recently, photography retailer Jessops reported a three per cent rise in total sales in its full year financial results, despite massive pressures on its international supply chain due to the Japanese tsunami and Thai floods. Such success highlights the importance of a risk management strategy across all supply chain channels.

The perils of popsicle making.
Spongebob Popsicles: evidence of declining quality assurance practices? -- In 2007 a Boing Boing reader shared the above photo of a Spongebob Popsicle that bore little likeness to the well-known cartoon character. (She sent in the photo after seeing myphoto of a poorly made Tweety Bird frozen novelty bar.) Today, I came across this new photo of a Spongebob Popsicle. It looks even worse than the 2007 Popsicle! At first, I thought that the manufacturing quality had plumbed a new nadir. However, I now suspect that new Popsicle went through a melt-and-refreeze cycle, causing the massive deformation and discoloration we see.

H2-uh oh.
Shortages: Water supplies in crisis -- Over the past 40 years the world's population has doubled. Our use of water has quadrupled. Yet the amount of water on Earth has stayed the same. Less than 1% of the water on planet blue is for humans to drink. About 2% is locked up in ice. The rest is for the fish. Seawater is only good to drink for humans who live near the sea and can afford the cash and the energy to take out the salt. For most of the population this is not an option. Water costs maybe 15 times more than regular water. It burns polluting fossil fuel energy, as solar-powered desalination is in its infancy. No, most places will have to live with the water they've got.

- Sheena Moore

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