Butter has a strange status in Japan. Historically, butter is a reminder of Japan’s first contacts with the West — the islanders complained that the foreigners were bata-kusai , that is, “butter-stinkers.” But since the 1960s, local butter making and consumption has been seen as a symbol of Japanese self-sufficiency in and mastery of an originally Western product.

the single biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today

Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming, and Matthew Miller:

To an extent that we ourselves are only beginning to appreciate, most people at work, even in high-performing organizations, divert considerable energy every day to a second job that no one has hired them to do: preserving their reputations, putting their best selves forward, and hiding their inadequacies from others and themselves. We believe this is the single biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today.

he found that he could learn most from the lazy man

popular science monthly:

Gilbreth studied the methods of various bricklayers—the poor workmen and the best ones, and he stumbled upon an astonishing fact of great importance and significance. He found that he could learn most from the lazy man!

Most of the chance improvements in human motions that eliminate unnecessary movement and reduce fatigue have been hit upon, Gilbreth thinks, by men who were lazy—so lazy that every needless step counted.”

Another important thing Gilbreth noted was that the so-called expert factory workers are often the most wasteful of their motions and strength. Because of their energy and ability to work at high speed, such men may be able to produce a large quantity of good work, and thus qualify as experts, but they tire themselves out of all proportion to the amount of work done.

people in a position to set their own salaries have a natural incentive to treat themselves generously

John Cassidy:

His research shows that “supermanagers,” rather than “superstars,” account for up to seventy per cent of the top 0.1 per cent of the income distribution… Rising income inequality is largely a corporate phenomenon. Defenders of big pay packages like to claim that senior managers earn their vast salaries by boosting their firm’s profits and stock prices. But Piketty points out how hard it is to measure the contribution (the “marginal productivity”) of any one individual in a large corporation. The compensation of top managers is typically set by committees comprising other senior executives who earn comparable amounts. “It is only reasonable to assume that people in a position to set their own salaries have a natural incentive to treat themselves generously, or at the very least to be rather optimistic in gauging their marginal productivity,”…

that’s why it appears 520 times

david hare:

I am very aware that two of the most conspicuous films of this year, The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle, are both plainly improvised by the actors. And when people say the Wolf of Wall Street has the word ‘fuck’ 520 times, I know, from experience, that when you ask actors to improvise they tend to use the word, and that’s why it appears 520 times.

men could throw farther

American Psychological Association:

A 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the 20th century underscores that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership… Only a few main differences appeared: Compared with women, men could throw farther, were more physically aggressive, masturbated more, and held more positive attitudes about sex in uncommitted relationships.