Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Here are our week 11 NFL picks vs. the spread.  We’re 77-55 (58.33%) so far this season through 10 weeks.

Social Media

Facebook Morale Takes a Tumble Along With Stock Price by Deepa Seetharaman (WSJ)

As Facebook continues to digest swirling drama around content moderation, lobbying, and other scandals, the stock price continues to lose ground and that’s having a brutal impact on employee morale. [Link; paywall]

Burned to death because of a rumour on WhatsApp by Marcos Martínez (BBC)

The horrifying story of small town rumor mills turbo-charged by instant messages which resulted in the assault and murder of two entirely innocent men in Mexico. [Link]


NBA Stars Make It Easier for You to Watch Them Play Esports by Christopher Palmeri (Bloomberg)

Fans are starting to watch NBA players play their favorite video games, and a variety of different services are lining up to help facilitate more fan-player interaction. [Link; soft paywall]

No One Has Ever Crossed Antarctica Unsupported. Two Men Are Trying Right Now. by Adam Skolnick (NYT)

Two years ago, a man lost his life trying to cross the entire continent of Antarctica on foot, but that isn’t deterring two men from attempting the near-impossible. [Link; soft paywall]


The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Anti-Depressive Treatment is Falling: A Meta-Analysis by Tom J. Johnsen and Oddgeir Friborg (Psychological Bulletin)

Using data from 70 different studies between 1977 and 2014, the authors reach the conclusion that cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy) is becoming much less effective (or perhaps wasn’t that effective to begin with). [Link; 23 page PDF]

The Flu Shot Needs Fewer Stats And More Stories by Maryn McKenna (Wired)

Last flu season, almost 80,000 people died at the hands of the flu after only 37% of adults got the flu vaccine, despite efficacy and safety that could prevent thousands of deaths. [Link; soft paywall]


I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It. by Kevin Alexander (Thrillist)

The darker side of those lists you read – and decide where to eat based on – which had the horrible side effect of ruining the restaurant. A cautionary tale about which kinds of customers a business should focus on. [Link]

Welcome to the Golden Age of Grocery Shopping by Clint Rainey (Grub Street)

While the grocery business has been challenged in terms of margins, the benefits have been huge for consumers in terms of choices and prices. [Link]

Weird News

Face off: Realistic masks made in Japan find demand from tech, car companies by Kwiyeon Ha (Reuters)

One small Japanese company is cashing in on the market for highly realistic face masks, which have a surprising number of uses! [Link]

Raccoons drunk on crab apples cause false rabies scare in West Virginia by Cleve R. Woodson Jr. (BHMG News/WaPo)

The denizens of Milton, West Virginia were concerned that they were being terrorized by raccoons “behaving weirdly”; thankfully, rotting crab apples were the true source of the odd behavior. [Link]


The Economics of the Great War: A Centennial Perspective by Stephen Broadberry and Mark Harrison (VOXEU)

A sweeping overview of the historical causes, conduct, and consequences of the First World War; this week marked the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. [Link]

Work Life

Cornering Your Boss, Snapping Pictures at Your Desk: It’s Take Your Parents to Work Day by Te-Ping Chen (WSJ)

In an aging society it shouldn’t really surprise us that office visits from parents rather than children are becoming a thing, but that doesn’t make it any less weird. [Link; paywall]

Mitch McConnell Guarantees Industrial Hemp Legalization by Kyle Jaeger (Marijuana Moment)

While federal decriminalization of marijuana probably isn’t happening soon, industrial hemp legalization is another story as the Senate Majority Leader has cleared the way for approval in the next farm bill. [Link]

Convenience, Consternation

The War Inside 7-Eleven by Lauren Etter and Michael Smith (Bloomberg)

Combining corporate power, federal law enforcement, and immigration law, this story is an incredible insight into the stand-off between 7-Eleven and its franchisees with significant collateral damage. [Link; soft paywall]


At Netflix, Who Wins When It’s Hollywood vs. the Algorithm? by Shalini Ramachandran and Joe Flint

In the race for viewer engagement, Netflix is often torn between what data tells it and the expertise it has hired to manage talent and produce content the old fashioned way. [Link; paywall]

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Have a great Sunday!

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