Gongol.com Archives: June 2008
Brian Gongol

June 12, 2008

Water News ISU develops new flood-monitoring website

Humor and Good News Catbus for sale
It's something less fantastic than an Airbus, but it sure would stand out in a parking lot

Computers and the Internet Solving problems we didn't have 20 years ago
Computers are now used in such large numbers in data centers that a lot of money is now being spent trying to figure out how to make them run more efficiently, so the strain they place on the power grid can be reduced

Business and Finance The structural advantages and disadvantages of a family business
Given the number of companies that have been sunk by non-owner management, the enduring question about the value of a family-owned and family-managed business is again timely. The real value in a family-owned and -operated business seems to be in the way that kind of business is structurally encouraged to take a long-term view of growth. SC Johnson, family-owned since 1886 has a pretty significant incentive to ensure that it maintains a sterling brand image so that the next generation continues to benefit from the family name. But if a family company is perpetuated only to let younger generations get by without having to face real-world competition, then it can't go on forever. It should also be noted that in some cases, like those of the South Korean chaebol, family ownership can exacerbate the fear of change, making companies more susceptible to calamity when economic circumstances change.

Weather and Disasters Do we really have a satisfactory definition for a tornado?
It seems odd, but for as many tornadoes as occur in the US each year, we still seem to know very little about how they are formed and why they do what they do. And that gap in our knowledge makes it difficult to even come up with a solid, uniform definition of what a tornado even is.

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