JPTearsheet, July, 2021 Vol. XIII No. 7
“Believe half of what you see, and nothing of what you hear.”
—  Scrooge McDuck

Star Studded
According to statista.com Americans spent between $400 and $500 billion making online purchases in 2020. Not only was that huge, it was a 20 percent increase over 2019. A definite trend.

Most digital consumers recognize the star-based rating system that accompanies most products that are sold online. It’s a simple 5-star system with five representing the most favorable rating and one, the lowest.

In addition, most rating systems also show a number in parentheses next to the rating. That number represents the number of reviews that have been posted.

It should be obvious that the more people rating a product, the more reliable that rating will be. If you’re contemplating a product that has only 12 reviews, it’s probably not a good idea to put a lot of faith in that rating compared with a product with 458 reviews.

It all sounds so simple and straightforward, doesn’t it. But there are cracks appearing in this system. 

From news outlets to academic studies including the Harvard Business Review, there have been reports showing how unreliable those ratings are and how easily they can be manipulated. One company went so far as to offer gift cards to anyone who provided a 5-star rating whether the product deserved a high rating or not.

Amazing! There are things on the internet that are not as they appear. Perhaps more now than ever before, the phrase “caveat emptor” needs to be resurrected, emphasized and practiced. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Sign here. More than 20,000 signatures have been collected on a change.org petition to block Jeff Bezos’ return to earth after his self-funded space flight next month.
—  The Week

Ear to ear.  New AI technology has been designed by Canon to deny entry to meeting rooms by employees who aren’t smiling. 
—  theverge.com

But who’s counting? In May Americans spent more time on streaming platforms than time spent watching the traditional broadcast networks.
–  The Hollywood Reporter

…and counting.  At more than 105 million, there are now more Americans with Costco memberships than those who pay for cable television.
–  bloomberg.com

What’s in a name? A UK man named his daughter after his mistress so his wife wouldn’t suspect his infidelity in the event he mentioned the “wrong” name.
–  mirror.co.uk

A cut above.  New York state recently repealed a law – effective immediately – that prohibited barbers from giving haircuts (and shaves) on Sundays.
–  UPI

Not tonight. I have a… Migraine headaches are two to three times more common in women than men.
—  health.harvard.edu/

Ah, nuts!  The peanut is the largest consumed nut in the world; four times more than the second place almond.
–  The History Guy

Are you kidding? The word "facetious" has all five vowels in it… in order.
–  greatfacts.com m
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MONTH OF JULY
Quote of the Month:
“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
— James Thurber



Month of the Month:
If you’ve a hankerin’ for some hot dogs (National Hot Dog Month) or some ice cream or watermelon (It’s both National Hot Dog and National Watermelon month.), you shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that July is also National Picnic Month.

But if al fresco is not your cup of tea, July is also National Deli Sandwich and Deli Salad month as well as National Baked Beans Month. And when all is said and done, don’t be shocked to learn that July is also National Culinary Arts Month. Yum!

Last, but certainly not least, today – July 15 – is “Be a Dork Day.”

Question of the Month:

How much do all the people on earth weigh collectively?

Despite what your scale indicates, such a weighty question shouldn’t cause you worry.
Which Yardstick?
On the first Friday of every month the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its employment report for the previous month. Most media who follow labor markets eagerly await the “unemployment numbers.”

For June, the unemployment rate stood at 5.9 percent. That may be all well and good except for the way that the BLS actually counts who is unemployed. For example, if you’re out of work and stop looking for another job, the BLS does not count among the unemployed anymore.

A truer picture of the employment status of the nation is the BLS’s Labor Participation Rate. According to investopedia.com, “The labor force participation rate is a measure of an economy’s active workforce. The formula for the number is the sum of all workers who are employed or actively seeking employment divided by the total noninstitutionalized, civilian working-age population.”

For example, college students are included in the “working-age population” but – unless an individual is working full time – they are not considered working, but they are hardly unemployed.

In June the Labor Participation Rate stood at 61.6 percent – which does not mean that 39 percent of the country is unemployed. It just shows that, of all working-age adults 61.6 percent are, in fact, working.
"Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”
— J. Paul Getty
Hard Hitting Lessons
A gridiron MBA? OK, maybe that’s not possible, but see how much you can learn about business from football in my book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”

Most people associate football with learning things like hard work, discipline, teamwork, etc. That’s all very true. But what can you learn about business from football? According to Hard Hitting Lessons, a lot. This book will explain it all – from human resources to strategic planning and more. Yes, there’s a lot to be learned from playing football about business – and even about life itself. 

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