Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Businessweek features - by Featherstone, Faris, Greenfeld & Vance

Four different Businessweek features that struck me as particularly interesting over the past few weeks were on nuclear cleanup, unemployment in Greece, that well-know electric car maker and a new 24-hour sports channel.

Most recent piece was from the Aug 5-11 issue with "The Plutonium Gang: CH2M Hill Dismantles the Hanford Nuclear Site" by Steve Featherstone. One great detail from Featherstone about this dangerous task was the $33,000 per day cost of protective gear for cleanup workers at the Plutonium Finishing Plant and the story made it feel fortunate there hasn't been a larger nuclear disaster (planned or unplanned) than we've seen.

Another great BW feature that dealt with potential calamity of a different sort was the cover story from the July 29-Aug 4 edition. "Greece's Unemployed Young: A Great Depression Steals the Nation's Future" was written by Stephan Faris and brought to mind his earlier this year piece "Screwed in Cyrus". The detail that stood out the most from this recent story was Faris noting youth unemployment rates (fairly certain the criteria for inclusion is ages 18-25) as above 35% in Italy and Portugal and above 50% in Spain and Greece. These statistics somewhat mind-blowing and scary, especially in conjunction with the xenophobia (that's at least partially related to economic hardship) I've been reading about in various parts of Europe.

The last two Businessweek features to note here both came from the July 22-Aug 8 issue and were on decidedly less serious subjects. "Fox Sports 1's Strategy vs. ESPN: 'Jockularity'" was written by Karl Taro Greenfeld about the Fox Sports cable channel debuting August 17th and "Why Everybody Loves Tesla" was the cover story by Ashlee Vance. Interesting content in both features and related to the Tesla piece was a two-minute video shot inside the Tesla factory in Fremont, CA.