• The life and death of a master of the universe
    The story of a successful, well-meaning (at least as portrayed by the article) entrepreneur who was pushed into depression and then suicide by activists against his social projects in Africa.

    Wrobel’s signature project as CEO of Sithe was the Bujagali hydroelectric project in Uganda. For years, the country’s economic development was crippled by a lack of widespread, reliable electricity and a dependence on trucked-in oil. The $900 million, 250-megawatt facility on the Nile River was funded by Sithe and public-sector partners, and launched commercially in August 2012. The dam boosted economic growth by nearly doubling the country’s electricity capacity and by providing renewable power at a price two-thirds lower than before, according to Sithe materials. Wrobel helped put together more than $20 million in social program funding to accompany the project, including investments in education, health, environmental resources and business development.

  • Burger King Is Run by Children
    Given the recent news about the Tim Hortons and BK merger, I figure I should jump to this article in my queue and read it. Basically, it says that BK is in the business of making money, and not so much about food.

    Wall Street has responded enthusiastically. Burger King went public again in June 2012 in an offering that put a $4.6 billion value on the company. As of early July, its market cap had risen to more than $9 billion. The doubters are in the minority now, and many in the investment community would like McDonald’s and Wendy’s to mimic the kids at Burger King. “These things are seemingly working at Burger King and causing questions to be asked about the strategy of others in fast food,” says David Palmer, an analyst who covers the restaurant industry for RBC Capital Markets (RY). “Like, why aren’t you doing what they’re doing?”

  • The Secret Life of an Obsessive Airbnb Host
    An interesting look at what it’s like to be an Airbnb host. I haven’t stayed with Airbnb myself yet, although I might try at some point in the future. I’m nowhere near considering being a host though.

    The year was 2011 and Airbnb was far from a household word. Telling my mother that “I could sleep in the office once in a while to earn extra income” made the absurdity of my plan palpable. I had to run the idea past someone, and Mom is a black belt in reality checks.

    It didn’t surprise me that she couldn’t fathom why I would move out of my apartment for days on end because a stranger was paying me ninety dollars per night to sleep in my bed. To a woman who watches hours of crime dramas every day, the concept of Airbnb sounded harebrained. But I knew I wasn’t crazy — just desperate.

  • nterview with an Auschwitz Guard: ‘I Do Not Feel Like a Criminal’
    Interesting because of the history, and because I visited the site a few years back

    SPIEGEL: Did you see the corpses being burned?

    W.: The crematorium chimneys weren’t very tall. Depending on the wind direction, it stunk badly. And starting in 1944, the crematoria weren’t able to keep up. Next to them was a ditch, perhaps three or four meters across. A fire was burning in the trench day and night. Two men were always carrying straps that they used to pull them (Eds. note: the corpses) out of the gas chamber, removed the straps and threw them into the fire. If you were standing in the area, it was impossible to look away.

  • Jimmy Iovine: The Man With the Magic Ears
    A QA with Jimmy Iovine about his career. Pertinent due to Apple’s recent purchase of Beats, and because U2 has a new album (which Apple seems to be marketing)

    Rock has a real problem. All you hear every day is how not cool the record industry is. That’s going to have an effect on who gets into music. All you need is a new Bruce Springsteen deciding he’s going to work for Apple – or create his own. Look at the intensity and force that went into making Darkness. If Bruce ever had a fucking excuse not to do it, maybe he would have chosen not to. It’s the same thing you see when musicians get older. To make an album like [Pink Floyd’s] The Wall or any of the great Stones albums – it’s painful to go to that dark place. When you have horses and a boat and friends in the South of France, kids who want your attention, it makes you not want to go to that place. You go there because you have to.