Business reading roundup, week of May 18, 2012

Well, two weeks in and I’m already falling back on the “or so” portion of my “every Friday or so” posting goal! I was under the weather all week, but nevertheless here’s a belated trio of items that sparked my curiosity, after the jump.

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Categories: Business

Firing up the USA Show Generator 8000

Common Law, the latest model from USA’s light-hearted-mismatched-buddy-based-professional-procedural factory, rolls off the assembly line tonight at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CST). You can read more about it, and the network’s model, in this CNN story that quotes noted USA Network scholar and friend of the blog Cory “Coriander” Barker.

We here at The Vast Wasteland are much more interested in the future than the past. That’s why our crack staff of intrepid reporters have dug up these synopses of upcoming USA Network hits. Get ready to enjoy them on a Saturday early afternoon when you’ve flipped through like a dozen channels already and why the hell not land on this.

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Categories: Humor, Pop Culture, TV

Business reading roundup, week of May 11, 2012

Between freelance (or more lasting) gigs, I find myself with a heap of time to read. So I’ve decided to start collecting a few items that sparked my curiosity in the business pages around the web. I’ll try to update this every Friday or so, offering my perspective on around five stories from the week that was.

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Northwestern MBA students put the “fun” in fundamental economics

This weekend I had the pleasure to attend “Special K!” an all-singing, all-dancing affair mounted by students at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Now, I got a lot out of business school – but I also attended part-time, and didn’t absorb the enviable level of culture and camaraderie on display here. And I sure never partook in any project quite so exuberant as this.

Before the show, I wrote about the show, and its three-decade history of entertaining Evanston, for Gapers Block:

Let’s face it: When you think of mirth, excitement, and song-and-dance numbers, you think of MBAs.

At least, that’s the hope of the more than 80 Northwestern graduate students behind the comic variety show Special K! Produced and performed by matriculators at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the revue hits the stage this week at the Norris University Center in Evanston. Nightly shows were from May 2-5, with two shows tonight. The assemblage of amusements — including live-action and digital skits, song parodies, a short film, and a riff on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment — represents the culmination of months of extracurricular work.

Continue reading at Gapers Block.

What The Avengers can teach you about writing

May 4, 2012 1 comment

Facing a writer’s block the size of Galactus? Flummoxed by a project as tricky as Loki? Perhaps my new piece for Ragan.com, excerpted below, can help:

As a writer, you probably think your job doesn’t share too much in common with the work of a team of spandex-clad super-beings who protect the world against megalomaniacal trickster fiends. And most likely, you’re 90 percent right (give or take your comfort with spandex).

Believe it or not, we can all learn a few things from “The Avengers.” With Marvel Comics’ premier supergroup hitting American movie theaters on May 4, those lessons are front and center. Here are a few nuggets of professional advice courtesy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

To discover these world-and-prose-saving tips from Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and more, continue reading at Ragan’s PR Daily.

The shared M.O. of The Cabin In The Woods and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Having experienced them both for the first time recently, I can confidently say that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an awful lot like Cabin In The Woods.

Stay with me on this.

(WARNING: Spoilers after the jump for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Also for the cabin thing.)

Cabin In The Wood / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

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Après The Raven, le déluge

Feeding moviegoers’ insatiable desire to see 19th century American icons become gothic-horror action heroes (no, really, that’s apparently a thing now), next weekend sees the opening of The Raven. If you haven’t scratched your heads at/laughed yourself silly over the ads yetThe Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. In it, the author who’s often credited with helping to invent the detective story must match wits with a serial killer who bases his crimes on Poe’s canon.

If The Raven is a smash hit at the box office—just…okay, come on guys, stop laughing, I’m trying to make a point—if it’s a hit,you can be certain Hollywood will crank it through the Idea Replicate-O-Tron 8000 and “reimagine” other famous authors grappling with their creations. Before they do, a few humble suggestions/predictions.

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