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The congregation swooned as she bounded on stage, the prophet sealskin sleek in her black skinny ankle pants and black ballet flats, a lavalier microphone clipped to the V-neck of her black button-down sweater. “All right!! Let’s go!!” she exclaimed.

Australia, thanks largely to the economic rise of China, has been in the throes of a mining boom. Georgina (Gina) Hope Rinehart, who owns a company called Hancock Prospecting and has recently been buying up Australian media properties, is the best known of these new tycoons. Gina Rinehart is Australia’s richest and most controversial billionaire.

To turn away from a product that had always done well with corporate customers, and focus on selling yet another all-touch smartphone in a market crowded with them, was a huge mistake, Mr. Lazaridis warned his fellow directors. Some of them agreed. 

As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit

Before there were presentations, there were conversations, which were a little like presentations but used fewer bullet points, and no one had to dim the lights. A woman we can call Sarah Wyndham, a defense-industry consultant living in Alexandria, Virginia, recently began to feel that her two daughters weren’t listening when she asked them to clean their bedrooms and do their chores.

Here’s your ‘buzzword bingo’ card for the meeting,” Wally says to Dilbert, handing him a piece of paper. “If the boss uses a buzzword on your card, you check it off. The objective is to fill a row.”They go to the meeting, where their pointy-haired boss presides. “You’re all very attentive today,” he observes. “My proactive leadership must be working!”

Sitting used to be considered essential to the West; it was presumed that the “great divergence” came because those in the East did not have chairs. A British colonialist in 1851 was disgusted to see Indians squatting while they worked. “All work with their knees nearly on a level with their chin,” he sniffed, “the left hand — when not used as the kangaroo uses his tail to form a tripod — grasps the left knee and binds the trunk to the doubled limbs. 

My airplane home from Boston is delayed for takeoff, so the woman next to me pulls out her phones to get some work done. Like many of us, she has two—an iPhone for her personal life and a BlackBerry paid for by her employer. "It's a dog leash," she jokes. "They yank on it and I respond. If somebody from work emails me on Friday at 10 p.m., they're pissed if I don't write back in five minutes."

In boyers, Pa. — The trucks full of paperwork come every day, turning off a country road north of Pittsburgh and descending through a gateway into the earth. Underground, they stop at a metal door decorated with an American flag.Behind the door, a room opens up as big as a supermarket, full of five-drawer file cabinets and people in business casual. About 230 feet below the surface, there is easy-listening music playing at somebody’s desk.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, owns a party bus, a party house, and what could be termed a party insect—a 40-foot-long praying mantis that shoots fire from its antennas. He views all of these things as a particular sort of investment.

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