The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 28, 2019

Aerial view of Hudson River looking toward West Mountain ski areaDuring one of the most important ski weeks of the year, it’s mostly wet, not white.
Crown Focus Media)

THE NET(FLIX) GAIN: Have you, like us, indulged in a little Netflix this holiday season? Maybe “The Irishman” in several sittings? Or a peek at “Peaky Blinders?” You helped power what once was an entertainment non-factor into the best-performing stock of the decade, with a stunning return of 4,000 percent and potentially more growth ahead.  Just eight years ago, Netflix was in a very different place – a hellish place. This is the stuff of a good movie.

LAKE GEORGE FOILING AN INVADER: Since the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian milfoil was discovered in Lake George in 1985, $6 million has been spent to eradicate or contain the noxious weed. Now, the tide may be turning: Last summer 83,000 pounds of milfoil were harvested, more than in either of the two previous years. In one area, the bed of milfoil has been reduced by 95 percent.

ROLLS PAST HOUSES, FARMS AND FIELDS: The world’s most scenic train rides include those in Sri Lanka, Peru, Scotland, South Africa – and along the Adirondack line, Amtrak’s service between New York City and Montreal. “Bring a good book, pack a favorite lunch, and don’t even think about relying on Wi-Fi,” says The Points Guy.

NO ONE GOES THERE: Boston Globe travel writer Christopher Muther has no use for fellow travel writers’ “Places You Must Visit” lists. They’re overwhelming and dominated by places people don’t go. So, he’s compiled a manageable list of places to which he’d return. There are the usual exotics (Slovenia, Colombia, and Vietnam), but there’s also Burlington (“a charmer of a college town”), Edinburgh (“the Scottish capital of cool”) and Ogunquit, Maine (“One of the nicest beaches in the state … and plenty to do on rainy summer days.”)

Exterior of Canfield Casino buildingSaratoga Springs’ Canfield Casino will host the Kelly’s Angels Ten Years of Love Gala 
to raise money to help local children and families facing life-changing
health crises Saturday, Jan. 18. Tickets on sale now.

DON’T PU PU THIS: Across America, long-successful Chinese restaurants are closing – not because there’s less demand for General Tso’s chicken, but because Mom and Dad have reached retirement age and their children are forsaking the wok to become entrepreneurs and professionals.

View of Lake George with snow on the mountains in the backgroundIn summer heat and winter cold, the beauty of Lake George never fails to beckon.
(Mary Beth Behan Fagle)

FOUR-DAY WEEK: Why hasn’t the idea of a four-day work week taken hold in the United States as it has elsewhere? Could it be we like work too much?

DECADE’S BEST READS: We struggle to squeeze books, even great ones, into most work weeks, and there were some astonishingly good reads published in the last decade. Some were bought and loved, some were unbought, some remain unopened on nightstands. We look at some we loved, including Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,’’ Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns,” Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” and Andrew Solomon’s “Far from the Tree.” Here’s BuzzFeed’s guilt-inducing take.

DECADE’S BEST FILMS: Esoteric, idiosyncratic, random and sometimes right on-the-mark,  two Variety critics take a shot at naming the ten best films of the decade and include “Twelve Years a Slave,” “La La Land,” “Lady Bird,” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Turns out picking great films is Mission: Impossible.

DECADE’S TOP TASTES: Avocado toast isn’t, at least not yet. Bye, bye, acai. And it’s pokay, OK?

ABOUT THESE RANKINGS: Do we really need Al Gore’s Internet to tell us the top 10 hair dryers of the decade?

GUESS WHO GOT A PELOTON FOR CHRISTMAS: A few weeks ago much of the world got exercised over a Peloton commercial that some thought depicted a sexist guy giving his already fit partner exercise equipment. The story continues.


 Our sincere wish for our readers in the New Year:

May the nourishment of the Earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protections of the ancestors be yours.

— Excerpted from “A Blessing for the New Year,” John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us”


Brexit, Boris, and The Bobs (Kraft and Mueller); Conan, Elon, Thrones and Notre Dame, plus Tiger, Kim and Popeyes vs. The Chik. Dave Barry makes complete (non)sense of a crazy year.

THANK YOU to our contributors: John Brodt, Bill Richmond, Bill Callen, Lisa Fenwick, Colleen Potter, Tina Suhocki, Mary Beth Behan Fagle, Tara Hutchins, Matt Behan and Claire P. Tuttle.

FACING OUT is what we do. We help companies, organizations and individuals work effectively with their most important external audiences – their customers, their shareholders, their communities, the government and the news media.

Facing Out features news and other nuggets that caught our eye, and that we thought might be of value to you, our friends and business associates. Some items are good news about our clients and friends, others are stories that we hope will leave you a bit more informed or entertained than you were five minutes ago. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. 

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