8 Fascinating Reads

By Markets Fool.com

Happy Friday! Here are eight cool things I read this week.

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Wisdom

Rob Bennett writes a great piece about rethinking investing beliefs:

Academic Researchers in This Field No Longer Have Confidence in Their Work.Rob Arnott once spoke at a conference of academic researchers in this field and asked how many still believed in the Efficient Market Theory. A tiny number of hands went up. He then asked a follow-up question: How many of the researchers would be using the Efficient Market Theory as the core assumption in the research that they would be doing when they got back to the office on Monday morning? Nearly every hand in the room shot up. Huh?

Priorities

America now has more prisons than colleges:

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We have slightly more jails and prisons in the U.S. -- 5,000 plus -- than we dodegree-granting colleges and universities. In many parts of America, particularly the South,there are more people living in prisons than on college campuses. Cumberland County, Pa. -- population 235,000 --is home to 41 correctional facilities and 7 colleges.Prisons outnumber colleges 15-to-1 in Lexington County, S.C.

Brand

WD-40 -- a company that makes spray metal lubricants -- has an interesting way of describing itself:

Progress

As countries get richer, the share of labor devoted to agriculture plunges:

Dinosaurs

ESPN is one of the only major cable networks whose traffic didn't decline in the last year:

Bargains

Oil is now cheaper than water (this article is a few weeks old; oil is even cheaper now):

Brent crude was trading just below $60 a barrel on Tuesday morning, meaning that it now costs about 24 pence a litre. An oil barrel is 159 litres and currently the British Pound is 64 pence to the dollar.

AsReuters' John Kemp tweeted this morning, that is about 40% cheaper than a bottle of Evian mineral water in British supermarkets, where a six-pack of 1.5 litre bottles sellsfor 3.80.

Retirement

Illinois is taking drastic steps to help people retire:

Illinois is taking a novel approach to getting its residents to save for retirement. Starting in 2017, most state residents with jobs who don't already have a retirement plan at work will be automatically enrolled in individual retirement accounts, funded through a 3 percent deduction from their paychecks.

The history of the future

Watch this video from 1964 predicting what life would be like in 2000:

Have a good weekend.

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The article 8 Fascinating Reads originally appeared on Fool.com.

Contact Morgan Housel at mhousel@fool.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.