March 16, 2018: Friday News Roundup

The weekend is in sight! Let’s get to it.

Stephen Hawking Dies At 76: ‘A Star Just Went Out’ – World Honours Renowned British Physicist
We wanted to take a moment to add our voice to the many paying tribute this week to the late Stephen Hawking, who taught the world about far more than physics and helped us all understand the universe better.

What Breaking the 4-Minute Mile Taught Us About the Limits of Conventional Thinking
A trailblazer in a very different field also left us this week: Roger Bannister, the first person to break the four-minute mile. Long believed an impossible record to beat, Bannister’s feat actually opened the floodgate for other runners to do the same. This same dynamic applies to organizations, where “some innovator changes the game, and that which was thought to be unreachable becomes a benchmark, something for others to shoot for.”

Another New Survey Underscores That Skilled Workers Can Pretty Much Live Wherever They Want
Gotta get those skills, folks! Here’s more evidence that when you do, you can control your own career destiny—including where you choose to call home. This research found that recruiters would rather hire a remote worker with sought-after skills than someone local, even if their companies don’t generally support working from home.

A U.S. University Is Tracking Students’ Locations To Predict Future Dropouts
Creepiness alert: The University of Arizona “has been quietly collecting data on its first-year students’ ID card swipes around campus for the last few years.” Apparently, tracking patterns of movement, behavior, and interactions provides insights that can identify students at risk of dropping out and, perhaps, prompt interventions to keep them in school.

How Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Saw Into the Future
This seems like a good story to bookend a roundup that started off with Stephen Hawking. Director Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, based on the Arthur C. Clarke science-fiction novel, turns 50 this year, and while early filmgoers didn’t love it, it’s now “widely recognized as ranking among the most influential movies ever made.”