1. Railroads profit from the oil boom in North Dakota by bringing fracking sand in and taking oil out.
2. North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Patch could be the focus of a new reality TV show.
3. Marketplace interview with George Mitchell, the oil man who cracked the code and figured out hydraulic fracturing.
Real estate recovery (updated with a few more)
5. The median sales price in November for homes sold in Oahu increased 10.3% vs. last year, while home sales increased 15.5%.
6. Daytona Beach area realtors expect home sales in 2013 to exceed the 10,000 mark for the first time since 2005.
7. From Trulia: In November, asking prices on for-sale homes rose 0.8% month-over-month, for a 3.8% year-over-year increase–the second-largest post-crisis monthly gain (just slightly behind October 2012) and the largest yearly gain to date.
8. November home sales in the Dallas area increased 18%, median sales price by 11%.
9. Detroit-area home sales increased 7.2% in November, while the median sales price increased 25.1% vs. last year.
10. Markets in Everything: Coffee at $50 per cup from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung.
11. Creative destruction: The popularity of smartphones is threatening the compact camera market, forcing traditional camera makers to adapt their products in a bid to stay relevant.
12. NPR reports on the manufacturing reshoring/insourcing boom.
13. Coast Guard Officer Killed By Drug Smugglers and becomes the 61st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations in 2012.
14. The U.K. Waged a “War on Gin” in the 18th Century, Not Unlike Today’s War on Drugs.
15. Google avoided $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting almost $10 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company.
16. After France’s socialist President Francois Hollande imposes a huge wealth tax, actor Gerard Depardieu buys a house right across the border in Belgium, where there is no wealth tax or capital gains tax.