1. Markets in Everything: Avvo Launches First Online Legal Marketplace — consumers shop for an attorney privately — evaluate fit, fees and approach to their case.
2. Milton Friedman video: Milton Friedman schools a “young Michael Moore” about the value of a human life in regard to vehicle safety.
3. Is ‘Made in the USA’ coming back? Yes, and it’s more about economics and competitiveness than patriotism.
4. Markets in Everything: “Seat-fillers,” because producers of events like the Academy Awards don’t like empty seats when a celebrity guest gets out of their seat (to visit the restroom, schmooze with friends, or whatever) or if a guest is late to arrive.
5. Non-taxable employee fringe benefits have gone wild in California, according to John Goodman. Reason? Even moderate income families in California can face marginal tax rates that approach 50%.
6. The American Trucking Associations’ Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.5% year-over-year in January, and was the highest truck tonnage on record for the Month of January.
7. Framing Lumber Prices rose last week to $415 per 1,000 board feet, reaching the highest level since April 2005, almost 8 years ago.
8. US railroads set a new record in 2012 for shipments of crude oil by rail, with an eye-popping increase of +256% over 2011.
9. New media activism program at Duke University called “Write(H)ers,” aims to train feminist bloggers. Title IX?
10. Thank to the Eagle Ford Shale boom, “staggering wealth” is pouring into Karnes County in Texas (previously one of the state’s poorest counties), where 3 million barrels of oil were pumped in November. With oil at $97 a barrel and with typical royalties of 25%, more than $70 million was paid to landowners in the county for just that month’s production, not to mention the many millions more spent there monthly by energy companies and their employees.