Hot Topics: 2011's Most Admired People
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton top Gallup's annual "Most Admired" poll, leading to speculation the two could become running mates for the 2012 presidential election.
Obama was the No. 1 pick of 17 percent of people polled, ahead of former Presidents George W. Bush (3 percent) and Bill Clinton (2 percent), as well as the Rev. Billy Graham, Warren Buffet, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Pope Benedict XVI, Bill Gates and Mormon leader Thomas Monson, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Clinton headed the list of most admired women with 17 percent of No. 1 votes, followed by Oprah Winfrey (7 percent), Michelle Obama (5 percent), Sarah Palin (4 percent), Condoleezza Rice (3 percent), and Laura Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Elizabeth II and Michele Bachmann.
Here's what else made news this week:
Steady Hiring in 2012: About 23 percent of U.S. companies expect to add employees in 2012, on par with this year's hiring levels, according to a new CareerBuilder survey of 3,000 human resource and hiring managers. Forty-three percent of hiring managers worry that top employees will leave in 2012, according to the survey. That's despite the fact that half the companies expect to give up to 5 percent pay raises next year, with 32 percent giving new workers higher starting salaries.
2011's Best of the Best: It's time for year-end lists, and if you're on Twitter or Facebook, you can't avoid them. Some noteworthy "best of 2011" compilations: the year's best biographies, from BrainPicking; USA Today's most notable tech products; Wired.com's list of pop culture's tastiest bits; and ReadWriteWeb's top 10 TED Talks -- Hudson River plane crash survivor Ric Elias' "3 things I learned..." video is must-see TV. If you haven't already, check out SecondAct's Best Second Act Awards, honoring some of the year's best stories of reinvention, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Big Year for Tech Women: Instead of singling out one person, Forbes bestowed its annual Woman of the Year honors collectively on women executives in the tech industry, who the magazine says assumed unprecedented leadership roles in 2011. The group includes Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, IBM's first female chief executive; Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive at Xerox; Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard's new CEO; HTC chairman and co-founder Cher Wang; and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions: Even famous songwriters make New Year's promises to eat healthier, drink less, save more and love their parents. Boing Boing recently published folk legend Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Year's resolutions -- and they'll look surprisingly familiar to anybody who's kept a diary or committed to writing their goals for the coming 12 months. Other resolutions on Guthrie's list: "Write a song a day," "Wear clean clothes -- look good," "Dance better" and "Don't get lonesome."
Turn Over a New Leaf at 50: Years of not putting much thought into what she ate or how she exercised ended when Barbara Hanna Grufferman turned 50. All of a sudden, she found herself asking questions like "What if I get sick or have a heart attack? What if I get Alzheimer's? What if I get cancer?" Grufferman writes in a HuffPost/50 essay. The closer she looked, the more she realized many health issues were under her control. Grufferman used the research she did for her own post-50 transformation to write a book, The Best of Everything After 50. "Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a woman who is brimming with confidence, enthusiasm, and energy," she writes. "I am happy with who I am and with how I look -- including my crow's feet, which are a part of the story of my life."
Surf Industry Legend Dies: If you've ever paddled a surfboard into open water, you've probably heard of Surfline. Started in the 1980s as a telephone service for Southern California beaches, the popular surf report morphed into an online operation informing surfers where waves were breaking worldwide. Surfline founder Sean Collins died on Dec. 26 at the age of 59 after suffering a heart attack while playing tennis. According to a USA Today report, Collins started surfing at 8 and began tracking weather while sailing with his father. He set up his first live surfcam in 1996 and was inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame in 2008.
Website of the Week: When life gets too complicated, use Lifehacker. The website is known for its practical tips on getting the most out of software and electronics gadgets. But not all of the Gawker-owned site's advice is high-tech. For example, a recent post explained options for turning unwanted holiday gifts into cash, including signing up to sell stuff on Amazon so you can use the company's fulfillment service to unload unwanted merchandise.
Last Word: "It's hard to put into words what it feels like when the president thanks you for something. It was quite an amazing moment." -- Dr. Judith Broder, Best SecondAct Making a Difference winner, on receiving a U.S. Medal of Service from President Obama this year. She was recognized for starting The Soldiers Project, a national counseling network for traumatized veterans.
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