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America's Top Companies: 1964 vs. 2011

It is once again a boom time for the titans of American business, with corporations posting high profits on eye-popping earnings statements; yet unemployment remains stubbornly high (with few signs pointing to a rapid acceleration in hiring on the horizon).

New York Magazine has a theory that partially explains the disconnect—corporations now need far fewer employees to run the show. In a recent piece entitled "The Hiring Gap"—comparing the top ten most valuable companies in the nation in 1964 with the top ten today—it is clear that corporate earnings are rising exponentially while the number of employees required to run those companies is either similar or far lower (especially when you consider how many more people are in the workforce these days).

A few interesting points:

• Only two companies on the 1964 list appear on the current list—GE and IBM.

• In 1964, the single largest employer (AT&T) had more employees than the combined 2011 workforces of Exxon, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Microsoft, Chevron, and Google.

• Berkshire Hathaway is #2 on the current list, with a market cap of $405 billion, and 260,000 employees. It is worth noting that those are the total employees at companies owned by the investment firm—only 21 people work at the company's offices.

• In 1964, Kodak was tenth on the list, booking a market cap of $40 billion and employing 81,500. Tenth on the list today—Google, with a market cap of $183 billion, and employing 24,400.

• In 1964, AT&T topped the list with $254 billion in market capital, and 758,611 employees. Today, Exxon Mobil is in first place—with $412 billion in market capital, and 83,600 employees.

Click here to read the full story.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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