‘Simpsons’ fans learn the truth about ‘Michael Jackson’ in 1991 episode Reuters Michael Jackson arrives at the Oxford University Union to give a lecture in March 2001. ‘Michael Jackson? No way.’ Bart Simpson, ‘The Simpsons’ That was Bart Simpson’s reaction upon answering a telephone call in a 1991 episode of the long-running Fox FOX, +0.38% FOXA, +0.20% series “The Simpsons” to be told the caller was Michael Jackson. Turns out, according to a Fox News report, the caller was telling the truth.
The animated character portraying the caller on screen, and identifying himself as a psychiatric patient, told a very different story (see clip embedded below), but something about the distinctive voice, combined with show creator Matt Groening’s reputation for impertinence, kept “Simpsons” fans wondering for decades whether the King of Pop himself had, in fact, made a stealth cameo, despite an on-screen credit to “John Jay Smith” for having voiced the character.
This week, according to the Fox ..Read More →

The cost of buying a home is rising three times faster than the cost to rent As the monthly cost of buying a home continues to trudge upwards, renting is becoming a more affordable option across much of the U.S.
The monthly cost of buying a home — which includes mortgage payments, taxes and insurance — jumped 14% between July 2017 and July 2018, according to a report released Thursday by Realtor.com. Comparatively, it only became 4% more expensive to rent a home over that same period.
That disparity means that for much of the country, it’s now much more affordable to rent than it is to buy. It’s cheaper to buy in only 35% of counties nationwide, and just 41% of the U.S. population lives in those counties.
(Realtor.com is operated by News Corp NWSA, -1.13% subsidiary Move Inc., and MarketWatch is a unit of Dow Jones, which is also a subsidiary of News Corp.)
Don’t miss: Why it makes more sense to rent than buy
The gap is even greater in counties where the population exceeds 100,00..Read More →

More than half of Americans are surprised by this piece of mail Americans are used to receiving bills in the mail — but one in particular tends to surprise many of them.
More than half of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill they thought was covered by insurance, according to a new survey by the NORC at the University of Chicago (formerly known as the National Opinion Research Center). For a fifth of those respondents, the surprise came because their doctor was out-of-network, meaning that the doctor didn’t accept the patient’s health insurance.
More than half (53%) were unexpectedly charged for physician services, and another 51% said the surprising charges came from laboratory tests, the survey of more than 1,000 adults found.
See: More and more health care bills are over $1 million — and expensive drugs are playing a major role
‘The whole system is rife with manipulation’ Those surprising bills aren’t much of a shock to health care experts. The American healt..Read More →

Here’s why emerging-markets turmoil will continue to keep traders on their toes August ended with another round of turmoil across emerging markets and it isn’t clear that the flip of the calendar will bring much relief.
“It is hard to tell how much of this is month-end and real money stopping out of long held favorites like India, Argentina, Brazil, etc. Or how much of this is actually something more than that,” said Brad Bechtel, an analyst at Jefferies, in a Friday note. “Coming weeks will tell us a lot about that but I get the general sense that we are not out of the woods just yet.”
See: How Argentina’s peso plunge keeps emerging markets in the spotlight
Argentina’s central bank delivered an emergency rate increase Thursday, lifting its rate from 45% to 60% and vowing not to cut until at least December. The move did little to halt a two-day plunge that took the peso USDARS, -4.7139% to an all-time low. A bounce on Friday still left the currency down more than 16% for the week a..Read More →

This timeline charts Elon Musk’s dramatic rise to internet fame (or descent into internet infamy) Since his early days as a billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk has excelled at living large in the public imagination — espousing big ideas for tackling big problems, and unafraid to engage with his fans and detractors alike in the public sphere, especially on social media.
But the events of 2018 have catapulted him into a new realm of stardom — or, one could argue, delved him into internet infamy. (Read the full MarketWatch story on his fame and the risks it could post to Tesla here.)
In 2018, Musk’s activity on Twitter has increased, and engagements with his tweets have gone off the charts. Interest in him around the world, as evidenced by Google Trends data, has exploded. Interest isn’t always an indicator of sentiment, however, and there are plenty of signs that as he continues to get widely hailed, he is also getting increasingly assailed.
Here are some of the defining moments in M..Read More →

This company turned its earnings call into a skit that involved ‘port-a-potties’ Zuora Chief Executive Tien Tzuo has at least one thing in common with Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk: the opinion that earnings conference calls can be “boring” and “dry.”
So Zuora ZUO, -18.91% opted to try something different this quarter, holding a “dialogue” instead of the traditional recitation of prepared statements. The basic format was “interviews” between the CEO and CFO about the subscription-software company’s financials as well as campy back-and-forth about the company’s journey since its April initial public offering.
For example, when Tzuo asked Chief Financial Officer Tyler Sloat if he could believe the IPO happened five months ago, Sloat responded that he “still wake[s] up in a cold sweat wondering what city I’m in” but luckily “had enough grapefruit to stay healthy and keep the energy up.”
See also: What Zuora’s CEO had to say on IPO day
The grapefruit reference appeared to be an inside joke..Read More →