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Prostitution, helicopter parents and the rest of the best business stuff this week

Here at Grid we spend a lot of time reading what the Internet has to say about business. Or, as journalists like to call it, “working.” Every Friday, we let you benefit from our diligence by collecting the most interesting and entertaining stuff we’ve encountered this week.

Can Stanford invest in the minds — and companies — of its students?

What’s the point of being a starting point for close to 40,000 companies if there’s no fat return down the line? After years of seeing VC firms make bank on businesses Stanford nurtured in infancy, the university is launching a program to invest in a select few student companies. Now they just have to figure out if it’s at all ethical. Sarah Collins

The world’s oldest profession falls on hard times

When people say the Internet disrupts everything, they mean everything. The number of brothels in Nevada has dropped by half in the last 30 years, and Bloomberg thinks it has a lot to do with the flowering of the online escort industry. Other hypotheses: rising fuel prices, which leave truckers with less change in their pockets, and a Nevada housing market that remains on the ropes. Matt Present

Elsewhere in Nevada: Vegas has what Chicago needs

Chicago earns praise for its diverse economy, especially as it staves off industrial collapse à la Detroit. But specialization, some say, is what can set a city apart. If London has finance, San Fran has tech and even little Vegas has gambling, what is Chicago’s real strength? The Midwesterner mulls what it means to be global. Sara White

Could simple things like stretching, smiling and sitting up actually make you work better?

Fast Co. talks about the “power of posture” and explains how a good smile can actually make you more productive and better at your job. Which …

Why grumpy people can be super productive

… is completely reversed in this Fast Co. piece that says a negative attitude can be the spark for creativity. Madeline Skaggs

Should you bring mom and dad to the office?

Our coddled, helicopter-parented generation wants to hang annual reviews on mom’s fridge. Meg Graham

12 x $30,000 – 108 months = NO WAY

Once I got past the visceral horror of imagining 12 pregnancies, this Washingtonian article on surrogate mothers is a pretty beautiful testament to jobs that are much more than a swap of services for cash. Sarah Collins