Culture

Broke Young People Will Always Have Paris

Paris has the highest minimum wage of any metropolis considered, the equivalent of $12.84 an hour. Berlin is in 2nd place with a minimum wage of $11.86 and Rome is third.

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ManServant Trying to Make “Porn For Women” Happen

Have money? Hire a sugar baby / ManServant! Want someone to be nice to you? Pay them! Is this the natural, though cynical, extension of a market economy?

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Radio Recaps: StartUp Podcast Ep. 6, “How to Value Your Start Up”

#6 is the first episode that discusses, on a meta level, the effect the podcast — created to document but also promote the fledgling venture — has on the venture itself.

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The Work and Money-Related Secret Fantasies of Adults

Our very own Jazmine Hughes is in the New Yorker magazine being brilliant about our secret fantasies as grown-ups, which have far less to do with sex than with work and money:

UNLIMITED TIME OFF FROM WORK FOR VARIOUS PRESSING MATTERS “Excuse me, boss?” you say, as you knock on an already open door, since your company believes in open-door policies, catered lunches, and summer Fridays. She—it has to be she, because you’ve always worked for a woman—looks genuinely happy to see you, and encourages you to take some freshly cut fruit, because you live in a place where harvests are bountiful. “Take as much as you want!” she says. “The harvests were bountiful!”

You don’t hesitate with your request. “I noticed this morning that I’m getting pretty behind on my issues of The Economist,” you say. This is not a lie. You regularly read The Economist, and you find typos every time, too. “Could I have a few days off to catch up?” Your boss gives you ten, and some more fruit. …

TRADER JOE’S PEANUT-BUTTER CUPS GO ON SALE “Marked down to $3.50? I better get two!”

A MEET-CUTE, WITH PERKS You’re walking down the street, furiously tapping away on the screen of your Latest Coolest Phone model, when you bump into an actual model, one not famous enough to place but well known enough that your nemesis, whom you haven’t seen since third grade and who walks by at this exact moment, does a double take. The model apologizes, and holds out his somehow muscular hand for a handshake. You two stand on the street and talk easily, like old friends or familiar neighbors who talk to each other only in the elevator, and he eloquently explains to you the difference between a traditional I.R.A. and a Roth I.R.A.

To this, I can only add, “free Diet Coke in the office,” “someone really old who lived a full, happy life dies and leaves me all their frequent flier miles,” and “Babygirl teaches herself to read, preferably while figuring out how to use and clean the potty, leaving me free to write novels and/or watch British miniseries.” Also maybe “waffles burn calories.”

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Link Roundup! Fee-less Banks; Bankable Stars; When Success Isn’t a Straight Line

Success is not a straight line; success is a sine curve, even for the Internet famous. That can be really, really hard to remember, and harder still to admit.

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Paying for Theaters vs Waiting for Netflix

Over the weekend, I watched Obvious Child on DVD, and it was one of those rare movies that I wished someone had frog-marched me to the theater for. It got a lot of press at the time as the “abortion comedy” (the way Brokeback Mountain was the “gay cowboy movie“) and, though I supported that in theory, the film seemed like something I could wait to enjoy later. No. NO. I was wrong. The film was so funny, so poignant and interesting and smart, that I wish I could have shelled out the $13 to see it then so I could evangelize for it and maybe convince other people to shell out $13 each to see it too.

Usually I’m fine waiting for the red envelope. Gravity, which everyone swore you had to pony up to see on the big screen? The couch was fine. 12 Years a Slave? Even better, because I could press pause when my heart was beating too hard and I needed to calm down. The downside of waiting, of course, is an inability to participate in the cultural conversation; but sometimes listening to the conversation is sufficient. In the case of 12 Years a Slave, what would I have had to add? My four word film review would have been “Slavery bad. Performances good.” Definitely worth two cents, that.

But Obvious Child acted on me like a stimulant, like last year’s In A World …, another surprising breakthrough feminist indie comedy I regretted having waited to see on DVD. I wish I had gotten it together to buy full-price, as it were, because both films could have used that kind of word-of-mouth support. My money could have meant something, maybe. It coulda been a contender.

Now I have to wonder what else is coming out this fall that I will regret not seeing in theaters. If only $13 didn’t feel like a lot of money and/or if only I felt rich enough to spend $13 whenever I wanted.

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Kids Trick-or-Treating Across Class Lines Makes 1%er Feel Faint

Halloween, as much as Thanksgiving, is a holiday about generosity.

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A Costume Designer Gives You 4 Ways to Win Halloween

This look is selfie-optimized and inspired by Hedy Lamarr and old-school showgirls, with a nod to Karl Sagan and the Egyptian goddess Nuit.

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‘I’d Like to Dispute These Charges, Please’

Yesterday, I received a text from my bank alerting me of some possibly fraudulent activity on my debit card. Despite the fact that it was tucked securely in my wallet, right next to my Qdoba rewards card, someone was using the number at a gas station in Lebanon. I can only assume they used the $97.60 to buy a tank of gas and then 57 hot dogs.

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Paying by Phone

Apple’s mobile payments system, Apple Pay, was launched this week, and is working in national retail chains like Macy’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and Subway. Quartz has a guide to how it all works. Essentially, you’d connect one of your credit cards to your iPhone, and an antenna in your phone would automatically bring up the payments system when you’re ready to pay. You’d then pay using the fingerprint Touch ID system on your phone.

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Link Roundup! “Breaking Bad” Dolls, Men’s Watches, Last Call for Holiday Flights

+ Sorry, guys. Since a Florida mom complained, you can’t buy “Breaking Bad” action figures at Toys R Us anymore. Note: the NPR article about this story uses “dolls” and “action figures” interchangeably, but I feel like I read something in the New Yorker once delineating the subtle but fascinating distinctions between the categories — which matter a lot for import tax reasons. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Did I dream it, like I dreamed last night that I got mauled by someone’s pet tiger? (“He’s usually very friendly,” the person said, cleaning my wounds.)

+ Remember those happy days when there was a clear hierarchy to men’s watches?

If you’re scaling your way up the ladder of rich douchiness, you start with a middle-class-friendly Casio or Timex. After your first six figures in the finance industry, you move to an “entry-level” luxury watch, like a Rolex, by 30. Then, in your 40s, if you’re lucky, you park your annual bonus on a high-end Swiss number. And in your 50s, feeling both flush and the literal press of time, you rock the equivalent of a Porsche on your wrist, before passing it on to the next generation as a family heirloom.

But since 2007, the whole system has been disrupted by something called “the Ice-Watch” (??), at least in Europe, where everyone, even rich people, wants the cool fun watch that costs only $200. The best part of this article is that it says the Ice-Watch “cock-blocked Swatch.” Wow. Mike would wash our mouths out with soap if we talked like that.

+ Haven’t purchased your flights home for the holidays yet? There’s still time, maybe! A little time, not much. Some years the cheapest flights appear 10 days out, right before prices spike. And holiday flights are actually super expensive in July and August, to punish those of you who might otherwise feel good about being on the ball.

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