On her blog the Rejectionist, Sarah McCarry is publishing an excellent series of interviews called Working, where she talks to writers about how they live with their depression and the ways they manage to work with/through/around their illness. It’s about “finding a balance between the work we have to do, the work we want to do, and taking care of ourselves,” which of course is applicable to all kinds of work and all kinds of people.
Financial literacy, as we know it, hasn’t been very effective. But we all want it to be! No one wants financial literacy efforts to fail—the more we talk about money—the good and the bad of it—the better understanding we’ll have of it (which is kind of the reason why this site exists). So what might work?
The Wall Street Journal reports that Fidelity Investments challenged think tanks, non-profits, and individuals to come up with an effective way of teaching low-income teenagers financial skills. They received 73 ideas.
Okay, so here’s one:
In the game-night proposal, from Economic Empowerment Initiative, in Atlanta, teens and parents would first prepare a family budget. Then the teens would shop in newspapers and online for discounts and promotions to help save money. In return, the teens receive pretend dollars they could “spend” as they pleased, after putting 10% into a savings account.
Hmm. Um, okay what else?
What’s it like to get sick?
How cold are you right now? The polar vortex blew from west to east sending temperatures plunging by 50 degrees in the city within a few hours. It’s 4 degrees here, and in the negatives elsewhere. Most of us will be able to huddle indoors and throw a kettle on the stove, but if you come upon someone in need of shelter or warmth—a homeless person, or a Little Match Girl, maybe—there are numbers you can call to reach people who can assist, according to this servicey post by Forbes’s Dan Diamond:
I ended up calling D.C.’s Hypothermia Hotline, which offers round-the-clock roving patrols and guaranteed shelter when the temperature gets this cold. If a person refuses shelter, the patrol will offer comfort items—warm drinks, blankets, and other clothes—and check on the person across the night. Other cities have similar services too.
Everyone stay warm and comfortable today!
Photo: Jo Naylor
If you don’t have any plans for 2023 yet, and aren’t really feeling tied to this whole “life on planet Earth” thing, well, it’s too late! The first round of application reviews to go start a colony on Mars is already over.
200,000 people over 18 were way ahead of you and sent a video to the Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which is raising six billion dollars to send 40 people to Mars by 2023. The application pool has now been whittled down to 1,058 people who really, really want a new start (in nine years):
Of those who made the first cut, 297 are from the United States. Canada is the second best represented country with 75 candidates, followed by India with 62 and Russia with 52. All told, Mars One is looking at applicants from 107 different countries, according to figures released by the group.
Nearly 77 percent of the people who made the first cut are employed, while about 15 percent are still in school. About 55 percent of the applicants are male and most are quite young: 357 are under 25 and 415 are under 35, while just 26 are over 56. The oldest person to make it to the next round is 81.
If you’re kicking yourself for missing yet another application deadline, you can always participate by donating to the Mars One Indiegogo campaign (LOL), which has raised a total of $129,708 as of this writing.
Photo: NASA Goddard Space Center
Christmas time is here.
This Margaret Sullivan column about whether the Times should use the world “entitlements” when referring to Social Security and Medicare benefits is fascinating.
It was the last night of business for the restaurant, it was closing after a few years. A waitress had told a pair of lunch patrons the week before that the building needed a lot of expensive repairs, that the owners weren’t able to undertake them. A sign outside said, Thank you for dining with us, We will miss you.
Did the host have a new job yet? He did not. He’d been trying, but Thanksgiving was coming up, not the best time to be job seeking … Could he collect unemployment? He could not–he’d been working off the books, “mostly.” But the owners had told them a month in advance, the best you could get from a restaurant, he said. He’d shown up to locked doors before, and that’s how he found out he no longer had a job.