Great weekend under way! My friend Carol discovered a FREE First Friday concert last night, presented by the Arizona State University music department. So we raced downtown as soon as we could escape from our respective clients. Grabbed dinner in a cool little bistro/bar (more bar than bistro, I think, tho’ the food was excellent) and then flew into the concert just as they were about to start. They were incredibly good, and the thing we really loved about it was how eclectic it was — music from the 1700s to just yesterday — two of the pieces were composed by young men who were sitting there in the hall.
Gorgeous evening. Weather was beautiful and we had a fine time. Spring is now in its “late” phase here, as in it would be your basic summer anywhere else in the world. This afternoon I was able to get into the pool and swim about a half-hour or forty-five minutes, making up for the many hikes and bike rides I’ve failed to take over the past week or ten days.
Around the Internet, all sorts of cool things are going on. I ran across something called called Longreads.com, an extremely neat site that aggregates articles with — if can imagine! — actual substance. If you enjoy reading something you can really wrap your mind around, check it out.
In the rich get richer department, I’m sure most of us have already gotten wind of the most recent clues to the demise of the middle class. Here’s the report from the proverbial horse’s mouth, and an interesting tabulation of related data at the Washington Post.
Since we’re all going to be doing menial work for a living, we might as well know the secret to getting rid of toilet stains, revealed (where else?) at Lifehacker.
And in the don’t worry, be happy department, Wired posts an entertainment about Google Glass.
The semester is finally winding up, and now so I can tell you about one of my (fully adult! not a kid!) students’ blogs. In a recent post she shares an discovery she and a few others have made about a possible cause for childhood eczema. And as a matter of fact, a couple of experiences I had when M’hijito was little tend to back up this theory.
At My Journey to Millions, Evan contemplates an amazing idea: start your own family credit union! Apparently this scheme is not beyond the means of any reasonably affluent group with something in common: check out the how-to at NCUA.
Romance is in the air at A Gai Shan Life, where Revanche reminisces about the first six months of a certain relationship, in New Zealand, where eemuse is about to tie the knot, and at I Pick Up Pennies, where Abby & Tim celebrate their 5th anniversary with a mini-honeymoon.
Crystal offers an incredibly easy and delicious-looking recipe, complete with photos, for scalloped potatoes. Yum!
Mrs. Accountability relates a jaw-dropping tale of a young mother who contrives to get food stamps despite earning a decent living and living, all things considered, fairly high off the hog.
Donna Freedman celebrates her fourth blogiversary with links to great past posts at Surviving and Thriving and elsewhere.
I don’t remember if I linked to this April 24 post at Money Beagle; if not, you should read it because it’s it’s very funny; if so, more comments accrued–worth revisiting While you’re there, check out today’s to-do list for balanced living.
Paula at Afford Anything debunks an old chestnut, to entertaining effect.
At Planting Our Pennies, Mrs. PoP posts the April balance sheet, complete with cool graphs. As she says, you can generate reports like this at Mint; and you also can do it in Excel, with a little formula manipulation.
Over at Frugal Scholar, once again Blogger won’t let me sign in to add a comment to FS’s interesting post on the nature of innumeracy and the idiocy of students’ perceptions of grade scores. Today it demands either that I establish a Google+ profile (no, thank you) or that I create a Blogger site (why?). The comment I craved to post:
Not surprising. One thing I learned is that attaching numeric values to rubric items to come up with a total point value equivalent to a grade on a paper quashes complaints that one’s grading is “subjective,” even though you use the exact same rubric standards as you do for letter grades. To some people, numbers hold forth the promise of cosmic truth. Hence, I suppose, numerology…
I personally am innumerate. I cannot and never have been able to do arithmetic competently, because I simply can NOT keep the “math facts” in my brain. I do well at algebra (for example), because it’s about logic, not about regurgitating numerals. But anything that has numbers in it just flummoxes me.
Recently, after only 66 years on this earth, I learned that this is a congenital condition related to a genetic flaw that caused a type of (allegedly) benign tumor called a “neurofibroma” to arise on one shoulder. As it develops, people who have this hereditary ailment often suffer from dyscalculia.
I was lucky a) that the condition isn’t worse and did not manifest itself in infancy (it can lead to serious mental handicaps); b) that I was born to a navigator who could teach me how to use a slide rule when I was in grade school; c) that someone invented the calculator not long after that; and d) that Excel or Numbers is available on every computer in creation.
Whatever the causes, discovering a biological reason for the seeming obtuseness has given me a lot more empathy with students who can’t write a literate sentence to save their lives.
Frugal Scholar will be gratified by Free Money Finance’s latest spin on decisions related to selecting a college, and especially on the “any college they want” parental ambition.
And finally, in the WTF!!! department, don’t miss this astonishing report at the Volokh Conspiracy.