Category: Quality of Life

Personal qualities not measured by tests

| May 4, 2014 | Reply

Here is a well constructed list that those who do well on SAT tests should carefully review.


Paul Tough, who wrote How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, would add “grit.”

Personal qualities not measured by tests - list


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Tax revenue lost because of overseas tax havens

| April 17, 2014 | Reply

According to Bloomberg, Americans and American companies are hiding their money overseas and this is costing us immense amount of money.

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

“Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law -– all supported in one way or another by tax dollars -– but they avoid paying for these benefits,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.


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La Crosse, Wisconsin: the town that is willing to talk about death

| March 27, 2014 | Reply

Excellent story by NPR. It’s a long way from the Republican scare stories about “death panels”:

People in La Crosse, Wisconsin are used to talking about death. In fact, 96 percent of people who die in this small, Midwestern city have specific directions laid out for when they pass. That number is astounding. Nationwide, it’s more like 50 percent.

In today’s episode, we’ll take you to a place where dying has become acceptable dinner conversation for teenagers and senior citizens alike. A place that also happens to have the lowest healthcare spending of any region in the country.

This piece reminds me that one of the main problems with the United States is that we cannot have meaningful conversations. This is refreshingly different. And important: One-quarter of health care spending occurs in the last year of life.


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The story about small Kentucky towns and gays

| August 15, 2013 | Reply

Excellent work by Stephen Colbert:


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Tip for folding shirts in 2 seconds

| June 21, 2013 | 1 Reply

I saw this quirky video, tried it and like it. Truly, 2 seconds to fold a shirt.


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Lee Camp brings it

| May 10, 2013 | Reply

Over the past week, I’ve watched about 20 episodes of Lee Camp’s Moment of Clarity. Camp has the technique down well. Be well informed, then let it fly with equal parts wit and sharp sword. His targets are those who hurt or disparage honorable ordinary people. His videos are well-planned and executed, with the timing of an experienced comedian. Take a look at any of the four posted episodes below, and I suspect that you will become a Lee Camp fan too.


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About Americans

| May 2, 2013 | 1 Reply

I know that this article at Bananenplanet is filled with generalizations, but many of them rang true to me. Thoughtful article that suggests that Americans need to look in the mirror. Here are some of the main points:

  • We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World
  • The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great
  • The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us
  • We’re Paranoid
  • We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention
  • We Are Very Unhealthy
  • We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

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Other things security cameras capture

| April 20, 2013 | Reply
Other things security cameras capture


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Endless growth on a finite planet

| March 21, 2013 | 1 Reply

Can we have endless growth (as proposed by many as the solution to our economic woes) on a finite planet? John Atcheson of Common Dreams explains why this idea of endless growth is absurd:

Right now, it takes 1.5 Earths worth of resources to maintain our current economy. By 2050, assuming only moderate growth, we’ll consume nearly 3 Earths worth.

But of course, we only have one planet.

Those extra worlds we consume represents debt – assets taken from our children. In ecologic terms, it is called “overshoot.” And living systems cannot long survive in overshoot mode. The term overshoot comes from ecology, and a classic example of an ecological overshoot might serve to make this concept more real.

So here you go. In 1944, the US Coast Guard released 29 reindeer onto St. Mathew Island. By the summer of 1963, the population had exploded to over 6,000 animals. Quite a success, eh? Not really. By the end of 1963, the population plummeted to fewer than 50 scrawny, starving animals. They’d experienced an ecological overshoot.


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