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The Worst Interest Rate in the World

This is a slightly modified version of something I wrote for my old blog in 2005.

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Payday loans work like this:

Let's say Joe is short $100 and has maxed out his credit cards. Joe goes to a payday lender. The lender gives Joe the money, and Joe writes a check for $100 plus a surcharge of, say, $15, dated two weeks in the future. Between now and two weeks, Joe gets his next paycheck, and the loan is covered.

150 users have voted.

Weekend Reads 2/8/20

That dystopian hellscape keeping you up at night? It’s less likely than you think

And even as the worst-case scenarios are becoming unlikely, so are best-case scenarios for keeping the world from heating less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The United Nations Environment Program recently said that goal is starting to look “out of reach,” and temperatures have already climbed 1 degree Celsius since 1880.

109 users have voted.

From Character to Salesmanship

Susan Cain, in this excerpt from her TED talk "The power of introverts", points to a cultural shift that has implications beyond the introvert/ extrovert dichotomy. The United States has moved from being a society that valued character to a society impressed by salesmanship.

135 users have voted.

Weekend Reads 1/25/20

Hillary Clinton blasts Sanders, won't commit to backing him as party nominee

"He was in Congress for years," Clinton says in the soon-to-be-released four-part Hulu documentary "Hillary," The Hollywood Reporter said in a report. "He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."

139 users have voted.

The Bloomberg Effect

Former New York Citty mayor Mike Bloomberg will not be the Democratic nominee for president this year. In his best poll, Bloomberg is in fourth place with the support of just nine percent of Democratic primary voters. But that doesn't mean he won't be able to influence the race.

155 users have voted.

The Owl and the Grasshopper

A retelling of a fable of Aesop

In a tree in the forest lived an owl. At night she would hunt for bugs and mice, and during the day she would go back to her tree to sleep. As she grew older, she grew more cross whenever anyone disturbed her daily slumber.

One afternoon, a grasshopper began chirping at the base of the owl's tree. The owl shouted down, "Go away! Respect my age and let me sleep!"

154 users have voted.

Weekend Reads 1/11/20

Sense of foreboding darkens Democratic primary

Democrats have fretted for more than a year about how to choose a nominee. And for those who loathe Trump, the imperative to remove him from office has remained high since the minute he won election in 2016.

But many Democrats did not suspect a year ago that the final stage of the campaign would begin with open conversations about the prospect of a World War III. Or an impeached president.

151 users have voted.

What's Up with Orion's Shoulder?

Betelgeuse, formerly one of the ten brightest stars in the night sky, is behaving strangely. It might be about to explode into a supernova, or it may be just gas.


149 users have voted.


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