Hot Cartoon Makes Understanding Credit Crisis Simple And Fun: Educational and entertaining. Well worth 11 minutes to go and watch it!
Rocky Mountain News prints final edition: This makes me very sad. Newspapers are on life support right now and this is something we all should be worried about!
It's interesting that the government has decided to bail out the financial and automotive industries but not the newspaper industry. I would argue that newspapers are just as essential to the functioning of our society as either of those industries!
Want to understand the current economic crisis threatening to blow up the civilized world as we know it? Two very well produced This American Life episodes can help.
By now, everybody knows that the catalyst was the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. To understand that, listen to The Giant Pool of Money.
Once you've gotten your head around sub-prime, continue on to Another Frightening Show About the Economy. (This is the better of the two shows in my opinion.)
In return for a two-hour time investment, you should get a pretty good understanding of how we got here.
Freakonomics **** : A University of Chicago economics professor analyzes statistics to challenge popular beliefs. Co-written by a newspaper/magazine author, and thus a bit light on the math and watered down for mainstream acceptance, but a thought stimulating read.
Some of the interesting topics discussed/proven in this book:
- How teachers cheat by altering their students' standardized test scores
- How sumo wrestlers cheat by throwing matches when it doesn't affect their overall ranking and will help their opponent's ranking
- How a children's radio show and free information flow mortally wounded the Ku Klux Klan
- Why real estate agents don't have anything to gain by helping you get a better deal
- How and why people lie about themselves on online dating services
- How little drug dealers really make and why they still live with their moms
- The effect that legalized abortion had on crime rates in the 1990s
- How your child has a greater chance of dying if she plays at a friend's house where there is a swimming pool rather than playing at a friend's house where there is a gun present
- How parents focus their energy on safer cribs and child car seats and how they are, at best, nominally helpful in preventing child deaths, along with child-resistant packaging, flame-retardant pajamas, car airbags, and safety drawstrings no clothes (the cumulative deaths from all of these causes is significantly less than swimming pool drownings for children).
- How "good parenting actions" have very little effect on the educational success of children (the following had no correlation with academic success: having a stay-at-home parent; being read to them every day; going on museum trips or being enrolled in Head Start; not watching TV)
- The socioeconomic effect of a person's name