Monthly Archives: October 2011

On marriage and finances

Would you add a friend to your credit card account? Presumably your response is, “No. It’s not that I don’t trust him, but it’s just not a good idea.”

And yet that’s what marriage is. Even if you keep separate bank accounts–which seems pretty common among some of my friends–you still assume your partner’s debt and your partner can get credit under your name.

This blows my mind on several levels:

1. In what other relationships does another person have the ability to ruin your credit score, without your permission and potentially without your knowledge?

2. Why can’t you negotiate your own terms, as in other contractual relationships?

3. So many people are financial disasters. And while you and I may not marry those particular people and sign up for those particular problems, someone will. Virtually everyone gets married off, financial disasters included. Ugh.

But apparently this is somehow romantic…?



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The future is here

“The future is already here–it is just unevenly distributed.” – William Gibson

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Why are you going to college?

I just read a college application question that asks, “Why are you going to college?”

Two answers spring to mind:

1. Because I am of a certain class.

2. Good question.

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I have a great diet

“I have a great diet. You’re allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it with naked fat people.” – Ed Bluestone

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P.T. Barnum is quite a character–more on him later. For now, here’s a lovely little Barnum anecdote that doubles as a vocab-building exercise. I’m not sure where I first heard this story, but here’s a version from

Barnum’s American Museum was so popular that people would spend the entire day there. This cut into profits, as the museum would be too full to squeeze another person in. In classic Barnum style, old P.T. put up signs that said “This Way to the Egress.” Many customers followed the signs, not realizing that Egress was a fancy word for “Exit.” They kept on looking for this strange new attraction, the “Egress”. Many patrons followed the signs right out the door! Once they had exited the building, the door would lock behind them, and if they wanted to get back in, they had to pay another admission charge!

Five stars for ingenuity.


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High-stakes, low-risk SAT cheating

NPR says:

[C]urrent law prohibits ETS from notifying anyone except the student that cheating may have occurred….Lawmakers say they will consider making cheating on the SAT a crime. Right now, cheating is only referred to prosecutors if money changed hands.

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On Wordnik, the third definition of defenestrate:

To stop (a computer) from using the Windows operating system.


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