Category Archives: links


Entrepreneurs and Opportunities

Another worthwhile blog post from my friend on personal finance: It All Started With a Handful of Powdered Drink Mix: Entrepreneurs See Opportunities Others Miss

Bonus: that post includes a stanza from the poem Opportunity by Walter Malone.

If I Were a High School English Teacher…

Darwin city skyline from East Point Reserve

Darwin city skyline from East Point Reserve by Bidgee

If I were a high school English teacher, I’d have my students write a compare and contrast essay on the Hoodoo Guru’s song Tojo (lyrics) and Santa Never Made It Into Darwin by Bill Cate.

First I’d have them listen to Tojo, with a printed version of the lyrics in front of them, and write their initial impressions of the meaning. Then I’d play for them Santa Never Made It, with the lyrics to reference. Then I’d ask them:

The relative sizes of the United States, Cyclone Tracy and Typhoon Tip, the smallest and largest Pacific tropical storms recorded, respectively

  1. What did you think Tojo was about when you first heard/read the lyrics? Turn your page of initial impressions in with your essay. (I was thinking it was a love song: his girl abandoned him on Christmas eve, and he was so devastated that he didn’t bother with the traditions that year.)
  2. What motivated David Faulkner to write Tojo?
  3. The meaning of Santa Never Made It is pretty clear; what is the meaning of Tojo?
  4. What is different between the two approaches?
  5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches?
  6. What information would be important to know before listening to Tojo for the first time to interpret it correctly? How does world knowledge affect our ability to comprehend the messages we receive from art, from media, etc.?
Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo

I’d award some bonus points to students who accurately describe who Tojo is; slightly less points for making a good guess. I would also possibly award various levels of bonus points for various levels of answering the question, “What would be required for a computer to understand either song?” It’s probably a good thing I’m not a high school English teacher: my students would have too much fun. Or I’d get fired for not following Common Core.


“Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Word Crimes”

This video cracks me up. A few of these “Word Crimes” are rebutted by videos by Merriam-Webster, but that doesn’t change the hilarity of the video.




Some people have learned to forgive, even in situations where all natural instincts say not to. And that’s a sweet, sweet thing, worth making sure all 67 of my followers have the opportunity to hear about. Check out–abc-news-topstories.html?vp=1 for the story.




An 89-year old D-Day veteran was told by care home staff that he could not travel to Normandy. He did it anyway. 🙂


Is it Smart for Me to Take Out Student Loans?

Is it Smart for Me to Take Out Student Loans?

In this post my friend (whose recent post “Do You Want Financial Security or the Appearance of Wealth,” on 30 Dec 2013 on, was selected to appear on, a site that describes itself as “A Collection of Awesome Money Articles.”) discusses how to estimate the financial payoff for taking out student loans.

Applying this retroactively to my undergraduate degree and student loans, my payoff time was 0.65 years. In actuality, because I had an incredibly low interest rate, I paid it off slowly, with only an extra $10/month toward the principle, until I was about 2/3 done, then I started paying it off aggressively. My total payoff time in real life was about 4 years.


Ask (and Answer) the Right Questions Before Taking Out Student Loans

Ask (and Answer) the Right Questions Before Taking Out Student Loans

Another finance blog post from my friend. Make sure to give System 2 a bit of a push off the couch. (It helps the analysis if your intended field of study as a grad student pays you to get the degree, as was the case for me.)


What Can You Learn About Personal Finance From Ebenezer Scrooge?

Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol.

Scrooge’s third visitor, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Can You Learn About Personal Finance From Ebenezer Scrooge?

Another fantastic blog post from my friend’s personal finance blog, exploring our individual relationships with money and how we can change those relationships.


Computer programmer teaches homeless to code

Wow. This is pretty cool. I’ve been wanting to do something similar to Patrick for several years now, though I was thinking on a larger scale. Now I feel like, “What was my excuse?” Oh, it was that I didn’t want to do fundraising to start my own non-profit. Props to Patrick, Logan, and Leo!


Everything You Need to Know About Personal Finance in 7 Words

Everything You Need to Know About Personal Finance in 7 Words

From a friend’s personal finance blog comes a fantastic bit of personal finance advice. I’ll give you the 7 words here, but I highly recommend the full article. The 7 words: Place a substantial premium on the future.

The Good Samaritan

Henry B Eyring spoke of the overloaded priesthood holder, referring to the parable of the good Samaritan. This reminded me of one of my favorite poems by Australian poet Henry Lawson:

The Good Samaritan

He comes from out the ages dim—
The good Samaritan;
I somehow never pictured him
A fat and jolly man;
But one who’d little joy to glean,
And little coin to give—
A sad-faced man, and lank and lean,
Who found it hard to live.
Continue reading


Sound personal finance blog

Sound personal finance blog

This blog is by a CPA friend of mine.  If you’re looking to improve your personal savings, Brent’s posts are clear, concise, easy to understand, and easy to follow (well, sure, they take discipline, but any improvement does).