This week we cover the effects of a debt ceiling default, the Borders bankruptcy, ways to keep cool in the heat wave, making money with blogging, strange studies about money--and the love between a cat and lizard.
The Atlantic: Getting Specific on Spending - Sick of the debt ceiling debate yet? So is the universe. This post neatly sums up all of the services that would be compromised if the debt ceiling were not raised, such as:
The nation's nuclear arsenal is no longer being watched or maintained
doors of federal prisons have been thrown open, because none of the
guards will work without being paid, and the vendors will not deliver
food, medical supplies, electricity,etc.
Technologizer: Borders is Toast--But Don't Blame e-Books - So Borders went out of business this week. On the one hand, it's sad--thousands of people thrown out of work, and the loss of a bookstore is a loss to culture. At the same time, Borders also bankrupted many smaller stores, so you could also call this karmic payback. There's been a lot of conjecture about why this happened: ebooks, the economy, and big, bad Amazon. As this post illustrates, this is very much a product of Border's own doing. Though Barnes and Noble isn't necessarily a rising star, it's still standing--and there's a reason for that.
Christian Science Monitor: Four ways to survive heat wave - and keep energy bills down - A heat wave is storming the country. Everywhere, it would seem, except Los Angeles, which is unseasonably cool. Not to make you jealous or anything. Here are some good tips for keeping cool this time of year. Given that a heat wave can lead to blackouts (good pictures at that link), it's important to take precautions. All of these tips aren't only about keep cool air in, but keeping heat out--which is vital if the air conditioning or fans stop working.
Mint: The Crisis We Should Be Panicking About: Bacon Prices - Not an Onion headline. Bacon prices are actually set to skyrocket due to the price of corn feed going up, so farmers are trimming their herds. But you have to love an article with the subheading "Bacon community outraged." Actually, the bacon meme is fast on the rise, so perhaps bacon outrage is the next big thing. Given the country's obesity crisis, maybe fewer bacon sundaes isn't the worst thing in the world.
Doughroller: A Beginner's Guide to Making Money Online - Great post about how to start a money-making blog. In short, it takes a huge amount of work, but it's really amazing that Doughroller provides a full-time income better than being a full-time lawyer. It's harder these days to pull in a living than it was even a couple of years ago, given the amount of competition, but if you're unemployed, partially employed, or just interested in blogging, it's a way to keep busy and potentially earn some money. The main thing isn't choosing the right ad network, but choosing a topic that you're interested in covering day in/day out.
Time: 4 Weird Academic Studies on Economics and Consumer Behavior - Fascinating stuff here. Studies show that people making better spending decisions with a cart rather than a basket. I thought it would be the opposite--more space means buying more stuff. The reason? Shopping carts are easier to push than carrying a weighty basket, so people make fewer rash decisions. Clenching muscles also leads to better decisions--which makes you think that exercise can lead to saving money. Better health, better brain health, better money decisions.
This week's cat video: More interspecies love - a cat and a lizard: