Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 review

Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book! This is a straightforward guide to how to talk to your child about various money-related topics all the way from preschool to after college. Each chapter is a different topic (like debt, savings, spending, insurance, etc.) and has a lot of good advice. I was happy to see that her advice to parents lined up with what I knew for the stuff I knew about, which is a good sign for the stuff I don’t know about.

Splitting the book by topic and then by age makes it easier to read straight through, but probably more annoying once our kid is old enough to fall under the preschool category, since the preschool advice is distributed in every chapter. But that’s a minor quibble, and I look forward to referring to this book in the years to come!

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wednesday linked list: ObamaCare and its proposed replacement, Uber is still terrible

This Is What Obamacare’s Critics Won’t Admit Or Simply Don’t Understand – the Affordable Care Act has problems, but it’s done a lot of good.

Republican Health Proposal Would Redirect Money From Poor to Rich – not a surprise here, but giving the same tax credit to everyone of the same age regardless of income is hugely regressive!

Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber – wow. Wooooow. Pick your own headline here:
  – Company with a creepy CEO and creepy policies also allows creepy employees to be creepy!
  – Why aren’t there more women in tech? I don’t know, I guess it’s a pipeline problem or something! Nothing we can do!

Dole Food Had Too Many Shares – man, the stock market is complicated!

How to Keep Your Children From Learning Stereotypes – talk about individuals (“This Muslim family eats different foods”) instead of groups (“Muslims eat different foods”). Good stuff! (thanks Sid!)

This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering – old article, but putting redistricting in the hands of a fair algorithm seems like a good idea. I am sympathetic to the idea of keeping “communities of interest” together, but in practice that just hasn’t happened.

Simpsons episode loaded with famous guest stars to be honoured in Baseball Hall of Fame – yay!

Mike Piazza Learns How to Be an Owner. Of a Soccer Team. In Italy. – man, this sounds like a lot of fun…

Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat review

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's DefeatChurchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting look at guerilla warfare and other “ungentlemanly” fighting during World War II. The book is charmingly British and is a good look at the origins of the organization all the way up to their big missions. It really paints a pretty complete picture and the writing was engaging.

There was some overlap with The Winter Fortress as that’s one of the missions they covered, but happily the description of the sabotage lines up with that book.


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friday linked list: the CFPB, overdraft fees, food sell-by dates

The Watchdog Protecting Consumers May Be Too Effective – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is doing good work, so of course Republicans want to cripple it. Sigh.

Republicans Are Moving to Scrap Rules That Limit Overdraft Fees – I think it’s cute that Gruber thinks this should be a bipartisan issue. Sadly, when there’s big business on one side and poor people on the other, often Republicans will help big business.

Barney Frank: Here’s how to not waste your time pressuring lawmakers – good advice that largely lines up with the Indivisible Guide. But it’s good to hear it confirmed by a former representative!

You’re about to see a big change to the sell-by dates on food – neato!

Here’s what really caused the housing crisis – it wasn’t lending to low-income households… (thanks David!)

‘I thought I was smarter than almost everybody’: my double life as a KGB agent – wow!

A Tax Overhaul Would Be Great in Theory. Here’s Why It’s So Hard in Practice. – path dependency is a big deal.

The Puzzling Popularity of Back Surgery in Certain Regions – seems to be based on physician preferences.

When ‘The Simpsons’ Came Out of the Closet – neat! Interesting to see that the episode (which I didn’t see until a while after it aired originally) was a pretty big deal at the time.

11 Amazing Hotels for Book Lovers – someday… (although that Alice in Wonderland one looks kinda creepy)

The horror of blimps – hah!

Two great twists: Rogue One and The Good Place (season 1)

MASSIVE SPOILERS here – if you haven’t seen Rogue One or season 1 of The Good Place (the whole season is streaming on!), go watch them!

Rogue One (highlight to read if the text doesn’t show up)

This twist was genius because it took what was commonly seen as a plot hole in the first movie and made it a poignant plot point. Honestly, I was never that bothered by the convenient fact that you could blow up the whole Death Star with a carefully placed torpedo – movies are gonna movie, after all. But 40 years later finding out that the weakness was deliberately introduced by a reluctant Imperial engineer? Nicely done!

The Good Place

David and I almost had the twist in the final episode spoiled – luckily the four people that wanted to talk about it were polite enough to ask if we had seen it first. Well done, friends! But even though we knew something big was coming, I was still blown away by the reveal, which was played up soap-opera style – appropriate for something that changes the way we look at a whole season.

And it was clearly planned from the beginning, too. Going back and rewatching the season (which I recommend!) you can definitely see little bits here and there. But the best part about this is it takes what originally looked like standard sitcom tropes (Eleanor and Chidi are keeping a secret, but oh no, the marriage counselor and human lie detector have to move in with them!) and makes them calculated and probably sinister. Again, I wasn’t really bothered by these in the first place, because TV shows are gonna TV, but it was very clever!

(of course, now I’m worried that the show can’t possibly top this, but since it got renewed we’ll see what happens in season 2…)

Anyway – a good few months for twists!

Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too review

Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, TooViking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too by George Lakey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a good look at why Scandinavian countries are so awesome in health, happiness, income equality, etc. Basically, they have strong unions, and high taxes that provide for a lot of services that help even things out.

It was a bit repetitive, though. And it was really painful reading this in the early days of the Trump administration…

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friday linked list: political persuasion, sleep, Merriam-Webster

The Simple Psychological Trick to Political Persuasion – not too surprising but still useful in an era where you can be a conservative but not support Trump. Try to include patriotism, loyalty, and purity in your arguments!

The Brain’s Connections Shrink During Sleep – another theory about why sleep is important!

Ventusky is a very pretty weather map!

This Dictionary Keeps Subtweeting Trump And Here’s The Full Story – heh

Russians Engineer a Brilliant Slot Machine Cheat—And Casinos Have No Fix – pretty clever! If money is on the line you probably want to avoid using a PRNG if possible…

Victoria mosque fire ruled arson – as a followup to my last post about this, this is sad but not surprising. Also, what is this?

Investigators said evidence does not indicate the fire was a “biased crime.”

Do they mean, like a hate crime? Because, how could you tell from the fire?

Executive Power Run Amok – when John Yoo (the “If you’re at war the President can do basically anything” guy from the George W. Bush era) says you’re overreaching your executive power, that means you really must be overreaching!

In Libel Suit, Melania Trump Cites Loss of Chance to Make Millions – good thing we didn’t elect that “corrupt” Hillary Clinton, though! *sigh* (also, this should not be viewed as an endorsement of the Daily Mail, which is a terrible newspaper)

If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think – this is long and very self-helpy, but maybe you’ll find it helpful? I got a few things out of it…

An Oral History of Homestar Runner, the Internet’s Favorite Cartoon – not too long but still interesting. Also:

Matt: We have a property in Homestar called Cheat Commandos, which is basically making fun of old G.I. Joe cartoons. We eventually made Cheat Commandos toys and we wouldn’t even put an ad for the toys in the cartoon. That’s like, part of the joke, why didn’t we just do that and make some money? Like there was someone who told me recently that their favorite thing we ever did was Cheat Commandos, and they had no idea we’d even made toys! Probably a missed opportunity there! If anything we might’ve taken our punk rock status too far.

Yes, dang it! Making money isn’t selling out!

– These declassified CIA jokes about the Soviet Union (.pdf) are…OK!