Lonesome George, the last survivor of the subspecies Chelonnoidis abingdoni died on June 24, 2012. George was believed to be more than 100 years old, a young adult for most giant tortoises that can live to be 200 years old.
George was discovered on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972 by a Hungarian scientist. Once it had been determined that George was the last of his kind, he was taken into captivity for his safety. Since then, scientist have tried several times to have George mate with females with similar genetic make-up. In one situation, George did mate, but the eggs produced were infertile. After several failed attempts, George’s subspecies was pronounced to be functionally extinct.
Giant tortoises of the Galapagos were plentiful up until the 19th century. Their species was put into danger by excessive hunting for their meat and the devastation of vegetation in their habitat by wild goats.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of George’s death. He will most likely be embalmed so that he may be preserved for generations to come.
Whoo hoo! It’s Friday! You go to the ATM and withdraw $300 for the weekend. The cash makes your wallet feel nice and fat. Friday night you go out for pau hana at your favorite bar ($30) and catch a cab home ($15). Saturday, you kickstart your morning with a latte ($4), then it’s brunch with your family ($20), you run some errands ($43), have some dinner ($50) and catch a movie w/ popcorn ($27) with a friend, then after the movie you both meet up with the rest of the gang for more social upkeep (another $40 at your favorite bar). By Sunday, you only have $71 left to spend, and you still have to go grocery shopping and fill gas in the car… and this is when you wonder… WHERE DID ALL MY MONEY GO?
We have all experienced this panic at some point in our lives. In this economy, it is more important than ever to keep track of our financial habits. Keeping a financial journal is the easiest way to understand your spending, to create a budget, and to stick to it. Luckily for us, the 21st Century has brought an endless number of handy computer programs and applications to help us keep track of our spending.
Plastic card fraud statistics are up–the number of U.S. identity fraud victims rose 12 percent to 11.1 million adults (Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, “Identity Fraud Survey Report).
We all need to be responsible and aware of actions that will minimize risk and keep our cards safe.
Here are 10 good habits to practice to keep your cards safe:
1. Sign your cards with permanent ink as soon as you receive them.
2. Delete urgent e-mails requesting personal information.
3. Carry only cards you’re going to use. Leave all other cards at a safe place at home.
4. Review card transactions carefully as soon as you receive your statement.
5. Shred receipts and statements unless you need them for proof of purchase, warranty authorization, or tax purposes.
6. Review online account regularly.
7. Routinely check your credit report for errors and unauthorized accounts. Each major credit bureau must provide a free credit report annually to consumers who request a copy.
8. Before travelling, notify your card issuer of the location and time frame to account for changes in your card use.
9. Report card loss to your issuer immediately.
10. Report your card fraud to the authorities.
DIY.org is an online community for kids to proudly share their Do It Yourself projects! Kids can post their creations and get “badges” (prasies from “awesome” to “genius”) from the community of peers on the site. This is an interesting way to introduce your children to the concept of social media, and a way for your children to share their beautiful artwork, crafts, and inventions with the rest of the world!
Here are three problems most people face in behavioral finance, originally proposed by Shlomo Benarzi and put into plain English by Lione of the blog cheerfulegg.com;
- Present bias: We know we should be saving, but we don’t do it today. We’ll make all these resolutions that we’re [going to] save more next year, next month, next week, whatever, but it never works. It’s always a lot more fun to spend more today, and put off what we know is good for tomorrow.
- Inertia: People are lazy. And don’t even think that you’re different from the rest of us, because you’re not. Even checking a box on a form, is way too much effort for most people, even if it means saving someone’s life. Germany has an opt-in program for organ donation where you would have to check a box if you would like to donate your organs. Contrast it to Austria, which has an opt-out program, where you would check a box if you don’t want to donate your organs. The result? 12% of Germans take up the program, while a whopping 99% of Austrians agree to donate their organs.
- Loss aversion: We hate losing stuff. When it comes to savings, people amazingly frame this as a loss because they have to cut their spending today.
So where does that leave us? The trick to overcoming all of these problems is to (surprise, surprise) adopt an automated system that saves on a regular basis, and whenever you have any income increases. Since saving more tomorrow is easier than saving today (present bias), we first make the commitment to save a certain percentage of our income… tomorrow. Or next month. Whatever. We then commit to it by setting it up with our bank.
Once it’s set up, that overcomes our problem of inertia, because it takes [a lot] of effort to cancel that commitment. So we’ll automatically be saving without any effort at all. And finally, by committing to save a fixed percentage of our pay rises, you’ll be taking care of loss-aversion by allowing yourself the luxury to spend part of your pay rise, while saving the other part of it.