A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job

When she was in cosmetology school, Tracy Lozano had a love-hate relationship with weekday mornings. Those predawn moments were the only time she saw her infant daughter awake, and she savored them. When the time came to hand the baby to her own mother, she said in a recent interview, she would stifle her tears, letting them roll only when she had closed the door behind her.

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Why my family lives in a house full of puppies

Why my family lives in a house full of puppies

Guide dogs are like politicians or Santa Claus: it's a bit hard to imagine them as babies. But while I've never had a playpen of MPs crawling around my living room (promise…), I can't say the same about guide dog puppies. This is the story of where guide dogs for blind and partially-sighted people really come from. It includes: why they wear nail-varnish as soon as they're born, why they're never scared of fireworks, and why you really must play them Guns N' Roses. Settle in, team. The pups and I have a tail we'd like to tell you…

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The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change

The case for "conditional optimism" on climate change

Is there any hope on climate change, or are we just screwed? I hear this question all the time. When people find out what I do for a living, it is generally the first thing they ask. I never have a straightforward or satisfying answer, so I usually dodge it, but in recent years it has come up more and more often. So let’s tackle it head on. In this post, I will lay out the case for pessimism and the case for (cautious) optimism, pivoting off a new series of papers from leading climate economists.

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Social worker left surprise $11M to children’s charities

Social worker left surprise $11M to children's charities

Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he had long planned. The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $11 million estate to children's charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and abandoned. The amount baffled the beneficiaries and his best friends, who are lauding Naiman as the anniversary of his death approaches in January.

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Sounds of the Nightmare Machine

Sounds of the Nightmare Machine

What happens when a horror movie composer and a guitar maker join forces? They create the world’s most disturbing musical instrument. Affectionately known as "The Apprehension Engine," this one-of-a-kind instrument was commissioned by movie composer Mark Korven. Korven wanted to create spooky noises in a more acoustic and original way—but the right instrument didn't exist. So his friend, guitar maker Tony Duggan-Smith, went deep into his workshop and assembled what has to be the spookiest instrument on Earth.

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