What We’re Reading: Mar. 12 – Mar. 18

Helping Japan, cooking in compost, following positivity, and discovering the sorrows of the mega-wealthy

031511Charity Navigator has compiled a list of charities helping Japan with their rankings.  This organization has provided a listing of giving tips, including avoid newly-formed charities and give to an established charity that has worked in Japan, do not send supplies, be inspired by social media, but still do your homework and avoid telemarketers (and scammers).

If nothing else, the earthquake in Japan has brought the necessity of disaster preparation to everyone’s mind.  The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has compiled detailed information for preparing and coping with emergencies.  Learn how to protect your family, property and pets, and what to do in case of earthquakes, fire, flooding and terror.

March is traditionally corned beef and Guinness month, but do you know it’s also strawberry festival time down in Florida? Or that there’s a whole fair devoted to maple syrup (that we’ve just missed, doh!)? Check out these March regional food festivals to break free from the winter blues.

What better way to cook all your March food festival finds than in your backyard…in garbage. Your backyard compost pile produces enough heat to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner…eventually. Houselogic rounds up various compost cooking ideas. I don’t know that I would want to cook a turkey for 18 hours in sawdust though…

Are we predisposed to view living on the north side as being better than the south? A recent study mentioned in today’s Chicago Tribune says that most people to associate north with a better standard of living. As some of the researchers were from Pennsylvania I’m assuming this is a national study and not local to Chicago, but the article isn’t clear. If I can find a link to the actual report I’ll include it later

Web recommendation engine Hunch has looked at the different types of people using various email services and come to the conclusion that there are some dramatic differences.

Just a different people use different email services, who you follow in Twitter can say a lot about you. According to a recent social science study, happy people tend to tweet to each other while the unhappy tend to follow other unhappy folks. Take a look at who you’re following: is it just a bunch of “woe is me” or are people actually feeling good?

If your Twitter feed is more dark clouds than sunshine, maybe it’s because you’re following the rich. Atlantic Monthly reports on a recent study on the super wealthy which concludes most of them are unhappy:

Among other woes, the survey respondents report feeling that they have lost the right to complain about anything, for fear of sounding—or being—ungrateful. Those with children worry that their children will become trust-fund brats if their inheritances are too large—or will be forever resentful if those inheritances (or parts of them) are instead bequeathed to charity. The respondents also confide that they feel their outside relationships have been altered by, and have in some cases become contingent on, their wealth. “Very few people know the level of my wealth, and if they did, in most cases I believe it would change our relationship,” writes one respondent.

NAR’s annual conference and expo will take place this November in Anaheim, CA. In preparation, we found some interesting then-and-now shots of Disneyland showing some of the changes the park has seen in its last 56 years. I didn’t know the gondola ride was gone. It was always fun going through the Matterhorn, hearing the screams of the bobsledders below.


Senior Information Specialist

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