What We’re Reading: July 14 – July 20

Appraising Wayne Manor, sales tax holidays, and the rise of meadows

If Bruce Wayne decided to sell Wayne Manor, what would it appraise for? According to Movoto via Wired Magazine, a little over $32 million. They base this on the size, land and location (assuming Gotham is really Chicago). Note that this appraisal doesn’t include the Bat Cave and other goodies owned by the Caped Crusader: one would assume that Batman would seal off the Bat Cave in case he decided to ever return. And with the way Hollywood is recycling movies, you know he’ll be back…

“Don’t get sick in July” is a popular refrain in some quarters. The theory goes that July is the month last year’s interns leave and a new batch starts in most hospitals, making it the month with the least-experienced crew on board. But is it true? Time reviews the “July Effect” and comes to the conclusion…maybe. They also give advice on how you can counter any effect, even if there really is none.

Seventeen states will have sales-tax holidays this year — and 12 will fall on the first weekend of August, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. Georgia returns to the list of states offering tax breaks this year after canceling its sales-tax holiday in 2010 because of a budget deficit. See if your state is on the list here.

Green, manicured lawns are old school. Meadows have taken their place, says the Wall Street Journal. Meadows are a backlash against perfect lawns that use fertilizer, chemicals, lots of water and lots of energy. Landscape artists love them, but homeowners associations, not so much. Meadows can be a sore point with suburban homeowners associations, whose lawn codes often frown upon anything remotely weedy-looking. Meadows generally take about three years to be established, with the first year looking straggly and weedy.  After more growth, you will need to mow only once a year.

A wrinkle-free approach to traveling. Hint: knits, wrinkle-resistant fabrics, rolling when packing, and wrapping in dry-cleaning bags can all help.

Lifehacker discusses clever ways Amazon can save you time and money. You can share your Prime Membership with  four people and save on shipping costs, have valuable items shipped to a locker instead of waiting in the open on your front porch, and upgrade to a ebook after you have purchased a hardcopy book.

America is the land of the free—and that applies to many of the country’s star attractions as well. Make the most of your summer by visiting these famous spots around the United States; you won’t have to pay a penny to do it.


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