June 12, 2015
SO MUCH OF personal finance is personal and emotional. During a recent online discussion, a reader asked a question about a situation that's all too common. And as part of a regular feature on family financial disagreements, I want to address the issues that the person raised. * The background: This is a story about two brothers. Their parents have provided significant financial support for the children of the elder son. The parents are helping him pay his bills, because he is unemployed.
June 8, 2015 |
When Stephen Weber saw an ad seeking participants to help determine whether online games could improve brain function, it was, well, a no-brainer. The Drexel senior would get paid for what sounded to him like playing Nintendo. Maybe it could even help him remedy his weakness in math, he thought. So he signed up for a University of Pennsylvania study on "the effects of Lumosity on brain activity and decision-making behavior. " There's much more at stake here than the fortunes of an industry whose revenue is expected to hit $6 billion a year by 2020.
February 2, 2015 |
Every Sunday night after she steps out of her shower, 16-year-old Emma texts a nude selfie to her boyfriend. He has promised to destroy it within five minutes. Michael, 18, knows about the dangers of drinking and driving, but figures a couple of beers won't put him over the edge. After an evening of partying with friends, he tucks himself behind the wheel of the 1989 Honda Civic he borrowed from his brother. The police pick him up 30 minutes later for erratic driving. Alice, 14, who goes to a school for the academically talented, texts until 4 in the morning instead of studying for tomorrow's midterm science exam.
January 28, 2015 |
THE NFL, a moneymaking machine, is passing up a chance to rake in some extra cash. On Saturday, the head of officiating told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that the Seahawks had been notified that they would be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct if running back Marshawn Lynch made any obscene gesture during the Sunday's Super Bowl. Lynch has been fined twice for grabbing his crotch after scoring a touchdown. In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction report on ESPN.com, the NFL website store was, until very recently, selling a Seahawks collage of five photos that included a pic of Lynch grabbing something other than a football after scoring in the NFC Championship Game.
January 5, 2015 |
A new year brings fresh resolutions. Lose weight, get more exercise, keep a neater house - wait, aren't those the same as last year's? And the year before that? Ninety percent of New Year's resolutions fail, even for people who are high achievers in other parts of their lives. That's why, on Jan. 1, lots of resolutions are, well, repeats. Sound familiar? "Part of the problem is the way resolutions are phrased," says Caroline Arnold, author of Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently, a self-help book on effecting behavior change.
December 6, 2014 |
Einstein Healthcare Network has agreed to sell its Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment to Acadia Healthcare Co. for $35 million, Einstein announced Thursday. The planned sale includes the Belmont Center, a 147-bed facility on Monument Road, plus a treatment facility in Northeast Philadelphia and an outpatient center for the elderly in Germantown. Belmont behavioral-health facilities - treating psychiatric disorders and addictions, for example - employ 450, who are expected to be hired by Acadia, according to Einstein.
December 5, 2014 |
A HOMICIDE detective yesterday testified to some "bizarre" behavior by a murder suspect who was being questioned about his stepfather's shooting death in October. Detective Brian Peters testified that during questioning, James Kelly was acting childish, then "offered to fight me" and offered another detective $50 to fight. At one point, Kelly kept standing up and threw his fist into the air, as if punching, Peters demonstrated to Municipal Judge James DeLeon. Kelly, 23, is accused of killing his stepfather, Rafael Santiago, 41, in their home on Holly Road near Woodhaven in Northeast Philadelphia about noon Oct. 5. Peters, testifying at Kelly's preliminary hearing, said that when he went to the house about 4 p.m., he saw Santiago in a second-floor front bedroom, shot in the face.
November 26, 2014 |
DO WE really have to lose "The Cosby Show"? Don't look here for a defense of Bill Cosby. I believed accuser Andrea Constand in 2005 and nothing that's happened in recent days has surprised me, much less changed my mind. I understood why NBC was finally ready to drop the idea of a new Cosby sitcom - it never seemed like a very good one, anyway - and why Netflix decided that Thanksgiving weekend might not be the right time to release a new Cosby special. I'm not sure, though, that TV Land needed to take the Huxtables off the air just because the man who brought them to life isn't the man he pretended to be. Because it's all pretend, you know.
November 4, 2014 |
I T TOOK a few years of running a financial ministry at my church before I realized that the program needed to be revamped. Initially, I would have participants start with creating a budget. But by the time we got midway through the 10-month schedule, far too many people hadn't done theirs. So I spent one session probing why folks couldn't finish - or even start - their budgets. For the most part, it all came down to fear. One 50-year-old woman clarified it for me. "I'm ashamed," she said, shaking and choking back tears.
October 27, 2014 |
Since football, or more precisely football-viewing, is overwhelmingly the favorite pastime of 21st-century Americans, it's no surprise that it too has become a polarizing subject. Those who love the sport subscribe to a heroic narrative: It's a colorful, compelling, athletic spectacle, one whose participants embody the virtues of teamwork, strength, and dedication. Others see football as a militaristic farce. Its coaches are egomaniacal martinets. Its players are incurious lemmings.