Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For Anyone Who's Still a Bit Vague on How the Economy Collapsed...

South Park is here to explain it to you.

The foul mouthed cartoon, which never passes up an opportunity to make fun of the government, recently aired a hysterical episode parodying the real estate collapse. The episode's called "Margaritaville," and can be viewed for free here

Love 'em or hate 'em, you gotta hand it to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone- they sure know their metaphors.

(For anyone who doesn't get the sarcasm- substitute the world "margaritaville" for house.)

But How Much for a Nail File?

A warm thank you to The Onion for reminding us that the recession is hurting everyone.


Travel Across Europe For $100 a Day?

I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true. But according to a blog post in today's New York Times, it's possible to do, thanks to the plunging value of the Euro and the leveling of the exchange rate.

Currently, the exchange rate is around $1.35 to the Euro- and if that sounds bad, then you obviously didn't travel abroad last year.  When I was studying abroad in Prague in spring 2008, the Euro peaked at $1.64- which put a serious dent on my travel plans in the last few weeks of the semester and forced me to place chagrined phone call (or two) home to the parents to wire me some money.

It's ironic that so many things are becoming decently priced just in time for no one to be able to afford them. It's a depressing cycle: gas prices are at their lowest in months, airline tickets have been slashed, luxury companies- from Coach to Versace- are having sales to get by (and trust me, they're not happy about it.) Time to start buying some scratch-offs...

Daily Deals from the Bargain Babe!

Although I probably shouldn't be posting about competing blogs, this one was too good to pass up: a woman known only as Julia has created a website on which she posts coupons, bargains, promotions, and countless other ways to save cash, all updated daily.

According to the website, Julia's mission statement is "to help you become a savvy-spender so you can take control of your finances and thrive during the recession." And it's working: the site's been featured in a variety of newspapers throughout the tri-state area, from NJ's Star Ledger to AM New York. Even Time Magazine mentioned her site in an online feature. 

The "bargain babe," who describes herself as a "cheapskate by nature and a journalist by training," features links to coupon and deal sites on her page, as well as several. Although the Babe is based in New York, many of her deals are applicable beyond the city- such as today's offer for a free reusable water bottle from any Disney store when you bring in three bottles to recycle. 

The site covers a wide variety of topics- from cheap dates ideas to bank promotions (apparently, Chase is offering $100 to anyone who opens a checking account...) so check it out if you're in a pinching penny phase. And let's face it... who isn't?  

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Talk about good timing.  The internationally popular game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" will celebrate its 10th anniversary by airing all new episodes on ABC starting this August.

The show, which was canceled due to sluggish ratings in 2002, received a revival of interest after Slumdog Millioniare, a film about a impoverished Indian boy who grew up to win the game, won eight Oscars- including Best Picture.

(By the way, you don't have to be a fictional character in order to win the show: just ask this guy!)

The series attracted over 30 million viewers during its hey day in 1999, and I'm sure ratings for the August series will be equally as impressive.  With all the talk of layoffs and cutbacks surrounding us every day on TV, it'll be nice to take a break from reality and root for the average Joe trying to make a couple extra bucks.

I was unable to find updated information on how to become a contestant, but here's a website to brush up on your skills in case the opportunity arises.  An online simulation of the game is a great way to prepare for the real thing. (Hey...  you never know!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This is Why I Hate NYU Kids

At Which Point I Assume the Government Supplies You with a Personal Chef

NYU chick #1: What's the poverty level anyway?
NYU chick #2: I don't know, like $100,000 a year?

--NYU Dorm

via Overheard in New York, Mar 26, 2009

We're not all this bad... but I still want to apologize on behalf of my college.

And Now For Something Completely Different

My sister Meredith (seen above) was recently the subject of an NPR interview due to her outstanding work as a first year teacher in Washington, D.C. Check it out!