95 posts

Victorian Sarah Chrisman: Living La Vida Corset Part 1

You may remember Sarah Chrisman from her column on Vox last week about her quest to live an authentic Victorian lifestyle. Because I am attracted to all things bizarre, I immediately stalked her website and found out that she’s written three books. I checked out book “Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present and Myself.” Continue reading

The OJ Experience

An oversized white t-shirt worn for bed; lots of AAA maps of California; red Sharpies; neon yellow highlighters. My dad wears holey gray sweats, a casual summertime uniform people in their 30s can still get away with. My mom is anxious, always anxious. The house buzzes with energy. Usual bedtime rituals are not adhered to. I remember light coming in from the windows in our Ridgefield, Connecticut, rental, but facts I know today tell me this couldn’t have been possible. Continue reading

Brunei vs Singapore: A Case Study

There are two countries that are always going to be linked in the Southeast Asia region due to their similarities, and the key choices that turned one into an economic powerhouse. Brunei and Singapore are the two smallest and wealthiest Southeast Asian nations, and have a currency interchange agreement. Sixty years ago, both set out to diversify their economies and become leaders in the region. The result is a real-world model lesson for developing nations. Continue reading

How Did the US and Canada End Up So Different?

Canada and the United States are in many respects two very similar countries. Founded as white colonial settler societies, both are now developed capitalist democracies, with functioning multi-party (more or less) politics. In some very important ways, though, Canada and the US are very different countries. The United States has developed a national attitude of rugged individualism, premised on distrust of government and the notion that everyone can succeed and climb through society if they work hard enough. Canada is much more communitarian, turning more to society as a whole, with an attitude of trust in, and deference to, government. Why is this? What made our two countries so similar yet so different?

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California’s New $9.00 Minimum Wage in Historical Perspective

$9.00 per hour! Why when I was a kid walking to school up hill both ways in the snow we only made $0.23 per hour and an hour lasted ten times longer than it does now. Can you believe these whippersnappers wanting to get $9.00 per hour?

Or, how exactly does California’s newly passed $9.00 per hour minimum wage, the highest state minimum in the nation, compare in constant dollars to the minimum wage when your grandpappy was only knee high to a grasshopper? Let this handy chart explain it to you. Continue reading