Because I Apparently Need Coffee to be Happy

Finally got my first Keurig.

But years of not being a coffee drinker are hard to overcome, I guess. 😉

 

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Fidelity’s Game Changer

Investing doesn’t need to be scary.

It can be intimidating, sure. Especially to first-time or small-time investors. Where should I invest? How much? and especially: I’m living paycheck to paycheck. How do you expect me to save up the minimums to even open an account?

Now, Fidelity has answered that last one with, “You don’t have to.”

This opens investing to virtually everyone.

Starting now there are no minimum balances required to open a Fidelity brokerage account.

And on Friday, Aug 3, they will begin offering two index funds with ZERO minimums or fees. That means that, other than taxes, the gains are yours.

This eliminates the $1000-$3000 required by other brokerage firms like Vanguard, and the account fees charged by small investment options like Acorns. (Seriously, that $1/mo fee adds up. Why not pay it to yourself instead?)

So, what are you waiting for? Set up an account and start funneling the $5 or just the small change that you find in the couch cushions into a place where it will earn money for you. Your future self will thank you.

Could This New App Save Lives?

At what point do you know it’s time to ask for help?

Who do you call? What do you say? Especially when it’s 3 AM and everyone else has a job or a life…

You might not make the call to the suicide hotline, but what if the simple push of a button could bring a compassionate text, voice, or even a hug from someone who knows and loves you? Would you do it?

Would it be worth the $2.99/mo?

The new NotOK app hopes to keep users from suffering in silence. It takes the hard work out of that 3AM text (that often gets deleted rather than sent) and makes it simple for those who need help. Not doing ok? Need help physically, emotionally? Simply press the button and your predetermined, trusted contacts are notified (up to 5).

I have no answers on how this compares to other apps in terms of ease of use, or price. It just brings up conflicting emotions in me.

On the one hand, I think it’s great—especially for those with a physical ailment who might need assistance that isn’t worth calling 911 for. But often when depression is overwhelming, sufferers don’t want to bother others with their problems.

(What if you say you aren’t okay, but none of your contacts can help right then? What if you use the crap out of it because you’re having a reeeallly hard time and then someone decides you’re toxic to their well-being?)

Still, it might keep things from spiraling out of control. I wonder how many people who’ve committed suicide might’ve lived had they had a friendly voice a button push away. They might not call or even text, but push a button? Much more likely.

Please, if you or someone you know could use this, don’t hesitate!
https://www.notokapp.com/

Nifty Effects of the Eclipse

Each of these circles is an overlapping image of the sun.

Know how I know?
Because this is what it looked like at the height of our partial eclipse:

Aug 21, 2:55p

Same tree, same sun, big moon.

Here it is 8 mins prior:

2:48p

And 5 mins later:

3:00p

Fascinating to see the sun sliver slide around the moon’s shadow (and create new tongue twisters).

For further comparison, here it is almost 40 mins later. There’s still a chunk of the moon’s shadow on the left of the images, but the shadows aren’t as sharp because more visible surface area of the sun = more locations for the light to originate from = reduced spotlight effect.

3:38p

We weren’t sure at first that we’d get to see any of the show because a thunderstorm let loose about noon (fantastic nature show in and of itself), but it cleared around 1:30. By then, things were already in full swing, and the sun was nearly 30% gone.

As the moon ate up more of the sun, the light started to feel…wrong.

It’s hard to describe; “flat” doesn’t really capture it, but it’s the only word you think of in those moments. And it’s definitely not the same as when clouds cover the sun. I took a couple of pictures, not sure the difference would show up for my auto-focusing, point-n-shoot.

Then I did the side-by-side:

3:02p & 4:00p no filters/alterations

(Though there were clouds at 3, they weren’t near the eclipse.)

So there you have it. More fun with science thanks to the eclipse.