Things I’ve Found Online

Making Sense of the Financial Crisis

If you’re participating in society, you’ve already heard that the last few weeks have shaken the foundations of our the modern-day banking system. And if you are like me, you’ve tried to make sense of the whole situation.

I spent a lot of time reading and researching as each chapter of the story unfolded each day. I could hardly keep up with the buzzwords: credit markets, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities, etc. I was happy when one week into the news coverage a brainy NPR host flatly stated in the middle of a panel discussion that he didn’t understand any of it. His candor was refreshing. I wasn’t the only one who was intellectually dizzy.

While searching for hope online, I found the Planet Money podcast and blog from the same team who assembled the episode of This American Life early in the summer called Giant Pool of Money. Using the famous TAL raw story-telling style, the team tried to crack open a subject that had absolutely flooded the news media, but hadn’t been explained to ordinary people: the housing crisis. Even though the episode is a few months old, it helps you understand the domino that set this thing in motion. (Mark my words, that episode will win awards!)

Once you’re done with Giant Pool of Money, listen in on the Planet Money podcast to find an informative (although less refined) coverage of the day-to-day fallout on Wall Street over the past few weeks. Finally, listen in on This American Life’s newest story, aptly named Another Frightening Show About the Economy

Fun Paper Toys

This morning I discovered these awesome free paper toys on For all of my artsy friends who are parents, this could be a fun activity with your kids. From their website:

“Readymechs are free, flatpack toys for you to print and build. They are designed to fit on an 8.5″x11″ page and printed with any printer. You’ll need double-sided tape, thick matte paper, and 10-15 minutes for build time.”

Free Foldible Paper Toys
Click for larger image.