Ensure bank accounts are safe
I have several certificates of deposit. Are they protected by FDIC insurance?
CDs are covered by FDIC insurance if all of your accounts (CDs, checking, money market, savings or any other kind of bank account) added together amount to less than the $100,000 limit per person (plus $250,000 for retirement accounts if you have an IRA at the bank). You can increase the limit through accounts with other people — joint accounts, payable on death accounts. If you are over the $100,000 limit, you can add other people's names to your accounts to increase your insurance or you can move some of the extra money to another bank. If you have $150,000 in a bank in your name only and the bank fails, the $100,000 would be covered, but you might or might not receive full payment for the extra $50,000. This Web site has lots of useful information: www.fdic.gov/deposit.
High gas prices may save lives
Is the use of gasoline in the United States declining because of higher prices?
Statistics show 2007 was the peak year for gas consumption in the United States. But since November 2007, use has steadily declined, and experts now think 2008 will be the first year gas usage has declined since 1991. On the bright side, a recent study indicates this decline in driving may mean fewer people will die in accidents.
Professors Michael Morrisey of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and David Grabowski of Harvard Medical School studied gas prices and deaths from 1985 and 2006, and they think for every 10 percent increase in gas prices, there is a 2.3 percent decline in auto deaths. Morrisey thinks with gas prices at $4 or more per gallon, as many as 1,000 fewer people will die in auto accidents each month. About 40,000 die every year in crashes, so $4 gas could translate to a 30 percent drop in fatalities. Morrisey did caution that the 1,000 figure could be lower because more people are now driving smaller cars, motorcycles and scooters.
Still a perfect day for a wedding
I know 07/07/07 was a popular day for weddings. What about today, 08/08/08?
July 7, 2007, was an extremely popular day for marriages. People like getting married on dates they remember, the number 7 is associated with good luck, and 07/07/07 happened to fall on a Saturday. Today, Aug. 8, 2008, isn't expected to be as popular, largely because it's not a Saturday or Sunday. But the number 8 is a lucky number for the Chinese (who host the Olympics beginning today), and from a biblical standpoint it is interpreted as signaling a new beginning.