Guavas

Guava Jam (Goiabada)

{{unknown}}This is the first installment of what I’m calling “The Community Garden Recipe Challenge.” It works like Iron Chef. I’ll take a randomly assigned food (because that’s what they had this week at the community garden) and make something out of it that won’t kill you. Something tasty. Lots of articles point out the growing disparity between the diets of wealthy people and lower-income folk. Back in the olden days before the advent of fast food, rich people were fat because they could afford to sit around…

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March 7 Is “Bury Your Dead Cat Day”

Po’ Folks, every day you have a dead animal in your freezer is the day you ought to bury it – you don’t need a holiday.  However, this is a problem that affects a disproportionate number of low-income people and it’s time to address it. Let me preface this by saying that I do not have a dead cat or any other deceased pet in my freezer. Want to know why? It’s because I have a yard and own a shovel; problem solved. My last…

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Culture on the Cheap: Many Venues Offer Free Days

Thousands of Los Angeles County residents turned out for Museums Free for All Day last Saturday, taking advantage of free admission to 20 museums in the area. This well-publicized event is an incentive for locals to take advantage of Southern California’s bountiful cultural sites and activities, but what is less well known is that most of these museums offer free admission at least one day per month. That’s right. If you were closed out of Museums Free For All Day because there was no parking…

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mammoth and camel at Page Museum

Museums Free-for-All Day is Jan. 31

{{unknown}}A few months ago, we featured a post on Experiences vs Products. Spoiler: Experiences win. Now wouldn’t it be that much better if it cost you nothing? Good news, on January 31 many of LA’s museums will be open to the public for free. Several of these museums are free anyway, and most have one free day or event per month, but this is a terrific way to enjoy a little culture at a can’t-be-beat price. It’s also awfully convenient to be able to go on…

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New Year’s Resolutions 2015

Happy New Year, Po’ Folks! As always, we strive to do better and 2015 is a fine place to start for a year of Relentless Self Improvement. Starting now. Or for procrastinators, soon. A few months ago, I wrote a post about so-called rich habits vs poor habits. I’m rather skeptical about the cause and effect of these observations, however that doesn’t mean that there are no good ideas in the mix that should not be dismissed out of hand. Let’s give it a try.…

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What’s for Dinner, Po’ Folks?

What’s for dinner, Po’ Folks? Last summer Leanne Brown, a grad student in food science at New York University, released a cookbook. A lavishly illustrated cookbook with healthy, delicious recipes that anyone with computer access could download for free. Best part? This is a cookbook designed for Po’ Folks – specifically people who have only $4 per person per day to spend on food. Brown created “Good and Cheap” for families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program formerly known as “food stamps.”…

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Kickin’ the Habit

There is a misconception going around that if Po’ Folks would only get our individual acts together and start acting more like Rich Folks then we would become Rich Folks and all of our problems would disappear. I’m going to pause for a moment, let you absorb that and wait for the laughter to abate. Alright now? Here’s the controversy: A few years back a motivational speaker named Thomas Corley made a five-year study of 233 wealthy people and 128 people living in poverty. 

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Fast-food workers strike to raise the minimum wage.

Los Angeles and the minimum wage

California’s minimum wage shot up to  $9 an hour on July 1. On Jan. 1, 2016 that wage will be going up to $10 an hour. Before tips. Mayor Eric Garcetti knows that isn’t enough to live on, and has proposed raising the minimum to $13.25 in the city of Los Angeles. Not immediately: three years from now. September saw a victory for hotel workers. Hotels in the city of Los Angeles that have 300 or more rooms must pay a minimum wage of  $15.37 an…

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Waiting for Merlot: Experiences vs Products

Good news, Po’ Folks: science has determined that having more stuff won’t make you more happy. In fact a recent paper, “Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases” made a good case that the more stuff you have, the more disappointed you’re going to be with it. The authors of the paper, Amit Kumar, Matthew A. Killingsworth and Thomas Gilovich, found that anticipating something was generally more enjoyable than attaining it and more than anything else, experiences are a lot better than possessions. Let’s pretend that you just…

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Experiences or Stuff?

“Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions. The idea that experiential purchases are more satisfying than material purchases has long been the domain of Cornell psychology professor Thomas Gilovich. Since 2003, he has been trying to figure out exactly how and why experiential purchases are so much better than material purchases.” -James Hamblin

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