How to lower College Tuition Cost – Infographic

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In 1980 the average 4 year college tuition (when you take both public and private universities into consideration) was $23,000. In 1995 it jumped to $44,000. Would you like to take a guess at how much the average 4 year college tuition is now?

It’s $70,000. Yes $70,000 which means that most college students have to borrow money. The average debt per student is now $27,000. $27,000 is a lot of money. $27,000 can buy you a new Ford F150 truck. It can buy you 30, 40, maybe 50 pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes.

So with that said, I am going to share with you an infographic on how we as a society can lower college tuition cost.  

5 ways to lower the cost of college tuition

5 ways to lower the cost of college tuition

The first way to lower college tuition cost is to allow for Dual Enrollment. How about allowing students to be simultaneously accepted by a community college and a four year public institution of higher education and, and when they complete their associate degree from the community college, they are automatically enrolled in the four-year institution? This type of program can reduce college education cost anywhere from 30 to 50%.

Second idea, what about establishing a three-year Bachelor’s degree? This would not only increase graduation rates, but also improve college education cost.  

As for number three, anyone ever hear about the study to determine how long a shrimp can run on a treadmill? Yes, there was a study by University professors to determine how long a shrimp can run on a treadmill. So number 3 is simply get rid of silly research studies.

Number 4, wouldn’t it be nice to keep you salary and only have to work two days a week? That would be like living in Alice in Wonderland, but for many professor, it is now common to teach only two classes per semester. So number four is to increase teacher loads.

Lastly, move more Classes Online – Online learning will become to education what the forward pass was to football. Research shows that students who did online courses learn just as well as those who took conventional courses. Online courses or hybrid courses could cost half what conventional classes do because fewer teachers are needed.

So in conclusion, it would be folly to imagine the cost of a 4 year college tuition to ever go down or the starting annual salary of a college grad to skyrocket, but its not too hard to image any of the ideas I mentioned now like getting rid of the silly research studies or increasing teachers workload would it? Such ideas should strongly be considered, if not, we as a society run the risk of having our future generation start to perceive college education as simply being not worth it because of the enormous debt they will have to incur and the fact that such debt will make it harder for them to buy a home and possibly even start a family.

Why David will always be a Wing Man

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Just like bachelors, CEOs often choose the wrong strategies based on what consultants say.

Why David will always be a Wingman

What does a Wing Man have in common with some bad CEOs?

Three years ago in Houston, two young men, Steven and David, decided it was time to find the right girl to marry. They were very similar, these two men. Both had graduated from college, both had nice teeth, both had ambition.

Flash forward to today, David was still unsuccessful, Steven however, was happily engaged to the girl of his dreams. What made the difference?

What made the difference wasn’t that one was better looking, just got lucky, or was more determined. The difference lied in how each man made use of his time and where to focus his resources. Here is how David tried to find the right girl to marry:

  • He bought a flashy sports car hoping that would get attention and dates
  • Constantly went to all the bars hitting on every girl
  • Created one automated email message to send and respond to every girl he found attractive on online dating sites
  • Hired a fashion stylist who spent his money on expensive clothing like Gucci shoes, Zegna suits, watches, and cologne

Steven on the other hand, focused his energies to what’s below the surface. Steven did the following:

  • Joined a Toastmasters club to improve his speaking and presentation skills
  • Set a goal for himself to run at least one marathon every year
  • Volunteered his time once a month at a non-profit agency (where he met his fiancé)
  • Asked his female friends to provide him honest feedback and recommendations about his hair cut, appearance, and his personality

So what do the choices that Steven and David made have to do with decisions that CEOs have to make? Just like our bachelors, CEOs often choose the wrong strategies based on what consultants or GQ magazine says.

For example,

  • The Flashy sports car can be seen as overspending on office space
  • Hitting on every girl, well that is like offering low prices everywhere and not making a decent margin
  • Sending out an automated email message is similar to outsourcing customer service representatives to another country
  • Hiring a Fashion stylist, essentially that is being taken advantage of by advertising agencies and consultants

As far as the decisions Steven made, he..

  • joining a Toastmasters club was like attending leadership classes sponsored by his company
  • Steven setting a goal to run a marathon is like having an annual target to meet for his specific job
  • Volunteering at a non-profit, for a company that translates to Corporate social responsibility; being involved in the community
  • And finally, asking his female friends for advice, that is the company sending out an Employee engagement survey to get feedback from employees

So in conclusion, if you know someone who is looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Or a CEO making bad decisions. Tell him or her to join Toastmasters, go volunteer, and start setting goals for themselves! Otherwise, they might be playing the role of a wing man for a very long time.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”– Albert Einstein

How many People per Electoral Vote?

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How many people are required per electoral vote? Well the answer depends on which state you are referring to. As you can see above, 660,000 people in Texas make up one electoral vote. In Vermont however, 208,000 people make up one electoral vote. So in essence, a Texan’s vote is equal to one-third (actually less) that of a Vermont resident’s vote.


Run with a Dog at Memorial Park Houston

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Onsite and ready to run, the 2nd Saturday of every month you can run with a dog at Memorial Park in Houston. I will never forget that one Saturday morning I was jogging and noticed that there were more runners than usual jogging with their dogs. All kinds of dogs too. Labs, Boxers, Beagles, and more..

As it turns out, Friends For Life, a No Kill animal adoption and rescue organization in Houston, came of with the great idea of offering joggers the opportunity to run with dogs. After all, they need exercise and they want to run just like the joggers.

You can find the Friends For Life mobile adoption vehicle on West Memorial Loop Drive (West of the tennis area). Cute, healthy, and adoptable dogs are onsite and ready to run!

For more information, visit and check out their cool calendar of events like IKEA Mobile Adoption event or the Discovery Green Mobile Adoption event here in Houston.

The Destruction that could be Bigger than Katrina

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Original Story “Dam it!” by Steve Jansen, Houston Press, July 19, 2012.

Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. More than 1,800 people died and the property damage was estimated at $81 billion. The country hopes to never experience anything like Katrina again, but there are experts who consider a situation in Houston to be at risk – a risk that could result in carnage greater than Katrina.

For more than 60 years, the Addicks and Barker dams in Houston have prevented an estimated $4.6 billion in flooding damages by limiting large amounts of water from reaching flood-prone Buffalo Bayou that flows through the city. However, the dams have been pushed to their limit, mostly due to all the new construction and suburbs that coexist alongside the dams.

During some heavy rain in 2009, the dams exhibited signs of irreversible failure. Afterwards, the United States Army of Corps of Engineers, which owns the dams, gave Addicks and Barker dams an “extremely high risk of catastrophic failure” label. The dams are currently two of the country’s six most dangerous. The earliest the dams can be fully repaired is 2017, which is worrisome since Houston’s population is the nation’s 4th largest. If the dams broke, the destruction could dwarf Katrina since all of West Houston, Downtown, and the Texas Medical Center could be wading in disgusting flood waters.

The situation has also gotten worse because there is now construction of a Grand Parkway (super beltway) that will coax more concrete from housing projects which will send more water to the aging dams. (It’s been said that Exxon Mobil would not agree to build it’s giant corporate campus in Houston unless the County gave approval for the  construction of the Grand Parkway).

If the dams fail, Houston might never recover. “It’s a lot like the lower Ninth Ward levee – as long as it doesn’t break, everything is fine, but if it breaks, you have a major issue” says Houston resident Rosencranz.

Who is going to Solve the World’s Water Crisis? Singapore.

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Did you know that 3,900 children die every day from water borne diseases? Moreover, more than one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water, namely 1.1 billion people, and more than two out of six lack adequate sanitation. So with the population ever increasing, it’s only a matter of time before we face a critical shortage of drinkable and potable water. Luckily, the Singapore Public Utilities Board has found a solution.

In an effort to reduce reliance on water imported from Malaysia, Singapore turned to reverse osmosis – in essence, converting wastewater into H2O. Yes that’s right, water filled with urine and pooh. How did they do it?

Four treatment plants throughout the country take sewage, filter it through several membranes, and expose it to ultraviolet light to make it safe to drink. Now 30% of the country’s total water demand is met using recycled sewage water.

The most difficult challenge for Singapore to overcome was not building the treatment plants or implementing the reverse osmosis, but persuading people to drink the urine. To combat this, a dedicated communications team conducted a massive public education campaign which included a TV documentary. They also released the cleaned-up wastewater into resevoirs where it got re-treated along with regular tap water. Psychologically, this extra step was vital in helping the people of Singapore accept NEWater as drinkable water.

Original story ‘Gross National Product’ by Erin Biba, featured in WIRED, Sept. 2012.

Psychologically, Republicans and Democrats are different

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Original article by Emily Laber-Warren, “Calling a Truce in the Political Wars”. Featured in Scientific American Mind, Sept. 2012.

Psychologically, Republicans and Democrats are different. This isn’t just my opinion, but there are actual studies that show how liberals and conservatives are different in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them.

Conservatives are self-disciplined while Liberals are novelty-seeking

In a 2008 study, examining the contents of 76 college students’ bedrooms, it was revealed that conservatives possessed more cleaning and organizational items such as ironing boards and calendars, confirming that they are orderly and self-disciplined. Liberals owned more books and travel-related memorabilia, which conforms with previous research suggesting that they are open and novelty-seeking.

Liberals are reluctant to harm a living thing, yet are willing to disrespect authority

In a 2009 study, 8,000 people with a series of hypothetical actions. Among them: kick a dog in the head; discard a box of ballots to help your candidate win; publicly bet against a favorite sports team; and receive a blood transfusion from a child molester. Participants had to say whether they would do these deeds for money and, if so, for how much – $10? $1,000? $100,000? More?

Liberals were reluctant to harm a living thing or act unfairly, even for $1 million, but they were willing to betray group loyalty and disrespect authority. Conservatives said they were less willing to compromise on any of the moral categories.

Conservatives are more attuned to assessing potential threats

In a 2009 study, when viewing a collage of photographs, conservatives’ eyes unconsciously lingered 15 percent longer on repellent images, such as car wrecks – suggesting that conservatives are more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats.

Well this is all very interesting, but is there a point?

According to psychologist Jonathan Haidt, liberals and conservatives are equally grounded in ethics. Liberals should acknowledge that the Right’s emphasis on laws, institutions, customs and religion is valuable. Conservatives recognize that democracy is a huge achievement and that maintaining the social order requires imposing constraints on people.

Liberal values, on the other hand, also serve important roles: ensuring that the rights of weaker members of society are respected; limiting the harmful effects, such as pollution, that corporations sometimes pass on to others; and fostering innovation by supporting diverse ideas and ways of life.

Congress is in a perpetual stalemate because of the parties’ inability to find middle ground on practically anything.

Although conservatives and liberals are fundamentally different, hints are emerging about how to help them coexist. Even if their views clash, they are equally grounded in ethics. Haidt is not out to change people’s deepest moral beliefs. Yet he thinks that if people could see that those they disagree with are not immoral but simply emphasizing different moral principles, some of the antagonism would subside. To learn more, check out Haidt’s The Righteous Mind – Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religions.