Saturday, May 19, 2012

The More You Know Link Love

Andrea, at So Over Debt has some solid advice that I think everyone can benefit from: Don’t buy DVDs instead of letting your child have apples.
Ugh, just, ugh.

A lot of people these days are talking about the cost of higher education (myself included), and often whether or not it's worth taking on such significant debt for a four-year education.  While I honestly think Americans hype the four-year liberal arts degree too much and don't encourage enough people to explore technical and vocational education, the numbers show that according to the most recent census, people with a college degree earned an average of $19,550 more per year than someone with a high school education.  It will be interesting to see that number change by the next census.  I think this stuff is fascinating--at least in the abstract because my own loan balance makes me a bit ill, and you can read the full study from the Pew Institute here.

As someone who biked daily as a youngster and then put that habit away for 20 years (god that makes me sound old), I was fascinated by my friend Hilary's (who is super brainy and also is an actual rock star who teaches other women how to rock) article for The Women's Fund of Rhode Island: A woman needs a bike.

I did some learning the other day about Kirkbride Buildings, mostly because there's one near where I grew up that people are arguing about tearing down.  "Once state-of-the-art mental healthcare facilities, Kirkbride buildings have long been relics of an obsolete therapeutic method known as Moral Treatment. In the latter half of the 19th century, these massive structures were conceived as ideal sanctuaries for the mentally ill and as an active participent in their recovery. Careful attention was given to every detail of their design to promote a healthy environment and convey a sense of respectable decorum. Placed in secluded areas within expansive grounds, many of these insane asylums seemed almost palace-like from the outside. But growing populations and insufficient funding led to unfortunate conditions, spoiling their idealistic promise."
Danvers State Hospital, Danvers, Massachusetts
There are a few of these amazing buildings left scattered throughout the country, but many are being torn down simply because they're too large and no one know what to do with them.  I say luxury condos, but that boom has kind of passed.
Clarinda State Hospital, Clarinda, Iowa
I wish we could just have beautiful buildings for the sake of them being beautiful, but I guess that's not very practical.
This is the one they want to tear down in Fergus Falls, MN.

But, as you can see, that's a whole lot of unused structure.


  1. There is an old mental health facility in Traverse City (Alan grew up in that area) and it is a beautiful structure, much like the ones you posted here. For a long time it was abandoned, but now there are some businesses inside of it and the community is doing something with the space! :)

  2. See! Businesses, a retirement home, apartments--there's got to be something that can be done with it. Certainly Fergus Falls isn't a thriving metropolis, but the building and the grounds are gorgeous--you can't just throw that away!!

  3. The Fergus people have been arguing for years about what to do with it. I had to cover that argument for two of them, 10 years ago. At one point, they wanted to make it a resort and champion level golf course. Another, a school for chinese students. They had an offer to shoot a horror movie in there, but it was turned down by the city.

    Completely different note: box stores are psychologically evil:

  4. @Fargo, that makes total sense, Target basically bends me over the second I step foot in the store, even when I've been fine-tuning my list for days! Even though I've never been in a Costco, I'm jealous of people who buy their toilet paper just because I've heard it's such a good deal--does that make me weird?