Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on Twitter, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for last week’s post. Feel free to share this with friends, offer suggestions via the comments, or connect with me on Twitter @bradbravard. Let’s begin!
1) Good Notes:
I’ve been listening to a few Anat Cohen recordings this week, and I’m always inspired by the buoyant nature of her music. Specifically, I’m listening to Happy Song (2017) and Triple Helix (2019), both with Cohen’s tentet, and Noir (2017) with the Anzic Orchestra. For people who reject jazz because they believe it’s sad or slow, Anat Cohen is the antidote. Primarily playing the clarinet – though she also plays tenor and soprano saxophone – Cohen’s music is a reminder that serious art can still be fun. Just check out her duet of Jitterbug Waltz with pianist Fred Hersch.
2) Mid-Century Count:
Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines about the release of 1950 U.S. Census records by the National Archives. It took a few days for me to learn that the records are easily searchable at this site. Each record doesn’t include a lot of data – 1950 was the last time census information was collected door-to-door – but the search function is very simple and I easily found some of my own relatives. A great opportunity to learn a little about U.S. history and, if you had relatives here that year, your own family history at the same time.
3) Cheap Shots:
If you own pets, you know how expensive veterinarians can be. I’m not knocking the profession in general, but some practices aggressively upsell pet owners on unnecessary tests and procedures. If your pets are generally healthy and you’re on a limited budget, Vetco is a good way to keep your pet’s vaccines up to date. They also offer microchipping, spaying/neutering, and a range of other services. While Vetco is where we take our dogs, there are other, similar services, such as ShotVet and PetVet. Find the service that has the best location and schedule for you.
4) Dollars and Sense:
The U.S., by and large, is terrified of socialism without really understanding what it means. It wasn’t always so, and in 1919 the Bank of North Dakota was founded by socialist organizer A.C. Townley and other like-minded politicians. BND is the only state-owned general service bank in the country, working primarily with local North Dakota banks to fund student and commercial loans addressing the needs and desires of North Dakota citizens. Despite the myth of government inefficiency, BND has generated a positive net income every year since 1966. Serving the will of the people isn’t always noble – BND lending has supported fracking projects and militant law enforcement against Dakota Access Pipeline protestors. But it also helped fund a child-care coop and small business loans for refugees from the likes of Somalia and Latin America. Perhaps the specifics of BND’s operation are less important than the tremendous potential of state-owned institutions – and that’s us.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.