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5 Things to Know Today: January 12, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: January 12, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via John G. Mabanglo / EPA

Photo via John G. Mabanglo / EPA

In case you missed it, it’s raining in California and aside from people freaking out and rain boots being virtually impossible to find, this is good news for the drought-stricken state. Other news includes money advice from Wild author Cheryl Strayed, and a new project, called “Bank in a Can,” that will bring banking services to remote parts of Africa. 

1. USA Today: Is the drought ending?!? After five years, much of California is finally in the clear.  
The recent downpour of rain and snow might be turning backyards into rivers and making traffic more hellish than ever, but it’s also brought some much-needed relief to California, significantly easing a five-year drought. As of this morning, less than 60 percent of California remains in drought for the first time since 2013. A year ago this time, the drought affected 97 percent of the state. 

2. Business Insider: This is what happens when suddenly you have enough money to pay off all your debt.
Wild author, Cheryl Strayed, was $85,000 dollars in debt before her best-selling book was published. Even a year after, she says she and her husband were still broke.

3. Inverse: Genetically modified plants may be able to combat climate change. 
In order to halt climate change, scientists must find a way to pull enough carbon dioxide out of the air to normalize the atmosphere. Martin Bunzl, a professor at Rutgers University, argues that by using genetic engineering techniques, scientists may be able to alter plants so they process carbon dioxide more efficiently. This concept is in very early stages, but academics like Bunzl see it as perhaps the most promising solution. 

4. Apartment Therapy: Why you should have a separate savings account for your down payment. 
Saving money, especially a large enough sum to make a down payment on a home, is not easy. By putting your down payment money in a separate account, it’s out of sight and out of mind, which can make it easier to save over a long period of time. 

5. Inhabitat: “Banks in a Can” will let remote areas of Africa access ATMs and other banking services. 
The prefab units are designed and produced by Johannesburg’s A4AC in partnership with First National Bank, and can be operational within a few weeks, allowing almost instantaneous access to banking solutions in areas where such services are scarce. 

The Two Lost Weekends I Spent Trying to Find Joy By Selling My Used Stuff

The Two Lost Weekends I Spent Trying to Find Joy By Selling My Used Stuff

So, You Want to Teach English Overseas?

So, You Want to Teach English Overseas?