5 Things to Know Today: Valentine's Day, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to give your favorite people extra love today, but also you should know about the "love insurance" policies that are a thing in China, the letter Bill and Melinda Gates sent to Warren Buffett (no, it wasn't a love note), and the weird history of Valentine's Day that makes 50 Shades Darker look like Love, Actually.
1. ATimes: Chinese men pay $43.45 in love insurance to boost their chances of wedded bliss.
Since its launch in 2015, young couples in China have taken out love insurance when falling for that special someone in the hopes they’ll eventually be married. Three years after they purchase the policy, couples have 10 years to get married. If they do, they’ll be given 10,000 red roses on their wedding day. The original policy was offered by China Life—one of the biggest insurers in the country—but now many other companies offer love insurance with different rewards.
2. Medium: Even oil and gas companies are divesting from fossil fuels
You read that right, major oil companies have sharply cut back drilling and production budgets over the past couple years. Meanwhile, solar energy and battery storage are cheaper than ever, reflecting an economy of scale similar to what drove the tech revolution, suggests ImpactAlpha's editor and CEO David Bank. Demand for oil and coal could peak within the next five to 15 years, and both customer and investor demand for renewable products and strategies seems likely to surge says Bank. With that comes the big question of just how rough the transition from fossil fuels to renewables will be because, regardless of whether it’ll be short or long, a transition there will be.
3. Quartz: Bill and Melinda Gate’s letter to Warren Buffett discusses the best deal in philanthropy.
In their their annual public letter, Bill and Melinda Gates wrote to fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, who committed to donating most of his wealth to the Gates Foundation back in 2006. Recapping the past 10 years of their foundation's work, the Gates detailed its extraordinary progress in fighting extreme poverty and childhood mortality. Since 1990, an estimated 122 million children’s lives have been saved. Appealing to Buffett's legendary investing acumen, Bill Gates writes, “Saving children’s lives is the best deal in philanthropy.”
4. Tech Crunch: If you’re addicted to apps and need to quit, there’s an app for that.
A small startup in L.A., Dopamine Labs, was formed by two University of Southern California neuroscientists and developed a “reinforcement API” that increases user engagement and positive reinforcement, a.k.a. the things that make apps successful... and addictive. Now, it’s expanding its offerings to develop a way for users to break their addiction with a new, what else?, app that puts a crucial pause between tapping on your favorite time-waster and it actually launching.
5. LA Times: Valentine’s Day is rooted in a much more deviant tradition. Do you know the real story?
In Ancient Rome, people dealt with their winter depression with Lupercalia—a party where people had a lot of sex, drank a lot of wine, and sacrificed a lot of goats. The men would get naked and whip women with the goat skins to improve women's fertility. Many men named Valentine were beheaded under Emperor Claudius II, and legend has it one of them sent a note to his lady friend prior to his death and signed it, “From your Valentine.” Fast forward to 2017, Americans will spend around $18.2 billion dollars to express their love for their significant others. That makes total sense, right?