By official count, the United States has 3.1 million jobs where people make products or provide services to help the environment or conserve natural resources -- in other words, green jobs.
Add in jobs that don't make it into the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) formal tally -- including anyone who works for themselves in a green business or works at a company where a minority of revenue comes from green goods -- and the number is even higher, and growing.
On Tuesday, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer made it into the record books. At 49, Moyer became the oldest pitcher ever to win a game in the major leagues, going seven innings in a 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.
In honor of Moyer, previously the subject of several SecondAct articles, here are a few amazing facts about him and his historic win.
Any story with "weight-loss secrets" and an exclamation point in the headline is guaranteed to have a huge readership. There are good reasons for this. While starting a business, going back to college or joining the Peace Corps at 50 can alter one's life, those all require big changes. Losing a few pounds, in contrast, seems simpler and quicker -- in fact, it's probably the single most conspicuous act of personal reinvention that any 40- to 55-year-old person can accomplish. Alas, as many of us have learned, it can be frustratingly difficult to pull off.
But if we look at some examples of people who have succeeded in reinventing themselves through weight loss, we see that the secrets of how to accomplish it aren't really that mysterious or elusive. What we do learn, however, is that we have to shed some of the misconceptions that have been pushed upon us by reality TV shows, fashion magazines and those diet bestsellers we pick up at airport newsstands.
Harry Potter, arguably the most popular literary character in history, is big. But J.K. Rowling, the woman who created him, may be bigger.
So big, in fact, that the mere announcement by Little, Brown that it will publish the first adult-oriented novel by the 46-year-old British author in September 2012 already has legions of fans clamoring for the book. The Casual Vacancy has climbed to the No. 7 spot on Amazon.com's bestseller list -- even though the book won't be released for five months.
In the new film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a disparate group of British expats "outsource" their retirement by moving to India. They hope to reinvent themselves by creating a new life in sumptuous surroundings that are substantially cheaper than what they'd be back home.
Because it's a movie, the circumstances of their new lives are far different from expected -- and much humor and drama ensues. The expats' adventures are chronicled in blog entries that serve as the film's narration and are kept by Evelyn, a newly widowed housewife played by Judi Dench.
It's not a date that anyone (except maybe the IRS) is looking forward to. But here's a reminder: You have until Tuesday, April 17, to file your 2011 federal and state income tax returns. The two-day extension from the usual deadline comes because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and the following day is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., which, under federal law, is treated like a federal holiday.
If you're still struggling to find all your receipts and figure out how TurboTax software works, don't fret. From the Chicago Sun-Times, here are some tips for extreme income-tax procrastinators. And here are SecondAct's last-minute tax tips. Meanwhile, the Daily Breeze, a Southern California newspaper, offers this lighthearted primer on how to stay awake while you're pulling an all-nighter to complete your return.
Baseball writing is surprisingly rich and diverse, perhaps because the game involves so much more than just action on the diamond. Top writers capture the cerebral, chesslike strategies of the sport, the human dramas that unfold in the clubhouse, and even essential details of the landscape, as John Updike did in his famous description of Boston's Fenway Park -- a "lyric little bandbox," he wrote, that represents "a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities."
With a new season underway, it's a perfect time to consider a few intriguing baseball books -- one of which, The Art of Fielding, is achieving the sort of acclaim usually reserved for classics such as Bernard Malamud's The Natural and W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe. Chad Harbach's debut novel, a New York Times bestseller, reportedly took nine years to write but was worth the labor. Reviewer Isabel Costello, who blogs about books and places, praises Harbach for capturing what she calls the "poetry" of baseball.
A couple weeks ago, when I needed help figuring out how to convert numbers in an Excel spreadsheet into a multiline graph, I turned to an expert: my 23-year-old daughter.
It took her less than five minutes to show me which Excel function to use. A couple of clicks later, the numbers appeared as a perfectly formatted, multicolor, four-line graph.
Scoring a great deal is always something to celebrate. When my friends ask me where I found a cute sweater or pair of boots, I usually can't wait to brag about the low price I paid. With a little insight -- and some planning -- you can be a savvy frugalista, too.
I consulted some of my favorite frugal living experts and compiled this list of things you should always buy on sale. Happy shopping.
If you're in need of a reminder that chronological age doesn't matter, the sports world provides several uplifting examples this season.