Don't you think good ol' Benjamin Franklin needs a makeover? A new online community project, called Make Your Franklin, invites people to tap into their inner artist and redesign the $100 bill, an American symbol. To participate, all you need to do is save the image of the bill which you can find through this link and re-create the bill to your fancy. Click through for some Friday fun to see Benjamin after his extreme makeovers.
There's a huge debate going on with the government about extending unemployment benefits. If you have not been following up on what's happening, here is a quick snapshot:
- Right now, there's too much squabbling in Congress on whether to reauthorize the unemployment checks and how they should fund it. It's pretty much a waiting game to see how lawmakers will react.
- If the benefits expire, almost two million people will see their unemployment checks run out by Christmas as they have been collecting the benefits for 99 weeks (or about two years) which is the maximum time allotted for these checks.
- The time limit used to run up to 26 weeks, but have been extended about eight times since the recession.
- Some experts are saying that cutting off benefits will be bad for our economy, because it will reduce consumer spending, which will lead to less jobs.
- Others say that extending it will provide less incentive for people to find jobs.
- An average employment check per week costs $290, says the National Employment Law Project.
- The national unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 8.5 million Americans currently get benefits.
- To extend the benefits for another year would cost the government $60 billion.
Many of you have been there before. We've asked you in the past what's the longest you've been unemployed, and received an overwhelming number of responses. We've talked a lot about this issue and have given tips on how to file for unemployment and what you should do if you've been laid off. I want to hear from you now — do you think Congress should extend the benefits?
Awww, how cozy they look! Does this scene look familiar to you? If you share a bed with your pet, does the furry one have a fave snuggly spot? When I chatted with Bill from Greatest American Dog, he shared the sweet observation below:
I think the bond between Star and I was pretty tight when we got to California and I don't think you could make it any better. She slept in the bed with me all the time we were out there but when we got back home, Star had moved. She had always slept at the end of the bed, and now she moved up to right beside me on my side of the bed and that may be a little bit bigger bond.
First puppies and now an elephant?! For last night's episode of Greatest American Dog, the remaining humans (Travis, J.D., Bill, Laurie, and Teresa) had to get their pets (Presley, Galaxy, Star, Andrew, and Leroy) to sit in a circle as an elephant approached them, made tons of noise and flapped its ears, and eventually got close enough to pick up a banana placed nearby. It came down to a faceoff between Presley and Andrew, and the smallest pooch there (Laurie's Maltese) didn't move a muscle – wow! Next, it was a course finishing in a doggie zipline – that J.D. and Galaxy made look like a piece of cake – but, unfortunately, two dogs (Star and Andrew) wouldn't take that leap. In the end, the judges chose to send Bill and Star packing which made me sad 'cause I was totally pulling for them, but happy since I got to chat with him this morning. . . . and, yes, he's just as sweet on the phone as he looks on TV:
On meeting an elephant for the first time: You remember, we've got our back towards that elephant? I'm watching Star and saying "sit, stay, sit, stay" and her eyes are getting bigger and bigger and it's like one of us has got to move, I hope she tells me when I'm supposed to move! That was thrilling to me, just thrilling.
Learn what happens when Star meets the elephant for the second and third (?) time when you read more