“Swinging in the treetop,” writes New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger in a recent article, ”I realized that the real reason to take a rustic vacation isn’t to escape crowds or the niceties of civilization; it’s to escape your own hang-ups.” The article is called “Going Backcountry, Three Ways” and in in Genzlinger explores rustic travel options. While they all have an outdoor element but these adventures are far from your typical camping trip.
“The wilderness resorts of old, which tried to reproduce the lifestyle of the landed gentry, have been supplanted by a raft of quirky rentals.
They hold out the promise of something different, something that connects the jaded traveler to either a personal or a collective American past — the past of the frontier, of “On the Road,” of backyard tree forts. But beyond that, they vary widely. The yurt had no electricity or plumbing. The treehouse had room service and a flat-screen TV. There is rustic rustic, and there is not-at-all-rustic rustic.”
Through Genzlinger’s look at three unique travel experiences. One was a round hut inspired by nomads that had few luxuries. Another was an old railroad car. And the last a resort he describes as “back to nature with benefits.”
Throughout he sprinkles witticisms like, ”How did our dishwasherless forebears ever have time for Words With Friends?” And, “Anyone who has ever stayed in bare-bones accommodations knows that the development of the modern bathroom is the single most important achievement of our species besides the invention of language.”
For Genzlinger’s full review click here.
In a recent New York Times article called “The Long Shadow of Bad Credit in a Job Search” business writer Gary Rivlin follows a shoe salesman who believes his job search was hampered by a low credit score. Woven with his tale of job loss, injury without insurance and a growing pile of rejection letters are facts about pulling credit for employment decisions. Is it legal? Should it be? And what does a credit check actually tell a potential employer?
“Nearly half — 47 percent — of employers use credit checks when making a hiring decision, according to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Most businesses use credit checks only to screen for certain positions, but one in eight, the survey found, does a credit check before every hire.”
However, the article notes, multiple studies have shown zero correlation between credit and job performance, or even things like theft on the job. Advocates argue that credit reports don’t account for the complexity of a situation. Perhaps someone’s credit was hurt by an attempt to help a friend, an unexpected injury or bad advice. Additionally, one in four credit reports contains an error by some accounts. Those who believe they have lost out on opportunities due to bad credit feel the same way.
Some studies see a small change in fortunes as employers are educated about the situation. And lawmakers are starting to jump in. Rivlin explains,
“Lawmakers in some jurisdictions have proved sympathetic to those arguments. Nine stateshave adopted legislation that curbs the use of credit reports to judge prospective hires — seven of them since the start of 2010. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat from Tennessee, has sponsored federal legislation that would restrict their use. The New York Legislature and the New York City Council are considering strict new laws that would greatly limit an employer’s ability to do credit screening.”
Click here for the shoe salesman’s full story and to learn more about the debate surrounding credit checks.
Brick and mortar bike shops are facing price competition from online vendors. Like these Victorian bicycles will buying bikes in person become a novelty? Photo by Gill Stafford on Flickr.
According to the The Independent Bike Blog 76% of brick and mortar bicycle dealers polled in a recent survey said internet price competition is a “major problem.” The poll, conducted by The National Bicycle Dealers Association which is affiliated with the blog, had 50 respondents at the time of posting. However the organization’s 354 total members were asked to participate.
The survey asked, “Do [vendors] consider Internet and MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policies when choosing products to sell in the store?]” with ” 36 said they do “all of the time,” while 12 do “some of the time,” 1 “not usually” and 1 “no.””
NBDA also found, ““Showrooming” by consumers using phones to scan products in the store is a “big problem” for 23, with 22 saying it’s a “small problem, 3 “no problem” and 3 “unsure.””
For the blog’s full write up click here.