That Graduate Looks Medieval

Graduation season is upon us, which means that billions of snapshots are currently being added to family photo albums all over the world.

As a student, one of the ways I paid the piper was by working at the university I attended. Come June you would find me handing out thousands of caps, gowns, and hoods so students could look the part when they walked across the stage to receive their degrees.

Spending that much time around strange robes and even stranger hats makes you wonder about the history of academic regalia. For instance, why do students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees wear hats (mortar boards) that look like skull caps? And am I the only one who’s noticed that all grads look like monks?

As a diligent student of life who has access to the Internet, I decided to consult the Oracle to find the answers I sought. Here’s what I found out: Continue reading

Clothing Bin Scams Dupe Canadian Donors

Truck Full of Donated Clothes

Image by Jen Waller via Flickr

I don’t know if this exists in other countries, but in Canada there are large bins placed around major cities where people can recycle their old clothing, shoes, and accessories. Considering the bins inevitably have the word “donation” emblazoned on them, it’s assumed that charitable organizations collect the items in order to earn revenue by reselling the pre-loved items. In such a scenario everyone seems to win; the charity makes some cash to help fund their operations, and the donor gets to feel good about recycling their old clothes and gaining back some closet real estate.

But what you see is not always what you get in the world of clothing donations, and recent news headlines warn that donors are being duped by for-profit bins that masquerade as charitable receptacles. Continue reading