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POV: Student Debt Is Hurting Our Wallets and Our Health 10 things we need to do to rein it in

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Generation Student Debt is the unenviable hashtag for 45 million borrowers. They believed that you go to college to get ahead. But for one out of every four Americans, that has required taking on more and more debt.

For the first time in US history, total student loan debt exceeds $1.5 trillion, surpassing both auto loan and credit card debt. Each quarter, students (and cosigners) add $30 billion in new debt at interest rates as high as 13 percent. Interest compounds once the loan is taken out, increasing the odds that students will graduate with greater debt than when they started. Even seven years after graduation, many owe more than originally borrowed.

Unlike typical consumer debt, these loans can’t be legally discharged in bankruptcy, so the consequences of default can be severe, a financial albatross. Since the 1980s, the average cost of college has increased almost eight times as fast as wages, leaving a widening financial burden to meet.

Some 70 percent of college students will graduate with significant debt. Many students also are doubling down: 40 percent of loans are linked to graduate degrees. After graduation, student borrowers are expending nearly one-fifth of current salary, averaging $393 a month, in servicing debt. And that debt can last decades, taking an average of 19.7 years to pay off. Many don’t expect the debt to be paid off until they’re in their 40s. For college-educated women, where peak earning potential is at age 40 (more than 10 years sooner than male peers), debt repayment can extend past peak earning years.

Recent public-health studies have shown that student debt can affect stress levels and sleep and lead to depression. This debt burden can fall hardest on people of color, for whom parental wealth may not exist and unemployment rates can be disproportionately higher.

High school students often base their college decision not on affordability, but on factors like the most prestigious institution or where friends are going. Loan repayment options are often confusing, and default rates—even in this relatively strong economy—are now 10.8 percent. A decade ago, it was half that. For those who have dropped out of college, default rates are 20 percent and climbing.

Managing this sprawling financial-health crisis demands a multipronged solution.

Government and private lenders need to show greater forbearance, including developing more flexible payment options and at reduced interest cost. Also, there needs to be expansion in the government’s existing income-based repayment plan.

Capping the amount of loan repayment to 10 percent of discretionary income should be a viable option for more borrowers. Doing so would relieve some financial pressure and increase the ability of students to pursue careers that best suit their interests and could provide greater societal benefit. This policy could also have the added benefit of freeing up disposable income towards important retirement savings.

More emphasis should be placed on the long-term financial benefits of graduating in four years or less, exploring needs-based and academic scholarships and possible grant opportunities.

Stakeholders, including lenders and colleges, must do better at teaching financial literacy to students, while disclosing the true cost, risk, and long-term consequences of debt.

Recognize that college is not the right choice for all students. Many could better prosper by attending lower-cost trade schools than high-priced colleges. Public universities and community colleges can be a cost-effective way to gain a desired degree without putting on excessive debt upon graduation. Private universities must focus on finding new ways to tamp down escalating tuition costs, including offering more online course opportunities and the ability to graduate in three years.

More universities could institute “no student loan” financial-aid policies that replace student loans with scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. If colleges are forced to take on more of the financial risk, they may gain added incentive to keep tuition and loan levels manageable.

Financial literacy training needs to infuse high school curricula, especially around financial decisions related to how to best pay for college and other postsecondary educational opportunities. Massachusetts just passed financial literacy standards.

Companies can acknowledge the impact that sizable student debt has on their employees by expanding employee benefits to encompass loan repayments. Employees who commit to long-term employment could see debt reduced. Such good-faith benefits will help attract and retain talent.

Congress could finally address the elephant in the room and abolish legal roadblocks so that student-loan debt, similar to other consumer debt, can be discharged in bankruptcy.

As the ranks of Generation Student Debt grow and gray, they’ll gain more voter clout, forcing Congress to play a greater role in solving this growing financial-health crisis. Previous debt crises have taught us that it is better to address the risk sooner than later. If not, crippling student debt could double by 2025, ballooning to $3 trillion, reducing economic life choices, and further highlighting the sad financial fact that students accumulate much more than just knowledge, friends, nicknames, and diplomas when attending college.

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Pov: With Chauvin Found Guilty, “We Must Keep Our Eyes On The Prize”

POV: With Chauvin Found Guilty, “We Must Keep Our Eyes on the Prize”

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Voices & Opinion

POV: With Chauvin Found Guilty, “We Must Keep Our Eyes on the Prize” Andrea Taylor, BU’s senior diversity officer, says the verdict is not the end of the journey—it’s the beginning

Once again, the nation has been forced to look into “the face of history” during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty Tuesday on all three counts of murder by a jury of his peers. This is good news after decades of racial injustice resulting in the wrongful deaths of countless Black men, women, and children by law enforcement officers who have not been held accountable. Indeed, it’s the first conviction of an officer in Minnesota under these circumstances. 

Let’s be clear, though. This is a bittersweet moment. I, like many others in this country and around the world, had been riveted by the trial.

The decision, made by the diverse group of seven women and five men in the Hennepin County Courthouse, will not bring George Floyd, who was 46 when he died, back to his family, friends, and community. Neither will it change the reality of the profound losses endured by the families of Daunte Wright—killed by police four days ago in a nearby town, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and many, many other Black and brown people who also did not survive encounters with law enforcement officials who were not convicted and/or held accountable for their crimes.

However, in a moving statement in Minneapolis Tuesday by Floyd’s brother following the conviction, he declared: “Justice for George Floyd means freedom for all. We can’t bring him back, but we can make a difference.” This was his message to the crowds that gathered in George Floyd Square to celebrate the victory. Tears of joy and powerful emotions were distinctly detected among many of the speakers, who also included local and national community leaders, statewide elected officials, and ultimately a televised statement from the nation’s capital by Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden, who had pledged his support of police reform during the election campaign.

Vice President Harris, an early proponent of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act while she was a US senator, urged passage of the Act Tuesday, making it clear that this is not just an issue for people of color, but a problem for every American. She warned that it’s keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all and holding us back from realizing our full potential.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2023 has broad support from leading civil rights and social justice organizations and individuals, including survivors of victims. It passed the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 236 to 181 on June 25, 2023—the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach “to hold police accountable and change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias.”

The whole world was watching this trial and awaiting a verdict that they hoped would recognize the injustice that occurred on May 25, 2023, when George Floyd’s life was snuffed out in front of eyewitnesses, young and old, black and white. Indeed, this horrific event became a global tragedy amidst a pandemic, due to COVID-19, that heightened awareness of racial, economic, and health inequities at home and abroad.

Jerry Blackwell, prosecuting attorney, cited two contributing factors surrounding the trial: first, “justice by video” that documented the reality of the case that was captured by a civilian witness. Second, the fact that the quarantine “trapped everyone into reality.”

Where does the community go from here? Amid all the celebration and the collective sigh of relief that the jurors’ decision may have avoided the inevitable burning, looting, and potential violence in the Twin Cities and across the nation, and perhaps around the world, what comes next is the central question. Realistically, most informed observers, community organizers, and changemakers recognize that there’s a lot more work to be done. Black Lives Matter and other civil and human rights groups, as well as youth and adults in many parts of the globe, played a key role in maintaining the visibility of the issue with protests and rallies.

Amidst the celebration of yesterday’s victory, we must keep our “eyes on the prize” and demonstrate a commitment to addressing systemic racism, eliminating bias, and creating a future that fulfills the promise of liberty and justice for all.

I want to close with a salute and thanks to Darnella Frazier, the teenager who used her cell phone to record George Floyd’s arrest in front of Cup Foods in Minnesota. Although she was initially harassed online and criticized for filming the video and not intervening, it’s widely believed that the ex-officer may never have been prosecuted without her footage. Though she testified in the trial about the guilt she lives with, saying, “It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more,” she is largely being hailed as a hero for making sure Derek Chauvin’s actions did not go unpunished. The nation is indebted to her foresight in using the tools of technology to capture this horrific moment, and upon receiving the news about Tuesday’s verdict, she exclaimed:

 “George Floyd, we did it!! Justice has been served.”

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Is Zenmate Vpn Safe? Here’s Our Honest Review

Is ZenMate VPN safe? Here’s our honest review




If you’re concerned about whether or not is ZenMate VPN a safe service that you can trust, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

We’re going to give a rundown on ZenMate’s safety and analyze its Privacy Policy, security capabilities, as well as flexibility.

Check out the best VPNs you can use on your Windows computer for maximum privacy.

Visit our VPN Hub to discover more tools and guides about protecting your digital life.



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readers this month.

ZenMate VPN is an efficient VPN service from Kape Technologies, but is ZenMate VPN safe? Perhaps the most important feature of any decent VPN service is its safety rating.

This safety rating can be gauged by taking various factors into consideration, ranging from privacy policies and fair terms of usage to lack of sensitive data leaks and popular security protocol support.

That’s what we’re going to do today: we’ll benchmark ZenMate VPN’s safety by performing a thorough analysis of what it has to offer. Don’t worry, though, we won’t bother you with all the technical gibberish.

Is ZenMate a good VPN? Let’s find out 1. Privacy

As we’ve mentioned above, privacy is one of the pillars of VPN safety. A VPN that can only mask your IP address, but keeps logs of your Internet activity and can single you out if the need arises is no good, in our opinion.

That’s why we give ZenMate VPN’s privacy policy and terms of service a good, thorough read. Here’s what we found out:

You must use an accurate, valid email address for registration

What data does ZenMate VPN collect?

Personal info:


Email address


IP address (stored in an anonymized format)

Country (approximate location)

Payment information (billing method, purchased items, partial credit card details)

Non-personal info:

Browser type and version

Operating system

Referrer website (the one you used to reach ZenMate)

Date and time you accessed the website

IP address



ZenMate VPN claims not to be harvesting data regarding activities you engage in while connected to the ZenMate VPN service. More so, it claims that the data it collects is never associated with your online activity while using the VPN.

Reportedly, ZenMate VPN uses the data it gathers from its customers to provide you with the service, improve its overall quality, and inform you of various events, promos, or updates regarding the service.

2. Security

The importance of a VPN’s security is a close tie to its privacy. In our opinion, privacy and security must always work in conjunction to deliver you with top-notch anonymity.

Privacy can quickly become worthless if the VPN’s security is not airtight. Picture a VPN with ironclad privacy policies and almost no security.

Even if the VPN provider will keep your activities on the hush, hackers (or other malevolent agents) could slip past the system’s weak defenses and gather data themselves.

ZenMate VPN provides you with a great level of security, with its military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. Reportedly, the ZenMate VPN Chrome extension used to have 128-bit encryption (which is still nearly impossible to crack), but now it’s been aligned to the desktop and mobile versions’ encryption standards (i.e. 256-bit).

Last, but not least, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve put ZenMate VPN against a battery of security (leak tests). The service we’ve used are:

The results were nothing short of great, as we noticed absolutely no sensitive data leak. No IP, DNS, Flash IP, location, or WebRTC data leaks occurred on ZenMate VPN’s watch.

3. Flexibility

ZenMate VPN fairs well when it comes to flexibility. It has an impressive network of 3,500 servers you can connect to, located in over 74 countries. Thus, you’ll have plenty of elbow room if certain locations just don’t seem to work well for you.

More so, ZenMate VPN is perfectly capable of unblocking various streaming services for you. For instance, you can use it to access the US and UK Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.

ZenMate VPN works on multiple device types, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, but also offers extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

Furthermore, the full version lets you use it on an unlimited number of devices, as opposed to the demo, which is limited in several other ways, as well.

This service also lets you engage in P2P and torrenting activities and has a killswitch, which is crucial to keep your VPN connection leakproof.

Unfortunately, ZenMate VPN doesn’t work in China or other regions where VPN usage is restricted. The provider even recommended residents of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia to refrain from purchasing premium ZenMate VPN subscriptions, even if they can download the app.

Looking for a VPN with China servers? Check out our top picks.

Long story short: ZenMate VPN is flexible enough, but might not work in restricted countries.

Final thoughts on whether ZenMate VPN is a good VPN

All things considered, ZenMate VPN will certainly keep you safe and not pry into your Internet business while you’re connected to their servers. Its zero-logging policy, combined with its military-grade encryption protocols is more than enough for a worry-free experience.

Flexibility-wise, you’ll be glad to know that ZenMate VPN can bypass geoblocking enough to let you access US & UK Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Furthermore, you can install ZenMate VPN on unlimited devices on the same account.

However, if you plan on using this VPN from China, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, you might want to reconsider. Even the provider recommends that residents of these countries shouldn’t purchase premium subscriptions, regardless if downloading the app is possible or not.

Your connection is not secure – websites you visit can find out your details:

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Roles Of Fashion In Our Society

What role does fashion play in our society? What is the importance of fashion in our society (in general) and in our lives (in particular)?

Think on these two questions, do they really have relevancy in today’s world or are they just a waste of money and time? If we see it by considering its economic and even social utility, then it has in fact, no utility in our lives. Fashion is fugitive and transitory in nature, and hence, has very little effect on human lives and hardly contributes to social change; despite these facts, it has a substantial hold over people’s daily life-style. Interestingly, fashion adequately satisfies two basic demands of most of the people living in our society (especially those who are living in urban areas); the first one is – “acceptance.” Not only in professional life but also in personal life, people judge people by their dressing sense, hairstyle, design of shoes, and physical appearance. If such qualities are not trendy and in harmony with the society at large, people do not accept such people. The second one is – “novelty or stylish.” Following the trend or inventing a new style of fashion is always accepted and appreciated by society. Such features define people as progressive, trendy, and updated, and one who does not follow such trends, society calls him or her orthodox.

How does fashion influence society?

It is human nature that always accepts the new thing in every term, whether it is matter of food, place of living, modes of entertainment, and fashion in terms of clothing, jewelry, shoes, or even hairstyles. Human beings always seek change. They yearn for new tastes and new styles, and this desire of humans is adequately fulfilled by fashion. Fashion satisfies many of the essential desires of human beings, whose fulfilment is necessary to live in a society.

Fashion keeps a society lively through different new styles and subsequent changes.

Fashion promotes social changes from time to time and also respects traditions and customs in society.

Fashion encourages to modify or amend all those customs that are rigid and have no relevancy anymore.

Fashion changes people’s minds in a meaningful way and suggests adopting new things, which are a necessity of changing time.

Fashion discourages social stratification and reduces the gap between the people of higher society and the people of lower society. Because of this, people of all classes and castes look alike; they stand on an equal platform.

Usually, fashion percolates from higher classes, such as leaders, fashion models, film stars, and even business tycoons, to middle-class and lower-class people. And, at the same time, some of the fashion styles, or better to say brands, (which are unapproachable for lower class or even middle class people) make people (of higher class) classier and elegant.

In the present world, fashion is not only limited to cloths, jewelry, shoes, sandals, hairstyles, and body make up, but also extended to home décor, furniture, cars, food, and even language; and, such extended meaning of fashion changed the lifestyle and way of thinking to almost every people, especially one who is of a new generation. And

Last but not the least, the fashion industry shares a substantial amount of share in every nation’s economy, as well as in the world’s economy.

Does fashion affect our society?

No doubt that fashion plays a very important role in shaping and guiding our society, but every coin has two faces, so fashion also has some negative impact on our society.

Following are some of the significant impacts of fashion on our society:

Loss of Self-esteem

People, especially the new generation boys and girls are very much fashion conscious; they want style and glamour in their every act; such as, wearing only branded clothes, shoes, belt and keeping hairstyle trendy. They don’t stop here, but rather also want to have stylish and expensive cars and bikes. Amidst all this, the people of the middle class and lower middle class are not able to have such branded products and expensive cars and bikes; in such a condition, they feel depressed and possess low self-esteem, which badly affects their lifestyle. Because of such low self-esteem and confidence, many of them start performing badly – students fail in their exams and they spoil their career; employees’ productivity and efficiency go down; and some of them even choose the wrong path by indulging themselves into petty crimes.

High Competition

Because of the high fashion in demand, competition is very high. The product that is trending today might become out of fashion tomorrow. Resultantly, to stay in the market, fashion industry needs to keep launching new stylish product frequently in the market.

Addiction to Wearing Branded and Trendy Dresses

Many of the youngsters become victims of fashion, as they get addicted. They always look for branded and trendy clothes, shoes, body make-up, etc. They always want to be the best among their friends and colleagues.

Spending Excessive Money

Fashion-loving people spend too much money only to satisfy their addiction. At this level, need does not keep any importance. As a new style comes in the market, people just want to buy it, irrespective of the fact that in their wardrobe there are many dresses of such type that they have worn only once. Likewise, people spend lakhs of rupees only on such dresses, which are actually not needed.

Waste of Clothes Copying Habit

Imitating or copying others is also a sort of addiction. Many fashion-loving guys are very keen on their dresses and whenever they see a film-star or model or any celebrity wearing a trendy dress, they want to have the same dress; so, either they buy the same type of dress or if they can’t get it in the market, then they customise it or tailor it for themselves. These guys not only copy the dresses, but also copy the walking style, speaking style, hairstyle, and overall appearance.

Reflection of a Fake Image

Always living in a fashion world creates a new thought in the minds of such people, and such a thought has nothing to do with reality. These people have a fake image of themselves and they see the world from different perspectives, which is not good for mental health as well as physical health.

Loss of Patience Loss of Natural Beauty High Competition & Work Pressure

Many people, especially those who are working in the fashion industry, have too much work pressure to maintain a trendy and glamourous lifestyle. Designers remain worried about new styles, models work hard to maintain their life-style, sales employees have to sell maximum products or else can lose their jobs.

Mental Illness

High competition and pressure also lead to mental illness. Many people would not able to manage their work pressure and stress, and they fall sick, physically as well as mentally. Young people, who are brand-conscious, when they do not get the desired products, get angry, guilty, jealous, or depressed, which badly affects their minds and health.

Effect on the Environment

The excessive production of clothes, make-up products, and subsequent waste materials puts an excessive and unnecessary burden on the environment. Many of the beauty product industries are throwing waste materials into the environment and consumers are throwing away the used products, which ultimately damage the environment.


Amidst all these positive and negative points, the fact is, fashion has become a focal point and an essential part of life, as it influences the daily lifestyle, defines people’s class and status, and, above all, derives the economy of a nation.


Our Favorite Science Infographics Of 2012

As an increasingly connected world generates ever-more data sets, and the tools to examine and analyze those data sets become easier to use, the fields of data visualization and illustration (called infographics as a catch-all term), have enjoyed something of a renaissance. We dug through our archives and the archives of our favorite infovis blogs to find some of our favorite science-related infographics from the past year.

To make the grade, we look for science-themed infographics that are engaging–either literally as an interactive graphic or metaphorically due to excellent design aesthetics. The infographic also must clearly communicate the concept being presented–it must tell a complete story, allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions rather than having to be told what the answer might be.

The Spread of Influenza

100,000 Stars

State Of The Polar Bears

Scientists tracked 19 subpopulations of polar bears and reported if their numbers were increasing, decreasing or remaining stable, and what threats might exist for a particular subpopulation’s continued existence. This infographic does an excellent job of breaking down where the polar bears are now, and how they’re faring. To see the interactive version, go here.

Evolutionary History of Birds

Scientists recently mapped the evolutionary history of all bird species, paying particular attention to speciation events as a function of time. The graphic shows, via color, that much of the bird speciation has increased in the last 50 million years. In fact, speciation in new-world birds has happened at the greatest clip, within the last 20 million years (yellow and red sections on the graph). Interact with the zoomable version of the graphic here.

Planet Habitability Index

So you’re tired of living on Earth. What factors go into assessing a planet’s habitability, and how do nearby potential homes stack up against the one we have now? This chart breaks it all down.

Which Countries Are Worst At Protecting Endangered Animals?

Recently, the World Wildlife Fund took a close look at how hard the world’s nations are working to stop the illegal trade of animals (most countries are part of a treaty called CITES that expressly forbids it), and summed up their results in a concise infographic.

Seven Minutes of Terror for Mars Curiosity

Felix Baumgartner’s Fall From Space

How close to the edge of space was Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner when he leapt from a capsule suspended 128,100 feet–about 24 miles–above Earth’s surface in September? To get a better sense of just how high Baumgartner was when he jumped, we charted the altitude of his incredible jump in relation to some other objects strewn in the space between us and the International Space Station. Scroll down for the full picture!

A Visual Summary of Nobel Laureates

Courtesy of Italian design agency Accurat, here’s a simple, attractive look at data from the Nobel Prizes. It’s in Italian, but like most well-done infographics, it doesn’t require too much reading to get the idea. At a glance, you can tell prize-winners in economics are older than the average age for all categories, and winners in chemistry and physics are older than they were in the early 20th century. (By contrast, the age for peace prize winners looks more erratic. Take a look at those orange circles.) There’s also a look at winners by home city (New York takes the crown), and a space for the university affiliation of the laureates. Check out a bigger version here.

Poll: What Should Happen To Our Digital Legacy?

A study has raised an interesting question: what should happen to our digital legacy: the data we leave behind after we die?

The question was prompted by the calculation that, before the end of the century, Facebook will have more dead users than living ones …

The Guardian reports on the study.

If Facebook continues to grow at its current rate, the site could have 4.9 billion deceased members by 2100, according to a study by Oxford researchers. Even if growth had stopped entirely last year, the study finds, Facebook would be looking at about 1.4 billion dead members by 2100. By 2070, in that scenario, the dead would already outnumber the living.

That raises questions about whether our digital legacy should be retained, and if so, for how long?

The Oxford study’s remarkable figures highlight the need for overarching changes, the researchers say. Is it time to appoint social media executors? Should we collect our passwords and include them in our wills? Should our Instagram accounts become part of the historical record – how else will future civilizations be made aware of our #squadgoals?

“Facebook should invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to participate in the process of curating the vast volume of accumulated data that we leave behind,” Watson said. “This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable for the next couple of years, but possibly for many decades ahead.”

Facebook currently allows the account of a deceased person to be memorialized. Here’s how the social network describes this:

Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Memorialized accounts have the following key features:

The word Remembering will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile.

Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline.

Content the person shared (example: photos, posts) stays on Facebook and is visible on Facebook to the audience it was shared with.

Additionally, you have the option of naming a ‘legacy contact’ for your account, such as a partner. They will then have the ability to exercise some control over the account.

A legacy contact can accept friend requests on behalf of a memorialized account, pin a tribute post to the profile and change the profile picture and cover photo. If the memorialized account has an area for tributes, a legacy contact will be able to decide who can see and who can post tributes.

But should such accounts remain online forever – for hundreds of years, if Facebook survives that long in some form or other? Or should there be some kind of automatic removal of the data at some stage?

And it’s not just Facebook, of course – there’s Twitter, Instagram, blog posts, you name it. Apple has already been involved in controversy over its own policies, which state that any rights to your content terminate as of your death (search for No Right of Survivorship). The only option offered is for all data to be deleted on presentation of someone’s death certificate.

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