OK. Let's calm down. This is just one study, and obviously there are other studies (which we have covered extensively), because nobody likes to hear Millennials may be lacking in basic skills—least of all us. Nevertheless, in the interest of fair reporting, you should know that a new study does suggest that while Millennials are the best educated generation in American history, they are still, to use this report's words, "unskilled." That is, Millennials lag far behind other countries in terms of basic skills, like reading proficiency and numeracy. Half of American Millennials couldn't meet the minimum standard for reading proficiency (putting the U.S. in third to last place among the countries surveyed). That's better than numeracy, in which American Millennials came in dead last. In fact, an American Millennial with a four-year college education scores about the same on basic skills as a high school graduate from Japan, the Netherlands or Finland.
The report says that "A decade ago, the skill level of American adults was judged 'mediocre.' Now it is below even that. Millennials, who will form the backbone of this nation's future, are not poised to lift us out of this predicament; in fact, the lack of adequate skills in this population has become a challenge for us to confront." Discuss
In January of 2014, Sam Priestley was probably about as good as you are at ping pong, if not a little worse. But he resolved to play a few matches every day for a solid year, and put together a video of his progress. It's pretty amazing to watch him slowly improve, little by little. According to the video, his goal was to crack the Top 250 players ranking in his native England—a mighty lofty goal he did not quite achieve—but he most certainly became better at it than you are ... Discuss
Back in 2000, the cruel, indeterminable hand of fate drove a wedge between two dear friends who deserved better. Tom Hanks and Wilson, a volleyball, were split by space and time, their friendship rent asunder by forces beyond their control. One was (spoiler alert, if you haven't seen Castaway, but this was in 2000, so you really should have seen Castaway by now. You've had enough time) rescued and taken back to America. The other spent his days adrift at sea, alone but for his own sober thoughts. But the tides of change wax even as they wane, and some friendships are forged by a furnace hotter than those of nature and chance. The bond between Wilson and Hanks was too strong to remain forever riven, and at last night's New York Rangers game, they made their happy reunion public, as is the custom of the times. So may all our lost friendships be one day found anew in the gladdening light of that sun that does not permit loneliness to long endure ... Discuss
Ira Keys is an 81-year-old man whose father taught him a simple rule: "'Whatever you do, son, save your money,'" Keys recounted to KCBD. "Back when I started in '52, I didn't have a lot of money, so I saved pennies and I just kept saving them."
The Slaton, Texas resident did just that and, millennials, take heed. Keys finally took all his pennies (all 500 pounds of them) down to the bank to cash in, netting a cool $816. Not a bad return for a simple habit he picked up as a little kid. Of course, the local bank in Staton reportedly had to count each penny by hand, so maybe not everyone is thrilled with Keys' decision, but his wisdom holds up ... Discuss