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Weekend reads: All the benefits and financial help you can get during the coronavirus crisis

Also, how businesses adjust during the coronavirus pandemic and investment ideas in a down market

No matter how good your financial situation may be, you certainly know someone who has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. A lot of help is available, but the first step is knowing what’s out there.

MarketWatch’s personal finance team has put together a detailed guide to all the ways to raise cash, shore up credit, delay payments, cut spending, apply for expanded unemployment benefits and much more.

Mortgage assistance

An obvious move for homeowners suffering financially during the coronavirus crisis is to seek help with their mortgage loans, which typically means forbearance — a delay in making payments. Jacob Passy outlines how to qualify for mortgage assistance and how to apply for it.

Related:Mortgage rates are near record lows, but ome buyers may face an uphill battle in securing them

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Tax breaks

Bill Bischoff details the most important tax relief measures included in two recent pieces of federal legislation. Read it — there’s very likely to be something to benefit you, your business or someone you care about.

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A new trend — help from auto insurers

Auto insurers are making it cheaper for their customers as driving activity and accidents plunge.

How partners stuck home together can make it work

Couples with one or more partner working out of the house don’t see much of each other during the week — but now that’s changed. That could mean a high level of stress, especially for younger couples and those with children.

But there are tips and tricks from older, retired couples that can help your relationship come out of these stay-home orders stronger.

What to do when the worst happens

Here are five financial actions to take when a loved one dies. It’s also useful for those who want to be save their family the added stress of one day reconstructing their financial life.


20 Years Ago, Bill Gates Made a Very Important Decision


What do you think of when you think of Bill Gates?

  • Maybe it’s that he was the co-founder and original driving force behind Microsoft.
  • Maybe it’s that he’s one of the wealthiest people on the planet.
  • Maybe it’s that he’s among the most devoted philanthropists in modern history.

Here’s an idea, though: You could say there are actually two versions of Gates.

He’s the rare person who has had the chance to live two entirely different lives–either of which would have been enough for most people to think of him as an icon.

It’s a gift, really. It’s also the result of a crucial decision he made exactly 20 years ago–a milestone it seems almost nobody has even noticed. And one that entrepreneurs at any scale might want to pay attention to.

Read More…  inc.com

The exolung gives divers an ‘unlimited’ underwater air supply


exolung, an underwater breathing device has been designed to give divers an ‘unlimited’ air supply. it translates the diver’s swimming motions into air movement, keeping breathing air flowing as long as the diver keeps swimming.

the exolung gives divers an 'unlimited' underwater air supply

images courtesy of exolung



exolung is a surface-supplied diving system, which means it uses a buoy that floats on the surface of the water to provide the diver with air. doubling as a safety restraint, a hose measuring 39 feet (12 meters) connects the buoy with the water bell worn on the front of the torso.



inside the bell’s hardshell body, there is a collapsible water bladder attached to leg straps that secure around the diver’s feet. by extending the legs, fresh air is drawn down from the surface and water is displaced from the air bell. when the diver retracts their legs, water pressure puts air inside the bell under ambient water pressure, which can then be inhaled.



the device makes the diver the power source, creating an ‘endless’ air supply as long as the diver doesn’t stop swimming. unlike tank-based systems, the exolung doesn’t involve the additional cost of refilling and is very easy to maintain. like a snorkel, it just needs to be cleaned after use.


exolung’s designer jörg tragatschnig is looking for commercial partners to bring his idea to market. currently patent-pending and in the prototype phase, tragatschnig estimates a price of less than €300 (approximately $335USD) for the basic version described above. he has also developed a ‘pro’ model with a 23-foot (7 meters) hose and reinforced construction that would retail under €500 ($550USD).

project info

designer: jörg tragatschnig
product: exolung
price: approx. €300 (approximately $335USD) – €500 ($550USD)
status: prototype


Read More : https://www.designboom.com/

Indian village raided by troop of 400 monkeys, residents flee in terror


This is not the first noted instance of a potential interspecies war between humans and animals, with the most famous instance being the Emu War fought between Australians and emu birds.

Planet of the Apes doesn’t seem so far off anymore.

This must be what the residents of the Indian town of Narasapuram in the state of Telangana are thinking, as they are forced to flee their homes and their lives, because the town is being invaded and plundered by a massive troop of wild monkeys, the British tabloid Daily Star reported.

The problem began 15 years ago when a troop of macaque monkeys was kicked out of the nearby city of Hyderabad.

The monkeys soon started taking a liking to the crops grown by farmers in the fertile lands around the town. However, their numbers only continued to grow, currently reaching an estimated 400-500 individuals.

Since then, the monkeys have only become more aggressive – destroying crops, stealing food directly from the hands of townspeople and attacking children, women and the elderly.

Now, over 20 families have fled the town, most of them moving to Hyderabad; there are worries that life in Narasapuram may soon become completely unsustainable.

This is not the first noted instance of a potential interspecies war between humans and animals, with the most famous instance being the Emu War fought between Australians and emu birds after the First World War.


That war saw victory go to the emus.

However, the town’s sarpanch (chief) Srivarama Krishna is determined to win the war against the monkeys, having been elected on a campaign promise to do so.

“We have to keep the doors and windows bolted. They are smart enough to open the door, come inside and steal the cooked food – sometimes even running away with the vessels containing food,” he explained, according to the Daily Star.

“People started getting attacked even when they used to return home from the shop with groceries: the monkeys would just steal the bags.”

To show his dedication, Krishna financed much of his efforts himself, with over Rs 1 lakh (approximately $1,400) from his personal funds, The News Minute reported.

His efforts have born some fruit. Krishna brought in expert monkey catchers from the city of Nellore and started issuing a bounty of Rs 1,500 ($21) for each monkey captured, the New Indian Express reported.

According to this report, these efforts have resulted in at least 100 monkeys being captured and released into the forest far away from the town.

Monkeys are a serious problem in many parts of India, and efforts made to deal with the problem have been met with varying degrees of success.

One such effort made in 2015 saw plans made for the establishment of several monkey rehabilitation centers in several cities across Telangana, where the monkeys would be sterilized. However, only one such center is currently in operation, in the town of Nirmal, and it is only manned by veterinarians on a part-time basis.

Read More at https://www.jpost.com/

How A Lion, Tiger And Bear Became Ride-Or-Die Friends


How A Lion, Tiger And Bear Became Ride-Or-Die Friends

“Their terrifying early months in life bonded the three together.”

“The BLT (bear, lion, tiger ― as they are known) exhibited signs of being a bonded trio from the moment we saw them when they arrived at Noah’s Ark,” Allison Hedgecoth, curator at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary where the predators live, told The Huffington Post. 

“They were already seeking out one another for comfort and displayed affection by snuggling, grooming and playing with one another,” she said.

Their initial bond wasn’t unusual to Hedgecoth though; what surprised her was their enduring, 15-year friendship.

“Before they reach sexual maturity, a lot of times animals will form unique bonds with members of other species,” she told BBC, explaining that animals typically grow apart as they get older. “What was surprising is how they kept that bond, that family unit well into adulthood.”














The three animals were only a few months old when police found them 15 years ago during a raid in the basement of a drug dealer’s house, according to the sanctuary.

“When they were first brought to the sanctuary, Baloo, Shere Khan and Leo were injured, frightened and clinging to one another for comfort,” Hedgecoth told HuffPost.

Leo, an African lion, had been inside a small crate and suffered from an open, infected wound on his nose. Baloo, an American black bear, was found wearing a harness that he had outgrown so much, it was embedded into his flesh, which had grown over and around it. Shere Khan, a bengal tiger, was severely underweight.

All three of the cubs were scared, malnourished and infected with parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, a 250-acre nonprofit animal rescue in Locust Grove, Georgia.

The cubs’ living conditions had left them so damaged, the rescuers decided not to release them back into the wild and to keep them at the sanctuary instead, according to The Dodo.

Their friendship was so strong, the sanctuary even chose to keep all three in the same habitat.

Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan have been inseparable ever since.

Even though they live in a three-acre enclosure, they’re usually within 100 feet of each other,” Hedgecoth told Inside Edition. “That’s proof that they’re not just coexisting or cohabiting, they actually do enjoy each other’s company.”

For sanctuary staffers, the hardest part of watching over different species in the same enclosure is making sure that all their needs are met simultaneously, Hedgecoth told HuffPost. That includes their nutritional, medical and behavioral requirements.