I don’t write about investing much here, but when the whole world can’t stop talking about some aspect of the stock market, I had to take a look. It seemed like every single place I looked, there was something about hedge funds being toppled, people getting rich, and, perhaps most inexplicably, GameStop.
What Happened with Gamestop?
The stock market can be a place where people make a ton of money but it can also be highly confusing. This particular subject is one that’s an extra few levels of crazy, so let’s take a closer look.
Short sellers and tall bets
The essence of the GameStop fiasco is that there are stock market players who do something called short selling. Basically, short selling is paying to borrow stocks – usually from a pension or something similar – and then selling those stocks. Later on, when the price of the stock goes even lower, they buy back the stocks they “borrowed” and give them to the pension they borrowed from. The difference in price is what they earn.
This is totally legal, even if it’s complicated, but it’s not without risk. If the price of the stocks goes up instead of down, the short sellers lose money. The most important part of short selling transactions is that you have to get the stocks you short sold back to their owners. If the short seller doesn’t get those stocks back, they’re going to be sued hard.
What happened with GameStop is that their stock was way down – around $2.50/share. Short sellers benefit when the stock of a company is low, because then they can buy it back for less than it was sold for when they borrowed it. However, when the subreddit Wall Street Bets saw what was going on, they decided to squeeze the short sellers. The whole subreddit jumped and bought as many shares of GameStop stock as possible, which drove the price from $18 in December of 2020 to around $350 when you and I heard about it.
That means that if the short sellers sold the GameStop stock for $5 and hoped to buy it back around $2.50, they were poised to lose money when it jumped to $18/share. When Reddit ballooned the stock to over $350, it was going to devastate the hedge funds that were short selling the stock. They either had to buy it back at a tremendous loss, or get sued for not keeping their end of the borrowing contract.
GameStop, Dogecoin, and widespread investing
When the larger media outlets take a peek at the internet, strange things happen. Wall Street Bets is a subreddit full of its own meme culture and there’s a lot of lingo that gets used there that has leaked into the mainstream. In addition to the memes, the interest in investing has started to reach people who would otherwise probably not consider it.
With interest sparked from Reddit, many people took to Robinhood and other investing apps to jump on the GameStop fun. Since winning on the stock market is fun, all of these newly interested investors have looked for new avenues for investing (since GameStop has peaked). Two of the big winners are silver and Dogecoin, both of which have surged as a result of the GameStop craziness.
Many seasoned investors have jumped on Dogecoin in the fallout of GameStopGate. If you don’t know what Dogecoin is, it’s a cryptocurrency based on the Doge meme, and was created mostly as a joke. Now it’s becoming quite lucrative and due almost entirely because of the short selling of the stock of a company having a difficult time.
All of this makes perfect sense, right?
Are you still confused about GameStop stocks?
If you need a quick tl;dr for all of this:
Short sellers sell stocks they don’t own by borrowing them from a shareholder
They sell them high and hope to buy them back lower so they can make a profit when they return the shares to the original owner
The subreddit Wall Street Bets saw this activity and decided to dogpile onto Game Stop stock, driving the price up hundreds of dollars
Short sellers would have to buy back the stock at a tremendous loss, or face being sued by the owners of the stock
Because of the internet and media buzz about this, many novice investors got interested in the stock market with the Robinhood and Ameritrade apps
These apps then shut down sales of GameStop shares, seemingly defending these giant hedge funds from the internet’s collective efforts and these new investors’ rights to do whatever they wanted with stocks
Since Game Stop has slowed down, silver, gold, collectibles, and Dogecoin are hugely popular right now, all going up in value significantly
If you’re still confused, don’t worry – it’s a lot to take in. If you want to dip your toe into the strangeness that is Wall Street Bets lingo, and feel like you’re winning at investing without risking anything or actually investing, definitely check out this game I found on Plays.org called GameStonks. It’s a simple browser game that has you collecting Dogecoin while dodging obstacles, all based in the insanity of the internet’s freshest memes.
It’s a fun, light-hearted jab at the Game Stop trading fiasco and you can continuously try to beat your own high score. Think of it like Flappy Bird, complete with associated controversy and internet strangeness.
Did you manage to get some shares of GameStop before everything exploded? Has this whole thing got you interested in the stock market, at least from an onlooker’s perspective? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Like so many other people right now, I miss some of the small pleasures like getting my skin professionally pampered. I have a skincare routine that I follow, but I’m always looking for ways to enhance it. Because of this, I was excited to try and review the Genesis At-Home Self-Spa kit.
I am past the 14-day acceleration phase and I have to admit, I have never been so happy to be wrong. You can read about my initial apprehension in why I started this diet, or the interview with Joel Marion that soothed my fears about the science behind the diet.
My beliefs were always so grounded in traditional nutrition education but between the information contained in Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion and the results I’m having, I can honestly say that long-standing dietary guidelines are at least somewhat misinformed. I am thinking that dietary guidelines are really based on 50+ year old science, and not many people bother to look into it further.
My Favorite Recipes – Always Eat After 7pm
Before we get into the good stuff, I do want to mention that while this post is sponsored by Always Eat After 7 PM, the views within are my own.
Thankfully there are scientists out there doing the research that went into this book, because I have more energy, I’ve lost 10 pounds and I simply feel better. The biggest thing however is that I don’t feel deprived on this diet; if I’m hungry before bed, I eat something and I don’t feel bad. Skipping breakfast in the morning makes me more focused and I can more easily go from task to task in my workday.
The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, and into into ketosis. My husband is a huge fan of ketosis and I like to tease him that I am benefiting from ketones without sacrificing all the foods he is, though I think he’s considering trying this diet, too.
With my improved energy, I’ve found the strength to get up at 5 and start running, something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the will to accomplish. Not only am I getting healthier because of my dietary changes, but I’ve actually started exercising and I feel good.
I have found my saving grace in skipping breakfast to be this nugget of wisdom from the book:
“One of the simplest 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals, lemon water is a glass of water mixed with the juice of one half of a lemon. This drink provides all the benefits of regular drinking water, which supports weight loss, digestive health, physical performance, and cognitive function.”
The Benefits of Lemon Water
Lemon water is amazing; I drink it at restaurants, sure, but consuming it when I wake up really does help suppress my appetite and get me ready for the day. Just drinking water in the morning when you first get up helps stimulate your system to get going, but the lemon water adds some extra punch to this ritual. I drink a full glass, grab my headphones and head out the door for a run in the quiet pre-dawn morning. It’s wonderful. Joel Marion’s Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance, which for me has always been wanting to snack at night (and eat carbs).
My Absolute Favorite Recipe
The book also has a ton of recipes and my absolute favorite are these coconut cashew pancakes. Eschewing white flour for healthy rolled oats, unsweetened coconut, cashews and stevia (among other things), these are the healthiest pancakes I’ve ever actually enjoyed. My kids love them, too, so I have to make huge batches but it’s a small price to pay because they are divine. Check back next week to see how I’m doing – I cannot imagine this way of eating will get harder, though, as I’m already loving it.
Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.
Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.
This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.
Reading through the Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion , I started to notice that everything I was hearing sounded almost too good to be true. When I started putting it into practice, however, I realized within a few days that the claims the author made were absolutely realistic. I wrote about my apprehension in the first post as to why this mom is reading Always Eat After 7pm.
The first couple of days I was tempted to eat like normal in the morning (the book uses nutritional study after study to debunk the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day). Joel provides three boosters in the morning in the form of low or no-calorie drinks that rev your metabolism and suppress hunger, and those helped immensely.
This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.
What I found to be most beneficial, however, was this little gem from a dietary study:
“Late-night eating also curbs calorie intake the next day. In a four-week study, dieters added a snack to their daily regimen 90 minutes after dinner every night, and check this out: late-night eaters ate an average of 397 fewer calories per day.”
Though I scoffed at this initially, I found that it held out to be true. When I accepted that if I was going to follow this diet I had to eat at night, I simply wasn’t as hungry the next day. Because my blood sugar didn’t dip as low while I was sleeping, I wasn’t a starving wreck when I woke up. We’ve been traditionally taught to avoid carbs, have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research shows us this earlier model is not the most ideal.
When I received my advance copy of the book, I had the opportunity to speak with Joel Marion about the reasoning and process behind its creation. I was primarily interested in the science behind the diet and what spurned him to think differently regarding long-held beliefs about eating near bedtime.
Interviewing Joel Marion
Amber (AT): Thanks for the book, Joel! I’m finding that it’s working quite well, despite going in the face of everything I believe about eating and weight gain. What inspired you to write it in the first place, considering the traditional views of meal timing?
Joel Marion (JM): After authoring 6 best selling books it was glaringly obvious there were 2 huge misconceptions about dieting that needed to be exposed. The first is that you can’t eat late at night or before bed, which science now shows is NOT true. And second, you can’t eat large portions that satisfy your natural instinct. This book solves both these problems by providing an evidence-based, enjoyable approach to dieting that can be used by any person to quickly achieve their weight loss goals.
AT: I doubt many people are aware of the science behind what they believe about the way we eat. After you did the research, how long did it take for you to develop the diet?
JM: It actually took several years of researching for me to discover the real science of eating late night. After a few years of tweaking and refining, I finally came up with a rapid fat loss solution that overcomes all the pitfalls of traditional diets.
AT: My husband does keto and though he loves it, I think we’re both bored at times of the restriction of it. How difficult is the Always Eat After 7 PM plan to follow in the long term?
JM: It’s not. And that’s exactly why I wrote the book. While any diet is never truly easy, it can be more enjoyable and much easier to adhere to when you understand how Always Eat After 7pm works because it caters to our bodies’ natural instincts.
Talking with Joel cleared up some of my fears about the diet. He’s obviously healthy and he’d taken the time to do the research. In the short time I’d been on the diet, I felt better, woke up easier and slept more deeply, and I had lost a few pounds.
The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of: The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results, The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals, The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good. When I spoke to Joel, I was still in the 14-day acceleration phase, but I was determined to make it through that and move into the main program.
Check back and see how this shapes up (or rather, how I shape up). It’s late here, so I’m going to go eat a snack and head to bed, something I really never thought I’d be doing, especially as research, but here we are.
Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase, and you can learn more about the book and purchase it here.
This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.
Netflix has come a long way since they were essentially streaming whatever content they could license. They are now a huge producer of exclusive content – for better or worse – but sometimes they really knock it out of the park.
Why Your Kids Should Watch The Dragon Prince And You Should, Too
The Dragon Prince is a show that my son stumbled upon one day while watching Netflix on his tablet. Normally he’s pretty into tablet-time, but I’d never seen him so engrossed in any other show. He talked about it at dinner, he talked about it before school in the morning and it was what he wanted to talk to my husband about when he got home from work.
And when he ran out of episodes, he legitimately cried; he was that into the story. I started to wonder about just what was the deal with this show? Could it be that good?
With season 3 just having been released to Netflix, we were determined to sit down and watch it with him. When we told him it was out, his face lit up like it was Christmas and he excitedly started explaining the backstory (which we will do in a much less sugar-hyper-six-year-old style).
Particularly if you or your children were fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was written by the same person, then this show is going to just click. Even if you’ve never seen Avatar, though, there are plenty of reasons to greenlight this show on your kids’ watchlist. Let’s take a look at why.
Epic fantasy without tedious exposition
The world here is rich with complex characters, backstories and fantastical elements, and the show does a fantastic job fleshing it all out. Particularly, it does this without out-of-place exposition, layers of indecipherable names and convoluted plot points. This isn’t Game of Thrones for kids; it’s better than Game of Thrones and it’s easier to understand.
The show is set in Xadia, a continent with elves, humans and dragons. The elves and dragons find power in the elements, giving them magical abilities and giving each faction a unique concept. There are fire elves, sea elves and so on. The humans – who always seem to ruin everything – can’t use elemental magic, so in their lust for power, they dive into dark magic. This requires the life force of magical creatures and animals, and so the humans are banished to section of the continent to ruin for themselves; we are why we can’t have anything nice.
The dragon prince himself comes into the foreground when, after 1,200 years, the humans kill the dragon king and take his egg, which holds the titular character. Without spoiling anything, the story progresses as the humans move closer to war with the elves and dragons. Season 3 picks up beautifully from where season 2 left off and everything about it is well-designed, with a complex story that isn’t heavy and doesn’t require a supplemental book to keep up.
The animation is again very similar to The Last Airbender, but even more refined. Creatures are truly fantastic and whimsical, like the little adoraburrs, but can also be impressively threatening like the dragons of Xadia. Visually, it’s awe-inspiring and really is just as gorgeous as it is good at telling a compelling story.
Dragon Prince is exceptionally inclusive
One of the very first things we noticed was that a human captive of the Sun Elves – the general Amaya – is deaf; she communicates with sign language. It’s not until you see a deaf character in a show that you realize how often you don’t see deaf characters represented. This isn’t a throwaway character, either or a half-hearted attempt at the fascade of inclusion. The creators of the show consulted with sign language experts and coalitions for the deaf to create a very real, very powerful character.
Mixed families are also represented in that the king of Katolis is raising the son of his deceased wife, whom she had in a previous marriage. The royal family is biracial as well, another aspect of everyday life that somehow gets left behind when creators write characters.
The elf assassins Runaan and Ethari are married and male. Whereas many shows might introduce a gay couple and have some characters balk at the concept or at least fidget, the show simply presents them as a couple. I asked about the characters and my son simply said something about “his husband”. It didn’t throw him off or make him ask questions; it simply was a fact that these two elves loved each other.
The primary protagonist is a literal child
Prince Ezran’s journey to reunite the dragon prince, Zym, with his mother is complex. Ezran can speak with animals, a magical ability that humans simply don’t possess. He has to make difficult decisions, and the morality of the story is not often clean-cut. Ezran is not a philosopher king nor is he held up as a perfect leader; he makes choices for the best of his people, but as a child would. This represents a lot for kids, who are often used to watching fantasy shows about adults.
Ezran is endearing, strong and authentic, and this makes the entire thing very enchanting.
It’s a genuinely funny and heartfelt story
I found myself laughing out loud multiple times per episode. The characters are charming and awkward at times, but the storytelling is top-notch and uses visuals to drive the plot as much as dialogue. During our season 3 binge, we were asking our son about characters and eventually we could tell he was getting annoyed, so we’ve resolved to re-watch all three seasons again. It is any interesting paradigm, though, being the one who won’t be quiet during a show – we like to think of it as preparing him for parenting.
The Dragon Prince deserves a binge-watch
The episodes are short, around 30 minutes each, and the show is utterly enjoyable. It’s teaching our kids bravery, inclusion and that children can make a difference and should be heard. Especially now that winter is coming and watching Netflix is a nice way to spend a lazy Saturday, give The Dragon Prince a try. Chances are you’ll join us in bemoaning that there aren’t any new episodes left and that we have to wait for season 4.
As a parent, I’m always trying to find a way to encourage learning in my kids. My son is in kindergarten and he’s great at math and reading, but homework is a struggle. He just gets antsy and I totally understand, as I think we all can; after a long day of learning, who wants to do more school?
If you’re anything like me, you want your kids to learn and absorb as much knowledge as they can, but you sometimes hit the “homework conundrum” where concerted extra education is met with resistance.
Convincing your children to play a game, however, is a lot easier than doing homework. There are tons of apps you can download and many are great, but most have a subscription fee or at the very least have ads. I wanted to find something that would engage my son and reinforce the math he was already learning, but that he could play on his own.
Teach Kindergarten Math Online
Browser-based math games
I was an adult in the 2000s when Adobe Flash games were at their peak. The nice thing about browser-based games is that they usually don’t require anything more than a click to play them, and they’re usually pretty simple. Especially right now while home learning is at its peak, finding new ways to engage little minds has never been more critical. I found this site that had all the browser-based math games I could possibly want, without needing an email or even creating an account. Better yet, they’re free, and there aren’t even any ads, which is wonderful because little ones LOVE to click on banner ads.
As I went through the site, I found dozens of math games for all manner of skill levels, but since my kids are in preschool and kindergarten, I wanted to focus in on games for them in particular.
After trial-and-error, I found that 1 and 2-star games were probably just right for my children. Using this information, I endeavored to find the best ones that would both hold their attention and be playable (ideally without my interference).
Here are some of the best ones I found, based on ease of play, ability to reinforce good math fundamentals, and of course how fun they are.
Math Plus Puzzle
I personally, as a real life adult, found this game to be pretty fun. It’s a matching game of sorts, requiring you to do some addition to clear colored blocks, not unlike Collapse. As you progress the math gets slightly more difficult, but my son did a great job, and it’s very forgiving.
It’s colorful, interesting and because of the increasing difficulty yet simple design, it’s pretty addictive. The best of the ones I played for sure.
This is the one my son liked the best, mostly because we’ve been on a Last Kids On Earth kick and he wants to fight monsters all the time. It is a little more challenging, offering math equations that you have to complete before a monster gets you. When you complete the equation, Math Boy does a flourish with his sword and vanquishes the horrible creature attacking him.
It gets faster and the math problems get more complex, and you can choose between addition, subtraction, multiplication or a mix of all operations, so this game would be good for older kids as well. In fact, of the ones I played it seems that most of the Calculators.org games scale in difficulty while sticking with a simple premise, which I love.
While my son liked this one for the monster-vanquishing, I found it tedious after a while because though the math get more complex, the monsters and levels don’t seem to change much. And how many monsters did I destroy before I came to this conclusion?
Way too many, but on the plus side I’m better at math now.
Math For Kids
This one is probably the best if you have younger kids. It allows you to set limits, like if your child only knows 1-10, the math doesn’t get more difficult than that. You can start with simple counting, then move on to addition and so forth.
Math For Kids is simple but engaging enough to keep them learning while playing a game and again the increasing levels of complexity keep it relevant as they progress.
For preschoolers – Animal Memory Game
This isn’t a math game exactly, but it does help with memory and logic. It’s literally what it sounds like – a memory match game – but without tiny cards that get lost all over your house. It’s good for preschoolers and younger, since it’s an engaging way to teach them how to use their tablet or laptop.
Math games for learning
Overall, I found the website to be a good grouping of games for kids to learn math but not realize they’re learning math.
The downsides I found were minor, though they could be improved upon. For instance, the games should be evaluated and grouped better for age range. The star-rating for difficulty is deceptive, as some games are listed as a 1-star (easiest) and involved multiplication and division, and a few games are higher difficulty but could be customized for young children just learning math.
In general I would say that was my biggest complaint – the games are there but there’s no way to search or determine what would be best for your particular learner. It took me actually playing a dozen or so games before I could hone in on the ones that would be good for my kids, which isn’t awful but again, it could be improved upon.
Ultimately these games are a good addition to your home-based learning. They’re engaging, somewhat addictive, bright and colorful and actually pretty fun. There’s really nothing to lose since they’re free and play right in your browser, so I do recommend giving them a try.