5 things to know (Week 5)

Don’t have time to watch or read the news? No problem! The Butler Collegian’s editor-in-chief has compiled a list of the top five things he thinks readers should know this week.

Let’s keep this relatively short, sweet and to the point. This way, please.

Fact 1: Plastic waste fills oceans: About eight million metric tons of plastic waste are deposited into the world’s oceans each year, according to a report from The New York Times. Based on studies from the journal Science, the amount of plastic debris is likely to increase over the next decade. Jenna Jambeck, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia and lead author of the study, said the amount of waste is equivalent to “five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.” Based on this analogy, she said, the number will grow to 10 bags by the year 2025. The problem will likely affect humans, because toxic substances can enter the food chain as fish eat them.

Fact 2: Why don’t kids walk to school anymore?: In the late 1960s, nearly 50 percent of American children walked to and from school each day, Jeffrey Ciabotti, national director of programs, partnerships and health for Save the Children International, said. Since then, the percentage has decreased to 10 percent. Elizabeth Joy, a professor at the University of Utah, said students need to live healthy lifestyles in and out of school. One way to do so, she said, is to walk more frequently. “Kids need to walk to school so they learn about active transportation,” Joy said. “When you have to go two, three or four blocks, that does not mean you get in the car. You can actually walk.”

Fact 3: Money and relationships don’t mix: One third of people who have combined their finances with a significant other say they have hid cash, a purchase, a bank account or a credit card from their partner, according to a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit. Furthermore, 13 percent say they have lied about how much they make or how much debt they have. This phenomenon is called financial infidelity. Among those who admitted to lying, 35 percent said they felt they should be able to keep some aspects of their finances from their spouse. One in four people said they worried their spouse would disapprove. “They know that it’s wrong, but they would rather lie to their partner than talk to them beforehand,” said Patricia Seaman, a senior director for the nonprofit. “That fear of judgment and shame and disapproval is so strong that they are committing financial infidelity rather than talking with their partner.” In addition, one in five people living with a spouse or partner have spent $500 or more without telling their significant other, according to a survey by CreditCards.com. Those impulse buys can cause trust issues, especially when they disrupt the household budget. More than three quarters of the people who had deceived a partner about money said it damaged the relationship, according to the nonprofit report. Ten percent said it eventually led to divorce.

Fact 4: Italy is a ticking time bomb: Italy has grown only 4 percent—in total—since the euro was created 16 years ago, which is worse than Greece, Matt O’Brien, a reporter for the Washington Post, said. He said Germany grew faster than expected at a rate of almost 3 percent last year. Portugal grew by 2 percent during the same timeframe. In any case, Italy is lagging far behind and their problems will not be easy to fix. In Italy, it is too difficult to start or manage a business, according to a report from Slate.

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Fact 5: Hawks flying high: The Atlanta Hawks, an NBA team, sent four players to this year’s all-star game. They are just the eighth team in league history to do so, according to the Washington Post. What’s more impressive is that the Hawks do not have any players ranking in the top 30 in scoring. Jeff Teague, an Indianapolis native and starting point guard for the Hawks, said his team is successful because of its unselfishness. “It is actually really easy. Any given night, anybody can have a big game,” Teague said. “Guys on our team average 17, 16 points, so it is a consistent level that we can always play at.”

Jeff Teague, starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks.

Jeff Teague, starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks.


There you have it. Check the news section next week for another set of facts you can use to impress (and annoy) your friends with. Who doesn’t love a smart aleck, right?

P.S. I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned two things after all of this. One, I may want to avoid Italy for a while. Two, in regard to marriage, my money will have to stay my money.

Written and compiled by Julian Wyllie