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5 Things You Should Know – Part 228

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. If a family member dies and debt collectors tell you that you’re now responsible for paying the deceased’s debts, they are lying. Debt does not pass to anyone else upon death.

This is a common tactic of bill/debt collectors, especially with medical bills (which a lot of people rack up in their final days). Debt does not pass to anyone else upon someone’s death. They can get paid from the estate, but, depending on your state laws, they’re usually pretty low on the order of priorities. If the estate is insufficient to pay the debt, they’re written off. Don’t get tricked by these shady bill collectors. You are not responsible for your loved one’s debt (unless you cosigned for the debt of course).
For example, see Wisconsin’s statute below:

(1)  Classes and priority. At the time of their allowance, all claims and allowances shall be classified in one of the following classes. If the applicable assets of the estate are insufficient to pay all claims and allowances in full, the personal representative shall make payment in the following order:

(a) Costs and expenses of administration.

(b) Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.

(c) Provisions for the family of the decedent under ss. 861.31, 861.33 and 861.35.

(d) Reasonable and necessary expenses of the last sickness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending the decedent.

(e) All debts, charges or taxes owing to the United States, this state or a governmental subdivision or municipality of this state.

(f) Wages, including pension, welfare and vacation benefits, due to employees which have been earned within 3 months before the date of the death of the decedent, not to exceed $300 in value to each employee.

(g) Property assigned to the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner under s. 861.41.

(h) All other claims allowed.

Kindly, check your state’s laws or contact an attorney if you have questions about this or any specific situation.

2. There are free online resources and software available, one must go through before starting school or university.

For Science/Engineering students, here’s is a good list to start:
Wolfram Alpha – Mega knowledge engine and online calculator. Good for checking work and trying things out. Not free for the step-by-step solutions.

fxSolver – alternative to Wolfram Alpha for solving math and engineering problems quickly. Large library of equations to check, edit, calculate and plot.

Cymath – Nice step-by-step solutions. Math-centric.

Symbolab – Really good for step-by-step solutions to math problems. Cymath alternative.

Desmos – Amazing for plots.

Mathway – Cool math solver and chemistry solver. Plotting somewhat similar to Desmos.

Paul’s Online Notes – Lots of math formula sheets and explanations of various topics.

Mattermost– Probably the best Slack-clone for collaborative projects and better privacy.

Engineers Toolbox – Engineering information. Formulas, constants, you name it.

HyperPhysics – Organized topics for Physics.

LaTeX – Mathematics presentation software.

Overleaf – for collaborative LaTeX file editing and templates.

Matweb – Material properties useful in machine design and Finite Element Analysis projects.

Patrick JMT – Math tutorial videos.

Khan Academy – Many general and scientific tutorial videos. Math includes Differential Equations and Linear Algebra.

MIT Open Courseware – Course materials and lecture videos from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Udacity – Computer Science classes.

Openstax – Good quality free textbooks.

Norelem – Jigs and fixtures.

McMaster-Carr – Machine Design/Hardware.

MISUMI – Machine Design/Hardware, an alternative to McMaster-Carr.

Digi-Key – Electronics/Controls.

Arduino – Open-Source Hardware/Software combination for controlling various devices.

Autodesk Education Community – Free Student Software. Autocad, Inventor, 3dsmax, Maya, etc.

3. If you are looking for a home to buy or rent, and the landlord gives you the box code to gain access (and it actually gets you into the house), do not wire any money for the deposit without meeting them face-to-face.

This is a relatively new scam that has been popping up. Here’s how it works:
(a) Scammer contacts legitimate landlord about a property gets the box code and goes into the house to take pictures.

(b) The scammer creates a fake posting on Zillow, Trulia, etc. and advertises the property for far less $$.

(c) You contact the scammer and they give you the legitimate box code to get in. You see the property and you like it.

(d) The scammer asks you to wire the funds to cover the deposit into their account since they are “out of town” for some sob-story reason.

And then you are out of the deposit. Consider a real-estate agent who specializes in these kinds of things!

4. Rolling your rear windows 6-8″ down drastically reduces wind intensity from front windows when driving with them down.

5. CNN & NPR have low-bandwidth sites designed for limited-connectivity situations like hurricanes.

thin.npr.org and lite.cnn.io both strip their respective full websites down to bare bones, just text files so that you can load them and get news with minimal data/connectivity.
You can find out more about sites like these in this article.

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