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Emily’s list: The rise of the Phoenix edition

Emily Crone

Since August, much of the world has been captivated with the story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped inside a collapsed mine. From Aug. 5 until this week, the men have lived half a mile below the earth’s surface in an area the size of a small apartment.

Emily's list: The rise of the Phoenix edition
Worker Patricio Sepulveda is lowered in the rescue capsule “Fenix” to help retrieve trapped miners from the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile on Oct. 13, 2010.

Source: Hugo Infante/Government of Chile

At first, nobody was sure if they even survived the collapse, but they were found, and then it was just a matter of figuring out how to get to them out. In the mean time, a small borehole was drilled that allowed officials to deliver supplies. The men were sent food, water, and over a period of several weeks, a variety of items they requested, such as journals, books, music and items to create a religious shrine. One of the miners requested Elvis music; he led Elvis sing-alongs in the mines to keep spirits high. The New York Times features great profiles of each of the men.

Unfortunately, it would take a long time to drill a hole large enough to fit all the men through it. But on Oct. 12, the rescue mission finally began. In a stunning endeavor watched live around the world, the miners were lifted to the surface one-by-one through a narrow capsule aptly named Phoenix (Fenix in Spanish) after the mythological bird that rose from the ashes.

The ride took about 15 minutes each way, and it took some time to load the miners in and out of the vessel. The last miner was lifted out the night of Oct. 13, and the final rescue worker was lifted out a few hours later. Amazingly, officials have reported that the majority of the men are in excellent physical and mental condition.

Being in debt can’t truly be compared to being trapped in a mine, but those in massive debt do often have a sense of despair that they will never get out. Severe debt can even cause depression and suicide. It takes a lot of hard work, strict discipline, and sometimes the help of professionals, but it is possible to shed your debt and get out of the hole.

Please read on for a roundup of my favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week, many of which offer advice about handling debt.

1. Wisebread gives advice on where to start if you’re facing debt or just having trouble making ends meet.

2. Gen X Finance features an interview with an author of a financial guide for young professionals that explains why debt isn’t always a bad thing.

3. Bargaineering features a guest post written by the same author that lists five ways you can wisely use debt to improve your life.

4. The Wisdom Journal recounts a story about how paying for a hotel room with a credit card instead of cash could have prevented a snafu.

5. Studenomics questions how many credit cards college students really need and why it’s possibly to have too much credit.

6. A guest post on Well Heeled Blog discusses why it’s vital that you have passion and motivation if you want to become debt free.

7. Christian PF answers the question of whether someone should sell their house to pay off debt and offers helpful money management tips to prevent this question from ever arriving in the first place.

8. Dough Roller explains the benefits of kids having a job and the ways it can help prepare them for the future.

9. While some prepaid services can be a waste of money, Good Financial Cents reveals which prepaid services are worth having, including credit cards.

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  • Kenny Jaworski

    Very interesting comparison!
    I’m a composer and I’ve written a piece called Help Arrives and set it to images from the rescue in this multimedia presentation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N57X29-dWo