Neither Taipei, where I live, or Linkou, where I work, had much damage from Typhoon Morakot. However, as I think the international news has made crystal clear, things are a lot worse in some other places of Taiwan. There is still at least one entire village buried under a landslide, and the numbers of the dead and missing are completely inaccurate because they don’t yet know what they don’t know. Obviously, that doesn’t make me happy: the part that does is that on Monday our site GM circulated an email telling people that they can get compassionate leave, if needed to help family members in other areas with typhoon recovery. I’m proud of my company for that. I actually can’t imagine a US company doing it, only allowing people time off for their own disaster recovery, but families are typically closer here and there seems to be a bit less infrastructure for recovery.

They’ve also given us an easy option to click a box and have a day’s pay (or other fixed amount) taken out to go to your choice of one of two charities. I actually expected that (they did something similar for earthquake relief in China last year) but I’m glad they did it anyway.

And yesterday, an emailed newsletter from my alma mater included this:

“This September, for the first time in Penn’s history, all undergraduates who are eligible for financial aid will receive grants rather than loans in their aid packages. Students from typical families with income less than $40,000 will pay no tuition, fees, room or board. Students from typical families with incomes less than $90,000 will pay no tuition and fees. Ten percent of the students in Penn’s incoming class of 2013 are the first in their families to attend college.”

I’d seen the part about lower-income students before, but not that *all* students get grants instead of loans. As the first in my own family to attend college (well, my uncle went, but not my parents or grandparents) and a recipient of generous aid and scholarships, I’m very glad to see Penn using my donations this way.

Third, one of my colleagues has sent me a picture of his baby wearing the socks I knitted. The cute, it overwhelms! I really wanted to put up the picture at least on my Ravelry project, but didn’t want to put up a picture of someone else’s baby online (I don’t know if it’s something people even think about here, and asking would have involved a very long explanation of Ravelry). So I cropped it and just put up the legs. No adorable little face with tongue sticking out 🙁 but there are the dimpled little knees and the chubby legs. And the teensy socks!