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15 Back-to-School Products for Grownups

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There’s no reason for kids to have a monopoly on the joy of “back to school shopping.” Whether or not you’ll be continuing your education this fall, share in the spoils by stocking up on some of the season’s coolest, handiest, and most fun office supplies. (Your coworkers will be jealous.)

1. POST-IT SUPER STICKY NOTES; $4.88

Post-it

The dull yellow sticky notes available in your office’s supply closet are due for an upgrade. The super sticky notes in Post-it Brand’s World of Color Collection—which includes colors inspired by Morocco, Miami, Bali, New York, and more—come in bold, saturated hues that will liven up your desk.

Find it: Amazon

2. POST-IT POP UP CAMERA NOTE DISPENSER; $24.89

Post-it

Keep your Post-it Notes within easy reach with this whimsical dispenser, which doubles as a paperweight.

Find it: Amazon

3. SCOTCH EXPRESSIONS WASHI TAPE; $10.98

Scotch

This colorful tape has a texture similar to masking tape, so you can write on it with pen, pencil, or marker. Use it to label your folders and drawers, or get creative and decorate your cubicle or office’s walls and furniture.

Find it: Amazon

4. SCOTCH MAGIC TAPE DISPENSER, GLOBE; $10.39

Scotch

Travel the world without using any of your vacation time by keeping this globe-shaped tape dispenser on your desk.

Find it: Office Depot

5. MOLESKINE 18-MONTH PETIT PRINCE WEEKLY PLANNER; $20.95

Moleskine

If you can’t remember a date without writing it down—and your calendar app just doesn’t cut it—this weekly planner from Moleskine will be a lifesaver. The charming diary features plenty of room to annotate your appointments (a lined page faces each weekly calendar page) and evocative illustrations from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic.

Find it: Moleskine

6. LIFEFACTORY 16 OZ ACTIVE FLIP CAP WATER BOTTLE; $29.99

Lifefactory

Staying hydrated helps keep you alert and focused at work or in class. Sip in style with this glass water bottle from Lifefactory: It’s dishwasher-safe, made from FDA-approved materials, and has a pivoting handle and handy flip cap design.

Find it: Lifefactory

7. MIIR 18L TOTE; $79

MiiR

When you purchase a bag from MiiR, you help support students around the world—MiiR gives 5 percent of its top-line revenue to nonprofit partners, including education resources and clean water initiatives. The water resistant18L tote is just as useful on your commute—it has a padded sleeve for your laptop—as it is at the farmers market or on a hike.

Find it: MiiR

8. PREPD LUNCH BOX SET; $55

Prepd

We’ve had our eye on the Prepd Pack lunch box since it was a glimmer of an idea. Now fully funded, the Kickstarter project will begin shipping in October. The Prepd Pack has a sleek bamboo-covered case and comes with removable modular containers that will make you excited to pack your lunch.

Find it: Prepd

9. HERSCHEL SIXTEEN HIP PACK; $29.99

Herschel Supply Co.

Give your back a break this fall with Herschel’s hip spin on a ‘90s favorite. The adjustable Sixteen hip pack is big enough to fit your wallet, cell phone, keys, and more, and can be worn around your waist (like a fanny pack) or over your shoulder.

Find it: Herschel

10. HERSCHEL SETTLEMENT CASE; $19.99 - $29.99

Herschel Supply Co.

Grownups need a place to put their pencils, too. Herschel’s Settlement Case, which comes in an array of colorful geometric patterns, would also work well as a makeup case or toiletry kit when you travel.

Find it: Herschel

11. FREE FORM BULLETIN BOARD; $75

Uncommon Goods

This magnetic wooden bulletin board has moveable parts—including a shelf, pins, pegs, and box—so you can arrange it (and rearrange it) to best suit your needs.

Find it: UncommonGoods

12. BUBBLE WRAP CALENDAR; $27

Uncommon Goods

Scientific studies have proven that popping Bubble Wrap really does help the popper feel more calm and alert. Stave off stress by starting each workday with a deep cleansing breath and the pop of one bubble on this calendar.

Find it: UncommonGoods

13. BANNED BOOKS TOTE BAG; $18

Uncommon Goods

Bibliophiles will love this canvas tote, printed with the names of once-banned books from Ulysses to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Find it: UncommonGoods

14. TRESTIQUE MAKEUP; PRODUCTS START AT $24

treStique

This line of crayons and colored pencils is made for adults. treStique’s makeup system comes in stick form, making it as easy to toss in your bag as it is to apply. Buy it a la carte or choose a custom set or bundle.

Find it: treStique

15. GRAZE; $11.99 PER BOX

Graze

It’s time you break up with the vending machine. For under $12 per box, Graze will send you a pack of eight delicious, nutritionist-approved snacks.

Find it: Graze

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Here Are the Colleges In Each State With the Best Job Placement Rates
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In a tough economic climate, kids trying to figure out where to go to college might be more concerned with their future job prospects than the on-campus party scene. This graphic from the career search site Zippia, spotted by Thrillist, provides a surprising look at the universities that boast the highest post-graduation job placement rates in each state.

Zippia looked at job placement ratings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a collection of surveys from the National Center for Education Statistics that any college or university that gets federal funding has to complete. (That includes private universities.) The company ranked universities based on their job placement ratings for students 10 years after graduation.

Here's what the results look like across all 50 states:

A yellow map of the U.S. labeled with the college that boasts the highest job placement rate in each state
Zippia

Some of the institutions on the list may be colleges you’ve never heard of. While prestigious universities like Vanderbilt University in Tennessee might be familiar, other entries are more obscure. The highest job placement rate for a college in Massachusetts isn’t from Harvard—it’s Endicott College, a school near Salem with about 2500 undergraduates.

These are the 10 colleges with the highest job placement rates across all 50 states, according to Zippia’s analysis. Each school has a job placement rate of more than 95 percent 10 years after graduation.

1. Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania
2. Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island
3. Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio
4. Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York
6. University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, North Dakota
7. University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin
8. Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts
9. Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska
10. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut

That said, it's not entirely clear what kind of employment is covered by this data. It's possible that some of the graduates included aren't working in their desired field 10 years on or are otherwise underemployed but still working full time. The jobs these graduates have may have nothing to do with their major or what they studied in school. And since Zippia looked at data from people who graduated 10 years ago, that means the company likely looked at 2008 graduates, who left college at the height of the recession and may not have had a lot of great job options, potentially skewing the data toward very specialized schools, like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (the top choice in both Arizona and Florida).

The full list is below.

A list of the top colleges for job placement in each state
Zippia

[h/t Thrillist]

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School Buses May Soon Come with Seat Belts
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The days of school bus passengers riding unencumbered by seat belts may soon be over. This week, the federal National Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation to state agencies that new, larger buses should come equipped with lap and shoulder belts, as well as automatic emergency braking and anti-collision systems.

Traditionally, most large school buses have allowed students to ride without being secured in their seats. That’s because the buses are designed to surround passengers with shock-absorbing, high-backed seats spaced closely together, an approach referred to as "compartmentalization." In an accident, kids would be insulated in an egg-carton type of environment and prevented from hitting a dashboard or window. For smaller buses—usually defined as weighing 10,000 pounds or less—belts are standard.

The Safety Board’s conclusion comes at a time when recent bus crashes—including one with two fatalities that took place in New Jersey just last week—have reopened discussion as to whether larger buses need belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains that the compartmentalization of larger buses provides adequate safety, while the American Academy of Pediatrics argues that belts should be mandatory on all buses in the event of high-speed collisions or rollovers, where the high-back seats would offer less protection.

For now, the National Transportation Safety Board’s suggestion is just that—a suggestion. No states are required to follow the advice, and there’s considerable expense involved in retrofitting older buses with belts. Currently, eight states require seat belts on large buses.

[h/t ABC News]

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