Second, paper checks have the advantage that they provide receipts, something that many consumers are unwilling to give up.
First, it is very expensive to set up the computer, card reader, and telecommunications networks necessary to make electronic money the dominant form of payment.
Third, the use of paper checks gives consumers several days of "float" — it takes several days before a check is cashed and funds are withdrawn from the issuer's account, which means that the writer of the check can earn interest on the funds in the meantime.
It is this implicit or explicit reference to nature that fully justifies the use of the word garden, though in a "liberated" sense, to describe these synthetic constructions.
When we are deprived of green, of plants, of trees, most of us give in to a demoralization of spirit which we usually blame on some psychological conditions, until one day we find ourselves in garden and feel the expression vanish as if by magic.
This distinction is so much so that where the latter is lacking, as it is for these unlikely gardeners, the former becomes all the more urgent.
Another urge or need that these gardens appear to respond to, or to arise from, is so intrinsic that we are barely ever conscious of its abiding claims on us.
It is speculated that gardens arise from a basic need in the individuals who made them: the need for creative expression.
In most of the homeless gardens of New York City, the actual cultivation of plants is unfeasible, yet even so the compositions often seem to represent attempts to call forth the spirit of plant and animal lift, if only symbolically, through a clumplike arrangement of materials, an institution of colors, small pool of water, and a frequent presence of petals or leaves as well as of stuffed animals.
There is no doubt that gardens evidence an impossible urge to create, express, fashion, and beautify and that self-expression is a basic human urge; yet when one looks at the photographs of the garden created by the homeless, it strikes one that, for all their diversity of styles, these gardens speak of various other fundamental urges, beyond that of decoration and creative expression.
A sacred place of peace, however crude it may be, is a distinctly human need, as opposed to shelter, which is a distinctly animal need.
The gardens of the homeless which are in effect homeless gardens introduce form into an urban environment where it either didn't exist or was not discernible as such.
And in Europe, some are up in arms over a proposal to drop a specific funding category for social-science research and to integrate it within cross-cutting topics of sustainable development.
It could be that we are evolving two communities of social scientists: one that is discipline-oriented and publishing in highly specialized journals, and one that is problem-oriented and publishing elsewhere, such as policy briefs.
Stemming climate change, for example, is as much about changing consumption patterns and promoting tax acceptance as it is about developing clean energy.
When social scientists do tackle practical issues, their scope is often local: Belgium is interested mainly in the effects of poverty on Belgium, for example.
This year, it was proposed that system be changed: Horizon 2020, a new program to be enacted in 2014, would not have such a category.
As of 2005, there were almost half a million professional social scientists from all fields in the world, working both inside and outside academia.
During the late 1990s, national spending on social sciences and the humanities as a percentage of all research and development funds — including government, higher education, non-profit and corporate — varied from around 4% to 25%; in most European nations , it is about 15%.
For example, he theorised that a judge fearful of appearing too soft on crime might be more likely to send someone to prison if he had already sentenced five or six other defendants only to forced community service on that day.
In theory, the success of an applicant should not depend on the few others chosen randomly for interview during the same day, but Dr Simonsohn suspected the truth was otherwise.
But Dr Uri Simonsohn speculated that an inability to consider the big picture was leading decision-makers to be biased by the daily samples of information they were working with.
The scores were then used in conjunction with an applicant's score on the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, a standardised exam which is marked out of 800 points, to make a decision on whether to accept him or her.
Dr. Simonsohn found if the score of the previous candidate in a daily series of interviewees was 0.75 points or more higher than that of the one before that, then the score for the next applicant would drop by an average of 0.075 points.
Evidence shows that 60,000 extra new homes could be built over the next five years if the cap were lifted, increasing GDP by 0.6%.
While these measures would be welcome in the short term, we must face up to the fact that the existing £4.5bn programme of grants to fund new affordable housing, set to expire in 2015, is unlikely to be extended beyond then.
This government dose not want to see a return to large-scale provision of council housing, so it is naturally wary of measures that will lead us down that route.
Ministers should also look at creating greater certainty in the rental environment, which would have a significant impact on the ability of registered providers to fund new developments from revenues.
It needs to put historical prejudices to one side and take some steps to address our urgent housing need.
It is hard to shove for attention among multibillion-pound infrastructure project, so it is inevitable that the attention is focused elsewhere.