TRC #639: Mae Jemison + House Prices + Superman vs Phone Booth

Cristina shines a spotlight on the incredible career of the first African-American female in space, Dr. Mae Jemison, and shares some fun Star Trek trivia. Adam takes a look behind the factors contributing to higher house prices to determine if they’re going up as much as we think. Darren goes meta with a deep dive into how often Superman really changes in a phone booth.

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Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison Biography

The First Black Female Astronaut On Fear, Audacity, And The Importance

Wiki: Mae Jemison

Energy.gov Five Fast Facts about Astronaut Mae Jemison

Mae C. Jemison – Quotes, Facts & Life – Biography

Dr. Mae Jemison

​​100 Year Starship

Wiki: 100 Year Starship

Dr. Mae – TEWS

‘Star Trek’ Scotty: James Doohan’s ashes smuggled on Space Station

The Origins of 11 Famous Star Trek Lines

House Prices

The Growth in Shared Custody in the United States: Patterns and Implications – Family court review

Average number of people per family in the United States from 1960 to 2020 – Statista

Believe It or Not, Real Estate Affordability Hasn’t Changed Much in 40 Years

Superman vs Phone Booth

Superman Homepage

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5 Responses to TRC #639: Mae Jemison + House Prices + Superman vs Phone Booth

  1. Laurie says:

    re Superman and phone booths: there was a joke going around when I was in primary school in the late ’70s.

    Q Why does Superman wear his underpants on the outside?
    A Have YOU ever tried getting changed in a phone booth?

    Now I can’t say this predates Superman the Movie, but it shows the idea was current enough for school kids to make jokes about it in Australia at the time.

    As an aside, the tag line out here was “you’ll believe a man can fly”. As about 10 year olds seeing the film our response was that Aussie witticism, pig’s arse.

  2. I’m both surprised and dismayed at the report on housing prices which seems quite contrary to everything, literally everything I’ve heard from friends in the market, realtors and national news reports. This is surprising because I have tuned in for years and been rewarded with carefully reasoned, fact-based commentaries presented with solid sourcing and dashes of humor.

    So when I listened to Adam’s report in TRC 639, I thought maybe it’s just the Phoenix market. But I’ve read similar reports from places like Boise, Idaho (NBC “Priced Out,” July 6, 2021.) The main problem with the TRC report is that it seems to be referencing admittedly reasonable factors such as “# of bathrooms,” “increase in square footage,” and “family size” over the past years or decade, and other credible elements. But this does nothing to explain the pricing crisis that began in the early pandemic of 2020 and continuing to this day–at least according to my real estate sources.

    For example, I have a good friend that I go biking or driving with in her working class/middle class neighborhood only to find that houses advertised on Friday or even Saturday morning were “contracted” practically the same day…and for prices that (in my humble admittedly non-professional estimation) were $100-150K over the pricing in late 2019. My realtor friends agreed however and advised that this situation was primarily aggregated in the market for houses (formerly) in the $350K-and-under segment.

    Now, a house that goes off the market as “contracted” may not actually end up selling that day, but my friend reported time and again that she got involved (but only once or twice) in actual bidding wars. We had never heard of such things in this market price segment before.

    Again, this may have to do with the sunny Arizona market which attracts all manner of well-to-do people looking to sell their million dollar homes in San Francisco etc (that’s who we blame, anyway, since Californians are, unfortunately, easy targets…like Toronto’ans and Vancouver’ians). But it also appears that there are large real estate trusts, private equity firms and banks that are jumping in and monopolizing the home-buying market for whatever seemingly nefarious purposes. (“LA May Seek Strategies to Stop Large Companies From Worsening Housing Crisis” November 10, 2021— “As of August 21, the LA city recorded a price increase of 11.3% compared to the prior year.”

    And, of course, Arizona has a fast-growing population, which can affect supply and demands. But overall, the big question every home buyer has is: When is this bubble going to burst?

    According to a CBS New report “Homes are now unaffordable in 4 of 10 U.S. counties” (June 21, 2021)

    The somewhat dry and matter-of-fact report by the TRC hosts suggesting “inflation-as-usual” and “more bathrooms” as the real situation thus seems both disingenuous and misleading.

    Time for a fact-check, I’d say.
    (BTW, great website)

    Regards from Phoenix.

    • Adam says:

      Hi Jim. I think you’re right but I don’t think I’m wrong.

      Yes the article I referenced was from 2019 and things changed in the past 2 years but people have been saying that as long as I’ve been an adult. Inflation has gone up a lot as well and while it probably doesn’t match house prices exactly, I think the trend I mentioned over decades is more or less a real thing.

      I sold, house hunted and built a house in 2018. I house hunted and bought a house in 2020. I’ve certainly seen how much the market changed over that very short time. I saw bidding wars on semi detached homes that sold for more than my detached had in the same neighborhood two years earlier. I bought a condo in 2006 and sold it in 2013 and saw that price soar as well, just not as much.

      There are a lot of factors and the rising costs of material, labour shortages and all the issues causing rises in all kinds of prices are part of it.

      As for specific markets for sure there are certain areas that are always going to go up way more than others. People in Ottawa complain but it doesn’t seem that bad here compared to Toronto and Vancouver. I’m sure many big cities in the US are the same. It sounds like you’re either fortunate or unfortunate enough to live in such a place.

      Foreign investors are a factor and I didn’t get into that specifically. I think that’s an issue but also a bit of a boogeyman in some markets. There are efforts to squash that but I’d be surprised if they had any large impact on the prices in those areas. The price hikes I’ve seen locally aren’t caused by foreign investors. They’re just caused by people who want to buy houses.

      Where I live I was lucky to find a place where there was some new expansion. Meanwhile everyone in the municipality at once fights against the sprawl and complains about a lack of affordable housing.

      When will it burst? If I knew I’d be a millionaire. People have been saying it’s about to drop any time now for at least 20 years. I’m not about to sell my house based on that.

  3. Rich W. says:

    I can’t believe you failed to mention Underdog when talking about superheroes changing in phone booths. Heck, the phone company probably changed to open-design payphones precisely because of Underdog destroying all their phone booths. 😉

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