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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:20 am

Quote :
Why the Irish Crisis is Going Global
Rick Newman, On Tuesday November 16, 2010

You may not have to worry about Ireland in a week, or a month. But at the moment, the Emerald Isle is causing global investors a whole lot o' anxiety.

[See 20 industries where jobs are coming back.]

On the surface, it's reminiscent of the problem Greece had with its unmanageable federal debt early this year, which shook world markets, ended a global rally in stocks and ultimately led to a $146 billion bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Greece spent more money than it took in for years, papered over the gap, and essentially became insolvent when it could no longer borrow the money needed to finance its debt.

Ireland is on the brink of insolvency too, which has helped drive down the S&P 500 stock index by nearly 4 percent over the last few days. But unlike Greece, Ireland is a relatively wealthy country, with per capita GDP of nearly $38,000. That's 21 percent higher than per capita GDP in Greece, and in the top third for European countries. Low corporate tax rates and a skilled workforce have made Ireland a haven for some of the world's biggest companies. And its public debt, about 65 percent of GDP, is far below Greece's crushing load, which is 126 percent of GDP. Ireland's debt levels are even lower than those in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

But Ireland has one huge problem that may soon make it a supplicant to its European brethren: A failed banking sector that Ireland's government can no longer rescue on its own. Ireland is in the midst of a real estate bust that could trump even the ruinous downturns that turned parts of southern California and Nevada into suburban ghost towns, with home-grown banks stoking it all. Now, those banks are trying to manage catastrophic losses. The Irish government has effectively nationalized the nation's biggest banks by guaranteeing their debt, which would be akin to the U.S. government taking over Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

[See 3 ways to spot small-government phonies.]

That means the Irish government is also on the hook for the losses those banks endure--which have risen far beyond initial estimates, and may have a lot farther to go. So far, the Irish government is obligated to cover losses amounting to 175 percent of Irish GDP, which is becoming an unsustainable burden. "If the Irish banks go down, the Irish government also goes down," says economist Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

As estimates of Irish bank losses have gone up, pressure has mounted on Ireland to do something decisive--and panicky markets may now force a solution. Ireland wants the European Central Bank to continue lending money to Irish banks at low interest rates, but the ECB has different ideas. Inflation has been creeping up in Europe, and the central bank said recently that it wants to end its program of pumping liquidity into banks, not continue or expand it. Cutting off those loans to Irish banks could force defaults, which the Irish government would have to cover or essentially be in default itself. Germany, meanwhile, wants to hurry a bailout of Ireland, to prevent worries about sovereign bonds from spreading to Portugual or Spain, which would be a much bigger problem.

[See who's gained and lost under Obama, so far.]

A European bailout of Ireland would be manageable, and probably cost less than the Greek rescue. But Ireland doesn't want it, because the EU and IMF would force austerity measures onto the island nation that could effectively end its appeal as a business-friendly nation with a high standard of living. Since Ireland is wealthier than other European nations that would essentially be lending it money, social programs would end up gutted, and taxes would soar. And Ireland's 12.5 percent corporate tax rate--one of the lowest in the developed world--would almost certainly go up, taking what's left of the roar out of the Celtic Tiger. If multinational businesses abandon Ireland, it could fall quickly down the list of Europe's most prosperous nations.

The standoff is what worries the markets, since a protracted bailout battle darkens the clouds over Europe's other deeply indebted nations. Portugal and Spain aren't in serious danger of default at the moment, but as Ireland's cost of borrowing goes up, so does the cost of borrowing in similarly stressed nations. That gets passed through to businesses operating in those countries that do need to borrow money--and they could face more urgent funding needs than their own governments in the weeks ahead. That's how Ireland's problems ripple outward to other indebted governments, the real economy and ultimately to the global stock markets.

[See how the economy will swing the U.S. elections--in 2012.]

A bailout might seem tough to swallow in Ireland, but it would most likely calm global markets. Moody's Analytics points out that there's plenty of money available for a bailout, and also that the ramifications of a sovereign default are so severe that even nationalistic politicians would never let it happen. "We still believe the probability of default by a euro zone member state within the next two years is not significant," Moody's wrote in a recent analysis.

Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute sees three possible options. One is that a large bank, probably in Asia, could sweep in and buy up the Irish banks, if it got sufficient guarantees against losses by the Irish government. Prognosis: Unlikely. There's also a tiny chance that the European Central Bank will change its policy to accommodate Ireland. But that's even more unlikely.

What's most likely is some kind of Irish bailout, with tough negotiations over when it happens and the conditions Ireland must agree to. Ireland will fight hard to put off a bailout--at least until parliamentary elections on Nov. 25--and to retain its right to make its own fiscal decisions. But Ireland's luck may be about to run out, with other European nations likely to insist that Ireland face austerity measures at least as tough as those in Greece. Maybe tougher. "That would have very signficiant long-term growth implications for Ireland, and other euro zone countries know that," says Kirkegarrd. "But given the politics of bailouts, that simply doesn't matter." After all, there may be other bailouts that need to be addressed.

More Rick Newman posts

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:23 am

Quote :
The best advice for giving advice
by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Mon Nov 8, 2010

If you’re looking for advice, don’t ask Mr. T. “I don't give advice,” the '80s muscle man famously said. “Dr. Phil gives advice. Mr. T helps people. I motivate them, I inspire them, I give them hope, and I plant the seed so they can feel good about themselves.” That’s some good advice for giving advice. When offering your opinion on other people’s dilemmas, encouragement is more important than answers.

“The way advice is given can inadvertently increase the receiver’s resistance to hearing it or acting on it,” writes behavior specialist Jeffery Pfeffer on BNET. “You want the advisee to come away with good advice, rather than bad feelings about the advisor.” That’s a tall order when you’re forced to weigh in on touchy situations. But there are some tried-and-true tactics for giving feedback in five challenging situations. The best advice, of course, depends on the question.

Question 1: "What should I do with my life?" It’s the kind of question you can’t answer. Even if you’re their mentor, your advisees needs to choose their path independently, and too much coaxing in any direction will make them feel like decisions were made for them, not by them. The best thing to do is offer the road map to the answer.

Don’t say: “Follow your heart.” That’s the kind of nebulous advice no one really understands.

Do say: “Follow your heart, gut, and head.” According to psychologist Christine Meinecke, your heart, and feelings, aren't the only factors at play in major decisions. Your head, or intellect, and your gut, or intuition, are also vying for a word in edgewise. “Gleaning available information from all three realms is essential to making good decisions,” writes Meinecke in Psychology Today. Have your advisee write out what their feelings, intellect and intuition all are saying. Putting it down on paper will help organize the kind of scattered thoughts that cause anxiety and ultimately, indecision.

The next step for them is weighing the three options. Which make the most sense to follow? Meinecke has some unusual advice when it comes to what the heart wants: skip it. “Leave feelings out of it," she suggests. "When we let feelings dictate decisions, we act on primal urgings." This can lead to choices with long-term consequences for the sake of an instant high. Instead she offers this credo: "Instead of following your heart, use your head and trust your gut."


Question 2: "Should I stay in this relationship?" It’s the question no one wants to have to answer. Unless your friend is in a dangerous circumstance, it’s impossible to come to a conclusion on his or her behalf.

Don’t say: "Yes" or "No." “For one thing, when someone makes a recommendation for or against a particular option, a decision maker may feel like they have lost a bit of their independence in making a choice,” says cognitive psychologist Art Markman, Ph. D. The last thing you want is to be blamed for someone else's romantic decisions. If things work out and you had doubts, they'll think you're bad for their relationship.

Do Say: “What do you want?” “When giving advice, it is best to get a sense of what the person asking really wants,” says Markman, a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. “Sometimes people ask for advice when what they really want is confirmation that they are doing the right thing.” Responding to their question with your question, will give them pause and a moment to figure out what they're really getting at. If they seem to be leaning toward a decision, try to support it. What you don’t want to do is play devil’s advocate, especially if the question comes on the heels of the triggered event. “Someone who is looking for confirmation will tend to discount any opinion that differs from the one they have already formed,” says Markman. “This happens a lot when people are in a 'hot' emotional state. Right after a fight with a significant other or a breakup, people are not really in a state to take advice. At that point, it is better to empathize and wait to give advice until the person has cooled off.”


Question 3: "Should I make this purchase?" If your friends want advice on buying a home, a car or any other major purchase that will affect their daily lives, there’s only one way to help: provide information.

Don’t say: “Go for it!” You may take the fall for their poor choice with this kind of response. “Recommendations about how to go about making the choice may also make a decision maker feel a loss of independence,” says Markman.

Do say: “Let’s look at all the pros and cons of making the purchase.” “There is a lot of evidence that people feel better about decisions when they are able to give a reason for making the choice,” says Markman. “Information provides a good justification for a choice.” It also makes the advisee take responsibility for the decision. Provide him with links to comparison shopping sites so he can familiarize himself with the market. Make a list together of the benefits of the purchase and a second list of ways the purchase might be a hindrance. Then have him circle the most important items on both lists. If either list has more circles, it will illuminate an answer he'll feel he's come to on his own.


Question 4: "How do I complete this task?" If you’re offering advice in a work situation, the way you respond could determine your future as colleagues.

Don’t say: “I can’t believe you don’t know how to do this. I’ll show you.” That person will never ask you anything again. Even if offering advice takes a little time away from other tasks, there are many benefits to being the 'go-to' person. You’ll be the first to hear of their work-related decisions, they’ll trust you with private information and they’ll probably help you out when you're in a tight spot. Remember: even if they’re below you in ranking, roles change fast.

Do say: “Thanks for coming to me. I had this problem too. I’m happy to show you.” When someone turns to you for guidance in work, you’ve got to think like Mr. T, not Dr. Phil. “There really is a difference between coming across as authoritative as opposed to authoritarian,” explains Pfeffer, who starts off every piece of advice with a moment of gratitude. “[Thanking someone] is one of the best ways to deepen a relationship, because it’s a mutually gratifying human interaction and flattering without being obsequious.” It also helps to follow up your advice with an opportunity for questions. “Often the best advice is created in an iterative way, rather than being delivered from on high," writes Pfeffer. "So after you’re done expounding, ask the recipient if that makes sense, or how they might feel about acting on your advice. Their reactions can help you refine it together and make it even more meaningful."


Question 5: "Should I give your best friend a job?" Every now and then, your advice comes with a strong opinion that you’d really like to impart. If you think your friend is great for the job but you also know your feedback could appear one-sided, play down your motives.

Don’t say: “Yes, you should and I’ll be so grateful if you do.” Then there's an implied obligation or personal favor. Too much enthusiasm invalidates your role as advisor.

Do say: “I’ll give you my honest opinion if you buy me a cup of coffee.” Studies suggest that if a person feels like he’s paid for advice, he’s more likely to take it. The amount spent isn’t the issue, what’s important is that the advisee feels like he’s getting the real deal. Setting aside a little time, and reframing their question as if you were doing the favor, will bring more gravity to your opinion. .

Related: work, study, relationships, psychology, how to, help, advice

Source: shine.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:01 pm

Quote :
Harry Potter's grave draws tourists to Israel town (AP)
Tue Nov 16, 2010

RAMLE, Israel - Spoiler alert: Harry Potter is dead.

Not the bespectacled teenage wizard created by author J.K. Rowling. This deceased Potter was a British soldier killed in 1939, and his grave is helping draw tourists to the backwater Israeli town of Ramle.

Ramle does not keep numbers on how many tourists flock to the grave in the town's British military cemetery, but tour guides and the municipality say the tombstone has become a popular attraction, largely for domestic travelers.

"There is no connection with the Harry Potter we know from literature, but the name sells, the name is marketable," said Ron Peled, a tour guide who said he has brought dozens of groups to the grave.

Pvt. Harry Potter was born near Birmingham, England, and joined the British military in 1938. According to his regiment's website, he arrived to British mandate Palestine later that year, where he was killed in battle with an armed band in 1939. He was 18.

The tombstone says, incorrectly, that he died at 19 — a result of him having lied about his age so he could enlist.

The municipality said people began inquiring about the grave about five years ago, and the city listed it on its tourism website at the start of the year.

On a recent afternoon, a group of Israeli visitors, led by a microphone-wielding tour guide, scoured the manicured cemetery, looking for Potter's tombstone. Once they found it among the 4,500 graves, they huddled behind it and snapped photos.

"It's a type of pilgrimage for some man whose name stands out. If you didn't say that Harry Potter was buried here, no one would come here," said Josef Peretz, 76, from Tel Aviv .

Thousands of tourists visit Ramle, a drab, working-class town in central Israel , every year, in large part because of its many archaeological ruins and convenient location, according to the municipality.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1," the second-to-last of the big-screen adventures about the young wizard, opens Friday.

___

Watch film clips from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1":


Source: movies.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:49 pm

Quote :
Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter is 'Like the Mafia'
by: Parade Magazine

Daniel Radcliffe has grown up on the big screen as the young wizard Harry Potter.

Now, after ten years and seven hugely successful films, the 22-year-old actor is reaching the end of the magical odyssey with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. Parade's Jeanne Wolf found out about the incredible journey he's taken.

Is it really over?

"J. K. Rowling pretty much promised me that she wasn't going to write any more Harry Potter books. But, subsequently, I've heard she's been quoted as saying she hasn't ruled it out. So I think the two of us have to have a very interesting conversation at some point in the near future."

Related: See photos of the Harry Potter stars through the years

It's over for him.

"If they did actually do another film I don't think I'd be on board. No. I think ten years is enough."

What sets Deathly Hallows apart.

"One of the things that makes the biggest difference is that we're out of Hogwarts, which I think immediately lends the film a more kind of adult tone. When we've been in a school, you can't help but see us as school kids. Now, we're sort of just fugitives on the run. And there's so much action. But, actually, it does not compare to Part 2, which is coming next summer. The last film is just an all out action movie from start to finish."

Related: Take the ultimate Harry Potter quiz!

And then there were tears.

"I certainly choked up when we wrapped. I was crying and so were Emma and Rupert at the end along with the crew, who also had been there for ten years. It was very sad. But six hours later, I was on a plane reading the script for "Woman in Black." Now, I'm five weeks into filming that. So we move on."

What he'll take with him.

"Working with the people I've go to work with, I've gained things I wouldn't otherwise have had. For example, an immense passion about the film industry and a work ethic that I might not have had otherwise. So it's changed me, but I don't think necessarily negatively. It's all been good."

But he had no idea what was in store.

"I don't think anyone would have been able to predict that it would get so mega. But if we'd been making bad films for all these years, they wouldn't have been huge successes. So I think it's a testament to the fact that we've always tried to maintain a certain level of quality."

Related: See exclusive stills from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Keeping it all in perspective.

Early on in your career you have to be able to separate the person they are cheering for from the person you actually are. They are cheering for a perception they have of you, which is a famous person, an actor and this particular character. So if you start to think that they are cheering for you as a real person then that's when you get big headed and you become an awful human being."

Being rich doesn't hurt.

"As far as the wealth aspect is concerned, I'm in a very fortunate position which has been afforded me by doing these films. I got paid very well for doing a job I absolutely love. When you have that kind of financial security it gives you a lot of freedom as an actor because it means you don't have to do stuff just for the money. You can afford to be selective about what you do."

Always Harry Potter.

"I think to a certain extent it's true that Harry will stick to me. I think in a lot of people's minds I will always be him. It's rather like the mafia, I guess. Once you're in, you never get out. I don't think I'm being typecast so far. But I would never be anything but proud to be associated with this film series forever."

Source: blog.movies.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:34 pm

Quote :
From Half-Pint To Hunk: 'Jerry Maguire's' Jonathan Lipnicki Is All Grown Up!
Source: Access Hollywood Wed Nov 17, 2010

Jonathan Lipnicki is all grown up!

The adorable now-20-year-old former "Jerry Maguire" child star (most known for his famous line, "Do you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?"), stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday to chat about his upcoming projects and his days working with Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.

PLAY IT NOW: Tom Cruise On His MTV Movie Awards Performance

"[Tom and Renee] were both just awesome to work with," Jonathan told Access Hollywood Live's Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, of shooting "Jerry Maguire" with the film icons. "I'm just so thankful that was my first experience working was with such a great cast.

"Tom was always just having fun, every day was just so much fun," he continued. "They were all just excited to be at work -- it was such a fun atmosphere."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Former Child Stars

Jonathan, who was a mere 5-years-old while filming the hit sports movie, said that despite his young age, he was able to recite his lines without help.

"I memorized everything actually," Jonathan told Billy and Kit. "I went over all the scenes with my mom and memorized everything."

Though "Jerry Maguire" made him an instant star, the role also threatened to pigeonhole the actor into limited acting opportunities.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Tom Cruise - Hollywood’s Original ‘Maverick’

"I think a lot of people don't know that I grew up," Jonathan laughed. "They think I'm five! I was fortunate enough to work a lot after ["Jerry Maguire"], and then I decided to take off time to really just go to school."

Jonathan resumed a somewhat "normal" childhood -- something he is "really grateful" for and credits to his parents.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Renee Zellweger: From Texan Cutie To Oscar Darling

"I went to public school -- went to prom, did homecoming, everything," Jonathan told Billy and Kit. "It's great because now I can come back as a different person. I've learned a lot and I can come back and have kind of a new career."

The young star is returning to the big screen alongside veteran actor James Caan in "For The Love Of Money." The drama also stars another former child star, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day's" Edward Furlong, and is slated for release sometime in 2011.

Copyright 2010 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:

Source: movies.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:28 pm

Quote :
4 Things Not to Buy at Costco
by Louise Tutelian
Saturday, November 20, 2010

You head to Costco (Nasdaq: COST - News) to stock up on staples -- say, paper towels and cleaning supplies -- but you walk out with three salmon filets, a tub of cream puffs, and a ream of printer paper. Why?

Most of us are notoriously poor at assessing a true bargain, says C.W. Park, professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and editor of The Journal of Consumer Psychology. Seduced by the prospect of saving money, we give in to impulse buys. Eventually, we regret the purchase or throw much of a past-its-prime product away. It's called the Costco Effect, and it's actually part of the store's incredibly successful retail strategy. But the effect on your wallet is that you spent more than you would have if you'd never seen that "bargain."


Here are four product categories where you're better off going somewhere other than Costco. (Keep reading for another four where Costco has some surprisingly good deals.)

1. Designer Clothes

You might score the occasional pair of Lucky jeans or a Speedo swimsuit, but designer duds aren't exactly Job 1 at Costco. Even if you do see an item from a top-tier name brand, you can't assume it's the same quality as the similar-looking product at a department store. "Just because it's a national brand name, an item of clothing doesn't have to meet the standards you'll see in other stores," says Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group, a market research firm.

Kathryn Finney, founder of The Budget Fashionista, says it's no secret that most name designers make cheaper lines just for warehouse clubs or outlet stores. The tip-off, says Finney, will be in the packaging and/or label on the garment. Labels on the sub-brands are just glued on, and are usually stiff and crunchy, while labels on high-end goods are softer or silky, and stitched all around.

2. Imported Shrimp

Most shrimp sold in the U.S. is imported from countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia, where environmental regulations are often lax or not enforced, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, (EDF), an education and advocacy non-profit. The EDF classifies shrimp imported from these regions as "eco-worst" for the environmentally destructive ways in which they are often farmed. Greenpeace took aim at Costco's seafood sustainability practices last June with an aggressive campaign called Oh No Costco. While Costco seafood buyer Bill Mardon says his company has entered into a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to set global standards for shrimp farming, the specific objectives are still being discussed.

"Costco gets credit for starting down the road," says Tim Fitzgerald, senior policy analyst for oceans at of the EDF, "but they are still very early on." In the meantime, you're better off buying shrimp at Trader Joe's, which is much further along on the same path. After Greenpeace launched its Traitor Joe campaign in early 2009, Trader Joe's pledged to remove all non-sustainable seafood from its stores by the end of 2012, and it's already taken concrete steps in that direction.

3. Sheets and Towels

"Target and Wal-Mart have this market cornered and they do a great job," says Budget Fashionista's Finney. Costco, by contrast, rarely stocks more than a handful of top-selling colors in sheets and towels. "If you want 20 colors, this isn't the place," admits Jim Klauer, Costco merchandise manager for bedding and the home.

[See Top 10 Holiday Gifts]

4. 12-Pound Crates of Navel Oranges

Sure, it only costs $11.99, but it's not such a good deal if you end up throwing away half the fruit. Same goes for the package of six hearts of romaine lettuce, and the 3-pack of whipped heavy cream (240 servings) unless you're, say, hosting a sleepover for your child's entire soccer team. And their opponents. Teri Gault, founder of TheGroceryGame.com, which helps shoppers save on food, says that when it comes to produce, it's often more cost-effective to shop at your local supermarket and combine coupons with seasonal specials. Also avoid Costco's candy aisle -- do you really need a 5 pound bucket of licorice twists?

4 Things You Should Buy at Costco

Costco was cool even before the Great Recession. Targeting business owners and other affluent customers, the members-only warehouse shop avoided the Walmart stigma and sold a mix of high-end electronics, basic foodstuffs, and household necessities, plus an eclectic mix of humidifiers, bestselling books, and vintage Champagne. Now that frugal is fashionable, however, Costco seems like the perfect store for the times. The blogosphere, no surprise, offers up sites for Costco fanatics and Costco cooks. CEO and founder Jim Sinegal is renowned for the low salary he awards himself and the relatively high pay he shells out for employees. Even A-listers are getting in on the action: Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, and Zac Efron have been spotted loading up their cars with 30-packs of toilet paper and flat-screen TVs.

So should you follow the crowd? Yes, but only for certain items. If you've got the storage space, it's tough to beat Costco for staples such as paper towels, diapers, and shaving cream. But as good as the price-per-ounce may be, you just don't need that much mayonnaise. Below, we've listed four surprising items that you should pick up at the warehouse.

1. Chocolate Truffles

They're real and they're spectacular: Costco sells authentic French chocolate truffles from Chocmod, a high-end French confectionery company. Complete with a dusting of cocoa, these truffles come but once a year and they are in stores now (and only in stores -- you won't find them online). They cost $10.89 for two two-pound boxes, compared with $29 on Amazon. That's 240 truffles, but who's counting? After your dinner party, put what's left in nice boxes and give them to colleagues at the office as a holiday gift.

[See Hot Holiday Toys in 2010]

2. Eyeglasses

One-stop shopping at low prices has endeared Costco Optical to tens of thousands of vision-challenged shoppers. For $49, a licensed optician will perform a vision and eye health exam in an in-store exam room. A week later, you can pick up your specs. In a survey released this month by Consumer Reports, 30,000 lens-wearers chose Costco as their favorite optical retailer over vision store chains, independent optical shops, and private doctors' offices. Costco Optical earned the highest scores for overall satisfaction as well as for price, with its $157 median price for glasses. Compare that price with an average of $211 at independent optical shops, $212 at private eye doctors' offices, and $228 at Pearle Vision. Costco also stood out for lack of problems, such as loose lenses, distorted vision, or damaged frames in the first weeks after purchase.

3. Laptops

Costco's prices on notebook PCs are already a good deal, but there's a further benefit to buying one at Costco: A two-year warranty policy (most manufacturers provide just one year), a 90-day return policy, and Costco Concierge Services, which is free to members and gives buyers access to technicians for set-up questions, product use, and trouble-shooting. Model numbers and configurations are often unique to Costco, but a perusal of specs will let you compare it to similar models sold elsewhere. Among current laptops on sale at Costco, PC Magazine Online gives high marks to the 14-inch HP Pavilion dm4-1173cl ($800 list price at Costco vs. $849 elsewhere for a comparable model).

[See 10 Things We Overpay For]

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Costco's Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be the best-kept secret in the store. At $9.99 for 1.5 liters, it is roughly half the cost of the well-known Bertolli brand, and yet, according to at least one independent study, it's much better. In a recent comparison of 19 olive oils on the market, The Olive Center, a research group at the University of California-Davis, found that Kirkland Organic was one of only five in the study not mixed with cheaper refined olive oil that can spoil the taste. The other four at the top of the list were all high-end brands that cost as much as five times Costco's. Make sure you buy the Costco version that's labeled organic, though, as opposed to the one that's simply called "extra virgin olive oil." It'll cost a little bit more, but it's worth it.


Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:37 pm

Quote :
4 Things Not to Buy at Target
by Elaine Pofeldt | Aug 31, 2010

This article is part of a package of stories about consumers and Target. Read our other article on what to buy at Target.

In the battle for public opinion, Target has shellacked its larger competitor, Walmart. Whether it’s environmentalists attacking the very concept of big-box retail or workers’ rights advocates lambasting the chain’s treatment of employees, Walmart has become the poster boy for the excesses of capitalism. Target, meanwhile, has built a reputation for cheap chic, pairing with Liberty of London and Michael Graves to churn out high-design at low prices. Walmart gets blamed for putting mom and pop stores out of business, while Target recently opened its first store in Manhattan, a market Walmart has yet to crack.

Recently, however, Target has looked vulnerable, suffering more in the economic downturn than Walmart did, and committing a rare public relations gaffe by making a political contribution that angered gay groups.



So what about the merchandise? On its carefully edited shelves, Target offers many good products at competitive prices, but it also sells products you should avoid, either because you’ll get a better selection or price at another store, or because there are more environmentally sound options. Here are four items not to buy at Target.

1. Furniture

Target’s design edge in categories like clothing and housewares, where Target has exclusive deals with fashion stars such as Zac Posen, clearly doesn’t extend to home furniture. “You can get comparable quality and cheaper stuff from Ikea, and Ikea’s merchandise is a bit more stylish,” says Kathryn Finney of The Budget Fashionista site. Finney says that, in particular, Ikea’s bookshelves, chairs, and kitchen tables tend to offer better value than those at Target.

2. Movies and Music

“They can’t really beat Amazon or Walmart” when it comes to prices on movies, music, and books, says James McQuivey, a media technology analyst at Forrester Research. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream CD, for example, sells for $13.99 at Target, vs. $9.99 at Amazon and $9.00 at Walmart, while the Blu-ray version of Date Night costs $29.99 at Target, vs. $24.96 at Walmart and $28.99 at Amazon.com.

3. Exercise Equipment

Target’s clothes may be fashionable, but if you want to look great in them, buy your exercise equipment somewhere else. Target’s offerings in this category tend toward the $199 “As Seen on TV” Ab Circle Pro and the $100 Tony Little “Gazelle Edge” fitness system. You’re generally better off going to a place like The Sports Authority for higher-end exercise equipment. Or join a gym and hire a pro.

4. Shower Curtains, Some Toys, and Other Products with PVC

Following a national campaign by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) and other environmental groups, Target agreed in 2007 to reduce the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic in its products and packaging. PVC often contains lead and pthalates, which have been linked to reproductive problems in humans and release carcinogens when incinerated. At the time, Target lagged behind Walmart and Sears in removing products containing PVC, says Mike Schade, CHEJ’s PVC campaign coordinator. Although Target is now doing just as well as these rivals in removing PVC -containing products, it hasn’t gotten rid of all of them, according to Schade.

Of particular concern are toys not sold under Target’s private-label brand; Schade says it can be a challenge for retailers to control the materials that its suppliers use. (Toys sold under Target’s brand should generally be PVC-free, according to Schade.) And read the labels on plastic shower curtains: Target has removed most, but not all, that contain PVC from its shelves. (Products that contain the recycling symbol with the number ‘3’ in the middle mean they contain PVC.)

For its part, Target says it has eliminated or switched to safer forms of PVC in product categories covered by child safety legislation.

Source: moneywatch.bnet.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:51 pm

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What to Buy at Walmart
by Catherine Holahan | Dec 10, 2009

This article is part of a package on consumers and Walmart. To read the other article, on what not to buy at Walmart, click here.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that Walmart (WMT) is the nation’s largest retailer, there are plenty of people who wouldn’t be caught dead in one. To these folks, Walmart conjures images of a rapacious juggernaut of stadium-sized stores offering low-quality merchandise, spotty service, and mistreating employees and the environment — while driving small local retailers out of business.

But many of those misgivings are starting to fade, partly as a result of some well-timed improvements to the company’s product line-up and its environmental record. What’s more, there’s nothing like the worst recession in 80 years to nudge “low prices” a little higher on the collective priority list. And while Walmart may not be making its employees rich, the chain handed out very few pink slips in the downturn and remains the country’s largest private employer.

To be sure, there are plenty of reasons to remain wary of the retail behemoth. Whether you are concerned about the threat to a downtown business district, object to the retail culture, or just have a mental picture of the Walmart shopper that you can’t square with your own self image, it may not be for you. But it’s worth keeping in mind that, when it leverages its enormous scale for good, Walmart can make a difference in a hurry. It’s one thing when a boutique sells fair-trade coffee, but when Walmart gets into the game, a lot of sustainable farmers benefit. Here are five product categories where you can comparison shop in good conscience at the nation’s “low-price leader.”
1. Moderately Priced Consumer Electronics

Dying to get the latest hi-definition TV from Vizio or Viore? We thought not. Those low-priced brands are what Walmart has focused on in the past, but recently the retailer has expanded its offerings to include high-def TVs from top makers such as Samsung (SSNLF), Sony (SNE), Philips (PHG), and Sharp (SHCAY). It also now offers digital cameras made by the likes of Nikon and Canon.

Walmart still isn’t the best place to shop for a top-of-the-line television or digital SLR camera. But its focus on bringing in more big brands has made it an attractive option for shoppers seeking consumer electronics in the sub-$1,000 price range. This year, for example, some WalMart stores offered a 50-inch Samsung plasma television for less than $700 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

What Walmart doesn’t have is an army of educated sales people ready to explain all the settings on the back of that SLR or the subtle differences between a high-def TV with a resolution of 1080i versus one with 1080p. But such service has become less important now that 90 percent of consumers turn to the Internet for detailed product reviews, says James Russo, Nielsen’s vice president of global consumer insights.

“Consumers will do their research outside the store,” says Russo. “So if Walmart has the right selection and price point, consumers will go there.

2. Smart Phones

In the past year, Walmart has beefed up its offerings of higher-end cell phones, especially Blackberries. This is good news if you’ve reached the end of your phone contract and are looking to compare new phones and carriers all in one place, since Walmart sells phones and service plans from each of the four largest U.S. carriers: Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), Sprint (S), and T-Mobile (DT). So if you want to see how T-Mobile’s G1 phone, which uses Google’s Android operating system, matches up against Apple’s iPhone, Walmart is the place for you. You can’t do that at an AT&T store, or even at one of Apple’s fancy boutiques.



3. Coffee

While Walmart has been criticized in the past for being more concerned with price than environmental or labor issues when sourcing its goods, one area where it’s improving its record is with coffee. This year, the company partnered with TransFair USA, an independent certifying agency, to offer fair trade-certified coffee in its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. The coffee is sustainably grown by farmers who receive a living wage and is thus more expensive than competing coffees — roughly $5.88 for a 10 to 12 ounce bag, compared with less than $5 for supermarket brand Eight O’Clock Coffee. But it tastes better (or at least it should), and by selling fair-trade coffee, Walmart vastly expands the market for such goods.

Carmen K. Iezzi, executive director of the Fair Trade Federation, a North American association for such products, says Walmart’s expansion of fair trade certified items like coffee was promising, although she cautioned that it’s too early to tell how much impact Walmart’s efforts will have. Still, coffee is a good start. “When any major corporation begins to move in the direction of more sustainable practices, that is a positive sign,” says Iezzi.

4. Video Game Bundles

Of course, Walmart’s primary appeal has always been its low prices, but it makes sense for shoppers to do a cost/benefit analysis: Is it worth it to save $10 on a book, when you could be supporting an independent bookseller instead? On the other hand, you can save a lot more money if you’re in the market for video game systems, which Walmart often bundles with starter games. For example, Walmart was recently selling the Xbox 360 Elite gaming system, along with two games, including this season’s blockbuster title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, for just $259. The game console alone sells for upward of $249 at stores such as Sears, while Call of Duty typically retails for $60. And buying video game consoles and products at Walmart is arguably a guilt-free purchase. After all, Sears (SHLD) isn’t known for standing up against suburban sprawl.

5. Laundry Detergent

When it comes to the environment, Walmart’s suppliers have often fallen far short of best practices. Now the chain is trying to clean up its act by offering more eco-friendly products. One area where it’s done the most is laundry detergent. The company recently switched to selling only concentrated laundry detergent in its U.S. stores — these products use up to 50 percent less packaging and require less fuel to transport than the earlier versions. Once again, scale matters: Walmart has a serious carbon footprint, so cutting laundry detergent containers by half can have a big impact.

Walmart has taken steps to combat phosphates, which pollute the water and lead to an explosion of the algae population that destroys fish habitats and plants. The company already says there are no phosphates in detergent it sells in the U.S., and earlier this year, it announced plans to choose more eco-friendly suppliers for the laundry and dish detergent it sells in its Americas region, cutting phosphates by 70 percent by 2011. The Americas region includes Canada, Mexico, and countries in Central and South America.

And Walmart has unveiled broader initiatives to improve its eco-image. In July, the company began developing a sustainability index that will eventually rank all of its suppliers and products based on their environmental impact. “Walmart is taking some important steps, although they’ve still got a long way to go,” says Honor Schauland, a campaign assistant at the Organic Consumers Association, a Minnesota-based consumer advocacy group.

Walmart didn’t become the world’s largest retailer by accident. Executives in Bentonville, Ark., are well aware that stocking sustainable products was a good way to attract a more affluent consumer. And those consumers like low prices on recognizable brands as much as anyone, especially in the current economy, says Doug Conn, a managing director at Hexagon Securities who focuses on the retail sector.

“They have picked up on trends like organics and natural products, and that has helped get new customers,” says Conn. “But the key theme is that customers are more value-oriented than they have ever been this holiday season, and Walmart is the default place to go for low prices.”

In other words, new customers are coming for the deals. But if they shop the categories mentioned above, they can feel good about being thrifty without worrying that they’ve abandoned their ideals just to save a buck.

Source: moneywatch.bnet.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:49 pm

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6 Alternate Uses for Your Freezer partner
by Reader's Digest Magazine, on Fri Nov 19, 2010

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

6 tricky problems your freezer can easily solve.

Eliminate unpopped popcorn
Don't you just hate the kernels of popcorn that are left at the bottom of the bowl? Eliminate the popcorn duds by keeping your unpopped supply in the freezer.

Remove wax from candlesticks
Grandma's heirloom silver candlesticks will get a new life if you place them in the freezer and then pick off the accumulated wax drippings. But don't do this if your candlesticks are made from more than one type of metal. The metals can expand and contract at different rates and damage the candlesticks.

Extend candle life
Place candles in the freezer for at least two hours before burning. They will last longer.

Unstick photos
Picture this: Water spills on a batch of photographs, causing them to stick together. If you pull them apart, your pictures will be ruined. Don't be so hasty. Stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then use a butter knife to gingerly separate the photos. If they don't come free, place them back in the freezer. This works for envelopes and stamps too.

Clean a pot
Your favorite pot has been left on the stove too long, and now you've got a burned-on mess to clean up. Place the pot in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the burned food becomes frozen, it will be easier to remove.

Remove odors
Got a musty-smelling book or a plastic container with a fish odor? Place them in the freezer overnight. By morning they'll be fresh again. This works with almost any other small item that has a bad smell you want to get rid of.

Related: other uses, other uses, household problems, household problems, freezer, freezer, extraordinary uses, extraordinary uses

Source: shine.yaho.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:25 am

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Why Guys Lose Weight Faster than Women and How to Steal their Secrets
By Lucy Danziger, the Editor-in-Chief of SELF magazine
Nov 30, 2010

Cliche or not, life isn't fair—especially when it comes to the fact that men lose weight so much faster than women, and usually when they're trying only half as hard! Seriously, it's like magic (but more annoying!): A guy will grab his gut, announce that it's got to go, and—presto!—a month later he's a slim Jim. Meanwhile, women toil away at the gym for weeks before seeing a 1-pound difference on the scale. What gives? The editors at SELF decided to investigate, and turns out, guys' slim-down strategies aren't all that complicated—surprise—and they can work for women, too! Steal these firm-up-fast secrets, and share them with your girlfriends. It's time to level the slimming field.

Eat real food

Guys don't usually munch on things like 100-calorie snack packs; research shows men are less likely to eat goods labeled diet or low-cal. And that's fine because you get more nutrients (and avoid unhealthy saturated fat) by fueling up on whole foods, which are also more psychologically filling, says Heidi Skolnik, former team nutritionist for the New York Giants. So that means snacking on nuts, yogurt, hummus, cheese sticks, fruit and vegetables and skipping that totally unsatisfying small serving of crackers? Sign me up!

Have a one-track mind

Whether it's for hitting a golf ball or dieting, men tend to have laserlike focus when they choose to. "They're wired to concentrate on a single thing, whereas the female brain evolved to approach tasks from a wide perspective," according to Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, New Jersey. So a guy might decide to cut out beer entirely or do a Saturday boot camp; that's his big plan. Most women try to tackle the whole problem at once, vowing to nix all carbs, cut out alcohol, steam every vegetable, and hit the gym daily at dawn. No wonder we fail; it's a chore just thinking about it! Instead, pick your single worst eating habit (diving into the bread basket at dinners out or late-night ice cream binges or fridge raids?) and a challenging fitness goal (attending Spin classes more often?) and attack only those for four weeks. Totally doable, right? Now add a second goal: Keep building on good habits and watch the pounds drop off.

Pump iron

Start thinking of your gym's weight room as the "lose weight" room. Strength training, which only about 17 percent of women do, revs metabolism, torches calories and sculpts sexy muscles. It's so effective, you should think of your current cardio as secondary to strength training, which can be 60 percent of your fitness commitment right now, says Holly Perkins, an ExerciseTV trainer in Los Angeles. Another dude to-do: Spend less time on machines and embrace free weights, especially barbells, which work more muscles. (Borrow these moves from the boys.) And don't be discouraged if the needle on the scale nudges up a smidgen at first: Remember, the muscle you're gaining weighs more than the fat you're losing; you may not drop pounds, but you'll be smaller and leaner—go by how your favorite jeans fit!

Don't (over)think—do

Remember Rocky? The Italian Stallion didn't worry about when or where he'd train or whether he'd win; he began punching sides of frozen beef. "Most men throw themselves into an exercise program without much planning; most women ask a lot of questions and may even overthink things, which can create excuses and lead you to put off starting," says Tracie Rogers, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Skip right to the action—and results! Why not lace up and go for a quick jog right now? Curious about CrossFit? Sign up for a class right now, and pay so you can't talk your way out of it later. Your new mantra: Try a new fitness class today; pounds gone tomorrow!

Feed your ego

We women are as competitive as guys, but our ego isn't as tied to how fast we run or what we bench-press. Maybe it should be! Turns out, one's ego is a powerful motivator. The next time you have an amazing workout, tell a friend, boast to your brother, post it on Facebook, or even just say to yourself, Boot camp busted my butt today! To pump up your body confidence even more, work out with a superfit friend and don't let her out-exercise you.

Act oblivious

It's no shocker: Men worry less than women do about what random Joe Schmoes think of their body. (Even in the locker room, my husband reports, men of all shapes strut around towelless.) I wish it were as easy as simply deciding to adopt a guy's total body confidence! But flattering workout clothes can nudge your cute-at-the-gym meter enough that—like the guys—you're able to focus more on taking that class, lifting the weights or hitting the pool, all of which will get you fit.

Ditch the dinner drama

A guy sees pizza and thinks, Yum, pizza for dinner. Women think, Uh-oh, pizza is my weakness, or, Ah, pizza will be just the mood booster I need, Skolnik says. One study found that women binge eat more than men do, possibly because we eat to soothe ourselves. And when emotions, not your stomach or brain, drive choices, it can be a diet disaster. Instead, try to think of food as fuel. Take bites because you're hungry or need energy, not because of stress, unhappiness or just plain boredom. Think about what your choices will do for your health and let yourself indulge occasionally without the guilt. Pizza? Yum! Have some, move on.

Guess what else helps guys lose faster? Their attitude and the fact that they give themselves credit for the smallest victories, whereas women have a tendency to be too hard on themselves. "My female athletes become distraught or beat themselves up if they don't notice results right away," says Robert Pennino, president of Terrier Tri coaching in New York City. Ban that thinking! Keep telling yourself that not every day will be a winner but that you will win at weight loss. A skipped jog doesn't mean failure—your next meal or sweat session is another chance to keep at it. And you'll love your results at the finish line!

Source: health.yahoo.net

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:26 am

Quote :
Critics: Camera issues plague Epic Mickeyby: Mike Smith
.
Epic Mickey


Platforms: Wii

Choosing a video game to unveil its reimagined version of classic figurehead Mickey Mouse, Disney's in the spotlight this week. Though the 3D platform adventure Epic Mickey looks pretty traditional, it's actually dark, daring, and devoid of amusing cartoon sidekicks -- the boldest reinvention of Mickey Mouse so far -- but is it truly epic?

Not particularly, according to its critics. Disney's game, which casts players as a morally ambiguous, paintbrush-wielding Mickey let loose in a land of forgotten Disney characters, is turning in an average score of 78% on review aggregation site Metacritic. While not exactly an encouraging performance for what was expected to be one of the year's last blockbuster releases, it's still far from disastrous, and the pundits have found plenty to praise nevertheless.

Summing up the prevailing mood, Joystiq's Randy Nelson admired the scope of the game, calling it "the single most ambitious Wii exclusive outside of Nintendo's own releases...'Epic' is not a misnomer." And while he lauds the plot, he's most impressed with the setting, which rolls nearly a century of Disney creativity into one coherent world.

Why just 4/5, then? A long list of "iffy mechanics and rough edges," says Nelson, and chief among them, in what's a recurring theme in just about every Epic Mickey write-up, is the game's poor camera. Apparently incapable of keeping Mickey in clear view, it's a major issue, though Nelson also picks out graphical slowdown and the lack of a target lock-on function as other flaws.

Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead, who puts the proverbial boot into Mickey in his 6/10 review, goes further, calling the game's camera an "absolute pain."

"Mickey often vanishes from the screen completely, or you're left staring at a corner, hoping you're not about to fall into a hole and die," he says. But Whitehead has bigger issues: Mickey "simply doesn't fit in this grim, post-modern dystopia," he says, "nor does he need to confront his dark commercial heart to stay relevant in 2010."

But Chris Antista, writing for Game Radar and a self-confessed "Disney dork," called it his "Wii game of the year." For him, it's "a life-affirming tribute to both forgotten characters and game genres well worth remembering, with an all new added twist... wrapped [in a] family-friendly package." A glowing 9/10 is the mark -- but even he notes a distinct dissatisfaction with the poor camera.

I will poster more of this later today.

Source: blog.games.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:42 am

Quote :
The New Rules for End-of-Year Tipping
Kimberly Palmer, On Tuesday November 30, 2010, 12:12 pm EST

Few rituals are more awkward than end-of-year tipping. How much do you give your trainer at the gym? What about your regular postal worker or newspaper delivery service? Or parking lot attendants? The list of potential recipients is probably longer than your holiday shopping list, but the decision about how much to spend can be much more stressful because there's so much uncertainty over how much, and who, to tip.

[In Pictures: 12 Money Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes]

Here's a guide to making sure that you tip well but not wastefully--and that you still have a happy trainer, newspaper delivery person, and parking lot attendant in the new year.

Postal workers: Postal workers cannot receive any more than $20 in cash, which is an appropriate tip during the holidays, says Judith Bowman, founder of Protocol Consultants International. You can also give more personal gifts, such as baked goods or a gift certificate (under $20 in value, of course).

Personal caregivers, such as daycare teachers: Cash gifts are definitely appreciated and, in some cases, expected. Consider joining up with other parents to give each teacher $100 to $300. Think of it more as a holiday gift than a tip.

Doormen of residential buildings: Plan on giving each worker at least $20 and sometimes closer to $100, depending on the type of building and its traditions. Ask long-time residents or the building manager if you're unsure. Throughout the year, if the doorman provides extra service, such as bringing up your groceries, then tip between $5 and $10 per trip.

Cleaning service provider: Give the value of one visit. If you usually pay $100 per week, then give at least an extra $100 around the holidays.

Regular hairstylist, trainer, aesthetician, and other service providers: Similar to the cleaning service recommendation, consider giving a tip equal to the value of one visit. This guideline only applies to people you see regularly (more than once a month). Otherwise, a 20 percent tip per visit without an additional holiday boost is standard.

[For more money-saving tips, visit the U.S. News Alpha Consumer blog.]

Newspaper delivery person: A gift of between $10 and $20 or more in an envelope will help show your appreciation for all those cold and rainy mornings you can pick up your paper without getting dressed.

Garbage collectors: This thankless job often gets overlooked at tipping time, but consider giving each worker at least $20. If you leave extra garbage any time throughout the year, then leave an additional $10 to $20 for their effort.

Skycaps, porters, and hotel doormen you meet along your holiday travels: The skycap at the airport typically gets $2 to $3 per bag, says Bowman. If you are running late and they are of particular assistance, then add $1 to $2 per bag. A flat $20 goes a long way in saying "thank you." When in doubt, always tip up. As for doormen at hotels, tip anywhere from $2 to $5. For housekeeping services, tip $1 to $2 per night. There is usually a hotel-provided envelope that you can use for this purpose.

People to skip: Here's some good news for your budget. There's no need to tip the owner of an establishment (such as a hair salon), salaried staff (such as salespeople), full-service gas attendants, furniture delivery people (charges are included), or a flower delivery person, says Bowman.

Final word of advice: Tipping 10 to 15 percent is old-school, says Bowman. The new standard is 20 percent and up. And if you're a regular customer at a restaurant, you might want to consider leaving more to guarantee you get good service on each visit. After all, says Bowman, the literal translation of "to tip" is "to ensure promptness."

Kimberly Palmer is the author of the new book Generation Earn: The Young Professional's Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back.

Source: finace.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:35 pm

Quote :
Injured High School Track Star Crawls to Finish Line for Team, Coach
Holland Reynolds, 16, Melted Hearts By Finishing Race on Hands and Knees
By DAVID WRIGHT and SARAH NETTER
Dec. 2, 2010

The race was supposed to have been a moment of glory for the top runner at a northern California high school and her teammates.

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But instead of crossing the finish line in a flash at the head of the pack -- a finish that would have all but guaranteed the team another state championship -- 16-year-old junior Holland Reynolds collapsed just feet from that line and stunned onlookers by stubbornly crawling to the end, despite being in obvious pain.

The video of her excruciating finish has gone viral, propelling Reynolds' status to something of a high school hero -- she finished the race fast enough to still secure the state championship for her team, and honoring the team's coach who is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

I just kept on telling myself, 'I need to finish and I need to cross the line,'" Reynolds said. "I don't remember falling, but then I remember crawling across the line."

Reynolds, one of University High School's best runners since she was a freshman, said that she felt good going into the 3.1- mile race, held last weekend.

"By the 2 1/2 mile mark I really didn't feel as great as I should have," she said. "My leg started to feel really, really heavy. I was going to try and get right up behind the girl in first place, but I felt like I couldn't run fast anymore."

Video of the race shows Reynolds slowing to a stop, then staggering for a bit before collapsing into the grass on the side of the track.

A race official, immediately at her side, advised her that if she wanted to finish the race -- the finish line just mere feet in front of her -- she could crawl enough to get one foot over the line. But if she received assistance, she'd be disqualified and the points would not count toward her team's total.

Reynolds kept crawling. As soon as her foot went over the finish line she was scooped up and loaded into an ambulance. Though blood tests are still out, Reynolds said she was diagnosed with dehydration and light hypothermia after running in the cold, damp weather.

Coach Jim Tracy, who used to be an athlete himself before the degenerative disease robbed him of the ability to run, said he knew something was wrong when the first few runners crossed the finish line without Reynolds. He looked further back and saw her staggering.

"I called out to her. I said, 'Holland are you all right?'' Tracy said. "She just kept going -- staggering and staggering."




Source: abcnews.go.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:33 pm

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The Truth About Milk
By David Zinczenko
Dec 03, 2010

Milk: Healthy and nutritious drink, or fattening, contaminant-filled menace?

You might expect an organization called the Dairy Education Board to promote milk as a good thing. But instead, this advocacy group claims that “Milk is a deadly poison.” Oops. And as Americans have grown more wary of saturated fat, and more concerned about hormones and other substances fed to—and injected into—dairy cows, milk consumption has fallen dramatically. In the post-war days of 1945, the average American was consuming 45 gallons of milk a year. By 2001, per capita consumption was down to just 23 gallons.

But here’s the thing: Plenty of new research says that we should be drinking more milk, not less. In fact, swapping soda, juice, sweetened iced teas, and other beverages for milk might be one major reason why Americans are gaining weight at such a rapid pace. Milk not only helps boost protein intake and cut down on sugar, but consuming calcium through dairy foods such as milk may actually reduce the fat absorption from other foods. Who wouldn’t want that? (Hungry for more hard-hitting nutrition facts and findings every day? Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to our daily Eat This, Not That! newsletter.)

Here are four milk myths you might have heard, and why you should consider answering the cowbell more often.

Claim #1: “Milk is a fat-burning food.”

The Truth: Maybe. In a 6-month study, University of Tennessee researchers found that overweight people who downed three servings a day of calcium-rich dairy lost more belly fat than those who followed a similar diet minus two or more of the dairy servings. In addition, the researchers discovered that calcium supplements didn’t work as well as milk. Why? They believe that while calcium may increase the rate at which your body burns fat, other active compounds in dairy (such as milk proteins) provide an additional fat-burning effect.

Bonus tip: For more surefire ways to eat healthier and slim down, check out our list of the 25 Best Nutrition Secrets!

Claim #2: “Drinking milk builds muscle.”

The Truth: Absolutely. In fact, milk is one of the best muscle foods on the planet. Milk is full of high-quality protein: about 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey. Whey is known as a “fast protein” because it’s quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream—perfect for post-workout consumption. Casein, on the other hand, is digested more slowly—ideal for providing your body with a steady supply of smaller amounts of protein for a longer period of time, such as between meals or while you sleep.

Bonus Tip: Remember the old saying "Milk: not just for breakfast anymore." Well, here are 20 foods that shouldn't be for breakfast, period. Check out our shocking list of the Worst Breakfasts in America!

Claim #3: “Cows are given antibiotics. Doesn’t that make their milk unhealthy?”

The Truth: No one really knows. Some scientists argue that milk from cows given antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance in humans, making these types of drugs less effective when you take them for an infection. But this has never been proven.

It is true that hormones and antibiotics have never been part of a cow’s natural diet, and they have been shown to have adverse effects on the animals. Canadian researchers, for example, discovered that cows given hormones are more likely to contract an udder infection called mastitis. If you’re uneasy, you can purchase antibiotic-free (and typically hormone-free, as well) milk from producers like Horizon and Organic Valley at most major supermarkets. The cows will certainly thank you.

Bonus tip: While you're at the supermarket, add these foods to your list: the 125 best supermarket foods. Remember: You don't have to sacrifice flavor to eat healthier.

Claim #4: “Fat-free milk is much healthier than whole.”

The Truth: Nope. While you’ve probably always been told to drink reduced-fat milk, the majority of scientific studies show that drinking whole milk actually improves cholesterol levels—just not as much as drinking fat-free does. One recent exception: Danish researchers found that men who consumed a diet rich in whole milk experienced a slight increase in LDL cholesterol (six points). However, it’s worth noting that these men drank six 8-ounce glasses a day, an unusually high amount. Even so, their triglycerides—another marker of heart-disease risk—decreased by 22 percent. The bottom line: Drinking two to three glasses of milk a day, whether it’s fat-free, 2%, or whole, lowers the likelihood of both heart attack and stroke—a finding confirmed by British scientists.

Bonus tip: For more useful tips and top food swaps, check out the completely updated Eat This, Not That! 2011—you could lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds while still eating the foods you love.

------------

EAT RIGHT RULE: If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If it can't go bad, it's bad for you. FOLLOW DAVE ZINCZENKO RIGHT HERE ON TWITTER and get FREE health, nutrition and weight-loss secrets like this one every day! You'll lose weight and get healthy faster than ever!

Check out these cutting-edge guides to fast and easy weight loss, the brand-new Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises and Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.

Get more nutrition, health, and fitness secrets from Men's Health: Subscribe today with this special offer and save 50% off the cover price.

Source: health.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:32 am

Quote :
Why "Recession-Proof" Jobs Are a Myth
Rick Newman, On Tuesday November 30, 2010, 2:16 pm EST
When President Obama proposed a federal pay freeze recently, there must have been quite a few civil servants who thought, "Whoa! This isn't supposed to happen!"

[See 20 industries where jobs are coming back.]

In private firms, pay freezes have become as common as Post-It notes. But government jobs, you'll recall, are supposed to be "recession-proof" and far less susceptible to the strains of a weak economy. The government has never said that, exactly, but lots of career experts have, and if the compact was never overt it was at least well understood: Government jobs tend to come with lower pay and prestige, but with benefits and job security that make up for it.

No longer. As with so many other things, many of the old assumptions about safe jobs and stable careers have been shattered by the grueling economic transformation we're still in the middle of. Yet the ubiquitous lists of best careers and recession-proof jobs continue to propagate the phony idea that some lines of work are immune to economic stress. Here are some of the careers recommended by outfits like CareerBuilder, Forbes, Time, HR World, and Associated Content, along with the more sobering reality:

Education. Conventional wisdom: Education is indispensable and most teachers get their paychecks from state or local governments, which are less susceptible to recessions than private industry. Plus, most teachers belong to unions, which provide further protection against layoffs and pay cuts.

Reality: State and local governments are facing severe budget pressures and are starting to lay off teachers. Since 2008, for instance, the number of local teaching jobs has fallen by 157,000, according to the Labor Department. Plus, teachers' unions that refuse to accept pay and benefit cuts are increasingly seen as out of step with the rest of America, prompting a backlash in some areas that could lead to school consolidations and other recession-like moves.

[See 12 industries still losing jobs.]

Military. Conventional wisdom: We're still fighting two wars, terrorism is ever-present, and Congress always supports the military.

Reality: The huge federal debt has to be cut somehow, and the military is one of the biggest targets. One prominent proposal calls for freezing military pay, cutting benefits, and outsourcing many military jobs to contractors. As for Congress, it tends to support big weapons programs more than spending on troops. Plus, the Iraq deployment is winding down and a drawdown in Afghanistan is scheduled to begin next summer.

Public safety. Conventional wisdom: Police, firefighter, and federal law enforcement jobs will be the last to be cut.

Reality: Maybe so, but governments have now reached that point. Police and fire departments are now subject to the same pressures as other local government agencies, and cuts in the federal workforce seem inevitable as well, with every agency likely to give up something. Overall, state and local governments have cut 260,000 jobs this year alone, with more cuts likely in 2011 and 2012.

Utilities. Conventional wisdom: Everybody needs to keep the lights on and heat the house, plus most utilities are regulated, which keeps prices stable and helps smooth out ups and downs.

Reality: It's true that everybody needs energy, but Americans have cut back on virtually everything, including gas, electric, and water. Labor Department data shows a net loss of about 4,000 jobs in this industry since 2008, with steeper cuts in traditional power plants and minor gains at nuclear facilities.

[See why every worker needs new skills.]

Energy. Conventional wisdom: Energy is obviously a staple, so demand will stay strong in any economy, providing job security.

Reality: Energy is a volatile commodity subject to steep price swings. Energy demand has held up reasonably well over the last few years, with a net job increase in industries like oil and gas extraction. But anybody from Texas or Oklahoma can tell you that an energy bust can be brutal. And "green energy" remains a wild card that could flourish, taking jobs away from fossil-fuel industries, or peter out, leaving a bunch of shuttered startups where people were once hoping to find stable, high-paying jobs.

Accounting. Conventional wisdom: "Death and taxes are a sure thing," according to one job-advice site, which reasons that tough times ought to force companies and individuals to scour their finances more closely than usual, making more work for accountants.

Reality: There's a glut of unemployed accountants and bookkeepers right now, thanks to severe corporate cutbacks and weak revenue at small businesses. There are about 86,000 fewer accounting jobs now than there were three years ago.

Computers. Conventional wisdom: Companies are increasingly replacing people with processors, with no end in sight to the technology revolution.

Reality: With intense pressure to cut costs at most companies, lower-level IT jobs are being shipped overseas in droves; any job that can be done remotely by a lower-paid worker in India probably will be. The safer jobs involve systems engineering and proprietary software work, which requires a high degree of skill and tireless attention to new technology.

[See how the middle class is shrinking.]

Sales reps. Conventional wisdom: In a downturn, companies are likely to hold onto the sales reps who bring in desperately needed new business, while cutting support functions and other jobs that don't contribute to the bottom line.

Reality: Companies don't always do what's rational, and besides, sales reps don't add to the bottom line when potential customers hunker down and refuse to spend money. No wonder the economy has lost more than 400,000 sales jobs since 2008.

Federal government. Conventional wisdom: Uncle Sam doesn't have to please shareholders or customers, so it doesn't face the same budget pressures as private companies. Plus, many government jobs have union protection.

Reality: The federal government has been spending far more than it takes in for a decade, with the national debt ballooning and the day of reckoning drawing near. Voters have now made it clear they want a smaller government, and cutbacks in the federal workforce seem inevitable. One harbinger of coming cuts is the U.S. Postal Service, once thought to be recession-proof itself; its labor force has shrunk by 137,000 jobs since 2008.

To be fair to the job-advice sites guiding workers toward precarious fields, many of their recession-proof lists predate the 2007-2009 recession that proved them wrong. And a number of them are derived from a 2008 book that could not have anticipated the ravages of a downturn that destroyed more than 8 million jobs. Still, many of those outdated lists pop up high on a Google search for "recession-proof jobs," and readers don't always check the date when doing research on careers.

[See what could cause the next recession.]

Practically every list of recession-proof careers also includes a variety of medical jobs, from nurses and doctors to technicians and home health aides. That's valid, since the aging of America's population makes it inevitable that more people will need health care. And sure enough, healthcare has gained jobs in practically every sector over the last few years, despite the recession. But even in healthcare there are a lot of variables that could make jobs less appealing down the road. As more people flee declining industries and flock toward the few that are growing, a glut of qualified workers can develop, driving down pay and benefits. Healthcare reform could produce unexpected changes that make some jobs safer than others. And the complexity of healthcare, combined with relentless pressure to lower costs, is already leading doctors and other caregivers to report high levels of stress and low levels of satisfaction.

It might be distressing to think that no job is safe from recession, but in a fast-changing economy where old industries are displaced by new ones faster than ever, focusing on safety and stability may be the wrong way to pursue a rewarding career. There's mounting evidence that adaptable skills, creativity, and lifelong learning are the new determinants of success, with the biggest rewards going to people with multidisciplinary experience who can apply lessons learned in one field to another and accept the idea that they're likely to have two, three, or four careers, not just one. Cathy Farley of consulting firm Accenture says that as companies recover from the recession and start to hire again, they'll build a more agile workforce capable of responding to a wider variety of challenges. "Companies will organize themselves more flexibly," she says. "They'll look for people with the ability to adapt to different types of work."

[See 3 myths about disappearing prosperity.]

Companies built around a fixed set of skills, meanwhile, may not be hiring for a long time. Industries like manufacturing, construction, telecommunications, and even insurance are still losing jobs, more than a year after the recession officially ended, and many of those lost jobs may never return. A lot of workers in those fields, naturally, are trying to break into different lines of work that offer more stability. But the first move ought to be recession-proofing yourself, by building skills that will transcend the inevitable lurches in the economy. That way, you won't be caught flat-footed when the next pay freeze or technological transformation comes along.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:30 pm

Quote :
Feed a Family of 4 on $10 a Day
by Sarah Lorge Butler
Saturday, December 4, 2010

When I was growing up, my mother would serve something she called "economy dinner." Pasta, sauce, maybe a quarter-pound of hamburger meat mixed in and a little cheese sprinkled on top, baked together in the oven. We didn't understand the name, but we loved the dish.

[Click here to check savings products and rates in your area.]

I was thinking I need to find my own "economy dinner," as I had yet another supermarket freak-out while watching my grocery receipt print out and curl down two feet behind the register. At home with the receipt in front of me, I decided to crunch some numbers to see if I could feed my family of four for less than $100 a week.

Would it be possible to do 84 meals for less than $100? With room to spare, it turns out. According to my calculations, we could do it on $72.38. We'd be crying of boredom after Day 2. But we wouldn't be hungry.

If we ate cereal and milk for breakfast, a PB&J and an apple for lunch, and protein-enriched pasta with store-brand marinara and a couple of carrots sticks and broccoli or green beans for dinner, we could get by on $10.34 per day.

[See How to Stretch Your Food Budget]

I won't bore you with the math, but this meal plan cuts out all the extras. No snacks, no OJ, no organic milk at $5.99 per gallon, no Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of that pasta, no frozen yogurt at night in front of DWTS. The husband brown bags it to the office. I'll admit I included my coffee, at $2.15 per week, because I consider it essential, along with milk for the kids at every meal.

This exercise has been an eye-opener for me. Now that I know our family's bargain-basement dinner costs $3.40, I see the foods I thought were cheap (like a large pizza for $10) are pricey in comparison. And the foods I knew were expensive, such as a $10 steak, fish that's $14 per pound, or deli meat at $8.99 per pound, now seem top dollar.

Some of the splurges, like the organic milk, I'd opt to add back in. But that package of Pepperidge Farm Nantuckets does more to the bottom line (both bottom lines, really) than I've cared, up until now, to realize.

[See the World's Most Expensive Fast Food]

To get out of our pasta rut, I consulted with Leslie Bonci, a dietician at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, about other nutrient-rich foods that pack a lot of bang for the buck. Here's what she suggested:

• Eggs: 99 cents per dozen, can be breakfast, lunch, dinner or hard-boiled for snacks.

• Canned beans, like kidneys or chick peas: 79 cents for a 16-ounce can.

• A five-pound roasting chicken ($5) could yield two dinners. For the first meal, roast with potatoes and carrots and eat half of the chicken. For the second meal, make a stir-fry with the leftover chicken and a bag of frozen mixed veggies ($1.29 for a 16-ounce bag) and serve over brown rice (99 cents for a 16-ounce bag).

• Oatmeal costs $3.69 for a 42-ounce canister and has 30 servings. That could replace at least $7 worth of boxed cereal, and the oatmeal is more filling.

• Bananas, at 49 cents a pound, cost less than most fruits, especially those "select" peaches and nectarines at $1.99 per pound. Bananas are definitely cheaper and healthier than the sugary granola bars I send in my daughter's lunch.

• Texturized Veggie Protein, a lean meat substitute that's a lot like ground beef and can be added to pasta sauce or tacos, is $2.69 for 10 ounces.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:22 am

Quote :
A Timeline of the Top-Selling Holiday Gifts... Ever.

By Sean Cunningham, Esquire.com
As we approach the holiday shopping season, take a year-by-year look back over the last three decades at popular holiday gifts that sent parents a-tramplin.


2010: Apple iPad

2010: Apple iPad
$499 - $699, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Really, were there any other contenders? It's the first of its kind — a slim tablet that lets you seamlessly glide between movies, music, browsing the web, and Street Fighter beat-downs. With Wi-Fi and 3G, everything from racing simulators to magazines are just a touch away. And don't get us started on that gorgeous LED display.

The Weird Part: You can use the iPad to do just about anything, but you're probably going to waste all your time on Angry Birds, which has been purchased over 10 million times on Apple's App Store.



2009: Nook eReader

2009: Nook eReader (Barnes & Noble)
Starting at $149, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: B&N's e-book has a second screen while Amazon's Kindle has just one; throw in its Wi-Fi and the Nook seems set for a Christmas KO. That said, Beta had a much nicer picture than VHS.

More from Esquire.com:


Gifts That Will Keep You Married

What Sexy Celebs Want for the Holidays


iPod Touch

2007: iTouch (Apple)
iPod Touch 4th Generation, Starting at $275, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: The first touchscreen and Web-enabled iPod went from annual fanboy fantasy to national must-have, largely because it came at a fraction of the iPhone's price tag. Christmas? There's an app for that.

The Weird Part: Apple's profits took a slight hit when they had to deal with a lawsuit filed by an irate mother claiming her child's iTouch burst into flames while in his pocket, igniting his pants and "nylon/spandex underwear."

2006: Playstation 3

2006: Playstation 3 (Sony)
PlayStation 3 Slim 160GB, Starting at $300, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Sony's response to Microsoft's Xbox 360 had a North American launch inspiring such anticipation that pre-sale units hit $3,000 on eBay (retail topped out at $599), while mothers and mouth-breathers alike camped out for days to buy one in person.

The Weird Part: Legend has it one man on an advance line at a Walmart discovered there would not be any PS3s left by the time it was his chance to make a purchase. So he did the only logical thing: he treated people ahead of him in line to coffee spiked with laxatives. He got one.

2005: Xbox 360

2005: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Xbox 360 250GB Starting at $200, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Beating Sony to the punch? Check. Internet connectivity for Halo tournaments stretching from nerds in Taiwan to schoolchildren in Toledo? You got it. Enough supply to meet holiday demand? Not so much. Frenzy ensued.

The Weird Part: Xbox 360 started production a mere sixty-nine days before its launch. Customers lucky or savvy enough to recognize the potential profits of Microsoft's dilemma cashed in, as forty thousand units (or 10 percent of total supply) ended up on eBay within a week.

2004: RoboSapiens

2004: RoboSapiens (WowWee)
Starting at $24, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: What's a RoboSapien, you ask? Why a remote-control, fourteen-inch-tall humanoid capable of performing sixty-seven preprogrammed actions and movements, including (but by no means limited to) break dancing, farting, and belching, of course!

The Weird Part: Prior to the resurgence of human movement with the success of Dancing with the Stars, humanity faced a sedentary period consisting entirely of RoboSapiens shaking their mechanical groove thangs on YouTube.

2002-2003: Beyblades

2002-2003: Beyblades (Hasbro)
Starting at $13, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: In a classic demonstration of the power of synergy, Hasbro released these customizable "fighting" spin-tops in Japan simultaneously with a hit cartoon. World domination followed soon thereafter.

The Weird Part: Beyblade competitions quickly became a sensation, with the first one drawing eighteen thousand people. One need only YouTube the highlights of such an event to discover why this attracted more folk than the average heavyweight title fight.

2001: Bratz Dolls

2001: Bratz Dolls (MGA Entertainment)
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Ah, Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin. They're the original quartet of ten-inch "teenagers distinguished by large heads and skinny bodies." While their June 2001 launch proved disappointing, by Christmas they were well on their way to generating billions.

The Weird Part: If the Bratz remind you of Barbie dolls, you're not the only one. Mattel won a $100 million copyright suit against MGA in 2008 (though it should be noted that Mattel requested $1.8 billion).

2000: Razor Scooters

2000: Razor Scooters (Razor USA)
Starting at $40, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: This was the year we decided we didn't want to drive... or walk. What to do? Dodge children in the streets! The original Razor also won Toy of the Year for establishing itself as a "classic mode of transportation, like bikes and skateboards."

The Weird Part: Only downside? Any grown man on a scooter looks like a total zero. John Mayer celebrated this in a short film about his songwriting process.

1999: Pokémon

1999: Pokémon (Nintendo)
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: With the Japanese cartoon a sensation, kids demanded more, and the video-game series came to rival even the Mario titles in popularity, inspiring South Park to parody the whole phenomenon (you know, the one where Japan wants to brainwash America's children into launching a second attack on Pearl Harbor).

The Weird Part: An eight-second-or-so segment of a TV episode duplicated a strobe-light effect so effectively that it triggered seizures in hundreds of fans, proving right mothers the world over: Cartoons are bad for you.

1998: Furbies

1998: Furbies (Tiger Electronics)
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Who wouldn't want a furry robot that can talk and blink its eyes? Indeed, who wouldn't want one so badly that they'd be willing to pay a huge markup? After retailing for $35, Furbies skyrocketed to $100 a pop, not to mention "collector's items" like "tuxedo Furby" and "biker Furby."

The Weird Part: Owners discovered Furbies were strikingly affected by magnets, inspiring a demonic-looking video craze.

1997: Tamagotchi

1997: Tamagotchi (Bandai)
Starting at $6, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Housed in an egg-shaped computer, these digital pets required feeding and poo-cleaning, but the hard work paid off with the occasionally redeeming happiness monitor. Deeply creepy stuff, but apparently very popular: seventy million Tamagotchis have been sold to date.

The Weird Part: When a Tamagotchi "dies," you can reset it and start again, but owners who truly cared for their pets found that heartless and instead had proper burials at (real) pet cemeteries, complete with gravesites and coffins.

1996: Tickle Me Elmo

1996: Tickle Me Elmo (Tyco)
Starting at $25, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: "When squeezed, Elmo would chortle. When squeezed three times in a row, Elmo would begin to shake and laugh hysterically." Needless to say, this was something Sesame Street watchers everywhere needed to have. And they needed to have it now.

The Weird Part: Beloved puppeteer Jim Henson may be gone, but surely he'd be moved to know he inspired a toy that would be resold for up to eighty times its $30 list value and trigger at least one stampede of parents so crazed they left a store employee in the hospital.

1995: Beanie Babies

1995: Beanie Babies (Ty Inc.)
Starting at $7, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: First conquering Chicago and then spreading all over this plush nation, Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, and dozens of other $5 bean-bag creatures with pun-tastic names devoured our hearts.

The Weird Part: Recognizing the willingness of Americans to abandon any shred of dignity to get what their children want, an Atlanta radio station dumped eggs and beans on people in exchange for free Beanie Babies.

1993-1994: Mighty
Morphin Power Rangers

1993-1994: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Bandai)
Starting at $6, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: Five racially diverse teenagers with superpowers fought evil aliens for a TV smash, and so came a line of toys featuring the Rangers and their "Zords" — you know, giant robotic dinosaurs they used to combat aforementioned evil aliens. Duh.

The Weird Part: The Power Rangers's catchphrase, "It's Morphin Time!" reportedly outraged authorities in Malaysia, who feared it encouraged children to become morphine addicts.

1992: Barney Talking Doll

1992: Barney Talking Doll (Playskool)
Starting at $10, ebay.com

The Big Deal: Barney & Friends was aimed at a younger crowd that somehow found it irresistible to watch a man in a dinosaur suit sing some of the most mawkish songs ever. This talking doll brought the tunes all day long. Needless to say, parents were thrilled.

The Weird Part: Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers this show was not. From TV Guide's "Worst 50 Shows of All Time": "...his shows do not assist children... [T]he real danger from Barney is denial: the refusal to recognize the existence of unpleasant realities."

1991: POG

1991: POG (World POG Federation, Others)
Starting at $1, ebay.com

The Big Deal: It may have the least likely origin of any Christmas-season smash: a milk-cap game played during breaks by Hawaiian dairy workers. A two-person contest involving a flimsy discs and a slammer, POGs gave kids the chance to, well, take their friend's Christmas present supply away in minutes.

The Weird Part: It goes without saying that a game played by Hawaiian dairy workers would threaten educators. They quickly deemed POGs a form of gambling and banned them from schools across the nation.

1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles

1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Bandai)
Starting at $8, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: The action figures were so popular they got kids to learn about Renaissance painters — or learn their names, at least. Adolescent abnormal reptiles Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo discovered the ancient art of Ninjutsu from a giant talking rat to fight ninjas while eating pizza. Cowabunga, dude.

The Weird Part: The toys made a bundle, but the turtles also cleaned up with 1990s live-action film earning over $200 million — at the time, the highest-grossing indie movie to date.

1989: GameBoy

1989: GameBoy (Nintendo)
Starting at $6, ebay.com

The Big Deal: The first eight-bit handheld videogame system to utilize cartridges, GameBoy went anywhere and didn't force you to play the same damn game over and over again. Goodbye, couch! Hellooooo... other couch.

The Weird Part: Goodbye, Cold War! And thank you, USSR. A Soviet R&D center employed Alexey Pajitnov when he designed the puzzle game Tetris, which came bundled with the original GameBoy and to this day fills people of a certain age with an overwhelming desire to stack rectangles.

1985: Care Bears

1985: Care Bears (American Greetings/Kenner)
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal: The rare successful line of toys inspired by greeting cards — really — these plush teddy bears didn't become a smash until their TV show offered children a glimpse of life in the Kingdom of Caring.

The Weird Part: There are few things weirder than the intro to the Care Bears cartoon. (Note: All viewers should know that the theme song may lodge itself deep in your brain and make you hate yourself for being so darned insufficiently caring. You've been warned.)

1984: The Transformers

1984: The Transformers (Hasbro)
Starting at $14, Yahoo! Shopping

The Big Deal:Without them, we might never have discovered Megan Fox. Or how to turn plastic robots into cars, planes, tape recorders, insects, and dinosaurs. Transformative, indeed.

The Weird Part: Before this decade's Michael Bay calamities, there was the 1986 animated movie featuring the vocal talents of Orson Welles, who shrewdly died eight months before the movie premiered.

Source: shopping.yahoo.com

The funny thing read this list thery two thing I still have from bing a kid is POG's and the gameboy.

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:24 pm

Quote :

Daily Aspirin Linked to Steep Drop in Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of a daily low-dose aspirin dramatically cuts the risk of dying from a wide array of cancers, a new investigation reveals.

Specifically, a British research team unearthed evidence that a low-dose aspirin (75 milligrams) taken daily for at least five years brings about a 10 percent to 60 percent drop in fatalities depending on the type of cancer.

The finding stems from a fresh analysis of eight studies involving more than 25,500 patients, which had originally been conducted to examine the protective potential of a low-dose aspirin regimen on cardiovascular disease.

The current observations follow prior research conducted by the same study team, which reported in October that a long-term regimen of low-dose aspirin appears to shave the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by a third.

"These findings provide the first proof in man that aspirin reduces deaths due to several common cancers," the study team noted in a news release.

But the study's lead author, Prof. Peter Rothwell from John Radcliffe Hospital and the University of Oxford, stressed that "these results do not mean that all adults should immediately start taking aspirin."

"They do demonstrate major new benefits that have not previously been factored into guideline recommendations," he added, noting that "previous guidelines have rightly cautioned that in healthy middle-aged people, the small risk of bleeding on aspirin partly offsets the benefit from prevention of strokes and heart attacks."

"But the reductions in deaths due to several common cancers will now alter this balance for many people," Rothwell suggested.

Rothwell and his colleagues published their findings Dec. 7 in the online edition of The Lancet.

The research involved in the current review had been conducted for an average period of four to eight years. The patients (some of whom had been given a low-dose aspirin regimen, while others were not) were tracked for up to 20 years after.

The authors determined that while the studies were still underway, overall cancer death risk plummeted by 21 percent among those taking low-dose aspirin. But the long-term benefits on some specific cancers began to show five years after the studies ended.

At five years out, death due to gastrointestinal cancers had sunk by 54 percent among those patients taking low-dose aspirin.

The protective impact of low-dose aspirin on stomach and colorectal cancer death was not seen until 10 years out, and for prostate cancer, the benefits first appeared 15 years down the road.

Twenty years after first beginning a low-dose aspirin program, death risk dropped by 10 percent among prostate cancer patients; 30 percent among lung cancer patients (although only those with adenocarcinomas, the type typically seen in nonsmokers); 40 percent among colorectal cancer patients; and 60 percent among esophageal cancer patients.

The potential impact of aspirin on pancreatic, stomach and brain cancer death rates was more problematic to gauge, the authors noted, due to the relative paucity of deaths from those specific diseases.

They also found that higher doses of aspirin did not appear to boost the protective benefit. And while neither gender nor smoking history appeared to affect the impact of low-dose aspirin, age definitely did: the 20-year risk of death went down more dramatically among older patients.

And while cautioning that more research is necessary to build on this "proof of principle," the authors suggested that people who embark on a long-term, low-dose aspirin regimen in their late 40s and 50s are probably the ones who stand to benefit the most.

Dr. Alan Arslan, an assistant professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology and environmental medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, described the findings as "very significant."

"[This] is the largest study to show that people who take aspirin for a long period of time have a reduced risk of death from many cancers, especially gastrointestinal cancers," he noted.

"The take-home message for patients is that if someone is taking low-dose or regular aspirin, it may put them at a reduced risk of death from cancer," Arslan added. "However, if someone is not already taking aspirin they should talk with their physician before starting. Aspirin has risks of side effects, including bleeding and stroke."

More information

For more on aspirin, visit the National Institutes of Health.

Source: news.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:26 am

Quote :
10 Heart Attack Symptoms You’re Most Likely to Ignore
By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com
Mon, Nov 01, 2010

Heart attacks don't always strike out of the blue -- there are many symptoms we can watch for in the days and weeks leading up to an attack. But the symptoms may not be the ones we expect. And they can be different in men and women, and different still in older adults. Last year, for example, a landmark study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Institute found that 95 percent of women who'd had heart attacks reported experiencing symptoms in the weeks and months before the attack -- but the symptoms weren’t the expected chest pain, so they went unrecognized.

How to Tell if Someone Is Having a Heart Attack

Don't let that happen to you. Here, 10 heart symptoms you're likely to ignore -- and shouldn't.

1. Indigestion or nausea

One of the most oft-overlooked signs of a heart attack is nausea and stomach pain. Symptoms can range from mild indigestion to severe nausea, cramping, and vomiting. Others experience a cramping-style ache in the upper belly. Women and adults over age 60 are more likely to experience this symptom and not recognize it as tied to cardiac health.

Most cases of stomach ache and nausea aren't caused by a heart attack, of course. But watch out for this sign by becoming familiar with your own digestive habits; pay attention when anything seems out of the ordinary, particularly if it comes on suddenly and you haven't been exposed to stomach flu and haven't eaten anything out of the ordinary.

2. Jaw, ear, neck, or shoulder pain

A sharp pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm is an indicator of heart attack, but many people don't experience heart attack pain this way at all. Instead, they may feel pain in the neck or shoulder area, or it may feel like it’s running along the jaw and up by the ear. Some women specifically report feeling the pain between their shoulder blades.

A telltale sign: The pain comes and goes, rather than persisting unrelieved, as a pulled muscle would. This can make the pain both easy to overlook and difficult to pinpoint. You may notice pain in your neck one day, none the next day, then after that it might have moved to your ear and jaw. If you notice pain that seems to move or radiate upwards and out, this is important to bring to your doctor’s attention.

3. Sexual dysfunction

Having trouble achieving or keeping erections is common in men with coronary artery disease, but they may not make the connection. Just as arteries around the heart can narrow and harden, so can those that supply the penis -- and because those arteries are smaller, they may show damage sooner. One survey of European men being treated for cardiovascular disease found that two out of three had suffered from erectile dysfunction before they were ever diagnosed with heart trouble.

4. Exhaustion or fatigue

A sense of crushing fatigue that lasts for several days is another sign of heart trouble that's all too often overlooked or explained away. Women, in particular, often look back after a heart attack and mention this symptom. More than 70 percent of women in last year's NIH study, for example, reported extreme fatigue in the weeks or months prior to their heart attack.

The key here is that the fatigue is unusually strong -- not the kind of tiredness you can power through but the kind that lays you flat out in bed. If you're normally a fairly energetic person and suddenly feel sidelined by fatigue, a call to your doctor is in order.

5. Breathlessness and dizziness

When your heart isn't getting enough blood, it also isn't getting enough oxygen. And when there's not enough oxygen circulating in your blood, the result is feeling unable to draw a deep, satisfying breath -- the same feeling you get when you're at high elevation. Additional symptoms can be light-headedness and dizziness. But sadly, people don't attribute this symptom to heart disease, because they associate breathing with the lungs, not the heart.

In last year's NIH study, more than 40 percent of women heart attack victims remembered experiencing this symptom. A common description of the feeling: "I couldn't catch my breath while walking up the driveway."

6. Leg swelling or pain

When the heart muscle isn't functioning properly, waste products aren't carried away from tissues by the blood, and the result can be edema, or swelling caused by fluid retention. Edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, and legs because they're furthest from the heart, where circulation is poorer. In addition, when tissues don't get enough blood, it can lead to a painful condition called ischemia. Bring swelling and pain to the attention of your doctor.

7. Sleeplessness, insomnia, and anxiety

This is an odd one doctors can't yet explain. Those who've had heart attacks often remember experiencing a sudden, unexplained inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the month or weeks before their heart attack. (Note: If you already experience insomnia regularly, this symptom can be hard to distinguish.)

Patients often report the feeling as one of being "keyed up" and wound tight; they remember lying in bed with racing thoughts and sometimes a racing heart. In the NIH report, many of the women surveyed reported feeling a sense of "impending doom," as if a disaster were about to occur. If you don't normally have trouble sleeping and begin to experience acute insomnia and anxiety for unexplained reasons, speak with your doctor.

8. Flu-like symptoms

Clammy, sweaty skin, along with feeling light-headed, fatigued, and weak, leads some people to believe they're coming down with the flu when, in fact, they're having a heart attack. Even the feeling of heaviness or pressure in the chest -- typical of some people's experience in a heart attack -- may be confused with having a chest cold or the flu.

If you experience severe flu-like symptoms that don't quite add up to the flu (no high temperature, for example), call your doctor or advice nurse to talk it over. Watch out also for persistent wheezing or chronic coughing that doesn't resolve itself; that can be a sign of heart disease, experts say. Patients sometimes attribute these symptoms to a cold or flu, asthma, or lung disease when what's happening is that poor circulation is causing fluid to accumulate in the lungs.

9. Rapid-fire pulse or heart rate

One little-known symptom that sometimes predates a heart attack is known as ventricular tachycardia, more commonly described as rapid and irregular pulse and heart rate. During these episodes, which come on suddenly, you feel as if your heart is beating very fast and hard, like you just ran up a hill -- except you didn't. "I'd look down and I could actually see my heart pounding," one person recalled. It can last just a few seconds or longer; if longer, you may also notice dizziness and weakness.

Some patients confuse these episodes with panic attacks. Rapid pulse and heartbeat that aren't brought on by exertion always signal an issue to bring to your doctor's attention.

10. You just don't feel like yourself

Heart attacks in older adults (especially those in their 80s and beyond, or in those who have dementia or multiple health conditions), can mimic many other conditions. But an overall theme heard from those whose loved ones suffered heart attacks is that in the days leading up to and after a cardiac event, they "just didn't seem like themselves."

A good rule of thumb, experts say, is to watch for clusters of symptoms that come on all at once and aren't typical of your normal experience. For example, a normally alert, energetic person suddenly begins to have muddled thinking, memory loss, deep fatigue, and a sense of being "out of it." The underlying cause could be something as simple as a urinary tract infection, but it could also be a heart attack. If your body is doing unusual things and you just don't feel "right," don't wait. See a doctor and ask for a thorough work-up.

And if you have any risk factors for cardiac disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or family history of heart disease, make sure the doctor knows about those issues, too.

Source: health.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:47 pm

Quote :
10 Jobs That Offer a Big Bang for Your Buck
Alexis Grant, On Tuesday December 7, 2010, 11:31 am EST

While we usually talk about ROI in business, return on investment applies to your career, too. If you spend years studying to prepare for a profession, you want to get paid accordingly. If you put in the time to train, you want to be compensated in your paycheck. But what if you're not interested in earning a master's degree or Ph.D? What if you'd prefer to keep your studying and training to a minimum, and still bring home the bacon?

Lucky for you, not all high-paying jobs require years of preparation. On our list of 50 Best Careers, 10 jobs stand out as offering excellent return on investment--higher-than-average paychecks in return for relatively little education and training.

For on-the-job expectations, as well as advice on how to get hired, click on the career that interests you:

Actuary: After earning a bachelor's degree, likely with a finance or math concentration, actuaries bring in a median annual salary of $87,000. They're also required to earn a certificate by passing a series of exams.

Biomedical engineer: These workers earn a median annual salary of nearly $79,000 but need only a bachelor's degree, usually in mechanical or electronics engineering. Biomedical engineer ranks highest of all professions on the Labor Department's growth projections, with an expected 72 percent increase in the number of jobs available between 2008 and 2018.

[See How to Choose a Career That's Best for You.]

Computer software engineer: With a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, computer software engineers bring in a median salary of $87,000 a year. For more complex jobs, a master's degree may be required, but the real gold standard is in-depth knowledge of programming languages. Employment is expected to swell by a whopping 295,200 jobs, or more than 32 percent, between 2008 and 2018.

Court reporter: After completing a two-year training program and earning a state certification, court reporters make a median salary of $48,000 annually. With a specialized certification, such as registered diplomate reporter, certified legal video specialist, or certified broadcast captioner, income can be even higher.

Dental hygienist: With an associate's degree and license, dental hygienists earn a median annual salary of $67,000. About 300 accredited dental hygiene programs throughout the country offer the necessary degree.

[See 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search.]

Financial analyst: Seek out a bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, accounting, statistics, or economics, and this profession will offer you a median annual paycheck of $74,000. That includes bonuses, which can make up a large chunk of total earnings. Financial analysts sometimes need a license, but that process is often sponsored by their employer.

Gaming manager: These supervisors attend a vocational or dealer school, then are on their way to earning a median annual salary of $67,000. They're also required to earn a license from the state. There were only about 6,200 gaming manager positions throughout the country in 2008, but there are far more gaming supervisor positions--about 40,900--which tend to pay less and offer less responsibility.

Meteorologist: For job seekers interested in weather patterns, a bachelor's degree can pave the way to the title of meteorologist and a median paycheck of nearly $85,000 annually. Those who work for the National Weather Service tend to make less.

Physician assistant: These healthcare workers bring in a median of $84,000 annually. Some educational programs are two years, but most offer bachelor's or master's degrees. Physician assistants must also obtain a license. The number of physician assistant jobs is expected to grow by 29,200, or 39 percent, by 2018, among the fastest occupational growth rates projected by the Labor Department.

Sales manager: This occupation has the highest median annual salary, nearly $97,000, of all the jobs on our list. Sales managers need a bachelor's degree, though some also seek a master's degree in business administration. Hiring managers tend to value experience over education.

[For more career advice, visit U.S. News Careers, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.]

* Salary data and job-growth projections from the Labor Department

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:10 am

Quote :
17 Amazing Holiday Gifts Under $20
By Kaboodle.com

Who says a great gift has to cost a lot? Take care of everyone on your "nice list" from the kids in your life to the stylish hostess for under $20 each with these fun gift picks!

Mad Men: The Illustrated World
$9.00, Amazon.com

Know someone who's already counting down the days until the next season of Mad Men? Keep him preoccupied with this interactive coffee table book, which is filled with little-known facts about the show, artwork from advertising's heyday, and (our favorite part) ingredients for making the perfect Manhattan.

Sparkling Pave Dome Studs
$16, UrbanOutfitters.com

What girl wouldn't love to find a bit of sparkle under her Christmas tree?! These brilliant earrings come at an equally brilliant price--$16.

Hot Chocolate-on-a-Stick
$18, Petrossian.com

Sweets are classic stocking stuffers, and what could be better than these delicious (and ingenious!) gourmet Belgian-chocolate cubes? We’re salivating just looking at them!

Handlebar Mustache Corkscrew
$10, PerpetualKid.com

The ‘stache is back! Only this time, it’s not just a fashion statement. It’s also a finely crafted corkscrew and bottle opener. Your uncle's beverage containers are no match for the sheer power of a manly mustache!


Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

Your little one will feel like a gourmet confectionery chef with this Play-Doh ice-cream kit, complete with a soft-serve extruder and sprinkle-maker.


Eco Cup
$20, UrbanOutfitters.com

Perfect for coffee drinkers and tea enthusiasts (especially those who are eco-conscious), this reusable porcelain cup insulates hot and cold liquids with a silicone lid that seals tightly.


Keep Calm and Rock On Poster
$17, theposterlist.com

The ever-popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" print gets a rock-star remix in this eye-catching version. Give this poster to the music-lover in your life to let her know how much she really rocks!


I’m Not Bored Anymore Art Jar
$20, landofnod.com

Perfect for the little artist who's always on the hunt for his next project, this jar is chock-full of all the crafting supplies needed to cure winter-day boredom!

Boardwalk Empire: The Birth,
High Times, and corruption
of Atlantic City

Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and corruption of Atlantic City
Starting at $10, Yahoo! Shopping

If your loved one is like us, she is slightly obsessed with HBO's new hit show Boardwalk Empire. Give them this fascinating read, which is the inspiration for the series!

Basic Convertible Glove
Starting at $12, UrbanOutfitters.com

You can't go wrong with these versatile one-size-fits-all fingerless gloves as gifts. These convertibles feature fold-over mitten coverings and detailed buttons for a stylishly snug look.

How to make Balloon Animals Kit
$10, fatbraintoys.com

Looking for an offbeat gift for an office party or Secret Santa exchange? Try this entertaining kit!

Pearl in Wire Nest Ring
$20, TopShop.com

Got a friend who's known for wearing standout jewelry? Add to her collection with this stunning pearl piece!

Baroque Noir Candlestick Lighter
$14, Plasticland.com

The design maven with a love for Baroque accents will swoon over this decorative candlestick-shaped lighter!

Zubbles: Colored Bubbles
$7, PerpetualKid.com

The magic of bubbles and the beauty of color have been combined to form Zubbles. When the dye is exposed to air, water, or pressure, it disappears, giving kids hours of fun (and you zero mess to clean)!


Cardinal Industries Twilight Eclipse - The Board Game
Starting at $12.39, Yahoo! Shopping

Any teeny bopper with vampire-fever knows that you can never get enough of Twilight goodies! This board game will go perfectly with the DVDs, books, posters, beauty products, and clothing items every Twi-hard must have!


Next Betsey Fashion Designer
$9, ModCloth.com

Aspiring designers with a penchant for retro-inspired toys will love this gadget that makes creating different combinations of fashion drawings easy and fun.


Thomas & Friends Preschool Bathtub Squirters
$10, fisher-price.com

What little squirt doesn’t love to merge bath time with play time?! Thomas & Friends make excellent bathtub companions that will make washing fun!

More from Kaboodle.com:

19 Best Christmas Gifts for 2010

10 Best Celeb Hairstyles of the Year

25 Amazing, Show-Stopping Engagement Rings

25 (Affordable) Ways to Be Stylish Right Now

Source:shopping.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:57 pm

Quote :
America's 10 healthiest grocery stores
by Health.com, on Fri Dec 3, 2010 8:52am PST

By Pamela Paul

Let’s face it: Your weekly (or daily!) run to the grocery store is the foundation for your good health. So it’s thrilling news that the supermarket industry is on a health kick—these days you’ll likely find organic produce and “natural” packaged foods at almost any store you go to.

But which chains are outdoing themselves to deliver the freshest and healthiest foods to you? And which ones provide the best tools to help you make smart choices?

We asked six prominent health experts (meet our judges) to help us pick the top 10 healthiest grocery stores out of the nation’s largest chains. Here are the true standouts. Happy, healthy shopping!

#1: Whole Foods

279 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

We figured this natural-foods chain would make the list, but who knew it would hands-down top it? “It’s the Rolls Royce of healthy eating,” says Kate Geagan, a nutritionist in Park City, Utah, and one of our judges. Whole Foods has the whole package—from an extraordinary selection of fresh conventional and organic fruit and vegetables to delicious prepared foods with healthy ingredients and clear labeling. (Most other stores offer mystery meals that may very well be loaded with butter.) And Whole Foods puts a premium on products that are grown or produced locally (read: superfresh).

There’s also hard-to-find grass-fed meats, ready-to-cook organic and free-range chicken, and a well-stocked selection of just-caught seafood. The desserts are pretty good for you: Every item in the bakery is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and trans fats. Our judges also raved about Whole Foods’s snacks, singling out the store’s own dark chocolate, fresh-cut veggies, and nut and seed mixes. Alan Greene, MD, a Palo Alto, California–based pediatrician and one of our panelists sums it up best: “The store celebrates great, healthy food from start to finish.”

Health.com: 11 Ways to Pick Out Healthy Food

#2: Safeway

1,700-plus stores nationwide

Safeway is the traditional grocer you’re familiar with, but look closer and you’ll see a huge transformation going on. “They now have their own organic brands and a section of locally grown produce,” says judge Lisa Pawloski, PhD, chair of the department of global and community health at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Besides those organic brands—O Organics for packaged goods (the biggest organic brand in the country) and Eating Right for prepared foods—many of the chain’s redesigned stores have a greatly expanded produce section.

Safeway’s specialty items like organic spices and packaged nuts make it a regular stop for judge Dr. Greene. Bonus: Its online Food Flex program analyzes shoppers’ purchases based on metrics like recommended sodium consumption, and then suggests healthier choices. “They’re a major pioneer in this area,” says panelist Christine Palumbo, a Chicago-based nutritionist. “It’s like having your own registered dietitian.”

Health.com: 10 Best Foods for Your Heart

#3: Harris Teeter

176 stores in the Southeast

This grocer boasts 600 varieties of fruit and veggies, with a good selection of organic and locally grown items, as well as hard-to-find nonfarm-raised seafood. But what catapulted it to third place is its breadth of healthy shopping tools.

Harris Teeter’s YourWellness For Life program, which was originally created to help employees choose the most nutritious foods, became available to customers in 2006. Part of that initiative is shelf tags that clearly show the nutrients in various foods (an “excellent source of fiber” label means the item contains 20% or more of the recommended daily intake; a “good source of fiber” lets you know there’s between 10% and 19% of the RDI). Plus, a Green Thumb Expert at every store gives hints on choosing and preparing produce.

Health.com: America's Healthiest Superfoods for Women

#4: Trader Joe's

300-plus stores in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Shopping at Trader Joe’s is more like going to a specialty-foods store than a chain grocer—you’ll find healthy foods from around the world, all at surprisingly reasonable prices. What you won’t find: bad-for-you mainstream brands. The store’s impressive and delicious store-brand foods contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and no MSG, trans fats or genetically modified ingredients. “My daughter loves their Omega Trek Mix With Omega-Fortified Cranberries, and now I do, too!” Palumbo says.

Pawloski is just as excited about their organic prepared meals. There are fun healthy surprises, too: instead of sugary cereals, they have good-news alternatives, like fruit-and nut-packed Triple Berry O’s. Why didn’t Trader Joe’s rank higher? The limited selection in most of its stores.

#5: Hannaford

165-plus stores in the Northeast

This chain is relatively small, but Whole Foods should look out$mdash;Hannaford is the largest certified-organic supermarket in the region, and in the past two years it has boosted its produce selection to provide more than 50 local and organic products from 200 farms close by. “It’s an impressive amount of local produce, which is not that easy in temperate New England,” Geagan notes.

But Hannaford’s commitment to healthy foods doesn’t stop there. Its Guiding Stars nutrition-label program makes it a snap to pick out the healthiest fresh and packaged fare: You’ll find one, two, or three stars—with three stars indicating the highest nutritional value—on nearly every item in the store. That means you don’t have to pore over the labels to decide which loaf of bread to buy.

#6: Albertsons

529 stores in the West, owned by SuperValu

Organic food can be expensive, but Albertsons’s house brand, Wild Harvest, typically costs 15% less than name-brand organic products. All Wild Harvest items—including whole wheat pastas, soy milk, cereals, meats, and poultry—eschew artificial preservatives, colorings, sweeteners, and flavorings; hydrogenated and cottonseed oils; and phosphates and chlorine.

Our judges loved the chain’s Healthy Eaters program, which lets kids tour the store with a registered dietitian. And this month, Albertsons introduces the Nutrition iQ program, which uses simple color-coded labels to highlight nutritional benefits.

Health.com: Dr. Oz's Favorite Healthy Foods

#7: Food Lion

1,300 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic

This megachain is owned by the same company as Hannaford and has taken some healthy cues from its smaller sister: It stocks organic fruits and vegetables (though not as many local items as the top chains), has its own natural-foods brand, Nature’s Place, and also uses the Guiding Stars nutrition-labeling system.

But it’s Food Lion’s boutique offshoot, Bloom (61 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia), that’s leading the way for the entire chain. “Their produce is fresh and smells wonderful,” Pawloski says. Bloom also boasts kiosks that provide nutrition info and healthy recipes that can be printed in-store.

Health.com: 25 Surprisingly Salty Processed Foods

#8: Publix

952 stores in the Southeast

Publix scores high for making healthy eating a family affair. Pregnant moms can sign up for the Publix Baby Club and receive coupons and a news­letter about infants’ developing needs. The Preschool Pals program for 2- to 4-year-olds provides kids with fun free CD-ROMs and emails that teach nutrition and safety. And its free FamilyStyle magazine has simple tips on cooking family dinners fast.

The store’s own brand, GreenWise, features fresh and packaged natural and organic foods. And like Food Lion, Publix has launched an offshoot store that focuses on natural and organic foods—Publix GreenWise Market (currently only in Florida). Our judges also couldn’t stop talking about Publix’s At Season’s Peak program, which points customers to the produce that’s most in season. “It helps shoppers choose food when it’s freshest and most nutritious,” says panelist Frances Largeman-Roth, Health’s senior food and nutrition editor.

Health.com: America's Healthiest Mall Food

#9: Pathmark

141 stores in the Mid-Atlantic

Pathmark doesn’t make a big deal out of its commitment to buying from area farms and producers, but it is in fact the largest retailer of locally grown produce in the Northeast, stocking area finds like Long Island corn on the cob.

It also provides a welcome incentive to eat right: The company’s Live Better! Wellness Club includes discounts of up to 15% on fresh-cut fruit and veggies. And if you never know what the heck to make for dinner, here is a perk you’ll appreciate: You can go online and get creative and healthy menu ideas, courtesy of Pathmark’s resident registered dietitian, Jacqueline Gomes.

Health.com: America's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants

#10: SuperTarget

239 stores in 21 states, primarily Texas and Florida

Tar-jay, a healthy grocer? Yep. These Targets with minimarkets offer good-news brands like Kashi, Quaker, Sahala Snacks, and Barbara’s, plus a limited amount of organic dairy items and produce. And you’ll also find inexpensive, high-quality house brands like Market Pantry (cooking staples, etc.) and the trans fat–free Archer Farms (which includes baked goods, appetizers, and snacks)—and this makes it easier for shoppers to stock up for less.

Related: supermarket, healthy food, grocery store, food shopping

Source: shine.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:09 am

Quote :
Energy Wasters in Your Home
by Jeanine Skowronski
Thursday, December 9, 2010


Your Energy Bill Breakdown

Energy doesn't come cheap.

According to Maria Vargas, spokesperson for EnergyStar, a division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), energy bills can differ depending on the size and location on your home, but the average household spends $2,200 a year. The good news is these costs can be cut dramatically.

[Click here to check savings products and rates in your area.]

Energy Star, a program started in 1992 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs for consumers, offers suggestions for how to reduce your annual electric costs by a third. In other words, you can save about $700 a year on electricity. Last year, Vargas points out, Americans saved about $17 billion on energy bills and reduced green house gas emissions by nearly the equivalent of 30 million cars.

[See 3 New Ways to Save on Gas]

Using data compiled by EnergyStar, MainStreet breaks down your energy bill and identifies the biggest wasters to help you save money (and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!) this winter.

HVAC Systems

"If you really want to cut back on your energy use, you need to focus on heating and cooling your home," Vargas says. That's because these two categories combined account for 46% of your overall electric bill. While most homeowners can't afford a complete overhaul of their homes' heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, some changes can increase energy efficiency and include:

• Installing a programmable thermostat, which lets you set temperatures for specific times of day. These devices can save about $180 each year on energy costs.

• Change air filters regularly. The harder your HVAC unit has to work, the more energy it eats away. Filters should really be changed out monthly, especially during the summer and winter months when the HVAC unit has a heavy workload. If you find this tedious, EnergyStar suggests changing filters a minimum of every three months.

• Seal your heating and cooling ducts, especially those running through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement or garage, as that improves the efficiency of your HVAC unit by as much as 20%.

Water Heater

According to EnergyStar, your water heating system accounts for 14% of your energy bill. Monetarily speaking, the average household spends $400-$600 per year on water heating. To reduce this expense, lower standby losses, such as heat that escapes the water heater and seeps into the surrounding basement area, as well as the amount of hot water you use in your home.

When set too high, or at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses, and more than $400 thanks to overall consumption. Lower that expense by bringing the heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Lights Out

In EnergyStar's breakdown, lighting accounts for 12% of bill, but it also represents one of the easiest fixes. In fact, by simply replacing five of your standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, you can save $70 a year.

Hot Stuff

Appliances only account for 13% of electric bills, so naturally, most people don't upgrade to an energy efficient toaster. Still, if you are committed to reducing the amount of energy you use, you need to focus on larger appliances that use a heat coil, such as a refrigerator or washer and dryer. To do that, make sure that your fridge's filters are cleaned regularly, and consider using only cold water to wash laundry loads. That can save $30 to $40 each year.

[See Tips to Cut Costs on Your Heating Bill]

But don't be too stingy, Vargas says. Replacing a major appliance, like a refrigerator that is 10 to 15 years old, may help you save in the long term as new technology is constantly subject to federal standards that adjust every year.

Energy Vampires

Any appliance or device that sucks up energy when it's plugged in, despite being turned off, is one of these money-draining culprits. According to EnergyStar, this includes most electronic devices, especially those that use some sort of display, like a television, laptop or DVD player.

Slaying energy vampires won't lower your energy bill significantly — electronics only account for about 4% of the total cost — but it's important to keep them in mind, as they consume 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances.

Powering Down

The best way to eliminate this phantom menace is not only to turn energy vampires off, but unplug them. This may be easier said than done, but unplugging a laptop in between uses isn't particularly problematic. However, doing so with your television would require you to wait for the cable to reboot every time you wanted to watch a program.

As an alternative, EnergyStar suggests plugging your television and/or DVD player into a power strip and then turning that off when your television is in stand-by mode. Put your computers on sleep mode, or manually turn off the monitor inbetween visits, as opposed to utilizing a screen saver, which, contrary to popular belief, does not reduce energy output. Also, make sure you unplug a battery charger of adapter as it continues to draw energy even when the product no longer needs it.

Put Stand By on Stand by

The final 11% of your electric bill comprises devices that don't exactly fit into any particular category. This includes dehumidifiers, external power adapters and video game consoles, which are all considered energy vampires.

An Xbox 360, for example, if left on the draws approximately 1,000 kWh/yr. The PS3 draws 1,300 kWh/yr. According to EnergyStar, these values drop dramatically when users routinely turn the device off after use, lowering annual energy levels down to 110 and 120 kWh/yr, respectively. Since it costs about 12 cents per kWh/yr in the average residential home in the U.S., it costs $120 if to leave your Xbox plugged in for the entire year.

To lower these costs, unplug the devices when you are not playing and only resort to stand-by mode as, well, a stand-by. Energy Star estimates that stand-by power accounts for more than 100 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of annual U.S. electricity consumption, and $11 billion in annual energy costs.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:15 am

Quote :
10 Things Party Guests Won't Tell You.
by Woman's Day, on Wed Dec 8, 2010 7:52am PST

By Amanda Greene

The holidays are here, and chances are you have your fair share of parties to attend. You know the rules: Bring a bottle of wine and follow up with a thank-you note. But what if you're the one throwing the bash? We talked to partygoers from around the country and found out what they have to say about hosting dos and don'ts. If you're planning to open up your home this season, read on to learn everything your guests are too polite to tell you.

1. Put some thought into the food you serve—and how you serve it.
Any holiday party guest will appreciate being served a full meal, but if there's nowhere to sit and eat, it can be more trouble than it's worth. If you're planning to serve a buffet meal, your party guests need enough surfaces to eat on. "How can you cut meat without putting down your plate?!" asks Doug from Atlanta. Maghan from Gainesville, Florida, seconds that: "Not planning the wineglass-plate-fork scenario makes it awkward for everyone. Either have plenty of seating and wineglass surfaces, or commit wholeheartedly to finger foods."

2. Be upfront about the guest list.
"I find it annoying when people hide the guest list on Evites," says Agnes* from New York City. "I want to find out if I'm going to know people there or if I should bring a friend." She also wishes hosts understood that it's helpful for guests to know the size of the party, which influences whether they plan to drop by, be on time or arrange to travel with friends.

3. Make sure there's enough room for everyone to mingle.
You don't have to have a huge house to create a welcoming atmosphere—you just have to be smart about how you set up the party. "An overcrowded [food] display is a real turnoff," says Brynn from New York City. She wishes hosts would avoid a stampede at the appetizer table by creating separate areas for the drink and food stations as well as remembering to leave trash receptacles in clear view.

4. Make an effort!
"If you don’t care to make things festive, then don’t bother throwing a party," says Brynn. "The holidays are special, and should be treated that way." She wishes every host would encourage guests to dress up, throw on seasonal tunes and decorate the house. According to Maghan, a hostess should remember that lighting is crucial for setting the mood and creating a party atmosphere: "Bad overhead lighting is such a mood-killer! If it's at night, well-placed lighting is invaluable."

Decorate your home for the holidays in just 5 minutes with these simple crafts.

5. Don't forget about the bathroom.
Partygoers have serious gripes about the state of the restrooms at holiday bashes. Marie* from New York City says, "Cleaning your bathroom is just as important as making the perfect cheese plate or holiday punch. Nothing will tarnish my impression faster than a bathroom straight out of a gas station with empty toilet paper rolls to boot." Leslie* from Chicago also stresses the importance of keeping the bathroom stocked with toilet paper: "Don't make your guests have to come out and awkwardly ask for more."

6. Don't try too hard.
Organized party games and icebreakers are fine in theory, but unless your gang is gung-ho about playing, they just end up making people feel uncomfortable. "Forced party games are a clear sign of desperation. If guests can't simply enjoy each other's company, you should maybe reconsider your friends," says Allie from Seattle.

7. Make it clear whether kids are welcome or not.
Agnes remembers one party she attended where a couple arrived with a newborn baby and the woman proceeded to breastfeed in the middle of the room. "That might be fine if everyone else has babies or kids in tow, but in a room full of 23-year–olds, it was very odd," she says. To play it safe, specify "adults only" or "kids welcome" on the invitation.

8. Keep Fido and Fluffy out of sight.
For an allergic guest, a surprise four-legged partygoer can ruin the night. Consider keeping pets in another room or having someone watch them for the night. Even if none of your friends is allergic, there's no guarantee they'll love your furry friends as much as you do. Maghan puts it this way: "Your dog is not that adorable. The slobber and scrapes [guests will be subject to] aren't cute at all."

9. Don't be a neat freak.
Parties get messy. No matter how hard hosts may try to prevent it, people will spill their drinks or leave a ring on the coffee table. "I hate being told that red wine won't be served because the hostess doesn't want stains anywhere," says Brooke from Los Angeles. "If you're that uptight, don't have a party!" Brynn dislikes having to take off her shoes before entering a party. "Nobody likes walking around in someone else’s house barefoot or in just stockings. If the tenants downstairs will throw a fit over too much clicking and clacking, then perhaps you shouldn’t be having a party. If it’s your white rugs you’re worried about, maybe you can splurge on a few area rugs for the occasion."

10. If you can't afford a party, don't have one.
Chances are your guests will bring a hostess gift to your shindig—and you really shouldn't ask for anything beyond that. Luba from Atlanta hates when hosts ask her to bring specific items to their party or request donations to cover the party costs. Isabel from San Francisco recalls a particularly uncomfortable situation in which a host asked for financial contributions the day after her party. "It's tacky to invite people over for a party and send a follow-up email the next day asking each guest to contribute cash commensurate with how much they ate or drank. Just ask us to bring over some wine instead."

*Names have been changed.

Source: shine.yahoo.com

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PostSubject: Re: Ramdom News Atricles   Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:51 pm

Quote :
Your End-of-the-Year Tax Checklist for 2010
by Robert D. Flach, MainStreet
Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The average person avoids thinking about taxes until the April deadline approaches, when it's too late to make changes that can cut your bill.

As 2010 draws to a close it's not too late to take steps to decrease the amount you'll owe the Internal Revenue Service. Here are some tax-planning moves to consider now:

More from MainStreet.com:

1. Prepare a Preliminary Tax Return

Using your 2009 return as a guide, prepare a projected Form 1040. Start by estimating your adjusted gross income for 2010 and your allowable deductions. Determine if you will be able to itemize your deductions — do your eligible expenses exceed the standard deduction for your filing status? Lastly, figure out the tax bracket you'll likely fall into for 2010.

The standard deduction for married people filing jointly remains at $11,400 for 2010. The standard deduction for singles and married people filing separately is $5,700, and the amount for the head of a household increases to $8,400. The personal exemption is again $3,650.

[See Prepare and Penalty-Proof Your Tax Return]

2. Consider Postponing Your Income and Boosting Deductions

If you expect to be in the same tax bracket next year, or a lower one, try to put off collecting income until 2011 and rack up as many eligible deductions now instead of waiting until after the New Year. You'll have more expenses to deduct this year and less income to tax at the same or higher rate.

If your income is likely to increase next year and push you into a higher bracket, do the reverse and try to collect as much of your taxable income as possible in 2010 and postpone deductible expenses until 2011. Income received in 2010 will be taxed at a lower rate and deductions claimed in 2011 will provide greater tax savings.

3. Size Up Your Itemized Deductions

It doesn't pay to itemize your deductions unless the total exceeds the standard deduction for your filing status. If you think you'll be able to itemize your deductions on your 2010 Form 1040, try to incur as many deductible expenses as possible this year.

If you won't be able to itemize, postpone any payments that could be deductible until 2011. By deferring these expenses, you'll have more deductions to claim next year.

4. Pay Medical Bills Now

The timing of itemized deductions is especially important when it comes to medical expenses. You can deduct medical expenses only if they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. If your income totals $70,000 for 2010, you can't deduct the first $5,250 of your medical expenses. If your costs total $6,000, you can claim $750.

In this scenario, if your medical expenses are more than $5,250 and you have enough deductions to itemize, pay your outstanding medical bills before 2011 begins. If your medical expenses are less than $5,250, put off paying any medical bills until 2011.

[See Under the Knife: Cutting Medical Bills]

5. Use Your Credit Card

If you don't have the cash to pay for deductible expenses, consider using a credit card to pay for the items so you can get the deduction for 2010. Eligible expenses charged to bank-issued credit cards are deductible in the year charged, not the year you actually pay it.

However, it's a different story for store-issued cards. If you use a store-sponsored card to buy deductible items at a department store, such as Macy's or Sears, the expenses can't be deducted until the actual charge is paid. So stick to bank cards for end-of-year purchases.

6. Review Your Investments

Look at the investments (including real estate) you sold this year and add up your gains and losses. Separate the totals for your short-term positions (owned for one year or less) and long-term holdings (more than one year). Gains and losses from the sale of inherited property are always considered long-term. Capital-gains distributions received from mutual funds are also classified as long-term.

Do a similar calculation for unrealized "paper" gains and losses for investments you still hold. Consider selling losing investments before the year ends to wipe out any taxable gains. Consider unloading holdings at a profit if your losses exceed the $3,000 maximum current deduction.

7. Consider Mutual Fund Dividends (If Not This Year, Then Next Year)

The law requires mutual funds to distribute net gains from security sales to their shareholders. During the fourth quarter, fund managers calculate their net gains for the year and distribute it through dividends to shareholders. The shareholders will pay federal and state income taxes at the special capital gain rates on these distributions. After a distribution is made, the value of the fund's shares drops.

If you buy shares of a fund for $10,000 on Dec. 1 and the fund issues a $1,000 capital gain dividend on Dec. 15, your shares will be worth $9,000 on Dec. 16. You had no real gain or income, but you must pay tax on the $1,000 distribution.

If you want to purchase fund shares during the final months of the year, wait until after the distribution is issued and the fund's value drops. It might be too late for you to address your mutual fund dividends this year, but it's something to keep in mind for next year.

8. Don't Forget the Alternative Minimum Tax

While these strategies may reduce your "regular" taxes, they may backfire if you're subject to the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

For those who qualify for the AMT, medical expenses are only deductible if they exceed 10% (not 7.5%) of your adjusted gross income. Taxes, investment and job-related expenses aren't deductible at all. If you usually pay the "regular" tax but anticipate having to pay the AMT for 2010, consider postponing any potentially deductible expenses until 2011, when you may not be subject to the AMT.

The AMT rates are 26% or 28%. If for 2010 you are in the 28% or higher bracket for "regular" taxes and you will pay AMT at the 26% rate, you may want to claim as collect income as possible 2010. The additional income will be taxed at 26%.

[See the New Tax Deal: What's in It for You?]

Final Thoughts

As you consider these tax planning tips, keep in mind that certain strategies will help some people more than others. It is a good idea to discuss your year-end plans with your accountant before taking action.

And remember: Your first criteria for evaluating any financial transaction should always be economic — taxes are second.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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