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It’s a jungle out there. If you don’t know the ins-and-outs you could put money down on an apartment, show up to move in and find yourself with 4 other people who also put money down on the same space all waiting for a phoney broker who has since left town. This did not happen to us. But this has happened for real to others.

After messing around with Craigslist, waiting outside apartments for a broker who doesn’t show up, or who gets there and shows you an apartment that doesn’t look like the photo online, or who tells you they don’t have the keys to that apartment but do have other keys, I finally walked into a realtor’s office on 13th and Fifth Ave, threw my hands up and begged someone to show me a nice apartment for my student son. My NY Realtor friends are annoyed with me for not coming to them in the first place- but I thought they wouldn’t want to bother with my low budget for Micah’s first NYC apartment. Well, my low-budget grew and grew, the more places I saw. Teeny, tiny, have to slide in side-ways to get to the toilet in miniscule bathrooms, dirty, strange and dark hallways, weird configurations of chopped up spaces. I couldn’t bear it and upped the ante. Along with upping came the broker and the commission and the one month FREE rent, nice trade. It has not been the best experience financially, but we found a great studio right near school. We’ll save on the monthly subway pass, he’ll cook for himself, I’ll send care packages. And that will have to be that.

Now for those of you who are out there shopping. Here is a good site with helpful info about the do’s and don’ts of apartment shopping in NYC.

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It doesn’t make sense that credit card companies would create an aspect of our cards that made our identity and information more vulnerable to theft. But here it is: I just read about a new wallet on where else? Joshspear.com.

It is the flipside wallet. Why do we need one? The case is this: our newer credit cards are embedded with a chip so that we can make instant purchases without swiping. Does your card do this? It is called RFID, Radio Frequency Identification. Apparently the microchip and antenna are in the card and the card’s info is detected via radio frequency- you wave your card at the sensor and voila, you’ve paid. Similar technology was used in the Exxon Speedpass.

The problem is that now thieves are using RFID technology to scan your credit card without your knowing it. Perhaps in a crowded place, or even in the coffee shop- with a device that is similar to one at a checkout counter. Your card could be scanned from up to 15 feet away, through you wallet.

Flipside wallet is a radio wave proof wallet. That’s nice, but I’d rather have a theft-proof card, wouldn’t you? I am going to speak with my credit card companies to make sure I don’t have a microchip in my card.

Some reading. Offers a solution by placing foil between your wallet and your cards. That’s an easy and cheap option.

More reading.

Even more.

Via: Joshspear.com

image1Read all about it at www.fooddemocracynow.org.

I don’t drink milk, but for those who choose to, you should also be able to choose healthy milk. An Ohio labeling law prohibits statements like “rBGH-free” or “no-rBGH” on all milk cartons. This takes away a basic right for organic companies and dairy farmers to properly label how their milk was produced. Tell Ohio’s Governer Strickland that mothers have a right now know.

‘Nuf said.

Cartoons as Real Folk?

July 21, 2009

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This is a wonderful rendering real of our 2 dimensional cartoon favorites.Isn’t Charlie Brown sweet? and funny -looking?  All the characters are very distorted- which is right, isn’t it? Cartoons are stretching our imaginations (sometimes). And the exaggerations are for the most part so very accurate we can really get who the characters are as cartoons and even more so when they are humanized.

Via: The Firewire

Lemon Cukes

July 16, 2009

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They are wonderful. I am picking them when they are lemon-size. They are sweet, juicy and refreshing, just can’t figure out the best way to cut them, right now we are enjoying them as wedges.

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Here is a link to Rodney Yee’s Yoga tips from GaiamLife.com.  You will find motivating tips on how to do basic poses. You can watch a video on downward dog. There is always something new to add to our Yoga practice. Also today there is an interesting article about Yoga being a weight bearing form of exercise. Of course it is! You hold you body up and using different muscle groups to do that in all the poses. Read the article. 

Bone Health is the main conversation for many people. The Bone Health Trio from Nikken is a crucial addition to anyone’s daily nutrition.

Crowd-Powered News

July 13, 2009

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This is a great site. Regular people are contributing their opinions, findings and local news to this site:  NowPublic.com which  I will visit regularly.

For example: today I read Barbara Matthieson’s article on cellphone recycling in which she describes downloading a free postage label from Sprint. That simplifies the process for those of us who don’t want to pay the poastage and do want to recycle our phones.

Maybe I’ll even become a rookie journalist and do some contributing?

You can  go to the NowPublic Newsroom, where you can find out about the Community and members, check out how-to videos, journalism tips, and contributor Guidelines, and learn more about site Tools.

Got questions? Need help? Want tips on how to improve what you do on the site? They provide the pointers on what makes news on NowPublic and to find out more about how to get involved and share your news with the world. And you can attend the Forum where you can share your thoughts and tips with other NowPublic members.

Browse through Local or World news, Culture, Environment, Tech & Biz, Health, Style, Sports and Strange! Read Truemors—which seems to be a fun-ish section for spoofish “onion”-esque stories. Fun.

And of course you can comment, share, send to twitter, facebook, etal.