Facebook and Your Future

Cited: MSNBC

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your Facebook page free and clear of incriminating photos and stories about your weekend party at the frat house or that trip to Vegas that should have been kept under wraps. But now a new survey conducted by several universities finds that your success in the job market, and subsequent success in your career may have a strong correlation to the profile you set up for yourself on Facebook. So while the popular notion that there are many things not to put on Facebook remain true, perhaps you should consider what your Facebook profile should include; what face to put on your Facebook so to speak.

The study found that employers were more drawn to those on Facebook who had a larger number of friends, and those with much more interesting bios than your typical run of the mill social nonsense usually found on Facebook. Trips to exotic places, interesting hobbies, books that you’ve actually read, and the like are all things that can make you a much more appealing candidate to a would-be employer. In fact, the researchers from Northern Illinois, Auburn, and the University of Evansville have come up with a Facebook personality score that they claim correlates with job performance.

Their Facebook personality index took into account the same five elements used in other organizational studies; conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion and openness. These five traits were used to come up with a personality score for 56 Facebook users and then after six months the scores were compared to evaluations of each of the 56 by employers and the results were that those with the highest Facebook scores also had the highest job performance ratings by their supervisors.

The bottom line according to the researchers is that scoring high in all five categories probably means that you will be a much better employee than someone lacking these traits, or who doesn’t have a high score in all of these traits. On the other hand, the researchers also point out that the sample size used is a bit small to draw any conclusions just yet, and that human resource departments shouldn’t take their results as some sort of guarantee of hiring the next superstar for your firm. However, the results are indeed intriguing and will probably lead to another application for the growing world that is Facebook.

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My take:

Seems logical that people that display all five of those personality traits would probably be the best ones to do pretty much anything. I don’t think that there is any magic here, only that Facebook is a convenient gather place for this information and that once again, everyone should be very careful what they put on Facebook and now, maybe they should consider posting some things that make them look a bit more worldly, especially if they want a job.

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Other Resources

Determining Maintenance Schedule

Often pushing a vehicle beyond when it would require standard maintenance treatments would be a good way to increase the chance that a company would run into a reduction of properly working vehicles because they’d far outstripped the vehicles’ internal workings by failing to utilize Iowa commercial lubricants and tire rotations and other regular replacement schedules. Although some time-honored replacement schedules such as replacing a vehicle’s oil every three thousand miles are rather out of date, it’s often best to think about creating a more regular schedule for other types of maintenance options that would otherwise require time in a mechanic’s shop.

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Risky Loans for Businesses

Cited: CNN

When a small business approaches a bank for a business loan, more than likely the banker will ask for collateral, which the business can not offer and therefore their access to vital capital to grow their businesses isn’t available to them. And more often than not, rather than just turning away, business owners are turning to non-traditional lenders to get the money they need, often at very high rates of interest or often with strings attached to both ends of the deal. What the business owner do not have is bricks and equipment, mostly due to the changing face of American business from manufacturing to a service economy. What these businesses do have is cash flow and while the cash flow isn’t enough to get a bank loan, it is enough to have created a whole new sort of lender, those in the cash advance industry.

Companies now filling this void will lend money based on the cash flow of the business, typically restaurants and other small businesses, in exchange for very high fees. They are able to guarantee their fees by taking a large portion of the fee upfront, as a discount typical on some other more traditional loans, and then by taking a portion of every sale made through the credit card machine. The time frame for paying back the loans can be approximately six months and often the amount of interest that is eventually paid on these loans amounting to nearly 100% on an annualized basis. And while the rates of interest are enough to catch the eyes of the regulators, many of whom are citing these firms for predatory lending practices, many businessmen say that having easy access to the funds, usually with little paperwork and red tape involved, is worth it to them.

Now some of the larger lenders are getting into the act with American Express announcing a similar lending program, though they only target very well-established business with a strong cash flow.

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My take:

I guess this is a case of the old adage if you want to play you have to pay. No one is forcing these people to take these loans so its hard to demonize the lenders. On the other hand, if a loan shark were to come into a neighborhood and start to do business the police would soon be on their tale. It’s a very blurry line between what is legal and what is taking advantage of a situation. It would be nice to see the banks getting out in front of lending capital to these businesses at rates of interest that aren’t going to kill the business owner, especially considering that the banks are able to borrow money from the market at next to zero interest rates.

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Other Resources

Cleaning Vents and Screens

There are a lot of different surfaces within the home that can look rather old and dusty after a while if they’re not maintained on a regular basis and one area that a maid services Fairfax VA 22030 should always remember to clean is the series of vents within the house and the various screens in use as well. A lot of dust particles and contaminants can get caught in the vents and it can be rather difficult to get all of those surfaces easily cleaned if they’re not otherwise something that would be out in the open and visible all the time.

Choosing Self Storage Items

There are a lot of items that are best placed in storage when they’re not in use and when a family or person doesn’t otherwise have the room for all of their excess boxes and items that aren’t always on display, it can be a good idea to consider placing those items in a Sayville NY self storage unit. But it’s important to remember that such units aren’t meant to hold absolutely everything a person might own. While things like furniture, books and pictures are quite common, anything dangerous such as a container of gasoline shouldn’t be stored in a unit.

Best Aspects of Upgrading

While it might seem out of reach for some individuals, the art of riding in a private jet is not something that is as out of the realm of possibility as someone might think and for the most part, modern Las Vegas jet charter companies will provide three specific enhancements to the overall flying process that aren’t generally available to individuals on commercial flights. Those enhancements will include the flexibility of departure times, the convenience of zero waits in security lines and an enhanced level of overall comfort for anyone making the transition from public airliners to private jet travel.

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Franchises Worth Buying

Cited: MSNBC

When the humdrum of your job gets to be too humdrum, many people look into owning their own business and thus becoming their own boss. And the route that many people take is in buying into a franchise.  Starting a business can be costly, frustrating and too demanding for many people. But that doesn’t mean that owning your own business is out of the question because with the help of an existing business, a franchise, the learning curve, and the costs associated with the learning curve of your own business can be much smoother and therefore a better choice for the would-be entrepreneur.

There are some pitfalls to be avoided and as well as some serious homework that should be done on even the most glamorous, seemingly lucrative names in the franchise world, and doing homework is an important part of the process. Some franchises are great for the franchiser and not necessarily for the franchise owner, while others are flash in the pans that look great but don’t have an established track record. Buyers have to weigh paying more for proven success versus taking a shot on a new business that sounds good and looks like a winner. Some of the key elements to the homework of researching a franchise are the initial investment that you will have to make to buy into the business, the total number of locations that you are taking on, the rate at which this franchise is closing businesses, the growth of the franchise over time, as well as the training that you will have to go through before being able to open the store.

Another thing to be considered is the royalty that is paid to the franchiser for total gross sales. These vary widely so it is important to know how much of a cut goes to the house and what you are getting in return for that cut. If the franchise does a lot of advertising and support then many owners don’t mind the fees as they might be paying a similar amount to do this advertising and promotion on their own, while others seem to take a great deal from the till without helping the top line sales with investments in the overall reputation of the business.

A recent study by Forbes magazine cited these as some of the top franchises in the United States: Snap-On Tools, 7-Eleven, Aaron’s of Atlanta, Panera Bread, Servpro, McDonald’s, Liberty Tax Service, Merry Maids, The Maids, and Jimmy John’s.

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My take:

I always felt that the franchise made most of the money and that you would become a slave to them for the rest of your life. But I think that is a generalization that isn’t entirely true. The only other issue seems to be that to get into one of these ten best you need quite a lot of money to buy into most of them. I would want to see the payback rate before throwing that much of my money into something.

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Other Resources

Choosing Rustic or Classic Country

When considering how best to create a different style for the home, one of the interesting things that many people tend to realize is that if they want country decor, it’s not necessarily the case that there’s only one style of country out there. While some people might like to decorate with the pastels and gingham styles of the American frontier, others might be more interested in a rustic look that might remind one of an old cabin in the mountains. And while these are both considered country styles, each does have its own general personality.

Hiding the Lights

Businesses these days must get quite creative with their lighting schemes because it’s more important than ever to try and make sure that the lighting utilized is not getting in the way of the products on display. Sometimes if a person who does not have a good eye toward design is in charge of the jewelry store lighting it might actually be the case that the lights are either too bright or aren’t lighting the merchandise successfully. It’s not exactly an easy feat to figure out how to conceal the lights themselves while still making sure the merchandise looks nice.

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Housing Prices Still Falling

Cited: MSNBC

In all sectors of the economy it seems that a recovery is under way, albeit at a much slower pace than most would like to see. This is also true for the besieged housing market, with recent data pointing to a much improved outlook for hew home sales, existing home sales, as well as construction of new homes. However, one area that isn’t quite as rosy is the price of homes, which continue to decline in most areas of the country. The National Association of Realtors reported recently that housing prices in January 2012 were lower by 2.2%, with much of the decline in prices coming from the foreclosure market.

The NAR says that up to 35% of home sales were generated by the foreclosure market in January, which has the effect of putting a lid and downward pressure on housing prices. And given the glut of homes still under foreclosure it may be quite some time before housing prices can make any significant recovery. Industry analysts say that because banks are waiting to foreclose on one house until they sell those already in their inventory, there is a shadow inventory of foreclosures on the market and that just when things look like they might be getting better for the housing market, these new foreclosures come onto the market and thereby help to drive down prices overall.

The NAR report shows that housing prices are falling in every region of the country, which is somewhat different than conditions in the market when the crisis first began. At that time, prices fell fastest in those markets where prices accelerated fastest. Now, the decline is more widespread. In the Midwest, home prices fell by 5.5%, in the West prices fell 0.7%,, in the Northeast prices fell 2.2%, while the South saw housing prices decline by 1.4%.

Prices from the peak of the market in 2005 are off by almost 33% and analysts say that it will take until 2020 before prices fully recover to that level. For its part, the Federal Reserve Bank has helped the market by keeping interest rates near record low levels since the crisis began but with access to credit for most people being hurt because of their credit rating and overall indebtedness, most cannot take advantage of these lower rates and therefore stimulus from lower interest rates is being muted.

Another reason why demand for homes is down is the large number of people aged 18 – 34 who are still living at home and an overall decline in marriages across the country.

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My take:

It really sounds dire for the housing industry, which is not good for the economy overall. The housing industry is a huge catalyst for other areas of the economy so it is hard to imagine that the economy will be moving along at any pace other than a snail’s pace, which won’t be good for anyone.

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Other Resources

Coffee Making Techniques

There are many subtle techniques that a person might use when they brew their perfect cup of coffee and one of the interesting things about some coffee supplies and how they’re used to make a great cup is that sometimes the ratio of water to coffee must be meddled with a bit so that the brewer can find the perfect combination of coffee grounds and water. And what’s even more important as well is that making the coffee with a batch of hot water can actually cause too much extraction from the coffee grounds so using cold water is always best.

Factors Influencing Displays

There are some amazing changes that can result from even the smallest modifications to a lighting scheme within a business and when considering how best to design a frame display, some of the more advanced methods of crafting a lighting scheme may involve such decisions as how the uniformity of the lighting scheme may impact the display of the product and how various lighting colors might also have an impact on how lighting can enhance a company’s products. Quick lighting where not a lot of thought is put into the design can result in lighting that’s far too harsh for a business’s interior.

Issues of Imposing Facades

The average family often wants to offer a style of decoration and furniture that seems inviting to the average visitor, but sometimes a person is more interested in crafting a style of facade or overall decor that is quite imposing and is more interested in a noble, distinguished home than an inviting and friendly home. One way to achieve this is to consider a design of Memphis Tennessee iron door as there are some door options that are rather imposing indeed and these entryway options can be used to great effect as far as making a residence look imposing.

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Jury Ponders Coed Killing

Cited: CNN

The trail of the University of Virginia student, George Huguely, is now in the hands of the jury in the beating death of his former girlfriend and UVA lacrosse player Yeardly Love. The state says that Huguely broke into Love’s apartment in the town of Charlottesville, and then robbed and killed her while in a drunken fit of rage. The defense contends that Huguely did indeed contribute to her death but that he did not kill her and that he didn’t know what he was doing because he was intoxicated at the time.

The defense in the case claims that when Huguely left Love’s apartment the young coed was still alive and therefore there was no intent to kill her and that there was no intent to rob her. He faces six charges including robbery and first degree murder in the death of Miss Love in May 2010. While the defense does concede that Huguely was in Love’s apartment, his attorney, Francis Lawrence, contends that his client was stupid, drunk, but not calculating and that Yeardly Love’s death was an accident.

When her body was first discovered by a roommate back in May 2010, police were called to the scene of what they were led to believe was a alcohol overdose. However, when they arrived Ms. Love was dead and the coroner soon thereafter confirmed that she was killed by a severe blow to the head, which the defense maintains came from Huguely. The defense also alleges that he had intentions of killing her all along, presenting emails sent by Huguely to Love saying that I should have killed you, after Love supposedly slept with another man. Both defense and prosecution agree that Ms. Love was alive when Huguely left her apartment and that she could have been alive and in pain for quite some time before she died. That part of the story is not in question. The defense says that this is clear evidence that their client did not intend to kill Ms. Love. Charlottesville police say that Huguely admitted that he had a fight with Love and that he shook her repeatedly, banging her head against the wall while doing so, a point that the defense claims is untrue, despite coming from the mouth of their client.

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My take:

This kid is dangerous. If he could kill this girl over a love affair gone wrong whose to say that he couldn’t do it again. If she were my daughter, the jury would be the least of his worries. There seems to be no doubt that he is the one that killed her and that he should pay the price for his crimes.

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Other Resources

Speaking with Creditors

There are different types of credit accounts that an individual or family might have and when a family is likely to have to consult with a bankruptcy attorney Aurora CO because they are unable to realistically pay down their debt, the process will often involve a complete listing of a person’s assets and will eventually involve meetings with various creditors to ensure that each debt is dealt with in a timely fashion when it is either being discharged by the court or when a loan or account is being reaffirmed for a different payment schedule.

Talking to Law Enforcement

The role of law enforcement is always to ensure the safety of citizens that live within the boundaries of the country, state or city where those law enforcement individuals work, but as most Cornwall Ontario defence lawyers can suggest, it’s not always the case that the law enforcement is on a person’s side, especially if that person is suspected of being involved in a crime. Fighting crime is a serious business and for anyone caught in the crossfire of a criminal investigation, things can get quite difficult for anyone quite quickly who is suspected of taking part in a crime.

General Reasons for Divorce

There are a few different reasons which might be labeled as the cause of a divorce and when a person decides that the time is right to file for divorce and talks to a Wyckoff NJ divorce attorney, generally the most important aspect of such a communication will be a discussion on the reason why the divorce is being sought. For example, sometimes people change over time and they find out that they have become an incompatible pair as regards the married state and this often means a person can offer up a suggestion of irreconcilable differences as the primary reason.

Obtaining a Divorce Settlement

One thing to remember about a divorce is that no matter how friendly a spouse might be at the outset, anyone working with a type of Manhattan alimony attorney needs to remember that their spouse is all but an enemy in the process of divorce simply because the binds of marriage no longer hold one to appropriate and congenial behavior. Even if a person still has some sort of feeling for their spouse during the divorce process, it’s important to remember that the relationship is not as it was and that things have changed for the worse regarding that relationship.

Educational Credits and Taxes

There are many industries in which the people who work in them must take additional classes on a regular basis to retain their knowledge and also become knowledgeable about new and valuable techniques and for this reason it’s important to make sure that a tax law attorney looks at the potential education deductions just to make sure they’re valid for a business. One basic thing to remember regarding such deductions is the fact that education can only be taken off if the training was for the industry in which a person is working and that it wasn’t for training in a new field.

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Lohan Probation Almost Over

Cited: CNN

Lindsay Lohan, everyone’s favorite target for a tawdry story – at least when Paris Hilton isn’t making the front pages – will soon find herself off of probation and perhaps ready to resume her acting career. The embattled actress is almost done with her probation, which is due to end at the end of March, and is rumored to be considering playing the role of Elizabeth Taylor in a new made for TV movie about the star actresses life and death. A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles told Lohan that she is in the home stretch, a veiled warning to her to keep her nose clean – so to speak – and soon she would be out from under the scrutiny of probation.

Lohan seems to be getting it this time, after other probation issues during which she failed drug tests, alcohol tests, failed to show up for counseling, and blew off community service ordered by the courts; not to mention an arrest for shoplifting, which still has everyone scratching their heads. Ms. Lohan still has to complete her community service, 14 more days of cleaning up at the county morgue, as well five more sessions with a counselor before she has another hearing on March 29 to review her probation.

Lohan has been on probation for the last five years following two drunk driving convictions. She will still be on probation for her shoplifting affair, for lifting a necklace from a local jewelry store, but that probation does not have any reporting requirements or community service.

Lohan’s recent past, during which time she has been repeatedly in and out of court, has cost her acting jobs and put her in the middle of a media circus with every violation of probation, new arrest, and apparent contempt for the system. But she has been on the straight and narrow as of late and her agents say that the job offers are starting to come back as her probation nears an end. She will be hosting Saturday Night Live on March 3 and her agents say that she is close to signing a deal to play the lead in a movie about legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor.

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My take:

I am happy to hear that she is putting this trouble behind her. The public can be very cruel when they want to be so no need to give them more ammunition. She is young enough to resume her career with dignity and I hope that she can do so.

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Other Resources

Promoting through Difficult Circumstances

There are some difficult issues that famous people must go through when they are otherwise in the spotlight and something like a divorce happens and for Jennifer Lopez and her recent musical efforts, her team has had to go for a lot of creative music promotion due to her divorce from her estranged husband Marc Anthony. Her appearances on television and also participation in a stage show have allowed her to remain popular during the release of her most recent music singles and the disc that followed all her hard work in the studio. She’s also appeared in several commercials lately.

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Women and Heart Attacks

Cited: MSNBC

A new study on men and women’s health concludes that women are more likely to come into a hospital after having a heart attack feeling no pain from the attack than men, especially younger women. And, more important still is that these women are more likely to die from the heart attack than men. The problem identified by the study is that women might not feel the symptoms as readily as the men and therefore at greater risk of dying from the attack.

The study was conducted on more than one million heart patients so it was fairly extensive, but at this point researchers say that there is still a great deal of work to do on the subject. One of the main things to take away from the survey is that the classic symptoms of a heart attack, chest pains and discomfort up and down the arms, are not the only telltale signs and that some might discount other signs as not being too urgent or requiring a doctor or visit to the emergency room.

The researchers added that rather than identifying a heart attack by those well-known symptoms, perhaps medical care professionals should discuss other signs of cardiac arrest with their patients and especially those women under age 55 and let them know of other things to be on the lookout for in connection with heart problems. Some of these other signs include shortness of breath, pain in the area of the jaw, neck, arms, back and stomach. In their research, the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida found that among the one million records analyzed, 31% of male patients and 42% of female patients had no chest pain or discomfort before being diagnosed with having a heart attack. And the difference that they noted was most dramatic in their younger woman versus younger men. They went on to document cases where 15% of women died from their heart attacks while in the hospital versus only 10% of the men. The statistics rollover into the other direction after age 65, when men died at a much greater rate than women having heart attacks.

The researchers go on to speculate that the biggest reason for the differing death rates is likely to be that the symptoms are being ignored or not treated in time because the women don’t even realize that they are having a heart attack until much later in the process.

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My take:

This is interesting because you always hear that men are more likely to die from a heart attack than women. I guess that the point here is that there are other signs of cardiac arrest other than a pain in the chest and that people, especially women, should be aware of them in order to get to a hospital in time.

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Other Resources

Levels of Home Care

For individuals who have not yet experienced a particular type of assistance and care from an outside health care professional but have come to the realization that Tamarac home care services will likely be required for the continued comfort and safety of a loved one, it is likely that limited intervention in the early years of such a care situation will be the sort of care where a health assistant may be at the home for a few hours each day to take care of regular health projects with minor increases in time spent at the home over time.

Therapy Hour Length

There are an amazing number of emotional improvements that can happen when a person decides to visit a Douglas Manor NY psychotherapist and sticks with their therapy sessions for an appropriate amount of time and for the most part a therapy session will usually last an hour in the traditional scheduling, but it’s important to note that the actual time on the clock that a person might get from a therapist will actually be fifty minutes because the therapist must prepare for his or her next appointment between each session and this does take some time.

Renewing the Smile

If a person hasn’t taken care of their teeth properly over the years it can definitely become an issue after a while because of the buildup of tartar and the accumulation of various bacteria in the mouth which can lead to premature aging of the teeth. But a Fairfax Station Virginia cosmetic dentist would likely be able to fix this issue with recommendations on various types of care and how various procedures such as bridges, whitening and caps might be able to enhance the look of the teeth and create an overall more youthful look for the smile.

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Socking Away the Tax Refund

Cited: CNN

As tax season rolls into full swing, many Americans are getting ready to write a check to Uncle Sam for any shortfall in their tax bill for 2011. However, many more are waiting for a nice return from the IRS, a check which in the past has helped to fuel a boost in consumer spending. This year could be a little different for many Americans with a significant number of those surveyed saying that they will be using this year’s tax return check to either pay down debt or simply sock it away in the bank. A recent survey found that 44% of those interviewed say that they will put a large portion of their check into savings, which is slightly higher than the 42% reported last year.

About 66% of the taxpayers in the United States are expecting a refund check this year, with the average windfall being somewhere around $3,000. Not everyone is interesting in saving for a rainy day however with 40% saying that they will use the funds to pay down existing debt while 28% say that they will be spending the money on items that they have been putting off buying because they didn’t have the excess money to do so. Only 12% of those responding to the survey say that they will use the money to splurge on vacations and the like. One single mother in Kansas says that she used to use the money as mad money but no more. She has been saving her refund checks for the last four years and now she says that she finally has enough money to put a down payment on a house.  She notes that her tax return is the only time that she ever gets enough money to make a significant deposit in the bank and ever since she has been doing so, the bank account has grown enough to do something smart with the money, like purchase a new home.

In addition, most Americans are getting a head start on filing their taxes with over 64% of tax payers now filing their returns before the end of February. This is the highest percentage since 2006. Only 14% of those surveyed say that they will wait till the last minute to file their taxes by the April 15 deadline. And, you have to imagine that most of them aren’t expecting a tax return check from the government.

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My take:

Saving the check is certainly a good idea if you can do it. At the same time, the tax return check is a good way to pay down some credit card debt also. Unless you have some big plans for the money it is best to pay down debt that has a high interest rate attached to it instead of putting it in a savings account that pays little or no interest.

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Other Resources

Promoting the Railways

Over the course of time there has been a healthy amount of development regarding the art of public relations, but one of the most interesting aspects of what a modern Chicago top PR agency might do is the history it might share with what was the first recorded instance of modern public relations that showed up at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1897 it is suggested that the first use of the phrase “public relations” was utilized in printed literature through a publication that was crafted for the railroads and their early publicists.

Bidding on Projects

In what has become a rather competitive market for construction companies there has been a lot of work by some businesses involved in the construction industry to enhance their level of appeal or various projects and many have taken to engaging in different options for expansion within the realm of asset based equipment leasing and for most companies this has meant an increase in personnel as well. And this has been good for an industry which was one of the hardest hit of the recession as the recovery process for construction and housing has been one of the slowest areas.

Getting a Mat for Cooking

There are a lot of options for people who want to cook a large amount of meat at one time for a large number of visitors and one popular method is to obtain turkey or pork and place it in a china box to cook for many hours. And there are a few accessories that someone might want to consider looking into a disposable mat that can be placed underneath the apparatus while it is in use to reduce the chance for things to be spilled after the meat is cooked and to make the overall affair a much cleaner operation.

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NJ Schools Get More Money

Cited: Google News

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, hasn’t always been a popular guy with those in the NJ school system, and probably with good reason considering his aggressive stance against the teacher’s unions in that state. However, he may have done a lot to mend fences yesterday in his state of the state address to the NJ state legislature in which he outlined new proposals to increase spending on education in New Jersey by over $300 million in this coming fiscal year. In his new budget, the governor calls for an increase of $108 million for higher education and $213 million in spending increases for grades K-12. In his address, Governor Christie said that higher education is a key to advancement in proposing an increase in financial assistance to the amount that the state of New Jersey provides to students as well as the funds that it directs to the colleges and universities.

A spokesperson for the New Jersey school system said that the new proposals will help to protect the ability of students to go to college at at time when the cost of higher education is soaring, and in addition, the funds will go a long way to ensuring that the quality of education is improved despite the budget crisis being faced by so many departments in the state of New Jersey. The amount of money now being spent on education in New Jersey tops $2 billion. The institutions that stand to gain the most from the Governor’s proposals are Rowan University, which would receive more than $10 million, and Rutgers University, which will get an increase of $26 million. Student will benefit directly also with tuition aid grants increasing by 10%. Another source of funding for students being proposed is the Urban Scholarship Program, which will provide up to $1million in scholarship money to students in economically disadvantaged areas of New Jersey who are in the top 5% of their high school class. The funds would be used to attend a New Jersey state college or university.

The Governor’s budget also calls for increases in funding for K-12 education additional funds being allocated for formula aid – textbooks, salaries, and other necessary funds to keep the schools running. Governor Christie also proposes additional spending on special education programs; up to $46 million more directed at these areas.

The full details of the Governor’s education plan have yet to be released and should be public within the next two days. School officials are waiting to comment until they are able to get a better look at where the money is being directed and who will benefit most and least from the additional spending on education.

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My take:

I never think that throwing money is the solution to the education problem but the reality is that education is no different than other areas of the economy. The amount of money necessary to maintain a good system that benefits everyone in the state is substantial and always in need of revisions. I hope that Governor Christie is sincere in his efforts towards the schools and that he doesn’t turn out to be just another divisive lawmaker with an agenda.

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Other Resources

Beautiful Gifts for Homes

A lot of what people offer new home owners on the occasions of their having bought a home is the sort of small machinery and items that would be placed within a kitchen or perhaps something like a vacuum. There are a lot of fun other items that can be used within the home that are purely decorative, and might be appreciated as well as a style for gifts. One option is to look into the beautiful figurines that come out from Jim Shore each year as there are many which are designed for a specific occasion.

Box Cooking for Other Meats

For most people who have considered cooking their food in something like a caja china, the main idea has been to put a cut of pork in the machine and let it do its work, but it’s actually possible to obtain other types of meat and cook them just as well in such a machine and one great option is to use a china box for the cooking of the family turkey during Thanksgiving as this can be a fantastic new way to cook turkey and will likely become a tradition for the family if the cooking goes well.

Keeping Glasses in the Car

One of the hassles of having a single pair of sunglasses is that sometimes a person might be stuck out in their car after the sun comes up or comes out from behind the clouds and they suddenly realize that they left their sunglasses at home. While it can be rather expensive to have two pairs of everything, it’s actually quite handy to have a pair or two of discount sunglasses in the car, perhaps stored in the glove compartment, because it’s so much easier to just take a pair out of the glove box rather than drive all the way home and get a pair.

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Overdraft Fees Under Microscope

Cited: MSNBC

Banks have long been in the business of making money from the fees they charge their customers for almost everything. Now, a consumer advocacy group called U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is asking Congress to look into the banking industries overdraft fees and how these fees are effecting consumers. The agency is specifically looking into the possibility that banks are hiking these rates and that their policy regarding overdraft is being purposely hidden from the consumer.

A small overdraft can result in a $35 fee from the banks, which bring in an annual windfall to the banking system of $30 billion. These fees have been a point of contention between the banks and regulators for some time with the Fed and the FDIC both attempting to put a lid on excessive fees from the banks in the past. The CFPB is trying to build on the actions already taken by these agencies to keep banks from inflicting financial harm on those that can afford it the least.

The agency will begin collecting information from the banks on their overdraft practices but they did not say which banks they will be targeting for this information. They also say that they will be talking to consumers to find out more about their experiences with the banks and the information that they provide to the consumer regarding overdraft charges. One of the areas of concern is to find out if banks are processing larger transactions at the end of the day first, so as to then charge overdraft fees on each subsequent charge following this larger transaction that might have put the consumer into overdraft in the first place.

Bank overdraft fees are slightly lower in the past couple of years, falling from $37.1 billion in 2009 to just under $30 billion in 2011. The CFPB was created as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation following the financial crisis and is meant to ensure that banks do not prey on the consumer.

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My take:

Everything I read about banks and the banking industry gets me madder and madder. They make $30 billion a year from overdraft fees at a time when they are able to borrow money from the system, with the blessings of the FRB and the taxpayer, at nearly zero percent interest. Outrageous but I don’t think much if anything will ever really be done about it .

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