‘Gatsby’ Is Great, but Fitzgerald’s Stories Are Even Greater

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

With The Great Gatsby—the first and only work by Fitzgerald most people read—we’re instructed, starting in high school and then ever after, that only one manuscript by the Minnesota-born author is deemed worth our time. And in Gatsby, there are indeed chunks of perfect writing—velvety stuccoed passages of pure prose poetry that make it seem like this author always had a goldmine at his disposal when other writers were lucky to have pyrite crumbs.

Sometimes these plush veins go on for pages, capturing details of human existence—the ways we all think, at some time or other, which we all recognize with an “aha, yes, I’ve been that way” internal exclamation—and where entire worlds register in the precise manner of how a finger touches a glass, or a pine cone dandles in a breeze. But if you want to experience Fitzgerald the stylistic daredevil, you need to turn to his stories, right from his earliest ones. Get thee to a good compilation, go.

“I have asked a lot of my emotions—120 stories,” Fitzgerald wrote near the end of his life. Clearly that number meant a lot to him, as it should have. A little chest-thumping pride, if you will, like he’d just sunk a three to finish off triple overtime.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How to Invest Even if You Have No Idea Where to Start

Let’s be honest: Investing is kind of scary.

The stock market itself is difficult to understand — you earn money by spending money? And it’s not even necessarily real money, but this virtual number that moves and shifts on a moment-to-moment basis?

Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Well, as it turns out, just about every single financial professional — as well as the army of everyday people who’ve used the power of compound interest to fund major financial goals, like home ownership and retirement.

There’s a reason a 401(k) account is one of the most common workplace perks: You pretty much need to invest if you’re going to build a big enough nest egg to one day throw in the towel.

Investing is also one of the easiest ways to earn passive income — that is, making money without putting in any extra hours at work. Once you set up your investment portfolio, it takes relatively little management to see significant returns: The average investor has seen 10% growth annually over the last hundred years.

So what’s the best way to get started with your own investments? And what do you need to know before you take the big leap? Is it actually possible to start an investment portfolio from a smartphone app, and should you?

Hang on tight, Penny Hoarders. We’re going to dive into all of that and more.

Getting Started: What is Investing?

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty of how to get started on your own investments, let’s clarify some basic terms.

Investing is spending money on something — be it a share of a company on the stock market, a house, or a painting — in the hopes that its value will grow. If it does, the investor can later sell the item, also referred to as an asset, and earn a profit.

There are four main types of investments, which are also referred to as asset classes.

  1. Stocks, otherwise known as equity investments
  2. Fixed-income investments, like bonds
  3. Money market or cash equivalent investments
  4. Property, including real estate and other tangible assets

Stocks

These are probably what you think of when you think of the stock market: shares, or fractions of ownership, of publicly traded companies, which increase in value as the company performs well and earns a profit.

Shareholders are paid dividends when this occurs, but are, of course, also vulnerable to downswings in the market — and the possibility of the company performing poorly or even going out of business.

Mutual funds and ETFs, which are pre-built pools of investment options, are also grouped under this asset class, though they sometimes include bonds and other types of securities. (We’ll go into more detail on mutual funds and ETFs below.)

Fixed-Income Investments

These are investments that offer a prearranged, fixed interest rate and usually pay at regular intervals or after a set amount of time. Bonds are the most common example. When you purchase a government bond, specifically, you’re actually giving the government a loan, which it agrees to repay after a certain amount of time (the bond’s “maturity”) at a set interest rate.

Bonds are considered safer investments than stocks, which are more vulnerable to shifts in the market.

Money Market or Cash Equivalent Investments

These are highly liquid (meaning they can quickly be converted to cash), short-term investments, like CDs (certificates of deposit) or short-term debt securities, like U.S. Treasury bills. This asset class offers relatively little growth — meaning you aren’t likely to reap a big profit quickly — but also comes at a relatively low risk.

Property

It’s just what it sounds like: tangible, physical investments, like real estate or fine art, which can appreciate (read: grow) in value over time.

(Psst: depreciation is the opposite, when a tangible asset loses value over time. One of the biggest culprits? Cars, trucks or SUVs, which can lose as much as 10% of their value annually, according to Carfax.)

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus primarily on stock market investments, as these are the most accessible to — and rewarding for — average folks. But we’ll also briefly cover property investments, including bitcoin. (Yes, it’s still a thing — and yes, we know you’re curious!)

Why Should You Invest?

A person saving money into a piggy bank

One thing we should make clear: Even the “safest” investment options do carry some risk. There’s no such thing as a sure investment.

For that reason, many savers feel a lot more comfortable stashing their cash in a low-interest savings account… or even under their mattress in the form of paper bills. But investing is one of the easiest ways to earn a passive income — and if you want to build serious wealth, the stock market is the surest-fire place to make it happen.

Malik S. Lee, a Certified Financial Planner and the founder of Atlanta-based Felton & Peel Wealth Management, understands why some people are reluctant to enter the market. But he also knows it’s imperative for meeting many common financial goals.

Maintain the Value of Your Money

In fact, if you take inflation into account, investing isn’t just a way to grow your money — it’s a necessary measure to maintain its current value.

According to Lee, inflation has historically averaged between 4-5%, and so over the course of 20 or 30 years, that can make a big difference.

“If you would like your money to spend the same way then that it’s spending today, you’ll need the power of the stock market,” Lee said.

Even a low-growth investment like a CD might actually net you a negative return, given today’s rate of inflation.

And, of course, it’s important to remember that investing is all about playing the long game. Yes, you’ll likely see some scary stock market headlines over the course of your investment career. But so long as you hold tight and don’t run for the hills, the overall odds are in your favor.

Make Money on Your Money

The average investor who reinvests dividends within a broad-based index, such as the S&P 500, has a 94% chance of positive return over 10 years, according to Lee. If you extend that timeline to 20 years, investors can increase that chance to 99%.

“If you invest for the long term, your chances of obtaining a positive return increase dramatically,” Lee said.

In other words: when it comes to investing, “keep calm and carry on.”

But first, you have to cough up the ante!

How Do You Get Started Investing?

If you’ve read this far, you’re (hopefully) at least a little more comfortable with the lingo, and convinced that investing is the way to go if you want your money to be fruitful and multiply.

So now, how do you get started on your own investments? And what if you don’t have very much money to get started with?

1. Choose an Investment Vehicle

First things first: you’ll need to decide on what type of investment account best fits your needs. A variety of different account types, or “investment vehicles,” correspond to different financial goals, some of which carry special tax incentives when used correctly.

For instance, if you’re investing to save for retirement, an account like a401(k) or traditional IRA allows you to make tax-deferred contributions, which can help lower the amount you pay in income tax today while simultaneously building your nest egg for later.

A Roth IRA works a little differently: your contributions are taxed today, but then grow, and are more importantly withdrawn, tax-free thereafter.

These retirement accounts do come with certain IRS regulations, including strict rules regarding when the funds can be taken out. (The short story: you’ll have to wait until age 59.5, with a few circumstantial exceptions.)

There are also investment accounts geared specifically toward paying for college (529 plans) and health care (HSAs, or health savings accounts), which carry similar restrictions.

The most flexible option: opening a plain-old individual investment account, which allows you to withdraw your funds at any time to pay for miscellaneous objectives.

Even then, it’s a much better idea to leave your contributions invested as long as possible — not only to maximize your returns through compound interest, but also to avoid short-term capital gains taxes, which can be levied at a higher rate than what you’d pay on long-term holdings.

Taking a look at your own financial timeline and plans for your future can help you decide which type of investment vehicle is right for you.

Our suggestion? If your workplace offers access to a 401(k), start there — and if there’s a percentage match on offer, be sure to take advantage of it. Your contributions will be deducted directly from your wages and are tax-deductible, so it’s a pretty pain-free way to get started.

Then, you can consider opening an auxiliary account — whether that means accelerating your retirement savings with an IRA or investing your pocket change with a digital app like Stash.

Speaking of which…

2. Open a Brokerage Account (or Download an App, or…)

If you’d asked somebody how to invest in stocks 20 years ago, you would have gotten one resounding answer: Call up a stockbroker and place your order. I mean, you’ve seen “Wolf of Wall Street,” right?

Fortunately today’s technology has transformed the investment landscape, creating a spectrum of easily accessible options regardless of how hands-on you want to be with your portfolio.

Of course, you can still hire a full-service brokerage, like Morgan Stanley, staffed by investment advisers who will allocate your assets and manage your account for you, insofar as you allow it.

While you’ll always maintain the final say-so, you can offload the research and strategizing to someone who does it for a living. And if you don’t want to pick up the phone, you’ll find a huge range of features and resources available through the firm’s online client portal.

This kind of hands-on, human-powered advice does come at a cost, though — usually expressed as a percentage of your assets under management (AUM). These firms may also have lofty minimum account balances, so you’ll probably need to deposit a significant chunk of change (think: several thousand dollars) to get started.

Another option for those who want to do as little research as possible is to open an account with a robo-adviser , like Betterment or Robinhood. These companies use computer algorithms (backed by human research) to create and manage portfolios for their clients, and thus are able to offer their services at a much lower fee than a human investment adviser.

If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, you can open a DIY brokerage account through a firm like TD Ameritrade. Many of these brokerages offer free accounts with low or no account minimums, but you will be on the hook to pay for trade fees and commissions on the assets you buy or sell — and to do the research to make those trades good ones.

Finally, there’s a growing class of investment apps, like Stash and Acorns, that make it simple to invest right from your cell phone, even if you have very little cash to get started with.

Stash, for instance, will let you open an account with just $ 5, and Acorns uses “round-ups” to slowly grow your account with spare change you’ll barely even notice has gone missing from your bank account.

3. Research Your Investment Options

Having an active investment account is a good start, but it’s not enough. Now it’s time for the real fun: actually investing your money!

Of course, as we mentioned above, investing is risky. You don’t want to just throw your money into any old set of stocks.

And by the way, stocks aren’t the only asset you should look at: You’ll also want to consider adding some bonds and mutual funds to the mix.

“Baskets” of Assets: Mutual Funds and ETFs

So what, exactly, is a mutual fund? As mentioned above, a mutual fund as pre-built set of stock market assets — which means it’s an easy way to bring diversification into your portfolio.

Diversification is uber-important when you’re investing, and the reason why can be summed up in a well-worn cliche: You don’t want to carry all of your eggs in the same basket.

By investing across a wide range of asset types, including companies in different industries and locations, you can help safeguard your portfolio against a total meltdown should any one sector have a downturn.

Mutual funds are usually put together and managed by a financial professional or firm, and require a significant minimum investment — often $ 3,000 or more depending on the management company.

There are, however, mutual fund companies that offer lower minimums for beginners; Vanguard’s STAR Fund, for instance, carries a minimum initial investment of $ 1,000.

ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are similar to mutual funds in that they bundle a range of investment products in one simple asset, but in general they’re not actively managed by a human being — which means they carry lower expense ratios than mutual funds do. And unlike mutual funds, you can buy ETFs on the market directly just like you would shares of stock; an ETF’s price varies based on market value, just like stocks do, and there’s no expensive minimum buy-in amount.

How Much Control Do You Want?

The specific type of investment account you choose will depend on how much control you want.

For example, the average 401(k) plan only offers about a dozen different investment options, often exclusively made up of mutual funds. But if you open an IRA through a brokerage, you’ll have access to the whole wide (and sometimes overwhelming) world of the stock market.

Many of the investment apps on the market deal exclusively with ETFs, though you may be able to choose specific investment options based on your financial goals or values. For example, Stash offers ETFs that specifically back companies that support green initiatives and LGBT equality, and also allows you to buy fractional shares of individual stocks at major companies, like Amazon.

Determining the Best Assets for Your Portfolio

Once you have an understanding of what your account offers, you can start to look into the specifics of individual assets.

Note: We are not investment experts, and are in no way shelling out any specific investment advice here at The Penny Hoarder, but we can help explain how to do the research.

For one thing, you can look up the historical performance of a prospective asset by searching its ticker symbol — that three- or four-character abbreviation next to its full name — through an investment research firm like Morningstar. (Honestly, these days, you can also just use Google.)

And if you have your heart set on investing in a particular company or industry, it’s worth doing some additional homework.

For example, major companies like Amazon issue quarterly results and annual reports for shareholders, all of which are available to the public and can give you an idea of how well those stocks are performing. Want to put your money behind, say, medical marijuana? Keeping tabs on legalization proceedings could work to your benefit.

Finally, don’t forget the golden rule of investing: diversify, diversify, diversify! Purchasing assets across a wide range of industries and classes can help you ride out market turbulence.

4. Contribute to Your Investment Account Regularly

The power of compound interest means your money makes money… so you need to make sure you keep putting money into your account! The more you invest, the more you’ll earn, and it’s all too easy to stop, or “forget about,” making contributions.

Your 401(k) will defer your wages automatically with each pay period, but if you have a separate account with a brokerage, we recommend setting up regular, automatic withdrawals.

Pro Tip

Even saving $ 10 a week adds up to a contribution of more than $ 500 in a year’s time — which could easily become a hefty four-figure sum over the course of a decade.

Play around with a compound interest calculator to see how quickly that petty cash can grow. For instance, given a modest interest rate of 6% and a 10-year timeline, your $ 10 a week would grow to about $ 7,200 — and about $ 2,000 of that would be interest, passive income earned at no extra effort of yours.

Mobile investing apps make this even easier, often allowing you to connect your primary spending accounts and “round up” each dollar, essentially investing the spare change you wouldn’t miss anyway.

5. Keep an Eye on Your Portfolio’s Performance — But Don’t Get Hasty!

The long-term, “buy and hold” investment strategy doesn’t mean you should ignore your portfolio entirely, of course. Sometimes, making performance-based changes can increase your returns… but again, reacting to scary headlines is short-sighted.

The best way to get help with allocating your assets is to talk to a financial professional, but keep in mind that even they can’t predict the future. That said, if you notice one of your holdings continually underperforming, it might be worthwhile to seek out a different option.

Alternatives to Investing in the Stock Market

A house is built out of blocks.

We’ve covered investing in the stock market, which may be the most accessible way to start earning passive income, but other ways to invest may better fit your financial goals.

Property investments can be a viable alternative to stock investments, especially if you’re not super jazzed about putting your money behind virtual ownership. Having a tangible item, be it a piece of real estate, a bar of gold, or a hand-crafted urn, can feel a lot more reliable than watching numbers inflate and deflate online.

Of course, this investment strategy requires a lot of knowledge to pull off successfully. You need to be able to identify what goods or properties will increase in value over time.

Real estate is a relatively low-risk asset — though, as evidenced by the 2008 fiasco, even that’s not foolproof. But if you want to learn more (or get started even if you don’t have the kind of cash to make a down payment), check out our guide to real estate investing.

If you’re wondering about bitcoin, that’s basically a form of property investment, too: Investors might purchase a bitcoin — or, more realistically, part of one, now that they’re worth over $ 3,500 apiece? — not to spend it as currency, but rather in the hopes that its dollar value keeps increasing.

For more information on exactly how this weird cryptocurrency thing works, learn how bitcoin works from this post, written by one of our bravest (and most articulate) writers.

Finally, CDs and money market accounts are low-risk investment vehicles available through most banks and large financial firms. They offer higher yields than the average savings account without exposing your money to the whims of the market.

But as we said above, safety doesn’t necessarily mean success… and you could be missing out on more significant returns if you’d invested those funds in the stock market. Even the highest-yield CDs rarely offer more than 3% APY.

Scary though it may seem, stock market investing isn’t actually a bogeyman — and in fact, getting familiar with it is the best way to catapult your finances from “just fine” to “phenomenal.”

Good luck on the trading floor, Penny Hoarders. And don’t forget: keep calm, and stay invested!

Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool, Roads & Kingdoms and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The secret to glowing spot-free skin even on your period

Words by Maisie Bovingdon

Spots.  We all get them, and we all hate them.  As much as we try to cover them up with concealer or foundation, they still manage to make themselves seen.

There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Within a 28-day cycle our complexion can change drastically; from crystal clear one minute, to pussy pimples the next, super dry and flaky to oily and unpleasantly shiny. We just can’t win.

But experts at Swedish brand FOREO has revealed exactly why our skin changes in the run up to our period, during and afterwards, and the tips to take to have radiant and acne-free skin even if it is your TOTM.

best way to cover a spot

Stage 1: The Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 5)

The first phase starts with day one of your period, and it tends to be the peak time of the month when we are most vulnerable to breakouts *sigh *.

Within the first few days of Aunty Flo making her return some some people may feel spots brewing under the skin’s surface, and redness around the face, which means the dreaded zit is planning to show its face – literally.

During this time our bodies start to produce excess oestrogen, which triggers the production of oil and sebum, and causes skin – the main contributors to spots.

As much as we may feel sluggish during our period, it is paramount we take extra care of our skin by gently exfoliating and cleansing the face, especially the T-zone, which is often the main problem area as it is the most oily, as well as our chin, and around the nose too.

To use: FOREO recommend the Luna mini 2 device, with its small brushes that can removed 99.5% of dirt hiding in all crevices.

Stage 2: The Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 15)

The mid-point in a woman’s cycle is when we notice our skin has become dry and flaky, in comparison to the week before, which left us feeling like a grease ball, all because our oestrogen levels have dropped.

During these 10 days our skin, and body, is crying out for some extra TLC.  While last week we needed to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse, now it is time to hydrate yourself to repair the skin’s barrier after a week of going through the wars (well that’s what it feels like anyway, right?)

Hydrating masks, deeply nourishing moisturisers, vitamin sprays, and simply drinking all the H20 will work wonders on the skin and help to achieve the desired glow.

To use: Foreo H2Overdose UFO Advanced Collection Mask or Ultra Hydrating Face Mask for Dry Skin, which is infused with hyaluronic acid to combat dry skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Face wash

Face wash

Stage 3: The Luteal Phase (Day 15 to 28)

No, we didn’t know it was called that either, but it’s the last leg of your cycle, and the prime time to show off your radiant skin in all the selfies your camera roll can handle.

During these two-weeks ahead of your next period your blood circulation will increase, thanks to oestrogen, which instantly leaves us looking fresh faced with a bit more colour in our cheeks.  Although oestrogen will start to rise again it is not to the point where our face becomes too oily.

Our skin in this fortnight will easily absorb ingredients, which is why we still need to be mindful what we put on our skin, and in our bodies too.

A FOREO expert has advised women to use cleansers containing amino acids, and antioxidants including vitamin E and vitamin C, to boost cell function, collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and UV damage.

To use: FOREO advise using the Micro-Foam Cleanser because its lightweight formula, which is filled with skin-replenishing amino acids and vitamins, will provide a deep but gentle cleanse.

Spot-free, glowing skin all year round we’re ready for you!

Note: Every woman’s skin and menstrual cycle is different depending on their hormones, so listen to your skin too. 

 

The post The secret to glowing spot-free skin even on your period appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Hurricane Michael was even more powerful than scientists initially thought

hurricane michael category 5

The science of tracking hurricanes has seen huge advancements in recent years, allowing forecasters to better predict paths and overall impact of the large storms before they actually reach land. Warning systems and preventative measures are getting better, but it’s an imperfect science, and even measuring the sheer power of a hurricane as it’s happening can be difficult.

In a new announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in October of last year on Florida, has now been upgraded from a category 4 storm to a category 5. This makes the storm the first category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew.

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  1. Hurricane Michael was even more powerful than scientists initially thought

Hurricane Michael was even more powerful than scientists initially thought originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 19 Apr 2019 at 22:07:21 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Huawei says it hasn’t talked with Apple about any 5G chip deal — even though CEO Ren is ‘open’ to it

Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, told CNBC over the weekend that the company is "open" to selling its 5G chips to Apple. But the two companies have not spoken about the subject, another top Huawei boss said Tuesday.
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Here’s How to Manage Your Credit Like a Millionaire (Even If You Live on Ramen)

You dream big. In fact, you imagine dining on caviar while relaxing on a yacht.

Nevermind that you are actually chowing down on some ramen on your futon. It’s all a state of mind, right?

Yes and no. Take that state of mind just a bit further and start practicing what you dream. You know that if you want to make it big, you need to manage your credit score, so why not start do it like a millionaire?

Thinking like a millionaire when it comes to your credit score could help you get closer to living your caviar dreams. Here are a few tips:

1. Pay Your Credit Cards On Time and Get Paid Back

Paying your credit card bills in full each month is an absolute must if you want to boost your credit score. In a perfect world, you’ll pay off your balance every one or two weeks to keep your utilization low (more on that below).

So why even use them?

If you get the right credit card, it will pay you back. Look for credit cards that have no annual fee but offer rewards like cash back, travel points or some other perk.

If you’re not sure which credit card is right for you, Credit Sesame can help. Credit Sesame, a personal credit-score management service, can pair you up with the best credit cards to keep your credit score healthy.

Using credit cards helps you build a credit history. Paying them off boosts your payment history. By choosing the right card, you could also be flying first class or treating yourself to a bottle of bubbly with your rewards.

Now that’s living rich.

2. Have More Credit Than You Use

Can you imagine the credit limit on a millionaire’s card?

Now, do you think they use all of that? To keep your credit score in great shape, keep your credit utilization below 30%. That means, however much credit you have available through credit cards or lines of credit, only use 30% or less.

To find out what your credit utilization is, log into Credit Sesame. It breaks your credit score down into separate categories and grades them so you can see exactly what needs attention. If your credit utilization gets an “A,” great! If not, Credit Sesame will offer suggestions to better manage your credit.

Even if you’ve let your credit card debt accumulate, take a deep breath. Using Credit Sesame helped this mom pay off nine credit cards and climb out of debt.

If you’ve been good and have been paying your credit cards on time, consider asking the credit card company to increase your spending limit. Here’s the millionaire trick: When you get more credit, don’t use it.

True, you won’t be able to buy a new boat with your card and keep your credit utilization under the desired threshold, but you could probably buy a pretty nifty boat hat. You know, dress for success.

3. Let Your Credit Age Like a Fine Wine

Did you know credit age is a factor in your credit score? Credit Sesame says creditors and lenders like to see an average account age of more than five years.

So, if you are closing out those store cards you haven’t used in a while, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Let them be. In fact, it can be a good idea to charge something on them at least once or twice a year, just to keep the account active and in good standing.

So what happens if you need to get a new loan or credit card? It could bring your score down temporarily because it’s brand new, but don’t fret. Just keep a few older accounts open to keep that average age where you want it. Just one credit card that’s 15 years old can help offset the effect of new credit.

Credit age, while important, only accounts for 15% of your score, so be mindful of it, but don’t lose sleep over it.

4. Diversify Your Credit Like It’s a Millionaire’s Portfolio

You always hear how important it is for an investor to diversify their portfolio. Why? Because if you have millions of dollars in investments, you don’t want all of your eggs in one basket.

Another sneaky part of your credit score is your credit mix. This is based on the types of credit and debt you carry, like car loans, mortgage, credit cards and student loans. Having a diverse credit history shows lenders you have the ability to handle different types of accounts, and that helps boost your score.

Should you go buy a house on a whim like a movie star just to get a mortgage into the mix? Of course not.

But if you’re looking at a home remodel of some type or other expense, consider getting a loan rather than putting it on a credit card. For example, Jerry Morgan told us Credit Sesame helped him realize a car loan could improve his score.

Boom. You’re diversified and rocking your credit score like a big-wig.

5. Be Smart When Shopping Around

Do you think millionaires just buy whatever they want without looking at the cost? A few, maybe, but most of them didn’t get to be millionaires by being frivolous with their money.

And neither should you. If you’re thinking about buying a car or a home, shop around to see who will give you the best interest rate. A few percentage points can mean a lot of money over the course of a loan. Most online marketplaces can give you quotes without impacting your credit score.

To avoid applications and inquiries that could hurt your score, use Credit Sesame to check out your personalized buying power. This shows you what credit cards, loans or mortgage amounts you will likely qualify for before you apply.

Give Your Credit Score the Millionaire Treatment

You don’t have to rake in millions of dollars to have a credit score that shines like the hood ornament on a Mercedes. Just give it a little love and attention and it could actually help you get a little bit closer to that millionaire life.

By managing your credit and boosting your score from good to excellent, you can open opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have. You can get that great mortgage rate. You can get an auto loan rather than buying a beater off Craigslist.

To see where you credit score is right now and to learn how to manage it, sign up for Credit Sesame. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s the coach you need to manage your credit like than a millionaire.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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‘Woke’ injustice: Jussie Smollett’s escape isn’t even the beginning

The expunging of the 16-count felony indictment against actor Jussie Smollett for faking a hate crime against himself is being treated as a manifestation of Chicago machine politics. Feminist attorney Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, had contacted the Cook County prosecutor, Kim Foxx, about the case on behalf…
Opinion | New York Post

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Get ready to pay more rent, even as home prices cool off

Home prices may be cooling off right now, but rents are heating up yet again. After taking a breather in 2018, rents for both single-family homes and multifamily apartments are now rising at the fastest pace in nearly a year, according to Zillow.
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No link found between MMR vaccine and autism, even among children with other risk factors for autism

A nationwide cohort study of all children born in Denmark to Danish-born mothers between 1999 through 2010 concluded that the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not increase the risk of autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases following vaccination.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her

Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her


Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her

After returning to her daytime talk show after a lengthy hiatus, author Michael Arceneaux discusses his never ending love for Wendy Williams—even when she says something that makes him turn off the TV.

I know exactly what I am getting with Wendy Williams—gossip (which, in some cases, I end up fact checking in real time), or unfiltered opinions about race, sex, and gender roles that I either sort of understand or completely want to drown out for the sake of my sanity. Yet I watch The Wendy Williams Show religiously all the same. And earlier this week, Williams knew what her “co-hosts,” the affectionate descriptor for her studio audience, and the millions of viewers watching her daytime talk show at home wanted to hear on her first day back since December.

In the two months since she has been away, Williams has been the subject of both heavy scrutiny and speculation. After noticeably slurring her words on that final episode of 2018, Williams later revealed it was a result of the painkillers she had been using to deal with a fractured shoulder. Then, her return date was pushed back three times, which caused many to wonder if the problem was bigger than it initially had seemed. In the midst of those setbacks came rumors that Williams was “scared” of losing her successful series. Worse, her husband, Kevin Hunter, had been accused of physically abusing Williams—allegedly causing the recent injury she had complained about on-air.

In the first few moments of her Monday episode, Williams teased the irony of the Hot Topics maestro becoming a hot topic herself—but she made us wait for that segment, opting instead to go into her usual routine.

As for her anecdotes, we learned that, even while away, Williams was working out seven times a week for two hours—presumably a nod to her gay fan base who work out at the same minimum and constantly make me regret any consumption of carbs. And she sort of dabbled into more serious matters—like the American healthcare system—acknowledging her privilege and the great medical care it provides. As for the rest of us, with whom she empathized, Wendy acknowledged that even if we have healthcare, we might be afraid to use it. So, if that applies to you, or if you have no insurance and a problem becomes impossible to ignore, Wendy suggested that we try Ambicare. “It’s not all just gunshots in there,” Williams explained. (That ought to be packaged into one of their commercials, TBH.)

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I love you for watching!

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Oh, how I have missed this woman. She behaved exactly the way I anticipated her to. I love her consistency.

There were still moments when I, a writer who spends way too much time online, felt like I knew a few more details about a given story than she seems to have been fed by her sources. I felt this way when she discussed the Jussie Smollett controversy.

As her return episode continued, Williams herself mentioned how sometimes audiences might get pissed off by one thing she says and turn her off—only to return three days later. She’s right as I’ve done this every so often, but she’s like an auntie in my mind—I know we don’t always agree, but who else is on television encouraging Kate Beckinsale to keep enjoying Pete Davidson’s younger penis?

I was never keen on The Wendy Williams Show without Wendy Williams. There were some bright spots in the slew of hosts who filled in for her—Nick Cannon, Sherri Shepherd, and Bevy Smith to name a few—but there’s only one person who can pull off this show completely because it is tailored to her very specific personality and point of view.

There is an intimacy to daytime television—that’s why the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams have fared better than, say, Bethenny Frankel and Harry Connick Jr. I have been listening to Wendy Williams on the radio since college and followed her to daytime TV, so a fill-in can only go so far.

“I’m sorry it took me almost 50 days,” Williams acknowledged. “I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry, but I can say, it’s not going to happen anymore, and I feel good!”

I needed her messy ass like I needed air, and obviously, “messy ass” is a compliment in this instance.

Speaking of mess, when your career is largely built on touching on the messy lives of others, then people are going to expect you to address whatever gossip spurs from your own life. So Williams did just that near the end of Hot Topics.

Noticeably looking down before doing so, Williams began with a shout out to her husband. “I know what you’ve been seeing and I know what the streets have been talking about,” she said. She went on to show an old picture of the two before eventually adding, “I’m still very much in love with my husband.” She next advised that folks not “ask me about mine” until they notice “this”—pointing to her wedding ring—gone. Despite expressing that “marriages have ebbs and flows,” she emphasized that when it comes her wedding ring, “It ain’t going anywhere. Not in this lifetime.”

This explanation has received mixed reviews online, but I’m honestly surprised she said anything. Whenever she’d previously address talk of infidelity in their marriage, she would only flash her ring. Whatever the case, I wish Wendy Williams nothing but wellness and happiness. And I also hope she keeps her word that she never leaves me alone for this long again.

P.S. I was really into her bob. Yes, I had to note this somewhere. I’d be an awful person if I didn’t acknowledge such a top notch wig.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Opinion: I need Wendy Williams on TV even if I sometimes pretend I didn’t hear her appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Your brain makes decisions before you even realize it

brain decision study

You make countless decisions every day that range from mundane to incredibly important, but what part of you is actually making those decisions? We all assume that our brains are focused on whatever task we’re tackling, but a new study suggests that your brain is usually working a few steps ahead all on its own, and it makes your decisions long before you consciously think about them.

The study, which was published in Scientific Reports, reveals that what we often think of as free will and our ability to make decisions on the fly isn’t nearly as cut-and-dry. Your brain, it turns out, might be running the show largely in the background.

Continue reading…

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  1. Your brain makes decisions before you even realize it

Your brain makes decisions before you even realize it originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 6 Mar 2019 at 23:07:34 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Challenges ahead even if a US-China trade deal is reached: ANALYSIS

Expert says deal likely but warns US against relying on personal diplomacy.
ABC News: Top Stories

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Netflix is testing even more expensive subscription prices

Netflix Price Hike

Every once in a while, we see Netflix test new plans in certain markets, and most of them involve price hikes. The same goes for the latest test that was spotted over in Italy, where the streaming giant is toying with a couple of different scenarios. First spotted by Italian-language blog SmartWorld, the tests suggest that Netflix is toying with the idea of either raising Standard and Premium subscription, or increasing all of its prices across the board.

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  1. Netflix is testing even more expensive subscription prices

Netflix is testing even more expensive subscription prices originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 28 Feb 2019 at 10:56:04 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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London Label Vin and Omi Goes Even Greener for Fall 2019

NATURAL WOMAN: The zero-waste concept label Vin and Omi served up a green cocktail of a collection this seasonal. Dresses at the fashion show were made from organic nettle, cow parsley and linen fabric from the English Cotswolds, while olive green and mandarin latex fabrics were sourced from the brand’s plantation in Malaysia.
Chunky knitwear was fashioned from “combed-off” alpaca wool that had been donated from Vin and Omi’s friends, while Jodie Kidd returned to the runway after 10 years, opening the show in a floral-print dress.
Other garments were made from recycled plastic bottles while the fish-shaped bags came from old vinyl film posters, part of a long-term strategic partnership with the outdoor media owner Ocean Outdoor. Those vinyl pieces will eventually be developed into a retail line, with sales and profits to be donated to the Marine Conservation Trust.
Vin and Omi also got their green fingers on the models’ makeup: Decorative plasters on the models’ faces were made from bamboo fiber while metal foil flowers on the hats and jackets came from cans that had been collected by the homeless in Birmingham, England. The design duo also showed off a biodegradable perfume holder that was designed for Floral Street, the eco-friendly fragrance label that partnered

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Warren: Trump ‘may not even be a free person’ by 2020

President Donald Trump “may not even be a free person” by the time Election Day comes around, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said on her first full day of campaigning as a declared presidential candidate.


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Even some Republicans balk as Trump targets US spy chiefs

Even after two years, President Donald Trump’s assaults on US spy chiefs are shocking coming from a commander in chief.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Even Roger Federer Needed His Security Pass at the Australian Open

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Maybe Roger Federer isn’t as famous as we thought.

Turns out that even he must carry his tournament ID to get where he’s try to go at the Australian Open.

Rules are rules, after all.

So what if Federer is a six-time champion at Melbourne Park … the owner of 20 Grand Slam titles in all … a man who’s spent more weeks ranked No. 1 than any other … and one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet?

A video showing Federer stopped by a security guard in a hallway outside a locker room at the Grand Slam tournament made the rounds on Twitter on Saturday, drawing a mix of amazement and amusement.

In the clip, the guard is seen indicating to Federer that he was missing his Australian Open accreditation pass. Players, coaches, officials, members of the media and others are given lanyards with badges that have a name, a photo, tournament role and a bar code that can be scanned at security checkpoints.

Federer didn’t argue. He stood patiently, waiting until he was joined by members of his entourage. That’s when he was allowed to proceed and go through the door.

Saturday was a practice day for Federer at Melbourne Park.

He is scheduled to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round on Sunday.

Sports – TIME

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Hate Doing Taxes? Here’s How to Easily File Them — Without Even Leaving Home

Do you procrastinate on taxes until April 15 every year? Does the sight of a W-2 form make your eyes cross? Does pricy tax software make you want to run and hide?

C’mon, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Help is available at an affordable price, and you don’t even have to leave your home.

That’s what you’ll get from H&R Block, the biggest tax-preparation company in the world. Because they’ve been in business since 1955, you might think they’re stodgy and old-fashioned. Nope — they’re keeping up with the times, rolling out innovative new ways to make filing your taxes easy and affordable.

Tax Filing From Home

If your taxes are super simple, you can file for free from your phone, tablet or computer with H&R Block Free. You can also file for free if you’re paying tuition or receiving student loans.

The Penny Hoarder writer Carson Kohler tried H&R Block Free last year and was pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick it was.

“I poured myself a giant cup of coffee and settled in for the afternoon,” she wrote. “Little did I know, this would be over in about 20 minutes.”

She downloaded the H&R Block app on her phone and created an account. That made it easy to switch over to her computer at any point without losing any of her information. She snapped a photo of her W-2 and answered a few quick questions. Once she reviewed her information, her part was basically done.

If your taxes are a bit more complicated, you might need to pay a small fee to file online. These options include:

  • Deluxe Online Tax Filing: This is similar to the free service, because you do it all online. If your taxes are a little more complicated — for example, if you own a home or have children — this is a better fit. It’s only $ 29.99 — not free, but really affordable for professional tax prep services.
  • Premium Online Tax Filing: Use this if you’re a freelancer or if you own stocks or other investments. It costs $ 49.99.
  • Self-Employed Online Tax Filing: Use this if you’re self-employed or a small business owner. It costs $ 79.99.

Right now, Penny Hoarders get a 35% discount on all of these.

Professional Tax Prep Can Be a Godsend

The exterior building of H&R block.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to have your taxes done by a professional, you’d have to drive to a tax office in person. You’d sit there and make small talk while an accountant flipped through your documents, tapped on a calculator and figured out your deductions.

These days, you can skip the trip. With H&R Block Tax Pro Go, you’ll upload your documents online, and a tax professional will do everything for you and get back to you within five days. Prices start at $ 59 but can increase depending on how complicated your taxes are.

It can help to have a pro do your income taxes, because Uncle Sam keeps messing around with the tax codes. Some new rules are coming into play this tax season. For instance, the standard deduction is higher, but the personal exemption has been eliminated.

If you don’t know what that means, join the club. Maybe it’s time to call in a pro.

H&R Block’s services can help ensure you get the best refund possible at a price you can afford.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. A homeowner with two kids and freelance income, he hasn’t done his own taxes in years.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The Golden Globes Were an Embarrassment Not Even Sandra Oh Could Save

Paul Drinkwater/Getty

This awards season thus far has been a scorching, sizzling, flaming mess. Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards just gleefully leapt onto the fire.

From the Oscars’ host fiasco to terrible, tone-deaf films becoming category frontrunners, to the struggle to find continued meaning and gravitas a year after the galvanizing first #MeToo-era ceremonies, the Golden Globes was already set in stormy weather. But it also had the potential to clear the skies to much-needed sunshine.

There was tangible excitement for hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, an unlikely and beloved pair. This is the venue where Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey delivered acceptance speeches that doubled as rousing sermons dictating our entire national discourse. Even the Globes’ notorious kookiness was promising: Times are tough, but at the very least we’ll probably get to see Lady Gaga take home an award. What fun!

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Golden Globes Were an Embarrassment Not Even Sandra Oh Could Save

Paul Drinkwater/Getty

This awards season thus far has been a scorching, sizzling, flaming mess. Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards just gleefully leapt onto the fire.

From the Oscars’ host fiasco to terrible, tone-deaf films becoming category frontrunners, to the struggle to find continued meaning and gravitas a year after the galvanizing first #MeToo-era ceremonies, the Golden Globes was already set in stormy weather. But it also had the potential to clear the skies to much-needed sunshine.

There was tangible excitement for hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, an unlikely and beloved pair. This is the venue where Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey delivered acceptance speeches that doubled as rousing sermons dictating our entire national discourse. Even the Globes’ notorious kookiness was promising: Times are tough, but at the very least we’ll probably get to see Lady Gaga take home an award. What fun!

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The Point: Does Mitt Romney’s op-ed even matter?

There’s a tendency to assume Mitt Romney’s op-ed critical of President Donald Trump is a big deal.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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5 Ways You Can Save $1,378 in 2019 (Even if You’re Awful at Saving Money)

The blank slate of a new year is something I always look forward to as January approaches.

It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. The new year is a time to set yourself off on the right foot.

Many of us — myself included — try to commit to financial goals as we make our New Year’s resolutions. We have grand visions of saving more money… but we don’t always have a plan mapped out to make it happen.

That’s where the 52-Week Money Challenge comes in.

You may have caught wind of this challenge on social media around the beginning of January in years past. The premise is simple, but this savings endeavor gets more difficult as the year goes along.

The first week, you save $ 1. The second week, you save $ 2. The third week, you save $ 3…

The idea is to increase the amount you deposit by $ 1 each week until you eventually save $ 52 in week 52, the last week of the year. Stay disciplined and stick to the plan, and you’ll have $ 1,378 in your account at the end of the year.

Can you imagine what you could do with an extra $ 1,378? Go ahead, I’ll give you a second to dream.

Now let’s get back to reality. While saving over $ 1,000 in one year is wonderful, the classic 52-week challenge isn’t ideal for everyone. It’s good for those who love to raise the bar higher after each goal they reach. But others shudder at the thought of saving over $ 200 in the month of December. (You’d need to save $ 49, $ 50, $ 51 and $ 52 in the last four weeks of the year.)

The good news is that the 52-week challenge can be customized to work for your financial life.

5 Alternative Ways to Conquer the 52-Week Money Challenge

We’ve come up with five new ways to complete the 52-Week Money Challenge. You’ll still make weekly deposits into your savings account. You’ll still end up with $ 1,378 by year’s end. These options just have you going about the savings plan in different ways.

Method No. 1 — Odd Numbers Up, Even Numbers Down

A GIF plays showing how to save money

This approach is for those who’d like the challenge to get easier as the year winds down.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You start the year saving money on an odd-number basis, increasing the amount each week by $ 2. So in week one, you’ll save $ 1. In week two, you’ll save $ 3. In week 3, you’ll save $ 5. Keep the pattern going until you’re at week 26, when you’ll save $ 51.
  2. Once you hit week 27 (halfway through the year), you’ll switch your savings amounts to even numbers, starting with $ 52. From there, you’ll decrease the amount you’re saving each week by $ 2. So you’ll save $ 52 in week 27, $ 50 in week 28, $ 48 in week 29 and so on. Once you hit the last week of the year, you’ll only be depositing $ 2 into your account to reach that $ 1,378 total.

While you’ll need to put away large sums of money in the months of June and July, you’ll stress less about saving money at the end of the year.

Method No. 2 — Quarterly Breakdowns

A woman puts in a dollar bill in a piggy bank.

Maybe you like the idea of saving more money each week, but you’d rather break up the time frame into smaller chunks. With this approach, you’ll save incrementally each quarter, which is every 13 weeks.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Deposit $ 1 into your savings account the first week. For the following weeks in the quarter, you’ll add $ 4 to the amount you deposited the previous week. So for the second week, you’ll deposit $ 5. For the third week, you’ll deposit $ 9. Keep up the pattern until you’ve reached week 13, when you’ll deposit $ 49.
  2. Start the second quarter of the year by depositing $ 2. You’ll be in week 14 at this point. Start the pattern of adding $ 4 to each subsequent deposit amount until you get through week 26. So you’ll deposit $ 6 in week 15, $ 10 in week 16 and so on until week 26, when you’ll deposit $ 50.
  3. Start the third quarter of the year by depositing $ 3. You’re now in week 27. Start up the pattern of adding $ 4 to the amount you deposit each week. In week 28, you’ll deposit $ 7. In week 29, you’ll deposit $ 11. Continue this pattern through week 39, when you’ll deposit $ 51.
  4. Week 40 will be the first week of the last quarter of the year. You’ll start off by depositing $ 4 that week, and then you’ll jump back into the pattern you established in the previous quarters. You’ll need to deposit $ 8 in week 41 and $ 12 in week 42. You’ll keep at it until you’ve deposited $ 52 in week 52, resulting in a total yearly savings of $ 1,378.

Method No. 3 — Random Lottery

A woman pulls a piece of paper from a jar

This method is for those who like to mix things up and not follow a predictable path. You’ll choose a different dollar amount at random each week to reach the savings goal.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get 52 slips of paper, and write an amount from $ 1 to $ 52 on each piece. Fold each slip of paper and put them in a jar.
  2. Blindly select a slip of paper each week. The amount on the paper you pull will be the amount you deposit that week. Discard each slip of paper after you select it. Instead of doing weekly drawings, you could also create a chart or spreadsheet that outlines how much you’ll deposit each week. At the beginning of the year, you can draw slips of paper for all 52 weeks and write down on your spreadsheet how much you’ll save each week.

This approach to saving is completely arbitrary. You might deposit $ 5 one week and then $ 50 the next. There really isn’t a method to the madness.

Method No. 4 — Semicontrolled Lottery

A woman pulls out a piece of paper from a jar.

This method is a hybrid between completely random selection and incremental savings deposits.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Write deposit amounts from $ 1 to $ 52 on slips of paper.
  2. Separate the slips of paper into four piles: $ 1 to $ 13 in one group, $ 14 to $ 26 in the next group, $ 27 to $ 39 in another group and $ 40 to $ 52 in the last group.
  3. Fold the slips of paper, and put each group into its own jar. Label them Jar One, Jar Two, Jar Three and Jar Four.
  4. Blindly select a slip of paper from Jar One in the first week. Pull from Jar Two the second week, then Jar Three in the third week and Jar Four in the fourth week. Discard each slip of paper after you select it for the week. Go back to Jar One in week five, and repeat that pattern through the end of the year. You can also choose to do the selection for the entire year at the beginning of the year, using a chart or spreadsheet to record which amounts you picked from the jars for each week.

With this method, you’re guaranteed to be depositing a mix of dollar amounts each month — some on the lower end and some on the higher end. Although you’re still incorporating some random selection, you won’t ever run into the possibility of making four deposits over $ 40 in one month.

Method No. 5 — Steady Savings

A woman counts $  26.50

If you thrive on consistency, this option is perfect for you.

Instead of varying the amount of money you save weekly, you can deposit $ 26.50 into your savings account each week for 52 weeks to reach that $ 1,378 goal by year’s end.

This is a simple, uniform approach to meeting this money-saving challenge. Sure, it may not be as fun (for those of us who think saving is fun in the first place), but it gets the job done.

You don’t have to think twice about how much you need to save each week. In fact, you can automate your deposits at the beginning of the year and not think about them at all.

The Most Important Lesson: Just Start Saving

Now that we showed you it’s possible to save over $ 1,000 in one year, the question is: Which method will you choose?

We’ve highlighted several options, but keep in mind there are many other ways to customize a money-saving challenge to your liking.

Maybe you get paid every other week, and you want to make your deposits biweekly so they fall on payday. Perhaps you’d rather commit to depositing money in your savings account once a month. Or maybe the bulk of your income comes from tips, and you prefer to save your cash on a daily basis.

You also don’t have to constrict yourself to saving $ 1,378. (I have to admit, it’s a pretty odd amount to stick with.) If your budget is tight and saving $ 52 in one week seems impossible at any time of the year, you could cut the suggested weekly deposits in half. You’ll still net $ 689 by the end of the year. Or maybe you have a bit of wiggle room in your budget and you want to double the weekly deposits, which will give you $ 2,756 in savings at the end of the year.

No matter how you choose to do it, the important thing is that you’re consciously making the effort to save. Get in the habit of regularly putting money aside so that when 2020 rolls around, saving money won’t even seem like a challenge to you.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll probably go with method No. 5.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Skipping breakfast even once a week might increase risk of diabetes

Skipping breakfast four times a week increased risk of diabetes 55 percent.
ABC News: Health

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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Before wrapping up this roller coaster year, test how much you remember (even if you’d rather forget).

Entertainment 1. What movie made the most dough in the U.S. this year without featuring superheroes? A. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” B. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” C. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” 2. Which Drake song inspired the year’s biggest viral dance challenge? A. “God’s Plan” B. “Nice for What” C. “In My Feelings” 3….
Entertainment | New York Post

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Even Weirder Heroes and Other Things We Want to See in the ‘Spider-Verse’ Sequel

Two weeks before Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse even hit theaters, Sony had already green-lit a sequel and at least one spin-off. That’s right, Sony are doubling down on their animated Spidey universe. Why wouldn’t they? The response of critics and fans has been fantastic, with many reviews quickly praising the movie as one of the best Spider-Man movies to ever swing onto screens – with Miles Morales being proof that anyone can be a hero. So what should a Spider-Verse sequel look like? We’ve got a few ideas.

Spider-Gwen + Miles



From the footage we’ve seen in trailers and exclusive clips, it looks like Miles and Spider-Gwen are going to get on quite well, and it would be great to see them team-up once again. Hopefully, they can still travel in between universes by the end of the movie, because the pair have an interesting dynamic in the comics that the animated sequel could quite easily adapt.

In a plotline that started in Spider-Man #12 and finished in Spider-Gwen #15, Miles’ Father disappeared and was discovered on Earth-65. Gwen and Miles teamed up to investigate why, and found that Miles’ Dad was actually the Scorpion on Gwen’s Earth. But when the pair also stumbled on a reality where they were married, they decided to see what would happen as a couple. As mentioned, the series only included two issues – so the relationship didn’t last too long. But figuring out that they work better as friends would definitely be a mature way of approaching a relationship. Regardless of how it plays out, who doesn’t want to see an upside down kiss between two dimension-crossed lovers?

 

New Villains



With new superhero movies always comes new villains. Sure, Wilson Fisk is an interesting main villain to use in a new animated franchise, but hopefully the sequel uses the opportunity to include new adaptations of classic characters. Since we’ve already seen the Ultimate version of the Green Goblin, what about other terrifying versions of the Goblin persona? There’s always the orange hooded Hobgoblin, or if Norman Osborn acquired a symbiote he could become Red Goblin.

Spider-Man has such a rich history of villains that Sony have plenty to pick from. The animated nature of the Spider-Verse franchise gives them so much more scope to go wild and crazy. You want to see Hydro-Man and The Rhino? Sure thing. An adaptation of The Clone Saga with The Jackal? It could work… Hello world, meet Marvel Zombies. Okay, maybe they won’t touch the clone fiasco… It seems like they’re committed to providing a captivating backstory if Kingpin’s story is anything to go by, so hopefully whichever villain they choose gets the same treatment.

 

Venom



Sony have just kick-started an incredibly popular live-action franchise with Venom, and although it wasn’t a full-horror movie, it wasn’t exactly kid-friendly either. Putting Eddie Brock and the Symbiote into a Spider-Verse movie introduces a younger audience to the character. Even from a profit perspective, Sony still gets more out of those rights. Let’s not forget, this wouldn’t even have to break the timeline of the original Venom film since Sony own both properties. They could quite easily have Eddie voiced by Tom Hardy and acknowledge his previous appearance.

Plus, it could also be a way of branching out into new territory for Venom. If the writers want to stick down the ‘alternate versions of a character’ route, there’s always the recent Venomverse storyline to adapt. That way, we could see a variety of heroes and villains get their own symbiotes! Picture Miles Morales trying to explain to Eddie Brock that his Venom Blast doesn’t have that name because of the Symbiote? Phil Lord and Christopher Miller could easily turn that into a hilarious exchange between the hero and the anti-hero. You know it makes sense, Sony.

 

Morlun and the Inheritors



For a film with ‘Spider-Verse’ in the title, it seems to remarkably miss a key element of the original storyline of the same name. Back in 2014, the huge event spanned most of the Spider-Man related titles, and brought a multiversal threat to anyone who could spin a web. Morlun and his family, the Inheritors were seeking out anyone with Spider powers, also known as Spider-Totems. They kill any Totem they find to absorb their life force as food. Couldn’t they just eat normal food like the rest of us?

Miles Morales and Peter Parker recruit alternate versions of Ben Reilly, Jessica Drew and even Uncle Ben to fight against the family of energy vampires that threaten the entire Spider-Verse. Considering Into the Spider-Verse has just introduced wider audiences to parallel universes and alternative versions of popular characters, a sequel could take that idea and run wild. The original Spider-Verse storyline would be a great way to do so.

 

Even Weirder Spider-Heroes



So, you thought Spider-Ham was weird? Well, do we have some stranger heroes for you. If the Spider-Verse sequel is going to double down on the alternative takes on Spider-Man, then it really needs to prove that it can go weirder. Ever heard of Golden Oldie? It’s a version of Aunt May who became the Herald of Galactus on her Earth. No, that’s not a joke. That’s an actual thing that happened in comics. But seriously, there are literally hundreds of different Spider-Men and Women waiting to be brought onto the big screen.

We all know that movies like to use montages to speed a story along. If Miles and Peter need to recruit other Spider-Heroes and go dimension hopping, it would be a great way to showcase some of the weird and wonderful characters populating the multiverse. How about Earth-311, where Peter Parquagh happens to live in the year 1602, in London? Again, not a joke. There’s Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O’Hara – who has one of the most impressive Spider-Man designs ever. Or perhaps Ben Reilly with his hooded costume and his clone backstory!

However Sony decides to move forward with the Spider-Verse franchise, they have an entire multiverse to explore.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse swings into theaters on December 14.

The post Even Weirder Heroes and Other Things We Want to See in the ‘Spider-Verse’ Sequel appeared first on FANDOM.

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Invasive tick species could have an even larger impact on the US than first feared

longhorned ticks

Late last month the CDC issued a warning about an invasive species of tick that has begun to spread in the United States. Native to Asia, the ticks are gaining a foothold here in the U.S. and they pose a serious threat to both humans as well as animals like livestock and pets.

First spotted stateside a couple of years ago, the parasite is beginning to spread at an alarming rate, and a new study forecasting its relentless march was published this week in the Journal of Medical Entomology. The bad news is that the a huge portion of the country is perfectly suited to allow the ticks to spread. The good news? Well, there really isn’t any.

Continue reading…

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  2. The one Sonos speaker missing from Black Friday and Cyber Week deals is finally on sale

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  1. Monster Galaxy S10 leak reveals new details about the phone, including launch dates and pricing
  2. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ might not need time travel to undo the ‘Infinity War’ deaths
  3. Vitaminwater will pay you $ 100,000 if you give up your smartphone for a full year

Invasive tick species could have an even larger impact on the US than first feared originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 13 Dec 2018 at 23:06:13 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Smartphone camera designs are about to get even crazier

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Galaxy S10

When the Galaxy S10 launches in February, it will be available in four versions, reports say, complete with four distinct camera setups. We’re looking at combinations of single and dual-lens selfie cams, as well as multi-lens rear cameras — that’s anywhere from two to four cameras on the back.

But a new leak tells us smartphone camera design is about to get even crazier in 2019, with one of Samsung’s most significant competitors working on a different multi-lens camera module for next year.

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  2. Today’s best deals: iPads at all-time low prices, Philips Hue sale, Instant Pot, Sonos, DNA tests, more

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  1. Leaked images show the Galaxy S10 will have a feature that’s no longer available on iPhones
  2. One more hint that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ will bring back all the fallen heroes
  3. AirPods sound so much better with this little $ 12 accessory

Smartphone camera designs are about to get even crazier originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 12 Dec 2018 at 19:37:23 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Even When Not In Rome, Eat A Mediterranean Diet To Cut Heart Disease Risk

Once again, your mother was right. You really do need to eat your vegetables. And while you are at it, put down the bacon and pick up the olive oil, because new research supports the contention that switching to a Mediterranean diet could significantly decrease the risk of heart disease.

According to a study published Friday in JAMA Network Open, people who followed this type of diet had 25 percent less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the course of 12 years.

The diet’s components make sense to anyone who follows nutrition news. Avoid red meat in favor of “good” fats like fish and poultry. Swap out salt for herbs and spices. Ditch butter and margarine and opt for olive oil instead. Most important, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Nuts are good, so are whole grains. And, every once in a while, have a glass of red wine.

Since the 1950s, researchers have pointed out this diet’s possible cardiovascular benefits. More recently, it has been credited with addressing any number of ills, including Alzheimer’s disease, asthma and helping pregnant women control factors that lead to high-birth-weight babies and contribute to obesity risk factors as kids grow.

Until Friday’s study, though, no randomized trials had been conducted in the U.S. to determine this diet’s long-term effects. This research also sought to shed light on the molecular underpinnings of why.

The mechanisms by which the Mediterranean diet reduced cardiovascular disease “were sort of a black box,” said Shafqat Ahmad, the lead author of the paper and a researcher in the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We know it reduced cardiovascular risk,” he added, but the precise ways it had this effect over time “are not well understood.”

Ahmad and his co-authors, using a panel of nine biomarkers in blood tests, were able to isolate exactly why the diet reduces heart disease.

The three biggest biological mechanisms were changes in inflammation, blood sugar and body mass index.

Inflammation was the issue for Meg Grigoletti, a 23-year-old graduate student from New Jersey who switched to a Mediterranean diet when she was recovering from back surgery in 2014. Her doctors recommended it to reduce swelling, hoping it would ease the pain in her back and help her migraines.

“It’s more of a lifestyle than a diet,” Grigoletti said. “It taught me what food is good for me and what’s not.”

Researchers followed more than 25,000 women who were part of the Women’s Health Study, a survey of female health professionals older than 45. At the beginning of the study, participants completed a questionnaire on 131 different foods to assess their diets. They were then assigned different “MED scores” on a scale of 1 to 9, based on how closely they followed the Mediterranean diet.

There were three levels, people who scored between zero and 3 were on the low end, 4 to 5 was in the middle and 6 and up was categorized as a high intake of Mediterranean diet foods.

The participants’ cardiovascular health was then tracked for 12 years.

When all was said and done, those in the middle category saw a 23 percent reduction in risk, and the upper category had 28 percent less risk of cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — claiming about 600,000 lives each year. Coronary heart disease is the most common form, killing more than 370,000 people annually. Each year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.

The authors pointed out that these findings do have limitations. For instance, the study relied on self-reported data, which isn’t always accurate — especially when it involves diet choices. The participants, all of whom were female health professionals, also might lean toward healthier behaviors than the rest of the population.

The results of the study weren’t a shock to Dr. Andrew Freeman, the director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver. He wasn’t involved in the study but has been recommending a Mediterranean diet, or a similar version of it that emphasizes vegetables and fruit, to his patients for years.

“There’s a lot of noise out there, but the signal that’s been out there the longest is this kind of plant-based diet is the best.”

He also acknowledged that there is a lot of competing nutritional information swirling around the airwaves and the internet, which amounts to “a whole lot of hype” that makes healthy eating habits a difficult regimen for many consumers.

And doctors often don’t have clear information, either. “The vast majority of cardiologists and health providers in general have very little nutrition training,” Freeman said.

He switched to a mostly plant-based diet after his residency, and lost 35 pounds. He now recommends this approach to his patients, too. He said he has seen his patients’ conditions — heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes — improve.

“Nutrition and lifestyle medicine is the place where there’s a chance of a cure,” Freeman said.

Kaiser Health News

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‘I’m Upset I Even Have to Say This.’ Pete Davidson Addresses Struggle With Borderline Personality Disorder

Pete Davidson has publicly addressed his struggle with borderline personality disorder as well as the bullying he says he has endured because of the mental illness.

The Saturday Night Live cast member, who has recently come under public scrutiny for both his breakup with Ariana Grande and a skit on SNL in which he made a controversial joke about a GOP congressional candidate who lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan, took to Instagram on Monday to share a Notes screenshot in which he spoke out against the way he has been treated by those critical of his behavior. Davidson was diagnosed with BPD in 2017.

The full post read as follows:

I’ve kept my mouth shut. Never mentioned any names, never said a word about anyone or anything. I’m trying to understand how when something happens to a guy the whole entire world just trashes him without any facts or frame of reference. Especially in today’s climate where everyone loves to be offended and upset it truly is mind boggling. I’ve been getting online bullied and in public by people for 9 months. I’ve spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth. I just want you guys to know. No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won’t. I’m upset I even have to say this. To all those holding me down and seeing this for what it is – I see you and I love you.

Davidson has previously spoken about his mental health struggles both on SNL and in interviews. “I’ve been having a lot of problems,” he told Marc Maron on the WTF podcast in September 2017. “This whole year has been a f—ing nightmare. This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this.”

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Instagram is about to get even more cliquey

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Buckle up kidsInstagram is about to get even more cliquey. 

The app added a new “close friends” feature that will let you post Stories that are only viewable to a select group of your followers. What could go wrong, right?

Instagram first teased the feature, then called “favorites,” last year in response to the growing popularity of “finstas,” secondary, often secret, accounts that people use to share content within a smaller circle of friends.

Now, more than a year after it started testing the tool, it’s rolling out “close friends” to everyone. The feature, which will be in the latest version of the app,  allows you to specify whether you want all your followers to be able to view your Story or only the select few whom you’ve designated as “close friends.” Read more…

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A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, ‘no, thanks’

The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new study that explores consumers’ perceptions of today’s transforming retail environment.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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House Dems haven’t even taken over yet and they’re already divided

Democrats don’t assume control of the House until January, but they’re already falling into factions. First come all the members, new and old, who vowed not to support Nancy Pelosi for speaker — mainly because they want new blood, and the longstanding top three House Dems are all 78 or 79. The rebels say they…
Opinion | New York Post

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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show even makes models feel insecure

For the past two months, New Zealand model Georgia Fowler has been preparing to be seen in her underwear by 1.4 billion people. That’s about how many viewers around the world will tune in to watch the Victoria’s Secret fashion show next month after it’s taped on Friday in New York City. This will be…
Living | New York Post

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Adults use Juul e-cigarettes for their intended purpose — to quit smoking — even as teen use surges

Juul's e-cigarettes have gotten a bad rap as federal officials question whether their popular candy flavors are responsible for a spike in teen use. Anecdotal evidence suggests some adults use the nicotine pods as they were intended: to quit smoking.
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Trump makes solemn visit to Pittsburgh, even as officials shun his timing

Local and national officials are declining to appear with President Donald Trump on Tuesday when he visits a grieving Pittsburgh, where funerals for slain congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue are set to begin.


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Billionaire collector shares his secret to buying great art that turns into even better investment

Billionaire hedge fund manager J. Tomilson Hill has a keen eye for great art that's also made for some incredible investments. Hill shared some of his personal rules for buying art with CNBC. 
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‘Medicare for all’ suddenly popular on campaign trail even in red states: ANALYSIS

“Medicare for all” and single-payer health care are suddenly popular. The phrase appear in political ads and receive cheers at campaign rallies, even in deep-red states.
ABC News: Health

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Fertility apps are increasingly being used as contraception and one has even gained FDA approval

In August, the FDA approved a mobile fertility app called Natural Cycles as a method of contraception. It's the first time that the U.S. has allowed a mobile app to advertise itself as a medical device that prevents pregnancy.
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Prairie Chic Is Back, Even if the Past Wasn’t So Pretty

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Are bonnets the next Dad hats?

For some, the New York fashion world has begun to resemble a sewing circle. Prairie chic is in enough for the New York Times to declare that 2018 has birthed “a whole new breed of pioneer woman. Call her the Urban Prairie Girl (U.P.G?).”

You can spot a U.P.G. toughening up her high-neck collar, lace hemline, and floral printed frock with Fila sneakers or combat boots. Though she would find Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of Native Americans in Little House on the Prairie offensive, the U.P.G. can’t help but cave to the nostalgia she feels watching the ‘70s television remake.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Yankees power past Red Sox 6-2 to even ALDS

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Raissman: If Odell Beckham goes into full meltdown mode, not even the Yankees can provide cover

For the Jets and Giants, the Yankees glomming the October spotlight is a wonderful thing.

The longer the Bombers stay alive in the playoffs, the more the shoddy play of both “professional” football teams is put on the back burner in the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts. Still, there…

Sports – New York Daily News

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The 2020 race kicks into a higher gear — even before the 2018 midterms are over

The weekend brought a flurry of activity from potential Democratic presidential candidates, as well as fresh attacks on several of them by President Trump.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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