Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment Guide: Cost, Side Effects, and More

Lasers are now being used to zap everything from sun damage and skin cancers to acne scars and regrettable tattoos — and often with little to no downtime. Which ones are best for your particular skin type and issue? In this month’s Life in Plastic column, we tapped the country’s top laser gurus spell it out for us.
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8 Side Gigs for Federal Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown

There’s no need to state the obvious here, especially if you’re a government employee.

The government has been shut down for more than a month, and many federal workers have now missed their second paycheck. Thousands have applied for unemployment, according to The New York Times and, while idle, many seek side gigs.

During this time, it’s difficult to know what to do. If you’re working without pay, you have little time to look for income elsewhere. If you’re furloughed, who’s going to hire you knowing you could leave to take your government job back at any time? But you need the income.

Although a side gig — or even two or three — won’t necessarily replace your lost or delayed income, it can help offset some of these challenges. It’s temporary work that pays relatively quickly.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Take on Freelance Assignments

You’ve got skills, so flaunt them.

Upwork is a great platform if you’re just wading into the freelance world.

Once you create a profile, search through thousands of gigs based on your skills and interests. If you find one you’re interested in, apply.

One of the perks of Upwork is that it handles all financial transactions, eliminating any unease or questions of, “Will they really pay me?!” Upwork takes a 20% fee for the first $ 500 you bill with each client.

Fiverr is another freelance platform you can check out if you don’t have luck on Upwork.

2. Share Your Spare Room (or Couch) With Travelers

If you have a spare room, you might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could earn enough money to offset the cost of rent or mortgage payments.

And, hey, even if you don’t have a spare room, you can get in on the Airbnb action. Folks across the country are getting creative.

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost based in Los Angeles.

Here are some of his tips:

  • Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” says Michael. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. Here’s a little hack from Michael: “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
  • Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael explains. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

3. Drive People Around Town

Instead of watching your car sit idly in the driveway, use it to make some extra money. No, it’s not going to replace your paycheck, but it is a fairly simple side gig.

Try driving with Lyft. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

Because it’s simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.

As a partner driver with Uber, you’re an independent contractor. You set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.

If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you’re under 23 years old), have a valid U.S. driver’s license and pass a background check.

Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.

4. Let off Some Steam, and Hang out With Dogs

If you’re totally stressed but love hanging out with dogs, Rover might be your perfect gig.

The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town.

Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month.

Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).

Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.

You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)

Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.

5. Shop and Bag Groceries (No Need to Deliver)

Sure, there are a number of grocery delivery services out there (think: Shipt, PeaPod), but if you’re not into the idea of driving your car around town, there’s another option:

Instacart, a grocery-delivery service, is looking for part-time in-store shoppers who simply shop and bag orders.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have access to an iPhone 5 or Android 4.4 (or newer).
  • Be able to lift 30 to 40 pounds.

You choose the hours you work (up to 29 hours a week) and get paid per order weekly. Rates will vary by location.

If you want to get real adventurous (or work more hours) you can also sign on as a full-service shopper, meaning you’ll deliver the groceries, too.

Once you sign up to become a shopper, Instacart will reach out about an orientation.

6. Help With Odd Jobs

If you’re handy, consider helping your neighbors out with odd jobs around the house.

Rather than going door to door, connect with people in your area who need help getting things done through TaskRabbit — anything from picking up dry cleaning to putting together Ikea furniture.

Keep an eye out for virtual tasks, which are mostly centered around personal assistance, administrative work or research help. You can do those and earn money without even walking out your door.

7. Find Nannying Gigs

Parents, oldest siblings and former camp counselors: This one’s for you.

Whether you want to look after school-aged kids on Saturday nights or help tired parents after school, you can find opportunities to use your childcare experience to earn cash.

Look within your circle of friends and acquaintances first, as parents are more likely to trust someone they know. Ask friends if they know anyone else who could use a few hours to themselves, whether it’s to grocery shop or simply to head to the gym.

You can also let parents find you through Care.com. Rates on the platform will vary by city, but the average rate for babysitters in 2017 was $ 16.20 an hour, according to Care.com’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey.

8. Sell Your Plasma

If you’re not afraid of needles, you could consider selling your plasma. It’s a way to get paid, and it also helps others in need.

The process takes about two hours, but it’s relatively simple. You’re free to read or watch TV while a machine draws your blood and separates the plasma.

It’s common for plasma donation centers to pay between $ 20 and $ 30 per visit, up to twice a week.

Interested? Search “plasma center + [your city]” for options, and ask your friends for referrals — many centers offer referral sign-up bonuses.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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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VIDEO: Meet WEST SIDE STORY Newcomer Rachel Zegler

The upcoming remake of WEST SIDE STORY directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner has announced additional castingaccording to Deadline. Ariana DeBose will star as Anita, Tony Award Winner David Alvarez as Bernardo, and Josh Andres Rivera has been cast as Chino.
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Animal Lover? Pet Sitting Just Might Be the Paw-Fect Side Gig for You

Diana Sanchez grew up surrounded by animals. So much so, her parents used to joke that she grew up in a zoo, complete with six fish, four dogs, two cats and a dove. Whenever she visited an animal shelter, she tried to bring home a potential new pet.

When she left home in Plant City, Florida, to attend the University of Tampa, she could not take her pets with her because dorm life wasn’t an ideal fit for them. But by her senior year, she really missed being around animals. While hunting for a part-time job in 2016, she discovered an ad from Tampa Pet Sitters.

“At first I thought it was too good to be true. ‘I get to pet dogs, and I get paid for it?’” she says. Fast forward to today: Sanchez, 25, is still pet sitting part time when she’s not teaching elementary school students.

Pet sitting as a side hustle is on the rise, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of U.S. Census Bureau microdata. In 2017, 135,584 people in the U.S. classified themselves as part-time nonfarm-animal caretakers. That’s up from 74,349 in 2007 — an 82.4% increase.

Overall employment for all part-time workers increased only 16% in the same period.

So if you looking for a side hustle and have a love of four-legged furry friends, here’s what you need to know about being a pet sitter.

What Does a Pet Sitter Do?

Pet sitters provide owners peace of mind by watching over their animals while the clients are away. Jennifer Palhete, who works in Lakeland, Florida, about an hour from her home in Tampa, Florida, can’t let her three dogs out during the day. Knowing a pet sitter is going to be there to feed and let them out takes a huge burden off her shoulders.

“I never have to think about it, and the peace of mind that they offer is huge,” she says.

Some of the services offered by pet-sitting companies include midday walks and visits, in-home overnight watches and boarding at the sitter’s home.

For midday walks or in-home visits, a sitter will come to the client’s house to feed and let the pets out for a set period. The visit duration varies depending on the services provided by the company.

During in-home overnight visits, a sitter will stay at the client’s house to feed, walk, administer medication, play with and watch over the pets all night. “It’s very similar to an Airbnb experience, plus a pet to take care of,” Sanchez says.

People who opt for the in-home service do not want to board their pets in a kennel, she adds. All three of Palhete’s dogs were rescued, and one has special needs after suffering severe abuse. She knows putting them in a kennel would be detrimental to the progress they have made toward being comfortable around people.

“The fact that they can stay in their own house, have their own food and stay on the same schedule is such a huge help to me,” Palhete says.

Some services offer boarding where the owners drop their pets off at the sitter’s house instead of having the sitter stay in theirs. This option allows Lisa Peddicord, a part-time pet sitter and dog walker with Tails and Trails in St. Petersburg, Florida, to simultaneously care for the client’s and her own pets.

What’s the Work Schedule and Pay Like?

A woman trains a golden retriever puppy.

According to Sanchez and Peddicord, pet sitting is a flexible side job that works well for their respective schedules.

Sanchez says the demand for pet sitters usually increases during vacation times like spring break, the summer and holidays. This fits in perfectly with her day job as a teacher. Working seasonally, Sanchez says she’s able to make $ 200 to $ 300 in a weekend doing multiple overnight in-house watches or by doing one overnight with several midday visits.

Peddicord, who works in the evenings as a vet tech at an emergency animal hospital, is able to work 10 to 15 hours per week as a midday dog walker. Last year, between dog walking and boarding pets at least once a month, she was able to make just under $ 10,000.

“That’s the difference between going on vacation or buying your first house,” she says. “So it makes a big difference.”

What Makes a Good Pet Sitter?

A golden retriever puppy gets belly scratches from its pet sitter.

Both Sanchez and Peddicord offered some tips and advice to anyone considering becoming a pet sitter.

Build a Trusting Relationship With the Owners

Peddicord says not all pet owners are alike when it comes to trusting sitters. Some need more reassurance than others. To establish that rapport, she suggests meeting the owners with the pet for a “coffee date” or going to the owners’ home to have them demonstrate their routine.

Then during your visits, text the owners pictures of their pets with updates on what they did that day.  “I think that helps you build trust by filling them in on daily activities,” she says.

Be There On Time

Another way to establish trust is to be at the client’s house on time. Sanchez says most services offer a time window so the owner knows when to expect the sitter. For example, Sanchez may tell a pet owner she’ll be there between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you have two or three appointments during that two-hour window, make sure you stay on schedule.

Have Patience

Sanchez says most of the time when you walk through the door, dogs are ready to play and the sitter has to be prepared for them to have a lot of energy. But some dogs require a little more work than others. She recalls working with a dog that was newly adopted from an animal shelter. The dog would vet Sanchez by cautiously sniffing her before exiting the crate. “Every single visit, he would do this thing before I even tried to put a leash on him,” she said. “I made sure he was comfortable.”

Learn About Different Pet Personalities

A woman takes photos of two whippet dogs and a poodle.

As Sanchez notices more people getting into the field, she encourages potential sitters to become familiar with animal behavior. She says you may know what works for your dog, but that may not work on other people’s dogs. “There are so many pets out there that want attention in different ways, so familiarize yourself with different animal behaviors. It will make your job so much easier.”

Don’t Have Experience? Volunteer

If you don’t have much experience with animals beyond your own pet, Sanchez recommends volunteering at an animal rescue or shelter. Also, if you have a friend who owns a pet, offer to pet sit if they go out of town. That way you can see how pets respond when their owners are not around.

She says, “The more patient and friendly people we can get into pet sitting, the better.”

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He writes about side hustles and the gig economy. Follow him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.

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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Want to Start a Side Hustle? These 10 Tips Will Help Set You Up for Success

Side hustles can be a great way to supplement your income or satisfy your entrepreneurial spirit. Who knows — having one might someday lead to a more fulfilling job opportunity.

Experienced side hustlers will tell you there’s a lot you can do in the beginning to build a solid foundation for your gig. So if you’re thinking about taking on a new venture, here are 10 tips on how to start a side hustle that will help you avoid future headaches.

Find Out How Much Side Hustle Time You Have Available

McKinzie Bean, creator of the

When juggling a day job and starting a side hustle, time is precious. McKinzie Bean is the operator of Moms Make Cents, a website aimed at helping moms build their own businesses.

She advises people to document their normal routines for one week before starting their side gig so they can see how much time during the evenings and weekends they spend doing things like cooking dinner, watching Netflix, doing chores, etc. Bean recommends using time tracking smartphone apps like Toggl when offline and Google Chrome extensions to monitor time spent on the internet.

You can see how much time you really have for a side hustle once you cut unproductive activities from your schedule.

“In your first year, you do have to dedicate a lot of time to your side hustle,” Bean says. “Just see which pieces you’re willing to give up because it is going to take some sacrifice to get to that point where your business is growing.”

Research if the Side Gig Is Worth Doing

Now that you know how much free time you have available, consider whether it’s feasible to add a side gig on top of a regular job.

Alex Tran is a full-time digital marketing strategist who operates five separate side hustles, including teaching yoga and reviewing activewear.  She recommends searching Google and YouTube to see if there’s a need for your side hustle and to determine how time-consuming it can be. During your research, see if other people are doing something similar and ask if they are willing to offer their advice.

“Say, ‘Hey, I work full time right now, but is it possible that I could just do this maybe six hours a week?’” she advises. If they respond, they may tell you how much of a financial and time commitment it will be to get your business off the ground.

Find Out Whether You Need to Inform Your Current Employer

One thing to consider before starting a side hustle is determining whether the gig will interfere with your day job. Every company is different, and some may have strict guidelines on what employees can do outside of work, Bean warns.

Do yourself a favor and dust off the employee handbook to see if there are any rules against side jobs. The last thing you need is to lose your primary source of income because you forgot to tell your boss about your budding side gig.

Set Some Office Hours

When Bean and her husband started working on their website 2 1/2 years ago, they set a schedule to keep them on track during the evenings. For example, she’d work for an hour on the site after her husband got home, then he’d take over after dinner. She says having a schedule in place was critical for them.

Also included in their schedule was at least one social or family activity per week to avoid burnout. “There was always one piece in the week that we could look forward to,” Bean says. “A few hours where we could recharge and be rejuvenated.”

Open Separate Business Accounts

Trish McDermott poses with baby gear in front of the trunk of her car

It’s never too early to start thinking about tax season. Trish McDermott is a longtime side hustler and co-founder of BabyQuip, a baby gear rental service for traveling parents. She tells people to open a bank account and credit card dedicated solely for their business.

Doing this provides you with a true-to-life snapshot of the financial results of your side hustle. “That snapshot is really difficult to see if you’re commingling your personal transactions with your side hustle,” she says.

By having all your side hustle income and expenses in one place, you can see trends and other relevant information to improve your business. Plus, she says, your accountant will appreciate it when it’s tax time.

Develop an Organization System for Your Paperwork

Instead of throwing all your receipts into a shoebox, consider setting up a digital filing system. “As a side hustler, you have to maximize your time,” Bean says.

Most of her receipts and invoices are sent via email because she runs an online business. To save time, Bean uses free basic automation software, such as If This Then That (IFTTT), to automatically save her receipts into a Google Drive folder.

For physical receipts, she takes photo backups using the smartphone app CamScanner. That way everything is saved on her phone or computer, ready to go for tax season.

Design Templates to Work Smarter

Tran encourages people to set up a task workflow in the early days of their side gig. For example, if your side business is in copywriting or involves creating a lot of documents, she encourages people to design templates.

“Have a system down so you can streamline it when you start to scale your business.” These templates can have the basic format laid out so all you need to do is change out the unique details. That way, you’re not starting from scratch on every project.  

Find Industry-Specific Groups

McDermott says there are many industry-specific groups and communities available on social media for side hustlers. In these LinkedIn and Facebook groups, you can learn from other professionals working in your field as they share advice. McDermott recently discovered a Facebook group for freelance social media managers and was blown away by the information and resources they were sharing among themselves.

“Those kind of connections nowadays are so easy to find, and so fruitful,” she says.

Create a Productive Home Environment

Your home office needs to have minimal distractions. Two ways to ensure this include following a set work schedule and having everything you need in the office, McDermott says.

By following the same work schedule, your family, neighbors and others know not to bother you during designated times. Plus, if you have everything you need at your disposal, you don’t need to leave the room.

“Having the tools you need to do your work available in the space you’re doing it prevents you from wandering around the house and deciding that you should start the dishwasher,” she says.

Don’t Wait for Perfection — Just Go For It!

Whether it’s posting on social media, launching a website or starting a company, McDermott encourages aspiring side hustlers and entrepreneurs not to get paralyzed by perfection, which can get in the way of execution. Her outlook is to do it the best you can and fix what doesn’t work as you progress.

“There’s no company on the face of the planet that has gotten it all right all the time,” she says.

In her opinion, the rewards are more significant for entrepreneurs who take risks and are willing to bring their energy and passion to whatever they do.

“You just can’t wait around to be perfect,” she says. “Someone else will take the idea and run [with it]. Just go!”

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers side hustles and the gig economy. If you have a side gig story idea, message him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.

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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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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China ‘lifts mysterious veil’ by landing probe on far side of the moon

A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space program.


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China probe readies to land on dark side of the moon: Xinhua

A Chinese space probe is moving into position to land on the dark side of the moon for the first time, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, a mission seen as an important step as the country looks to push forward its space program.


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China probe reportedly readying to land on the dark side of the moon

China aims to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.
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The Dark Side of Steve Jobs, As Seen By His Daughter

This article first appeared in Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here.

In the final pages of her heartbreaking memoir about her childhood, Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs addresses head on one of the central unanswered questions about her accomplished, famous and appallingly cruel father, Steve Jobs. “When people speak and write about my father’s meanness, they sometimes assume that meanness is linked to genius,” she writes. It’s a variation of the “asshole” hypothesis so many in Silicon Valley posit all the time: Is it necessary to be an asshole, like Steve Jobs was, to achieve greatness?

Brennan-Jobs, who devotes perhaps one page out of nearly 400 to her father’s business affairs, has come to her own conclusion. “Maybe the meanness protected the part that created–so that acting mean to approximate genius is as foolish as trying to be successful by copying his lisp or his walk” or other Jobsian mannerisms.

This is a haunting book. Apologists for Steve Jobs tend to talk about his charisma, his great charm, his uncanny ability to be right. They tend to dismiss or change the subject from his dark side. His eldest child, whose paternity he denied before being compelled in court to accept, sees the good in him, too. But her patient, beautifully written account of how he treated her from a young age almost to the day he died is blot on his reputation. No parent or sibling or child can read this book and not come away empathizing with its author and reviling the character around whom her story revolves.

If your goal in reading books is to be a better manager or spot future trends or to understand Apple’s secrets, this is the wrong book for you. If, on the other hand, you want to gain insight into the man whose company revolutionized industries even as he played the ogre to a defenseless child, I highly recommend it.

***

Speaking of Apple, The Wall Street Journal had a good piece of insight over the weekend, explaining how Apple’s


aapl



geographic expansion last week neatly informs its ongoing strategy of offering services, higher-priced phones, and original content. The paper wrote: “Culver City gives Apple a Hollywood home base as it pushes into video programming. Seattle is a machine-learning hub where it can develop algorithms that personalize streaming-music playlists and improve Siri. San Diego and Austin offer semiconductor engineers who can advance the customized-chip efforts that help Apple wring more money out of its iPhones, iPads, and Macs.”

***

I also recommend The Journal‘s tour de force explanation of GE’s demise under Jeff Immelt. The article nicely builds out the angle Fortune‘s Geoff Colvin explored recently in his piece about the travails of activist investor Nelson Peltz in owning GE’s stock. The reading public will get even more on this subject. Financial journalist, and sometimes Fortune contributor, William Cohan, recently signed a deal to write a book on the rise and fall of GE


ge



.

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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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SNL: Alec Baldwin’s Trump Plays ‘Side Piece’ to ‘Bros’ Putin and Saudi Crown Prince

President Donald Trump is 5,000 miles away in Argentina for the G20 Summit and Alec Baldwin is back on Saturday Night Live. A month after his arrest for allegedly assaulting a stranger over a parking space, Baldwin made his first SNL appearance as Trump since early October.  

The scene opened on the balcony of the Park Hyatt hotel where Baldwin’s Trump was suffering insomnia. “Melania, I’m having trouble sleeping,” he said. “I keep having this nightmare where I’m walking in a forest of blood.”

“No, no, that was just my Christmas decorations,” Cecily Strong’s first lady replied.

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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Rita Moreno Will Return to WEST SIDE STORY for Steven Spielberg Reboot

Rita Moreno, who famously played Anita in the original 1962 film version of West Side Story, will return for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation. Moreno will play Valentina, a reconceived version of Doc. She will also serve as an Executive Producer.
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Culture With a Side of Exercise: Try a Bicycle Tour of Your City’s Murals

Greg Stanek hopped off his bike and switched on his microphone headset.

“I can see six murals standing here,” he said, pointing as he counted them one by one. Meanwhile, 40 more bicycles circled up around him in a St. Petersburg, Florida, alleyway tucked between shops and nightlife hotspots.

The cyclists were not there for the exercise, although they covered several miles together under the bright October sun. Instead, they had joined a bike tour of the city’s murals, of which there are at least 50.

Local arts organization Florida CraftArt hosts a monthly tour, but this was one one of several expanded tours added to celebrate St. Petersburg’s annual SHINE Mural Festival. It not only offered a chance to see large-scale works of art locals might miss when going about daily life; it also offered participants a chance to see new work in progress by local and visiting artists. The program invited 17 artists to create new murals in the city for the 2018 festival.

Bikers ride past murals
Bicyclists explore the city’s murals before taking a break at Chief’s Creole Cafe. The St. Petersburg tour costs $ 20 if you bring your own bike and an extra $ 5 if you rent a bike. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

As Stanek explained how the city has embraced murals and their origins from graffiti and street art, he was peppered with questions: “Do the murals last forever?” “Do the artists get paid?” “What neighborhood are we in now?”

Nancy Ferrara of Tampa organized a group of nearly 20 to join the bike tour. The avid cyclist runs a regional Meetup group for couples ages 45 and up and thought the mural tour might make a good outing. “I’ve never done a tour like this before,” she said during a break at a cafe serving sweet tea and beignets. “It’s a great option to see what’s out here.”

A couple rides past a mural on their bicycles
Elise Barnes (left) and Andrew Odell (right) ride past an apartment complex in St. Petersburg, one of many buildings in the city painted with murals. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Meanwhile, Andrew Odell of St. Petersburg and Elise Barnes of Atlanta navigated the streets via Coast Bike Share. The 3 1/2-half hour tour cost $ 20 for those bringing their own bikes, but for an extra $ 5, riders could take the tour via on-demand rental bikes that are typically docked around the city.

Odell explained the pair had gone on a walking tour of murals in St. Petersburg before Barnes learned about the bike version of the tour through SHINE’s Instagram feed. “It’s really cool to see the artists in action,” Odell said. They had already picked out a few murals-in-progress to revisit once completed.

The large group kept a leisurely pace that at times felt unwieldy for a group so large, but the tour’s winding route with plenty of stops meant even the most novice of cyclists were well-equipped to keep up. As the pack of 40 coasted down St. Petersburg’s business district on Central Avenue, a hairstylist burst through the door of her salon to wave and wish us good morning. Along the Pinellas Trail, a popular spot for cyclists, others passing the group often welcomed us with shouts of hello and fist pumps.  

Guide Greg Stanek talks about the “You Are Beautiful” community mural, a public-art display, during a tour stop. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Bike tours have long been an option for travelers, but those highlighting outdoor art put a creative spin on typical sightseeing spots. Marlene Rodriguez of Tampa brought her bike to St. Petersburg for the tour. The frequent traveler said it gave her a chance to play tourist in a nearby city.

“When I get to a [new] city, if I have limited time, I grab a bike tour of the city and see most of it in a short amount of time,” she said. She said she had just missed the mural festival in Montreal while visiting this summer and wants to go back next year during the event.

For now, she already has plans to revisit St. Pete’s murals by bike; she and a friend signed up for next month’s mural bike tour to see some of the new murals once they’re finished. Instead of bringing her own bike, she’ll rent one from Coast.

You miss so many of the murals when you’re driving in your car, Rodriguez explained. “It’s the best way to see them,” she said of touring the murals by bike. “And you still can’t see them all.”

Hop on These Mural Bike Tours

A pedestrian walks past a mural.
A pedestrian walks past one of the many murals in Los Angeles. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Want to play tourist by pedaling through your own city — or want to see somewhere new? These bike tours will help you see murals and other art you might have missed otherwise.

Los Angeles

The Alley Adventure Urban Art/Graffiti Bike Tour costs $ 19 with your own bike or $ 30 with a rental bike for 2 1/2 hours of touring street art in downtown Los Angeles.

Miami

Tour the Wynwood graffiti district in a three- to four-hour tour. It’s a splurge at $ 59, but bike rental is included.

Philadelphia

Philly has had a thriving Mural Arts program for more than 30 years. The Mural Mile two-hour walking tour will run you $ 23. A newer biking version of the tour lasts three hours and covers 15 miles for $ 49.

Phoenix

The two-hour Downtown Art & Mural Bike Tour costs $ 25 and uses the Grid Bikeshare program. Bikeshare membership is not included in the tour cost.

San Antonio

San Antonio Mural Ride offers two different 10-mile routes in the city. The two hour tour costs $ 40, or $ 30 if you bring your own bike.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, spend a half day touring the Mission District art scene mixed in with local food tastings and a picnic lunch. You might guess this trip, which includes a bike rental, costs a bit more — tickets are $ 74 for those under 18 and for older students with identification and $ 79 for adults.

Even Cheaper Ways to Tour Art by Bike

Bicyclists ride down a road
Greg Stanek leads bicyclists down Central Avenue on a tour of the annual SHINE Mural Festival in St. Petersburg. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Not sure you want to spend $ 20, $ 50 or more on a guided bike tour? You can set off on foot or pedal your own way by designing a tour of your own.

Many cities have resources to help you plan such a journey. Download a map or scroll the interactive version of a directory of murals in Portland, Oregon, for example. In Atlanta, check the map to plot your own route or choose from five different free, self-guided street-art tours.

Don’t forget to check for apps that can help. For instance, download the Sacramento Urban Mural Bike Tour app from Sacramento Cycling Tours for $ 4.99 to explore downtown and Midtown Sacramento murals at your own pace.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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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Saturday Night Live Shows the Dark Side of the New Presidential Alert System

Last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live mocked the new Presidential cell phone alert system, which was used across the country for the first time on Wednesday.

Though last Wednesday’s alert was only a test, the SNL sketch portrayed some of the worst fears about the way that President Trump could use the system, and offered some alternative alerts that could come to American phones.

“Failing New York Times says I cheated on taxes. Duh! It’s called being smart,” read one alert in the sketch.

The sketch played on many Americans’ skepticism that President Trump will only use the alert system in emergency situations, despite the fact that there is a law forbidding it.

“Warning: White men are under attack,” read one fake alert.

Watch the emergency alert SNL sketch here:


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Fantastic Fest 2018: 3 to See on the Lighter Side, Featuring Nicolas Cage, Talking Animals and French Criminals

Fantastic Fest 2018: 3 to See on the Lighter Side, Featuring Nicolas Cage, Talking Animals and French Criminals

The annual Fantastic Fest is known for showcasing strange and often disturbing films. See, for example, our recent coverage of the deeply unsettling Suspiria. 

Yet the festival's focus on wild, crazy and freaky movies also embraces titles on the lighter, more fantastical side of the genre spectrum. Here are three examples of somewhat "lighter" movies that recently screened at the festival in Austin, Texas. 
 

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