protecting your identity

10 07 2008

I recently read where 15 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2006. I am sure that number has only gone up in recent years. On average people have to spend two weeks of their time and about $3200 to get their money back and restore their credit history. Two weeks may not sound like that long…if you are at the beach. But if you are on the phone dealing with Credit Agencies, and writing letters to your bank, I am sure it would seem like an eternity. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center there are 5 things that we all can do protect ourselves from becoming the next victim.

  • Lock your mailbox – sounds a bit overboard, but all it takes if for one thief to take your bank or credit card statement and start using your funds to make you a believer.
  • Encrypt your Documents – Laptops are frequent targets for theft at coffee shops and other public areas. Many times we have personal and financial information on there If someone nabs it, you will definitely want your hard drive to be unreadable to it’s new owner.
  • Be Careful at Work- I was surprised to learn that 50% of identity theft happens at the work place. Make sure you never leave your SS# or laying around on an application or direct deposit form. Try to keep that information between you and HR.
  • Lookout for Phone Scams – Never give out sensitive info to an unknown caller. Especially if they say they are your bank, Credit Card Company or government agency. If it is really that important, go in and speak in person.
  • Change your Passwords- Hackers can crack simple passwords in their sleep. Never use a single word of phrase. Avoid obvious dates as well. The best thing to do is to make your password 8 characters at minimum, and use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.




solving the climate crisis…one person at a time.

10 07 2008

While reading a magazine on a plane I saw this advertisement for a campaign called “WE” , and after learning more about it I wanted to share with everyone. It may be that you have already heard of it, or at least of the backing organization behind this campaign, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. The main goal of this campaign is to put an end to Global Warming by educating people here in the US and around the globe on the dangers of drastic climate change and how we can go about preventing it. Their site has a bunch of cool information that is applicable for both personal and corporate use, to help everyone do a better job in reducing their impact on the environment. To become a member, simply enter you email address and you can become part of the solution as well.





track your workout progress online

9 07 2008

I found this cool website that allows you to track the progress you are making in your quest to lose weight or get back in shape online. And the best part is…it’s absolutely free. Fitday.com allows you monitor your caloric food intake, measure the progress you are making on your exercise and workout goals, and keep yourself motivated by looking at the big picture.  It even has nutritional information for a ton of foods to help you understand what you should and should not eat. I have a hard time staying motivated to work out, but with this site I am able to stay on top of myself.





take olive oil to another level…

9 07 2008

…by infusing it with basil. I had never heard of this before and I know that some of you cooking purists will think that this is blasphemous, but it tastes amazing (I love basil by the way, so you may not be as enthralled as I am).  Infusing sounds like it is hard to do, but this is actually quite simple to make. First take 4 cups of fresh packed basil leaves and toss them into your blender. Then add 2 cups of your favorite virgin olive oil and puree the two until you have a nice smooth consistency. Next simmer the oil in a saucepan for roughly 45 seconds. Now strain your hot concoction (be sure to use a fine metal mesh strainer) into a bowl and let it chill out for a couple of hours. Once it has thoroughly cooled off, you can pour your oil into an airtight bottle or jar, but be sure to not pour in the basil bits that have collected on the bottom of the bowl. Now you have a delicious basil infused olive oil for cooking, marinating, and dipping.





learn to speak “chester french”

9 07 2008

During their freshman year at Harvard, D.A. Wallach of Milwaukee met Mexwell Drummey of Boston in a dinning hall and after discovering each others musical talents and desire to form a band…Chester French was born. The two began playing shows around campus and the Boston area and by the end of their senior year had recorded a studio album which they began to shop to anyone and everyone in the music label industry. Although they got no love from the traditional rock and pop record labels, three hip hop producers – Pharrell, Kanye West and Jermaine Dupree- offered them recording deals. In the end Pharell succeeded in signing the duo to his label Star Trak, with the promise that they alone would have control in producing their unique sound. Click here to listen to their first release titled “She love Everybody”.





the best travel guide book

9 07 2008

Most Travel books spout out pretty much the same information. They send you to all the same places, with all the other people who purchased the same travel books. There is not doubt that everywhere you go, you are bound to see some amazing things, but you will also a million other tourists with their screaming babies, long lines, and over priced tourist trap gifts. If you want to know the best places to visit accodring to the locals, you need to get a Luxe Guide. Luxe City Guides are available for 28 major cities worldwide such as Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Madrid and Bangkok, and give you the insider’s view on what hidden local treasures you need to check out. Each pocket sized guide is updated yearly, and online updates are released throughout the year as well on their site.





going green…toilet style.

9 07 2008

I recently flew through Portland International Airport in Oregon, and I had to…um…use the restroom. Little did I know that I would see something totally cool attached to the toilet in the stalls. As of July of last year the airport had installed a new flushing system that uses the appropriate amount of water for the “waste” that it needs to flush. The airport has a total of 330 toilets which account for about 33,000 flushes a day and previously used 3 gallons a flush. The new green handles on these bad boys (the green coating prevents bacteria from forming on them) allows you to lift it up to flush “liquid waste” and use less water, or push it down to flush “non-liquid waste”, using more water (but still less than 3 gallons) saving the airport millions of gallons of water a year. It it one of those things that once you see it, you ask yourself “Why didn’t we think of this earlier?” Keep an eye out for these eco-friendly toilets in your area.

up for #1 and down for #2...got it?

up for #1 and down for #2...got it?