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04/02/2015

RNC Membership Renewal?

RNC_Membership.jpgReally, what are they thinking? I don't consider myself a Republican. Actually, I am not a Democrat either. This kind of "either-or" categories is inadequate to describe my political views. I may be a green liberal conservative socialist.

Today I received this solicitation in the mail, which made me laugh - just a day late to be an April Fool's joke. The Republican National Committee wants me to "renew" my "membership" with them immediately, if not sooner.

They sound really urgent, since we only have 20 months left until the next presidential election. What I didn't quite understand, though, was how I could "renew" a membership that I never had?  

12:42 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (0)

03/18/2015

The Science, or the Religion, of RO Water

In the light of our recent city water odor episode the discussion about "good" or "bad" reverse osmosis filtered water called for renewed investigation. I've heard both sides of the arguments, but maybe there are new, more recent, studies? Maybe common sense, and my own judgement, can now be proven, or disproven?

Here's what I found, or should I say confirmed, for myself:

Reverse osmosis is the only purification system that can remove the majority of dangerous chemicals and pollutants from our drinking water. Reverse osmosis also removes contaminants that countertop and faucet carbon filters cannot including viruses, bacteria, pesticides, arsenic, fluoride, drugs, cryptosporidium, mercury, nitrates, microbes, heavy metals, all radioactive materials, and many more.

The lack of minerals in your water should not keep you up at night. The increasing amounts of chemicals, drugs and carcinogenic/radioactive materials potentially found in tap water should!

Your calcium, magnesium, and other minerals should come from a healthy, balanced, clean nutritious diet - not from your water. The main concern with water should be over toxicity, not mineral content. Whether water contains 1 or 100ppm (parts per million) calcium doesn't really matter, but the difference between 1 and 100ppm arsenic is of grave importance.

 

09:59 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (0)

03/16/2015

City Water stinks!

For the past four days our tap water has had an awful, foul, chemical smell to it. It makes me gag when I take a shower.

City officials were quick to tell us that this has a natural reason - it's because of the melting snow. Strange, though, that we've had melting snow every year, but this is the first time I have experienced that kind of a horrific stench coming from the faucets.

City officials also told us, that the odor would dissipate on its own soon. So, hang in there people - just hold your breath when you shower.

In the meantime the mayor and some of his friends and coworkers also appeared on TV, sipping water out of tiny glasses. They were saying that, despite the horrible smell, our tap water was safe to drink.

I believe these are the same kind of people, who are telling us that it is safe to drink a carbonated mix of high-fructose corn syrup, brominated vegetable oil, and yellow 5, out of an aluminum can.

Good thing that we have a reverse osmosis filtration system under our kitchen sink!

09:26 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (0)

03/01/2015

Netbook Revival

In September 2009 I bought this cute little Samsung N140 10" netbook to facilitate my academic endeavors. It featured Windows XP and a German keyboard. Last year, when Microsoft stopped supporting XP, I reluctantly put the poor little thing away, only using it once in a while, for fear of virus attacks.

Even though I now have a Surface Pro 2, and like that a lot, I still felt there was more life left in the netbook. So I bought a 2GB memory chip for $22, and a full version of Windows 7 Professional 32-bit edition for $73, on eBay. I spent the weekend refurbishing my old friend.

After 189 updates, installation of MS Office 2010, Visio 2010, AVG, Zonealarm, Superantispyware, Malwarebytes, Skype, VoipConnect, a VPN client, my favorite Skat game, three Auslogics utilities, the Live Movie Maker, Audacity, C-Cleaner, VLC Player, Firefox, Chrome.... and another round of 72 updates..... my little old netbook is good to go for at least six more years.

Netbook.JPG

07:03 Posted in 06, Having Fun | Permalink | Comments (0)

02/07/2015

Freeze! It's for your own good.

Anthem.jpgLast Wednesday it became known that all personal information of roughly 12% of the entire population of the USA had been stolen by some Chinese hackers, because one big, powerful, rich insurance company carelessly neglected to encrypt and protect their database. 

The insurance company said they will notify all affected customers, and offer them free credit repair and identity protection services - but it will take weeks, or months, before this happens; and then the "protection" will likely only be offered for one year. 

If you are one of the victims, or even if you got lucky this time, you are not completely helpless, though. There is one powerful tool available to you to protect your credit: place a security freeze on your consumer credit report. You have to do that with all three credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. It is free in many States, and costs $5 to $10 in some other States.

After that, you have the peace of mind that nobody can abuse your personal information to obtain credit without your knowledge. The freeze will slow you down a little bit, in case you want to get new credit in the future, because you would have to "thaw" your account temporarily, or for a specific lender, but for me that is well worth it!