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Posts Tagged ‘life’

New Forms Of Insurance For A New World

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

I was thinking about insurance a while back, and I realized that we take great measures to prepare for an unforeseen catastrophe. We’ve got our cars insured, our homes, ourselves, our loved ones, our valuables… Some people even insure parts of themselves, parts that are essential for them to continue earning as much as they do. But now, how crazy, we’ve got one new thing to insure. Our identities!

The Federal Trade Commission has been keeping a complaint list for years, and who would have guessed that identity theft tops that list. ConsumerAffairs.com reported that in 2006, a full 36 percent of the 674,354 complaints that year were focused solely on identity theft. Isn’t that amazing? I say its nuts. It’s a real shame we live in a world where the criminals can now become so powerful that they can take your entire life away. Just like in “The Net!”

Thank goodness there are companies out there willing to help you guard against identity theft. LifeLock can protect you from ID thieves, and not only that, it’ll reduce your junk mail and superfluous credit card offers. But the best part? While it covers you for up to One Million Dollars, the Life Lock service starts at just $10 a month.

LifeLock is also pioneering the protection of children’s identities. What a strange time we live in where our children are at risk for such a new and complex threat. At least LifeLock can help give us greater security, and peace of mind.

Art Rules!

Friday, April 11th, 2008

I recently came across PaintYourLife.com, a website and company that can convert your favorite photos into painted or hand-drawn works of art. You can order something done in Oil, Watercolor, Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, or Pencil. If you want, they’ll ship it to you in a tube, or you could have it framed.

The site is very user friendly, and they’ve got a ton of pictures to browse. This is my favorite image from their site:

Depending on the type of art and the service you choose, your custom painting can arrive in anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. You can preview your painting before receiving it. You can buy gift certificates for your friends. And you can provide special instructions for the artist, as is the case when you want the painting to be different in some way from the photograph. I always insist on adding Scarlett Johansson to every painting I commission!

I think one of the rules of giving great and unique gifts is to make them personalized and memorable. Secretly ordering a professional piece of art based on a photograph is a neat way to surprise someone. Won’t they be thrilled to be immortalized on canvas? I think so. And if the Dorian Gray effect occurs, so much the better!

These days, with so much digital this and digital that, it’s highly comforting to be able to relax and enjoy a quality painting on the wall that isn’t of strangers, or flowers, or clowns. It’s of you and your loved ones, and it looks terrific! Thank goodness for PaintYourLife.com.

Eating Popcorn Can Kill You!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

I can't believe this. I read an article written by some Yahoo that popcorn contains an ingredient that can be extremely harmful when present in a large enough quantity.

"Diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can cause a condition known as lymphocytic bronchiolitis," which can become life-threatening.

The FDA started an investigation last September because some dude out there in the "real" world was eating multiple bags of popcorn per day, and he unknowingly stumbled right into the trap.

The trap being that if you eat enough popcorn, you will get diacetyl disease.

Usually that condition is limited to popcorn package plant workers and lab rats. But some consumers (subconsciously) want in on the action too, and take it upon themselves to push the limits of physical and psychological endurance. "Let's see how many artificially-buttered, chemically-infused popcorn kernels I can ingest today. One… two… … two-hundred ninety eight… 299 ……… 6,473……*cough*cough*"

Sure, everything in moderation. And sure, who eats three bags of popcorn in a 24-hour period? (movie critics)

But seriously. Any kind of chemical that can be lethal or disease-causing in high doses should be eliminated from prepackaged food. Shouldn't it?

Have You Ever Dreamed About Your Old Life?

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

In life, there can be many changes. Sometimes we move from one place to another. When school ends, we get a job and start living "in the real world." When we finally become adults, our childhood is left behind. But our minds remember it all. And from time to time, we haphazardly get to re-experience the past — in dreams.

Have you ever dreamt you were still back in school or still a kid? There's the kind of dream where you're a person you've never been, doing something you've never done, and you don't think twice about it. Then there's the dream where you are as you used to be, and you don't think twice about it. You don't remember the present. Ever had a dream like that?

What if you dreamed you were reliving college, and then as you were waking up, you realized you were in your old college room? For the first few moments, you'd still think nothing of it, as the dream blended with reality. But how long before it faded and you remembered that you're 37 and supposed to be at home? In your house?

I once wondered if someone could be tricked in such a way, even in the absence of such a dream. Sometimes when I wake up after a vivid and exotic dream, I need a moment to re-acclimate to reality. What if we all do? What if we take the cues from our environment about where and when we are? Could you fool someone into thinking they're living in the past?

Is there someone out there, not crazy, who a team of pranksters could fool? Say the team sneaks into the bedroom when the person is asleep, and changes the surroundings like those commercials where the technicians can easily change the world around a person. They make the room look the way it did between 5 and 10 years ago, when the sleeper was still there, but younger. How long will it take the person, once they get up, to realize something isn't right?

My guess is, depending on whether they are a morning or evening person, it could take up to 15 minutes. Maybe even longer!