By Jake Barnes
One of the great ironies of personal finance has always been that the people who need money the most are the ones who can’t get a loan and the people who least need the money are the ones who can obtain credit most easily. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of personal lending. Getting an unsecured or personal loan with bad credit has always been somewhat challenging but in recent years it has become virtually impossible. The subprime lending crisis and subsequent credit crunch have caused all banks to significantly tighten their lending standards. The first customers to get squeezed out of the equation are those with credit problems. The unfortunate reality in 2009 is that if you have bad credit, you will not be able to get an unsecured loan from a traditional bank.
Do a search on the web for “bad credit personal loans” and you will see hundreds of listings for websites promising to deliver the elusive cash without collateral that you so desperately need. Look closely and you will find that every single one of these offers will be for a payday loan. A payday loan is a completely different product than a traditional unsecured installment loan (often called a signature loan). Payday lenders do not evaluate your credit when making the decision whether or not to grant you a loan. Instead they simply debit your checking account automatically on your next payday. Of course the lender’s significant fees are debited as well. This product can make sense for a short term emergency situation that requires cash but it does not accomplish the same thing as a personal loan which could allow you to repay over a much longer period, usually between 12 and 48 months. Personal loans also carry lower interest rates. Typically, personal loans carry annual percentage rates (“APR’s”) that are equal to or better than most credit cards. If you look at the average fees on a payday loan and converted them into the equivalent APR’s you would be looking at mind-blowing rates of up to 350%. So, while a payday loan can be a good product for short term, emergency situations – it cannot replace the value of a personal loan.
So if you’ve got bad credit, need cash and cannot use payday loans to meet your needs, what are you to do? Assuming that a refinance with cash out or a home equity loan is not a viable option you are left looking for an unsecured loan. One interesting option is a relatively new phenomenon called social lending or peer to peer lending. These are professionally run networks that bring together individuals who wish to lend money and individuals who wish to borrow money. Some peer to peer lenders cater to people with bad credit (of course the interest rate will be higher). Social lending is one of the most exciting developments in the world of bad credit lending to come around in a long time.
More importantly, the most effective thing that you can do to help your situation is not a loan at all: improve your credit score. Improving your credit score will help make obtaining loans, both secured and unsecured, much easier and cheaper. How do you improve your credit score? The first thing you need to do is understand what is on your credit report. You can get a free credit report each year and it easy to do – just go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get it. Once you know what’s on your credit report you can get to work on cleaning it up. If you find a mistake or discrepancy, make sure to contact the credit reporting agency and the lender in writing so that the mistake can be fixed, and your credit score can be improved.
Another way to improve your credit score quickly is to obtain a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit card which is secured by a cash deposit. Most cards can be converted to unsecured accounts or partially unsecured accounts after a period of regular and timely payments. Regardless of the account type, your regular and timely credit card payments will improve your score dramatically.
If your credit problems seem too big to tackle on your own you can enlist the help of a credit repair service. Just do your research and check with the BBB and ripoffreport.com to make sure that you pick a reputable credit repair company. This type of service can help you improve your credit score and will allow you to quit searching for that impossible to get bad credit personal loan. You will find that with a good credit score you can obtain a personal loan fairly easily, even in the midst of the current credit meltdown.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) riders on the subway portions of the Red and Blue lines may see relief of the slow zone in the coming months. So-called “slow zones” are locations where trains travel at restricted speeds because of track work or deteriorating conditions.
The CTA is putting nearly US$15 millions towards renovation of the O’Hare to Clark/Lake portion of the Blue Line and Chicago to Belmont portions of the Red Line. Work will happen during off peak and overnight hours. The CTA says that one track operations and delays may occur.
“We have heard our customers’ frustration with slow zones and today we are acting to address their concerns,” said Chicago Transit Board chairperson Carole Brown. “I am pleased that we are able to leverage existing contracts to begin this work and I look forward to working with state lawmakers to increase transit investment to bring our entire system to a state of good repair.”
Submitted by: Ram Gupta
Most people would agree that the worst problem associated with weight gain and obesity is facial fat. It is the only place where you cannot hide fat under garments, and the one place where fat makes you look older than you actually are. Here are some diet tips that will help you burn fat in the face and make you look younger in a matter of weeks.
Why Your Face Looks Puffy and Fat
To begin with, a puffy face is not the result of accumulated fat only. Loose and saggy skin also means that you skin tissues have lost some of their elasticity. This is premature aging brought on by the presence of toxins in your body and hormonal imbalances.
As far as actual facial fat is concerned, the two places it accumulates are just below your chin and in your cheeks. You needn t worry, though! With the right diet, you will be able to lose face fat, and get brighter, younger and firmer skin as well.
Omit Processed Foods
Processed and packaged foods are filled with chemicals and toxic additives, which you will not be able to identify on typical nutritional labels. However, these are largely responsible for hormonal imbalances and symptoms of premature aging. Natural, raw and unprocessed foods, on the other hand, are rich in minerals and antioxidants, and they help flush out your system and prevent toxin buildups.
Include Fruits and Vegetables
This is one of the major reasons why health and nutrition experts constantly advise that you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. There is no food source richer in vital minerals and vitamins than a balanced intake of different seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Besides, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and low in calories, which are major factors when you are trying to lose face fat fast. The fiber will keep you full, and the low calorie density will ensure you don t overeat. As a result, you are more likely to consume less calories than you burn, and your body will then start to burn its reserves of fat from everywhere, including your face.
Water is a cleansing agent, and it flushes deadly toxins out of your body and keeps you replenished and hydrated at all times. Simply put, a toxin-free body is the only secret behind young, firm and glowing skin, and it is not possible to achieve, unless you drink enough water. All your efforts to lose face fat will amount to nothing, unless your skin looks tight and healthy in the first place.
That s not all, however. If you are dehydrated, your body may interpret thirst as hunger, and that causes you to overeat. Besides, a dehydrated body has a sluggish metabolism. So, by depriving yourself of water, you are consuming more calories, and burning less. To lose face fat fast, you need just the reverse! Make sure you drink 7-9 tall glasses of water everyday.
Don t Ignore Proteins
Finally, lean proteins should be a vital component of your diet, if you are looking to lose face fat. Proteins help maintain and build muscle in your body, especially if you are doing some form of exercise. Muscle speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn through fat reserves faster. The best sources of protein are soy, lentils, beans and legumes, eggs, dairy, chicken and fish.
If you can practice these diet tips, you should be able to burn fat in the face and achieve a glowing, healthy skin before you turn a year older!
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Friday, September 14, 2007
The Kennedy Center announced that its 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors would go to pianist Leon Fleisher, comedian Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, director Martin Scorsese and musician Brian Wilson. The Center was opened to the public in 1971 and was envisioned as part of the National Cultural Center Act, which mandated that the independent, privately-funded institution would present a wide variety of both classical and contemporary performances, commission the creation of new artistic works, and undertake a variety of educational missions to increase awareness of the arts.
In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said that “with their extraordinary talent, creativity and perseverance, the five 2007 honorees have transformed the way we, as Americans, see, hear and feel the performing arts.”
Fleisher, 79, a member of the Peabody Institute‘s music faculty, is a pianist who lost use of his right hand in 1965 due to a neurological condition. He became an accomplished musician and conductor through the use of his left hand. At 67, he regained the use of his right hand. With the advent of Botox therapy, he was once more able to undertake two-hand performances in 2004, his first in four decades. “I’m very gratified by the fact that it’s an apolitical honor,” Fleisher said. “It is given by colleagues and professional people who are aware of what [an artist] has done, so it really is apolitical — and that much more of an honor.”
Martin, 62, a comedian who has written books and essays in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career, rose to fame during his work on the American television program Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. Schwarzman praised his work as that of a “renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines.” Martin responded to the honor saying, “I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for finally alleviating in me years of covetousness and trophy envy.”
Ross, 63, was a product of Detroit‘s Brewster-Douglass Projects when as a teeager she and friends Mary Wilson and Florence Ballardis formed The Supremes, a ground-breaking Motown act. She portrayed singer Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues, which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award. “Diana Ross’ singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world,” said Schwarzman. Ross said she was “taken aback. It is a huge, huge honor and I am excited to be in this class of people.”
Scorsese, 64, is one of the most accomplished directors the United States ever produced, whose work includes Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Departed, for which he won a 2006 Academy Award for Best Director after being nominated eight times. Scorsese said, “I’m very honored to be receiving this recognition from the Kennedy Center and proud to be joining the company of the very distinguished individuals who have received this honor in years past.”
Wilson, 65, along with his brothers Dennis and Carl, formed the Beach Boys in 1961. They had a series of hits that included “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Their 1966 album Pet Sounds is considered one of the most influential recordings in American music. “This is something so unexpected and I feel extremely fortunate to be in the company of such great artists,” said Wilson, who is currently on tour.
The Kennedy Center’s board of trustees is responsible for selecting honorees for “lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” Previous honorees, including Elton John and Steven Spielberg, also submitted recommendations. A wide variety of people were under consideration, including Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Renee Fleming, Laurence Fishburne, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge and Kenny Chesney.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend the center’s presentation at its opera house on December 2, 2007, which will broadcast on December 26 on CBS.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.
The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.
“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.
“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.
“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.
“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”
The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.
Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”
The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.
“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.
The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:
“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”
Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.
By Jason Kay
1800GotJunk quickly became a popular success story, not only from a business standpoint, but also because it tapped into an underserved niche. It doesn’t matter if you are a home owner or renter, this is a service that will help you get all of your unwanted stuff out of the way. But is 1800GotJunk really your best option? Here is a quick review of some of the benefits and drawbacks of using 1800GotJunk.
How It Works
The entire process is fairly straightforward. You call 1800GotJunk and set up a time for them to show up. While they might give you an estimate over the phone, you will be told the real price that you pay once they arrive at your residence and see what needs to be done. It is important to see how much work they actually have to do before they give you a real price. Your price will be based upon how much work it takes to move everything as well as how much space it will take in their truck.
Benefits to Using 1800GotJunk
There are a number of different reasons that people find this service to be valuable. The first is that 1800GotJunk will remove pretty much anything. This includes everything from electronics and appliances to general yard trash and tires. Because they can take care of so many different things, it allows you to get everything cleaned up by a single company with a single visit. Other companies may take care of yard garbage but not items from inside your house or visa versa. Because 1800GotJunk will remove pretty much anything, you know that only one service will be needed instead of a variety of different removal companies. This means that there service is very convenient and can save you a lo of time that could be better spent enjoying yourself.
Another benefit is that 1800GotJunk is very environmentally responsible. They will recycle as much stuff as possible. In fact, they even track everything that they collect and where it is taken. That means that they can tell you whether it has been recycled, reclaimed, reused, or taken to a landfill. They have an extensive list of materials that they recycle on their website.
The primary drawback that is normally discussed is the cost. There are a variety of reasons for this. One problem that some people is that their initial quote is not the price that they are told once the service shows up and assesses the situation. However, it is important to note that 1800GotJunk does not lock you into their service after they give you their quote. You can decide to use someone else at any point before they start loading up your stuff.
However, the biggest concern over the price is especially clear if you don’t have a lot to dispose of. That is because a large percentage of the cost is based upon how much space you use in their truck. For example, if all you need moved is a couch, it could cost more than $100 because of the space that it will take up in their truck. If you don’t have a lot of remove, then a smaller service may be less expensive. On the other hand, if you are going to be filling up on their trucks, it is incredibly inexpensive compared to much of the competition.
1800GotJunk in Review
All in all, 1800GotJunk has proven to be a very reliable and environmentally conscious service, however if you don’t have a lot of remove, it may be more cost effective to look elsewhere.
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Monday, May 8, 2006
Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.
“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”
In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”
Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”
“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.
In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”
“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”
The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.
The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.
Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.
Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”
“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at www.commondreams.org,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.
“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “
She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.
“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”
Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.
Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”
Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.
Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.
Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.
Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.
? June 7, 2010
June 9, 2010 ?
Submitted by: Terry Small
Massage therapy all over the world is regarded as the best alternative medical treatment for many different medical conditions such as dysfunctions, common ailments, and the popular acute and chronic body pain. The natural therapy also works as a method capable of giving total relaxation to the body and mind. In addition to that, with proper execution and precise manipulation of the body by the massage therapist, massage is perhaps the most beneficial treatment which at the same time has the lowest risks of injuries and contraindications.
During the ancient centuries, Russians were practicing natural healing with the use of herbal medicines which is similar to the practice of most Oriental countries. The healers would use essential herbs that contain healing properties and would put them on the body of the patient. Sometimes they would boil herbs and make concoctions for the patients to drink for the health recovery. They would also use twigs on the patients by striking it on the body. The twigs are also valued as essential massage tools. Several evidences depicting the use of small branches on the body were proven.
Russian massage therapy is a type of massage that was designed to help patients recover from traumatic injuries, common injuries, and other conditions of the body. Although massage therapy during the early centuries was practiced on most parts of the world, it was not until the 1860s that massage was researched and studied by the Russians. It was Dr. M. Y. Mudrov who was responsible for the development and association of therapeutic massage into Russian medicine. This development was credited to Dr. Mudrov which was known as the classical massage. It was the predecessor of the Russian massage therapy which was later then practiced in the rehabilitation of the physical condition of a patient.
During the early years in Russia, only the very rich individuals were able to afford having a luxurious massage therapy aside from getting an injury and a prescription from a doctor. It was first taught in medical and athletic establishments until the 1990s although Russian massage therapy was known by almost all people in Russia.
After the Second World War, Russia became interested on the importance and benefits of massage therapy due to the scarcity of medicine supply to the country. This paved the way for the development and use of the Russian massage therapy.
Russian massage therapy uses the common massage strokes and techniques used in a Swedish massage although the treatment itself differs due to the more focused approach of the Russia s beloved therapy. In a Russian massage, you can expect a faster recovery rate from your injury due to many good reasons. The hands of the therapists work slowly and gently on the patient s body to treat musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular and neurological problems, gastrointestinal and many more disorders in a patient. However, the massage is quite aggressive and does include slight amount of pain due to the process of waking the muscles . The therapy is quite related and similar to sports massage which is a therapeutic type of massage developed as well for the treatment of injuries.
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