How to Get Paid to Do Nothing

How to Get Paid to Do Nothing

By Tom Hodgkinson is the editor of the Idler magazine. London — ITALIAN bureaucracy is legendary for a reason. Italians spend so much of their lives waiting in line — an estimated 400 hours a year per person — that some are now willing to pay freelancers to wait on their behalf. The rich can pay a “codista,” a neologism for a trained line sitter, to maunder at the post office or bank while they get on with something more important. I’m not quite sure what training is required to stand in place and occasionally shuffle forward, but maybe there is more skill to waiting in line than meets the eye. And it seems that Italy is not the only bureaucratically overwhelmed nation with its own waiting industry. Brazil has its “despachantes,” meaning dispatchers. Venezuela has its “coleros,” which, oddly, can translate to “top hats”; and Spain its “gestores” or agents. Meanwhile, in South Africa there is a company called Q4U that takes care specifically of the irksome business of applying for a British passport. In New York City, the cash-rich and time-poor use the service Same Ole Line Dudes, which describes itself as “New York’s only professional line sitting team.” The Dudes will charge you $25 for the first hour, plus $10 for each additional 30 minutes, to put in the necessary time to obtain coveted concert tickets or rare new sneakers. Their slogan is, “We wait for your wants.” I am told that they will even wait at the Department of Motor Vehicles for you. It can be only a matter of time before the old established industry...
Why the Clintons always escape the axe

Why the Clintons always escape the axe

Were you surprised by the way the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails ended? If so, you either did not live through the 1990s or have mercifully suppressed the memories. Why the Clintons always escape the axe The probe into the private email server the presumptive Democratic nominee used back when she was secretary of state had all the makings of a vintage Clinton scandal from that bygone era of Spice Girls CDs.There was the unrealistic expectation among Republicans that this would finally be the scandal that did the Clintons in, maybe even put them behind bars. There was the over-the-top indignant Democratic defenses ignoring the billowing smoke, much less denying all possibility of fire. Then, finally, there were the people with the power to make a difference ultimately deciding to lecture the Clintons, but not to impose any real consequences. Here James Comey was just following in the footsteps of Joe Lieberman circa 1998.Of course, there was one big difference then: Lieberman was making a moral judgment of Bill’s conduct. Comey was laying out a series of findings that might have gotten lesser mortals in a bit of a legal jam or at the very least jeopardized their jobs and security clearances.But when it comes to Clinton scandals, Republicans always manage to seem a little too eager, a little too partisan. They pursue serious allegations against the Clintons and more frivolous ones with equal vigor. In this, they are almost enablers of the Clintons’ most shameless defenders. Republicans either overreach, such as pursuing an unpopular impeachment despite no realistic path to conviction in the Senate, or miss the forest...
I want my country back. A Guide to UK’s vote

I want my country back. A Guide to UK’s vote

This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world. As posted on NewStatesman This morning, I woke up in a country I do not recognize. David Cameron’s big gamble – the future of Britain against his personal political ambitions – has backfired so badly that we’ve blasted clean out of the EU. By the time I’d put the kettle on, the stock markets were in free fall, Scotland was debating a new independence referendum, Sinn Fein was making secession noises, and the prime minister had resigned. There’s not enough tea in the entire nation to help us Keep Calm and Carry On today. Not on a day when prejudice, propaganda, naked xenophobia and callous fear-mongering have won out over the common sense we British like to pride ourselves on. Not on a day when we’re being congratulated by Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and nobody else. Well done, turkeys. Santa’s on his way. Nigel Farage, the rich, racist cartoon demagogue, boasts that this victory was won “without a single shot being fired”. Tell that to the grieving family of Jo Cox, the campaigning Labour MP gunned down last week. Farage promised that unless something was done to halt immigration, “violence will be the next step”. It looks like we’ve got a two-for-one deal on that one. So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we’ve all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks. Leave voters are...
Get the Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Get the Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Top 8 Credit Cards For Excellent Credit By Thomas Donaldson, Do you have excellent credit? If so, it might be time to start upgrading to an even more rewarding credit card.  Since the 2008 financial crisis, banks have been very careful about acquiring customers with uncertain credit. They have also put a focus on rewarding customers with good and excellent credit. There are tons of credit cards out there, and it might seem overwhelming, causing you to feel content with your current credit card. It’s easy to get comfortable using the same card for years. However, you are ignoring all of the special rewards that got you excellent credit in the first place. If you have excellent credit, you can start saving more money by taking a look at the cards below. These are the top 8 credit card deals you can take advantage of right now: BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card To get started, this card comes with a 20,000-point sign up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. That’s a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases, and it’s one of the few high-reward travel cards with no annual fee. With the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, and points can be redeemed for nearly any travel purchase in the form of a statement credit. This card also has no foreign transaction fees, which makes it perfect for traveling abroad. If you’re a traveler and are looking for a simple no annual fee card that won’t make you worry about blackout dates, this card is for you. Citi®...
The Hot New SmartPhones For 2016

The Hot New SmartPhones For 2016

Are you on the market for a new smartphone? If so, start your search with the best-rated smartphones of 2016 – we’re talking about the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Galaxy Note5, the LG G4 and the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. These new smartphones are sleek, stylish and pack all the latest technology one can ask for. Some of these phones are even compatible with new virtual-reality headsets that allow you to view apps, watch movies and play games like never before. These industry-leading phones are being offered with great incentives from dealers, so finding one you can afford isn’t too difficult. But at the end of the day, which of these new smartphones is best for your needs? Read on to compare these phones and find out. First on our list is the all-new Samsung Galaxy S7. Compared to the Galaxy S6, the new S7 is more ergonomic with a slightly curved back. More importantly, the Galaxy S7 supports microSD cards – something the S6 did not do – and it’s slightly thicker to accommodate a larger, longer-lasting battery. The new S7 is certified as waterproof and features a high-resolution 5.1-inch AMOLED screen, and while its camera only shoots in 12 megapixels, the S7 features dual-pixel technology that results in ultra-clear images under all kinds of lighting. The S7 features Android Marshmallow and features fast and wireless charging technologies, and overall performance hums thanks to the phone’s Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of RAM. With improved styling, better features and increased versatility, the new Samsung Galaxy S7 just might be this generation’s phone to beat. Another strong option...
Apple Vs. FBI The Privacy and Encryption Issue

Apple Vs. FBI The Privacy and Encryption Issue

This is why the FBI can’t hack into iPhones. (From MSN News) A US judge has ordered Apple to help the FBI hack into an iPhone used by one of the assailants in the San Bernardino, California shootings—and the computer giant has so far refused a request from the law enforcement agency. But the reason the FBI can’t get into the phones without Apple’s help is ludicrously simple. It comes down to one setting, that anyone can turn on or off in seconds. Users of the iPhone can find the toggle that’s foxed America’s top security officials by going to Settings > Passcode, where they’ll be asked to enter their security code. Once that’s done, a screen appears at the foot of which is this option: Erase Data. Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts. The FBI is asking (pdf) for technical assistance to essentially give them an unlimited number of guesses to crack the PIN, using a “special version of iOS that only works on the one iPhone they have recovered,” according to the Trail of Bits blog. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has championed the need for encryption—and he means it. The iPhone in question is a 5C, which doesn’t have Apple’s most important security feature, the Secure Enclave—a separate computer within the computer that is the iPhone that holds access to the encryption keys that control Apple Pay, the iCloud keychain, and other bits and pieces linked to Touch ID. (The 5C is no longer on sale; the iPhone 5S model onwards has Touch ID.) “If the San Bernardino gunmen had used an...
New Dietary Guidelines Draw Praise, Criticism

New Dietary Guidelines Draw Praise, Criticism

By Ashley Hayes, Watch your sugar, use caution with the salt shaker, and limit those saturated fats. That’s the advice from the updated U.S. nutritional guidelines, released Thursday by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines are published every 5 years and aim to reflect the latest science-based evidence about what we eat. “Diet is one of the most powerful tools we have to take control of our own health,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters at a briefing Thursday. “There are many ways to stay healthy, but nutrition will always be at the foundation of good health.” While some groups like the American Medical Association praise and support the guidelines, critics say the recommendations don’t go far enough — And they’ve accused the government of playing politics with Americans’ health. “It really is a betrayal of science to politics,” says David Katz, MD, founding director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, a federally funded program that studies how changes to lifestyle can prevent disease. “Public health, which means the lives of real people, is being thrown under the political bus.” Some of the biggest controversies centered on what wasn’t in the guidelines — a recommendation to eat less red and processed meat. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a panel of independent experts, called eating large amounts of red and processed meat “detrimental.” The guidance does recommend we eat lean meats and poultry, and it notes that eating less meat, including processed meat and processed poultry, has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. But it doesn’t offer...

Let’s start the voyage!

Some times I wonder if the way I was raised was the right one. My parents embedded on me and my brother with the following. “If you want to be happy for an hour take a nap. If you want to be happy for a day..go fishing. If you want to be happy for a year, inherit a fortune but if you want to be happy for a lifetime Help someone. What I have found out so far is that people want you to help them but they never appreciate it. I guess times have change and i am still in the...
So This is Christmas and What Have We Done?

So This is Christmas and What Have We Done?

Merry Christmas!! Every year this holiday has turned out to signify not a cause for celebration but the beginning of a depression season for most. Everyone knows Andy William’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but no one really believes it.  Holidays have turned out being about social status, Black Friday sales, Facebook posts and picture sharing. Stressing about gifts, money, what others will think; we just can’t wait for the holidays to be over and the new year to come in. My opinion and beliefs about these HOLY DAYS are a bit different. Apart from traditions, customs and rituals, every culture and nationality have, there are some symbols that are universal and they should give us hope and happiness. The Bells remind us of that joyous moment when Jesus Christ was born. Church bells were rung to announce any news or summon people to Church during Prayer time. Today, Church bells are rung during prayer times and at the eve of Christmas, announcing the commencement of the celebration. Bells happen to be the high priest’s garb according to the Jews. Bells remind us that high priest is none but Christ himself. The Wreaths are the symbol of hope. Although the world knew about wreaths, it was not until people of Northern Europe started associating it with winter season that wreaths came to become a Christmas symbol. Northern European’s pagan people believed the sun to be like a “wheel” that would roll away from them and then return to them. A country that experienced long winters, wreaths were a symbol of hope. They were made out of...
What you need to know in order to sign up for a credit card

What you need to know in order to sign up for a credit card

Solid Advice When Choosing A Credit Card If you want to get your first credit card, but you aren’t sure which one to get, don’t panic. Credit cards aren’t nearly as complicated to understand as you might think. The tips in this article can help you to figure out what you need to know, in order to sign up for a credit card. Do not use your credit card to make purchases or everyday items like milk, eggs, gas and chewing gum. Doing this can quickly become a habit and you can end up racking your debts up quite quickly. The best thing to do is to use your debit card and save the credit card for larger purchases. Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible. When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them. If you see any suspicious charges, report them quickly. By doing so you give the credit card company the best chance of catching the thief. This will help ensure you are not liable for any fraudulent charges...

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