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Arsenic in Motts Apple Juice and Recent Food Recalls

By (view all posts by SavingsIQ)
at 12:58PM Monday September 19, 2011
under Newsworthy

Dr. Oz triggered fear in parents with his claim that there is arsenic in apple juice. After further investigation by the FDA, it has been concluded that the low levels of arsenic in apple juice are okay for consumption and parents can continue to feed them to their children. Apparently, arsenic is naturally present in food, water and air in both organic and non-organic forms. As long as the arsenic is organic, it's basically harmless.

While the anxiety over arsenic in Mott's apple juice has turned out to be a non-issue, another fruit is the focus of the latest food recall: Cantaloupes from a Colorado farm are infected with Listeria, a bacteria found in soil, stream water, plants, sewage and food. The outbreak has already killed two people and left another 22 sick. Infections caused by Listeria are potentially fatal. Yikes! Who would have thought that a melon could kill you?

These two stories inspired me to write about food recalls. Thinking back, there have been several recalls lately. Read More »

Saving on College Textbooks and Journal Articles

By (view all posts by pmiller)
at 7:57AM Thursday September 8, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

Photo courtesy of wohnai, via Flickr

Earlier in the week, JSTOR, the company that acts as a gatekeeper for just about every journal article published in academia in the last million years, generously announced that it would no longer charge fees to download works that are in the public domain. Put another way, stuff that is by law free for anyone will now be free for anyone. So we should all be very, very grateful. Read More »

Potential T-Mobile AT&T Merger Inspires Tips to Save Money on Cell Phone Plans

By (view all posts by pmiller)
at 7:54AM Thursday September 1, 2011
under Newsworthy

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Lu, via Flickr

This week the United States government sued to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by competitor AT&T. The reason given is that this would lessen competition and, in turn, hurt consumers.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a major cell phone carrier knows that the present state of competition isn't exactly producing a renaissance of terrific customer service. The norm is two-year contracts, high early termination fees, and steep charges when you go over your allotted voice, data or SMS limit.

But there are alternatives. Read on to find a few tricks to owning and using a decent smartphone without having to deal with the drawbacks of a contract with a major carrier. Read More »

Hurricane Irene and Ways to Survive Hurricane Season 2011 Safely

By (view all posts by SavingsIQ)
at 7:56AM Saturday August 27, 2011
under Newsworthy

As I write this blog post, Hurricane Irene is lashing the East Coast with heavy rain and winds of 105 mph.  Irene has the potential to become a multibillion-dollar catastrophe. Six to nine foot waves have already been reported along the Carolina coast. This disaster is projected to affect 65 million people in the heavily populated region of DC, New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

New Yorkers, who have not seen a hurricane since Hurricane Gloria in 1985, are being asked to pack up and move elsewhere as the city could become flooded. The highest economic damage by a storm in the Northeastern U.S. was in 1938 in Long Island at $45,301,000,000.

Let's hope Hurricane Irene weakens and gets downgraded from a Category 2 storm.

What are some ways you can prepare for a hurricane and avoid disaster to you and your home? Read More »

Why Brand Loyalty is Bad for You

By (view all posts by pmiller)
at 8:56AM Thursday August 25, 2011
under Newsworthy

Photo courtesy of Daniel Spiess, via Flickr

Once again, scientific research has confirmed the obvious: fanboys take their favorite brands much too seriously. As Ars Technica reports, a forthcoming study in Journal of Consumer Psychology shows that, for some, brand image can become inextricably linked to self image. For these unlucky, annoying few, a criticism of a brand can feel like a personal attack. Read More »

Morton's Steakhouse and Other Great Public Relations Moves

By (view all posts by Allegra.Ringo)
at 6:55AM Wednesday August 24, 2011
under Newsworthy

Image courtesy of Bob B. Brown via Flickr
Last week, like so many of us have done, angel investor Peter Shankman tweeted a joke request at a large corporation: before flying into New Jersey, he asked Morton's Steakhouse to meet him at his destination airport with a steak. Unlike most of us, Shankman's request was fulfilled when Morton's actually greeted him at Newark Airport with a steak.

Whoever decided to put this plan in action acted fast: Shankman's flight was only two and a half hours long and the closest Morton's location is 24 miles away from Newark Airport. Kudos to that PR whiz because Morton's is now reaping the benefits as dozens of blogs re-post the story.

We've had a lot of laughs about PR flubs here on the blog, most recently at Abercrombie & Fitch's long history of bad PR moves. This time, I wanted to look at the other side of that tricky coin known as public relations: the quirky PR stunt that totally worked. Read More »

The Tech-pert: The HP TouchPad Fire Sale and Other Epic Tech Fails

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 11:53AM Tuesday August 23, 2011
under Newsworthy

It's official: the HP TouchPad is dead. Wait, what? Didn't HP launch its much-ballyhooed iPad competitor just last month? And didn't I review it just a few weeks ago? There must be some mistake. Read More »

The Brain-Eating Amoeba and Other Weird Diseases

By (view all posts by SavingsIQ)
at 6:54AM Monday August 22, 2011
under Newsworthy

It's been all over the news lately, this brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) that has claimed the lives of 2 adults and 1 child.  Apparently, this deadly amoeba thrives in warm, stagnant water found in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. The parasite enters through the nose and travels up to the brain where it eventually devours your brain. Symptoms include fever, stiff neck and nausea and headache along with meningitis. The public is being warned to avoid swimming in shallow warm water where these amoeba live. I don't know about you, but I've never been on to dive into stagnant water. I always feel like something creepy is going to jump out at me.

But then again, one of the deaths did result from drinking contaminated tap water. *shudders*

This got me thinking about what other weird diseases there are that we don't know about. I present to you the top four. Read More »

PS3 Price Drops and Other Video Game News

By (view all posts by GuyCopes)
at 9:56AM Thursday August 18, 2011
under Newsworthy

This time of year usually brings news of new games, release dates and price adjustments for older hardware. Today is no different as we dive into the latest news from Sony and Nintendo that should elicit smiles from stretched-thin gamer wallets everywhere. Read More »

The "Situation" with Abercrombie & Fitch, Jersey Shore and More

By (view all posts by pmiller)
at 6:57AM Thursday August 18, 2011
under Newsworthy

Photo courtesy of Sam Davyson, via Flickr

Earlier in the week, Abercrombie & Fitch made the bold marketing decision to offer to pay Jersey Shore's "The Situation" to not wear the company's clothes on television. This may be the first recorded instance of reverse product placement. Read More »

Scavenger Hunt: Ethics, Etiquette and Legalities of Dumpster Diving, Etc.

By (view all posts by Allegra.Ringo)
at 8:55AM Wednesday August 17, 2011
under Newsworthy

Image courtesy of DieselDemon via Flickr.

Kelly Callahan obtains much of her produce in an unusual way: she picks fruit from the yards of foreclosed homes in her neighborhood. Callahan lives in Atlanta, which has the 16th-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. On any given street in her neighborhood, it's common to see several foreclosed homes--and difficult not to notice the abundance of fruit growing on the trees outside of them. Read More »

Macy's Fitting Rooms and Other Controversial Store Policies

By (view all posts by Allegra.Ringo)
at 6:57AM Wednesday August 10, 2011
under Newsworthy

Image courtesy of Vlad the Impala via Flickr.

Macy's has admitted that they purposely install fitting room doors upside-down so that the slats face downward to allow employees to more easily see into the fitting rooms. Macy's employs this policy, the purpose of which is to cut down on theft, in every U.S. state where it's legal. The news has stirred up controversy about the Macy's rights to survey their merchandise vs. customers' rights to--you know--undress without strangers watching them. Read More »