January 2010

The evidence is not people just dropping dead, but from several documented cases where perfectly healthy people rapidly give up eating and drinking after being ‘cursed’ and dehydration leads to death.

via Mind Hacks: Can you actually be frightened to death?.


Anand explained that a number of factors contribute to the success of the zero rupee notes in fighting corruption in India. First, bribery is a crime in India punishable with jail time. Corrupt officials seldom encounter resistance by ordinary people that they become scared when people have the courage to show their zero rupee notes, effectively making a strong statement condemning bribery. In addition, officials want to keep their jobs and are fearful about setting off disciplinary proceedings, not to mention risking going to jail. More importantly, Anand believes that the success of the notes lies in the willingness of the people to use them. People are willing to stand up against the practice that has become so commonplace because they are no longer afraid: first, they have nothing to lose, and secondly, they know that this initiative is being backed up by an organization—that is, they are not alone in this fight.

via Paying Zero for Public Services – WorldBank

There persists a deluded, quasi-philosophical resistance to the use of electronic devices, and scientific methodology for improving the production of brewed coffee. While coffee preparation certainly falls into the culinary arts, like it or not, water is a solvent, coffee a solute, and there is much benefit to be gained in the adoption of scientific apparatus and some light math. I implore those holding out, to at least once, measure brew strength and extraction percentage. This should include roasters, retailers, consumers and all in between. It is the only practical way that the occupants of this consumption chain have of communicating reference points and explaining what is in their cup.

via Tedious Meters // The Other Black Stuff.

He immediately started devouring as much information as he could about the three chief federal laws that protect consumers from collectors: the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In the next four years, Cunningham accused debt collectors of misrepresenting the amount he owed (an FDCPA violation that entitles a consumer to collect up to $1,000). He sued over prerecorded and auto-dialed calls to his cellular phone (a TCPA violation worth up to $1,500 per call). He also filed complaints that agencies failed to investigate his claims that his credit file contains inaccurate information, a breach of the Fair Credit Reporting Act worth up to $1,000 per violation. All told, he filed 15 other lawsuits in federal court without the help of a lawyer, earning himself settlements totaling more than $20,000.

“Most people hear about the abuses that debt collectors do, but you just didn’t hear about the second part of it, where people sue the collectors,” he says.

via Dallas News – Better Off Deadbeat: Craig Cunningham Has a Simple Solution for Getting Bill Collectors Off His Back. He Sues Them. – page 2.

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