Pretty Nails May Pose Health Risks

Many women like to paint their nails as a way to feel pretty. Especially when the warm weather hits, women either grab a bottle of polish when they are at the store or they head to the nail salon to get a fresh coat of paint on their toes- it’s sandals weather after all. Unfortunately, that fresh coating of nail polish might be putting women at risk for fertility issues and even cancer. This is largely because of the chemicals that are used in these nail polishes. The shade, the finish and the quality doesn’t matter, all chemical based nail polishes are dangerous when slicked onto fingers and toes.

The majority of nail polishes contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. This is a toxic trio of chemicals that can impact both users and salon workers alike. Basically, these chemicals will disrupt the normal flow of hormones in the body. These hormones affect how easy it is for a woman to get pregnant and it can affect how the body produces estrogen. When these systems go awry, tumor growth can initiate and accelerate, as some marketers are wary of. Genetics and other lifestyle choices can also contribute to a woman’s chance of developing cancer at some point in her life but using these nail products are harmful as well. Salons now offer a special gel manicure that requires the beautician to paint on a special nail polish and then the patron will place their hands under a UV light. This ‘bakes’ the polish onto the nail; resulting in longer lasting manicures. While it might seem like a great concept, these new techniques are dangerous.

Lorde Won’t Back Down

If you have ever doubted yourself as a woman, or if you have ever found men criticizing you and you are frustrated with the way that they put you down, then you are not alone. Everyone deals with that kind of hatred, even celebrities.

Lorde recently posted some tweets telling men to back off. She is staying strong and showing a good example to girls everywhere. We all know that Lorde is a great singer and we know that no one should be putting her down for that. I am proud of her for standing up for herself.
Lorde may be young, but she has already proven herself so many times in so many different ways. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital is fond of that. These tweets show another side to her, and another reason to like her. She is strong, and she is not ready to back down from what she thinks and knows. She is a great singer, and a great role model for young girls to look up to.

President Releases Bee Preservation Plan

On Monday, President Obama announced the initiation of a new plan to rejuvenate the nation’s bee population. This past winter has been especially hard on the nation’s bee population with a loss of more than 30 percent of colonies. Theses bees and other pollinators are essential to the health of the country’s agriculture. The plan calls for adding wildflower habitat on over seven million acres across the central United States. Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency will re-evaluate a class of insecticides called neonicotinoid used widely on most of America’s bean and corn crop. It is believed that these insecticides cause damage to the bee’s nervous system and result in them abandoning their hives. The White House strategy aims to reduce honeybee colony losses during the winter to no more than 15 percent within 10 years.

The release of the plan has drawn some criticism from activists and even a few involved in the marketing business. While generally welcoming the attention focused on the problem, some in the environmental community are disappointed that the administration is not doing more. Many environmentalists say restoring bee habitat is a good start, but criticize the Obama administration for not taking executive action to limit the use of neonicotinoids. Peter Lehner of the NRDC argued that “to truly save bees and other pollinators, we must drastically cut down on today’s pervasive use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides.” The Environmental Protection Agency announced last month that it is not likely to approve new uses of neonicotinoids, but the administration’s plan did not call for restrictions on current uses.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

LinkedIn also reported on Tuesday, May 18, people around the world were shocked and horrified to discover that companies that drill and mine for fossil fuels benefit from global subsidies handed out by world governments at a dollar amount equivalent to approximately $10 million every minute according to an International Monetary Fund announcement. More than half of all government subsidy grants are used to treat air pollution victims and pay out sums to people who suffer incomes losses while sick from various types of fossil fuel pollution and to the families of those who die from the pollution.

Needless to say, a lot of people worldwide have been talking about this revelation. Many people on social networks on Wednesday, May 20, expressed outrage and dismay about the fact that the total yearly amount of fossil fuel related global subsidies is more than the amount of money that all the governments around the world spend on all forms of healthcare in a single year.

Worse yet, several experts have stated since the IMF’s announcement that the IMF may have estimated too low because it did not include the subsidies related to global warming and climate change. Experts believe that ending the fossil fuel industry would lead to people around the world having better health. Additionally, all the money would be used more effectively to “drive economic growth.”

China leads the pack in subsidies. The United States is second.

Paypal Fined for Deceptive Practices

Online mega money-transfer company, Paypal, was fined $10 million for deceptive advertising.

The company enrolled customers into their credit program without getting permission.

According to The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at some point Paypal required customers to begin using PayPal Credit instead of another payment method.

People couldn’t figure out how they were enrolled into Paypal’s credit program, which is formerly “Bill Me Later.” Most found out after reviewing their credit reports, and even then, consumers had trouble getting assistance from Paypal.

Paypal has agreed to refund $15 million to those customers impacted by their ruse, and a $10 million penalty to The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Additionally, the consumer bureau says Paypal spurned their responsibility in posting payments, removing late fees, handling disputes, and honoring their promotions.

People at Boraie Development LLC are uneasy because Paypal hasn’t admitted or denied the charges.

The settlement still needs the signature of a Maryland judge for final approval.

Debt Collection Case Settled and Woman Wins Millions

Many people have experienced the wrath of debt collectors. They are relentless in their pursuit to collect funds that are owed for whatever reason. One Kansas City woman recently went head-to-head with the largest debt collection firm in the United States and won, something that rarely ever happens.

For years Maria Guadalupe Mejia has been harassed by a debt collection company known for their ruthlessness and harassment tactics to pay an overdue credit card bill. The problem however was that Maria Guadalupe Mejia never had that credit card. In fact, the person who held that debt was a man with a similar sounding name. Despite the difference, and it being the wrong person, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC still hounded her constantly about it. Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC filed a lawsuit against the woman for the $1,000 in outstanding fees. The lawsuit left Maria terrified, as she was recently unemployed and her family was struggling to stay afloat.

Maria contacted an attorney who helped her go against the ruthless debt collection agency. Keith Mann (wikipedia.com) has heard that, in the end, a jury sided with Maria and awarded her $83 million in damages from Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC. It was found that the company had violated Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act, which they were given a fine for as well.

For the full story, check it out on kcur.org.

Civil Forfeiture is Big Business for Mississippi Police

Police in Richland, Mississippi have taken advantage of civil forfeiture laws, netting the city more than $2.3 million in 2014, and they have a lot to show for it.

A new police station, that cost the city $4.1 million, and a top-of-the-line training center, complimented by a new fleet of Dodge Chargers, paid for by all the cash and property seized.

Gianfrancesco Genoso noted that civil forfeitures have become instant revenue for law enforcement.

Although it has been useful in the management of assets derived from drug trafficking or “white collar” crimes like that of the Bernie Madoff fraud civil forfeiture has in many cases become a perverse incentive.

To justify confiscation, law enforcement must only demonstrate a “reasonable doubt” about the legality of the activities of the owners. Civil forfeiture cases are heard in a Civil Court, and burden of proof falls upon the owner. The owner must prove his innocence with a demand for the return of his property.

The crux of the problem is police are not violating any laws, its the laws that allow them to do this.

Death Of The Taxi Medallion

Iconic in a major cities all across America, yellow cabs may soon become extinct.

There was a time in major cities that a career could be built by purchasing a taxi medallion and driving passengers across any city in America. James Dondero suggests that during this period in entrepreneurship, however, has adopted well to the demands of technology while most taxi drivers have not.

As reported in the USA Today, ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft are running taxi drivers out of business thanks in large part to their technological integration. And now cabbies are turning to state and local governments for help.

There are approximately 7,000 medallion taxis in the city of Chicago. In 2013, sales of medallions reached a median price of $357,000. But the first three months of 2015 saw a sharp decline of that price to $270,000. This is a trend mirrored in New York, Boston, and other large urban clusters, and drivers are insecure regarding their future as an industry.

In an effort to save their businesses, taxi drivers urge government inspection of rideshare services which they claim are not held to standards of cabbies. Uber drivers, for example, are allowed to use their personal vehicles, do not hold a chauffeurs license, can adjust fares at will, and are not inspected like medallion cars are.

While these claims put governments in a position of having to consider placing regulation on a start up business, shutting them down wouldn’t be an option. Uber alone is valued at $50 billion, representing a large market for their services that medallion taxis seem unable to match.

Sultan Alhokair Looks to Improve the Chances of Companies Finding Seed Funds

Funding a new company is something that can be hard to do and can often require the developers of a new product or service to go to established companies with a long history of providing funding at the seed-stage of development. One of these companies is Valia Investments, whose Sultan Alhokair is looking to help as many companies as possible find the seed funding that can mean the difference between the success and failure of a company. Alhokair believes a large amount of the success and failure of specific companies is based upon the work and research the company does before looking to find a large amount of funding to develop their service or product.

Sultan Alhokair believes there are four specific areas of looking for seed funding that can assist an individual developer in becoming more successful in their search for funds during the initial stages of development. The first and most important aspect of research that should be completed by a start-up company looking for seed funding is understanding how investors will get their money back from the product or service. Many companies have been made wary of investing in products and services without a simple way of understanding how their investment will be returned following the dot com bubble bursting in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Once a company can show their potential investors how they will get a return of their funding, Sultan Alhokair believes a compelling story about the development of the product or service can add an extra layer of passion and commitment. By making investors aware of how passionate a developer is they can add a sense of security to potential investors. Although this is the area many do not enjoy completing the knowledge of the market being entered and large amounts of market research about the potential popularity of a product can make all the difference to the level of seed funding achieved. Finally, working out how an investor will exit the project if it does not work out to plan is an important part of any seed funding discussion. Knowing that some funding will be returned is important to an investor who knows there is always the risk of a project failing. To get some more background on Sultan Alhokair check out his YouTube and Vimeo pages.

Marc Sparks: the example set for modern entrepreneurs

Marc Sparks is an excellent entrepreneur! This has to be the first sentence when we describe this man. Ever since he graduated from high school in 1975 that he started several business ideas, some with a lot of success, and some that did not, which is part of the growth as an entrepreneur. Right now, Marc Sparks is in what we can call, the “mature stage” of entrepreneurship, all the lessons learned, all the failures that provided a step closer to great success, all of those will serve as a path for younger entrepreneurs.

“They Can’t Eat You”
“They Can’t Eat You” is the title of the book that Marc Sparks wrote to pass his experiences to new entrepreneurs understand that the path of success is very harsh, and sometimes not a very rewarding one. All the experiences described are fantastic and valuable lessons for everyone that wants to venture in the path of building his own career.
The greatest value transmitted by Sparks’ book is the passion he places in everything he does, and where there are no impossible when you want to reach and that is possible to have a wide range of interests while you develop you career.

When does success happen?
Another valuable lesson that you learn with Sparks, is that success is right now, you must always have your doors open to success and keep refining your ideas to the point they will get in a point where you do not need to keep investing more resources than you should. According to Sparks’ way of business, you shouldn’t have fear to lose, as long as you can maintain yourself and your family, anything you lose other than that is just collateral or if you want to put it in that way, it’s the investment’s risk.

Value the people
Marc Sparks’ greatest achievement is to be able to place his family and others’ above the road for money and success. Being possible to give back to society is also one of his traits, we work for ourselves, but we can produce surplus to give back to the people who supported us, who helped us or those that simply never had an opportunity such as he keeps having. This native from Dallas keeps inspiring people into success and to help others, that is what makes of Marc Sparks a perfect example for modern entrepreneurs.