BandSlam! http://www.bandslam-movie.com Rock yourself with raw knowledge! Sun, 21 May 2017 19:57:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Making A Difference In America http://www.bandslam-movie.com/making-a-difference-in-america/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/making-a-difference-in-america/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:42:24 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=7

enmNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead. Our readers have proved her words true time and again. Since 1978, the environmental movement has become more organized and more influential. No longer dismissed as “hippies,” “tree huggers,” and “radicals,” today’s environmentalists include world-renowned scientists, Fortune 500 executives, garden clubs, 4-H groups, and kindergartners. Families across the country have made the effort to recycle and seek out energy-efficient appliances, according to POP Environment. Over the years, our readers have championed the Endangered Species Act, applauded the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, and supported the creation of the Canyons of the Escalante National Monument, in southeastern Utah. They have sought out information on organic-food regulations, national park and nature center funding, global warming, composting,

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enmNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead. Our readers have proved her words true time and again. Since 1978, the environmental movement has become more organized and more influential. No longer dismissed as “hippies,” “tree huggers,” and “radicals,” today’s environmentalists include world-renowned scientists, Fortune 500 executives, garden clubs, 4-H groups, and kindergartners. Families across the country have made the effort to recycle and seek out energy-efficient appliances, according to POP Environment. Over the years, our readers have championed the Endangered Species Act, applauded the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, and supported the creation of the Canyons of the Escalante National Monument, in southeastern Utah. They have sought out information on organic-food regulations, national park and nature center funding, global warming, composting, lead poisoning, creating backyard wildlife habitats, and the availability of solar power.

In short, men and women committed to saving our countryside have worked to make a difference and have much to show for their efforts. Over the past 20 years, the Endangered Species Act has helped to recover the bald eagle, American alligator, California sea otter, and many other threatened or endangered animals and plants, serving as our main defense against species and habitat loss. Groups like the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Center for Marine Conservation, and the National Wildlife Federation have provided leadership and guidance, empowering grassroots conservation groups to save marshes, forests, and sand dunes from development in their towns and cities.

enmmRoughly 25 percent of America’s trash is now collected for recycling. More and more of it is being used by manufacturers to create new products. Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees. Recycled paper can be found in the boxes that line the cereal aisle at your local market as well as in high-end stationery shops. Today it’s not uncommon for discarded plastic soda bottles to be spun into Polarfleece, a plush, colorful material used to make clothing, bedding – even teddy bears. (One jacket made from this material keeps 15 two-liter soda bottles out of our landfills.) For the home, there are recycled glass tiles, carpets made without formaldehyde and toxic glues, and paints that emit few volatile organic compounds.

Timber consumption is also being reduced by forward-thinking companies that make paper products from such materials as kenaf, hemp, and agricultural residues like wheat straw. And labels like SmartWood and Green Cross, both certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, let consumers know which woods have been cultivated and harvested with minimal environmental destruction.

Alarmed to learn that the United States is losing approximately a million acres of farmland each year to nonagricultural use, our readers have reached out to support urban farms, local farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs, and groups such as the American Farmland Trust, a hardworking nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the family farm. And Country Living readers from coast to coast have generously contributed to the Country Living National Arbor Day Forest, which is now 1,336 acres strong.

Much has been accomplished in 20 years thanks to the continued efforts of individuals who have made a personal commitment to “do something” for the environment – whether it’s installing water-saving aerators on their faucets, switching to longer-lasting fluorescent lightbulbs, starting a recycling drive at the office, biking to work, carpooling, or planting a vegetable garden. Conservation is about choices. We all play a part.

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Being God-Fearing And Green Can Coexist http://www.bandslam-movie.com/being-god-fearing-and-green-can-coexist/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/being-god-fearing-and-green-can-coexist/#respond Mon, 25 Jan 2016 18:31:43 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=5 In the 1996 debate over the Endangered Species Act in the United States,  the religious right was as fervent as the green left in defending tough legal protections for at risk species.

ccaIn Canada, the phenomenon seems most developed on the West Coast, notably among Anglican evangelicals. The largest Anglican church in Vancouver, St. John’s Shaughnessy, which is a perpetual thorn in the side of liberal bishops on many social and theological issues, is hosting a “Visions for the Earth” conference April 17, the day before Earth Day, sponsored by Vision TV, and with help from the Earthhouse Collective.

Loren Wilkinson, professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Regent College in Vancouver and an orthodox Anglican evangelical who has been a green activist for 25 years, believes that environmental awareness comes in waves. “Generally

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In the 1996 debate over the Endangered Species Act in the United States,  the religious right was as fervent as the green left in defending tough legal protections for at risk species.

ccaIn Canada, the phenomenon seems most developed on the West Coast, notably among Anglican evangelicals. The largest Anglican church in Vancouver, St. John’s Shaughnessy, which is a perpetual thorn in the side of liberal bishops on many social and theological issues, is hosting a “Visions for the Earth” conference April 17, the day before Earth Day, sponsored by Vision TV, and with help from the Earthhouse Collective.

Loren Wilkinson, professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Regent College in Vancouver and an orthodox Anglican evangelical who has been a green activist for 25 years, believes that environmental awareness comes in waves. “Generally

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Daishowa Vs Lubicon – An Epic Battle http://www.bandslam-movie.com/daishowa-vs-lubicon-an-epic-battle/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/daishowa-vs-lubicon-an-epic-battle/#respond Sat, 02 Jan 2016 11:50:16 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=12

dvlWhen the FoL began their work in 1989, the Alberta government had already sold off the timber lease on the Lubicon’s traditional territories to Daishowa Canada, a division of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies. In 1990, Daishowa began logging. The Lubicon asked for help and the FoL answered the call, asking the company to stop clearcutting until the tribe’s land rights had been settled. In 1991, after moral suasion failed, the FoL began a letter-writing and picketing campaign to persuade customers and companies to stop using Daishowa paper products.

The idea for the boycott emerged from one of Daishowa’s own paper bags. At an meeting in 1989, an FoL member “looked at the bottom of a paper bag [from] the pizza joint, and there was a

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dvlWhen the FoL began their work in 1989, the Alberta government had already sold off the timber lease on the Lubicon’s traditional territories to Daishowa Canada, a division of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies. In 1990, Daishowa began logging. The Lubicon asked for help and the FoL answered the call, asking the company to stop clearcutting until the tribe’s land rights had been settled. In 1991, after moral suasion failed, the FoL began a letter-writing and picketing campaign to persuade customers and companies to stop using Daishowa paper products.

The idea for the boycott emerged from one of Daishowa’s own paper bags. At an meeting in 1989, an FoL member “looked at the bottom of a paper bag [from] the pizza joint, and there was a

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Roosevelt Set The Table For New York Conservationists http://www.bandslam-movie.com/roosevelt-set-the-table-for-new-york-conservationists/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/roosevelt-set-the-table-for-new-york-conservationists/#respond Sun, 27 Dec 2015 16:55:44 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=14 gwpAs New York approaches the 100th anniversary of his election as governor, the state has another chief executive, George E. Pataki who embodies the progressive policies of “TR,” who finds inspiration in his words and deeds (as well as in the portrait of Roosevelt on the wall of his Capitol office), and who, like Roosevelt, is guiding New York into a new century amid major environmental initiatives.

Both Roosevelt and Pataki developed a love of, and respect for, New York’s natural resources as young men growing up in New York — Roosevelt on Long Island and Pataki in the mid-Hudson Valley. As Governors of New York, both worked to enhance the environment and preserve those resources; both addressed the need for a solution to the New York City water problem; and both

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gwpAs New York approaches the 100th anniversary of his election as governor, the state has another chief executive, George E. Pataki who embodies the progressive policies of “TR,” who finds inspiration in his words and deeds (as well as in the portrait of Roosevelt on the wall of his Capitol office), and who, like Roosevelt, is guiding New York into a new century amid major environmental initiatives.

Both Roosevelt and Pataki developed a love of, and respect for, New York’s natural resources as young men growing up in New York — Roosevelt on Long Island and Pataki in the mid-Hudson Valley. As Governors of New York, both worked to enhance the environment and preserve those resources; both addressed the need for a solution to the New York City water problem; and both

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Camcorders: They’re Cool Again! http://www.bandslam-movie.com/camcorders-theyre-cool-again/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/camcorders-theyre-cool-again/#respond Thu, 24 Dec 2015 17:45:21 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=73 gamdrsCamcorders have been around for more than a decade and about one of every four American families owns one. The reason is simple: With the press of a button, a child’s first steps or first birthday party get recorded forever on videotape. And talk about instant gratification – you don’t even need to go to a one-hour photo store. You just play the tape back through your television and everyone’s an immediate star. In addition to taping family, friends, and faraway places, camcorders also come in handy for a more pragmatic purpose. When used for recording your home and its contents, videotape can help your insurance agent to expedite a claim if an accident occurs.

At this time of year, with graduations, weddings, and family vacations looming, if you don’t already have a …

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gamdrsCamcorders have been around for more than a decade and about one of every four American families owns one. The reason is simple: With the press of a button, a child’s first steps or first birthday party get recorded forever on videotape. And talk about instant gratification – you don’t even need to go to a one-hour photo store. You just play the tape back through your television and everyone’s an immediate star. In addition to taping family, friends, and faraway places, camcorders also come in handy for a more pragmatic purpose. When used for recording your home and its contents, videotape can help your insurance agent to expedite a claim if an accident occurs.

At this time of year, with graduations, weddings, and family vacations looming, if you don’t already have a camcorder, now may be a good time to consider buying one, especially considering the current Diiva technology. And the best news is that these devices have gotten smaller, more lightweight, easier to operate, and more affordable than ever before.

Your Choices

There are now more than 100 camcorder models available that range in price from $500 to $2,500. Sorting through them is a relatively easy task once you’ve answered a few basic questions. The first of these should be, are you comfortable connecting electronic cables? If you have no fear of plugging cables from a camcorder to a TV or VCR, consider yourself a candidate for models using eight-millimeter tape. RCA, Sony, Sharp, and Canon are the top brands here. If the thought of connecting cables turns you off, however, consider camcorders that use VHS-Compact (VHS-C) tapes. Here you take the small VHS-C tape out of the camcorder, place it in an adapter, and slide the adapter into your VCR. Press play and you are in business. JVC, Panasonic, and RCA are the names to look for in this format.

Once you’ve determined a tape format, ask yourself how you plan to use the camcorder. If you only want it to record special occasions, there is no need to spend more than $500 or $600. A model at this price will have all the features you need, including fully automatic, point-and-shoot recording and a color viewfinder so you’ll see your subjects in color rather than black-and-white, which was the norm up until a few years ago.

But no matter what their cost, today’s camcorders are amazingly simple to use. Just turn the power on, look through the viewfinder, frame your subject by adjusting the zoom lens, and then press the record button. That’s it. Camcorders with Program Auto Exposure (AE) settings are worth looking for. If you’re taping your son or daughter’s soccer game, just turn the Program AE setting to “sports.” Now the camcorder is optimally set for recording fast action. Other available settings – depending on the model and maker – include “sand and snow” for taping the family at the beach, ski slopes, or other high-glare locations. These settings make it easier than ever to make quality recordings in a variety of situations, even the most difficult.

There are two additional features that your camcorder should have – image stabilization and a built-in light. Image stabilization takes the “shakes” out of your videos by using electronic circuitry or adjusting the internal lenses. Don’t worry about how it works, just know that your friends and family won’t get seasick when watching your tapes. The light is great for making high-quality recordings indoors or in other low-light settings.

The hottest trend over the past two years in camcorder land is the surging popularity of models with two viewfinders: a smaller eyepiece and a much larger LCD screen that swings out from the side of the camera. Every major company now makes them – no matter which type format you choose. The larger (2.5- to 4-inch) LCD screens offer wonderful advantages. You can record from a number of different angles because you no longer have to keep the camcorder glued to your eye. You can rotate the larger screen while holding it at arm’s length. You can twist the screen so the kids can see themselves being recorded (a great attention getter). And once you’ve finished taping, everyone can stand around the camcorder and watch their antics. For a swing-out LCD viewfinder, expect to spend around $100 more than you would for a basic camcorder with a smaller color viewfinder. For example, Sony’s new eight-millimeter CCD- TRV15 is $699 list and has a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a 16x zoom lens. The VHS-C Quasar VML458 ($599 list price) has a 2.6-inch swivel LCD monitor and a 23x zoom. Both of these camcorders are excellent deals, especially when you realize that zoom lenses greater than 12x didn’t even exist five years ago, let alone 16x or 23x lenses.

Other Fun Features

From here, prices rise substantially if you want a larger LCD screen or improved picture and sound. JVC’s new GR-AXM700 DualCam with a 3-inch LCD ($999) is a fascinating hybrid. It’s a combination VHS-C camcorder and digital still camera; it holds up to 44 still photographs in memory that you can download into the family computer. Panasonic’s PV-L858 ($999) has a 3.2-inch LCD screen and a 23x zoom, takes up to 30 digital stills, and records video on easy-to-handle VHS-C tapes.

When you go shopping, you’ll encounter an improved version of eight-millimeter video called high-band eight-millimeter, or Hi8. The picture is almost twice as good as regular eight-millimeter and rental VHS tapes. If you want superior video quality and have a newer, high-quality TV, this is a good option. The CCD-TRV75 is a Hi8 Sony with a 3-inch LCD screen and image stabilization that costs $999. It also includes a feature called Laser Link, a plus for anyone worried about cables, since it beams the camcorder signal to the TV without wires (although you will have to connect a signal receiver that rests on top of the TV). Besides better picture quality and all the expected bells and whistles, this model also has NightShot, a new infrared light that lets you record in total darkness. Wild and lots of fun.

Digital Video (DV) camcorders are the next generation of home videography. They record beautiful images (better than Hi8) with CD-quality sound. They’re wonderful, but expensive. With a list price of $1,999, the Panasonic PV-DV700 is the most “affordable.” Still, prices are drifting down and just as CD players replaced turntables, DV will supplant the current eight-millimeter and VHS-C tape formats. However, this will probably take 10 years or more, so you can feel confident an eight-millimeter or VHS-C camcorder you buy now will not be made obsolete in the very near future.

Now get out there and start saving – and sharing – those memories!

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Effective And Easy Remedies For Snoring http://www.bandslam-movie.com/effective-and-easy-remedies-for-snoring/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/effective-and-easy-remedies-for-snoring/#comments Sun, 13 Dec 2015 12:47:12 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=44 Controlling snoring is very tough task but still you have to try your best because your partner gets very disturbed with your loud noises. All the remedies for snoring are effective but it all depends upon the reason that is causing snoring. There are different reasons for different people and I will address the most common reasons that cause snoring. On top of the list is problem of weight because it is observed that mostly overweight people snore more than average people. To control this kind of snobreathing-wellring that happens due to extra weight, you have to exercise and maintain a healthy diet. This small change in routine will eventually get you rid of it. Secondly people that smoke and drink heavily often snore more.

Quitting drinking and smoking may not …

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Controlling snoring is very tough task but still you have to try your best because your partner gets very disturbed with your loud noises. All the remedies for snoring are effective but it all depends upon the reason that is causing snoring. There are different reasons for different people and I will address the most common reasons that cause snoring. On top of the list is problem of weight because it is observed that mostly overweight people snore more than average people. To control this kind of snobreathing-wellring that happens due to extra weight, you have to exercise and maintain a healthy diet. This small change in routine will eventually get you rid of it. Secondly people that smoke and drink heavily often snore more.

Quitting drinking and smoking may not be possible for you but you can at least make sure that you do not drink or smoke before you go to sleep. If you can stop smoking before 2-3 hours of going to bed then it can help you to minimize snoring. Lastly you can change your position while sleeping and it will also help you to control snoring. Keep a relaxed and comfortable position and especially pay attention to the position of your neck and shoulders. Remember that the answer to the question: “How do I stop snoring?” is much easier if you have the right device or mouthpiece(or snoring mouth guard, depending on your semantic preference) for you. One of these right now is, of course, the ZQuiet mouthpiece. See it here.

Controlling Snoring Can Be Simple

Snoring can become very irritating and especially if you do not control it properly then it can keep getting worse. You need to diagnose the exact reason behind snoring and then address that issue. There are few common issues that cause snoring and there are some very easy remedies that you can implement to get rid of snoring. First of all you should know that snoring is not incurable and you can control it very easily. Secondly there are anti-snoring medications also available that you can take in extreme situations. These anti-snoring products are easily available over the counter because most of these do not have any side effect. You need to try all the home remedies for snoring first because these remedies have absolutely no side effect. Breathing exercises are the first thing that can limit your snoring because exercise helps you to enhance your breathing power. You should also keep your weight under control because overweight people often get into snoring problem. You should also sleep in a comfortable position because position does matter a lot. Your neck and shoulders must be in balanced position. You can use pillows as many as you want but make sure that your neck stays still.

Should You Try The Good Morning Snore Solution?

These days, it is quite difficult to choose the right mouthpiece that will finally put an end to your snoring problem. You may have already heard of the Good Morning Snore Solution and its ability to help you deal with snoring for good. This snoring mouthpiece has been the subject of many quality reviews and as the only tongue retaining mouth guard on the market, it’s seen as a really innovative anti snoring device.

Additionally, the Good Morning Snore Solution is more comfortable than other snoring devices. Even if you are new to using it, you can easily follow the instructions and it is very manageable. In fact, it has been proven effective by more than 70% of people who tried it.

Good Morning Snore Solution is not a jaw retainer because it is just a simple appliance that is intended to hold your tongue so it continues to be in a steady position while you sleep. It prevents the tongue from falling backward into your throat, causing it to block your airways. As a result, you will have a more comfortable sleep. It is also ideal for long term use because it only takes a few days for you to adjust to the device. You do not need to follow some tedious preparations such as boiling, molding or heating it because it perfectly fits your mouth.

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Reverse Mortgages: Smart? http://www.bandslam-movie.com/reverse-mortgages-smart/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/reverse-mortgages-smart/#respond Mon, 07 Dec 2015 07:53:02 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=78 rmgsTo many retired or soon-to-retire couples, a reverse mortgage may sound like a fairy-tale ending to a lifetime of hard work. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners to use their house as collateral in order to establish a credit line to draw against as needed or to collect monthly payments of a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. This cash, when added to pensions and Social Security disbursements, can make life more comfortable and more secure for people in their golden years. Yet while they may have the flavor of “icing on the cake,” reverse mortgages are legally binding financial arrangements – not magic – and they are not for everyone.

Available from an increasing number of sources, but not from every type of lender and not in every state, a reverse mortgage is …

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rmgsTo many retired or soon-to-retire couples, a reverse mortgage may sound like a fairy-tale ending to a lifetime of hard work. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners to use their house as collateral in order to establish a credit line to draw against as needed or to collect monthly payments of a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. This cash, when added to pensions and Social Security disbursements, can make life more comfortable and more secure for people in their golden years. Yet while they may have the flavor of “icing on the cake,” reverse mortgages are legally binding financial arrangements – not magic – and they are not for everyone.

Available from an increasing number of sources, but not from every type of lender and not in every state, a reverse mortgage is a way for older homeowners to access the accumulated equity in their homes. Homeowners 62 years old and older can opt to borrow, in cash, a portion of their house’s equity on a periodic basis. With that cash, they can pay bills, buy clothes and personal items for themselves or their children or grandchildren, or apply it to the purchase of something special.

Explore Your Options

If we sign up for a reverse mortgage, will any equity be left in our home for our children?

This is the first question many homeowners considering this financial arrangement ask. The answer, of course, depends on how much of the equity is tapped and how long the homeowners remain in the home. The reverse mortgage loan balance grows over time. As long as at least one borrower continues to maintain the home as his or her primary residence, reverse mortgages don’t have to be repaid.

Half of the reverse mortgage inquiries fielded by Wendover Financial Services Corp., in Greensboro, N.C., do not come from retirees themselves, but from their adult children. Often referred to as the “sandwich generation” in reference to their dual financial commitments to put their own kids through school while simultaneously providing help for their aging parents, these men and women are looking for a solution that will meet everyone’s needs.

Michael A. Hyman, senior vice president for Wendover, a secondary market buyer of Federal Housing Administration and other reverse mortgages, explains, “Young families don’t want their parents to worry about moving from their home of many years for the lack of funds to pay ordinary expenses.”

What are the up-front costs? Since reverse mortgages work like any other type of loan, there are significant up-front costs involved. In most cases, however, interest charges and loan fees are deducted directly from equity in the house by rolling them into the loan rather than paying them out of pocket. Once the reverse mortgage is approved, homeowners begin receiving periodic cash advances – either from a credit line or monthly advances or a combination of the two.

News about reverse mortgages hasn’t always been laudatory. A Wall Street Journal article in November 1996 was headlined “REVERSE MORTGAGES REVERSE THE FOR’ TUNES OF SENIORS.” The reporter cited one case in which heirs accused a lender of having charged their then-deceased parent an effective 63-percent interest rate (including all loan costs). Such extreme cases are rare today, but many reverse mortgages remain quite costly if the homeowners decide to stay in the home only for a year or two, since most of the fees involved in reverse mortgages are paid at loan closing. The growth of reverse mortgage lending has expanded substantially, and competition has tended to make the cost more reasonable. This is especially true since the Federal Housing Administration entered the arena with reverse mortgages that offer greater cash at lower costs in most cases.

Are all reverse mortgages the same? “Several types of reverse mortgages are now available everywhere but in Texas,” reports Bronwyn Belling, formerly reverse mortgage specialist for the American Assn. of Retired Persons Foundation, in Washington, D.C. “And other proprietary reverse mortgages are found primarily in the most populous states.”

But in no way does this mean that reverse mortgage rates are virtually identical. Before you or your elderly parents sign up for any plan, public or private, insist on receiving from the lender an estimate of all charges during the life of the reverse mortgage, as is required by law.

Where can I turn for more information? The facts on each lender’s plans are free from that lender, but you or your parents will need to do some legwork to compare all the plans. Free and low-cost information is available through local Housing and Urban Development offices or by calling (888) 466-3487 and through local Fannie Mae offices or by calling (800) 7-FANNIE. According to the AARP, another way to learn more about other financial, housing, and social service alternatives to reverse mortgages is to call your local Area Agency on Aging. To locate the agency nearest you, check first with the National Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.

Four Frequent Questions

Must the borrower own the house free and clear of a mortgage? No, but a reverse mortgage must be the first mortgage on a property. For example, if five percent of a mortgage remains unpaid (the house is 95 percent paid), a reverse mortgage could be worked out whereby the unpaid amount is absorbed by equity before the reverse mortgage goes into effect. But what if a mortgage is 45 percent unpaid? “The balance of such a mortgage must be paid off in a lump sum by using some of the reverse mortgage proceeds, freeing elderly owners of making monthly mortgage payments,” explains Ms. Belling. “Their retained cash can then be used to pay expenses other than the mortgage.” Some homeowners’ existing mortgage balances can be paid off using the reverse mortgage, Ms. Belling reports, but it all depends on the property’s value, the area limits, the borrowers’ ages, and the interest rates for the available reverse mortgages.

What are reverse mortgage loan limits? Generally the older the homeowner is and the greater the property value, the more one can borrow. Equity limits for an FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, one of the more popular proprietary reverse mortgages, range from $86,317 to $170,362. The higher limits are generally offered in areas where home prices are elevated, such as in high-cost urban areas, according to Ms. Belling. Eligible homeowners can borrow a percentage of this limit (or of the home’s appraised value if it’s lower than the limit) that is based on the youngest borrower’s age and the prevailing interest rate and other loan costs.

Fannie Mae’s national equity limit for its Home Keeper reverse mortgage rose to $227,150 from $214,150 on January 1, 1998, reports Mercy Jimenez, vice president for senior products at Fannie Mae (formerly known as the Federal National Mortgage Assn.). This limit rises or falls each year, Ms. Jimenez says, according to an annual analysis of median home prices throughout the country.

If your parents own a home worth $300,000 or more, “then they really should consider one of the other proprietary reverse mortgage plans because they’ll be able to extract more money,” Ms. Belling advises. “But do pay close attention to all of the costs and what will be left over when you or your parents sell the home to pay off the loan in the future.”

Are homeowners over 80 able to draw more than the 62-65 group, given the same house value? Generally yes, but everyone’s circumstances will be a little different, Ms. Belling advises, so it’s doubly wise to check all plans available in your area before deciding on a plan or opting not to sign up for a plan at all.

What happens once equity is depleted? Do payments on all reverse mortgage plans stop? No, explains Mercy Jimenez. Both FHA and Fannie Mae’s Home Keeper reverse mortgage have a plan named Tenure for which monthly payments continue until the owners die or move from the house even if the equity runs out, she says. If the selling price for the house doesn’t completely cover all cash advances plus interest, Ms Jimenez adds, the homeowner or the estate is never obligated to pay more than the proceeds of the sale of the home, even if the total of the monthly payments over the life of the mortgage exceeds the selling price of the home.

Monthly payments under a Tenure plan, however, may turn out to be somewhat smaller than those for other plans. That’s all the more reason to explore every reverse mortgage possibility before putting your signature – and your home – on the line.

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Dandelions For Everyone! http://www.bandslam-movie.com/dandelions-for-everyone/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/dandelions-for-everyone/#respond Sat, 05 Dec 2015 20:47:08 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=68 dlfeOr are they wildflowers? One person’s bane is another’s cherished bouquet.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as the old saying goes, and so I am reminded by my three-year-old daughter as she erupts into screams of delight at the sight of our front yard abloom with a multitude of riotous dandelions. “Sunflowers!” she shouts. Eagerly, she recruits her two-year-old sister to assist in gathering a bouquet for Morn. Hand in hand, they dash about the yard, hardly knowing where to start, each sunny blossom as enticing as the next. After several minutes they return, each clutching a handful of twisted stems with golden heads, which they thrust into my reluctant palm.

“Put them on your desk, Mommy – in a cup of water in case they get thirsty,” my preschooler …

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dlfeOr are they wildflowers? One person’s bane is another’s cherished bouquet.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as the old saying goes, and so I am reminded by my three-year-old daughter as she erupts into screams of delight at the sight of our front yard abloom with a multitude of riotous dandelions. “Sunflowers!” she shouts. Eagerly, she recruits her two-year-old sister to assist in gathering a bouquet for Morn. Hand in hand, they dash about the yard, hardly knowing where to start, each sunny blossom as enticing as the next. After several minutes they return, each clutching a handful of twisted stems with golden heads, which they thrust into my reluctant palm.

“Put them on your desk, Mommy – in a cup of water in case they get thirsty,” my preschooler instructs me. I don’t have the heart to tell my daughters that their newfound treasures are only present on our lawn because their father applied the wrong kind of weed killer.

“I’ll bet there’ll be lots more when we come home tonight,” she tells me, unable to contain her excitement. She has no idea just how many hundreds more will appear. Certainly dandelions have a way of multiplying that defies logic. Indeed, our entire two-acre lot will soon be awash in a yellow sea, not a blade of grass visible to the eye, and our usually friendly neighbors will be secretly scorning us for contaminating the entire block with the invasive yellow flowers. The county Weed Board will probably want us to be the poster family in their “Control Obnoxious Weeds” campaign.

Over the course of the next week, my two darlings continue to delight in their morning garden-tending duties, beginning each day with a dandelion-picking session and happily bestowing their floral gifts on a succession of their favorite people: Daddy, Grandma, their day-care provider – even the family mutt. His kennel has never looked better than it does now, graced with a flurry of canary-colored blooms.

As we drive through town, going about our daily routine, our car is filled with shouts of glee as my little Dandelion Patrol Girls spy yet another yard filled with the glorious golden interloper. Elated at their good fortune in finding still more of the wondrous weed, they beg me to stop and let them gather a few more stems.

In their infinite capacity to simply enjoy life, my two young offspring gradually bring me to an attitude adjustment. “Why not take time to stop and pick the dandelions?” I finally ask myself. Who dictated that humans shouldn’t enjoy certain varieties of flowers unless they are properly contained? It was probably the idea of some chemical company seeking to increase sales. But the joy we take in a jolt of vibrant color after a long, gray winter shouldn’t be diminished just because some unknown arbiter of landscape fashion has decreed that a blush of gold spoils the look of a well-groomed lawn.

So, while my husband is consulting with the chemical expert at our local lawn and garden center, trying to determine what went awry in his carefully conceived weed-control plan, I have joined in the fun with my daughters. Together, we find new acres of dandelions to explore. My workday is brightened by five lemony blooms winking at me from a small jar on my desk, and I have a renewed, childlike appreciation for the natural beauty all around me. I am determined to slow down and take notice of all the simple pleasures nature has in store. The other day when my daughter filled her pocket with shiny pebbles she found in the driveway, she told me she found diamonds. And I believed her.
What’s a Weed, Anyway?

Whether you see a plant as a “wildflower” or as a “weed” depends mainly on your opinion of its food value or aesthetic appeal. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) defined a weed as “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” But for most of us, a weed is simply a plant that is growing somewhere other than where we think it “belongs.” If dandelions are flowers, many might argue, why not cultivate them in cutting beds? If they are so nutritious (see Country Remedies in this issue), go ahead and farm them. Just keep them off the lawn! In “Inversnaid,” the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) voiced a more tolerant view. “What would the world be, once bereft/Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,/O let them be left, wildness and wet;/Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”

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Logging Companies Have Little Choice But To Adapt http://www.bandslam-movie.com/logging-companies-have-little-choice-but-to-adapt/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/logging-companies-have-little-choice-but-to-adapt/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 18:45:29 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=8 dcIn 1988 the Alberta government granted to Daishowa Canada (a predecessor to Daishowa-Marubeni) logging rights to a massive tract of land east of Peace River in exchange for building a $650-million pulp mill. However, the tract included a 4,000-square-mile area claimed by the Lubicon, who were in the midst of a 50-year-old land claims dispute with Ottawa and the province.

That year, Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak met with Daishowa officials in Vancouver. The chief ended the meeting believing he had a verbal promise that Daishowa would not log until the land claim was settled. Daishowa claims the meeting was merely an introduction. The company was preparing to log in the disputed area in 1991, but about then, explains Mr. Thomas, a Friend noticed that a bag from a pizza joint carried a Daishowa

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dcIn 1988 the Alberta government granted to Daishowa Canada (a predecessor to Daishowa-Marubeni) logging rights to a massive tract of land east of Peace River in exchange for building a $650-million pulp mill. However, the tract included a 4,000-square-mile area claimed by the Lubicon, who were in the midst of a 50-year-old land claims dispute with Ottawa and the province.

That year, Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak met with Daishowa officials in Vancouver. The chief ended the meeting believing he had a verbal promise that Daishowa would not log until the land claim was settled. Daishowa claims the meeting was merely an introduction. The company was preparing to log in the disputed area in 1991, but about then, explains Mr. Thomas, a Friend noticed that a bag from a pizza joint carried a Daishowa

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NASA Embraced Email Standards Early On http://www.bandslam-movie.com/nasa-embraced-email-standards-early-on/ http://www.bandslam-movie.com/nasa-embraced-email-standards-early-on/#respond Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:31:22 +0000 http://www.bandslam-movie.com/?p=63 nasaIt came as no surprise last June when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided to embrace Internet mail standards as a means to improve communications between nine centers across the country. After all, thanks to a crazy constellation of proprietary E-mail packages, it was not uncommon for NASA messages to vanish into a black hole as employees tried to beam them from one center to another.

What was notable, however, were the mail brands NASA certified to fit its new Internet messaging model. One came squarely from the Internet for ITcamp–Qualcomm Inc.’s Eudora. But the other standard was clearly associated with what some call the proprietary side–Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange groupware/E-mail offering. NASA’s hybrid certification of mail products provides a perfect lesson managers currently befuddled over whether to adopt Internet E-mail, consider remote

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nasaIt came as no surprise last June when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided to embrace Internet mail standards as a means to improve communications between nine centers across the country. After all, thanks to a crazy constellation of proprietary E-mail packages, it was not uncommon for NASA messages to vanish into a black hole as employees tried to beam them from one center to another.

What was notable, however, were the mail brands NASA certified to fit its new Internet messaging model. One came squarely from the Internet for ITcamp–Qualcomm Inc.’s Eudora. But the other standard was clearly associated with what some call the proprietary side–Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange groupware/E-mail offering. NASA’s hybrid certification of mail products provides a perfect lesson managers currently befuddled over whether to adopt Internet E-mail, consider remote login systems, or remain true to the more traditional “proprietary” offerings from vendors such as Microsoft, Lotus Development Corp., Novell Inc. and others. Internet mail appears to hold the most promise for companies concerned with interoperability and ubiquitous access. Proprietary solutions, on the other hand, seem to offer more robust capabilities when it comes to directory, storage and backup services as well as security.

But companies may no longer have to sweat the choice, according to the experts, who predict the two worlds will come together over the next two years. “They are two trains moving toward each other with feature parity,” says J.F. Sullivan, senior product manager for messaging servers at Netscape Communications Corp., in Mountain View, Calif.

Ironically, the advent of the Internet’s World Wide Web interface could prove to be the great equalizer in the two styles of E-mail. Certainly, it has set off a features race among vendors from both camps to match each other’s functionality. In a move that symbolizes the convergence in the two technologies, Lotus is building a Web connection into Notes 4.5 via its Domino server (see related stories, below), and Microsoft is promising that Exchange 4.5 will allow users to access mail with a Web browser when it ships in the first quarter of 1997.

“The proprietary vendors are adding support for Internet standards as fast as they can,” says Dave Crocker, co-director of the Internet Mail Consortium, in Santa Cruz, Calif. “And Internet mail is not trying to become proprietary mail, but it’s trying to add features that make it more useful.”

Vendor vitriol

Nevertheless, IT managers still have plenty of vendor hype to sort through as they try to decide which mail products and services best suit their needs. In a bitter thrust at the traditional vendors, Netscape’s Sullivan asserts Internet mail vendors will reach the feature summit long before the traditional vendors do. “The other guys have to redo their plumbing,” he says, claiming that it will be much easier for Internet mail vendors to add features than vice versa.

Nonsense, parries Lotus Marketing Manager Ken Bisconti. “It’s been a lot easier for us to add protocols and interfaces to an already robust product than it is to build robust products from scratch.”

For now, each side still offers relative advantages over the other. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Internet mail is interoperability, provided by its support for SMTP, standardized by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Mail products built on SMTP can communicate easily–for instance, a message sent on Netscape’s mail product can easily find its way to another brand of Internet mail, such as Qualcomm’s Eudora.

Not so with traditional E-mail. Products such as Microsoft Mail and Lotus cc:Mail–and their groupware siblings Exchange and Notes–were not originally designed to support SMTP. Therefore, these traditional mail products have, at least until recently, required gateways to facilitate communications with other E-mail systems, which is not inherently reliable. “Gateways lose information–some are very good at it,” notes the Internet Mail Consortium’s Crocker.

Not to be outshouted, proprietary vendors are quick to describe the advantages of their systems over “open” Internet mail. Chief among these is the claim that traditional mail servers are far more robust than Internet products in providing superior mail delivery and storage capabilities, backup, directory services and security.

It was storage deficiencies that convinced Pacific Gas & Electric to select Microsoft’s Exchange over a number of Internet mail products, including those from Sun Microsystems Inc. and SCO, according to Ed Crowley, a manager in the information technology planning group at PG&E, in San Francisco. The utility giant made its choice last spring, following a two-year-plus evaluation of how to replace an aging Banyan Systems Inc. E-mail package serving some 22,000 users.

At the time, Internet mail vendors were offering only rudimentary message delivery and storage services supported by the IETF POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) standard. “With POP3, Internet mail’s huge disadvantage was the storage overhead burden,” recalls Crowley. “It behaves simply as a store-and-forward process, and each end user has to download huge megabyte files.”

By comparison, the Exchange server permits users to view their messages without downloading them, thereby saving disk space that would otherwise be required to store the same message potentially thousands of times, as in Internet mail products. Exchange’s central storage capabilities also cut down on network traffic and improve system administration. That, in turn, eases the all-important task of backup.

This fact is not lost on the Internet mail vendors, which are working feverishly to improve storage and delivery techniques. “Users are not very good at doing backup,” notes Crocker. “MIS does that sort of thing for a living.”

Many Internet mail vendors have announced plans to support an emerging predecessor to POP3, called IMAP4 (Internet Mail Access Protocol 4), which is expected to put Internet mail delivery and storage on a more equal footing with the proprietary products. Netscape has said that the mail program in its Communicator browser/groupware product will adhere to IMAP4 standards when Communicator ships in first-quarter 1997. According to Crocker, most Internet mail providers will upgrade to IMAP4 by the second quarter of 1997.

There are early indications that users have faith in IMAP4’s ability to address the storage and delivery issues. NASA, for instance, eventually plans to mandate that its mail servers support IMAP4 standards, says Randy Sparkman, a senior computer scientist with NASA technology support contractor Computer Sciences Corp., who is based at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala. Under the long-term contract, CSC provides information technology services to NASA.

NASA’s long-term plan does not preclude Microsoft’s Exchange from the mix because Microsoft has announced intentions to support IMAP4, notes Sparkman. Along with IMAP4, NASA included two Internet protocols in its edict: SMTP and MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension), which nails down a standard for attaching nontextual information such as graphics, audio or video to an E-mail message.

Both Microsoft and Lotus have recently added agents to their groupware products that convert messages to SMTP and MIME and circumvent the need to go through a gateway. Microsoft calls its agent IMC (Internet Mail Connector), and Lotus calls its MTA (Mail Transfer Agent).

“The rule at NASA is simple: People can use the Microsoft Exchange format inside their center, but once a message leaves the center, it has to be in the SMTP and MIME formats,” says Sparkman.

The capability of sending mail in a common format without using problematic gateways was a must for NASA, because it already was converting from dozens of legacy E-mail systems that did not talk well to each other. “At one point, NASA had 32 different E-mail platforms on a combination of mainframes, minicomputers and LANs,” recalls Sparkman. “You could generally send E-mail, but it was, many times, unreliable. And then there was the issue of attachments–you could seldom have predictable results.”

Worldwide mix

Before the fledgling era of Lotus MTAs and Microsoft IMCs, not all large organizations had faith in the promise of interoperability of traditional E-mail programs. For that reason alone, Schlumberger Ltd., the New York- and Paris-based oil exploration services company, standardized on Qualcomm’s Eudora mail system and an SMTP backbone for messaging across the world.

According to David Sims, a Houston-based technical manager of IT at Schlumberger, Lotus cc:Mail was unwieldy a couple of years ago on the SMTP network, so the company had to eliminate it from its worldwide E-mail mix. “The only way to use cc:Mail was to gateway every cc:Mail site to our SMTP mail backbone. It was an administrative nightmare,” he notes.

If Sims has a beef with the Eudora system, it’s a typical one voiced by Internet E-mail critics. Directory services–the process by which users can look up E-mail addresses–could be better, he says.

Even Internet E-mail zealot Crocker concedes this is an area in which traditional E-mail vendors still hold an edge. Today, it is difficult to look up addresses outside one’s own organization, a shortcoming that works against the global spirit of the Internet. Internet E-mail vendors are working to address this charge by standardizing on a directory process called LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). But while dozens of vendors have announced support for LDAP, there are few available products. In addition, other Internet directory protocols are in the works.

Other criticisms of Internet mail–its lack of security and E-mail database links–also are being addressed, according to Gary Rowe, a principal with consultancy Rapport Communications, in Roswell, Ga. Netscape’s Communicator, for instance, augurs better database connectivity via groupware processes, Rowe says.

Given the two worlds are spiraling down the same path, users can soon look beyond the issue of choosing a mail system. “The concept of separate electronic mail clients will sort of dissolve, and the argument over whether to use this mail client or that will become irrelevant,” says CSC’s Sparkman.

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