Boycott Smithfield Foods!

Long story short here, an undercover investigation of Smithfield Foods factory farm revealed horrendous conditions. Their pigs are mistreated, abused, and ‘grown’ in horrendous conditions using ‘gestation crates’. Please read the full article from Yahoo! here.

Smithfield Foods Gestation Crates

I’m not a vegetarian, I do eat meat, but regardless of their purpose animals must be treated fairly and humanely. Whether they are pets,working animals, wild animals, or animals bred for food, their time on this Earth must be spent in humane, sanitary, comfortable conditions. The treatment Smithfield shows its animals is simply unacceptable.

Smithfield claimed in 2007 that they were going to stop the inhumane practice of using gestation crates, but two years later reversed course because they were losing money. Proof that they are just another money hungry, heartless corporation concerned not with what’s right, but with what makes them the most money.

Take a look at the undercover video shot over the period of 30 days. And please boycott all Smithfield products. Paula Deen, it’s time for you to drop your support for Smithfield.

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More info directly from the Humane Society here.

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I’m Glad I Live in The USA

There’s a lot of people out there who complain a lot about the way things are done in this country. And I’m not saying that everything is perfect here. It probably never will be. But this I can assure you, it’s damn near close to perfect when you compare us to the way things are in some other parts of the world.

Jump over to Russia. Take a read of this article I came across on Yahoo!

To sum it up, it’s about plans to build a new highway through an ancient forest. The plan upset many people who feel that the ancient forest should not be harmed. There were protests and news articles in objection to the highway. But from the other side (the supporters of the highway through the forest, who are most likely filled to the brim with corruption, and who will benefit financially from its construction) there were beatings, cracked skulls, broken bones, killed family pets, cars set on fire, lost limbs, and even brain damage imposed on journalists who wrote in opposition.

This bottom lines it for me. I’m incredibly thankful that I live in the USA. A place where I can protest the destruction of a forest without being beaten for it.

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Figure Out if You’re Better Off Printing Photos Yourself or Ordering Prints

There are a lot of things to consider when you try to analyze the true cost of something. Printing photos is one of those things. However, the friendly folks over at www.howtogeek.com put together a handy spreadsheet that gets you to the bottom line a little faster. It basically involves punching in a few numbers in a few columns and seeing what you come up with.

Take a look at the website here.

And a direct link to the spreadsheet is here. Although I strongly recommend reading the article first.

There are some things you should think about when filling out the spreadsheet. First, if you price your ink at local stores you’re going to pay a lot more per tank. Check out Amazon.com for decent prices on ink. Second, consider buying ink in a multipack. For example, for my Canon i960 printer, the 6 tanks are $10.82 each. However, if I buy the combination 6 pack of ink tanks that brings my cost down to $8.99 per tank which is a significant savings.

Canon iP4820 Printer

The bottom line? There are some places, both online and locally where you can get great prints for around $.10 – $.15per print. That’s could be significantly less than your printer can make prints for. Shop around and see what you can find.

Amazon.com has the cheapest prices I can find on ink and they have a great ink and toner finder on their website.
Amazon.com Ink & Toner Finder

Keep in mind however, that there are certain instances, where the printer (with cartridges) can cost LESS than the cartridges alone! If your printer cost you less than $50, you might find that buying a brand new printer can cost the same or less than just buying replacement ink. Go figure. (Also keep in mind that this is a significantly less eco-friendly way to reload your ink, and if you do choose this method, please recycle your old printer or better yet give it to someone who could use it or may not be able to afford to buy one.)

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Get The Most GPS For Your Money

So occasionally as you might have read, I’ll recommend a specific product or service here. I don’t get paid to mention products, I don’t get free products, and I have no advertisers that pay me to talk about their products. Maybe one day I’ll have those things haha, but for now my products recommendations come from me and my personal experiences with the products. With that said, here’s where I think you can find the most for your money in a GPS.

Recently I picked up a TomTom XXL 550TM. I had been pretty reluctant to jump on the GPS bandwagon since I always had a pretty decent sense of direction (for the most part) and I generally used services like Mapquest or Google Maps to get me where I had to go. I also held off on a GPS because it seemed that the units with premium features were units that were well over $200 and sometimes well over $300! That was way out of my budget for a device that I wasn’t going to be using every day.

So what made me finally get one? The TomTom XXL 550TM. Without going spec crazy, to sum it up, the 550TM has the premium features I wanted including:

  1. A generous 5 inch screen prefect for typing in your destination and for getting a nice wide view of your map.
  2. Lifetime free traffic service (which I consider a MUST) to keep me informed of any potential traffic I may run in to.
  3. Lifetime free map updates (also a MUST have) to keep my maps updated and aware of any road changes or additions.
  4. Intelligent route guidance that helps me pick the best route based on more than just the road, but on the road speed too.
  5. A slim profile that looks good and stores easily.
  6. A customizable interface that I can adjust to my liking quickly and easily.

The TomTom XXL 550TM does all of those things and more. The last factor that I haven’t talked about yet is price. With those features I would have expected to pay well over $200 and for a 5 inch screen, free traffic and free maps, but probably closer to $300. Nope, not even close. It set me back a cool $119.99 on black friday special at my local ‘club’ store. Of course me wanting to find the best price I could (and to verify that the ‘club’s’ black friday weekend price was a good price), I had to take a look online. And I found it. For $119.99. That settled it, great GPS, great features, awesome price, it was mine. I’ve been using it ever since and I don’t have one complaint at all.

It’s available for the same price that I got it for on black friday from Amazon.com. Take a look below. For the money, I have yet to find a better GPS.



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This Could be Big, Save Your Files as .WWF to Make Them Unprintable

It’s no secret that trees get cut down to make paper for our printers. Everyone knows that. And obviously cutting down trees is bad. Everyone knows that too. Even with the creation of renewable forests and sustainable logging, cutting down trees sucks. For years we’ve been told to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and that’s good advice, but how about remove? As in remove the option to use paper at all.

That’s exactly what the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) had in mind when they created the .WWF file format. It’s a similar file format to .PDF but contains no option to print the document. It’s a screen only format. I’ve got to say, it’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a while to cut paper use. If you’re creating a document that has no reason to be printed, .WWF is the way to go. And let’s be honest here, what really needs to be printed anyway? I can’t remember the last time I bought ink or paper for my printer.

Please note that as of this writing it is available for Mac OS X only, but according to their website the Windows version is on it’s way to check back frequently!

Click below to watch the video after the break and get more info here.

Continue reading This Could be Big, Save Your Files as .WWF to Make Them Unprintable

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