Safe holiday shopping tips

With the biggest shopping season upon us, safety remains a top priority both on and offline. Retailers expected more than $11 billion be spent between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and beyond. That meant that most shoppers are using the internet for those must-have gifts this season.

This also meant that thieves are monitoring people’s shopping habits. Just like the criminal that watches one’s comings and goings, hackers find patterns and find where their victims frequently shop and hone in on their weaknesses.

With that in mind, here is a set of helpful online shopping safety tips:

1. Ensure that the website address is secure and has a valid encryption certificate. It will usually display a “locked, green” indicator in front of the website name. If it doesn’t have that, it does not have a higher level of security that has been guaranteed by a known entity like Verisign, Symantec and others.

2. Ensure your system has the most recent recommended system and security patches.

3. Always use a credit card that is not tied directly to your personal bank account(s), even if you are using PayPal, Bitcoin or some other payment method. Thankfully, there isn’t a bank card in my wallet.

4. Never give anything other than name, address and phone number.  You should not need to answer security or privacy questions when making a purchase or checking out. If they ask, see if you can checkout as a “guest” instead.

5. Monitor your credit through a third party for identify theft and have SMS and email alerts sent to you immediately. I use LifeLock, which notifies me via phone or text messaging when there is a problem with my identity.

6. Set-up alerts with your credit card company that send both SMS and emails when any purchases are made and the credit card was not scanned (meaning, it wasn’t in someone’s hand when the charge was made). Set them as low as $25 per purchase. Also, set-up alerts for total purchases over $500 in a billing period to protect multiple $24.99 purchases. And if possible, a maximum amount of purchases allowed in a billing period, such as $1500 before card will get declined. My credit card companies will notify me of suspicious activity on my cards for free. There isn’t much space for a criminal to run up a bill on any of them anyway.

7. Ensure that you have a reputable Antivirus program running on your computer and that your browser has an Ad blocking plug-in. Even with this protection in place, things still slip under the radar like the flashing ads from a flashplayer. If this happens, run the antivirus program immediately to avoid an infection or malware problem.

8. Ensure that the network your computer/device is on is secure and you know who has access to your network. This is usually done with your router. You want to lock down your router so that traffic can be initiated from the inside-out but you do not want traffic to be initiated from the outside-in. If you are using a WiFi connection, make sure that network is also secure and requires a password to join. If it is a public WiFi network that doesn’t require a password, then the traffic coming from your device can be monitored and stolen. I don’t use hotspots. With only two gigabites a month, my phone is only used to make calls when I am out. I make purchases via the computer anyway.

9. Any passwords that you use should be strong, hard to guess ones. Or, even better, hard to guess, but easy to remember.

10. Don’t click on unfamiliar links to sites advertising sales, coupons, etc. This was one of the reasons why people, myself included, got in trouble. In my desparation to have that elusive video, I went ‘off the grid; to make the purchase and ended up not getting it. I got something with English subtitles instead from Amazon.

11. Use two-factor authentication/verification, if it is offered. I’ve learned my lesson. To protect Yoboogle from hackers, I tried this. It took three tries in order to have this safety feature removed. Because I had no hooked up printer/scanner, I had to send the form to the apartment manager to print out so I could sign it. E-signing wasn’t accepted. They had to rescan the signed form back to me so it could be sent to GoDaddy.

It has been my policy never to purchase anything via my phone. My bad habit is leaving sensitive information on the clipboard or not erasing my cyber trail after Googling something. I my phone didn’t have an alert about this, hackers would have a field day. No wonder someone from Turkey and Taiwan tried hacking into two of my email accounts a while back. After my yahoo account got hacked via the app, I stopped ordering food, like pizza using online coupons. There are some safety tips to remember when using your phone:

1. Only download apps from official app marketplaces like Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

Most of the time one can download the free version of an app. Always look for this first.

2. Be wary of applications that ask for suspicious permissions, like access to contacts, text messages, administrative features, stored passwords, or credit card info. Never allow this unless absolutely necessary.

3. Check out the background of an app before downloading. Research the developer and be cognizant of the spelling of brand names. Like fraudulent emails and phone numbers, there can be fake apps too. If there is any bad press, you will find it.

 

4. Make sure to take a deep look at each app. New developers, or developers that leverage free email services (e.g., @gmail) for their developer contact, can be enormous red flags — threat actors often use these services to produce mass amounts of malicious apps in a short period. Also, poor grammar in the description highlights the haste of development and the lack of marketing professionalism that are hallmarks of mobile malware campaigns. Check the reviews to see if there is a history of trouble.

The ironic thing about most Black Friday purchases is that the majority of shoppers used this method, according to a Today Show Saturday report. Target had the top sales of 3,200 TVs a minute their first hour. Online sales hit a record $3 billion. Amazon sold 100,000 toys in their first few hours. Also ironic is that Target, Walmart and Best Buy had the best sales on electronics like gaming consoles and kitchen items, in spite of some big ticket items and their ‘limited availability’ or ‘allowed amount’ per buyer.

My trouble with apps aren’t the shopping kind, like Amazon, Overstock, Best Buy and Retail Me Not. They usually are the type meant to support one’s smart phone. Cleanmaster was great until it was infected with malware. CM Security already had memory boosting capabilities, a way to clean junk files, shut down battery draining apps, a security scan, and call blocking capabilities. There isn’t any need for all other apps.

My first desktop computer was bought after Christmas. My first laptop was purchased about one month before the holiday shopping season officially opened. My reasoning for owning a laptop at the time was because my desktop was showing its age and slowing down. Sale ads have been always on television, in the local paper and online. I got lucky—or so I thought, because they were getting rid of the brand of computer or laptop desired by me. I got what I paid for. The motherboard was not expandable.

This is a hard lesson to learn both with laptops and desktops. Buyer beware. One should buy new or trade up, not just look at the price tag when considering an electronic purchase. Trading up meant the purchase was expandable. I went from Windows 8 to 10 because it was built into my laptop and it was free till July of this year. Compatibility is a major factor also. My television is compatible with the Clearwire TV Antenna. My brother just bought me a Blue-Ray DVD Player, but in order to work, it needed the newest in television sets because the new player did not decode on the analog sets I have. With both the old computers, the lack of space to upgrade to Windows 7 after Windows XP went out of service, forced the need for a new laptop.

The trick here is avoiding scams both online and in the store at any time, not just around the holidays. They can happen anywhere, even over the phone. While one locks their gifts in the trunk to avoid theft, avoid being taken for a fool by believing everything in print. Know what the offers are and their limitations to avoid any misunderstandings.

 

 

Sources:

15 tips to stay safe while shopping online from Black Friday to Cyber Monday

What You Should And Shouldn’t Buy On Black Friday

Black Friday weekend expected to kick off busiest holiday-shopping season ever

Fighting Back: The Scam-Buster’s Survival Guide

Black Friday 2016: Tech and movie tie-ins predicted hits

Black Friday 2016 will be upon us soon, now that the Presidential Election is over. One thing different this year is that there are a whole host of stores that decided that they are remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day.

This blogger believes that Black Friday 2016 actually started long before the target date. The ads for great Christmas buys started after Halloween. If shoppers were smart, shopping should start midsummer. My mother read me the riot act for waiting until Christmas Eve to shop for gifts. Then threaten bodily harm if my shopping done before Thanksgiving. I did my shopping via the internet after that tirade. To be honest, Black Friday 2016 and Christmas Eve were the worst times to do one’s shopping. The stores were a mad house for those rushing to get the best deals in the beginning and buy those forgotten on their list the night before Christmas.

Don’t lose heart, though. There are places that have good deals on some of the hottest selling items this season. While some stores wished to remain closed, the list of those staying open are updated daily.According to one article on AOL, one of the biggest sellers this season is to be the iPod. The Nintendo NES has been available since Veteran’s Day, One of the hottest items, Hatchables, are already hard to get. Some parents are buying these toys on ebay for four times their retail price and beyond. It looked to me that the most popular toys flying off the shelves this holiday season were either technology-based or had a movie tie-in. Remember the superhero movies last year? All the toys released for the holiday were based on the movie in theaters. Retailers were counting on this and the predictions made by execs and children earlier in the summer.

My prediction is that the Nintendo NES and the new Xbox One and Xbox One S will be hits this Christmas in addition to those toys predicted to be sold faster. Fans of Nintendo are going to have to wait until the universal theme park opens as it is still in the planning stage. It remained to be seen what toys became popular this year.

 

 

 

 

Sources

Stores Closed on Thanksgiving Day 2016

Stores Opening on Thanksgiving Day & Store Hours 2016

DealsOfAmerica.com.

10 items that will sell out fast this Christmas

Nintendo and Universal Studios announce partnership to bring games, characters to life in new theme park attractions

Hold on to those odd rare coins

Hold on to those odd rare coins found in change jars, coin purses and the like. It could bring more than just a jingle I one’s pocket. In some cases, like expensive necklaces, one might invest in a safety deposit box or a safe. Value of these coins depended on the year they were minted.

In all honesty, my coin collecting didn’t start in earnest until my first buffalo nickel was seen in my change jar. My grandmother and great uncle gave us silver dollars and fifty cent and we each got a $2 bill. The favorite thing for me to collect before the state quarters and nickels was the bicentennial quarter.

The $10 Liberty Eagle (1838-1907) If one of these is found, the person should consider themselves ‘blessed’. This coin is considered the crown jewel in anyone’s collection because gold is highly prized.mainly because these were half ounce in weight. One needed at least $1200 or more depending on whether it is circulated or not., if they wanted to buy. Most collectors or owners were squeamish about selling this type of coin because of its value. It is considered rare because FDR requested owners of these coins turn them in to be melted down to aid in the Depression. He also took the United States off the Gold Standard after that year.

The Indian Head Penny, 1859-1909, about the size of the modern half dollar and had 90% copper. These replaced the Flying edge pennies, 1856-1858, that were made with less than 90% copper and susceptible to design flaws. The value, as stated above depended on the minted year and its condition. Remember, that this is a piece of American history started before the Civil War. Uncirculated, and in mint condition, these coins increases in monetary value.

The Lincoln Steel Penny This came about as a result of WWII. Copper was used for the war effort, which, thanks to a 1942 law that prohibited the use of copper for pennies. These pennies are made with a steel center and coated with zinc. One way that distinguishes these pennies from their copper counterpart, is their white silvery appearance. Zinc is used in all pennies since 1982 as a core mineral. These pennies weigh less than copper ones too.Uncirculated pennies are worth $20-$50. Well used pennies have a $10-$20 market value.

The 1926 Buffalo Nickel is worth $2000+ but might be passed over because it is unrecognized as a valuable coin. This might be due to the fact that there isn’t any rare minerals in it, like silver or gold. The dates on the coin faded because of handling. Congress tried ad failed to change the dates on these coins, but ended up using the standard Jefferson Nickel instead. In my case, most of the coins found by me are dated 1937 or 1938. Mom took them to a dealer to find out their value before my moving. My collection is now worth $150. Everything is worth three times its market value.

Let’s look at the Kennedy Half Dollar, for instance, while it is still in production today, basically as a memorial to his death in November 1963, it’s value was worth more in 1964 because the percentage of silver is 90% The percentage of silver dropped to 40% between 1965-70. After 1971, there isn’t any silver in them, but they were still nice to have.

Ben Franklin Half Dollar, minted from 1948-1963, it contained 90% silver. My luck improved during a fundraiser at school when one of these was found in my envelope. Production of these coins ceased because of the Kennedy Memorial coin.

The Bicentenial Quarter Now worth 58 cents, depending on its appearance. Those free of faults are worth more, as high as $450.

Bicentennial Half Dollars Unfortuately, these are only worth 50 cents. Those that aren’t circulated are worth 75 cents to $1. On a second level, they are worth as much as $3.

There is always the possibility that one could find a rare lucky penny placed in one of the cities in the U.S. They are said to have a value of $1,000 each These coins are bigger than the regular pennies. They have the sponsor’s logo on one side and 100,000 cents on the other side. Be sure to read the article for more information. Unfortunately for me, finding one is difficult as I don’t live in or near any of these cities the lucky pennies are in. Like everyone else, I will hold on to my change.

Sources

Your Coin Purse May Be Hiding A Fortune

Kennedy/JFK Half Dollar

1916 – 1938 Buffalo Nickel Value (United States)1943 Lincoln Cents: The Value of Steel vs Copper Pennies

How much is a 1976 Bicentennial quarter worth?

Lucky pennies’ worth $1,000 each hidden in major cities

Ignore Vladimir Zhirinovsky rant #VoteYourConscience

Since Russia sees Vladimir Zhirinovsky as  a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington. He also likens himself to the outspoken Republican presidential candidate. Yeah, right! The United States didn’t deal with war threats from people that are off center, putting it mildly.

Did anyone really think this nut is able to raise an army and march against America if Donald Trump is elected next month? World War III was apt to start because of Donald Trump’s wish to bomb the ‘heck’ out of ISIS.With his inexperience at running a country, my thought is that he would be the first to use weapons of mass destruction Approval for all this had to be sanctioned by Congress first, just like it would be if Hilary Clinton became president. They would both be thoroughly watched, just like Obama is now.

Let’s look at why there are tensions between the U.S. and Russia, shall we? On October 3, the State Department cut ties with their ally because of their presence in the Syrian city, Aleppo. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Russia has continually ignored its own responsibilities in the region, particularly humanitarian law. Remember Putin’s dangerous game and how bad the economy in his country is? It’s important for him to keep the trade routes open in the Ukraine and establish a presence in Syria to control the oil and gas revenues.

Vladiimir Zhirinovsky mirrors Trump with his belligerent attitude towards southern Russia, which has Muslims there. He wanted to use a barbed wired fence to block them out. Trump wanted a wall built to keep out illegal aliens coming from Mexico and ban Muslims from coming to America. Don’t forget that his mission is to shock the public with his speeches.While some saw it as a way to gain attention, He follows Kremlin rules.  Everyone wanted at least five minutes of fame. He got his.

It bothers the current administration that Putin, while in his pledge to fight ISIS, he did things in support of the Assad regime. At every turn, Putin has instigated the problem in both Syria and the Ukraine. By sending weapons to Syria, ISIS somehow gets hold of them through its connections in Iran.  This in turn ruffles the feathers of the U.S. In their quest to limit the nuclear deal in the house and Senate. Returning to the old way of doing things was not feasible. Yet Putin wants to replace the U.S. in the Middle East as the dominant superpower.

Clinton has accused Trump of being too cozy with Putin and questioned his business interests in Russia. His last campaign manager, Paul Manaford, actually had ties to the Russian president. To me, this sounded like a conflict of interest, now that Trump is a presidential candidate. I don’t blame the State Department for cutting ties with Russia. They want to take the part of the Ukraine that supported the EU as well as other states for themselves. That was far from the Alliance we had in World War 1.

It didn’t look lile anyone was paying attention to the outspoken Zhirinovsky, but just in case, everyone should #VoteYourConscience on November 8 and ignore this war threat.

Further Reading

  1. Putin ally tells Americans: vote Trump or face nuclear war October 12, 2016
  2. The State Department just cut off its ‘bilateral channels with Russia’ over Syria October 3, 2016
  3. Putin’s Middle East Plan: Control of the oil flow on October 8, 2015
  4. Obama and Putin: Strategies still differ in Syria and the Ukraine on September 29, 2015

Trump’s audio sex tape controversy: GOP’s next steps

Well, there is no mistake this time, Trump’s audio sex tape controversy confirmed the stance of Donald Trump on women In spite of his public apology  over the sex tape and the Vice Presidential Debate won last week, most Republican supporters are withdrawing their support of Donald Trump, except for Jon Voight and a few church pastors.  Mike Pence is keeping his distance from it all. Of course, the media crawled all over this vulgar language on Trump’s audio sex tape, recorded in 2005. A lot of Republicans ask that he withdraw, others were standing firmly behind him.

This blogger thinks that the church and its pastors should keep out of politics. Remember the Separation of Church and State or the high-wall theory? It’s in the constitution, for Pete’s sake! I am ashamed of Pastor Jefferess who has a past of his own locally. I wonder if they know the ‘stink’ he raised over Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate when he tried getting the local public library to remove the books from its shelves? They are now behind the counter and checked out on demand. Most of the local churches didn’t rally around him as he thought they would. Most of them wouldn’t comment. All that trouble to stir the pot and he never returned the books. Someone told me that he left a local church in the Dallas area because of the lure of more money. If this was a church or a school library, what’s allowed and not can be made there. No pastor should tell a public library through any city council action what books went on their shelves.

I don’t see how Pastor Robert Jefress can support Donald Trump’s candidacy because of his past. His skeletons are bursting out of the closet. The only ‘American’ woman he married was Marla Maples. All the rest were European. One of them admitted to feeling ‘violated‘ during sex. Sounds criminal to me, Ivana. Yet he admitted to not having a problem ‘banging‘ 24 year olds. Did Jeffress even listen to the tape made in 2005? His language trashy enough and undoubtedly came from the gutter.Even President Obama found the language on the tape ‘unnerving‘ This blogger agreed that real men didn’t engage in lewd talk about women and record it. Trump did not represent the ‘highest moral fiber’ he tried to project in the Republican party.

He did not support or respect women who held higher job positions, specifically Megyn Kelly and the disabled reporter. He disrespected Lester Holt during the first debate. There is fall out because of what he said to Hilary Clinton being in jail over the scandal during her time as Secretary of State. Now, the bigger problems are the next action the Republican party takes regarding the Trump sex tapes and what punishment the media faces for trying to rig the polls to help Hilary Clintom? The article is almost a month old. The numbers don’t lie with the other polls, which were unscientific. It’s worse for Billy Bush, remains suspended from the Today Show for his part in the above Trump scandal. Apparently, Vuture reported today that the co host, formerly of Inside Edition, is not to return to the morning show.

My points are that there are problems with both candidates. Neither should petition for sainthood just yet. Hilary did not file for divorce after Jennifer Flowers or Monica Lewinski. There weren’t ay audio tapes with him discussing women in graphic detail, like Trump has. It did say that Marla Maples carried on a six year affair with Donald Trump before he married her. This marriage lasted six years and produced a daughter, named Tiffany.

Let’s hope that the GOP next steps are well thought out.

Can OPEC members reach an oil reduction agreement?

Will the faint rise in OPEC’s oil prices improve the United States economy, or will it continue to decline as usual? This bothered me because the glut in oil production ruined the price of oil in the United States in 2008. The answer lay in whether the nations of OPEC: Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, were able to reach an agreement on November 30 in Geneva as to how much to reduce their oil output.

Right now, the biggest issue among the OPEC nations is how much each member is to reduce oil production. The catalyst being Iran, who did not want to reduce the number of barrels of oil it produced. This also went against the rules Saudi Arabia followed. Being its biggest producer, they had the idea that by over production, they were able to drive other American producers, who produced shale oil, oil from rock sediment and clay, out of business.

Saudi Arabia and Russia relied on oil to improve their economies. Of late, they all suffered. Saudi Arabia had to cut spending on public programs in its economy to absorb the loss of low output and save their financial reserves. Iran is still suffering from the imposed sanctions of 30 years ago. They were one of the last holdouts to the November 30 agreement. Other countries, like Lybia and Nigeria were also turning to oil for economic growth after years of infighting. Apparently, Russia might have failed in trying to open up an oil and gas pipeline through the Ukraine into Syria, where it had a base to fight ISIS. If Vladamir Putin had what he needed, he wouldn’t have to sit at the OPEC bargaining table.

Even though this OPEC oil reduction was meant to hold up the price of oil, it might cause further ruffled fir among the members if the United States continued shale oil drilling. That’s why this price war was created. A cut in production could boost oil prices through this untraditional method of drilling for oil and steady the market.

OPEC has so far only reached a preliminary agreement to strike a deal to cut production by 200,000 to 700,000 barrels a day, from 33.2 million barrels. The breakdown of which countries will trim output is expected to be worked out by its November meeting. But BofA points out that Saudi Arabia normally cuts back at this time of year. the Saudis produced about 10.6 million barrels a day last month.

“After all, Saudi has cut production seasonally by 320,000 (barrels per day) every year between July and January. The move in Algiers may reflect the impending fiscal pressures, as many OPEC government budgets are starved for cash. Also, it is critical to remember that pegged currency regimes across many oil producers have put a huge strain on foreign exchange reserves in key OPEC members,” the BofA analysts wrote.

As for the U.S., domestic oil production has been around 8.5 million barrels a day recently, down by about 1.1 million barrels a day from the all-time high in the spring of 2015. In November 2014, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, gave up on production levels and opted for a new strategy of letting the market determine oil prices. Producers, from the U.S. to Russia and Saudi Arabia, kept pumping and created a giant oil glut. Oil plunged, and ultimately hit a bottom in February 2016 at just about $26 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia’s aim went beyond revamping their economy. They also wanted less dependent on oil in its Vision 2030, where two-thirds of the jobs existed in the public sector. Right now, though, their role was to steady the fledgling oil market. Let’s hope they can.

Monday’s debate finally had a ‘winner’ after many polls

Ok, Monday’s debate took some time to ingest. Before commenting on the much anticipated forum, this blogger noticed a few things about the two candidates that squared off for 90 minutes. As a nation, it feels like all of us have forgotten our roots and what we stood for as Americans. This blogger is going to put aside the lies and half-truths told by both sides.

Race will always be an issue as long as there is mistrust between the community and police. What some of the die hard Republican supporters of DonaldTrump refuse to see is how he alienated half of the minorities in the country, including the military, which he was unfit for. When there is mandatory frisking done to African Americans anyone else of color or nationality, there will always be some sort of racial profiling done that borders the law and its legality. What was Donald Trump going to do, send troops in to trample over the rioters? They already don’t respect or trust the police. Re-establishing trust between protectors and the people came before ‘law and order’ so Hilary Clinton had it right.

Their tax plans differ just like their personalities. Trump believed that by giving the top 1%, the largest cut, in taxes, it would trickle down to the middle class and beyond. Lets get real here, guys. Donald Trump’s plan has a lot of holes in it. First of all, he is assuming that under his plan, which raised the national deficit 39.2% rather than reducing it, that there will be jobs and economic growth. It also didn’t say what the middle class would pay in taxes either. Would they be equal to the top 1% or get the 15% ?

At least Hilary Clinton wanted to raise the minimum wage and give small businesses tax incentives and offer child care to struggling families and paid sick leave to take care of an ill family member or members. Yes, the minimum wage has been raised, but not without pain for those that did not have the budget to offer  higher wages to new workers. I remember when $3.25 an hour was the going rate for the longest time. By the time I started working it was $4.25 an hour at first, but my second job paid $5.25. Her tax plan was more moderate. It also reduced the deficit by 11.2%. Right now, families paid out of pocket for child care or chose to stay home until their child was school aged. My mother didn’t want us to be latch key children, so she stayed home till all of us were in school.

I doubt very seriously, whether there will ever be free college tuition. A lot of my friends from Germany were in high school taking college courses. Their country paid for their education, just like the students from Africa and the Caribbean. A few people known be me got to do this too through the Spectrum Program. I’m not sure whether it was free though.

Now that the polls are in, it is clear that Hilary Clinton won the first debate. As stated before, she had the tact and poise needed to move in these kind of circles, unlike Donald Trump. She is a wife of a former president and a First Lady.

While Lester Holt maintained order, or tried to, Donald Trump refused to stay silent while Clinton answered questions. Today, he claimed that there was something wrong with the mike. We all heard him try to talk over Hilary and completely ignore Holt’s redirection and reprimand for interrupting. No wonder he felt invisible, bruised and subjective. What Trump did was down right rude. Media wasn’t corrupt, he just lacked self control. In this sense, he embarrassed himself. Trump got knocked on his rump. As a further sting, the Arizona Republic refused to endorse the Republican candidate because of his past behavior and banter on stage during the debate.

My mind hadn’t been changed either. My vote was reaffirmed.

Chrohn's Disease break through

Science finds break through for Crohn’s Disease sufferers

Science is closing in on Crohn’s Disease, a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Part of the equation is the fugus recently found in the gut. The other part, found this week, were two bacteria that played a major role in how the person developed the disease.

My mother suffers from a form of Chrohn’s Disease, called Ileitis,, formerly Regional Ileitis. This affects primarily the small and large intestines, but which can occur anywhere in the digestive system between the mouth and the anus. In her case, it affected the stomach. Certain things in her diet cause blockage in the small intestines that cause pain, diarrhea, and nausea.

The list of hazzard foods get longer every year. Things like broccoli, cabbage, stuffing, apple, grape skins, orange juice pulp, etc.

 “Essentially, patients with Crohn’s have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone’s intestines. Our study adds significant new information to understanding why some people develop Crohn’s disease. Equally important, it can result in a new generation of treatments, including medications and probiotics, which hold the potential for making qualitative and quantitative differences in the lives of people suffering from Crohn’s.”

In the past, studies found that E coli bacteria had been a major factor in Crohn’s sufferers. Now there were two more, Serratia marcescens and the fungus Candida tropicalis, are contributors to this disease too. The main factors that cause this disease are genetic along the lines of environment and one’s diet. As long as the probiotic did not have yogurt,the active cultures irritated her Crohn’s Disease, she wouldn’t get sick.

My mother lost so much weight during one of her attack that she fit into clothes she wore before marrying my father. She couldn’t wear her wedding ring because it wouldn’t stay on her finger.

The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn’s disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofuel — a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines — which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

This is good because it is the first time a fungus and bacteria are linked to Crohn’s Disease. Of course, with the studies, the stomachs of the relatives in the Crohn’s Disease family are different from the ones that are disease free family. A good indication that there is trouble in the gut is when the doctor recommends a soy formula other than regular formula for their baby. A writer friend had a son with Crohn’s and she told me that.

Thankfully, this condition is not hereditary. Mom had a blood transfusion at 18. It made me feel better that treatment is improving for Crohn’s sufferers. Maybe someday, there will be a cure.

 

 

 

Sources:

Credit: © vaakim / Fotolia Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn’s disease

Definition of ileitis – MedicineNet

Crohn’s disease affects primarily the small and large intestines, but which can occur anywhere in the digestive system between the mouth and the anus.

Experts May Have Finally Found The Cause Of Crohn’s Disease

Sarah DiGiulio Sleep Reporter, The Huffington Post  09/26/2016 08:09 am

 

 

Windows 10 software

Microsoft: Refund faulty Windows 10 software to complainers

As a Windows 10 user, I am in agreement with the article that stated that Microsoft should refund its users if they have issues with faulty Windows 10 software. So far, this user has not had any, except with the downloaded Amazon.com music program. It was not Windows 10 compatible, even though it said so. In the article, the problems with Windows 10 software were with things like web cameras and internet protection software after being added to the computer.

The issue with my laptop was the software already on the computer. For instance, Windows 8 already had McAfee, which had to be removed in order to install and operate Windows Defender. Both of these together butt heads, locking up computer performace by slowing it down. This blogger disagreed with the article’s continued allegations that Microsoft forced the latest upgrades to its users though its updates. Any time an update was free and didn’t mess up my OS system, it was a blessing.

Microsoft says Windows 10 has been installed on more than 350 million devices, and as of August this year was running on 23% of PCs on the market globally.

The Windows 10 upgrades were free to Windows 8 and 8.1 users, if they scheduled their upgrade before the button was removed this year after July. There was no way, this blogger is paying $99.99 a piece for two upgrades. Granted, Mom had to send both the new and old laptops to my brother to fix them. The weird thing about this is they just needed to be plugged in at his house.

Why return to a previous state when Windows 8 went the way of Windows XP? One should enhance, not got back unless their computer is damaged. The trick here is going back far enough so that one didn’t have to do a full restore. In my case, the flash player ads on the internet messed up the computer my mother loaned me a few years ago. With no reimaged software, my only recourse was to purchase a new one for her.

For those that had trouble with the Windows 10 upgrades, they should be reimbursed for the faulty sotware. Microsoft should honor it too.

How will Trump’s tax plan affect the nation?

The media needed to ease up on Hilary Clinton’s pneumonia and other ‘supposed illnesses‘. Donald Trump is almost as old as the late Ronald Reagan when he was first elected back in 1980. President Bush actually threw up in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap. Let’s move on to the real issues. The trick here is whether he can survive the oncoming debate next week. The polls have both cadidates even. Depending on how they respond in the debate September 26, determines who pulls ahead. Who had the better tax plan? What were their plans to improve the economy and stabilize jobs?

Lets face it, Donald Trump has backtracked on a lot of things he said on the campaign trail. Remember the visit to Mexico this month? Social media said his visit was over the top, meaning positive. Others showed protesters during that time. Frankly, this blogger didn’t blame them for holding on to the offense earlier in the campaign. He still wants to build that wall.

Here is what the pontiff said:

“A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the Buenos Aires-born pontiff said when asked about Trump’s now infamous promises to erect a wall aimed at keeping Mexicans out of the U.S.

Here is Trump’s reaction:

For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.

There were a lot of Christians that do unchristian things, Donald Trump. GET A CLUE! It’s the attitude against foreigners that he doesn’t like.

Trump should listen to Sadiq Khan:

I think to suggest somehow that Muslims aren’t welcome in the U.S.A., to suggest somehow that being a Muslim isn’t compatible with being western, unintentionally plays into the hands of daesh or so-called ISIS,” Khan said.

Trump has offered an evolving stance on Muslim immigration into th United States since his original December 2015 call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.

So far, his tax plan might be too much. The media said that it is cheaper, but more expensive. While every tax bracket got a break, the largest portion went to the top earners. There are snags in his theory, though, His plan works off a stable economy, and constant job growth, something that hasn’t existed since 2008.

The United States rode on the backs of the middle class for years. One article claimed they are to suffer a lot more under this tax plan. The conflict is the definition of ‘pass through’ income that might affect smaller organizations like LLCs and not the big ones like Google. Trump’s plan left out which level of taxes middle class paid, the top 33% or the bottom 15% flat rate. Moreover, what effects his tax plan had on the rest of the economy.

Here’s even more pain for the middle class:

Those in the middle three-fifths of the income scale would have seen their incomes boosted by 2.2 percent, 6 percent, and 7.3 percent under his original proposal; those increases have been sharply reduced to 0.8, 1.3, and 1.9 percent.

While Clinton’s tax plan offered no cuts to the top earners, they didn’t see too much of an increase either. The good thing is that lower taxes improved the economy. Trump’s tax plan increases the national deficit to 39.2%, making it more expensive over 10 years. Clinton’s tax plan reduced the deficit by 11.2%.

My concern is whether those on Social Security were getting a cost of living increase. Probably not, even though someone from my church said to expect $200. This blogger will believe it when she sees it. Most of the time, the increase is 3% across the board, since Obama took office, this was the second time in eight years there was no increase. When there is, it is usually 1.3% to 1.7%. No one is to know until the fall. Right now, it looks as dismal as last time, in 2012. As projected, it was still under 2%

Only time will tell what the nation decided in November.

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