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Commuting on Florida’s highways often feels like bumper cars with Ferrari engines. So what would happen if those heavy-footed douches no longer faced the specter of speeding tickets?
Thanks to a couple of enterprising young entrepreneurs, we might just find out.
Indian River County’s Ian Sidles, age 25, and Dustin Boring, 30, incorporated Pre-Paid Auto Club in August. The company provides “speeding insurance.” Pay dues starting at $9.99 a month, and when you receive a moving violation, the club takes care of associated fines, traffic school costs, and legal fees.
It’s like the Hair Club for Men. Sidles and Boring are not only presidents of the firm, but they’d also make good clients. Sidles says epiphany struck when he was nailed for speeding twice in a week. He says he was wrongly accused of blasting his Dodge Charger past a police radar gun at 90 mph in a 70 mph zone. (Besides two speeding tickets in Vero Beach, Sidles’s driving record also includes operating a vehicle without a valid registration and not wearing a seat belt.) “I told Dustin: ‘Dude, there should be insurance for this kind of thing,’” says Sidles, an IT guy who declined to name his regular employer because they don’t know about his new business.
His partner, Boring, is also the founder of iLoveDrinks.com, LLC, according to state corporation records.
Their speeding-insurance business model works like this: “Basic” members are allowed to submit claims every 60 days, there’s no limit for “premium” members, and the company won’t reimburse tickets for zooming more than 19 mph over the limit or violations in a school zone. “We don’t want to encourage bad driving,” Sidles explains. “But people make mistakes. We just want to take some of the burden off of drivers.”
When we talked to Sidles last week, he told us the firm only recently began operating and has just two members. But the novel concept has many more fans — 1,774 on Facebook, to be exact.
Don’t count former Florida Highway Patrol spokesman and trooper Pat Santangelo among them. One thing the Pre-Paid Auto Club can’t do anything about: expensive points on a driver’s record. “Unless they’re taking care of those points, you’re wasting your money,” Santangelo, who’s now a spokesman for Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, grumbles when told of the concept. “Nice try, though.”
[Via - MiamiNewTimes.com]
“Not bad. In fact, my first home brew wasn’t as good as this.”
That was Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, and what he had to say when he gave a MrBeer beer kit a try for himself. And believe us—he wasn’t drunk when he said that.
Oliver described the “Mr. Beer Process” in three steps: “We sanitize, we brew, and then we bottle.”
And how much did it cost him to make a 2-gallon beer?
It took him $40 for the complete kit—and a 2-gallon beer worth $.25 cents to $1, depending on the size of the bottle that’s being used.
That’s not bad, considering it tastes good. Comedian Andy Dick once had a test run of the Mr. Beer as well, and all he had to say was: “That’s smooth. That’s probably the smoothest beer I’ve ever drank.” And unlike those that have been shipped and exposed to outside air, Mr. Beer’s aroma is more intense because it comes straight from the plastic beer keg.
Mr. Beer has been in the business of creating the world’s easiest home brewing systems and supplies since 1993. They use barley, wheat, and hops for their malts, and are brewed on their modern facility on South Island NZ. They use a complex process of cracking, heating, and separating grains and then adding in hops to produce the color, balance, and flavor that beer is known for. However, the difference is that with Mr. Beer, all the excess water is removed, and the concentrated malt extract that’s left would be canned for shipping.
Their most popular product is the Premium Edition Mr. Beer Kit, which comes with a 2-Gallon Fermenter, first batch of beer (Standard Booster Recipe with Hopped Malt extract, dry brewing yeast, and No-Rinse Cleanser), eight amber-colored bottles with caps and labels. These bottles are designed to accommodate carbonated beverages, and are FDA approved.
Other Mr. Beer products also include Cider Kits a nd Root Beer kits—and they taste good as well.
With such high-tech procedures, does it guarantee perfect beer all the time?
Not necessarily. It depends on how you brew it.
“It’s a little bit sweet and needs a little bit more carbonation.” Oliver observed, after tasting his first batch of beer.
But here’s where he made a teeny-tiny-itsy-bit mistake: he didn’t wait long enough for the beer to ferment.
A good way to avoid this is to let the beer sit longer than a week to reduce its sweetness. The longer it ferments, the less sweet it becomes.
As with everything else, patience really IS a virtue when it comes to brewing your own beer. According to Drew Vics, a.k.a “The Brewologist”, you can have home brewed beer in two weeks, but if you want it to taste its best, then wait for four weeks—or three and a half, if you can’t wait any longer.
A good solution for that “le ss head” or “less carbonation” problem so often encountered by first-time brewers is to dissolve no more than 3/8 of a cup of sugar or confectioner’s corn sugar into 1 pint of hot water and then let it cool. Then divide them evenly among your bottles instead of adding each sugar in each bottle (as what the direction says). This results in better and more even carbonation.
Really, it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Vics put it succinctly: “Mr. Beer makes a good beginner home brewing kit, and it is a great kit to keep around and reuse, even for the more advanced brewer. This is a great way to get your feet wet, and learn the basics of the home brewing process.”
For Mr. Beer coupons, click here.
[Via - Odd News]
A hobby or your bread-and-butter, photography never goes out of fashion, not today, not tomorrow, not in the too-distant future. Why, you might ask. For the simple reason that a photograph memorializes a moment that can never be captured by the human mind for very long.
And believe it or not, photography is an art as well. While some people may argue that photography is nothing but capturing what already is in existence, whenever you look at a photo, you see the image the way the photographer selects to present and frame his photo - the lighting, the angle, the vividness of the color scheme, every small detail that adds to the overall quality. If that isn’t art, I probably have the wrong definition of the word “art.”
As art has a wide audience appeal, it’s no surprise that a lot of tools, tips, tricks, enhancements, whatever you call them, have cropped up in the market. In the case of photography, photo lenses have been introduced. Several different brands and makes are now vying for attention, all created to allow the flexibility photographers hope to achieve in terms of sharpness, color and other parameters.
As the domain would suggest, AllPhotoLenses.com is a site where photographers, professional or otherwise, meet, review and discuss photo lenses. Through the site, they also get to upload and see actual photos taken using a particular type of lens. The members themselves upload news, articles and other online resourcesfor other members to benefit from. Additionally, they can opt to buy, sell and trade photo lenses and other equipment with other members.
Founded by Sergey Borodin, a professional photographer himself, AllPhotoLenses.com aspires to become the biggest online database for everything related to photo lenses. It was first introduced in the Russian language through Lens-Club.ru.
[Via - Bitrix24.Com]
With all the mobile app startups that have been springing to prominence lately, there’s no arguing, the mobile phone app space is on fire. In Calgary, a startup named Beaucoo is starting to resonate among women. Beaucoo is an iPhone app that allows women to network with friends and other women with the same body dimensions, share information about clothes they’ve already tried on and where to find the best clothing stores.
All you need to do is sign up, enter your dimensions, and the app shows you photos of women whose sizes are similar to yours, all of whom wearing clothes from stores they have already shopped in. Aside from seeing how the clothes fit (without you actually trying them on), you get to discover new fashion, new places to shop in and new friends, all the while saving time, energy and money.
Beaucoo doesn’t stop there. When you’re out shopping, you can take a picture of the skirt, pants, dress or shirt you’ve tried on and add a quick rating. The more you use the app, the more discounts and exclusive shopping benefits you get from brands and shops who will now be competing for your business.
According to Beaucoo’s CEO and co-founder, Christian McLean, the idea for the app came to him after watching his wife spending hours online talking about fashion with other women, finding out if clothes she saw on models would fit. The easiest way to find this out was talk with women with the same body frame. Problem was, oftentimes, this information, after hours and hours of collaboration, disappears from forums, Facebook, etc., rendering it useless for others who might find it of value.
Beaucoo is all geared up for its beta launch and looking for women who might want to sign up through Beaucoo.ca. Using the links provided on the signup page, the woman who helps the company get the most signups will be given a $100 gift certificate to an apparel store of her choice and an invite to Beaucoo’s VIP beta testing group. The company is also looking for partner brand and retailer introductions.
[Via - Business Ideas Blog]
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Breaking up is hard to do. And for Craig Dershowitz, it’s getting awfully expensive. The 34-year-old New Yorker’s ex-girlfriend, Sarah Brega, took their dog, Knuckles, when she moved to California after their split, and he’s suing to get the puggle — half pug, half beagle — back. So far, he has spent $60,000 on the cross-country legal fight. Here, a brief guide to this canine custody battle, and the increasing number of cases just like it:
Why is this guy so desperate to get his dog back?
Dershowitz says Knuckles is more than a pet to him… the animal is his “son,” his “baby boy,” his “everything.” He says he raised “Knux” and cared for the dog since it was a puppy, registering it in his name and paying its vet bills. Dershowitz says he left the dog with Brega until he found a new place after they ended their four-year relationship. He agreed to share custody, but then, he says, Brega and Knuckles disappeared.
What did he do after Brega took the dog?
Dershowitz says he hired two private investigators to track down Brega, whom he accused of “dognapping” Knuckles. Then he filed a lawsuit to get the dog back. Dershowitz says his lawyer’s bills have drained his bank account, so he has set up a website, “Rescue Knux,” to solicit donations to finance his ongoing court battle. He’s offering donors a “virtual kiss” from Knuckles for a $10 donation, a “Free Knux” T-shirt for $25, and a portrait of the dog for $200. For $250, you can play fetch with the dog if it’s returned to New York. So far, he has raised about $1,200.
What does his ex say?
Brega says in court documents that Dershowitz “unconditionally gifted” her the dog. Besides, she says, “Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings.” Dershowitz initially got a default judgment demanding the dog’s return, but Brega has since hired a lawyer to fight for the dog in New York and California courts.
Are there other cases like this?
Yes. In fact, the number of pet custody battles is rising. But these issues can give judges headaches, because while shared custody is common for children, pets are technically property. So like other things divvied up in divorce court, they must go to one party or the other. But as more people resolve to fight for their pets, that’s changing, divorce attorney Ken Altshuler tells The Associated Press. “Judges are viewing them more akin to children than dining room sets. They are recognizing that people have an emotional attachment to their animals.”
[HT - Madconomist.Com]
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