Brian Banmiller's blog

A Rat Infested Strike


Paris has a rodent problem, and pest control is threatening to hang up its traps.

Last week Paris' overworked rat catchers staged a one day strike demanding reinforcements and bonuses. This comes after what the workers call December’s war of rats where the city's parks and public spaces had to be shut down so traps could be laid. Workers say they cleaned up the city of dozens of vermin but have yet to be properly recognized for their trouble.

So about 50 pest workers gathered outside city hall driving the point home with a large dead rat underneath a giant banner that read “the staff are angry.” In addition to more staff the workers are demanding payment of a $2,100 bonus they say was lost in the shuffle of an administrative reorganization.  read more »

Deliberate Practice


For some people success and wealth is a result of hard work and luck, for others it's deliberate.

Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg are just some of the people who believe in deliberate practice. A theory that requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.

Recently reporter Michael Simmons took a look at how some of these successful CEO's apply the principles of deliberate practice to their everyday life. All of them say they follow the five hour rule, which means setting aside an hour a day or five hours a week to better themselves. And to help you follow in their footsteps Simmons took a closer look at how they are using the time to their advantage.  read more »

Town for Sale


Looking to invest in a little real estate? How about an entire town?

If you're looking to expand your personal empire consider the town of Tiller, Oregon. For $3.5 million you can own the town located about 200 miles south of Portland. And for an extra $350,000 they will throw in the old school as well.  read more »

Retired Women at Risk


Men and women are living longer, but women often face the bigger financial burden in old age. According to a recent survey published in USA Today, lower wages and higher medical costs are putting retired women at greater financial risk for financial ruin than men.

According to AARP, retired women pay about $600 more per year than men on out of pocket medical costs. But they save less. According to the Transamerica Retirement Survey, one reason is many women put family ahead of self. And women often have less money than men to pay for long term health care. They generally earn less, $0.80 to the dollars, and women spend more time out of the work force caring for children or aging parents.  read more »

March Madness

march madness.jpg

Its March madness and things are getting a little well, mad.

It's that time of year, the games are being played, the brackets are being filled out and the mood around the office depends on the final score. This year about 70 million people are expected to fill out a bracket. And if anyone is lucky enough to fill it out perfectly, billionaire Warren Buffett has already promised them a hefty $1 billion payout. This is also the time of year when work productivity might drop a bit.  read more »

Tinder Select


The dating app Tinder is getting exclusive with a few of its users.

Tinder is testing a secret version of its app called Tinder Select which is an invitation only service for the very famous and the very attractive. Tinder Select will be a section of the existing app that is activated when the user is invited to join. And once you're in you can see the profiles of other Tinder Select members and the profiles of regular Tinder users.  read more »

Fashion Forward


There's a new pair of mom jeans on the market and they're giving people a whole new view of you.

The British retailer Top Shop has put a new style of jeans on the market and they're getting a lot of attention with customers. The high waisted, capri length all cotton pant features large cut outs where your knees are, then those cut outs are covered with clear plastic. The pants are selling for $95 at a number of high end retailers including Nordstrom. And reaction is mixed.  read more »

Mistress Hunters


Do you have the power of persuasion? Your skills could be put to the test in China.

Desperate men and women in China are hiring mistress hunters to put an end to suspected transgressions. They are trained professionals, sent undercover to accidentally meet and coerce the third party to put an end to the affair.

The mistress hunters generally work in a team. First there are the trained therapists that sort out the conflict in the marriage and try to maintain it. Then there are the mistress hunters, usually people with a background in psychology or sociology, who persuade the extra person in your marriage to cut the ties.  read more »

Taxes Up and Down


Just when you thought your taxes will go down under President Trump, along comes a way to stifle your enthusiasm.

President Trump wants big tax cuts on corporations and individuals. Now some enterprising state and local politicians are hoping to create new ways to take your tax savings back. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city's board of supervisors will vote next week on a resolution urging the California legislature to amend state law to allow cities and local governments to impose personal and corporate income taxes.  read more »

You're Fired


A lot of people are fired and while some people think it's unfair, others definitely deserved it.

Sometimes its money, sometimes there is someone more qualified for your job, maybe your company is downsizing, whatever the reason there are many people who have found themselves at the end of the unemployment line. But according to MSN Money there are those that are just asking to be shown the door.  read more »