Brian Banmiller's blog

Staying Afloat

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Analysts say the recession is coming to a close and while this is good news for your bank accounts there may be some left over lessons you remember.

During this period of economic uncertainty you made some cuts to your lifestyle and started saving a little more for a rainy day. Well with the sun about to shine again US News and World Report says you should keep up these habits and provide yourself with a better economic future no matter what's on the horizon.  read more »

An Entertaining Afterlife

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A few months ago I reported that a crypt located above Marilyn Monroe’s final resting place was being auctioned off. But after a few unsuccessful attempts it looks like America’s most famous sex symbol may be eternally single.

Elsie Poncher has been trying to sell her husband’s crypt, which is above Marilyn Monroe’s, in order to pay off the mortgage on her Beverly Hills’ home. If someone were to purchase it, her husband’s remains would be transferred to an adjacent crypt that was meant for her.  read more »

High Flying Fees

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The holidays are right around the corner. And with them come visits to friends and family, along with extra airline fees.

Most of the major airlines have increased their surcharges for travel on the busiest holiday flying days to twenty dollars each way from ten dollars a few months ago.

The surcharges will apply to the vast majority of flights within the U-S on more than a dozen peak days. You can certainly guess what they are: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Tim smith is a spokesman for American airlines, and says it’s simply a matter of supply and demand. And he confirms that most increases already started a few weeks ago.  read more »

Avoid At All Costs

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These days people are just grateful to have a job and are willing to put up with extra work and longer hours to keep that steady paycheck. But there are ten types of people that may be lurking around your cubicle that could make your nine to five unbearable.

In their new book, "I Hate People: Kick Loose From The Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out Of Your Job" Jonathan Littman and Marc Herson have identified the 10 "least wanted" people to have in your workplace. Whether they're driving you to distraction or sucking the life right out of you, they can all be a fatal blow to your career.

1. Stop sign  read more »

Unhappily Married

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In these tough economic times you might need to give up a few luxuries, such as your daily latte, gym membership and maybe even that pending divorce.

Financial woes are usually a leading factor in divorce. But with the shaky economy putting the fear of bankruptcy into everyone, finances are now keeping more couples together.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers surveyed 16,000 members and found that more than half the respondents in the survey cited a significant drop in divorce filings due to a drop in jobs, salaries and house prices. In all, fifty percent of lawyers reported a decrease in filings since the last quarter of 20-08 compared to only fourteen percent of lawyers who saw an increase in divorce actions.  read more »

Fast and the Famous

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Sometimes it's the props that make a movie or television scene come alive. And sometimes those props drive off with all the star power.

Some of the biggest silver screen stars throughout history have a motor and four wheels. So Hagerty Insurance, the leading insurer of collectible cars, decided it might be good for business to conduct a survey to find out which celebrity cars made the top ten list of movie and tv buffs.

Mckeel Hagerty says each vehicle on the list not only played an integral part in a movie or TV show storyline but each possessed an on-screen personality of its own. Hagerty says this allowed the cars to become another character people could relate to.  read more »

Unique College Job Offer

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College can be overwhelming for youngsters. You cram for tests, write papers and speed read book assignments, while working part time and trying to date the prom queen. So to cope with the workload one Georgetown University student is looking to hire an extra pair of hands.

Charley Cooper is a sophomore at Georgetown, and last week posted an ad on the student employment site looking for a personal assistant. He is offering ten to twelve dollars an hour for about seven hours of work a week. Duties will include organizing his closet, picking him up and dropping him off at work, cleaning his car and doing his laundry.  read more »

The Cost of Living

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Every month you shell out big bucks for your bills, rent or mortgage and anything else to keep your home up and running. While everyone's bank account takes a hit there's a big difference when you start comparing zip codes.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report of the most expensive cities for housing costs, gleaned from information gathered by surveying renters and homeowners in metropolitan areas. The bureau then calculated each cities median housing expense based on rent and mortgage payments, utilities and property tax. They found that in cities such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C. where cost of living is high, median incomes also tend to be higher.  read more »

The Demise of Peter Rabbit

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With Winter setting in you may be cleaning the chimney and loading up on firewood, but if you're in Sweden you're stocking up on bunnies.

It's not uncommon for residents of Stockholm to shoot the thousands of wild rabbits running around the countryside. But now they're using the bunny bodies as fuel for their fires and animal rights activists are hopping mad.

City Official Mats Freij says so far 3,000 rabbits have been killed in Stockholm this year and due to the amount of fat on their bodies, one subcontractor decided to use the animal carcass as fuel. Animal Rights Sweden Spokesperson Lise-Lott Alsenius questions whether this is humane and has suggested neutering the male rabbits to keep down the population, as opposed to shooting anything that hops.  read more »

Behind Enemy Lines

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He may have been part of the Nazi attempt to cripple Great Britain. But once upon a time Benito Mussolini's paycheck was signed by Mother England.

According to historical papers, years before joining forces with Hitler the Italian dictator was a socialist journalist and ran the popular newspaper II Popolo D'Italia out of Milan. This was during the first World War while Italy was allied with Britain and France against Germany.  read more »