Knowledge is Power – The Future is Now

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The Dragon’s Philosophy – Trust the Process

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(Money on my Mind) McDonald’s will close 700 stores this year – What do you think their mistakes were? Will they survive?

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McDonald’s closed 350 stores in the first three months of 2015 and is planning to close an additional 350 by the end of the year.

The struggling fast food giant recently announced it was closing 350 poorly performing stores this year, but on Wednesday McDonald’s admitted it had closed a previously unannounced 350 stores in the U.S., Japan and China.

“Earlier on Wednesday, McDonald’s reported an 11% decrease in revenue and a 30% drop in profit for the first three months of year, a continuation of its troubles in the last two years as it has struggled to compete with new U.S. competitors, a tough economy in Europe and a food safety scare in Asia,” Fortune reported.

McDonald’s started falling into a steep decline after customers began seeking healthier alternatives, a decline which may prove terminal for the world’s largest fast food chain.

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It was definitely a sign of the times when Hillary Clinton stopped to eat at Chipotle while campaigning in Iowa earlier this month, two decades after her husband famously stopped at a McDonald’s while jogging.

“The world is starting to ask what they’re truly eating in their food — and the new conglomerate of natural grocers and restaurants are trailblazing the way into an entirely new economic environment,” Anthony Gucciardi wrote. “In other words: people are simply tired of shoveling garbage into their bodies, and they’re not going to put up with it anymore.”

And price conscious consumers aren’t just limited to McDonald’s nowadays: natural food outlets such as Whole Foods are offering organic foods at the same price as a Big Mac with fries.

Happy Flashback Friday!!! – Chop Suey! (System Of A Down)

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The Truth Hurts – Give them a Reason to Hate

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Forget me Not – Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910)

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “the Great American Novel“.

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Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother, Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County“, was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

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Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.

Photo Credit: Baking Equals Love

Credit: Wikipedia

Money on my Mind – Stay Ready to Get Ready

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MONEY ON MY MIND – WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

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1. Shave some extra cents off your gas costs by checking out GasPriceWatch.com to find the cheapest offerings in your area. For example, you’ll find that the Chevron on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles is selling gas for 22 cents less than a Mobil station a few blocks down the road. 

2. Nix name brands and start buying generic toiletries and cleaning products in bulk. Better yet, take shopping trips with friends to Costco so you can all split that bulk pack of toilet paper.

3. Join your local library. You might be shocked to find that its DVD collection is stocked and up-to-date (not to mention totally free). If you normally rent one movie per week from the video store or Netflix, you can save over $200 in a year!

4. Unplug your appliances like coffee pots, toasters, hair dryers, and computer cords when you leave the house. According to Energystar.gov, it costs you $100 per year to power appliances in standby mode (especially ones with features like clock displays). When you go on vacation, it’s a good idea (both for your wallet and the environment) to unplug large energy consumers like entertainment centers. 

5. Cliché as it may sound, skip your morning Starbucks latte. You’ll save about 190 calories and $3 per day. You can still make your homemade coffee feel special by adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

6. Get cash back on your clothing purchases. It sucks when you buy a piece of clothing full-price, then see it on sale a week later. Hang on to your receipts, because larger chains like the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy will refund you the difference on items that go on sale as long as you present a receipt within 14 days of the original purchase.

7. Need new furniture? Before heading off to Ikea, check out Freecycle.orga site where users list things they don’t want anymore. Or, try your local Craigslist.com listings for moving sales (oftentimes people are in a pinch and will sell items for “best offer” just to get rid of them).

8. Work out for free. Look up donation-based yoga studios in your area so you can pay what you can (instead of a normal $12-$20 per class). Similarly, many yoga, dance, and Pilates studios offer new student incentives such as two weeks of classes for only $20. Can’t afford a personal trainer? Check out iTrain.com,where you can download personalized workouts for your iPod for as little as $7.99 a session. Other cheap options: Go for a hike in the fall foliage, jog outdoors, or organize a game of touch football with friends (a great excuse to get them to invite single guys!). 

9. Think about your cash. Always know exactly how much money you have on you. It will prevent mindless spending (and the shock when you realize you’re out). Also, plan out your day so you withdraw the money you need from your home bank, avoiding ATM fees.

10. Do your holiday shopping on the cheap by hunting down cool stuff at thrift and vintage shops where you can find heartwarming items for less than 20 bucks. Think music boxes, quirky costume jewelry, vintage postcards to frame, or collectors’ plates. 

11. Bring the party home. Ask friends to come over with a bottle of wine for a game night on Saturday. Offering a simple, homemade dessert like cookies or a pie won’t cost more than a few bucks if you already have the basic ingredients on hand. If you absolutely have to get out, then organize a get-together at a bar with a happy hours special. Make the occasion more festive by creating a Facebook invite with a quirky theme like “International Talk Like a Pirate Day!” One more tip: check out Myopenbar.coma site that lists events at bars with free booze in several cities including New York, Miami, and Chicago.

12. Do more research. It might be painful to actually look at the breakdown of your expenses, but it’s the best way to cut down on costs.  (Hint: you can probably get both used or at your local library instead of paying full price).

Credit: Cosmopolitan

Be Like Bacon (Francis Bacon) Knowledge is Power

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Poetry & Art – The Climb

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