You got the Wrong Number – DO NOT answer if this number is calling you

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WASHINGTON – If you get a call from the number (202) 609-7070, the Internal Revenue Service is warning you not to answer the phone.

IRS officials said those who call from this number are impersonating the IRS agents and demand payment for fake tax liens.

Authorities said the phony agent, who usually has a heavy accent, will call or leave a voice mail saying you owe money to the IRS and if it isn’t paid immediately you will be arrested.

The IRS says they have received 90,000 complaints to date about the scam and about 1,000 people have lost an estimated $5 million from the fraud.

The IRS said it will never:

  • Never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone
  • Never insist that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never request immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies

If you get a call you believe to be a part of this scam, the IRS urges you call 1-800-366-4484 to report the incident.

For more information on phone scams and how to avoid being defrauded, visit irs.gov.

Credit: Fox13Now

 

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Is your Cellphone your friend or a Double Agent?

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How well do you know your cellphone?

 For many of us, it knows where we are every minute of the day, and it’s storing that list right there on your phone where anyone can find it.

It’s pretty common knowledge that our smartphones can tag pictures and videos with where we are, and certain apps tell us they’re using our location.

This is different.

With a new operating system update that was released last fall, iPhones now keep an actual log of places you’ve been, down to the address and the minute.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been under this setting before,” said smartphone user Jeremy Katz. “I didn’t know it was doing that level of detail.” 

 You have to know where to look:

               Step 1: Click on your ‘Settings’ app

               Step 2: Select ‘Privacy’

               Step 3: Select ‘Location Services’

               Step 4: Scroll all the way to the bottom to ‘System Services’

               Step 5: Select ‘Frequent Locations’

               Step 6: Click on each of the cities, and each location to see the specific addresses you’ve visited and the time of day you were there.

If someone thought a spouse was cheating, the truth could be right there in their phone.

“Wow, that is awesome,” exclaimed Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson when she saw the technology for the first time.

“It’s scary from a Big Brother point of view, but it’s awesome for law enforcement purposes,” she added.

Lawson says prosecutors have used cell tower data for years. But now, if a suspect swears he wasn’t at the house that got robbed, his phone could say he was and at the exact time of the crime.

“It’s by far better, otherwise they’re pinging a general location. This gives the exact address, this is awesome for us,” Lawson said.

“If they go through the proper warrant procedures it’s perfectly appropriate for them to get this information,” sad Atlanta attorney Gerry Weber, who specializes in constitutional law.

Weber admits he finds the new technology a little scary.

“Anybody could grab your cellphone and see where you’ve been over the last several months, date and time and place. I don’t think anybody would imagine that,” said Weber.

He worries the accessibility of the information might be too tempting for officers to wait for a search warrant.

“The officer might grab the phone, look and see where you’ve been, and use that information, and not ever tell anybody that they got it from your phone,” said Weber.

He wonders if Apple might eventually do the same, and share or sell locations for marketing.

According to Apple’s website, “Your iPhone will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won’t be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing.”

You automatically consent when you allow Apple to “use your frequent locations” to improve your maps feature.

Apple refused to disclose how often your phone records your location, and whether it’s triggered by a specific act like a call or a text.

“There’s so much information out there. It’s so rich. It’s so revealing. They all want their hands on it,” said Hanni Fakhoury with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco based non-profit that defends privacy rights.

Fakhoury questions why Apple automatically activates the frequent locations feature when users agree to basic location services.

“When you are opted into the system automatically without any choice that’s where there are some real problems,” said Fakhoury.

Most of the smartphone users Channel 2 shared the feature with immediately asked how to disable it. 

Credit: Jodie Fleischer

“Oh, no. It’s an E-Cig, it’s much Healthier.” – Studies Reveal Health Risks Of E-Cigarettes

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“There’s no such thing as a safe cigarette.” This is a line that has been used to describe menthols, filtered cigarettes, and slims, but it also applies to the latest product for smokers: electronic cigarettes. They have been widely heralded by users and manufacturers as a completely harmless smoking alternative, but there isn’t much research to back up that statement. Recent studies have shown that they still contain tiny particles that can irritate lung tissue and could cause disease.

Modern electronic cigarettes have been available for a decade and have been booming in popularity. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs don’t burn dried tobacco leaves doused in nearly 600 additives; 69 of which are carcinogenic. Instead, a battery-powered device heats a liquid solution (called e-liquid) of nicotine and flavors, creating an aerosol that is inhaled to simulate the physical sensation of smoking in a process known as “vaping”.

Higher end models of e-cigs allow the user to adjust the voltage from the battery, which regulates the intensity of the heating element. As the solution gets hotter, it intensifies the effect of the nicotine hit. Unfortunately, these higher temperatures also affect the glycerin and propylene glycol used as solvents within the e-liquid, converting them to carbonyls found in cigarettes such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde

Earlier this year, a study found that increasing an e-cig’s voltage from 3.2V to 4.8V while using an e-liquid with both solvents produced almost as much formaldehyde as a traditional cigarette. While the human body produces formaldehyde as a byproduct of normal metabolic activity in the cells, it is suspected of being carcinogenic when inhaled. The same study also found that at lower voltages, e-cigs produced up to 800 times less formaldehyde than a cigarette. While this might sound a lot safer, the size of the vapor particles and the delivery method into the lungs heavily impact the risk of disease.

Particles found in inhaled cigarette smoke have a median size of 0.3-0.5 microns. Testing has found that the e-cigarette particles have a median of 0.18-0.27 microns. About 40% of these particles can travel deep into the lungs and become embedded in the alveoli, where gas exchange occurs. Even if the particle itself isn’t toxic, the size alone places a burden on the lungs and can cause disease. 

As vaping is still fairly new, there just has not been enough time to do the necessary long-term studies regarding health risks. Though these early studies do hint that e-cigs are a better option than traditional smoking, that isn’t really saying a lot, because cigarettes are pretty terrible. Even if vaping is better than smoking, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. As its popularity continues to grow, it is important to understand the full risk associated with vaping for both the user and those exposed to the vapor secondhand.

Credit Janet Raloff, Science News

Pauley Perrette Severe Allergic Reaction to Hair Dye – The Dangers in Hair Coloring and Safer Alternatives

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NCIS actress Pauley Perrette is warning fans about the dangers of hair dye after suffering a severe allergic reaction to her trademark ink-black color.

Many consumers are growing in their watchfulness as to what goes in their bodies, but health can be as greatly impacted by what goes on their bodies. We already realize that chemicals in cosmetics such as skin creams can break through the skin barrier, but what about the chemicals in hair coloring? In response to recent bad press about hair dyes, many have turned to semi-permanent solutions. However, there is reason to question the safety in the substances used in these products as well. If you are among the 50% of women who color their hair, or a man who covers his gray, you might want to do more investigation into your favorite hair coloring.

The most problematic hair dye ingredient is a family of chemicals called Arylamines. Arylamines are a known risk factor for bladder cancer and have been found to cause cancer in experimental animals. One of these is p-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is listed on the box of even non-permanent “natural” products. It is an important ingredient in hair coloring because it lasts through many washings and perming is possible with it. PPD hair dyes usually come packaged as 2 bottles, one containing the PPD dye preparation and the other containing the developer or oxidizer. PPD is a colorless substance that requires oxygen for it to become colored. It is this intermediate, partially oxidized state that may cause allergy in sensitive individuals. Fully oxidized PPD is not a sensitizer, so individuals with PPD allergy can wear wigs or fur coats dyed with PPD safely.

Another factor involves the mixing of hydrogen peroxide with ammonia. Research has found that this combination may create potentially carcinogenic chemicals that don’t normally exist in the two liquids prior to mixing them together.

A third factor is that the darker dyes are more challenging as they contain greater levels of chemicals. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that skin contact with PPD should be prevented in order to avoid the allergic reactions, and indeed, the FDA has NOT approved its use for direct skin application. This is an oxymoron, though, as it is next to impossible to avoid contact with the skin when applying hair color.

Safer alternatives to ammonia and peroxide are being developed. One company’s organic and mineral research laboratory has found a way of making peroxide from avocado oil and it is far less irritating to the skin. They have also discovered an alternative to ammonia. Derived from coconut oil, it isn’t irritating and has no nasty smell. Look for products that are ammonia and peroxide-free and use vegetable-based dyes. A search on the web for “natural hair colorings” should turn up a few good leads. Two examples are Planet Organic and Aveda. Some of these companies state that their formulas provide longer lasting color than the older vegetable rinses.

Many people have tried henna as a solution. Henna’s effect lasts longer than a vegetable rinse and adds a wonderful shine, highlights and bounce to the hair. Henna products, which are gluten-free and animal-cruelty-free, are not always a red color, but all henna contains and imparts a little red. Today this natural dye comes in a wide array of shades, not just red, but will not lighten hair. Henna enhances your natural color rather than totally covering it, which allows some of your natural highlights to come through. The coating and sealing advantages mentioned above are inherent with henna.

As always, it is up to you, the consumer, to do the research and to become responsible for your own health, in regard to what goes on your body in addition to what goes in it.


Credit: Natural News -naturalnews.com

 

Smokers or Past Smokers : Six Ways to Cleanse and Revitalize your Lungs

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It’s been observed that even former smokers who quit years ago have traces of lung damage.

Even if one has never smoked, second hand cigarette smoke, industrial pollution, vehicular exhaust fumes and now chemtrails with downward drifting heavy metal nano-particles all contribute to some level of lung damage for almost everyone.

So whether you once smoked or never puffed on chemical-laden, radioactive (from the fertilizer) tobacco, detoxing and regenerating lung tissue may still be appropriate for you.

By the way, the notion that lung damage is irreparable is not true. With proper nourishment and nurturing, your lungs can repair damaged tissues eventually.

Right now is a great time to quit smoking. Why? In as little as 20 minutes you’ll start to feel the benefits of not smoking.

There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.

The best way to avoid most chemicals, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), excess sugar and bad salt is to eliminate junk and processed foods and sodas. Minimize meat, dairy and wheat to reduce excess mucus. Adding ginger, onions, garlic and cayenne helps eliminate excess mucus as well.

1 – Exercise more outdoors, away from traffic if possible. Breathing exercises can be used to help strengthen lung tissue. Yoga offers some, and there are others as well.

2- Eliminate household toxins that are part of detergents, cleansers, bleaches and chemically scented “air fresheners”.

There are many chemical free substitutes available at health food stores, even Target has a few on hand. Ditto for cosmetics and bodycare products. Buy only aluminum free deodorants for starters.

Pesticides must go as well, and there are alternatives that aren’t toxic for humans.

All toxic commercial pesticides emit caustic gases or vapors (off-gassing) that irritate the lungs.

3 – Improve your indoor air, which can be even worse than outdoor air.

Try to replace carpeting with other flooring or at least vacuum and steam clean often. Beware of furniture or clothing that’s been fire proofed. Flame retardants off-gas carcinogenic compounds.

You may want to look into commercial air cleaners. Or simply get some nice indoor plants that add life to your dwelling while removing toxins.

4 – Herbal remedies for lung issues are abundant. You’ll need to determine which type of herb is appropriate for your situation.

Antitussive herbs reduce respiratory spasms; expectorant herbs loosen mucus; demulcent herbs sooth irritated tissue; and antimicrobial herbs resolve infections.

Here’s a good overall guide for respiratory healing herbs.

Licorice root is one that pretty much covers all those attributes. It can create side effects for some because of its glycyrrhizin content. But licorice extract products are available with the glycyrrhizin removed. This is known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL licorice.

Lobelia, ironically known as Indian tobacco, helps clear the airways for easier breathing. It even works for asthma attacks.

5 – Detoxing is necessary for any regeneration or rebuilding.

Eliminating or reducing your toxic load relieves your immune system and allows the process of growing new tissue to occur.

Item (1) of this article is an absolute prerequisite to detoxifying. Then, foods such as chlorella and cilantro consumed often can help detoxify heavy metals, especially from the liver. Zeolite in its raw powder form (not liquid) is very useful.

Make sure you drink plenty of purified fluoride free water and find ways to sweat more. If you can, use a far infrared sauna somewhere; you’ll have the best level of sauna. But conventional sauna’s still do the job.

6 – Serrapeptase enzymes are very powerful enzymes capable of eating up scar tissue, heavily calcified tissue or hardened mucus deposits.

Credit: Underground Health

The Physics of Olympic Bodies (Science is Awesome)

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The Olympics is able to capture the imaginations of countries around the world. Though sometimes due to, in no small part, how freaking buff these people are. Every historical trend in world record performances has been positive, meaning that we (a very subjective word) as Olympians have only been getting harder/better/faster/stronger every year! It boggles the mind to think that every year someone one-ups the past by just enough to progress the world record.

What I find even more fascinating though, is how each event in the Olympic event defines the physique of the athlete in question. Training so hard for one event that, for some, you only get one chance to make your mark, it makes sense that the muscles required for your sport will be, shall we say, enhanced… I don’t know if you’ve seen Olympic cyclist thighs (sort of NSFW), but HOLYGEEZUSWOAH that’s intense. Swimmers need to be tall, long-distance runners have a low BMI (body mass index), sprinters have jacked arms to balance out their jacked legs, and power-lifters are just jacked all over. In the end, it’s simply amazing what human beings can achieve with their physical bodies and minds to be living titans on Earth. 

 


Credit: Daily Infographic

 

 

 

I PULLED A BRITNEY: THE FREELANCE ROLLERCOASTER IS PRETTY WILD

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WRITTEN BY: MATTHEW SUAREZ @MATINGAS

When you freelance all your life, it is bound to have some ups and downs. My birthday month was definitely an up. I dedicated all my time and energy on a project (TRF) that when it ended, it felt like going down on the Dragster (Cedar Pointe) reaching top speed and in an instant, it is all gone. Just like that, I was at he bottom again. If it wasn’t for friends and family, I would be on the streets right now. Luckily, I have plenty of support, but also, plenty of debt.

More than 20 days have passed since TRF and it feels like it has been years. I felt like I needed to escape from Tijuana or myself. With no money, my escape was to shave my head. I actually just wanted a regular haircut, but my friend that cuts my hair was on vacation. I told a couple of male friends to just shave my head, but they did a horrible job that I ended up doing it myself. I didn’t do a good job myself since I looked like a crackhead mental hospital runaway. Luckily, I found the kindness of a stranger that bought me a beer and help me finish the job (weird huh?)

I already posted about Britney in this blog before. I was there after she shaved her head and talked in weird accents. In the eyes of the world, she acted insane. I don’t think there’s nothing insane about wanting a change in your life and opting on shaving your head. Of course, its way more of a shock when a female does it, but the relief of getting rid of dead weight feels magnificent. In other words, I feel like I comprehend Crazy Spears (to a certain degree).

June is now an uphill battle almost conquered. I’ve been working almost everyday of the month and remain at $0, which is fine since the desire to go out and socialize is null. Instead, I’ve got the World Cup fever, making me miss my first official writing job. I started writing about soccer again, just for pleasure. And luckily, a section that I didn’t know existed in the San Diego Reader picked up my writings.

The last World Cup I lived it in Los Angeles when I lived in Mariner’s Village. Mexico played the opening game and I woke up at 6 am to drink a six-pack of Heineken and watch the game, no one in the area cared about the World Cup except the European paparazzi. Of course I saw many soccer players and took their pictures. In fact, the first picture that I took of someone famous was in January 2001 when my brother recognized Ronaldinho in the airport of Rio de Janeiro. He quickly ran to him and told me to grab a camera. We only had a disposable camera and that did the trick.
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In my real paparazzo days I obviously saw plenty of David Beckham, but I never saw him as a soccer player, but more like an obnoxious and asshole male model. Besides him, I had encounters with plenty others. I almost ran over Landon Donovan once while rushing out of the airport parking lot to send pictures. Instead, I hit the brakes, found the nearest parking spot and jumped out of my car to bother Landon. The US soccer star was on his way to the Superbowl and was nothing but a great guy to me.
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(December 13, 2011)I also saw El Pibe Valderrama walking around Tom Bradley terminal, seemingly lost. I decided not to bother him.
March 29 2011
(March 29, 2011)
I spotted Didier Drogba with his whole family at the security line. They were there for a classic LA visit and Disneyland.
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CHECK OUT MATTHEW’S SITE

http://matingas.com or  http://tijuanaadventure.com

 

120 Days of Crossfit: Change is Good- Lost 25 Pounds (My Journal)

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Written by Ryan Fu @fu_beatz

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandi

These past four months of Crossfit have been great and I have learned a lot about myself. One of things I learned was to listen to my own body because I got sick last month but know I know now when to cut back when I’m not feeling well. Crossfit is a lifestyle and routines are a part of a successful life but I’ve grown kinda stale of the routines and the WODs. I’ve been going hard from Monday to Friday not missing a work out but I think I’m starting to plateau. I’ve read several studies that it happens in a training routine where your body gets used to the workouts and you stop gaining any positive gains. So, I decided to change up my workout routines but keep the basic Crossfit workouts.

CHECK OUT OUR CROSSFIT ARTICLES: 

30 Days of Crossfit: Enjoy the Process or Just Enjoy Sucking ALOT

60 Days of Crossfit & a Marathon

90 PLUS MORE DAYS OF CROSSFIT: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Part of the change up was to workout at night, then workout in the daytime, which I would alternate every two days. I’ve also added roadwork, running before Crossfit and do a little hill work every other day.

I’m also playing other sports to supplement my work out program like basketball, racquetball and jujitsu in order to keep things fresh for me. Also, it keeps my body adjusting and not plateauing, so I can still get those positive gains.

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One of the best workout changes I’ve made was to add swimming to my cross training. I haven’t gone swimming since last summer so I wasn’t that good and my form was horrible.

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But it’s the Crossfitter in me that loves the challenge. The first time in the pool, I got so tired in a matter of minutes because it’s such a total body workout. I love not being good at something because it makes me want to try hard to be better at it. I’ve added swimming two times a week in between my Crossfit workouts. My cardio hasn’t been this good since college because of Crossfit and swimming.

It was such a great idea to change up my workout routine because I don’t have the feeling of boredom and my body will keep progressing. I’ve lost 25 pounds because of Crossfit, my Paleo Diet and changing my workout routine. Crossfit is a lifestyle but sometimes you gotta change shit up because just like in life not everything is going to go according to plan, so you have to be prepared for everything. This is what Crossfit is, it makes you into a better person physically and mentally while making you prepared for everything in life.

“Amat Victoria Curam” translation “Victory Loves Preparation”

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“You, Me, and The Internet.” – John D. Aguon

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By John D. Aguon @lttlgnt

So much has happened.

SO much has happened since my last entry.

I’ve been on crazy whirlwind, riding up and down life’s proverbial roller coaster. I love it though. I owe a lot to the masses. Seeing all of your updates. Sally got a new job. Bob got married.  There are People moving on up, even some of you to the east side. Seriously though, I owe a lot to the lives people broadcast online. For some reason I tune in. I see all of your success whether it is exaggerated or not. It fuels my gas guzzling fire! Well, I’ve been on the opposite side of the spectrum. John can’t afford rent. John needs a job. John could be a massive failure.

It was a dark place.

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Very dark and I owe it to the Internet.

What are we doing?  Sometimes I wonder what my life would be without the World Wide Web, constantly updating my every move. Trying to live up to the Facebook standard of living. Don’t get me wrong; I’m the first to admit that I LOVE broadcasting my whereabouts. The Burger joint I claimed to have found. The hike or if you’re going up Runyon, the gradual uphill walk I conquered. You can’t forget the infamous “ I took a picture with a celebrity, and we’re now best friends” Photo.

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But, the other day I realized something. I was having just a normal bad day, with a normal headache with a side of normal laziness, when I pulled out my iPhone and started scrolling through my photos. I found a sick picture from a few weeks back, of an awesome time I had with some friends, and of course with a flattering angle (you know high angle make you look skinnier). I filtered the picture, typed in some positive caption and went on to live my normal bad day.

Soon enough.

Blah blah blah, “likes your photo.”

So and so, “likes your photo.”

Finally, I realized. No one REALLY knew how I was living my life. No one knew that I lost my apartment, I lost my job, and I lost my dignity.

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Once again, I owe that to the Internet.

But, it’s not all a shit storm. It propelled me to actually living the life I project for everyone to see. I hit the pavement. I got on my feet again and found an incredible apartment and I’m now working for a place where I can say my career can finally grow.

I have to say; there is a light that Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites shines. Seriously though, throughout my life I’ve met some interesting people and rather than drifting apart through the distance and the years, Its pretty awesome to know that there’s a place where I can see little glimpses of your daily lives, triumphs, and families.

I appreciate you all.

I owe it to the Internet.

Check out John’s work @ Vimeo & Youtube