Archive for July, 2004

Elderly parent’s fixed income leaves few solutions to pay off debt

Steve Dinnen in The Christian Science Monitor reports:

Q: I have a 72-year-old mother receiving Social Security checks of approximately $617 per month. She lives in low-income housing, is on medical assistance, and has a credit-card debt of at least $5,000. What are her options?

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What Every Consumer Should Know About Credit Scores

Queens Chronicle reports:

If you’ve ever applied for a loan, from a mortgage to a credit card, you’ve probably heard the term “credit score.? You may even know that credit scoring is a way for lenders to evaluate a person’s credit worthiness using a mathematical formula. But you may still have questions on what information goes into the evaluation, how the score is calculated and how it is different from your credit report.

“Consumers should know the answers to these questions and how credit scores affect their overall financial situation,? says Maxine Sweet of Experian, a company that provides consumers with tools and services to help them understand, manage and protect their personal credit profiles.

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Parents ‘underestimate’ net risks

BBC News reports:

Parents are still largely unaware of the risks their children take on the net, even though 75% of teenagers use the net at home, says a report.

A London School of Economics study suggested 57% had seen net porn but most stumbled on it accidentally via spam or pop-ups.

Only 16% of parents thought their children had seen porn online.

Children are aware of net safety, but parents need help in understanding how to talk through good and bad net experiences and risks, said the report.

Many nine to 19-year-olds worried that if they told their parents about negative experiences, their net use would be severely restricted or their parents would overreact.

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Penn State research reveals role of gene in infertility

Penn State Live reports:

A paper describing discoveries about the role of a gene that is important in all animals, plants, and fungi is published in the July, 20 2004 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One of the discoveries is that the gene, named RAD51, plays an essential role in the the process of recombining the genetic material in chromosomes during sexual reproduction in plants.

In humans, defects in this process can cause a fetus to have abnormal numbers of chromosomes, resulting in infertility, miscarriages, or birth defects. The new discoveries about the gene’s role in plants suggest that it also may have an essential role in the production of sperm and egg cells in humans and other mammals.

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Government Wants to Bring Health Records Into Computer Age

Steve Lohr in The New York Times reports:

The Bush administration plans to announce today a long-term plan for modernizing the nation’s health care system with information technology, bringing patient records and prescriptions out of the realm of ink and paper and into the computer age.

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Studies Show Huge Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy; Smarter Kids, Happier Moms

Business Wire reports:

Studies show that exercising during pregnancy brings many benefits to baby and mom. Children of exercisers are more intelligent than their peers and their moms enjoy a quicker recovery, fewer complications and easier deliveries according to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Pediatrics

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A Little Planning Helps to Avoid ‘Cramming’ for College Funding

PR Newswire reports:

Applying for college can be both an exciting and scary process, especially when figuring out how to pay for it all. But a little planning can go a long way in ensuring there’s enough funding for college.

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Silly Rules Can Make Car Rides Happier

Vicki Lansky in Local 6 reports:

When your child is behaving well in a car restraint, a little positive reinforcement can go a long way toward keeping the peace. Frequent praise and attention can teach your child that travel in a car restraint is a positive experience.

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Groups urge Congress to require child-safety features on cars

Marcela Carrera in Axcess News reports:

Consumers Union released a poll showing 8 in 10 Americans want more car safety regulations to protect children. The poll, conducted in May, also showed that 82 percent of respondents would choose vehicles equipped with a backup warning device and safe power switches. Seventy three percent think the government should collect information on non-traffic, non-crash incidents.

Consumers Union polled a random sample of 1,221 adults in an online survey. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

A conference committee of House and Senate members is considering requiring safety measures as part of the Safe and Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act of 2004 (SAFETEA).

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Easiest way to combat aging simply to exercise

Cheryl A. Justice in The Herald Dispatch reports:

Exercise can increase your strength. It can improve your posture, increase your endurance and your flexibility. Plus, the best part is it can make you look younger and feel better about yourself.

So let’s forget those pills, gimmicks and gadgets that promise eternal youth. Let’s pick up the weights a couple times a week and head out the door for a good brisk walk every day.

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