Rockstar – 50% Juice, 100% Energy

“Rockstar” induces thoughts of bright lights, crying guitars, and over-sized sunglasses. Although these are all wonderful things, Rockstar Energy drinks really do make you feel like you could play a 4 hour set and then climb mount everest – all in one night.

Caffeine, Taurine, B-12, the stuff dreams are made of! And less than 200 calories a can, which is less than your average soft drink and also with less sugar.

The juiced formula is easier on the stomach and quite tasty, with light carbonation and wonderful ice cold. I drank one of these and then hopped on the stairmaster and afterwards the treadmill. And the best part? No withdrawl or headaches the next day!

Short and sweet, drink this stuff, it truly rocks.

College Textbooks for cheap…tips and tricks on how to save some bucks.

I remember my first day at campus over a year ago…I had lost my way in traffic and started to panic, thinking not only was I going to be late to class but how in the heck was I going to explain to my teacher that I got lost on butterfield…probably the straightest road in history.

And then it happened. I saw the sign. Quite literally….”USED COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS : STUDENT DISCOUNTS”…I was so happy to find out that I was actually going in the right direction that I didn’t really stop to think about why this sign was there in the first place.

It wasn’t until my first class started and the syllabus was passed around, and I copied down the required text and then spent my lunchhour in the school bookstore that I realized why…books are f*cking expensive. Especially college textbooks. Like ridiculously so. It wasn’t like in high school where the required books were passed out to students each semester and re-used each year. These things literally run for hundreds of dollars.

Of course the ‘used’ books are always cheaper. The bookstore itself even advertises the possibility of selling back your book for easy cash so they can re-sell them. Don’t be fooled, you aren’t getting much back if you do this. I remember listening to second-year students complain that they had only made 20$ off a book they bought for 160$ just last semester. Many of these stories involved a lot of argument about where books can be bought cheaply, why the industry overprices them, and how in the hell are they supposed to buy other supplies if they can barely afford the required texts…

I myself took the amazon route. Quick and easy, I found my Criminal Investigation book for 120$ new and it shipped for free, arriving only two days later at my doorstep. That was the in-store price of the used version on campus, so I realized I had made a pretty good choice. I immediately bought my sociology book online but it turned out it was the instructor’s edition, which although at first sounds great, is actually terrible when trying to sell back because they won’t accept it. The only book I actually bought at school was my english composition book which was heavily used in class.

This is the kicker…we never even used the sociology or criminal investigation book. I remember my brother telling me he always waits at least 3 weeks before buying a book to ensure it’s actually used by the instructor. Most teachers are forced into assigning books that have been ‘approved’ by the department and most of the time they get money from publishers for listing them on the required list.

I learned so much about college textbooks in my first semester – never buy in store, never sell back in store, never buy instructor’s copy, and wait at least 3 weeks before buying any books at all.

It seems like a lot of stress just for books. And yet I have met hundreds of classmates who buy their books new, never open them, and lost about 100 dollars selling them back to the store. That’s why I’m writing this article, hopefully I can educate others on ways to save this school year and next.

First of all, never ever ever buy on campus. Ever. Online is the way to go. Meerly entering a book’s name and author into google will come up with hundreds of matches in a matter of seconds, all at at least half the price offered in store. Most books are shipped through media mail, which costs a mere 5& in S&H costs which disputes the argument that it’s better to buy in person.

One of the best online store’s I’ve found is http://www.half.com. An e-bay company, they allow you to search throughout the site and then see all of the possible places to purchase your book. The categories separate used and new, good and bad conditions and even list reasons for price changes.

The easiest and more beneficial aspect of this site is the ability to sell back your books. As mentioned before, I bought my criminal investigation book on amazon for 120$ (new). I sold the book on http://www.half.com for 90$ (used). That’s only a 30 dollar loss in just one semester. In comparison you could decide to sell it back to the bookstore and lost more than 80% of your cash. I think the answer to this equation is very simple: half.com saves you money, and gets you something back.

Another awesome site is http://www.chegg.com, where you can rent textbooks. Renting textbooks is a cheaper way to get books fast without the worry of having to find a re-seller afterwards, because you just have them for the semester. This is a really great option for those who know they don’t want to major in statistics but need the book to get through the class. The postage to send the book back is also already pre-paid so you won’t have to worry about that in the long-run. People like the idea of renting textbooks so much that this option is now offered on-campus (for a much higher price, of course).

So you’ve learned about buying cheap, selling high, and renting for even less…now it’s time for a even more technical way to get your books. Online, in your computer, and on your iphone or blackberry.

It’s called digital textbooks! Now you can literally download your texts and open them on any compatible device. One of the most popular sites is http://www.coursesmart.com. They even have a cheaper option of buying the book online and viewing it through their website. This allows users to go the website, log on, and start reading. It eliminates the scare of losing files if your computer or hand-held gets a virus, because the book is still stored online and available at any time.

Does it save money? Heck yes. My statistics book listed at 174$ retail (used) but on coursesmart I could download it for 54$. What’s even cooler is the fact that you can buy the new apple ipad or a kindle and sit at your desk at school flipping pages while touching the screen!

So what have we learned today? A lot. One of the most important things to know is that you shouldn’t buy your book until you absolutely know you’re going to use it in class. Don’t worry, 99% of instructors pass out the syllabus on the first day of class, and you can see immediately if assignments are graded from the book.

We’ve also learned that buying cheap textbooks will save you money. Lots of money. Money that could be used on much cooler stuff like a new computer, phone, clothes, and even vacations. Because saving your money is always better than being broke! Now that you have the tools and knowledge to start saving on textbooks, you can start saving the money and invest in other beneficial things in your life.

Gym membership, anyone? :-)

Leggo-my-Eggo…the dangerous world of Salmonella.

After the recent recall almost 600 million eggs, I thought it would be a good time to reveal to consumers the dangers of eggs and the products they are in.

Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore forming, predominately motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which project in all directions.

What the f*ck does this mean for you? Well according to researchers:

Salmonella infections are zoonotic and can be transferred between humans and nonhuman animals. Many infections are due to ingestion of contaminated food. A distinction is made between enteritis Salmonella and typhoid/paratyphoid Salmonella, where the latter — because of a special virulence factor and a capsule protein (virulence antigen) — can cause serious illness, such as Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhi, or Salmonella typhi). Salmonella typhi. is adapted to humans and does not occur in animals.”

A.K.A. this shit will get you sick!!!! Salmonella is normally found in animals, is terrible for you when ingested, and can live for years even when outside of a body. They have found living bacteria from salmonella in the poop of humans even 2.5 years after it’s been outside of the body!

And this is why the eggs were recalled, because they found traces of salmonella in a sample section of eggs tested within the factory. The largest distributers of these eggs are two companies based out of Iowa, one of them known as “Wright Farms”. Since the ‘voluntary’ recall on August 13th, this statement was released:

“Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.  These companies distribute nationwide.

Eggs are packaged under the following brand names:  Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.  Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946.  Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton.  The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number.  The Julian date follows the plant number, for example:  P-1946 223.”

This is the largest recall of eggs in world history. Well that’s great and all, but how does just recalling the eggs that may or may not contain the bacteria ensure our safety?

Long story short folks, there’s not a better time to go vegan. Or at least avoid eggs. I know a lot of fitness freaks love the crude protein and nutrients (and cholesterol) but eggs just aren’t a great addition to your breakfast. Anything that has a known background of containing this bacteria isn’t really something that should be advised to include in a healthy diet.

So if you’re going to eat eggs anyway, is there a way to protect yourself? Maybe:

“A more recent study in 2002 showed that only about 1 in every 30,000 was contaminated. Apparently, the bacteria live in the infected ovaries of the hen and are carried over to the egg white. The best way to protect yourself from eggs that might contain salmonella, is to cook your eggs at 160 F for 1 minute or more.”

If you’re the smart person realizing the danger eggs can have for you and your family, regardless of how high you cook them, then there’s more to consider when thinking about this egg recall. Thousands upon thousands of food items contain egg. I’ve compiled a broad list here for reference:

Products containing Eggs:

Batters for frying, Bavarian Cream, Bouillons, Breads. Breaded Foods, Cakes, Commercial Egg Substitutes, Fritters, Frostings, French Toast, Griddle Cakes, Glazed Baked Goods, Hollandaise Sauce, Ices, Ice Cream, Icings, Macaroni, Macaroons, Malted Cocoa Drinks, Mayonnaise, Marshmallows, Meatloaf, Meringue, Noodles, Pastas, Pancakes,Pancake Mix, Puddings, Processed Meat Products, Salad Dressings (Creamy), Sauces, Sausages, Sherberts, Souffles, Spaghetti, Soups, Specialty Coffee Drinks, Tarter Sauce, Waffles, Waffle Mix, Wines (cleared with egg whites).

So pay attention not only to the eggs in the shells still lingering in your fridge, they’re hiding in almost everything in your pantry!!!

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