A recent study in the Journal of Banking and Finance by Dartmouth professor Jonathan Zinman states that the ban on payday loans in Oregon ended up hurting households financially, not helping them.

"Restricting access (to cash advances) caused deterioration in the overall financial condition of Oregon households," Zinman wrote. "Overall the results are consistent with restricted access harming, not helping, consumers on average."

Most Economists agree: eliminating these short term loans drastically affects, and not in a good way, the people that utilize them. People that typically could manage to avoid late fees and defaults by using a payday loan are left out in the cold.

Comparing Oregon, who's new rate cap on payday loans has driven three fourths of lenders out of business, with Washington, which has no rate cap, Zinman made both subjective, like the way that people felt, and objective, such as employment, assessments and found that Washington fared better in both categories.

Here's an example: You're living paycheck to paycheck but you have a steady job. One morning your car breaks down. With no savings you won't be able to get the car repaired. If you don't have a credit line that will cover the cost of your repairs, you're in bad shape. Without a car, you can't get to work.

A payday loan, however, would give you access to instant cash, allowing you to repair your car and keep on getting to work. Removing that source of credit takes the last legs out of families that depend on these sorts of loans for financial emergencies. These lines of credit can make the difference that can keep someone from becoming unemployed.

That isn't the only way that the ban on this type of credit hurts consumers, though. The Gerson Lehman Group showed that households with checking accounts pay up to 13% less in overdraft, sustained overdraft, and insufficient funds fees than in states that have banned payday loans than states that allow them.

People that criticize payday loans act as if getting rid of them will stop the underlying financial trouble that Americans are facing. The fact of the matter is, this ban on payday loans won't stop the car from breaking, and remember its either the car gets repaired or you're unemployed. In these financial emergencies where payday loans AREN'T available, a consumer might resort to overdrawing their bank account, which is WAY more expensive and can lead to legal trouble. Check out this article: Payday Loans Vs. Overdraft Fees

Bottom line is competition keeps the prices low. That's simple economics. What these people that are against consumer choice don't seem to realize is that these alternative credit sources such as payday loans play an important role in providing this competition for the bigger banks. The whole reason that these places are in existence is because people are unsatisfied, or are unable to get help from, their bank's credit options. Hidden fees and hard to read legal documents have turned a lot of people off to the banks. You have to have a checking account with a bank to get a payday loan, so it is obvious which came first.

It's a widespread fact that payday loans are an expensive form of credit, and though it is noble for these community activists to try and protect people from themselves, the consequences of restricting the financial freedom of the consumers and eliminating these lines of credit will outweigh any benefits, if there are any, as Zinman's study has proved. The only people that will be affected by this ban are the most financially unstable and the most vulnerable.

What do you think?
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:53 PM by cstanton | with no comments
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If you're into pop art or even just pop culture, you've probably heard of a British street artist that goes by the alias Banksy. Banksy is known for being sort of a satirical, painter and graffiti artist, political activist, and counter-culture icon. He's made headlines when one of his paintings was purchased by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for over a million pounds, for the documentary (that doesn't really focus on him) "Exit Through The Gift Shop," and now this past Sunday for directing the most intense intro to the Simpsons ever.

The intro scene throws a jab, no, a hay-maker, at The Simpsons itself and Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox. At first, it starts out with a good bit of slapstick humor, but when the Simpson family sits down on the couch things get really dark. In a nightmarish but very imaginative sequence, the pop artist addresses outsourcing and working conditions for the network and the show itself, who outsources much of its animation production to companies in South Korea such as AKOM and Sunwoo Entertainment’s Anivision Studios.

"How did this ever make the air!?" is the first question that comes to mind. I guess that even though it's at a cost to the reputation of The Simpsons and Fox, the viewers and attention drawn, negative or positive, outweighs the number of viewers who will actually change their lifestyle based on the satirical introduction. I mean honestly, people aren't going to stop watching The Simpsons for anything, even this garbage Ke$ha stuff. Fox has already proven to itself that it can live just fine in the heat. They have had so many screw-ups that they've had to publicly apologize and they're status is still "dandy."

Ratings were probably even higher than normal, with all of the people that support Banksy's work watching. The double irony is really what's getting me. First the show airing images that bash itself for its morals and ethics, and then the Banksy crowd, who are all about counter-culture and political activism, sitting there watching and increasing the ratings, thus increasing the potential revenue of the corporation that they would love to see brought down.

The question is, can a political artist launch an attack on the media while using it to propel their own message? Banksy gets his work seen by the entire Simpsons fan base, which is HUGE, but Fox makes it out with the loot.

Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:54 PM by cstanton | with no comments
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Out of all of the subjects to build a massive multiplayer online game about, SEE Virtual Worlds has picked the most bizarre one I have seen in awhile, the extremely peculiar, late Michael Jackson. This is a place for MJ fans to get online and immerse themselves in a world based on the works and music videos of Michael Jackson. Players can interact with each other and then go on adventures and do gameplay stuff and socialize" says Josh Gordon, SEE Virtual Worlds Developer, to USA Today

Players on Planet Michael will not use violence on quests, but will dance their opposition away. All those cute little bundles of joy clicking away to perform splits and slides and all kinds of cute dance moves instead of playing violent and manly video games will raise just the right kind of supple children we need at this day in age ;).

The world will be based on songs like Beat it, Thriller, Smooth Criminal, and many more. 


Based on Billy Jean


Based on Thriller

"There is no doubt that people will be joking about it and criticizing it" says Gordon, giving the impression that he thinks that the developers would be criticized no matter what they did. I wouldn't really call it criticism, I would call it people laughing at something funny. It IS a Michael Jackson MMORPG for Christ's sake. 

Regardless, the game will probably pull in millions of people, as Michael Jackson still has some of the most die-hard fans on the planet. 

Lets just hope it doesn't become a hunting ground for NAMBLA!

Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010 10:20 AM by cstanton | with no comments
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Here's the full length trailer to "The Social Network," David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's new movie about the social pandemic, Facebook. Thanks to the song choice, a choir rendition of Radiohead's Creep, the beginning of the trailer is almost beautiful and touching. The rest of the trailer is the same drama-filled Hollywood blockbuster garbage that you would expect. Betrayal, jealousy, sex, alcohol, none of it's missing. It seems like they're trying to mash two ideas together, the way that people live with social networks and how it affects their lives, and this other story where Michael Cera is fighting with Justin Timberlake? and some other guys, over who played the bigger role in inventing Facebook? I really enjoyed Fight Club and Se7en so I'm withholding judgment.

Assuming makes an ass out of you and me, but by the intensity of the trailer (A Beautiful Mind throwback shot of nerdy genius writing an equation on a window... seriously?), Fincher thinks that he is making a movie about a social network that CHANGED EVERYONE'S LIFE FOREVER, when really Facebook is just the most successful of its kind. Myspace, Bebo, and even Classmates.com had the idea earlier.

Really, the story is interesting I'm sure, but when it comes down to it, its just a story of one Harvard nerd battling with some other Harvard nerd over who gets credit for this computer program. The story of a nerd who's project has to overcome nerd-driven jealousy and early snags to become a gargantuan privacy-invading beast who hypnotizes the mass of dopey eyed sheep day and night and worldwide. BAAAAAHHH!!


VIA YahooPlaylist

Posted Thursday, July 15, 2010 3:22 PM by cstanton | 1 comment(s)
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THUNDERCATS.... HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The amazingly awesome cartoon featuring the fighting feline-humanoid warriors from Thundera is returning to your TV with a new series in 2011.

Warner Bros. Animation will be producing the new Thundercats series and it will be their first shot at using anime-style animation. WBA promises that the new show will be a 21st century recreation of the classic 80s cartoon.

WBA stresses that the new show will appeal to both longtime fans of the show and first time watchers. WBA has hinted at what is to come in 2011 in saying that a grand origin story will be revealed about Prince Lion-O's rise to power and the trials he must overcome to take the throne.

WBA has released this awesome image, the first one released for the series:




WBA will collaborate with Studio4°C (“The Animatrix,” “Gotham Knights”) for the development of the new character models. Studio4°C's work has been awesome, in my opinion, and I am very excited that they are working to bring one of my favorite childhood shows back on the air.

via MTV
Posted Friday, July 02, 2010 1:41 PM by cstanton | with no comments
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I have been so lazy over the last month or so due to my ridiculously low resistance to stress that I have literally done no good for anyone other than myself and my employer. Mostly just myself.

With all of the problems going on in the world right now we really just need to focus on how we can help our fellow man.

Living in Florida, one of the bigger problems is right in my backyard. The Deepwater Horizon spill is taking its toll on all of the Gulf, from Louisiana to Florida. Many animals have already died, and many more deaths are to come.

Lets just try and take a step in the right direction, and regardless of whether or not fixing this particular issue is something that interests you, just try to help someone out today.


Here are a few ways you can help, at no extra cost to you.

Shop on Amazon through HopeVote to donate a percentage of your purchase to the Deepwater Horizon Spill

Get your COAST Save the Gulf! t-shirt and 100% of the proceeds will be going to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Restoration Network.

Download a charitable tune by Sophie Hawkins, "The Land, The Sea, And The Sky"


Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:55 AM by cstanton | with no comments
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Yesterday at E3, Sony announced that the new PlayStation Move would be available on September 19th.



When first released, a Move bundle will be available for $99. The bundle will include a Move controller, an EyeToy camera, and a Sports Champion game. The Move bundle will be available with the original PS3 console for $399 as well.

If you're not into the bundle, each Move wand is going to cost you $49, and navigation controllers, which don't seem to be coming in the bundle, will cost you $39.

The whole thing just gets a little ridiculous when you hear that some of the game ideas for the new add-on are going to require multiple Move wands, some will require the navigation controller and a Move wand, and pretty much everything requires the EyeToy camera which is another $30. If you take all of the controllers required to be able to play all of the games that are to be released on the Move, then it's costing near $170 for just one person.

I can't wait to hear more about how the games are performing, and I can't wait until they redesign the Move Wand. Currently, the wand has a big pink ball on the end of it, making it look like some kind of sex toy. No thanks.
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:08 AM by cstanton | with no comments
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The mixtape paved the way for the way that we listen to music now. Think about it.. before mixtapes albums were the only thing around. That means that once you popped it in, there was no variation of artists, tracks, anything... Just the same album with the same songs by the same artist in the same monotonous order, over and over again. Then the mixtape came along and revolutionized the way people listened to their music. CDs and MP3 players came to follow, but Sony never forgot what the good ole cassette did for it.

Though the technology's basically long dead, Sony is finalizing the retirement of the cassette by releasing the last BoomBox with a cassette player that they will ever produce.



The CFD-A110 is a CD/ Cassette playing boombox with 14 AM/FM radio presets, a full range of speakers, and an external mic input for those karaoke lovers out there. It's going to be released at the beginning of summer with a pricetag of 20,000 yen, or $215 USD.Sadly, the boombox comes with nothing but a remote. No gold chains, no headband, no spray paint, and no hats to turn to the side.
But... what's better to spend money on than history?
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:47 PM by cstanton | with no comments
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It's been a whole decade, and now since the release date is set to the spring of 2011 we can start the long uncomfortable anticipation preceding the release of the third installment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be a tag team fighting game with teams of 3 characters, just like Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will feature 3D characters on a 2D plane, much like Street Fighter IV. The graphics will be different from Street Fighter IV since they will be run on a version of MT Framework, the engine that powers Lost Planet 2 and Resident Evil 5.

Just take a look at these Marvel vs. Capcom 3 screenshots of gameplay and try and tell me that this game isn't going to be awesome. Niitsuma, the game's producer wasn't extremely happy to inform that due to restraints on time there will only be a little over 30 characters. That's still enough for me!













The screenshots show that amongst the 30 something characters are Morrigan, Iron Man, Deadpool, Wolverine, The Hulk, Chris Redfield, Captain America, Felicia, Dante, and Ryu. I can't wait to be playing the game... too bad it's 10 or so months away.

via CVG.co.uk


Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:12 AM by cstanton | 1 comment(s)
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I hope I'm not alone when I say this, but WHAT IN THE HELL IS THE WORLD COMING TO? We've come to this. The sectarian Mac movement has begun. There is now a dating site exclusively for Mac and Apple lovers.

The yuppies think that all Mac lovers show similarities in taste, opinions on what's aesthetically pleasing, creativity, and style... since all Mac owners obviously have those things down.
Cupidtino.com launches in June of 2010 and to make it even more exclusive, it only works on Apple platforms like Safari and iPhone and iPad apps.

via CultOfMac
Posted Sunday, May 09, 2010 4:08 AM by cstanton | 1 comment(s)
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1) Flying Fish

If you've ever been out past 10 miles on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, then you've seen hundreds if not thousands of these. They jump out of the water and can glide for 


2) The Chinese Gliding Frog


This frog looks normal enough, but this little guy is a glider too! The Chinese Gliding Frog is a type of tree frog that can glide at an angle less than 45 degrees from tree to tree. They do this by extending all of their appendages and opening up their toes and using their webbing as sort of a parachute. Pretty neat!


3) The Paradise Tree Snake


The Paradise Tree Snake is not only one of the most colorful snakes in its region, Malaysia, but it has another trick up its sleeve. This snake can take flight by flattening it's body out and taking a leap of faith!


Here's a video of the snake in action.

4) The Flying Dragon


Draco Volans, or the Flying Dragon, is a normal looking little lizard until he feels the need for a quick escape or just an adrenaline rush. These little guys have flaps of skin connected to 5 extendable ribs that they use as sails to glide through the canopy.

Watch the Draco Lizard in action. (if you notice, the snake is actually the Paradise Tree Snake as mentioned in #1!)

5) Gliding Ants


These ants are of the tropical tree ant variety and are unlike any other ants. They make their home high up in the canopy of the forest, so falling from there could mean getting extremely lost or  probably dying. These little guys have developed a knack for controlling their fall, and can use their legs as rutters to guide their fall back to the trunk of the tree from which they came.

Gliding ants in action.

6) The Mobula

The Mobula is a genus of ray that can propel itself up to 2 meters out of the water and glide back down to the surface. The Mobula resembles the Manta Ray that is in the same family. My worst nightmare: being out on a boat enjoying my day and getting stung in the face by a flying ray.


7) TheColugo


The Colugo of South East Asia is the best glider out of all of the gliding mammals. The Colugo can glide up to 70 meters from tree to tree! That's 230 feet! WOW! They're known as flying lemurs, but they are not lemurs at all. They are actually pretty clumsy climbers since they lack opposable thumbs and are pretty feeble.

This Colugo is actually gliding through the air with its young clutching to its belly!

Watch the Colugo in action.

Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:51 AM by cstanton | 3 comment(s)
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New Banksy street art has been showing up in San Fransisco's Chinatown and Mission district.

Troy Holden took this great shot:



Banksy has been in the San Fransisco area since January when he was promoting the premier of his  street art documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop."

Just recently have his works been showing up around the city.



Warholian has been documenting the new art with photos and video.

Also, if you'd like to see Banksy in the Bristol Museum check this out.
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 3:21 PM by cstanton | 2 comment(s)
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Snoop Dogg has teamed up with "Day 'N' Night" rapper Kid Cudi to bring you an eco-friendly video for the new song "That Tree" a week before earth day. Actually, scratch that, this video is more about burning trees than it is planting them. Check out the clip below.

This upbeat and cheerful buddah lover homage to the kind herb features the rappers in some lumberjack garb, harvesting paper cut-out trees. Younger viewers may not get the joke, but their outfits are those of Cheech and Chong from the stoner classic film "Up In Smoke." They are joined by a couple of chicks that seem to be doing most of the work and a deer that looks a little lifted.

Tell me what you think of the video, chronic or beasters?


Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 2:40 PM by cstanton | with no comments
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Since its release in 1999, the Electribe series of synthesizers by KORG has been a favorite by creative artists across the world and across several electronic genres. The beatmaking power of the Electribe series is now portable thanks to iElectribe, KORG's first dedicated application for the iPad.

iElectribe gives a real hardware feel by using precise touchscreen commands to tweak each knob, fader, and dial and fully incorporates the iPad's full 9.7 inch screen.

iElectribe brings a few things to the table.

  • The first is the sound engine and sequencer from the Electribe•R
  • 64 new preset patterns that are ready to use
  • 8 awesome effects including a tempo-matching BPM delay for easy mixing.
  • Advanced Motion Sequencing

Much less important, but not any less cool, is that the user can completely customize the look of the tool using photos on their iPad.


The most special thing about the iElectribe is undoubtedly the Advanced Motion Sequencing that allows you to save all of the tweaks and turns of the knobs for all of the parameters directly to the pattern! So while your pattern is playing you can be messing with the knobs, save it, and play it back and if you choose you can tweak the controls on a second time to create advanced and crazy patterns like never before!



With this new feature exclusive to the iElectribe and its $9.99 promotional pricetag (until June 30th,2010... $19.99 afterwards), if you have an iPad, it certainly beats the heck out of paying upwards of $300 for the hardware that does less and is MUCH less portable. =

iElectribe is available at the Apple Store now.
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:42 AM by cstanton | 1 comment(s)
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"Will It Blend?" is a question often asked and answered by Tom Dickson, Blendtec's own blending expert. Armed with an unlimited supply of blender blades and top-end blenders, Tom throws all kinds of things in there, ranging from Airsoft guns to laser pointers, to answer the question "Will It Blend?"

This time, Tom wants to find out whether or not the iPad can face the blades of the Total Blender, which costs a hefty $400, and make it out alive. Will it blend?

Posted Monday, April 05, 2010 1:46 PM by cstanton | 1 comment(s)
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