Friday, July 29, 2011

Man Has Himself Shot To Win Sympathy From His Ex

Man Has Himself Shot To Win Sympathy From His Ex
Jordan Cardella wanted to win back his girlfriend. So, to gain her sympathy, he hatched a plan to have a friend shoot him in the back.
Surprise, surprise ... his plan backfired.
In what Wisconsin prosecutors called "the most phenomenally stupid" case they had ever seen, two Wisconsin men pleaded guilty to felony weapons charges, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
According to the complaint, last January Cardella asked his friend Anthony Woodall to "shoot him in the back three times," but Woodall refused. Instead, he referred Cardella to Michael Wezykl, who agreed to carry out the bizarre hit in exchange for money or pills.
Cardella would have shot himself, but being a convicted felon, he didn't want to touch a gun, according to CBS.
After retrieving the firearm from Wezyk's home, the trio made their way to a nearby park. The complaint says that, "Wezyk then shot Cardella in the arm, and Cardella immediately slumped over. He asked to be shot again, but Wezyk stated, 'I'm done.'"
So Cardella never did receive the three wounds he thought would be necessary to find pity from his former girlfriend.
"Sorry to bring something so stupid into your courtroom," Wezyk later told Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Wezyk, 24, and Woodall, 20, must each serve two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
The good news for Cardella is that the charges against him were dropped, so he'll only have to live with a shameful scar story.
The bad news? His ex never visited him.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My First Million: A.J. Khubani, TeleBrands

My First Million: A.J. Khubani, TeleBrands
How a part-time pizza-delivery guy took $7,000 and turned it into a $1 billion "As Seen on TV" infomercial empire

Ajit "A.J." Khubani has built a career convincing consumers to buy products they never knew they needed. As the founder and CEO of Fairfield, N.J.-basedTeleBrands, he considers himself the "Infomercial King" -- a retail monarch who now oversees a reported $1 billion empire.

The son of Indian immigrants, Khubani started out at 23, spending a few thousand dollars on an ad in National Enquirer -- a move that led to his first big hit. Since then, he's sold hundreds of millions of "As Seen on TV" products, including AmberVision sunglasses, the PedEgg and Doggy Steps. He has bolstered the careers of ubiquitous TV pitchmen, including the late Billy Mays, who enthusiastically hawked products now found on the shelves of more than 100,000 retailers. Today, Khubani is the leader in the $20 billion direct consumer marketing industry, turning out more "low-tech" products than ever before.

Khubani knows better than anyone that being successful doesn't mean being bulletproof, however. Having taken the company through bankruptcy and costly litigation with the Federal Trade Commission, he knows just how fragile an empire can be. But TeleBrands is bigger than ever now and seems to have perfected a formula for predicting retail success -- an American Idol-esque search process that allows him to navigate the onslaught of inventors vying to be the next big idea.

Surprisingly soft-spoken for an infomercial impresario, Khubani says the best products all have one thing in common -- they solve everyday problems.

"My father immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1957 by boat. He got his first job as a busboy but eventually started an electronics-importing business. He was a self-made millionaire and a major influence on my life. Growing up, I always thought someday I'd want to follow in his footsteps and become an entrepreneur myself, but when I graduated from Montclair State University, I thought I'd get a job first and get some experience before starting my own business. The economic environment in the early 1980s was very similar to the situation today. We were in the middle of one of the worst recessions ever in the country and unemployment was over 10 percent. So the prospects of finding a job were pretty dim. I was working as a pizza man and tending bar and I didn't want to continue doing that after I graduated. I wanted to take the next step up and use my education to facilitate my income and my personal growth.

"So I thought of this idea of selling products through mail order. I had connections to suppliers of electronics through my father, and I started looking through some trade journals. I found a product -- an AM/FM Walkman-style radio -- that I thought would sell really well. It was 1983, when one of the bestselling products on the marketplace was the Sony Walkman. It was selling for $60, which was a lot of money back then. I found that I could sell this particular AM/FM style radio that looked like a Walkman for about $10, so I spent about $7,000 -- a third of my life's savings when I was 23 -- wrote an ad, put it in the National Enquirer and waited for the orders to come in. I didn't have any employees, so I shipped everything myself, typing all the labels on an IBM typewriter and delivering the goods to the post office. It was very exciting. I broke even, which gave me the encouragement to keep on going. I thought if I could break even my first time out, then the more I learned the business, the better I would get. I continued with a couple more items and nothing really made money. The first two years I didn't make any profit at all -- I just continued to break even.

"By 1985, I came across a product -- massage slippers. They were like beach slippers with bumps on the bottom that massaged your feet as you walked. I sold those for $10 and they were a relatively big success. My profit that year was about a quarter of a million dollars, which was a lot of money back then, at 25 years old. I think that's when I knew I made it. I finally started to make a profit and I said, 'This is going to work. This is something I can actually make a living off of and continue building the business.' I was getting a lot of pressure from family members to go out and get a 'real job,' and they would say, 'What are you doing wasting your time with this?' It was a lot of pressure, but once I made that money, I decided I would continue to pursue it. The following year I really started to figure it out and I came across a few more products -- a folding knife, an ultrasonic pest repellent -- that were making money, and all of a sudden the business got really big. That year, in 1986, the business grew to $11 million, and I made a profit of $3 million. So I made my first million dollars at the age of 26. It was pretty good. It was a very exciting time to break through. In that year, I bought my first house in Wanaque, N.J., for $200,000 and was able to pay in cash.

"Experiencing all this success, I was very ambitious and said, 'How do I take this to the next level? How do I expand?' I thought about going on TV and taking it to another medium. With TV, the best thing you can do is identify a product that the consumer wants. We know from experience the types of products consumers are willing to buy -- things that solve an everyday problem, that are a good value for the money, that are innovative and sometimes things that put a smile on people's faces. Then, you need a good TV commercial, something that gets people's attention. Because it's visual, we like strong demonstrations. The commercials are a little bit campy, but we find that a little bit campy works better than serious commercials. I started experimenting with TV and produced three commercials in 1986. All three were successful. One was for an ultrasonic flea collar, one was for a home bicycle exercise product and the other was for AmberVision sunglasses.

"I was really surprised at how big AmberVision sunglasses became -- we sold 15 million of them. AmberVision became a household name and by 1987, anyone I spoke to had heard of AmberVision because we were advertising so much. It occurred to me that if it became a brand everyone knows, it would probably sell in more places than just off of TV, so I started approaching retail stores. I got turned down one store after another. They had no interest in dealing with a startup company with a line of sunglasses that were just one style. Finally, after about a year of knocking on doors I got my first break from Herman's Sporting Goods in New Jersey, which decided to try 200 pairs. They sold out in one day, so they reordered 20,000 pairs. I was able to take that story around and start knocking on more doors. I went to all the local retailers first in the New York area and got all of them to buy. Our buyer at Jamesway was a guy named Angelo Bianco. He was very skeptical, but we had a connection with his boss. Reluctantly, he bought some of our products, and he was really surprised at how well the products sold. He was so surprised that he decided to join TeleBrands full time, and he's been here ever since. He was instrumental in taking TeleBrands to the next level and building up a retail distribution. Within a couple of years of the Herman Sporting Goods account, we were selling to every major retailer in the country, including Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS. We found a business model that worked with launching a product on TV and then taking the product into retail chains and the next step was to take the product internationally, so we now sell our products all over the world.

"We use an American Idol-like setup for our Inventor's Days, with a panel of judges and a time limit. We look for things that solve an everyday problem, that are innovative, that can be fun and that demonstrate well on TV, so people in the company look through thousands of submissions and decide which ones come closest to that criteria. Out of those, we usually select at least a couple of items and we test market them further. The ones that are successful in test marketing are fairly few, because the odds of coming up with a success are pretty slim, which is just the nature of the business. We mostly go through manufacturers and inventors for products, but being in it so long I just -- out of necessity -- started inventing some of the products myself. I would see an opportunity in a particular category like the Doggy Steps. I said, 'There has to be a less expensive Doggy Steps that's portable and lightweight, that we could sell for $19.99 versus these multi-hundred-dollar steps made of wood and carpet.' So we came up with a cost-effective solution to get dogs onto the sofa and bed. That was maybe the first successful item I invented. The most successful product that we ever sold -- the PedEgg -- I invented, which is huge. We've sold over 45 million PedEggs, and it continues to sell well.

"The vast majority of our products has a very high degree of consumer satisfaction. We're very happy with our products, we're very happy with the claims we make, and we actually find that consumer satisfaction is higher if you under promise and over deliver, so that's what we try to do. Our business is not an exact science. We get initial test data and react to that, but not everything has the sales we anticipate. That's why it's a good thing that we launch many products within a year. From a business standpoint, if we launch 10 products in a year and eight are successful and two are not, we're still successful overall.

"We have hit bumps. We had a litigation with the FTC a long time ago, but that has been settled and we haven't had anything since then. Companies don't grow without having growing pains, and we hit a very rough patch in 2000, in which the company actually went through a Chapter 11 filing. We re-emerged out of Chapter 11 in three months and rebuilt the company. I think as a result of going through those bumps, you definitely emerge stronger as a company. I know I'm much stronger as an individual and as a leader of the company for having gone through the rough roads. What's the saying? Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

"I've worked really hard, so I appreciate everything I have, and I don't take anything for granted. I'm very happy that I can provide my family with security and certain privileges and luxuries. It makes me feel good. I believe that if you work hard and you're successful, you deserve to treat yourself -- after all, why do you work so hard?

"Having your own business is the hardest job you're ever going to have. It's all-consuming and you work harder than you ever imagined you'd have to work, and you'll think about it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You've got to put that much attention, thought process and work into a business if it's going to succeed. It's not for everybody. Some people don't want to be thinking about work seven days a week. Some people don't want to work 12, 14 hours a day. If that's the case, then you shouldn't be in business. But if you're willing to do that, it's more rewarding than anything you can imagine. I work very hard -- I work harder today than I worked when I was in college starting the business, but for me, it's so rewarding that I never feel I'm working."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GET BEAT UP THIS HALLOWEEN: Casey Anthony Halloween Mask On Sale

Casey Anthony Halloween Mask On Sale

MIAMI -- Halloween is only a few months away and if you're looking for something other than Freddy Krueger, this may be the answer.

A Casey Anthony latex rubber mask is now for sale on ebay.

The mask was one of nine used for a parody video and is reportedly in excellent condition.

The auction currently has more than 83 bids, the highest is $24,000.

Bidding ends Wednesday afternoon.

Anthony, 25, was acquitted of all felony charges in her 2-year-old daughter Caylee's death. She was found guilty of 4 misdemeanor charges of lying to law enforcement.

She was released from prison on July 17.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do Musicians Have A "27 Curse"?

What's up with this Musicians "27 Curse"?

Here's what Dr. Stephanie Sarkis Says...

Why have famous musicians died at 27?
The news of Amy Winehouse's death is tragic not only due to the fact that she had so much talent, but also because she was young, and her death was most likely brought on by her addictions.
Amy Winehouse was 27 years old when she died. There are a number of other famous musicians who died at 27. Those musicians include:
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Jim Morrison
  • Brian Jones
  • Robert Johnson

Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison, and Jones all died within two years of each other.
Why does it seem that young musicians have died at 27? There is a "Forever 27 Club" listing on Wikipedia, and people have created websites about a "27 Curse."
Are these musician deaths at the age of 27 just a coincidence? Or is there really a "27 Curse"?
There is a social psychology phenomenon known as causal attribution. This is when a person (or society) attributes outcomes to particular causes. When there is a tragic death, such as that of a famous young person, we tend to look for a reason why it happened. We try to make sense of it. And when we can't make sense of it, we find a way for it to make sense. And when a number of famous musicians have died young, we try to find a common thread, in order to make sense of it all. So the "27 Curse" began.
Finding a reason or cause for an event after the event has happened, such as with the "27 Curse," can be a form of self-protection. If you have to get through your work day with the knowledge that a tragic event has occurred, it makes sense that attributing a reason or cause to that event would help keep your mood level enough that you could get through the day. Sometimes we just aren't ready to challenge those attributions -- maybe not now, maybe not ever.
Attributing causality helps give us order and predictability to our lives. Without it, the unpredictability of life would bring many of us to our knees. Attributing causality is neither good nor bad, it just is. It's part of being human.
So when you are wondering if the "27 Curse" exists, consider:
  • A majority of famous musicians, many of whom who have admitted to past drug use, have lived well past 27 years old.
  • Musicians tend to be most famous in their early years. The chances that a famous musician will die young may just naturally be increased because famous musicians tend to be, well, young.
  • All of the musicians listed above had a history of drug use, with Joplin, Morrison, and Hendrix (and possibly Winehouse) either directly or indirectly dying as a result of drug use. Drug use is just more likely to cause health issues, like death, whether you are a musician or not.
  • It is possible that in a person's late 20s, drug use starts catching up with the body. People who have been using since their late teens and early 20s have really built up a tolerance for the drugs they are using. More drugs needed to produce the same high equals more chance of an overdose.
  • Famous musicians tend to do things that the general population does not. For example, famous musicians tend fly in small aircraft more than the general population, and several famous musicians, of varying ages, have died in small aircraft crashes.
  • There are a number of famous musicians who died at 21, but there is no "21 Curse." One could argue that they weren't as famous as the musicians listed above. Deaths of very famous people (especially unexpected ones) tend to be more memorable to us overall. Therefore, we try even harder to find a reason why they happened.
Causal attribution helps us feel better by giving predictability to an unpredictable world, but our attributions are not always completely accurate.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whilly Bermudez Media Launches a Medical Marketing Division

Whilly Bermudez Media Launches a Medical Marketing Division

One of the country’s most seasoned Social Media Marketers is tapping into the Medical Industry by announcing tailor made marketing solutions for Healthcare Professionals.

The team at WB has been entering into marketing agreements with Physicians from all areas and specializations in order to handle all of their social media and advertising. With 22 Healthcare practices already aboard and many more ready to sign up, “It’s been a busy couple of weeks at our company” says Whilly Bermudez – founder and chief marketing officer.

Medical Social Marketing ( is the newest division of Whilly Bermudez Media, with offices in Miami and Chicago. WB Media has been providing marketing and creative solutions to the business world since 1997. In recent years, the firm has been gaining popularity for their Social Media Marketing services and proprietary process. One of their long time clients and Travel Agency operator, Mr. Herlan Ruiz of Luxury Travel By Ruiz says “Social Media Marketing is very important to a business. Some business owners already know this but most are slowly finding out that the impact on your business can be significant”.

Dr. Max Roman, a Coral Gables dentist and another of the clients agrees. “
Social Media, Internet Marketing, and the Web is the future which is already here. This is how people are learning and communicating. The traditional ways of ‘getting the word out’ are fading away.” 

The power of the internet which combines social media can separate one physician from the next, one business from the next. The average U.S. Internet user spends more time on Facebook than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon combined
. People enjoy having the ability to look up the Facebook pages of people, places, products, and even Physicians. Arriving at a Facebook page that shows a large number of “Likes” (supporters) coupled with quality content may be a deciding factor for a potential patient.

The services provided by WB Media focus on Facebook, Twitter, and even Review site monitoring. Quality Medical Web Development services are also available. The modernization of Medical Marketing and Social Media has arrived. To learn about the services, plans, and articles please contact the firm directly. Healthcare professionals that require the WB Media services can visit or by calling 1.800.823.1240

Information about their parent company- Whilly Bermudez Media can be found on 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Evolutionary Science Materials Win Approval

Evolutionary Science Materials In Texas Get Preliminary Approval, Creationism Debate Fizzles
AUSTIN, Texas -- An expected fight over teaching evolution in Texas classrooms fizzled Thursday when the state's Board of Education gave preliminary approval to supplemental science materials for the coming school year and beyond with only minor changes.
The Republican-dominated board drew national attention in 2009 when it adopted science standards encouraging schools to scrutinize "all sides" of scientific theory, a move some creationists hailed as a victory.
But Thursday's unanimous vote diffused the expected renewal of that debate. A final vote is scheduled Friday and even though the board still can make changes before then, member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, predicted few fireworks would erupt.
"Somebody might want to refund their tickets," Bradley said after the vote. "There wasn't a fight."
The public hearing was dominated by witnesses encouraging the board to adopt the materials that had been recommended by state Education Commissioner Robert Scott.
One that didn't make the recommended list was an electronic textbook that includes lessons on intelligent design, the theory that life on Earth is so complex it was guided with the help of an intelligent higher power.
"There's no bad science going into classrooms" in the approved materials, said Dan Quinn, spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network, a group that sides with mainstream scientists on teaching evolution.
The new online teaching materials are necessary because the state could not afford to buy new textbooks this year, leaving students to use some that are several years old. Supplemental materials that are approved have the advantage of being on the state's recommended list, but school districts can still buy other materials they chose.
The board instructed two publishers to make changes to some biology materials that used drawings of embryonic similarities between species. The board said more accurate photographs should be used instead.
Another publisher was instructed to make changes to a section that compared human and chimpanzee skulls. The publisher's written response disputed that its material was wrong, and it has the choice of changing the section or withdrawing its material altogether.
Board Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, a former biology teacher who disputes evolution, and Bradley said there was little debate among board members because the materials met the standards set in 2009.
"The supplements are good," Cargill said.
One conservative group, Texans for a Better Science Education, had put out a call to pack Thursday's public hearing with testimony urging board members to adopt materials that question evolution. But they were outnumbered by witnesses urging the board to adopt the materials with few changes.
"I don't want my children's public school teachers to teach faith and God in a science classroom," said the Rev. Kelly Allen of University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. "True religion can handle truth in all its forms. Evolution is solid science."
The public testimony got off to a heated start. One of the first speakers, Tom Davis of Austin, urged the board to ignore any materials that deal with creationism or intelligent design.
"Intelligent design is creationism, wrapped in thin veneer of pseudoscience," Davis said. "Creation isn't really science at all. It's philosophy."
Sensing that repeated attacks on religion were to come, board member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, offered anyone in the audience $500 if they could find any reference in the state science standards to "Jesus or God."
"It's just not there," Mercer said.
The tone of the debate quickly settled down from there.
David Shormann of Magnolia, who runs a Christian-based math and science education software company, said evolution has too many "untestable" components and can't provide a real look at ancient life without a "time machine or a crystal ball."
But Lorenzo Sadun, a math professor at the University of Texas, said those opposing evolution overstate gaps in the fossil record and other areas when trying to discredit the theory.
"The theory of evolution is based on almost as much evidence as the theory of gravity," Sadun said.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Is Quite Possibly The Greatest Rip-Off of All Time

China's Fake Apple Stores Mimic Real Thing--Down To Product Displays

The following is perhaps the greatest Chinese knock-off of all time.
A blogger living the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, in Yunnan province has discovered bit-for-bit rip-offs of the iconic and well-branded Apple retail stores.
The BirdAbroad blog describes a store housing display cases filled with what appear to be Apple products, that unmistakable Apple Store design, "classic Apple store winding staircase" and even Apple "employees" wearing blue t-shirts ready to assist customers with all of their Apple troubleshooting needs.
But, of course, there's more to this store than meets the eye. Bird writes, "this was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one – the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day).
There are a few hints at the store's inauthenticity, though. The chipping paint job, the rickety spiral staircase and the fact that the official Apple directory lists only four Apple stores in China, two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.
But what most makes this feel like this could be an episode of "The Twilight Zone" is the following notation by Bird: 
"[T]hese salespeople [...], hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple."
According to the blog post, when Bird and her boyfriend attempted to take photos they were "quickly accosted by two salespeople" who said that photography was not allowed. The couple were welcomed with slightly more open arms when they "may or may not" have said they were American Apple employees on vacation visiting the Chinese store locations.
And as if the blogger thought she could escape the impostor retail outlets, "a 10-minute walk around the corner revealed not one, but TWO more rip-off Apple stores."
An Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.
Here are a few more photos, compliments of the BirdAbroad blog, where you can read a full account of the imposter Apple Stores.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Elevator Etiquette: Is Chivalry Dead?

Elevator Etiquette: Is Chivalry Dead?
By Kelly Connor

I work in a large office building equipped with 12 elevators. I make use of the elevators at least eight times a day. Working in the building for the past six years, I've had ample opportunity to observe an interesting phenomenon and that is elevator protocol.
There are standard rules when it comes to elevator etiquette; current riders should be allowed to exit before new riders enter, one should allow for personal space and so on. But when it comes to the proper elevator etiquette for men versus women there seems to be conflicting opinions.
Emily Post, a name that is synonymous with proper etiquette and manners, says that when exiting an elevator the person nearest the door should leave first, regardless of gender.

A diverging view on says that men should allow women to exit the elevator first, unless the male is blocking the door.
So which is correct? It's difficult to be sure and perhaps there is no right answer; only a matter of personal opinion. But here is where I witness the phenomenon. It seems that men over the age of 30 (give or take) tend to allow women to enter and exit the elevator first. On the other hand, younger men tend to exit and enter based on order and personal desire to get on or off first.
Personally I don't mind either way. I don't find it necessary to be allowed off first; in fact it can sometimes get a little awkward. And I'm not particularly offended when the opposite occurs. I'm more concerned with the thought that chivalry is dead, or at least dying.
No matter how society changes, it's still nice to be treated with a little chivalry. It's a reminder that good, old-fashioned values are still regarded. Call me a traditionalist but I still appreciate the small, gentlemanly gestures men make towards women; a door held open or a seat pulled out at a restaurant.
Popular television shows like Mad Men come to mind when discussing the topic of antiquated values. Though men seemed more chivalrous in the '50s and '60s, woman also enjoyed fewer freedoms.
Men stood when a lady entered the room decades ago, but women weren't allowed to have an opinion on the state of their country. Women were expected to have dinner on the table at the end of the work day but men took their hats off before sitting down.
So the question emerges; have we traded chivalry for freedom? How are young boys being raised today? Are they being equipped with these retro ideals or is chivalry a fading behaviour?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Storm Trooper Walks Across Australia for Charity

Storm Trooper Jacob French Walks Across Australia For Starlight Foundation Charity
Generally, the oncoming march of a storm trooper does not portend well for children or those in need of a helping hand. In Australia, though, where toilets flush counter clockwise and the sun is up when much of the rest of the world is sleeping, the march of this evil Empire foot soldier is an absolute blessing.
Jacob French, member of the Terror Australis Garrison of Vader's First, the 501st Legion of Storm Troopers -- a worldwide group of enthusiasts who dress as the "Star Wars" characters for good causes -- is marching 3,106 miles across the continent country, from Perth to Sydney, in order to raise money for the Starlight Foundation, a charity for children with life-threatening diseases.
In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb Half marathon (21kms) in my stormtrooper suit. The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the troopertrek idea. Since the marathon I have started to train regularly for this event and have acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that will be trimmed for better movement. I am hoping that by choosing to wear stormtrooper armour I will be able to gather more attention for the cause I am running for and have a bit of a laugh along the way.