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5 Things You Should Know – Part 264

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. Dark Patterns are the tricks used in websites and apps that make you buy or sign up for things that you didn’t mean to. If a company wants to trick you into doing something, they can take advantage of this by making a page look like it is saying one thing when it is, in fact, saying another.

The website darkpatterns.org names and shames companies who to trick people into signing up and buying things they didn’t intend to, as well as listing different examples of shady practices like Bait and switch, Confirmshaming, Disguised Ads, Forced Continuity, Hidden Costs, Privacy Zuckering, and Trick Questions.

2. Woolen and thermal clothing will stay warm even when they get wet, unlike other types of cloth. Just remember to wash them on gentle, cold water settings and hang to dry, as heat shrinks wool and melts some thermal cloth.

With the extra cold weather, it’s concerning to see fluffy, warm looking clothing sold in stores that are made of synthetic materials that aren’t thermal material, or indeed, wool. Synthetic sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, leggings or cotton jeans aren’t going to protect you outdoors if they get wet from snow, slush or rain.

You can get lightweight merino wool for fashion clothing or to go next to your skin. Consider buying lightweight wool slacks or merino/cheap thermal leggings to go under your jeans to wear for winter, especially when clearing snow.

If you’re having trouble finding real winter clothing, try hiking, outdoors or ski wear shop. Most stock fashion items in wool/thermal material as well as practical hiking/ski gear. You can get leggings you can wear out as fashion items that will keep you warm in the wet. Spring is the best time for sales.

3. If you can’t afford Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, there are fully functional web-based versions that you can use online free of charge.

There are also lots of free/blank templates, such as resumes, cover letters, flyers, charts, and reports.


4. You can opt out of “overdraft protection” and thus overdraft fees, potentially saving you from wasting money.

“Overdraft protection” refers to your bank letting you overdraft your account in the event that you don’t have enough funds to cover a transaction. They’ll then charge you steep fees for the privilege, far in excess of the value of the money they’re essentially loaning you.

You can opt out of overdraft protection at any time by calling your bank (or Google “Overdraft protection opt out [BANK NAME]”), and it simply means that if you don’t have enough money in your account, the charge will be declined rather than dipping your account into the negative, and you won’t be charged fees.

As of 2010, it was legally decided that banks cannot automatically opt you into overdraft protection, however, in my experience, a lot of people are still signed up for this due to sketchy bank sales practices that push overdraft protection or through being long term account holders.

NOTE: If you have written checks or signed up for recurring debit card transactions, these types of charges can still cause overdraft fees even after opting out, at the discretion of your bank. If you keep getting hit with overdraft fees due to lots of recurring subscriptions, you might want to check out a service like TrueBill.

5. Shen Yun is anti-science cult propaganda, not traditional Chinese culture as marketed.

Shen Yun is run by Falun Gong, a new age cult that preaches science and medicine are evil, mixed children cannot go to heaven, the world was destroyed 50 times, and other unscientific beliefs. Chinese Scientology pretty much.


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