Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2001-06-17

In this issue:

  1. The job scene
  2. Energy scams
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. Teaching your kids about money
  5. A great free online video
  6. Lingerie store
  7. Best sellers

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1. The job scene

The economy has been in the skids for most of the past decade--a natural result of the massive tax increases handed to us over the past eight years (tax increases remove capital from the economy). People have been unaware of the bad economy for several reasons--the major one being the false "boom" created by the dot coms. And for some reason, people associate the "rate of unemployment" with the condition of the employment market. They are unrelated. The government's "rate of unemployment" accounts for only new claims for unemployment insurance. It doesn't account for people who are still unemployed, people who are grossly underemployed (like professors and software engineers driving taxis), people whose unemployment insurance has run out, people who have not filed for unemployment but don't have work--in short, it ignores nearly all the important information about unemployment.

Now, reality has hit. However, it was here before the dot com implosion. The number of people laid off each of the past 10 years has been huge--1998, 1999, and 2000 set records. What does this mean to you? It means you must prepare for an employment interruption. Keep debts small. Eat out less often (not only do you reduce meal costs, but you reduce health costs as well this way--restaurant food has a lot of unhealthy junk in it). Focus less on accumulating things you don't really need and more on developing your skills and your relationships. Get involved in your professional community. By participating in the world around your career, you will already have a network in place when the bad news comes. Don't think it can't come to you. Prepare for it.


2. Energy scams

For those who don't know, I'm not just an MBA. I'm also an electrical engineer and a Master Electrician. I write columns for national electrical trade magazines and am under contract as a bi-monthly columnist for an electrical Web site. Companies like 3M and Merril Lynch call me to ask for technical advice. I'm also a Senior Member of the IEEE (Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers) and past Chair of the Kansas City Section (named Outstanding Section two years in a row). That said, I think you'll agree I have some credentials for what comes next.

Right now, predators are selling "energy saving" devices. Most of these don't do diddly for your energy bill. Let's look at some of the common scams.

a. Whole house power protectors/energy savers. Typically, these are nothing more than an MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) assembly. The only way a plug-in device can save power is to effect power factor correction. That requires a capacitive element. Just ask the vendor, "How many microfarads of capacitance does this device have?" That usually sends the snake-oil salesmen packing.

b. Lighting efficiency enhancers. One of my MBA classmates is a product manager for a major lighting device firm. He's also an engineer, and his knowledge of lighting is encyclopedic. We were talking just last week about this very scam. To improve lighting efficiency, you can choose a more efficient lighting technology (but for something like a closet, use incandescent). Adding a third-party device won't reduce the energy consumption per unit of light output. If you want to add a device that lowers electrical consumption, install a dimmer.

That's what these third party lighting energy devices do anyhow--they cut the frequency down and dim the light. Sure, you save energy but you also have less light. You can get the same effect by simply using a lower wattage bulb. Or, for the ultimate in savings, shut the light off when you leave the room. Also, you don't need a light for certain tasks. Do you turn on the bathroom light to brush your teeth? If you can't find your mouth without using a mirror, lighting bills are the least of your problems.

c. Motor effeciency enhancers. These devices, installed on your washer, dryer, A/C, and refrigerator, cause your motor to use less electricity. Well, that is true--but only to an extent. See item "a" above to solve this one. If the vendor talks about things other than power factor, don't listen. The only other way of improving motor efficiency (other than rebuilding the motor to a different design or replacing it with a more efficient one) is to change the frequency. When you do this, you change the torque and speed. This is how a variable frequency motor drive works. However, consider this. The motor in your home appliance is sized to do a certain job. If you cut the torque, you run into a collision between some important parameters that are very likely to result in a severely shortened motor life. And you can damage other components in so doing.

The bottom line here is you can save energy by shutting things off when you aren't using them. Also, try going on an electronic fast this summer. Pick out one month where you won't watch television, period. Not only will you save energy, but you will discover what you've been missing by parking in front of the boob tube.



3. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Do you get pains in your wrists and fingers from typing? Mindconnection offers an inexpensive course on this subject to tell you exactly how to cure and prevent CTS. Simply to go to:
and you'll see the course listed there. Be sure to look at other offerings, as well--you may wish you had discovered these products a long time ago!



4. Teaching your kids about money

While money doesn't bring happiness, money problems bring great unhappiness. In fact, money problems are leading causes of both divorce and suicide. You probably don't want your kids (or grandkids) to go through either of these experiences. Thus, Mindconnection offers a booklet, "Minding your money." The booklets don't cost much--which is why they are available only in minimum quantities of 10.

This product is perfect for:

  • PTA groups
  • Scouting groups
  • Neighborhood parental groups
  • Libraries
  • Churches
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Bankers interested in good customer relations
  • Credit Unions
  • Investment advisors
  • Insurance companies
  • Grocers
  • Small businesses
  • Family-oriented businesses



5. A great free online video

Check this out: (link no longer active--edited 2005-07-05)

Then, to help ensure this doesn't happen to you, visit and register your outrage in the petition shown there.



6. Lingerie store

If you've gotten in shape for summer, why not show off that sexy bod with great lingerie? You can also improve your relationships and other aspects of you that make you sexy. The URL?



7. Best Sellers

Don't forget Mindconnection has discounts on what's hot. Just use this form:

[deleted in 2007]


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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