Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mortgage Rates Post Modest Upticks

Last week’s post-Thanksgiving shopping rush also saw a surge in mortgage applications, with loan application volume up 8.5% week on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The boost in applications was driven primarily by refinance interest, and the MBA’s Refinance Index gained 11% from the previous week, while the Purchase Index was up 4%. New home loan applications were driven almost wholly by demand for government-backed loans from the Federal Housing Administration and other federal agencies.

But mortgage rates rose modestly last week, to an average 4.88% from 4.79%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, ending a six-week run of declining 30-year fixed rates.

Mortgage rates have been at near-record low territory for the last couple of months, but the big question is what will happen next year, when the Federal Reserve is scheduled to end its purchase of mortgage-backed securities that has helped push rates down for much of 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mesothelioma Victims

Mesothelioma is not a disease that can be detected easily as it rarely gives out symptoms at its early stage in the body. Even with the symptoms, diagnosing the disease is difficult as these symptoms are very common with other diseases too.

Within this backdrop, patients' medical histories can help diagnose the disease. Therefore, physicians inquire about a patient's medical history if they suspect mesothelioma might be the case. Then the X-ray is performed and if necessary CT scan or MRI is also performed.

With these scans, the amount of fluid if it is present can be seen and this fluid is then aspirated with the help of a syringe. While a pleural tap is used to extract pleural fluid, the fluid in pericardial cavities is taken out by pericardiocentesis. Paracentesis is performed to take out fluid in abdomen.

If these fluids give out evidences of having mesothelioma, physicians do further tests on patients to prove the conditions clearly. At this stage, mostly a biopsy is done and tissues are sent to the pathologist for microscopic tests. Depending on the locations of the cancer, the methods used for biopsies can be different from each other. As an example, for cancer in the chest, thoracoscopy is performed to get tissues, in which, the physician make small incision on the chest wall and insert a thoracoscope between the ribs. In this way, the doctor can examine the inside of the chest cavities and extract tissue samples for microscopic testing.

On the other hand, to get tissue samples from a mesothelioma patient in the abdominal cavities, a laparoscopy is done. During this procedure a very small cut is made on the abdominal areas large enough to insert an instrument into the abdomen. Sometimes the procedure is not sufficient to take out enough tissues for the microscopic test and if this is the case, another major surgery has to be performed.

Student Loan Consolidation: Why to Consolidate ?

Both federal student loan consolidation and private student loan consolidation offer the benefit of a significantly lower monthly payment and simplified finances. If you want to consolidate student loans, begin with your federal Stafford, Parent PLUS, Perkins, and all Federal FFELP and Federal Direct Loans that were taken out for your education. Private student loan consolidation is a separate program that allows you to refinance all non-federal, education related debt.
Even if you can make the monthly payments from your original school loans, you may still want to consider consolidating to lower your payments and free up money for bills with higher interest rates. These include credit cards and personal loans, neither of which have tax-deductible interest.

Mortgage Refinancing

In recent years, millions of homeowners have taken advantage of low rates and refinanced their mortgages. This article describes the advantages and possible pitfalls associated with a "refi."

Before You Start:

Remember that refinancing to reduce debt can be a smart move, but refinancing in order to borrow more for consumer purchases (car, vacation, etc.) could set you back significantly.
Read the fine print on your current mortgage to learn whether you'll be assessed penalties or fees for "getting out" of that loan early.
Make sure you know whether you have a fixed or variable interest rate and what the terms are.
Home Refinancing Basics

In recent years, Americans seeking to take advantage of low interest rates have lined up to refinance their mortgages. In fact, refinancing hit an all-time high in 2003, and remained high in both 2004 and 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

But while it's true that refinancing has the potential to help you reduce the costs associated with borrowing money to own a home, it is not necessarily a strategy that makes sense for every individual in every situation. So before you make a commitment to refinance your mortgage, it's important to do your homework and determine whether such a move is the right one for you.

To Refinance or Not

The old and arbitrary rule of thumb said that a refi only makes sense if you can lower your interest rate by at least two percentage points for example, from 9 percent to 7 percent. But what really matters is how long it will take you to break even and whether you plan to stay in your home that long. In other words, make sure you understand - and are comfortable with - the amount of time it will take for your overall savings to compensate for the cost of the refinancing.

Consider this: If you had a $200,000 30-year mortgage with an 8 percent interest rate, your monthly payment would be $1,468. If you refinanced at 6 percent, your new monthly payment would be $1,199, a savings of $269 per month. Assuming that your new closing costs amounted to $2,000, it would take eight months to break even. ($269 x 8 = $2,152). If you planned to stay in your home for at least eight more months, then a refi would be appropriate under these conditions. If you planned to sell the house before then, you might not want to bother refinancing. (See below for additional examples.)

Remember: All Mortgages Are Not Created Equal

Don't make the mistake of choosing a mortgage based only on its stated annual percentage rate (APR), because there are a variety of other important variables to consider, such as:

The term of the mortgage - This describes the amount of time it will take you to pay off the loan's principal and interest. Although short-term mortgages typically offer lower interest rates than long-term mortgages, they usually involve higher monthly payments. On the other hand, they can result in significantly reduced interest costs over time.

The variability of the interest rate - There are two basic types of mortgages: those with "fixed" (i.e., unchanging) interest rates and those with variable rates, which can change after a predetermined amount of time has passed, such as one year or five years. While an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) usually offers a lower introductory rate than a fixed-rate mortgage with a comparable term, the ARM's rate could jump in the future if interest rates rise. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, it may make sense to opt for the predictability and security of a fixed rate, whereas an ARM might make sense if you plan to sell before its rate is allowed to go up. Also keep in mind that interest rates hovered near historical lows in recent years and are more likely to increase than decrease over time.

Points - Points (also known as "origination fees" or "discount fees") are fees that you pay to a lender or broker when you close the deal. While a "no-cost" or "zero points" mortgage does not carry this up-front cost, it could prove to be more expensive if the lender charges a higher interest rate instead. So you'll need to determine whether the savings from a lower rate justify the added costs of paying points. (One point is equal to one percent of the loan's value.)

Stick With What You Know?

Finally, keep in mind that your current lender may make it easier and cheaper to refinance than another lender would. That's because your current lender is likely to have all of your important financial information on hand already, which reduces the time and resources necessary to process your application. But don't let that be your only consideration. To make a well-informed, confident decision you'll need to shop around, crunch the numbers, and ask plenty of questions.


The decision to refinance should only be made if the long-term savings outweigh the initial expenses. To calculate your break-even point, divide the cost of the refi by your monthly savings. The resulting figure represents the number of months you will need to stay in the home to make the strategy work.
Don't select a new mortgage based only on its annual percentage rate.
Also evaluate the term of the loan, whether the interest rate is fixed or variable, and the relative merits of paying up-front fees in exchange for a lower rate.
Your current lender already knows you and has your financial information on file, so you may be able to get a better deal that way, instead of going to a new lender.
To get the best possible refinancing deal, you'll need to shop around, crunch some numbers, and ask a lot of questions.

Shop around and conduct a detailed cost assessment (with a financial professional, if necessary) to identify which mortgage offers the greatest financial benefits.
Read the entire contract before signing. Don't let anyone pressure you or rush you to make a hasty decision.
If refinancing results in lower monthly payments, use those savings to pursue other important goals, such as preparing for retirement and college costs.

Online Degree Accounting

There are many reasons to consider getting an accounting education or degree online versus the more traditional classroom method. Online learning, however, is not for everyone. Before spending any money or wasting any time, you should carefully evaluate the major pros and cons of getting an accounting education or degree online.

Pros of Getting an Accounting Education or Degree Online

Accounting education and degree programs are easy to translate into a distance learning format, which is why online accounting programs have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself.

Most of the benefits of getting an accounting education or degree online are obvious. You can choose any school you want regardless of your location. You also save money on housing costs and/or commuting expenses, and in most cases, tuition.

Studying online also gives you the benefit of choosing when and where you will complete a class. If you have a job, kids, or a busy social life, this is much more convenient than taking classes that are scheduled by someone else.

Cons of Getting an Accounting Education or Degree Online

While there are many people out there who argue that there are only benefits and no negatives to online accounting education, there are some aspects that could be considered disadvantageous.

For example, students who prefer hands on experience and face-to-face interaction can sometimes find it difficult to learn outside the traditional classroom setting, even in an accounting program. For students like this, the online learning experience may not yield the same results as being physically present in a classroom.

Instructors can also be a problem if they are new to online teaching or unfamiliar with constantly evolving accounting and teaching software. Of course, this shouldn't be an issue for students who carefully research various programs and ask questions about instructors and curriculum prior to enrolling.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Junsui project

The website for a genetic enhancement company called Nippon Shin Eisei (Japan New Health) features an eerie Flash-based introduction to the Junsui Project, which profiles a genetically-altered individual named Junko (who’s at the center of what looks like an alternate reality game or viral marketing campaign).

The Nippon Shin Eisei website claims to offer customers access to revolutionary new gene enhancement technology that can ensure the best possible future for their unborn children.

Go to original page..........

Monday, June 22, 2009

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