American Diabetes Association, I’m talking to you.

When I was 19, and feeling virtuous, I decided to donate $50 to you. I had a friend with diabetes, and he had recently lost his vision due to diabetic retinopathy. I felt for him, and I realized for the first time what a horrible condition diabetes really is. So I took half of my weekly earnings from my shitty part-time mall job, and I gave it to you. I did this in the hopes that my $50 would go towards some sort of research. Looking back over the dozen years I have lived since that donation, I have to feel that my donation went to no such thing.

Why? Because yesterday I received a plea from you to donate more. This plea included a ream of Christmas themed address labels bursting with every color ink, shimmering with gold foil, littered with smiling snowmen, wintry snowscapes, and stacks of gifts. Oh, an added bonus! You gave me 3 gift labels to use! How convenient!

If these high-quality, high-priced stickers were branded “ADA” and “Help Fight Diabetes” and “Check Your Blood Sugar Today!” I might not be sitting here writing this post. But, alas,

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The Future of Advertising

I’ve been using a homemade DVR system for about 5 years. BeyondTV has been our choice mostly because of its fantastic file management system, and their “SmartSkip” technology. SmartSkip does an amazing job of highlighting the commercial breaks in the television shows you record, and the remote control lets you skip the offending segment with the push of a button. This means that I have effectively eliminated advertising from my television viewing since 2004.

Additionally, I don’t read magazines, or the newspaper. I listen to NPR or MP3s while driving. I use Adblock Plus while on websites. When I realized how little advertising I was taking in, I started intentionally not looking at billboards on the highway. Now I hardly even notice they are there.

A few weeks ago we canceled Comcast as our cable provider. We now only get our television shows from the internet. We’ve been using a program called TED, or Torrent Episode Downloader, which actively searches for and retrieves new shows that we want to watch. Takes a lot of the work out of illegal TV program downloading. It’s has been amazing with some things, and not so much with others. For instance, The Biggest

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