Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

8 Ways To Opt Out Of Junk Mail Lists

Direct mailers don't believe in the concept of opting in, so if you want to cut down on the amount of straight-to-the-trash mail you receive, you'll need to contact them directly and request that your name is removed. ForestEthics—the group behind the

Do Not Mail Registry petition
we blogged about earlier, has gathered
several ways to contact the offending parties.

1. Use their form to generate 17 ready-to-mail requests to different direct mail companies. DoNotMail will take the data you enter and create a PDF document with all 17 letters ready to print and send. If you don't want to enter your personal info into a random site, you can use fake data and then download the PDF document for a reference to create your own letters.

2. Contact Opt-Out Prescreen online or at 1-888-567-8688 (888-5-OPT-OUT) from your home telephone .

3. Email your removal request to Abacus Direct at

3. Remove your name from ADVO Inc. by calling 1-888-241-6760 or completing the form at

4. Fill out the form on the Direct Marketing Association's website at

5. Email your removal request to Publishers Clearinghouse at

6. Get off Val-Pak's list by filing out the form at

7. To remove yourself from Acxiom's list, you must request a mail-in opt-out form by calling 1-877-774-2094.

8. notes, "Catalogs may stop coming when your other removal requests are processed, but you can always call the catalog company."

"Stop getting junk mail" []
"Phone numbers and websites to opt out of junk mail" []
(Photo: Joe Shlabotnik)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Judge Judy Bio

Sheindlin, Judith (Judge Judy) (1942-)

Judge. Born Judith Blum, in October 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. She attended American University in Washington D.C., and graduated in 1963. She continued her education at American University's Washington College of Law, where she was the only woman in a class of 126 students. She finished her law degree in New York, where she moved with her first husband in 1964.

In 1965, she obtained her law degree, passed the New York bar exam, and took a job as a corporate lawyer for a cosmetics firm. Dissatisfied with the role of a corporate lawyer, she left within two years to raise two children, Jamie and Adam. In 1972, a friend from law school told her of a job opening in the New York courts. She took the job and found herself in the role of prosecutor for the family court system. She prosecuted juvenile crime, domestic violence, and child abuse cases. She was quickly recognized as a sharp, no-nonsense attorney.

Her professional success, though, was being achieved at a high private price. In 1976, she left her first husband after 12 years of marriage. She struggled to be present for her children, even while handling her heavy workload of emotionally draining cases in the family courts.

Three months after her divorce, Judy met attorney Jerry Sheindlin; within a year, they were married, in 1978. By 1982, Sheindlin's growing reputation for assertiveness in court inspired Mayor Ed Koch to appoint her to a seat as a judge in criminal court just six months later. As a judge, she continued to blend sympathy for the underdog with withering contempt for the arrogant or devious. Four years later, she was promoted to the position of supervising judge in the Manhattan division of the family court.

In 1990, Judy's father Murray Blum died, at age 70; his death took a remarkable toll on her marriage to Jerry. They divorced -- with shocking suddenness. A year later, feeling the tug of family ties -- aside from her two children and his three, they now had two grandchildren -- along with the tug of terrible loneliness, Judy and Jerry got remarried. After remarrying, Judge Sheindlin settled firmly into a renewed mission to dispense justice firmly and fairly.

In February 1993, Sheindlein was profiled in the Los Angeles Times as a kind of hard-hitting legal super-heroine, determined to make the courts work for the common good. The Times piece was quickly followed by a profile on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. After her appearance on 60 Minutes, an agent for Judy approached Larry Lyttle, the president of Big Ticket Television, with the idea of doing a courtroom television program. Lyttle agreed and a pilot for the show was shot.

Sensing her growing connection with the American public, Sheindlin wrote the straight-talking Don't Pee On My Leg, and Tell Me It's Raining in 1996. Also in 1996, after 25 years of practicing in family court and hearing over 20,000 cases, Sheindlin retired. But with her fame spreading through newspapers and TV, a whole new incarnation of the straight-talking judge was about to appear.

In September 1996, Judge Judy first appeared in national syndication. The show rapidly established itself as a roaring success, largely based on the strength of Sheindlin’s powerful personality. In February 1999 Judge Judy won the No. 1 slot for syndicated shows. She even began to edge out Oprah in some major markets, including New York. By August 1999, the show averaged some 7 million viewers per week. Meanwhile, Sheindlin published a second book, Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever (1999) which became a New York Times best seller. She published her third book, Win or Lose by How You Choose, a guide for parents about teaching their children about decision-making, in early 2000.

The success of Judge Judy spawned the creation of numerous other daytime court shows, including Judge Joe Brown, Judge Hatchett and Judge Mathis. However, beginning in 2000, ratings for these programs were on the decline and by the 2007-08 season, Judge Judy had fallen to fourth among daytime television shows. Despite this relative drop in popularity, Judge Judy continues to be watched by some 10 million viewers daily.

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