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Favorite Haunts: 10 Spooky Sites You Have to See

via Google Images From witchy Salem to haunted Wild West hotels, we’ve crossed the country to find you the creepiest road trip destinations....

Bursting Oil Bubbles

Well that didnt take long.Only one day after oil traders were looking for oil to breakthrough to $53 dollars a barrel on its way to $60, a rally of $1.30 a barrel Wednesday was completely erased by Thursday.Not that oil hasn't managed remarkably to scrape its way from the mid $40's to the low $50s in the last few weeks, but it will need more than rumours and hype over last week's U.S. oil inventory and possible OPEC production freezes to see crude take flight....

New airline regulations would require baggage fee refunds for delayed luggage

Airline passengers are about to get new consumer protections under measures being rolled out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The new measures include efforts to institute a requirement for airlines to refund checked baggage fees when bags are substantially delayed. Congress passed a bill in July to require refunds for delayed bags.

The DOT will also consider a new rule to require airlines and ticket agents to list prices with fees for extra services alongside fares.

“Airline passengers deserve to have access to clear and complete information about the airlines they choose to fly and to expect fair and reasonable treatment when they fly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a written statement.

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The moves by the DOT come after an executive order issued by President Barack Obama directing federal agencies to consider how to better inform consumers and relieve burdens on competition.

Another requirement will call for large U.S. airlines to report how often they mishandle wheelchairs.

And online travel sites will be prohibited from displaying flights with bias toward certain airlines without disclosing that bias.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it has agreements with the most popular online travel agencies, but said some online travel agencies “have proven to have misleading, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices.

Under the new federal measures, airlines will also be required to provide a clearer window into their operations, including figures on the total number of mishandled bags and checked bags, rather than only reports of mishandled bags and total passengers. They will also be required to report data on flights reported by domestic code-share partners.

Delta said it welcomes “refreshed reporting around baggage handling,” and said it has invested in baggage handling reliability. The airline also said it welcomes the code-share partner reporting requirements and prohibition of fare bias, and said it continues “to advocate for full transparency of the price of the ticket.”

Airline industry group Airlines for America said portions of the administration’s proposal could drive up the cost of air travel.

“Dictating to the airline industry distribution and commercial practices would only benefit those third parties who distribute tickets, not the flying public,” Airlines for America president Nicholas Calio said in a written statement.

Should Income Define Your Insurance Premiums More Than Your Driving Record?

via Pixabay

Drive safely, submit few claims and we’ll all pay less for insurance: that’s what we grew up thinking, and that’s what many of us have passed along to our kids. It’s perfectly rational, but it’s far from the real deal (and far from what insurance companies want us to believe).


EIA report: Crude oil inventories plummet as imports sag

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.Here are some highlights:CRUDE INVENTORIES:Crude oil inventories decreased by 5.2 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 468.7 MMbbl. At 468.7 MMbbl, inventories are 24.1 MMbbl above last year (5.4%) and are near the above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Inventories at major delivery point Cushing, OK fell 1.6 MMbbl to a total of 59.7 million barrels. GASOLINE INVENTORIES:Gasoline inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels to a total of 228.0 MMbbl. At 228.0 MMbbl, inventories are up 8.2 MMbbl, 3.7% higher than a year ago and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+3.0 MMbbl); Midwest (+1.3 MMbbl); Gulf Coast (-2.2 MMbbl); Rockies (+0.2 MMbbl); and West Coast (+0.2 MMbbl). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:Distillate inventories decreased by 1.2 MMbbl to a total of 155.7 MMbbl. At 155.7 MMbbl, inventories are up 10.7 MMbbl, or 7.4% vs. a year ago....

IEA's Birol questions OPEC's potential production cut

Where OPEC is concerned, be careful about what you read, and even more careful about what you believe...  On Tuesday last week at 4:41 am the Associated Press reported that "The International Energy Agency is urging OPEC countries to swiftly deliver on promised production cuts if they want to see a sustained increase in oil prices that will also help shore up their economies."And on the same day, less than eight hours later, IEA's chief economist and executive director, Fatih Birol, said Russia prefers a price "freeze", not a production "cut" and said that a resulting OPEC price increase from a freeze or a cut could "lead to more U.S. production" which is generally understood to represent the precursor to global oil prices trending lower.Birol told Bloomberg News that discussions of production cuts may be counter-productive to OPEC objectives. Instead, he suggested: "Let the market forces of supply and demand decide." ...

"Convenient" Costumes"

“Convenient” CostumesAre you struggling to figure out an easy, funny Halloween costume that won’t break the bank? Head on over to your local…convenience store? That’s right, the same place you pick up your beef jerky and lottery tickets also has everything you need to create the perfect “punny” costume that will be the talk (or the snack) of the party. If you have a plain t-shirt and plain pants or jeans, you’re all set to create these convenient costumes!“All That and a Bag of Chips”It doesn’t get much easier than this! Print out a piece of paper with “ALL THAT” on it (or if you’re lacking a printer, handwrite it out) and tape it to yourself. Then, carry around a bag of chips with you—we went with plain potato here, but feel free to make it your own: tortilla chips and a sombrero, BBQ chips and a cowboy hat, etc. Convenience Store Supplies: A bag of chips Other Supplies: Tape, piece of paper, marker or printer Estimated Cost: $3.50“Cereal Killer”This one requires carrying around a couple of items and working on your “crazed, maniacal” look in the mirror, but it’s also the most low-maintenance in terms of clothing. You can basically wear anything you’d like, from a t-shirt and jeans to a blood-stained (okay, ketchup-stained) lab coat; go as scary or as basic as you feel! And don’t forget to remove the bag of cereal BEFORE you stab it with the knife…you don’t want to waste a delicious breakfast for the next day! Convenience Store Supplies: A box of cereal Other Supplies: Kitchen knife, ketchup (optional) Estimated Cost: $4“Cheese Wiz(ard)”You’re a cheese wizard, Harry! Head to the refrigerated section of the c-store and grab a couple of snack cheeses to tape to your body, draw a lightning scar on your forehead, don some glasses and a wand and you’re magically transformed into this treat! Don’t want to draw on your face, or maybe you just don’t have a wand lying around? Grab a calculator instead and voila—now ow you’re a cheese “whiz!” Convenience Store Supplies: Assorted wrapped cheeses Other Supplies: Tape (scotch and/or duct), glasses (optional), wand (optional), makeup pencil (optional) *Estimated Cost: $6“Candy Rapper”The beauty of this classic costume is that you can play it up or dress it down as much as you like, depending on your commitment level; add some foil to your teeth and carry a boombox if you want to really go 100%, or just tape the candy to a t-shirt if you’re looking for something simple. Bonus: you are your own supply of candy for the night! Convenience Store Supplies: Assorted loose candy with wrappers Other Supplies: Tape (scotch and/or duct), baseball hat (optional), chain necklaces (optional), hoodie (optional) *Estimated Cost: $11“Pop Star”Finally, this is definitely the most time-consuming and most expensive, but if you’re a crafty person, the payoff might be too good to pass up! Drink, dump, or empty the soda pop bottles and then arrange them into a star shape, using duct tape to keep it all together. It’s going to take 10 bottles to make the star, so you better be thirsty (or have some thirsty friends to help you out_. Grab a microphone—we used one from a video game—and tuck the wires into your back pocket. Practice your boy band moves and/or dive expressions to really sell it! Convenience Store Supplies: 10 bottles of soda Other Supplies: Duct tape, microphone (optional) Estimated Cost: $17*Prices based on Quick Chek costs and may vary, depending on your local stores, availability of items, etc....

Autumn Swoon Kicks In, Gasoline Prices Trend Lower

Gasoline prices are on their way back down—at least for now—according to price-tracker GasBuddy.com. The national average fell 2.4 cents in the last week to $2.23 per gallon, while diesel prices rose an average of 1.9 cents to $2.42 per gallon. Oil prices fell $1 per barrel last week, but maintained the $50-per-barrel level due to concern over the likelihood of OPEC and non-OPEC countries cutting oil production in the weeks ahead. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil did not close once under $50 last week, solidifying a new floor at the higher price for the time being.


NY's flawed toll collection adds burden for law-abiding commuters

Image From . / Wes HillEarlier this year a cashless toll system took effect at New York's Tappan Zee Bridge which spans the Hudson River and offers access to the greater NY metro area for more than 138,000 vehicles daily.That money is pretty important because to finish the bridge project the state estimates it will cost nearly $4 billion.  They need every dime they can get. The only problem is, the state's toll collection system doesn't effectively collect tolls.  Between 2010 and 2014, nearly $11 million went uncollected at Thruway toll booths, the records showed, an increase of 11 percent over that span.  But eventually that 'chump change' adds up. Does anybody want to take a wild guess about who pays for the bridge to be completed, and who pays more when the tolls are not adequately collected? ...

This Is in Tents: The 10 Best Camping Locales

From nature hikes and fly fishing, to s’mores and ghost stories around the fire, we’ve discovered the best campgrounds for your perfect fall adventure. Plus, we’ve included tips for first-timers and adventurers alike—and checked out tents, tipis and yurts (yes, yurts)—to make your trip complete. ...

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