Ian Axel

If you're a Billy Joel and/or Ben Folds fan like I am, you're going to love upcoming singer/songwriter Ian Axel.

I had the pleasure of seeing Ian perform last night at Rockwood Music Hall and it was just an awesome performance.

Check out his main page here: IanAxel.com
and his MySpace page where you can listen to some of his songs here: http://www.myspace.com/ianaxel

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America Plunged Into the Horror of "The Deep V-Neck"

Disturbing new trend emerging among the male of the species these days: the deep V-neck T-shirt. We're not talking about the ratty white Hanes with the yellow-stained armpits that your dad used to wear while cleaning the garage. No, this is a far more insidious epidemic, recognizable by its long, deep V, supple fabric, and retro color schemes.

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RIP George Carlin

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Look at those moves!

For those of you who don't know the person in the video, feel free to ignore this post. For those of you who do....ENJOY!

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Freakonomics: How Cops Really Want to Police

From the police: We like to play gladiator. You know what I mean? Let two gangs beat each other up without weapons, and the winner gets to deal on the corner. Or, we grab a bunch of muggers, or maybe two crews who steal cars, and tell them, “Okay, you all fight each other — the one still standing gets to avoid jail.”

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The Top Entrepreneurs Of The Internet & Where They Blog.

It's a list.

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Put your face on an M&M!

For a while now you've been able to purchase a customized bag of M&M's but you were limited to a little bit of text. Now, M&M's has announced that you can now customize bags of M&M's with images too!

Visit MyMMs.com to upload pictures and create your own custom bag of M&M's. Pretty cool if you ask me.

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Maxed Out on Showtime - Watch it

On Sunday morning I ended up watching Maxed Out, a documentary that attempts to uncover the nastiness that we know as our credit lending industry. From Showtime's website:

"This revealing documentary blows the lid off abusive consumer lending practices that find some banks, mortgage lenders and credit card companies knowingly extending high-interest products to debtors that are bad credit risks in hopes of foreclosing on their homes or reaping other "obscenely profitable" benefits from drowning their own customers in a sea of debt."

If you haven't already seen it, you must site down and watch it because it'll blow your mind. Not only will you be amazed at the insane practices of the credit and banking industries, but you'll be amazed at how our government has 1) done nothing about it and 2) gotten themselves into their own debt crisis where even they can barely pay their monthly minimum on their debt.

The problem seems to be twofold to me. First, you have the credit card companies offering credit to people who shouldn't be getting credit. These credit card companies make their money off of late fees and interest payments and WANT you to be late. If you're the type of person who pays off their balance in full each month, you're worthless because the credit cards aren't making any money from you.

The second problem is the lack of consumer education. Just look at how many college students get themselves into massive amounts of debt because they signed up for a credit card to get a free t-shirt, only to find themselves in thousands of dollars of debt months later because they don't understand how credit cards work. Since efforts to ban credit card companies from college campuses have failed, maybe the solution is to require credit card companies to hold educational classes to any student that it signs up on campus and students won't be able to receive actual cards until they've taken the educational course.

All in all, the documentary was eye opening, saddening and educational. I don't know if people in other countries have the same type of debt issues that we do here, but our debt problem is growing and doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

(if you don't have Showtime, you can purchase Maxed Out on Amazon.com)

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A Flashy Facebook Page, at a Cost to Privacy

Facebook fanatics who have covered their profiles on the popular social networking site with silly games and quirky trivia quizzes may be unknowingly giving a host of strangers an intimate peek at their lives.

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Republicans Block Extra Taxes On Oil Companies

Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies, despite pleas by Democratic leaders to use the measure to address America's anger over $4 a gallon gasoline. The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster and bring the energy package up for consideration.

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Mainstream media yawns as Kucinich offers impeachment

On Monday evening, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to read out 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in an almost five-hour marathon. Kucinich's action made an immediate splash on the Internet, but the mainstream media were far more reticent in their coverage.

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The Million Dollar Question = The CafePress Marketplace

Well, you'd think it was the million dollar question if you saw how many times a day someone posts something along the lines of "I just added my design, how long until it shows up in the marketplace?" or "How do I get my designs to the front of the marketplace?" or....well....you get the point.

The ever curious CafePress marketplace. It's huge, it's successful, and the question is, how do you get your designs to sell from there when you're competing with millions of other designs? You upload a design, add all the appropriate tags, make some great products, and then you wait....and wait....and wait.........and wait..........and still, nothing. So you go to the marketplace and start searching for your design. You put in one of those great tags you used for your image and yet, you still don't see your design. Page after page, you click, and look, and click, and look, and you don't see it. So you go to the CafePress forums and say, "My designs aren't showing up in the marketplace. Something is wrong, the system is broken."

Is that true? Is the marketplace broken?

No, It's not.

So we're back at square one. The million dollar question...how do you get your designs to show in the marketplace (in a good position of course) so that you can sell tons of shirts and make lots and lots of money.

The answer? You can't.

Almost every time someone posts this question on the CafePress forums, I leave the same response. I'm tired of writing it out, so I figured I'd once and for all write it out here on the BurnTees blog. Remember, this is my personal opinion. It's not fact, it's just the way I feel about the whole thing.

You mainly sell your designs from two places. Your site and the marketplace. Of those two, there's only one that you have any control over, and that's your shop. You have NO control over the marketplace. You don't decide which designs show up where, what gets featured, which shops show up on the front page...nothing. In your own shop however, you decide on the layout, you write your own descriptions, fill in your keywords and do everything else to make your shop look and work the way you want. So, why waste time worrying about the marketplace?

Here's how I look at the marketplace and I think this is how you should look at it too. The marketplace is one giant affiliate. It's a separate entity that's interested in making money by selling other people's designs and hopefully they sell some of yours for you as well. The nice part? You don't lose 15% of your commission every time they sell one of your shirts.

You wouldn't try to locate an affiliate and say, "why aren't my designs on your site?" So why question the marketplace in the same way? Instead, spend your time working on your own shop. Drive traffic to YOUR site. Why focus on the marketplace where you're competing with millions of other designs? If you drive traffic to your own site, you have a much better chance of selling one of your own products and isn't that the point?

In the end, my feeling is this. Sales from the marketplace should be viewed as a bonus, not an expected thing and not something you can work to improve. If you view it as a bonus or an affiliate sale and nothing more than that, I think that you'll be better off in the long run.

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NFL- New York Giants - The Road to Super Bowl XLII (2008) - $28.99 at Amazon

Amazon is offering an awesome deal right now. Right now you can get the dvd "NFL- New York Giants - The Road to Super Bowl XLII (2008)" for just $28.99. That's $10.99 off the retail price.

From Amazon:
"The complete network broadcast of Super Bowl XLII along with both playoff victories of the 2008 Super Bowl winner. The most-watched single annual event in television and a must for any serious fan of the winning team.Running Time: 614 min.Format: DVD MOVIE"

A 4 dvd set for $28.99? Sounds awesome, I'm ordering mine now. Use the link below to purchase your DVD.

NFL- New York Giants - The Road to Super Bowl XLII (2008)

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BurnTees on Tuesday Teez

We're proud to announce that one of our new designs is featured this week on the new site TuesdayTeez.com. They featured our new "Bring Back the Dunce Cap" design which is definitely a personal favorite of mine. In case you don't about TuesdayTees, they're a fairly new site that looks to feature new tees from around the internet each Tuesday (obviously!). From the site:

"Join us every Tuesday as we spotlight some of the most creative t-shirt designs on the web today. Take your time and look around…you never know what you’ll find, so be sure to come back each week as we add new stuff to the pile. Enjoy!"

We're excited to be featured and we look forward to be featured again in the future! Thanks TuesdayTeez!

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A former high-ranking member of the CIA, now retired, who was a career employee, contacted us this week. Due to our reporting on Halliburton and their corruption we were given 46 pages of testimony on how Halliburton, the CIA, the Pentagon and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have been stealing billions of dollars.

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31 Summer Trips That Won't Break Your Budget

Here are 31 options — from river rafting in eastern Oregon to biking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire — for a great summer vacation. Not one involves the terrifying conversion of dollars into euros, many can be enjoyed without ever getting on a plane, and the road trips are ones that actually justify filling up your tank.

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