Game time countdown! Pre-Super Bowl fun


For the last three years, Teddy the Porcupine has correctly predicted the Super Bowl winners. Will he keep his winning streak going with his 2015 pre=game prediction?

We can’t get enough bad lip-reading clips – here’s the 2015 edition.

The older cat teaches baby kitten what to expect on Super Bowl day – it’s a commercial, but a darn cute one.

If football isn’t your thing, don’t forget about Puppy Bowl XI – here’s a preview and a little pregame analysis.

Speaking of commercials, here are some picks for the 10 best Super Bowl ads of all time as well as 5 of the biggest blunders over the years. If you don’t want to wait to see what will be unveiled this year, you can check out the 2015 Super Bowl ads in advance right from your computer.

As for snacks, we’ll have trouble finding a better suggestion than our prior advice on Building a Super Bowl Snack Stadium. Here are 8 more Super bowl snackadiums if you’d lie some variations.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, you want to ensure that things stay fun — take a few minutes to review this handy guide on Social Host Liability.

Blizzard damage: what your insurance covers


It was one for the record books for many in New England. When assessing damage, the Insurance Information Institute reminds us that:

“Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow, severe cold and freezing rain,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer of the I.I.I. “Car accidents caused by slippery road conditions are also covered under standard auto insurance policies.”

See Concerned About Winter Storm Damage To Your Home Or Car? I.I.I. Reviews What’s Covered by Your Insurance – call your local independent agent if you have questions.

New England begins is digging out today. When digging out, remember to clear your exhaust pipes in your car and your home.

Here’s a retrospect of a few storm-related images.

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New England Blizzard Watch Toolkit


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We’re expecting a severe weather event later today that will measure the snow in feet, not inches. According to most reports, snow will begin this afternoon, intensify during the evening, continue all day tomorrow and taper off either overnight or early Wednesday. It’s been classified as a blizzard  — and in case you need a name to curse, this storm has been dubbed “Juno.”

NWS Taunton Skywarn offers the Latest NWS Graphics on the potentially historic blizzard, noting that “Accumulating snows arrives this afternoon & impacts the late day commute across RI & Eastern MA. Then heavy snow arrives later tonight into Tue morning with historic snowfall possible before the storm pulls away late Tue night or early Wed. In addition Hurricane Force Wind gusts are likely across Cape Cod & the Islands late tonight into Tue morning. This will likely result in down tree limbs and at least scattered power outages.”

As of this morning, more than 2,000 flights have been cancelled. CNN offers info on What you need to know if you’re traveling

We’ve been tracking developments on our New England weather twitter feed, a compilation of breaking tweets from regional meteorologists – Twitter is a great source for breaking news so if you don’t have the app on your phone, you may want to think about doing that pre-storm. For a view beyond New England, meteorologist Eric Holthaus offers a go-to weather climate list of hundreds of weather watchers.

Here are resources to have handy as the storm approaches:

National Weather Service – (NWS Twitter)

State Emergency Departments – websites / Twitter feeds

Connecticut  – (@CTDEMHS)

Maine – (@MaineEMA)

Massachusetts – (@MassEMA)

New Hampshire – (@NH_HSEM)

Rhode Island – (@RhodeIslandEMA)

Vermont – (@vemvt)

Handy tips

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide – emergency tips for before, during and after a storm

Winter Storm Preparedness – Red Cross

Power Outages During Cold Weather

Preventing frozen pipes: tips from the experts

Winter fires (PDF)

Before and after winter storms: advance planning and filing claims

Snow shoveling and snow removal safety

Sharing the road with snow plows & more winter driving tips

Are you ready for snowy, icy roads? Hone your winter driving skills

Winter Driving Tips

The Idiots on Ladders Award


Unsafe ladder use

It’s usually fun to win a contest, but here’s one contest we hope you never win: the annual Idiots on Ladders Contest. This dubious distinction is a recognition by the UK’s Ladder Association, which solicits entries all year on their Facebook page. You can see a gallery of photos this year’s “Biggest idiot” along with several runners up at EHS Today, a publication aimed at health & safety safety professionals.

While this might seem like a laughing matter at first glance, the reality is that this “award” is a clever way to call attention to a serious issue. Here in the U.S., falls are the second leading causes of accidental home-related deaths and the leading cause of deaths on construction sites. Many of these are ladder related. Note the statistics from Consumer Reports, Don’t let a ladder be your downfall:

“Whether it’s cleaning your gutters or hanging holiday decorations, you might have to climb a ladder to get the job done this fall. But be careful: Nearly 200,000 emergency-room visits and 300 deaths are linked to ladder accidents every year, and most people who fell didn’t have anybody holding the ladder below them.

The typical accident victim is a 55-year-old man who falls nearly 10 feet, according to a study of more than 27,000 trauma patients published this month in the Journal of Surgical Research. Reaching too far and placing the ladder in the wrong spot are the most common causes of those accidents. “

Don’t try to win this award! If you use ladders at home, there are many great buying guides, safety tips and free ladder safety training programs online – many ladder manufacturers offer great resources. You can find safety information with simple search, but we’ve picked out a few.

Ladder buying guide – Consumer Reports

Ladder Safety – detailed tips from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors – a good guide for home repair

Portable Ladder Safety – OSHA

Do’s and Don’ts of Ladder Climbing – a pictorial guide from Werner

Ladder Safety Posters from Worksafe BC – intended for work, but good visuals for homeowners too

The little-known fire hazard of 9-volt batteries


9-voltThere’s a hidden safety hazard in 9-volt batteries that most people probably don’t know about. Don’t learn the hard way – watch Dave’s real life drama of a destroyed home. He, his family and his pets all got out safely, but you can see the total damage to his home. Now Dave has a mission of telling his story so that other people don’t make the mistake that he made. Here’s a 9-volt battery safety tip sheet from the NFPA.

In the second and third videos, Dave shares his scary experience during the fire and breaks down the many mistakes he made that could have cost him his life  — he’s hoping that his mistakes will be a life-saving lesson for others. If you take a few minutes to watch the videos, you will probably learn some safety tips that you might never have considered – we did! Plus, Dave also encourages everyone to keep a home inventory, an idea we endorse! .