How to stop a runaway horse & other vintage life hacks from days of yore


We thought we’d ease you back to the work week with a fun post on vintage life hacks. The Internet loves “life hacks” – tips, tricks and shortcuts to solve everyday problems or help you increase efficiency. We’ve carried some previously here on this blog – see Handy household hacks: creative uses for everyday products and Everyday products you’ve probably been using wrong.

Back in the olden days (yes, there was life before the Internet, kids), “life hacks” were often called “household hints” and were often featured in newspaper and magazine columns. But before that, in the Victorian era, there were “trade cards.” Trade cards were typically two-sided cards with art on one side and information on the other side. The content could be fun, humorous, useful or handy. They were an important part of pop culture of the day. The goal was to carry an advertiser’s brand and get people to collect the entire series. Cigarette manufacturers eagerly seized on trade cards as a way to spark repeat purchases.

Here’s a link to a gallery of vintage household hints from Gallaher’s Cigarettes of Belfast & London on such useful topics as how to make a fire extinguisher, how to extract a splinter, how to clean real lace and how to stop a runaway horse. We’ve excerpted a few below.

Other advertiser’s also produced “how-to” trade cards of household hints. Check the site’s sidebar to explore more topics.

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How to blow a brick over

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How to treat squeaky boots

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The true meaning of Friday: Fun animal videos!


While we always like to talk insurance, sometimes you need to focus on the real reason the Internet was invented: amazing animal videos. Normally, we’re partial to cute cats and dogs, but we want to give the rest of the animal kingdom equal time. Here’s a collection of a few of our animal clip finds to kick off your weekend.

Mostly when we see cows, they’re just standing around. But not on the first day of spring when the farmer lets them out of the barn – they dance and leap after having been cooped up. We know how they feel!

Seals are apparently just the doggies of the ocean!

Many of us are worried about privacy issues – this chimpanzee is taking matters in his own hands. Hope the drone was insured.

There’s a zoo in Japan that offers a spa day for its capybaras on the coldest day each winter. It looks like fun!

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.

How to talk like a pirate


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In honor of international Talk Like a Pirate Day which is celebrated on September 19 every year, we’re offering some lessons in pirate speak in the video below or you can check out the pirate glossary. Buccaneers and landlubbers alike should keep an eye out for pirate booty offers on your social media timelines. We heard that visiting a local Krispy Kreme today and ordering in pirate speak will get you a free donut; visiting in full pirate regalia will get you a dozen free donuts. If you need help looking the part, try pirate fashions.

Internet pirates are fun, but the real thing is another story indeed. If you are in a global shipping or maritime industry, you may need insurance coverage against piracy. If your travel needs are more pedestrian, trip insurance might be just the thing – take the travel insurance quiz. For questions about piracy coverage or any other form of risk management, find a local independent insurance agent near you.

More funny insurance ads to start your week


It’s back to business and back to school after the long holiday weekend. We thought that one way to gentle you back into the work week would be to post a few ads from our humor file.

The first is a cute one-minute “ad-nimation” – a clever promotion for certified general accountants in Quebec.

SHEEP from Guillaume Blanchet I Filmmaker on Vimeo.

The second is a post from Central Beheer an insurance company located in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, a firm that is renowned for its clever advertisng.