Top 500 most visited webpages (that are not porn)

I just read this interesting article about new webpages. According to the author, more than 9 out of every 10 new webpages gets no traffic from Google.

No surprise there.

But:

Inside this article, the author links to a spreadsheet of the top 500 most visited webpages.

I just took a quick scroll through the list – which sure is eyeopening:

Lots of illegal stuff (for example downloading YouTube videos, converting YouTube videos to mp3, and downloading torrents). There are lots of people looking into fixing their bad credit. Clearly, people love playing games. And more people gravitate to an endless parade of vapid stuff.

Interesting. I LOVE looking at big data.

How to skip hotel taxes (almost) every time

I met up with a cool pilot (Brad) at the airport tonight. He asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a professional life hacker. Out of the blue, he served up this nifty money-saving tip:

Use hotel points’ programs to save on hotel taxes.

Many of us rush to spend money on airline frequent flyer programs, but we are routinely paying for costs like taxes and airport fees.

But in most cases, paying for a hotel with points skips local taxes. And this really pays off on expensive properties.

Beware though: some hotels charge tax on the cash part of “points and cash”.

Vermont will pay us $10,000 to move there and work from home

It seems the state of Vermont is looking to bribe younger people to move into their beautiful state:

Starting in 2019, Vermont will pay people who move there and work remotely for an out-of-state employer $10,000 over two years to cover relocation expenses, coworking memberships, computers, internet, and other work-related expenses. Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill into law on Wednesday (May 30).

The northeastern US state of 625,000 people has gorgeous landscapes, great ski slopes—and a rapidly shrinking tax base. Vermont is aging faster than the rest of the US population, an economic crisis that has prompted some creative solutions from state officials. In addition to the remote worker plan, Vermont has also launched a program called “Stay to Stay Weekends” aimed at convincing the state’s 13 million annual tourists to relocate there. Visitors who plan their trips during one of the four designated weekends from April to October can network with employers, entrepreneurs, and realtors.

The first-come, first-served remote worker grants are only available to new residents who relocate on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Vermont has budgeted grants for about 100 new remote workers in the first three years of the program and about 20 additional workers per year for every year after. But if you really want to make sure that life in the Green Mountain State is for you, schedule a visit in the winter first.

Click here to read the bill…

Is sodium bisulfite making us all violently sick?

Every time I add even the tiniest amount of Sriracha hot sauce to my food, I get violently ill.

It happened again last night. I made the best hamburgers ever (recipe coming soon). And I mixed a few drops of Sriracha sauce into my homemade mayo and BAM – I was rushing to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I get the same issues every time. I wake up after barfing in my mouth. It includes an extreme burning sensation – even includes a scary bout of shortness of breath.

(TIP: My fix for this is downing a quick gulp of this Apple Cider Vinegar chased with a glass of room-temperature water. This combo eases the pain in a matter of minutes.)

A quick search of the Internets seems to have found the reason for my distress. This Reddit thread ultimately points to sodium bisulfite as the potential issue. Sodium bisulfite is a food additive to prevent browning. Sodium bisulfite is also commonly used to sterilize winemaking equipment.

So I searched sodium bisulfite on Google. And I stumbled upon this rather eye-opening Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet (PDF).

Holy CRAP!

It appears Sodium Hydrogen Sulfite includes a cocktail of hazardous health issues – even in the smallest amounts.

So the good news is I will avoid hot sauce with sodium bisulfite. The bad news is: why does our government’s Food and Drug Administration consider sodium bisulfite Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)?