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Which One Should You Choose: Free Or Paid Course?



The world has evolved and changed the way we see things. There is no doubt that technology and its progress have brought a number of opportunities in various areas of our lives that have made us use it to facilitate and improve the process. 

One area where technology has a major impact is education because what previously required payment for registration, graduation and physical presence in class, today can be simplified into clicks and, perhaps, online payment. 

Online education, or as it is known today, e-learning, has grown by 900% since 2000 and more companies or institutions are joining this practice, creating virtual courses with valuable content and easy access to those who want to gain new knowledge.

E-learning got so advanced that various learning methods were introduced for students, making their learning process more efficient and fun. For example, If you want to learn digital programming, you might use a learning path that will give you the tools you need, including a roadmap of learning digital development. 

Better retention of knowledge

The Research Institute of America has stated that e-learning increases knowledge retention rates by up to 60%, while face-to-face retention rates average 8% to 10%. Thanks to the virtual course, you can see, listen to or read as much lesson material as needed. This will allow you to better understand the content provided, in addition, if you have chosen the right time and place to do your virtual course, your brain will be more willing to store information. Today, you have a lot of choices in taking virtual courses, and broadly speaking, they are divided into two: free courses and the paid ones. But which ones should you choose from? Here are some considerations:

Free Courses vs. Paid Courses

Free Courses Pros:

Lower costs: This is probably one of the most prominent benefits. Unlike paid virtual courses, with free courses, you don’t need to pay for registration.

Faster access: Thanks to free virtual courses you can access your classes faster and easier because you don’t need to make payments and/or wait for confirmation.

Free Courses Cons:

Certification: Most free virtual courses do not provide certificates or documents that validate that you have completed your studies, therefore, it will be very difficult to include them in your resume.

Lack of recognition: Although there are recognized institutions and entities that bet on virtual education and offer free courses to users, the reality is that most free online courses are made by companies and/or people who do not have enough authority to share knowledge.

Paid Courses Pros:

Greater prestige and validity: Virtual courses, for the most part, are carried out by companies or organizations that have prestige at the education level or authority in the region, for this reason, they are considered to have capability in providing quality content that will be recognized by the company when applying for a new position.

International Certification: Most paid virtual courses give you certificates with international applications and validity on LinkedIn. This will undoubtedly make your professional profile far more attractive to companies and recruiters. Imagine your online education certificates are considered valuable by most recruiters!

It’s easier to find the course you want: Many free courses don’t really teach specific materials that are really needed. Instead, paid courses usually present specific materials. If you only receive “general materials” why pay a high price?

Ease of learning: The point is that most paid courses provide a learning system that allows you to study comfortably and structured. If you are a free education provider why should you go to the trouble of providing a structured learning system?

Recommendations: Some paid courses actually recommend each student to their recruiters in collaboration. In other words, your chances are getting bigger.

Paid Courses Cons:

Fees: Paid virtual courses, as the name implies, require fees for registration or certification. In many cases, this expenditure can be the same or even greater than the face-to-face program at the university. Therefore, you need to analyze the benefits it offers and if it really is worth investing.

But when compared to the benefits you might get; these costs can be considered cheap. Why? Paid virtual courses, in large part, offer 24/7 online chat where you can resolve any doubts you have about a particular topic, job, workshop, or anything related to your online course. And once again, forget the costs of gasoline, congestion, paper costs and so on that might require you to spend a lot of money.

So which one should you choose? Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but if you are really serious and want to use your knowledge in the real field, the paid course is the best choice. You get what you pay for!

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Food and Drink

White Wine for Summer Send Off




It is hard to believe that summer is officially wrapping up. But as days get shorter there is still plenty of time to toast the season in style with these favorite white wines.

Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Chardonnay 2019

This refreshing chardonnay crisp apple and crunchy peach flavors is electrifying and oh, so yummy! It brings out the feeling of velvet caressing you. This is simmply all of the best the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County has to offer.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc


Divinely balanced wine with zesty aromas and highlights of pink grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. It refreshing and perfectly sweet. Every sip will have you singing praises to the wonderful summer you just had.

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Beatles Brunch at City Winery Where Strawberry Fields Lives Forever



I was taken to City Winery by Eli Marcus for the Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields.
This show plays every Sunday with an unlimited brunch buffet that includes coffee, tea and juice, starting at noon. A bottomless brunch cocktail package is also available and children get in free. Here tourists mingle with New Yorkers, eating scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, dried out French toast, spicy potatoes with onions and peppers, perfectly done chicken, salad and fresh fruit. What is so nice, is that everyone seems happy to to be here, to see and hear the Fab Four.

Eli Marcus, Suzanna Bowling

The show starts off without fan fare. The lights dim and four men enter, not quite looking like the originals. Tony Garofalo (John Lennon), Billy J. Ray (Paul McCartney), Ira Siegel (George Harrison), and Michael Bellusci (Ringo Starr) and their costumes and wigs have seen better days. Then the music starts. You can watch one of our video’s here.

From the early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Ticket To Ride” “Eight Days A Week” and more the first act is nostalgia at it’s best. It was adorable to watch the audience, especially the young ones “Twist and Shout.”

After a break in came the Sergeant Pepper era, clothing and all. From that we got “Nowhere Man,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “When I’m 64,” “Penny Lane” and songs that dig into your soul. They are done well and the Beatles live again. You can see our video here.

Then the later songs like “I Am The Walrus” and “Don’t Let Me Down” end a show that is almost two hour long of music, that is classic. I have to admit I wanted to hear “Blackbird” and “Norwegian Wood,” but what you get is a  well rounded assortment of those songs that shaped several era’s.

Billy J. Ray, Ira Siegel

Ira Siegel stands out with his guitar playing that is out of this world. I really loved all the songs he sang as well.

Michael Bellusci

Michael Bellusci, gives Ringo a run for his money on the drums.

Tony Garofalo

Tony Garofalo is the founder, creator and producer playing rhythm and lead guitar and singing lead vocals along with Alan LeBoeuf from the original Beatlemania playing bass guitar. Ray looks the most like the Beatle he is playing.

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf

Strawberry Fields has been covering The Beatles for over three decades. They used to have a residency at B.B. Kings, but these days their home base is City Winery and it is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday. All four are consummate musicians and obviously have a love for what they do and that rubs off on their audience.

For a souvenir up a City Winery Strawberry Fields Rose Wine and have it signed by the cast. With its is its strawberry pink color, you get a combination of kiwi, watermelon and the taste of strawberry that lingers.

City Winery is right next to Little Island, Chelsea Market, The Highline, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and West Village. Everything is nearby to make a perfect outing for the whole day and this is one brunch where you definitely get your money’s worth. Click HERE for tickets

Tickets are $65.45

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A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street



Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.

Eli Marcus

Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.

The producers of The Shark Must Be Broken, Eli Marcus and the general manager of Dave and Buster’s

There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Maddie of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime


This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.

All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.


Pretzel Dogs

To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.

Margarita and I playing for Make A Wish

If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.

Double Pepperoni Flatbread


BBQ Chicken Flatbread

This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.

Fire-Grilled Atlantic Salmon

Boneless Wings

Chocolate- and caramel-filled churros with chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces.

I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.

Margarita Parlionas and Eli Marcus

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Book Reviews

We’re Here to Help – When Guardianship Goes Wrong



This happened to Britney Spares, as well as Frances Rappaport, Libra Max  and countless other loved ones who became victimized by a system that was supposed to protect them.
Diane Dimond uses compelling stories of real people, like Frances Rappaport, Libra Max and countless others to pull back the curtain on a guardianship system shrouded in secrecy, where power, greed and influence all too often intersect with devastating consequences.
 A powerful book.

-Kent Walz, attorney & journalist

Diane Dimond’s book on the scourge of abusive adult guardianships is coming out very soon. It only took her 8 long years of investigation and countless interviews with affected people to get to the bottom of this extremely flawed part of the justice system.

People who have lived through this nightmare knows first hand what this “protective” part of the court system can do to rip apart families. But because it’s such a secretive system few Americans realize that they – or someone they love – could be guardianized without warning. It’s not just Britney Spears – up to 2 million people currently live under guardianship/court control.

All it takes is for someone (a vindictive relative, a greedy business partner, a former lover, even a landlord) to file a guardianship petition with the court saying someone is not competent to care for themselves. The judge usually agrees – often without ever seeing the targeted person – and the guardianship is established. Judges routinely appoint a total stranger as guardian to make all life decisions for the new “ward of the court.” All their civil rights are stripped away and, suddenly, the person has no say in their own life –they can’t even hire their own lawyer to fight it. There are many more horrific aspects to this “justice” system and Ms. Dimond spells it all out in the book.

We’re Here to Help – When Guardianship Goes Wrong not only reveals the predatory nature of the system (which controls a collective $50 billion in ward’s money every year!) but also tells what to look out for. It provides a guide for readers to protect themselves and those they love.

Diane Dimond is the author of four books including the upcoming, “We’re Here to Help: When Guardianship Goes Wrong, published by Brandeis University Press, released Sept. 19, 2023


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Voices: Stars for Foster Kids



On September 18th at 7:00 PM at The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, Voices: Stars for Foster Kids a musical benefit for You Gotta Believe, a NYC organization specializing in helping older foster youth find permanent, loving families will take place. Hosted by SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, expect a plethora of Broadway stars and performers, who will come together to celebrate the power of love and family.

Performers include; Rosie Perez, Bellamy Young, Ta’ Nika Gibson, Charlotte d’Amboise and Terrence Mann, Sharon Catherine Brown, Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould, Krysta Rodriguez, Anika Larsen, Norm Lewis, Gracie McGraw, Patina Miller, Brenda Braxton

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