By Jim Roope, CNN
(CNN) - Some smart phone apps are created for fun, others created out of need; and others still, are created out of anger and frustration. The latter is the formula for a new smart phone app, “Body Shop Bids.” It was born out of Brad Weisberg’s frustration over trying, for the better part of a day, to acquire estimates for damage to his car.
"I went to three shops in my area and I got three completely different estimates for the exact same repair,” said Weisberg. "It was such a frustrating experience. There was no transparency in the industry, there was no one to tell me why the estimates were different.”
Weisberg said in one case, there was an $800 difference in the estimates. This happened to him in Los Angeles about three years ago. He moved to Chicago in 2010 but that frustrating body shop experience kept eating at him. FULL POST
Editors note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karen Spears Zacharias.
By Karen Spears Zacharias, Special to CNN
I hear the audible voice of God. No, not in the same way that the Bible’s Eve did when God asked her outright and out loud: “Woman, what in my name have you done now?”
Scriptures don’t tell us specifically, but I suspect at that particular moment in eternity God must have sounded a lot like Perry Mason: “C’mon, tell the truth. You know I’m a specialist on getting people out of trouble.”
Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is a pastor’s daughter in Alabama. You’d think if God spoke to anybody, it would be a pastor’s child, but Patti swears she has never heard the voice of God. The only time God speaks to her is through the written word.
I find that odd since God talks to me all the time.FULL STORY
By Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor
Editor's note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" (Times Books) and of the new book "Governing America" (Princeton University Press).
Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) - Seen from the perspective of 2012, the stunning Broadway revival of "Death of a Salesman" offers a powerful reminder that economic policy and family values go hand-in-hand.
Although many current politicians like to separate these two issues, the economic foundation of the family is central to its long-term health. In this classic play by Arthur Miller, premiered in 1949 to mesmerized audiences that had lived through the Great Depression, the protagonist is salesman Willy Loman, who is mentally broken down from his constant travel and struggle to make ends meet.
"A small man can be just as exhausted as a great man," says Loman's wife, Linda. Loman's son Biff is unable to find a job and fulfill his father's hopes. Biff and his brother, Happy, are worried about their father's mental health, which is rapidly deteriorating.
When Willy tries to find a job where he can stay in town to take better care of himself and his family, he ends up losing his job. The story disintegrates from there, culminating with Willy tragically committing suicide with the hope that Biff will use the life insurance money to start his own business.
Too often, politicians ignore the kinds of strains that economic problems cause for families.FULL STORY
By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
During the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday night, Jimmy Kimmel made a joke that President Obama laughed at, but that you could see was just killing him inside.
"Mr. President, do you remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow?" Kimmel asked. "That was hilarious. That was your best one yet."
Yeah it was.
I'm sure he still has a lot of hope. But I would dare to say the thing that changed most over these past three years is Obama. The unbridled optimism that his first campaign once embodied has been bludgeoned by dogmatism, pragmatism and bipartisan cronyism.FULL STORY