Sample – Terms of Service – Contract

Date of Last Revision: August 17, 2010

The foundation of our relationship with our members is the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service, hereinafter referred to as “TOS.” For purposes of this TOS, “TRUE VITALITY” means both TRUE VITALITY, INC. and the website it owns, TRUE VITALITY.COM, further described in the Definition Section of this TOS. For convenience purposes, both the company and the website will hereinafter be referred to as “TRUE VITALITY.”
The Member Agreement, Community Guidelines and Privacy Policy collectively comprise the Terms of Service, “TOS” and they apply to all TRUE VITALITY members, users, and others who interact with TRUE VITALITY. They outline our commitments to you, as well as your rights and responsibilities as a TRUE VITALITY member or other party conducting business with TRUE VITALITY or a party otherwise accessing the TRUE VITALITY website. We encourage you to read the entire TOS, and to use it to make informed decisions. By using or accessing the TRUE VITALITY website (whether or not you are a registered member) you accept and agree to be bound by the entirety of this TOS. If you do not agree to these TOS, please do not enter the TRUE VITALITY website, TRUE VITALITY shall not be liable to you for any breach of these TOS.
All TRUE VITALITY members should review the Terms of Service. The following is a brief description of the three elements of TOS:
1) The Member Agreement contains the basic legal terms of a TRUE VITALITY membership.
2) The Community Guidelines are the code of conduct policies for the TRUE VITALITY community.
3) The Privacy Policy sets out how we use your information and describes what choices you have.

Welcome to TRUE VITALITY. By registering with TRUE VITALITY or using TRUE VITALITY’S services, you agree to be bound by this Member Agreement and the rules and policies published by TRUE VITALITY (including TRUE VITALITY ‘s Community Guidelines and Privacy Policy). You also agree to transact electronically with TRUE VITALITY. By using the TRUE VITALITY website in any manner whatsoever, you indicate your conclusive acceptance of this TOS.
This Member Agreement, the Community Guidelines and the Privacy Policy collectively make up the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service, TOS. The TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service govern your TRUE VITALITY membership and your use of the TRUE VITALITY website and any of the TRUE VITALITY online services (as defined below). Certain features and services offered by TRUE VITALITY and its Associates contain additional terms or guidelines that supplement this Member Agreement and will govern the use of those services. You will have an opportunity to review the additional terms before you sign up or use those services.
TRUE VITALITY will use the following terms in this Member Agreement:
A. “TRUE VITALITY “ – means the features and services we make available, including through (a) our website at and any other TRUE VITALITY branded or co-branded websites (including sub-domains, international versions, and mobile versions); (b) our Platform; and (c) other media, devices, goods, services, and/or networks now existing or developed in the future. As stated above, for purposes of this TOS, TRUE VITALITY also means TRUE VITALITY, INC., a business incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida.
B. “Us” “We” and “Our” – means TRUE VITALITY.
C. “Platform” – means the set of API’s and services that enable others, including application developers and website operators, to retrieve data from TRUE VITALITY or provide data to us.
D. “Content” – Including, but not limited to, information, software, communications, photographs, video, graphics, music, sound and other materials provided by you (i.e. posted by you) on or through the TRUE VITALITY website.
E. “Information” – Facts and other information about you, including, but not limited to any actions you take.
F. “Software” – Any software made available from TRUE VITALITY or a Supplier, whether preinstalled, given on a medium, provided by download or made available online that enable you to access and use TRUE VITALITY.
G. “Supplier” – Any third-party distributor of TRUE VITALITY, any third-party provider of software for TRUE VITALITY, any third-party provider of content for TRUE VITALITY and any third-party telecommunications provider.
H. “Account” – The original account you open when you register for TRUE VITALITY membership through which you obtain access to the TRUE VITALITY website and other services, and any sub-accounts opened under your original account, if applicable.
I. “Use” – means use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of.
J. “Active Registered User” – means a user who has registered with TRUE VITALITY.
K. “Application” – means any application or website that uses or accesses the Platform, as well as anything else that receives data from us.
L. “Data” – means content and information that third parties can retrieve from TRUE VITALITY or provide to TRUE VITALITY through the Platform.
M. “Post” – means making available to the TRUE VITALITY website through use of an application.
N. “Community” – means all TRUE VITALITY members, and any others who access the TRUE VITALITY website, including, but not limited to content providers.
O. “Website” – means the TRUE VITALITY website, located at

You must register in your own name and provide true and current information. TRUE VITALITY will open an account for you when you complete your registration. You will select (or TRUE VITALITY will assign you) a username that will be identified with your account for the life of your account. You can use this username to log on to the website. Usernames may not be vulgar, used by someone else, or impersonate someone else. TRUE VITALITY in its sole discretion may reject the use or assignment of a username. All TRUE VITALITY user names affiliated with your account are the property of TRUE VITALITY and, at TRUE VITALITY’s sole discretion, expire upon the cancellation or termination of your account.
TRUE VITALITY rules and regulations regarding registration and user accounts:
A. You agree to provide true information to TRUE VITALITY and you will not create an account for anyone other than yourself.
B. You will not create more than one (1) personal profile.
C. If TRUE VITALITY disables your account, you will not create another without permission.
D. You will not use TRUE VITALITY if you are under 13.
E. You will not use TRUE VITALITY if you are a convicted sex offender.
F. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
G. You will not use TRUE VITALITY for your own commercial gain.
H. You will not share your password, let anyone else use your account, or do anything else that will otherwise jeopardize the security of your account.
I. You will not transfer your account to anyone without the written authorization of TRUE VITALITY.

You are responsible for all activity on your account. You must supervise the use of your account by others, including minors and teen-agers. You and your account may be subject to disciplinary action or termination if your account is used inappropriately – determined by TRUE VITALITY in its sole discretion. Remember, TRUE VITALITY may terminate your account at any time, for any or no reason, with or without prior notice or explanation, and without liability. Further, even after your user account or access to TRUE VITALITY is terminated, this TOS remains in effect.
You agree to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding your membership and use of TRUE VITALITY. You agree to abide by the TRUE VITALITY Community Guidelines and you acknowledge that TRUE VITALITY has the right to enforce them in its sole discretion. TRUE VITALITY may take any action against your account, ranging from a warning to termination, if you or anyone using your account violates the TRUE VITALITY Community Guidelines or any other term of the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service. TRUE VITALITY is not required to provide notice prior to terminating your account.
You agree to keep confidential the passwords associated with your account and passwords that you use to access the website. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless TRUE VITALITY for losses incurred by TRUE VITALITY or another party due to someone else using your account or password as a result of your failure to use reasonable care to keep your account information confidential.
You agree to not use TRUE VITALITY’s brand or image in any manner whatsoever, without the express written consent of TRUE VITALITY.
You may not use TRUE VITALITY’s communication tools, existing now, or which may exist at a future time, such as e-mail, voice, fax and chat services to send unsolicited bulk communications. Similarly, you may not authorize others to use your account to send unsolicited bulk communications, or cause unsolicited bulk communications to be sent by someone else. You may not harvest or collect information about TRUE VITALITY users from TRUE VITALITY, including, but not limited to usernames, and use that information for the purpose of sending unsolicited bulk communications. Any violation of these provisions may result in immediate termination of your account and further legal action. You agree that TRUE VITALITY may take any legal and technical remedies to prevent unsolicited bulk communications from entering, utilizing or remaining within TRUE VITALITY’s networks, servers etc.
A. Information about charges and fees
Currently, TRUE VITALITY does not charge fees for the use of its website. In the event this policy is modified, billing and charges will be subject to the within provision (Paragraph 6).
At some point in the future TRUE VITALITY may charge monthly, in advance, for certain TRUE VITALITY subscription plans and other TRUE VITALITY services. At this time, surcharges apply if you use certain payment methods (such as payment from your checking account) or use certain telephone numbers for Internet connectivity. Additional fees may apply when you subscribe to other supplemental or enhanced services. All charges are nonrefundable unless provided otherwise in your subscription plan.
TRUE VITALITY may, in its discretion, post charges to your payment method individually or may aggregate your charges with other purchases you make from TRUE VITALITY.
Any trial promotion for fee-based TRUE VITALITY (such as free trial time for a paid subscription plan to TRUE VITALITY) must be used within the specified time of the trial. You must cancel your account before the end of the trial period to avoid being charged a membership fee. Please note, however, that even during any free trial or other promotion, you will still be responsible for any purchases and surcharges incurred using your account.
B. Your payment responsibilities
You must select a payment method to pay TRUE VITALITY for any subscription fees and all purchases made from TRUE VITALITY. You must give TRUE VITALITY accurate billing and payment information and keep this information up-to-date. TRUE VITALITY will bill you through the payment method that is associated with your account. You agree to pay TRUE VITALITY for all charges incurred under your account, including all applicable taxes, fees and surcharges. You authorize TRUE VITALITY to charge your designated payment method for these charges and to retain information about the payment method associated with your account. If TRUE VITALITY does not receive payment from your designated payment method, you agree to pay all amounts due upon demand by TRUE VITALITY.
Every time you use TRUE VITALITY, you reaffirm that (i) TRUE VITALITY is authorized to charge your designated payment method; (ii) TRUE VITALITY may submit charges incurred under your account for payment; and (iii) you will be responsible for such charges, even if your membership is canceled or terminated.
After 30 days from the date of any unpaid charges, your account will be deemed delinquent and TRUE VITALITY may terminate or suspend your account for nonpayment. TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to assess an additional 1.5 percent (or the highest amount allowed by law, whichever is lower) per month late charge if your payment is more than 30 days past due and to use alternate means to collect any unpaid charges. You are liable for any fees, including attorney and collection fees incurred by TRUE VITALITY in its efforts to collect any remaining balances from you.
You are responsible for all charges incurred under your account, including applicable taxes, fees, surcharges and purchases made by you or anyone you allow to use your account (including your children, family or friends).
You must notify TRUE VITALITY about any billing problems or discrepancies within sixty (60) days after they first appear on your account statement. If you do not bring them to TRUE VITALITY’s attention within sixty (60) days of the date of billing, you agree that you waive your right to dispute such problems or discrepancies.
You are responsible for obtaining and maintaining at your expense all equipment and services needed to access TRUE VITALITY.
You are also responsible for any communications charges you may incur by accessing TRUE VITALITY through a third-party network, such as a cable or wireless carrier. Your carrier may charge service fees for alerts, text messaging (including receiving/sending instant messages and e-mail), web browsing and other services that require the use of airtime and wireless data services. Check with your carrier to verify the fees that may apply to you.
TRUE VITALITY in its sole discretion may change or discontinue any or all aspects of the TRUE VITALITY website without notice, including access to support services, content and other products or services ancillary to a TRUE VITALITY membership.
TRUE VITALITY may modify the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service, change its fees and change its billing methods at any time. If you disagree with any proposed change, your sole remedy is to cancel your membership before such change takes effect. Otherwise, you will be bound by the revised terms if you keep your membership. For certain subscription plans, TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to de-activate accounts that are inactive for an extended period of time, as determined by TRUE VITALITY.
A. Your Use of Content as an TRUE VITALITY Member
TRUE VITALITY, its Suppliers and its members or others who lawfully post content on TRUE VITALITY own the property rights to that content. The content is protected by copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, international treaties, laws and other proprietary rights, and also may have security components that protect digital information only as authorized by TRUE VITALITY or its supplier. You agree that you will not take any action to interfere with TRUE VITALITY’s or its Suppliers’ ownership of or rights in the content and you will not attempt to circumvent any mechanisms for preventing the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of the content.
You may use any content available on the TRUE VITALITY website, but only for personal, non-commercial purposes. You may be given the opportunity to download certain content (such as music and photos), but you may do so only to the extent as authorized for that particular content and only for your personal use. You may not use the content in a manner that exceeds the rights granted for your use of the content, which includes unauthorized copying or distribution of the content or creating an unauthorized derivative work.
RSS feeds of content headlines, text, and a source link (“RSS Content”) are available for downloading and displaying in their original form. You must use the RSS feeds as provided by TRUE VITALITY, and you may not edit or modify the text, content or links supplied by TRUE VITALITY linking the reader to the original full-length article on TRUE VITALITY. The RSS content may only be used with platforms that display a functional link that, when accessed, takes the viewer directly to the Source Content on TRUE VITALITY. You may not use the RSS content in a way that does not directly link to the Source Content on TRUE VITALITY, including the use of re-direct links, intermediate pages, splash pages, or other means that do not directly link to the original Source Content on TRUE VITALITY.
B. Content You Post
You may only post content that you create or which you have been given permission to post by the owner of the content. You may not post or distribute content that is illegal or that violates the TRUE VITALITY Community Guidelines. By posting or submitting Content on TRUE VITALITY, you represent and warrant that (i) you own all the rights to this content or are authorized to use and distribute this content on TRUE VITALITY and (ii) this content does not and will not infringe any copyright or any other third-party right nor violate any applicable law or regulation.
Although you or the owner of the content retain ownership of all right, title, and interest in content that you post to TRUE VITALITY, TRUE VITALITY owns all right, title, and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by TRUE VITALITY using or incorporating this content. In addition, by posting content on TRUE VITALITY, you grant TRUE VITALITY, its, parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this content in any medium.
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, such as photographs and videos, (hereinafter “IP content”), you specifically grant TRUE VITALITY a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with TRUE VITALITY an intellectual property license. This license ends when you delete your IP content or your account, unless your account has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it. When you delete IP content, you understand that the removed content may remain in backup copies for a reasonable period of time.
When you publish content or information that is shared with “everyone” or used with the “everyone” setting, it means you are allowing everyone, including people outside of TRUE VITALITY, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you – for example your username, name, profile and/or picture.
NOTE: While we always appreciate your feedback and/or suggestions regarding TRUE VITALITY, under the terms of this agreement, you are not entitled to be compensated for them.

C. Content on TRUE VITALITY.COM or the Internet
TRUE VITALITY is not required to pre-screen content available on the TRUE VITALITY website, although TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to do so in its sole discretion. TRUE VITALITY is not liable for content that is provided by others. TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to remove content that, in its sole judgment, does not meet its standards or does not comply with the TRUE VITALITY Community Guidelines, but TRUE VITALITY is not responsible for any failure or delay in removing such material. TRUE VITALITY is not responsible for content available on the Internet, although TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to block access to any Internet area containing illegal or other harmful content being used for purposes that are unlawful or injurious to TRUE VITALITY or its members. You acknowledge that third-party sites on the Internet may have their own terms and conditions that govern your use of those sites.
You understand that TRUE VITALITY does not control the user content posted by users or members of TRUE VITALITY, and, as such, you understand that you may be exposed to offensive, indecent, inaccurate or otherwise objectionable content. TRUE VITALITY assumes no responsibility or liability for this type of content. If you become aware of the misuse of TRUE VITALITY in any manner, please report this immediately to us at, or via the “Report This” link found on all community content pages.
TRUE VITALITY reserves the right, but disclaims any obligation or responsibility, to remove user content that violates this TOS in its sole discretion. You acknowledge TRUE VITALITY reserves the right to investigate and take legal action against anyone who, in TRUE VITALITY’s sole discretion, violates this TOS and may report such conduct or activity to law enforcement authorities.
TRUE VITALITY does not provide medical advice and any information provided on its website is not a substitute for medical care and is not intended as such. Any content is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a medical health care provider who diagnoses and treats individual patients. TRUE VITALITY does not provide medical or diagnostic services of any kind. Your reliance upon any content found on TRUE VITALITY’s website is solely at your own risk – always seek the advice of your own physician regarding any medical condition you may have, as well as the use of any services and/or products you obtain from or through the TRUE VITALITY website. TRUE VITALITY encourages you to follow the advice of your own professional healthcare provider – this advice should not be disregarded because of something you have read or seen on TRUE VITALITY’s website.
The relationship between you and TRUE VITALITY is not a physician-patient relationship, a psychotherapist-patient relationship or a priest-penitent relationship. Our content contains information, data, statistics, advice, text and other materials compiled from a variety of third party sources and TRUE VITALITY in no way endorses any of these materials, which are provided for your convenience. Nothing contained on the website is intended to be, and must not be taken to be, the practice of medicine, including, without limitation, psychology, psychiatry, or psychotherapy, or providing health care advice or instruction for diagnosis or treatment. TRUE VITALITY does not recommend the self-management of health or mental health problems, nor is the content provided by TRUE VITALITY exhaustive – it does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical or mental conditions and/or their treatments.
SAFETY – TRUE VITALITY will make every effort to make the website safe, however we cannot guarantee it. In order to make TRUE VITALITY safer, you agree to the following:
1) You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
2) You will not post content that is pornographic; obscene; threatening; hateful; incites violence; defamatory; libelous; abusive; or contains content that depicts graphic or gratuitous violence.
3) You will not harass, intimidate, or frighten any user – or otherwise interfere with another user’s use and enjoyment of the website.
4) You will not send or post unauthorized commercial communications in any form, including, but not limited to spam, on TRUE VITALITY.
5) You will not collect users’ content or information for any reason.
6) You will not access TRUE VITALITY using automated methods of any nature, including, but limited to harvesting bots or scrapers, unless authorized to do so, in writing, by TRUE VITALITY.
7) You will not engage in any illegal activity on TRUE VITALITY, including, but not limited to, initiating or continuing pyramid schemes and/or any multi-level marketing methods.
8) You will not upload malicious codes of any nature, such as viruses, worms, trojan horses or any other harmful program or component to TRUE VITALITY or the internet. You will not do anything that could disable, overburden, or impair the functionality of the TRUE VITALITY website.
9) You will not develop, promote and/or operate any application, regardless of source containing alcohol, smoking and/or mature publications on TRUE VITALITY.
10) You will not use TRUE VITALITY for anything that is malicious, misleading, or discriminatory in any manner.
11) You will not offer any promotions, contests, giveaways, or sweepstakes on TRUE VITALITY without prior written authorization of TRUE VITALITY.
12) You will not post any material which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, federal, or international law.
13) You will not post content or material that would invade the privacy of any other person.
14) You will not post content that is intended to advertise to or solicit others without our express permission.

** TRUE VITALITY will determine any failure to comply with sections 1) through 14) above, at its SOLE DISCRETION**

D. Third Party Links and Services
TRUE VITALITY may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other websites, applications, resources or other services created by third parties (“Third Party Services”). When you engage with a Third Party Service, you are interacting with the third party, not with TRUE VITALITY. If you choose to use a Third Party Service and share information with it, the Third Party Services may use and share your data in accordance with the Third Party Service’s privacy policy and your privacy settings on such Third Party Service. In addition, the third party providing the Third Party Service may use other parties to provide portions of the application or service to you, such as technology, development or payment services. TRUE VITALITY is not responsible for and makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the Third Party Services or the providers of such Third Party Services (including, but not limited to, the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by such Third Party Service or the privacy practices thereof). Inclusion of any Third Party Service or a link thereto on the TRUE VITALITY website does not imply approval or endorsement of the Third Party Service. TRUE VITALITY is not responsible for the content or practices of any websites other than TRUE VITALITY, even if the website links to TRUE VITALITY and even if it is operated by an Affiliated Company or a company otherwise connected with TRUE VITALITY. By using TRUE VITALITY, you acknowledge and agree that TRUE VITALITY is not responsible or liable to you for any content or other materials hosted and served from any website other than TRUE VITALITY. When you access Third Party Services, you do so at your own risk. TRUE VITALITY encourages you not to provide any personally identifiable information to any Third Party Service unless you know and are comfortable with the party with whom you are interacting. If you are interested in creating hypertext links to TRUE VITALITY, you must contact TRUE VITALITY at before doing so. In establishing hypertext links, you must not represent in any way, expressly or by implication, that you have received the endorsement, sponsorship or support of TRUE VITALITY, including its respective employees, agents, directors, officers or shareholders.
E. Exporting of Content
You agree to abide by U.S. and other applicable export control laws and not to transfer, by electronic transmission or otherwise, any content or software subject to restrictions under such laws to a national destination prohibited under such laws, or to any person or entity prohibited under such laws, without first obtaining, and then complying with, any requisite government authorization. You further agree not to upload to TRUE VITALITY any data or software that cannot be exported without prior written government authorization and notification of TRUE VITALITY, including, but not limited to, certain types of encryption software. This assurance and commitment shall survive termination of this TOS.


Upon a request by TRUE VITALITY, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless TRUE VITALITY and its suppliers from all liabilities, claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, that arise from a breach of the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service for which you are responsible or from the use of TRUE VITALITY or the Internet, or in connection with your transmission of any Content on TRUE VITALITY. TRUE VITALITY reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you. In that event, you shall have no further obligation to provide indemnification for TRUE VITALITY in that matter.
Either you may cancel or TRUE VITALITY may terminate your membership or subscription to a TRUE VITALITY Service at any time. You can cancel a fee-based subscription plan for use of the TRUE VITALITY Online Service by calling, by sending a fax, or by sending a letter to TRUE VITALITY’s Customer Service Department. Cancellation will take effect within 3 business days of receipt of your request. TRUE VITALITY will send you written confirmation of the cancellation of your fee-based subscription plan to the TRUE VITALITY Online Service. If you cancel near the end of your billing period and are inadvertently charged for the next month’s fee, call TRUE VITALITY to have the charges reversed. If you signed up for certain supplemental or enhanced services for an extra fee, you should consult the specific cancellation policies and procedures for those services. If your membership or subscription to TRUE VITALITY Services is canceled or terminated, including based on inactivity in your use of a free service; any data you have stored on such TRUE VITALITY Services may not be retrieved later.
Except as otherwise provided in herein, cancellation of your Account is your sole right and remedy with respect to any dispute with TRUE VITALITY. This includes, but is not limited to, any dispute related to, or arising out of: (1) any term of this TOS or TRUE VITALITY ‘s enforcement or application of this TOS; (2) any policy or practice of TRUE VITALITY , including TRUE VITALITY ‘s Community Guidelines and the TRUE VITALITY Privacy Policy, or TRUE VITALITY ‘s enforcement or application of these policies; (3) the content available on TRUE VITALITY Services or the Internet or any change in content provided by TRUE VITALITY ; (4) your ability to access and/or use the TRUE VITALITY Services; or (5) the amount or type of fees, surcharges, applicable taxes, billing methods, or any change to the fees, applicable taxes, surcharges or billing methods.
In the event that your account is terminated or canceled, no online time or other credits will be credited to you or can be converted to cash or other form of reimbursement. You understand and agree that you no longer will have access to any of the TRUE VITALITY website associated with your deactivated username or account. TRUE VITALITY must give you express permission before it will reactivate you account if TRUE VITALITY previously terminated your membership for violating the TRUE VITALITY Terms of Service (including its Community Guidelines) or due to an outstanding balance. Active TRUE VITALITY members may not allow former TRUE VITALITY members whose memberships have been terminated to use their accounts.
This TOS, as published over the TRUE VITALITY website, constitute the entire and only agreement regarding your TRUE VITALITY membership and your account. This TOS supersedes all representations, agreements and other communications regarding your membership. Only TRUE VITALITY can amend this TOS by posting the changes on the TRUE VITALITY website. If any term of this TOS is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the term shall be considered to be stricken from this TOS as if it had not been included from the beginning and the remainder of the TOS enforced according to its terms.
You agree that this TOS is not intended to confer and does not confer any rights or remedies from TRUE VITALITY upon any person other than you. You also agree that the TRUE VITALITY Community Guidelines and other guidelines posted on TRUE VITALITY, including TRUE VITALITY’s enforcement of those policies, are not intended to confer, and do not confer, any rights or remedies upon any person.
The TRUE VITALITY website and services are provided by TRUE VITALITY, INC.
i. Choice of Law; Choice of Forum
The laws of the State of Florida, excluding its conflicts-of-law rules, govern this TOS, your membership, and your use of TRUE VITALITY. You expressly agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any claim or dispute with TRUE VITALITY or relating in any way to your membership, this TOS, or your use of TRUE VITALITY resides in the courts of Florida and you further agree and expressly consent to the exercise of personal jurisdiction in the courts of Florida in connection with any such dispute including any claim involving TRUE VITALITY. The foregoing provision may not apply to you depending on the laws of your jurisdiction. This TOS shall not be governed by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
ii. Electronic Delivery Policy and Your Consent
By affirmatively signing up for a TRUE VITALITY membership, you consent to receive all communications, including notices, agreements, legally required disclosures or other information in connection with any TRUE VITALITY Service electronically from TRUE VITALITY (collectively, “Notices”). You agree that TRUE VITALITY generally can send you electronic Notices by (i) e-mail to your primary username, and/or (ii) posting the Notices on a main page or a secondary page of TRUE VITALITY. You agree that certain supplemental or enhanced services made available to TRUE VITALITY members may also have their own Notice procedures.
You must check your username regularly for Notices from TRUE VITALITY. TRUE VITALITY will send important Notices about your TRUE VITALITY membership, including any Notices concerning violations of any sub-accounts, to your username.
You must have a personal computer with a modem connected to a communications source (telephone, wireless or broadband), a Windows-based operating system, or a Macintosh-based operating system. You will need a printer attached to your personal computer to print any Notices. The delivery of any Notice from TRUE VITALITY is effective when sent or posted by TRUE VITALITY, regardless of whether you read the communication when you receive it. You may withdraw your consent to receive notices electronically by calling or by sending a fax or letter to TRUE VITALITY’s Customer Service; however, if you choose to withdraw consent, TRUE VITALITY may terminate your membership and subscriptions to any TRUE VITALITY Services. All registrations, agreements, and terms will be completed electronically and will be deemed for all legal purposes to be in writing and legally enforceable as a signed writing.

iii. Privacy Policy
The TRUE VITALITY Privacy Policy explains how TRUE VITALITY collects, uses, and discloses personal information in connection with your TRUE VITALITY membership, as well as the choices TRUE VITALITY gives you about such uses and disclosures. You can review the current version of this policy by clicking Privacy Policy. By your affirmative act of either registering for TRUE VITALITY as a new member, or registering for a new TRUE VITALITY Service, or continuing to use the TRUE VITALITY Services following your registration, you authorize the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by TRUE VITALITY as provided for under TRUE VITALITY’s then-current Privacy Policy, which is hereby incorporated into this TOS by reference.

Copyright © 2010, TRUE VITALITY INC. All rights reserved.

Why Hire Me as Your Freelance Writer?

(When submitting bids for projects, there is an opportunity to submit a reason why your bid should be selected over the others submitted. This is what I typically post:)

Hire a U.S. Attorney & Scientist!

I am the best candidate for this project simply because I am the most qualified. I have a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry (Northeastern University, 1986, cum laude) and I graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 1991.

As a biochemistry major, advanced levels of mathematics courses were required as part of my curriculum.

My first co-op job through Northeastern University (1982), at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Laboratory, I worked on complex data entry programs, medical research, and medical writing, editing, and proofreading. While training medical doctors on how to do open heart surgery, we conducted in vivo studies of large and small animals. These articles, summarizing our findings, would often appear in the world renowned “New England Journal of Medicine.”

I practiced law for 15 years. As an attorney, I became an excellent writer. It was necessary to not only write, but also edit and proofread thousands of academic documents. Most of this paperwork had to be very precise; virtually every word had a very important meaning. If words were left out, there usually had to be a particular reason.
Upon request, I can provide you with a breakdown of a document’s syntax, listing all adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. I can also provide the number of characters, words, sentences, and approximate reading time of a given document.

I also do the work myself; I do not send it off to anyone else!

Thank you for your time! – John Michael Ricci, Esq.

Meeting Katherine Hepburn

I had the honor and privilege to meet Ms. Katherine Hepburn backstage following her performance in The West Side Waltz, performed at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts in 1982. I was a sophomore in college and had obtained a front row ticket through her manager, who also arranged for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Even at nineteen, I knew this was huge and I was a nervous wreck.

The West Side Waltz

The West Side Waltz

Katherine Hepburn in "Woman of the Year" 1942

Katherine Hepburn in “Woman of the Year” 1942

I don’t remember what the play was about, and while watching it, all I could think about was what I could say or ask – how I would present myself in front of this American icon, without appearing foolish, all while concealing my trepidation. At the time, Ms. Hepburn was seventy-five years old and had essential tremor, a slowly progressive neurological disorder, which had left her with severe tremors of her head and neck – a cruel disease for anyone, but particularly for someone with such grace in a profession demanding absolute control of every emotion and corresponding facial expression. And by this time, the disease had progressed to the point where it was clearly evident.
Yet during the play I do remember Ms. Hepburn performed magnificently. I can’t imagine the inner strength and fortitude it took for her to pull it off, but throughout the performance there was no sign of essential tremor as anyone in attendance can corroborate. I didn’t pay attention to the story or any of the other actors, my senses followed Ms. Hepburn. She was simply amazing.
After the play, I went backstage. Two other people were lucky enough to have the same chance to meet Ms. Hepburn, privately in her dressing room of Boston’s Shubert Theatre.
Shubert Theatre

Shubert Theatre, Boston

I lucked out and went second, giving me a chance to calm down a bit; it turned out to be twenty-five minutes. I wondered if I’d get that much time. Can you imagine the thought of twenty-five minutes with Katherine Hepburn, alone and having that much time to think about it as a 19 year old kid? Every minute was an eternity!
My moment finally came and Ms. Hepburn came to her door. I met a frail little old lady, who had taken off all of her makeup. I felt terribly awkward looking down at her; she stood a full foot shorter than I, perhaps more. She held her hand out to shake mine and I managed to utter “I’m John Ricci, Ms. Hepburn” to which she responded, humorously, “Yes, I’ve been expecting you.” All I wanted to do was sit down, it bothered me immensely that I was looking down at her, it didn’t seem appropriate! I think Ms. Hepburn sensed my self-conscious, inept manner and was quick to accommodate me, after assuring the security guard that she was fine, he closed the door and we sat.
I too was given a full twenty-five minutes with perhaps the greatest actress of all time. I happened to go to high school with her tennis instructor (and played on the same high school tennis team), so we knew someone in common and her house in the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was only a few miles away from my parent’s house. I asked her if she still played; she said she did, and I summoned enough courage to ask her if we might get together someday and play. Ms. Hepburn was kind enough to say yes, even telling me to make sure I arrange it with her manager. I never did – I assumed she was just being kind, and even though she probably was, I should have made the call.
I asked her what it was like to be so famous, having read that she had developed a reputation for being nasty to the public. Ms. Hepburn told me it was the most difficult part of being an actress; she loved her profession, but loathed the fame. In Ms. Hepburn’s case, her talent ruled out any chance of lacking fame.
Just before I left, I asked if she would autograph my playbill and she quite respectfully declined. Ms. Hepburn thoughtfully explained to me that she didn’t sign autographs, as a practice, it bothered her that a signature, anyone’s signature, could have some extravagant monetary value attributed to it. Not that I would ever sell it, she pointed out. It was simply her conviction and it needed no further explanation.
I was a teenager when I met Katherine Hepburn. I’m glad I met her at that age. The child left in me allowed for the excitement and awe that we both appreciated, yet I was old enough to know who she was and what she meant to American, and for that matter, world culture. In 1999, she was ranked by the American Film Institute as the greatest female star in the history of American cinema. And I once spent nearly one-half an hour with her in an old, run-down dressing room in one of the most famous theaters in the United States. I still find it hard to believe!

Are Caimans Evil? No, They are Caimans!

I have only owned one caiman and although I do not regret owning him, I do not think I’ll own another. His name was Satan and technically, he was a Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, with the scientific name – paleosuchus palpebrosus. He grew more vicious every day and taught himself how to do it. He did not need to learn it from mom and dad; this came from the many millions of years of genetic material he was born with. Satan was not evil, he was a caiman, doing nothing more than caimans, alligators, and crocodiles do… act mean, vicious, and intimidating. They are far from any typical household pet. I have read (on the Internet, so it must be true) that it is “in theory” possible to tame a caiman. I have only owned one caiman, so maybe I am not an expert, but in my amateur, layperson opinion – I think it would be easier to bring Elvis back to life and ask him to start a world tour.

Dwarf Caiman

Dwarf Caiman

So reviewing caimans as a possible pet is somewhat difficult. First, I am not sure about the legality of owning a caiman anymore. And frankly, neither are several states in our United States! So, if you are looking into getting a caiman, you need to check very carefully into the state and local laws where you live. Sometimes it is legal to purchase a caiman, but illegal to own one – and visa versa. It can get very confusing and end with you facing a stiff fine. When I got my caiman, they were legal to buy in Rhode Island and I had no clue whether they were legal to keep in Connecticut; I didn’t even think about it back then. After he grew to about three feet (from one, in around two years) – I was able to sell him back to the same pet store, thank God. A full grown Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman can grow up to about five feet long and I will tell anyone that animal would seriously injure any size human if not handled professionally!

My advice if you have small children (okay, any children) is do NOT get a caiman. These animals are too tempting and the risk that something will happen is too great. Caimans of any size can do a lot of damage when they bite. I have said in other reviews children come first. Do not get any pet that poses any risk to a child. Parenting 101.

Caiman Eye

Caiman Eye

Caimans are fascinating animals however. It is extraordinary to have a pre-historic (dinosaur) living with you. These animals have survived for (okay, I’m not exactly sure, but we are talking crocodile family so in the 80 million year range!) a very long time, through virtually every type of living condition imaginable. They ingest stones into their gizzard that allows them to digest their live food (for me it was mostly sun fish and frogs), which they swallow completely when they can, so you have to make stones available. Caimans eat frequently, well I suppose for caimans, I fed Satan two to three times a week. This meant his terrarium needed cleaning regularly. There are smart ways to clean caiman terrariums. After covering the caiman with a dark moist towel (use lukewarm water) slowly empty the aquarium into a bathtub that has about four inches of water in it. If the caiman is less than three feet long, this should suffice. Better yet, use a bathtub that has a Plexigas sliding door for the shower, and you’ll have something that is escape proof. Maybe! However, be prepared for the worst; have someone else who can help with you and have a back up plan. The idea was to leave Satan uninjured and to stress him out as little as possible.
The way back into the terrarium is a little bit trickier, but it works. This time, again cover him with the towel and when he is nice and relaxed (the dark towel will do this) simply grab him behind his front legs and place him back into the terrarium. Grab him firmly, but do not squeeze and wear gloves if you need to, at least until you have gained some confidence.

Satan was kept in a twenty-gallon terrarium, with stones and water. The room he was in was about fifteen by twenty, a bedroom, and when anyone opened the bedroom door, Satan immediately began hissing. It started out very slow and very intermittent. As you approached his home, it grew louder and the hissing became angrier – he was letting you know that he was ready to hurt you if you had plans to come too close. And he did not stop there; as soon as anyone got close enough, he’d strike as though there was no glass stopping him. Gradually, he realized this was futile.

Baby Caiman

Baby Caiman

If you have the right personality for a caiman and are willing to care for it, it can make for a great exotic pet. If you create a safe environment for it and for you and anyone around you, including other pets, all should go smoothly. If not, you will regret the experience, it really is that simple.

Do your homework, research the law regarding caimans, and best of luck!

Boston John

GERMAN SHEPHERDS, Best Dogs in the World!

By John Michael Ricci, October 21, 2014
Estimated Reading Time = 4 min, 4 sec

Full disclosure, German Shepherds are the greatest dogs that have ever existed, exist, or will ever exist. All other dogs follow German Shepherds in any other order anyone cares to place them, although minor exceptions do exist. I will include Belgian Shepherds! And possibly even the shorter haired Dutch Shepherd, but that would begin to stretch things for me. Belgian Shepherds are gorgeous, almost identical to their German cousins and I would consider one for my next dog. In any event, you may find my review biased towards German Shepherds… (Although I loved my Aunt and Uncle’s Greyhounds and Norwegian Elkhounds and if German Shepherds are not the right dog for you, I’d look at these breeds). There are only a few dog breeds I would recommend against, but I won’t name them because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I do love dogs. However, someone will have to pay me a lot of money to own the three breeds I am thinking of!

Belgian Sheperd

Belgian Shepherd

My love for German Shepherds began at an early age, around six or seven when I started watching “Hogan’s Heroes” believe it or not. These dogs and their role immediately fascinated me. I thought they were striking, simply beautiful – what a dog should look like compared to all the other dogs I had seen up to that point. The idea that they were “guard dogs” intrigued me, at that age I wasn’t sure how, but I knew that they must have had some type of skill or intelligence other dogs didn’t have.

We never had dogs in our household; my father did not like them. To this day, I question the character of anyone who dislikes dogs – not wanting to own one is one thing, not liking man’s best friend, to me, is borderline disturbing.

White German Shepherd

White German Shepherd

So, it wasn’t until I graduated from college that me and my long-time girlfriend bought a beautiful all white, pure-bread, German Shepherd puppy from a pet store at a local mall south of Boston. All white with the exception of his nose, which was black, and the pads on his feet, also black. He was the cutest little fur-ball either one of us had ever seen, and “no” simply was not an option. It was 1987 and although I was not thrilled about the pet store or the hefty sum they wanted, we could not resist. We named our male six-month old German Shepherd puppy Beowulf, Beo (pronounced “Bay-yo”) shortly after we returned to the two-family home my girlfriend’s father had recently bought for her.

About a month after we bought Beo, he became ill. Extremely ill. My fears about this particular pet store (the kind you no longer see for the most part) came true. Luckily, I had used American Express to purchase our puppy and I was able to place it all into a dispute. The good news is that we were able to get all of our money refunded through the American Express dispute process.

Since Boston had one of the best veterinary hospitals in the world, we were able to save Beo (I cannot remember what from) and after a two week stay in their ICU (and approximately 1500 of 1987 dollars from a recent college grad, thank you very much!) we got him back, happy and healthy. For a good long time, as far as I know… you see, I cannot be sure because a few years later my long-term girlfriend broke up with me (out of the blue!) and she kept Beo as I went off to law school. It was all very sad.

Can you count all the lessons here? I can! Nonetheless, I did the right thing – by Beo and by my ex-girlfriend. Beo was a great dog and if you are going to own a dog, you’ve got to be prepared to go all out and do anything necessary to take care of it.

With German Shepherds in particular, be prepared for an active, high-energy dog. They need a lot of attention and a lot of exercise. These dogs are loyal, highly intelligent, and protective… so you need to be careful with them. Each individual dog is different, some are more protective than others are, so if yours is aggressive please keep it leashed and do not let it bite anyone! Alternatively, have a lawyer hired before you go out in public, and set aside a large sum of money to pay-off winner(s) of lawsuit(s).

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherds bark, so if barking is annoying to you, you might not like the idea of owning one. They’ll bark at people coming to your door, people walking down your street, people walking past your car… basically anyone or anything that concerns them. Once you say it’s okay, they will generally calm down. Again, individual dogs differ. If left outside in a kennel, some German Shepherds will bark non-stop, as Beo did, so what about neighbors? Hmmm.

If you get a German Shepherd at a young age, under a year – but even better around seven to nine months, you’ll have a puppy that will grow into your family, whatever that happens to be. You can have chickens, kittens, cats, dogs, puppies, children, babies, horses, elephants, and giraffes (as far as I know), virtually anything, and this beautiful puppy will mature into a dog that will love and protect all of you for many years. He or she will be incredibly gentle with even the most fragile little baby – I have seen this myself. (I’m assuming a VERY protective parent that is overseeing this VERY carefully and only allowing the puppy to sniff the little gal or guy for a few seconds at a time over a period of months – as the two grow – and nothing more than this!) Moreover, at all times use your brains! German Shepherds are dogs, right? Occasionally, dogs (like people) go haywire… their brains malfunction and they do something uncharacteristic of their breed or even of their individual nature. So a German Shepherd puppy or dog should NEVER be left alone with a baby, infant, toddler… need I go on? Do I really need to write this!

I owned two German Shepherds. One was white, the other had traditional coloring. They were both wonderful family members. I highly recommend this breed. If you plan to get one, please know what you are getting into. They are awesome; they will give you and yours SO much. However, they have needs too – like any other pet. Their health, physical and emotional, must be of primary concern at all times. German Shepherds are very smart dogs; they know when they are being cared for and like most dogs (maybe a bit more so) they know if they are loved and being loved. In the end, you will always get much more than they ask for.

Use the Internet, do your homework, and best of luck…

Boston John

Not One, But Two African Grey Parrots!

When my son was five years old, I made the decision to buy us an African Grey parrot. We frequented pet shops together and ran across a pair of them at a high-end pet store in a suburb of Boston. The two were brothers and I hated to separate them, but the owner of the store assured me they would be fine. Two weeks later, I was back to reunite the pair.

African Greys are thought to be among the most intelligent of all birds. I’ve always been fascinated by parrots and my son and I were thrilled to have this pair. We (I) named them Larry and Magic (after Larry Bird and Magic Johnson of course) and we did have a great deal of fun with them. They had unique personalities… Larry was very mellow, much easier to handle, and less likely to give a quick bite to let anyone holding him know he wasn’t pleased with something. Magic, on the other hand, was always trying to talk (and did manage to say “hello” and “dirty bird” among a few other things) but never really enjoyed being handled, which we quickly learned to respect. Larry more than made up for it – he really came to love being held!

African Grey

African Grey

If you are deciding to get an African Grey, I’d advise you to buy one that is young. Larry and Magic were both about a year old, and a year old or younger is ideal. It is best to know the bird is old enough to be healthy on its own, but young enough still to adjust to be handled by its new family and its new environment.

Another consideration, a big one, is that African Greys (parrots in general) are dirty birds! They require constant cleanup! This means daily cleanup of their cage, their droppings, and the seeds they throw all over the place – this is virtually a non-stop job. If you are not ready to do this, do not get this animal! And two birds almost triples this chore because they seem to encourage each other to “play” with their food rather than their toys. The only time African Greys relax is at night, when their cage is covered and they sleep, so be ready for an active pet that needs a lot of attention.

African Grey Head Shot

African Grey Head Shot

Last, but not least, is that African Greys are fragile (as are all birds). My son and I found that out, to our heartbreak, only after owning them for a couple of years. While they can live for decades, if they contract any number of bird diseases from parasites, if not caught in time – there is nothing a veterinarian can do. Unfortunately, if one bird catches it and you have two, it passes on almost instantaneously. So we lost Larry and Magic very quickly and we were both pretty upset about that. That is a part of owning pets, a lesson we all learn. Six months later, we had a German Shepherd and a new adventure began.

Best of luck with your decision, do your homework…

Boston John

The Red-Tail Boa: To Own or Not to Own

If you are in the market for an exotic pet… more specifically a larger snake that happens to constrict its meals, then the red-tail boa constrictor is the snake for you. Before you buy any pet, and especially an exotic pet, it is so important that you do your homework! With the Internet and so many resources available today, there is no excuse for potential pet owners to make informed decisions that are in their best interests, as well as the animals.
There are obvious considerations such as size. Adult females (in captivity) can exceed twelve feet in length and weigh nearly 100 pounds. At this size, a baby or small child can be mistaken for food. In my opinion, owning anything that can remotely pose a risk to a baby or child is stupid – and that is all I care to say about that.
In the right circumstances however, a red-tailed boa makes for a wonderful pet! I was in college when my roommate, Jim, and I decided to get one while taking a class in herpetology. We thought this was the way to really understand reptiles. We named him Meszoly, after our professor, and he was about thirteen inches long when we bought him from a pet store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Meszoly was fantastic as a pet for the entire time we had him. Mind you, this was in a college setting, with many people coming and going, parties going on, etc., and many different people asking to hold him. Meszoly, in virtually every situation, inside and outside, quiet and loud – never showed any sign of getting ready to bite someone! This, for the five years we had him, with his five and a half feet length and twenty-five pound weight. I came to believe he enjoyed all of the attention he received.

Red-Tail Boa

Red-Tail Boa

Like any other pet, red-tail boas come with responsibilities. This is something to consider when looking at that cute little ten-inch snake through the pane of glass. Soon, it will be a four-foot eating machine (well, once a month or so) that will need a rat or two! Where will you get your rats? From a pet store? Jim and I did that until we decided we were making too many trips… so we created a mouse-making factory in one of our larger closets. It worked just fine, too fine; we had hundreds of mice together with hundreds of mice smell and mice sounds and mice cages that needed mice cleanup. Ugh!
In the end, it was all worth it. One of the reasons was because Jim and I shared responsibilities. When we graduated from college in 1986, Jim’s mom happily took Meszoly into her home, which was great and funny because Meszoly had a good five inches on her! At eight feet, Meszoly made it to one of the local zoos, happy and healthy.
I think red-tailed boa constrictors are fantastic snakes. Of all the constrictors, in my experience, they are least likely to bite (constrictors are not poisonous, but larger animal bites DO hurt!). Red-tail boas are beautiful, with distinctive coloring. One more thing: I’d choose a boa (of any kind) over a python, every single time! I’ve found pythons to be more aggressive (meaning they are much more likely to strike and bite) and in general less friendly than boas. If you ever get the chance, look into a python’s eyes and tell me you trust that snake!

Best of luck, Boston John

Ferret is the Proper Name for this Mammal!

Synonyms for ferret are raid, pillage, and siege… and these are perfect for this exotic mammal, the ferret! These beautiful, inquisitive, active, fun, and sneaky animals, if left unattended, will search every inch of any area it can get into. Therefore, anyone looking into getting one as a pet must carefully understand where they are going to house it. Again, words to the wise, do your homework!



Ferrets are incredibly adorable. When you hold one, especially a young one, it’s hard to say no. And if you bring your young son or daughter with you, forget about it! Before you do that, carefully consider what you are getting yourself into. Again, under the right circumstances, ferrets make wonderful pets. They need a lot of attention AND supervision. In fact, it should be supervision and attention. In fairness, I have only owned one, so I am no expert, and I may have owned one that was overly active. There may be ferrets out there that are not as active as mine was. Don’t get me wrong either – we adored ours, he was great fun; we played hide and seek (kind of, lol) and hockey (no, he wasn’t the puck) and overall it was a great experience. However, ferrets (mine) as far as I know, cannot be house trained, which means as long as he or she is out – you will find a LOT of poop, anywhere, sometimes in hard to reach places. If you don’t keep up with it, daily, it will stink and that, together with hard to find urine stains quickly becomes a nuisance. Cute and cuddly (by the way, most ferrets cannot be held for very long) is soon replaced by grrrr, at least by the adults. After some time, the ferret is sent to its cage and that kind of defeats the purpose.

Ferret TeethAnother issue early on is that ferrets like to chew. They are not picky; anything they come across will do, as long as it will fit between their relatively sharp little teeth. And this includes a fold of human skin, and although the cute little baby does not mean anything, OUCH! Of course, magnify this ouch by ten or twenty for a child! This can be reduced some over time with a sharp “NO!” and a slight tap on your friend’s nose, as he gets older, the chewing will slow down too. Like kittens, ferrets must go through teething; there is no way around it. One option is to buy an adult ferret off the bat and skip that cute stage altogether.

Ferrets are cute and fun. If you can build the right habitat for one, they can be a great addition to your family. One idea would be to section off an area of an unfinished basement and build a secure, very secure, wall say ten feet by ten feet, with a carpeted area and a little ferret house where your exotic mammal can go and sleep or rest if he wants to. Inside his playpen area, you could put some ferret toys near his plentiful water and food. If you do this, please make sure that you don’t forget about him down there… ferrets need and love a LOT of attention!

Thanks for reading, do your homework and best of luck,

Boston John

The Brown Haitian Tarantula

During my first year at college, my roommate and I did not get on-campus housing. This was both a blessing and a curse. We were placed in off-campus apartments, close to campus – a blessing because we were less supervised and a curse for the same reason. One of the many decisions I made, which I would not have been able to make, was to pursue my fascination with animals and purchase a brown Haitian tarantula from a pet store. It was early 1982, there was no Internet, I did no homework (other than asking the pet store employee a few basic questions) and I came back to surprise my roommate, Bob, with our new pet. We are great friends today. Back then, it was still a big question mark.

I did my best to take care of Caesar (was he male?) and I did purchase one of those small eight by five inch booklets “all about” tarantulas in an effort to do my best to care for it properly. I had the ten-gallon terrarium set up with a warming lamp and I think I had a heated rock (thirty-two years ago!) together with stones, a sandy area, and ending in a small area with water.

Brown Haitian Tarantula

Brown Haitian Tarantula

So, do tarantulas make good pets? Like any other pet, it depends on whether or not you are willing to care for it and what you expect to get in return, right? Obviously, a tarantula is not going to crawl up your chest and cuddle up under your chin! And this brings up an interesting point. To this day, I am shocked to hear that most people believe tarantulas are poisonous. They are NOT, tarantulas are not dangerous to humans, and there is NO record of a tarantula ever causing a human fatality, anywhere! But, if you own a tarantula, you can (as I did) misinform people that they are indeed extremely poisonous while you let it crawl all over your arms and hands. You do come across very brave, as well as crazy. It is also fun to see the extent of arachnophobia in some people – I’ve had some relatives, well over 200 pounds, that refuse to enter my apartment, even if Caesar was in his terrarium. Caesar also made a faint hissing sound sometimes… and that added to the fun of tormenting others!

Now, some species of tarantulas – including the brown Haitian, do have significant fangs and if you are bitten – you will know it! Caesar bit me once… it was entirely my fault, my hand was in his space while there were crickets (his meal of choice) bouncing around and I deserved it. I am just glad I didn’t hurt him from being startled. Note that, like a bee sting, some people can be allergic to the venom of a tarantula – so in that rare case, if you happen to be allergic, you’d need to get to an emergency room. For the allergy, not because you might die! A great way to find out how aggressive your spider is: when you first handle him, wear a pair of gloves thick enough to fend off those fangs until you are comfortable enough to go barehanded. Typically, a tarantula will “rear back” prior to biting (kind of stand up on it’s rear legs) giving you some notice of a bite and you may have time to pull away.

But I digress. Other things to know about brown Haitians (and tarantulas in general) are that they are extremely fragile, so they must be handled with extreme care. If one were to drop from even a couple of feet, it would shatter this invertebrate’s exoskeleton, killing it instantly.

I fed my Caesar almost exclusively insects, mostly crickets, because they are easily purchased at most pet stores, and because he liked them. Other than that, it’s important to make sure clean water is available; I also had a small, clean, wet sponge inside – I must have read that somewhere?

If you want your tarantula to survive, you must keep the terrarium very clean. Tarantulas poop… they are very small (round) poops, but nonetheless they attract parasites and mold that will kill your spider very quickly. If you are not up to cleaning his home regularly, don’t make this investment! It is just money and a tarantula down the drain. What a waste that is.

In the end, I could not keep Caesar. My mother refused to allow me to keep him in HER house after my first year in college. So, he was adopted by a friend who did take good care of him and for several years, I did get updates. Lesson learned!

Now we have the Internet so DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Learn everything, good and bad, about a potential pet! It is the only fair thing to do for everyone involved, especially the pet, and it avoids heartbreak down the road.

Best of Luck, Boston John

RADAR: Radio Detection and Ranging

    A Brief History:

Experiments with radar began in the late 1800’s, when Heinrich Hertz saw that metallic objects reflected radio waves.1 In the early 1900’s, Christian Hulsmeyer acquired a patent for his Telemobiloskop, also called a Remote Object Viewing Device. Ships used this device to avoid collisions in fog.2
For the next couple of decades, there was not a great deal of progress in the use of radar. Robert Page, who later became the Director of Research for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, demonstrated the pulse radar in 1936. Experiments, conducted by Page at the U.S. Naval Research Labs (together with Dr. Alfred Taylor and Dr. Leo C. Young) were able to detect basic continuous wave patterns made by ship and aircraft engines, by barely visible indications on an oscilloscope.3 By timing the pulses on an oscilloscope, the direction of the antenna revealed the angular location of the targets and equally important, range could be determined. Together, the target was located… a “fix” was made – relative to where the antenna was located. As a result of this work, Page, Taylor, and Young have been credited with authenticating the world’s first radar.4
The rapid development and success of modern radar during WWII cannot be understated… it was crucial to ending the war in the Allies favor and sooner rather than later. In 1939, the United States Navy came up with the acronym, RADAR, meaning “RAdio Detection And Ranging.”
A major development in the use of radar happened when physicists, John Randall and Harry Boot from the United Kingdom, invented the cavity magnetron5,6 (also in 1939) a device that shortened the pulse of radio wave energy and allowed for smaller radar systems as a whole. By the end of the war, a wide variety of land and sea-based radars existed… and the use of radar for civilian purposes became an exciting proposition. Smaller systems allowed for greater mobility and use over numerous platforms; all of this made radar systems more efficient and more accurate.
When WWII ended, scientists and inventors focused on peaceful uses for radar. To these fields, the use of radar was a new and exciting concept. For civil aviation, radar was of obvious value, but for fields including medicine, meteorology, and marine navigation, the potential use of radar seemed endless. At the same time, the radar gun used by police officers across the country, began to catch drivers with massive V–8 engines that went much faster than the sixty to seventy mile per hour posted limits of the 1950’s and 1960’s. For offenders, early on, this unfamiliar device must have added a great deal of aggravation to the whole ordeal.
Soon, radar became a household word, and people wanted to know not only the ways in which radar could make life better, but how this new technology worked. Initially, the public had concerns about whether these “waves” were safe. Later, convinced they must be, society called for easier meals.
An Introduction to Radar Technology:
Most people have heard of the term “radar waves” and are familiar with the idea that radio waves use radar to somehow “detect an object” that is out in the distance or out in an area somewhere. Fans of submarine movies know that sonar (SOund Navigation and Ranging) uses sound to either communicate with or detect other ships or submarines on or under the surface of water. Using the distance it takes for that sound to reach the object (and some reasonable mathematical calculations) the radio operator could report to the captain not only the distance of other ships, but also their course, speed, and depth – after several measurements were taken.
Today, for the most part, a majority of people accept the fact that there are all kinds of waves out there, radio and microwaves included, bouncing all around us – indeed through us… and these waves make all sorts of things work. Microwave ovens, cell phones, Wi-Fi, cat scans, x-rays, and numerous other devices – use invisible (to the naked eye) waves to somehow “just work”. And as long as these waves don’t cause harm, (and many will always question that) and the devices work, the specifics of how they function are not necessary. Nonetheless, a basic comprehension of radar is possible without flashbacks to high school physics!
What makes radar technology difficult for many people to understand, is that – although radio waves and microwaves (two types of electromagnetic waves) are very small and are, for the most part, not seen, they do transport energy – just like ocean waves and sound waves. Ocean and sound waves require matter in order to transport energy, while electromagnetic waves do not. Think of the enormous power of the sun; while ultraviolet rays (another form of electromagnetic wave) carry no matter, they are capable of severe burns from 93 million miles away in a very short time! Further, radio waves can pass through vacuums, which allows them to travel through space – making the use of satellites possible. All electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light (or so close to it, that any difference is inconsequential in virtually any application), a fixed number equal to 299,792,458 meters per second (take a moment to think about how really fast that is… in feet if need be… 1 meter = 3.28 feet!). This speed, almost always referred to in science as the letter “c” for example, E = mc2… Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity, shows that increased mass, “m” of a body comes from the energy of motion of that body, i.e., the kinetic energy, “E” divided by the speed of light squared (c2). That sounds fairly simple and straightforward, but Albert Einstein is still many generations ahead of his time!
Although some aspects of radar technology are very complex, involving higher mathematics, the basics of how radar works is fairly straightforward. A radar system has a transmitter that sends out radio waves called radar signals in a direction determined by the radio operator7. These radar signals (made up of radio waves and microwaves – types of electromagnetic waves) bounce back to a transmitter for interpretation. As seen in Image A, below, the basic concept of a sending out radio waves from a transmitter/sender over a distance “r”, allowing them to hit an object, having the reflected wave (shown in green) travel back over the same distance, “r”, back to the receiver – is a simple idea. Using high school mathematics, one can see that measuring the time it takes for the wave to travel from the transmitter to the object and back , with a known radio wave speed – determining the object’s distance is a simple calculation.


3 A typical definition of an oscilloscope is: “An oscilloscope is a laboratory instrument commonly used to display and analyze the waveform of electronic signals. In effect, the device draws a graph of the instantaneous signal voltage as a function of time.” It allows observation of a constantly varying signal over time. For example see:

4 Raymond C. Watson, Jr., “Radar Origins Worldwide”
Trafford Publishing, 2009, p. 45., cited by

6 Magnetrons are still in use today; they are found in microwave ovens and some radars still contain them. See:

7 Image located at: Principle_EN.svg