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Viewing a billion-dollar art gallery at home

by JOY SCHWABACH | October 23, 2021 at 1:45 a.m.

You could pay $700 for a Meural art frame that shows off digital art. Or for $40, you could have 500 paintings on your TV.

The "Billion Dollar Art Gallery" puts the world's greatest art on a flash drive you stick into the back of your television. For me, watching the paintings go by in a spectacular video is better than seeing them in a museum or trying to put something together myself.

The painting lingers for a moment before the title and artist info appears. Delightful music plays. I was enchanted. Not only did I see my favorite Renoir, Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer paintings, I saw lots of fantastic art I'd never seen before.

If you pause the video, it's like having the painting on your wall. Right now, I'm pausing the video every 20 minutes and immersing myself in a work of art. It gives my eyes a rest from the computer screen.

The company encourages you to call if you need help getting started.

For my Sony TV, all I had to do was push the "Apps" button on my remote control, then scroll down to "Media Player." Voila! It played.

I can hardly wait to show my favorite 11-year-old all the horse paintings. To check out the art or the artists, go to BillionDollarArtGallery.com and click "Paintings."

LENDING AN EBOOK

Sometimes, a Kindle book just falls in your lap. A friend just lent me "The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects," by Emily Prokop. I lent him "Anvil of the Heart," a sci-fi thriller by Bruce T. Holmes.

Not every Kindle book can be loaned out. Out of the first 24 titles in my Kindle library, only nine were eligible. The recipient has 14 days to read it.

To lend one of yours, do a Google search from your computer using the words "manage content and devices."

Click the first link to see a list of your books. (If you have more than one device with a Kindle app on it, click "content" first.) On the far right side, click "more actions," and look for "loan this title." If you don't see those words, it's not loanable.

To receive a book someone has lent you, click on the link in the email Amazon sends you and sign in to your account. Choose where to deliver it, and the book appears in your Kindle library.

If you don't have a Fire tablet or some other Amazon device, add the free Kindle app to your smartphone, Android tablet, iPad or Chromebook. Or get the free Kindle App for Windows 10 or Kindle for Mac.

PLASTIC BAGS REVISITED

After I reviewed the Obaggo plastic bag compactor, a reader wrote: "For what it's worth, my neighborhood Walmart has a collection box just inside their doors to recycle grocery bags and other plastic overwraps. A LOT cheaper."

I fired back: "But only 5% of plastic is actually recycled." OK, that's true, but the reader is right and I'm wrong about those grocery store collection bins.

Unless they get contaminated, the plastic bags do get recycled. In fact, Obaggo just made a deal with the bin people to include compacted plastic. When I get my Obaggo, I'm looking forward to compacting stuff like those blue and white Amazon bags. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, according to Recycle Track Systems.

Check out myplasticfreelife.com for tips on cutting back. It has 100 suggestions, such as taking your own "to-go" containers for leftovers at restaurants and using your own bags for fruits and veggies at the supermarket.

I got excited about making my own soy milk from dried soybeans using a SoyaPower Milk Maker, eliminating more than 50 plastic-infused cartons a year. Then, I calmed down.

CAUTIONARY TALE

According to Flipsy.com, you have to be careful when you sell your phone on eBay.

Some buyers remove parts from a phone to resell or use them to repair their own phones. Then, they put the phone back together and return it in a non-working condition.

Flipsy, which offers dozens of alternative ways to sell your phone, says international buyers use this scam the most.

FREE TV

• Getepic lets you check out children's books, audiobooks, movies and TV shows for free. The website offers 40,000 books for kids and includes reading programs for teachers.

• Comettv.com has free sci-fi TV shows, such as "Battlestar Galactica," "The X-Files," "Ray Bradbury Theater" and "Night Gallery." It also has movies.

• CourtTV.com has videos on the latest court decisions as well as original movies.

• Crackle.com has a lot of free movies and TV, if you don't mind ads. I'm watching "The 100 Year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared." It's entertaining.

LIFETIME MICROSOFT OFFICE

If you're tired of paying $70 to $100 a year for a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, consider paying $150 one-time only for "Office Home & Student 2021." It includes Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you also need Outlook and Access, those are included in a professional version for $440.

INTERNUT

TheRespondent.com refers to a new book by actor Greg Ellis, best known for "Pirates of the Caribbean" "Titanic" and more than 100 video game voiceovers. In his thrilling true story, he describes how, as a divorced dad, he went from mansion to prison. On the site, click "nonprofit," then scroll down, to find out how to do a divorce through mediation, saving money and heartache.

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at joy.schwabach@gmail.com.

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