Discovery Discover Magazine lists a few simple facts (what? No dinosaurs?) about the substance that's wreaking havoc, including the tidbit that it was once considered a health drink.
Next to Christmas week, this may be the slowest news week of the year, prompting companies and organizations to pump out an unusually high number of press releases. News organizations are hungry for the faint aroma of "news," so there's a pretty good chance that an organization's "story" -- and name -- will get on TV, the radio, or printed in a newspaper. Or a blog.
Sometimes the release involves things your parents never had to tell you, because they calculated at an early age that even you, for example, wouldn't be dumb enough to eat a glow stick. And if they did think you were dumb enough to eat a glow stick, they wouldn't buy you one in the first place.
A Glow Stick consists of a small fragile glass vial containing a chemical activator housed inside a larger plastic vial containing the dye solution. When the inactivated Glow Stick is bent, the glass vial breaks allowing the previously separated chemicals to mix. The resulting chemical reaction causes a non-heat generating light emission. While these chemicals are not very poisonous, the chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes. If swallowed, the chemicals can cause a burning sensation.
In other "news"....
Oh, by the way kids, don't do that, either.
"I don't see people slowing down," Mrs. News Cut remarked to me today as we drove along I-494 in the East Metro -- in the far righthand lane, of course. "That's because people want everything and everyone else to change so that don't have to," I replied, invoking the time-honored sweeping generalization method of anthropology.
People are in a big hurry and when it comes to the cost of gasoline, getting somewhere in a hurry is a fair trade, many figure, for a few extra bucks.
There's got to be an easier way and, fortunately, noted energy consumption specialist -- and occasional MPR reporter -- Tom Weber has recently completed some research:
I wondered how much gas I might save if I simply change when I turn my car on. In the past, I'd turn it on, then put my seat belt on, then turn on the radio. And when I get home, I'd park, then roll up the windows, then turn the car off. It was all backwards! Actually turning the car on should be the last thing you do when you're leaving and the first thing you do when you're parking.
It was actually hard, took me a week to do - to break my habit. Now, I sit in my car, get situated, plug in my phone - maybe turn the car on (but not the engine) to roll down the windows -- then I turn the car on and immediately shift it into gear and go.
When I get home, I park and immediately turn off the car. If the windows and radio are still on, I can roll those up without having the engine on.
I just filled my gas tank on the way home today and noticed my car got about 2 miles per gallon more this tank. I actually spent fewer minutes with the engine on, but didn't limit how much I actually drove and it saved. Sure, only a few bucks. But what's wrong with using gas more efficiently and saving a few bucks?
I have to admit, I've noticed the same thing. I get in the car, turn it on, put the seat belt on, then close the garage door. The radio? You have to turn them off now?
It feels like a good day for chewing on your Weberific gas saving idea.(25 Comments)
Just another day in the American economy. UnitedHealth is cutting 4,000 jobs, the Treasury Secretary makes a proposal that allows financial firms to fail without messing up the economy, 900 flight attendants at American Airlines will lose their jobs, and oil prices have hit a new record
News Cut is constantly testing the underpinnings of the American economy. Today is no exception.
Retail sales specialist -- and occasional MPR reporter -- Tom Weber remarked today that the size of sales receipts is growing at a frightening rate. Today, for example, he bought a pack of Mentos and a pack of Eclipse gum (he paid $3.79 for gum, but that's a topic for another day),
Here's his receipt.
9 1/4 inches.
Yesterday I bought lunch for my sons and a friend at a local restaurant. Here's the receipt:
Even the U.S. Postal Service is big-receipt happy. Sending a certified letter?
That'll cost you 9 1/2" of valuable wallet space.
By far, the worst offender is Home Depot. A one-item purchase will net you a sales receipt equivalent to about a full roll of toilet paper.
In most cases, the size is attributable to offers to tempt you into filling out an online survey about the store's performance. "Your receipts are too big," does not appear anywhere as a survey option, however.
Small receipts can usually be found from the gas station's pay-at-the-pump printer. Oil companies are making massive amounts of money. Home stores, restaurants, and street retail are struggling in the economy.
This leads us to the theory we need to test: The worse the business is doing in a tough economy, the bigger the receipt.
One of the more disturbing pieces of video of late is the one released this week showing a woman dying on the floor of a New York hospital and nobody seeming to care.
According to the story on the BBC's Web site, "On Tuesday, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the hospital, agreed to increase the monitoring of patients at the hospital's psychiatric ward as part of a lawsuit settlement." The BBC's version of the video is even more disturbing.
What's troubling -- more so after you watch the video -- is the assertion that there was a systemic breakdown of monitoring, rather than a simple breakdown of decency and compassion.
There is reason for hope, however. Six people were fired or suspended as a result of the incident.(12 Comments)
Here's an odd turn of events in the reported burglary in the residence of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt: A number of stolen items have been found in a box in the Archbishop's bedroom, according to a news release this evening from the Archdiocese.
"Reverend Lee Piche, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, discovered the missing valuable historical items, worn by former Archbishops, today in a subsequent final sweep of the room," the release said. In a final sweep?
Father Piche of the Archdiocese "wondered how the thieves, who had accessed the rooms through the residence roof could have managed to carry both the 75 pound safe and another box, and decided to check the room again, even though it had been searched before. That search resulted in his finding the box with the precious and suspected stolen crosses and rings," the release said.(3 Comments)