Consumer confidence is near a 17-year high
According to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, confidence has increased to 125.9 in October and comes on the heels of a 4.2% unemployment rate in September, the lowest level since early 2001. These figures have increased expectations for a strong holiday retail season (Walmart recently tripled its online inventory) as consumer spending makes up roughly 70% of US economic activity. (CNBC)
Companies are increasingly offering better benefits in lieu of higher salaries
While the Labor Department recently revealed that both pay and wages rose in the third quarter, employees can no longer expect rapidly rising compensation in what has been a period of slow wage growth. Instead, companies have turned to supplemental pay — which grew at a 2.5% yearly clip and includes benefits like flexitime, competitive 401K matching and sign-on bonuses — to retain and recruit employees in a tightening labor market. (Market Watch)
Japanese Company Gives Non-Smokers an Extra Week of Vacation
There are a lot of benefits of choosing not to smoke. You live longer. You live healthier. And, if you happen to work for the Japanese marketing firm Piala Inc, you get a lot more vacation time. The company has introduced a paid leave allowance to non-smokers, giving them an extra six days off per year. And though many companies offer some sort of incentive to kick the butts for health and insurance reasons, at Piala, it’s all about fairness. Cigarette breaks, it estimates, take at least 15 minutes. So non-smokers has complained to the company that they were working harder than people who ran out for a nicotine fix several times a day. The company, after investigating, agreed—and CEO Takao Asuka set the new policy. Many Japanese firms are encouraging their workers to quit smoking, especially as the 2020 Summer Olympics draw near. Tokyo’s governor is hoping to enact a ban on smoking in public places before the Games arrive, though will likely have trouble pushing that through. Globally, smoking carries costs of more than $1 trillion per year, according to a study from the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute. That’s far more than global revenues from tobacco taxes, which total an estimated $269 billion. (Yahoo)
Any Breastfeeding — Even If Combined With Formula — Cuts SIDS Risk In Half
Past research findings have shown that breastfeeding cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in half, but those studies seemed to suggest that only exclusive breastfeeding for six months decreased the risk. Now a new look at eight studies together finds it doesn’t take long, or much, breastfeeding to get that benefit. In fact, just two months of breastfeeding, even combined with formula, reduces SIDS risk, according to the new study in Pediatrics. Not only does the evidence therefore confirm SIDS risk reduction, but it also means mothers doing combination feeding can take heart that their children get the same benefit. And the whole idea that “formula feeding doubles SIDS risk,” as some extreme breastfeeding advocates have suggested, is just flat wrong. The researchers said the information collected in each study about the children varied slightly, so they were not able to make adjustments to account for all the possible factors that could influence SIDS risk. But they had enough data to crunch the numbers and find some broad reliable conclusions:
- Breastfeeding of any kind for less than two months does not reduce (or increase) SIDS risk.
- Any breastfeeding for 2-4 months reduces the risk of SIDS by about 40%. That means for every 10 non-breastfed babies who were going to die of SIDS, four of them would survive if all of them were breastfed instead. (There is no way to know which babies would have survived, and six will still die since other factors influence SIDS as well.)
- Any breastfeeding for 4-6 months reduces the risk of SIDS by about 60%.
- Any breastfeeding for longer than 6 months reduces the risk of SIDS by about 74%
- Exclusive breastfeeding for 4-6 months reduces the risk of SIDS by about 41%—almost identical to the finding with any kind of breastfeeding, including babies who are breastfed and formula-fed.
- Exclusive breastfeeding for 4-6 months reduces the risk of SIDS by 54%.
Tesla’s Elon Musk said the company won’t hit its Model 3 production goals
It had planned to make 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of the year, a deadline now being pushed to late in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the latest setback for the carmaker, which reported a $619 million loss in an investor call on Wednesday — its worst financial quarter yet. There’s a lot riding on the Model 3, a mid-price sedan meant to bring Tesla into the mainstream. (The Wall Street Journal)
Run Forrest! Gump impersonator jogs around Riverside
Halloween started early in Riverside, where a man dressed as Forrest Gump has been running around and stopping to take pictures with residents. Video and a photo from the Riverside Police Department show the man sporting a mangy fake beard, red shorts and a red “Bubba Gump” hat during his jogs around the Southern California city. It’s the same outfit worn by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Oscar-winning film “Forrest Gump.” Hanks’ character spends part of the movie running across the country. The mysterious jogger has been captured on camera by many people around Riverside with photos being shared on social media. (KTVU)
Don’t overdose on black licorice, FDA warns
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a warning: Don’t overdo it on the black licorice. The old-fashioned treat can be particularly risky for adults over 40, the FDA says. Eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land people in this age group in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia. The FDA published the warning on its website that black licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (pronounced gliss-er-EYE-zin), the sweetening compound derived from licorice root, which can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. When this happens, some people can experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy, and even congestive heart failure. These health issues linked to consuming large quantities of black licorice were documented in a 2017 study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension. (FDA)
Finally Friday!!! It Comes With:
*Fountain Pen Day (First Friday)
*Love Your Lawyer Day (First Friday)
*National Housewife’s Day
*National Jersey Friday (First Friday)
*National Medical Science Liaison Awareness & Appreciation Day (First Friday)
*Punkin Chunkin Day (The Day We Get Rid Of The Jack O’Lanterns From Halloween)
*Public Television Day