Monday, July 10, 2017

Opioid Prescriptions Are Down But Not Enough, CDC Finds

The CDC said doctors have been prescribing fewer opioids (like hydrocodone and OxyContin) in recent years. That’s the good news. The bad news: prescriptions have still tripled since the late ’90s. For years, the number of Americans addicted to opioids has skyrocketed and tens of thousands of people have died from overdoses. In the past year, the crisis has gained a lot more national attention since local police started sharing graphic photos of people who’d overdosed. States like West Virginia and Ohio are among the hardest hit by the crisis. Especially in lower income areas where more people suffer from diseases like diabetes and arthritis. The feds and state governments have been trying to address the crisis by issuing stricter prescription guidelines and limiting how many pills doctors can prescribe. Now it looks like some of that may be working, but CDC officials say ‘still not enough’ – docs need to do more to make sure they’re not unnecessarily prescribing these sorts of drugs. (NBC News)


QVC buys HSN in a move to challenge Amazon

Check out this one. Yesterday, QVC’s parent company said it’s buying the Home Shopping Network for more than $2 billion. QVC’s the channel you know from “Joy” with JLaw. And longtime rival, HSN, is where the Joy Mangano now sells her products. Not awkward at all. But apparently no one buys crockpots and statement jewelry off of TV anymore (hello, Amazon). And sales at both QVC and HSN have been on a downward slide, especially in the past year. Execs say tackling the shopping world together will help them both turn business around. QVC’s parent company already has a minority stake in HSN. This deal means it’s getting the whole thing. Call now and get a second shopping network for free. (CBS News)


Extramarital Affairs More Common Among Older Americans

While younger Americans may be viewed as more sexually progressive, a new study has found that older Americans engage in extramarital affairs more often than younger married people. The study, titled “America’s New Generation Gap in Extramarital Sex” and published July 5 by the Institute for Family Studies, reveals that 20 percent of married Americans over the age of 55 say they have had extramarital sex, while just 14 percent of married Americans under 55 have gotten it on with someone other than their legal partner. The study found that extramarital affairs were carried out mostly by younger people until around 2000, when the percentage of Americans aged 18-55 engaging in extramarital affairs began to drop, while the percentage of married people 55 and older seeking sex from people other than their spouse began to rise. That number has nearly doubled since 1991, when around 10 percent of older Americans said they had engaged in extramarital affairs. (Institute for Family Studies)


There are a lot of tips — and even a few smartphone apps — to help you remember you have a small child in the back seat, but this one is the best: Leave something in the back seat. Some people take off their nondriving shoe and toss it in the back to force them to always open the back door. You could also leave your purse or backpack on the back seat floor, or even your cell phone. (Your Tango)


Tesla building ‘world’s biggest’ lithium-ion battery in Australia

Tesla is teaming up with French-based renewable energy company Neoen to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia by the end of the year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk jetted into Australia this afternoon to make the announcement, saying the battery will be “three times more powerful than anything else on earth. Tesla won a bid to provide a Powerpack battery with the capacity of 100 MW/129 megawatt-hours, which will be based in Jamestown, South Australia. The company says the battery will be charged using energy from the nearby Hornsdale wind farm and will deliver energy during peak usage hours to help maintain supply across the state. The announcement is a big deal for Australia’s third largest state, which has struggled in recent months to secure a stable energy supply for its 1.7-million-strong population. (CNET)


News chopper spots alligator eating body of plane crash victim

A Florida plane crash scene became even more disturbing when an alligator was spotted devouring the victim’s body. The wreckage was discovered Wednesday night in the Everglades four days after the plane took off on an unauthorized trip from a flight school. The sole occupant of the single-engine Cessna 152 was the pilot, who has not been identified. A local news station WPLG headed to the scene, where helicopter footage showed a body in a swamp next to the wreckage — and an alligator wading nearby. “A gator appears to be chewing on a body next to the wreckage,” WPLG managing editor Peter Burke tweeted. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident. (WPLG 10 TV)


St. Louis minimum wage will drop from $10 to $7.70

While many cities raised their minimum wage over the past weekend, St. Louis will soon see a 23% decrease. A new Missouri law will go into effect August 28 that will override the city’s minimum wage and lower the hourly rate from $10 to $7.70, which is the state’s standard. In 2015, St. Louis passed an ordinance that raised the minimum wage to $10 in May and would’ve bumped it to $11 in January 2018. This led to a legal battle that wound up in the Missouri Supreme Court — which the city eventually won. But its victory was short-lived. The Missouri General Assembly passed a law earlier this year that prohibits local governments from setting a higher minimum wage than what the state requires. Missouri Governor Eric Greitens took a stance in the minimum wage debate, but didn’t sign the bill into law. It will go into effect next month regardless. (CNN)


Oh no, it’s….. MONDAY!!!! On the more positive side, it’s also:

*Clerihew Day
*Don’t Step On A Bee Day
*International Town Criers Day (Second Monday)
*Piña Colada Day
*Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day

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