Thursday, October 12, 2017

Millennials don’t know how to mop — and it’s throwing retailers for a loop

While the US has 4.8 million 26-year-olds (the country’s biggest age group), many of them don’t have the same household skills as older generations. Millennials don’t even clean the same way as their forebears. Now, as 26-year-olds make up 42% of home buyers (and 71% of first-time home buyers), companies like Home Depot, Procter & Gamble and Sherwin-Williams have had to start from scratch to build more relevant products — including tutorial courses on topics like using a tape measure — and develop new marketing strategies as millennials enter their peak spending years. (The Wall Street Journal)


Vampire scare in Malawi prompts UN to move staff after mob violence

A vampire scare in Malawi is reportedly responsible for mob violence that’s resulted in the deaths of at least five people — and prompted the United Nations to pull its staff in the area. The eruption of vampire-driven vigilante violence in the African nation came after rumors surfaced in September that real-life bloodsuckers were creating havoc. Those reports prompted the formation of lynch mobs who’ve accused people of vampirism, according to a U.N. Department on Safety and Security report. Roving mobs searching for vampires have been mounting road blocks, raising security concerns for U.N. workers. The rumors of vampires may have originated in neighboring Mozambique, according to the U.N. report, which recommended the “temporary suspension of U.N. activities in the area until the situation is normalized.” The president of Malawi said the reports of mob violence over vampire fears were “distressing and agonizing.” (Reuters)


Walmart goes all-in online 

The world’s largest retailer will open roughly two dozen US stores in fiscal year 2019 — the fewest in 25 years — and divert remaining resources to focus on building out its online presence and services like home grocery delivery. Walmart also plans to invest in more than 1,000 grocery pickup locations in response to rival Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, which has stolen foot traffic from the chain since slashing prices. Despite an increasingly competitive space, Walmart predicts a 40% gain in online sales in 2018 as it seeks to beat Amazon at its own game. (The Wall Street Journal)


The United States Postal Service plans to launch semiautonomous mail trucks by 2025

That’s the plan without cutting any human jobs. A collaboration with the University of Michigan, the “Autonomous Rural Delivery Vehicle” would drive itself down the street as postal workers sort mail and place it into mailboxes from behind the wheel, eliminating the need for workers to continuously park and go. The postal agency has faced increasing financial pressures, and a semiautonomous vehicle could help eliminate costs. (Wired)


California wildfires continued to tear through wine country on Tuesday

Leaving 17 people dead, 100 missing and hundreds more hospitalized. The fire made its way into Santa Rosa, a warning that urban areas once considered safe are now at risk for wildfires; soot filled the air as far as San Francisco. Blazes are becoming more common following the state’s five-year drought: Seventeen were still raging across California. (CNN)


North Korean hackers stole US and South Korean wartime plans

A South Korean lawmaker said North Korean hackers got their hands on classified US-SK wartime plans last year. The US and South Korea are longtime allies who’ve been trying to figure out how to get the North to back off of its nuclear testing. Some in the Trump administration say they’re trying to work things out diplomatically, but President Trump says his team is wasting its time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim “Rocket Man” Jong Un. For decades, the hope has been to negotiate with the North, but the US and South Korea are also prepping for the worst. And apparently some of those plans have been stolen. They include details on how the US and SK would remove North Korea’s leaders if war broke out – known as the “decapitation plan.” Yikes. In other news on the US military’s mind, yesterday two US Navy officers were fired over the USS McCain crash that killed 10 sailors over the summer. The Navy says the officers showed poor leadership and judgement, and that “the collision was preventable.” This is just one of multiple US Navy collisions in the Pacific recently. (Chicago Tribune)


Utah police officer who dragged screaming nurse is fired

The Utah police officer who was filmed forcibly arresting a nurse who refused to let officers take a blood sample from an unconscious patient has been fired. A Salt Lake City Police spokesman announced that police chief Mike Brown decided to fire the officer on Tuesday (10/10) after an investigation into the incident. The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, was seen on film dragging a crying nurse out of the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City after she prevented law enforcement from taking blood from an unconscious patient. The nurse, Alex Wubbels, told officers they needed a warrant, the patient’s consent or for police to arrest the patient in order to draw blood. Payne told Wubbels he would “leave with blood in vials or body in tow” before placing her in handcuffs and dragging her out of the hospital. The hospital banned law enforcement from interacting directly with nurses after the footage appeared. Payne was also fired from his job as a paramedic. Both the Salt Lake City mayor and police chief apologized for the incident. (MSN)


Thirsty-Thursday pours on:

*Columbus Day (Traditional)
*Day of the Six Billion 
*Drink Local Wine Day 
*Free Thought Day 
*International Moment of Frustration Scream Day 
*National Farmer’s Day
*National Gumbo Day
*National Savings Day
*National Vermont Day
*Shemini Atzeret 
*Spanish Language Day 
*Stem Cell Awareness Day 
*World Arthritis Day 
*World Sight Day (2nd Thursday)

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