Wednesday, March 4, 2020

What to do about parental burnout

Working parents know the threat of burnout at work, but what are the effects of burnout at home? Parental burnout is a state of overwhelming exhaustion caused by work and home life that often leads to aggressive and neglectful parenting. The consequences are significant: parents see poor health and increased stress markers, and children experience emotionally detached parents. Valuing quality over quantity of time with your children, identifying goals and implementing micro-changes to make more time for yourself can help parents prevent this burnout effect. (Harvard Business Review)


The coronavirus isn’t causing much good news out there, but here’s one positive development

After weeks-long curfews and a drop in manufacturing, there has been a dramatic reduction in pollution above China last month. According to satellite imagery from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), nitrogen dioxide levels have gone significantly down over the last eight weeks, resulting in maps that look nothing like those of densely-populated cities. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” said a spokesperson of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Air pollution typically decreases during China’s Lunar New Year celebrations, as many businesses close, though the reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels have been “more significant than in past years and it has lasted longer.” (Yahoo News)


Pedestrian deaths in U.S. hit highest level in 30 years, study finds

If you walk to work or the store, you’re facing increasing danger from distracted drivers. A new study shows pedestrian deaths hit a 30-year high in 2019. More than 6,500 people were killed, which is a 5% increase from the year before. New research finds pedestrian deaths have surged 53%. Distracted driving and walking with smartphones are factors, as is drug and alcohol abuse. All this as warming weather is bringing more pedestrians outside. Three-quarters of pedestrian deaths happen at night — most on local roads and away from intersections. Some researchers say that drivers and walkers distracted by smartphones is a growing problem. To cut down on these deadly incidents, the study recommended adding crosswalks for pedestrians and improving street lighting. Less cellphone use while driving or walking would help too. (Governor’s Highway Safety Association)


Treating Parkinson’s with ping pong

Researchers from Japan’s Fukuoka University have found a little bit of ping pong can go a long way for Parkinson’s patients. In a recent study of patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s, weekly ping pong sessions combined with stretching led to “significant improvements” in the subjects completing tasks like dressing themselves, walking and getting out of bed. Ping pong, which demands impressive hand-eye coordination, has been previously found to help with other diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. (New Atlas)


Taking an Uber or a Lyft ride may not be as green as you think

A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals a typical ride-hailing trip is about 69% more polluting than the trips it replaces. Not only that, but it can also increase congestion during peak periods. The transportation industry overtook electric power as America’s worst source of greenhouse gas emissions. Adding to the problem? “Deadhead” miles, or when drivers for the various ride-sharing apps drive around without passengers. (Union Of Concerned Scientists)


Living as a flight attendant can be very different

According to the report, many flight attendants report issues with alcoholism, as well as sleep disorders. Many also complain of low wages, the long hours spent on their feet, as well as working in an environment lacking fresh air. There is also the abuse that flight attendants often receive from passengers, not to mention the constant jet lag. Another issue many face is that, once they leave their professions, it’s difficult to find what’s the next, natural fit. (Quartz)


Nike, Apple among dozens of major brands implicated in report on forced labor

Nike and Apple are among the major companies accused of using forced labor from Chinese “re-education camps,” according to a new report. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says that 80,000 members of the Uighur ethnic group have been transferred from camps to factories across China, as “local Chinese governments and private brokers are paid a price per head.” The Chinese government claims the “Xinjiang Aid” program is essential to combat terrorism in northwest China. The nation denies reports that it has detained over one million Uighur Muslims in recent years. The  report alleges that workers from the camps were transferred to factories that have produced products for Nike, Apple, Amazon, Google, Abercrombie & Fitch, and H&M. (Sydney Morning Herald)


A growing trend on TikTok are videos tracking down cheap duplicates of expensive luxury items

A major video genre on TikTok is videos on how to find “dupes,” or items on sites like DHGate, AliExpress or Amazon for items that look like Chanel, Gucci, Lululemon, Louis Vuitton and Cartier or other pricey designers. Other videos show how TikTok users actually make do-it-yourself designer dupes; whether that’s sewing and styling shirts to look like they come from Brandy Melville, or actually painting or ironing on Lululemon or Chanel logos to make them look like the real thing. It’s a trend that comes as many younger consumers are cost-conscious but also photographed at a dizzying rate. Brands have to decide whether to encourage the creativity of its fans or come off as buzzkills if they try to clamp down on the activity. It’s not clear what TikTok’s official policy is on posts like this. The company clarified its policy for ads, which don’t allow for content promoting products or services that violate “copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights”, but not for regular posts. Its community guidelines say it removes content that promotes criminal activities. (CNBC)


SpaceX won a major launch contract from NASA for a study that will take a rocket to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter

The $117 million contract is part of the “Psyche mission,” a study of a metal asteroid called 16 Psyche that could help scientists learn about the formation of planets. (Most asteroids are made of rock and ice, but 16 Psyche is largely composed of iron and nickel.) Scientists believe 16 Psyche could be the former core of a planet destroyed by impact with another major celestial body billions of years ago. A SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket is set to carry a NASA spacecraft weighing over 5,000 pounds to the asteroid belt some time in 2022. (Teslarati)


A college recruiter was fired after having high school students line up by the color of their skin and then by their hair texture

An 11th grade student from Harding Charter Preparatory High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said that during an assembly, the recruiter from Oklahoma Christian University “barely talked about the school itself.” “He was like, ‘All right, let’s play a little game,’” the student said. “Then he said, ‘Okay everyone, now line up from darkest to lightest skin complexion.’” The 11th graders were then told to shuffle again. Another student said, “He told us to line up nappiest hair in the back and straightest hair in the front.” The university said in a statement that the admissions counselor is no longer an Oklahoma Christian employee, adding that admissions leadership didn’t approve the “inappropriate activity in advance”. The school’s principal said in a statement that the recruiter “led a group activity with our students that involved inappropriate and hurtful statements.” He said Harding doesn’t condone any behavior that “undermines our community’s values.” (KFOR)


Supreme Court will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act sometime next term

The Supreme Court will hear a third challenge to the Affordable Care Act that could determine the constitutionality of the long-controversial health care law. Despite encouragements to the court by Democrats to fast-track the case, the court is likely to hear the case in October and pass judgment on the ACA some time after the presidential election in November. The ACA remains in effect for the time being, though a federal appeals court in December struck down the law’s “individual mandate” to purchase health insurance, while leaving the rest of the law in place. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Congress’ ability to tax confirmed the legality of the law’s individual mandate. (CNN)


Apple to pay up to $500 million settlement after admitting to slowing down older iPhones

Apple will pay up to half a billion dollars to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of slowing down older iPhone models to compel users to buy new ones. The proposed settlement agreement requires Apple to pay the owners of certain iPhone models $25 per affected device, totaling a minimum of $310 million and a maximum of $500 million, according to documents released in US District Court in San Jose, California. The amount each user receives could increase or decrease depending on how many claims are filed as well as any additional legal fees and expenses approved by the court, the document added. The settlement agreement, which is subject to approval by a judge on April 3, caps a legal battle that’s gone on for more than two years during which Apple tried to ease a global backlash. (KTLA)


Storms In The Heart Land

At least 22 people were killed after a spate of tornadoes ripped through east Nashville, Tennessee, and elsewhere in the region late Monday night (3/2), collapsing buildings and cutting off power to thousands, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Police said two tornadoes struck the eastern part of Tennessee’s capital, while there were four in nearby Putnam County and another four in other parts of the region. First responders have reported at least 40 collapsed structures throughout Nashville. The suburb of Mt. Juliet, just east of downtown, was particularly hit hard. As of Tuesday morning, there are multiple homes damaged, multiple people injured, multiple people still trapped when the crews arrived, said the Captain of the Mt. Juliet Police Department. (ABC News)


Super Tuesday Primary Results

Fourteen states are holding presidential primaries on Super Tuesday (3/3). California and Texas have the largest numbers of delegate making it the most pivotal day on the presidential primary calendar. More than 1,300 delegates (about a third of the total) are at play, more than on any other day in the primary season. As the polls closed on Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden won the primaries in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts, and Senator Bernie Sanders came out on top in Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. It’s not clear if former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s late-entry strategy to forgo the first four nominating contests and focus on Super Tuesday states would pay off, and whether Senator Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard would remain in the race. (News Max)


Wednesday Switches Gears With:

  • Benjamin Harrison Day
  • Brain Injury Awareness Day
  • Courageous Follower Day
  • Discover What Your Name Means Day (Wednesday of First Full Week)
  • Holy Experiment Day
  • Hug A G.I. Day
  • International Scrapbooking Industry Day
  • March Forth-Do Something Day
  • Marching Music Day
  • National Backcountry Ski Day
  • National Grammar Day
  • Old Inauguration Day
  • Toy Soldier Day
  • World Hearing Day

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