Thursday, November 28, 2019

    

Emotional moment 12-year-old boy sees colors for the first time thanks to his principal

A  12-year-old Minnesota boy’s reaction to seeing colors for the first  time is warming hearts across the internet, after his big brother posted  footage of the moment on social media. The boy was born with severe  color blindness. His principal at Lakeview Public School has the same  condition, and brought his own pair of enchroma glasses to class one  day, urging the student to gaze through the special shades. The moment  was caught on video and shared by the boy’s older brother on Twitter,  and quickly went viral. In the clip, they student can be seen taking off  his everyday glasses and putting on the enchroma shades in front of his  classmates and his mom, who came to witness his reaction. First, he  laughs while looking around, speechless, giving a thumbs up before  breaking down in tears. The Principal then rushes to embrace the boy,  saying, “Come here, dude, I’m so happy for you.” Walking back to the front of the room, the principal can be heard telling the class, “Hey, now that just tells you how beautiful a world you have.” The Principal  let the boy take the enchroma glasses home for a few days, and  suggested maybe his parents could buy him a pair. His mother had started  a GoFundMe to raise the money to make just such a purchase. The  crowdsourcing campaign asked for $350 to buy her son the glasses, but  had reached more than $10,700. All of the additional proceeds will be  donated to “a foundation who purchases color blind glasses for those who can’t afford them.” (The Blaze)

A Ohio woman called 911 to order pizza, only she was actually reporting domestic violence

An  Ohio police dispatcher received an unusual call as the woman on the  other end of the line said she wanted to order a pizza, but she was  actually reporting domestic violence taking place against her mother. “I would like to order a pizza,”  the caller said, proceeding to give the address to her apartment. “You  called 911 to order a pizza?” police dispatcher questioned. “This is the wrong number to order a pizza.” “No, no, no, no … you’re not understanding,” the caller insisted. When it clicked, the dispatcher was quick to interject: “I’m getting you now … the guy still there?” “Yeah, I need a large pizza,” the caller said. “Pepperoni.” “I’ll get ’em going,”  the dispatcher assured her. The dispatcher then calmly asked her if  medical assistance was needed and if the caller was able to stay on the  line. She responded, “no” to both and before the dispatcher  hung up, once again assuring her that police were on their way. The  dispatcher instructed officers to turn off their sirens upon arriving at  the apartment from which the call originated. “[The] caller ordered a pizza and agreed with everything I said that there’s a domestic violence going on,” he told them. “Excellent dispatch work on the part of our dispatcher. Some dispatchers may have hung up,”  said the Oregon Chief of Police. When police arrived they made the  arrest. It turned out that the caller was the 38-year-old daughter of a  57-year-old woman, whose boyfriend came home drunk, telling the  57-year-old that he was “going to beat her ass” before punching  and pushing her, witness said in a police report. The boyfriend has  been arrested and is being detained at the Lucas County Corrections  Center on a domestic violence charge. The Police Cheif and the  dispatcher say they had never heard of the method of pretending to order  a pizza to discreetly alert police, but plans to use audio of the call  to train future dispatchers. It should be noted that the method is not  standard practice, and not all dispatchers are trained to respond.  Though the victim in this case is undoubtedly grateful that her daughter  had the thoughtfulness to utilize it and that the dispatchers intuition  kicked in. (NBC News)

Saying ‘OK boomer’ at work could count as age discrimination under the law

The phrase “OK boomer”  has become a catchall put-down that Gen Zers and young millennials have  been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the  generation of Americans who are currently between 55 and 73 years old.  Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter  feuds, and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life.  Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older  legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change. HR  professionals and employment law specialists now face the old question:  What happens if people start saying “OK boomer” at work? A lot of the internet fights over “OK boomer”  revolve around whether the phrase is offensive. The bigger issue is  that the insult is age-related. Workers 40 and older are protected by a  federal statute called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which  prohibits harassment and discrimination on the basis of age. Comments  that relate to a worker’s age are a problem because older workers often  face negative employment decisions, like a layoff or being passed over  for promotion. The only way to tell whether a decision like that is  tainted by age discrimination is the surrounding context: comments and  behavior by managers and coworkers. If a manager said “OK boomer”  to an older worker’s presentation at a meeting, that would make  management seem biased. Even if that manager simply tolerated a joke  made by someone else, it would suggest the boss was in on it. Saying “OK boomer”  one time does not legally qualify as harassing behavior, nor does it  matter if the target isn’t even a boomer. Gen Xers were born roughly  between 1965 and 1979. That makes them older than 40 and covered by  federal age discrimination law. The problem is that the phrase is  intended as a put-down that is based, at least partly, on age. Lumping  Gen Xers into a category with even older workers doesn’t make it better.  Either way, you are commenting on their age. Also, a few states,  including New York, ban age discrimination for all workers over 18, and  employers in those states probably should have done something about the  millennial jokes. (Business Insider)

NASA finds ‘extraterrestrial sugar’ on meteorites, which may have ‘led to the origin of life’

NASA  researchers have found sugar molecules on two different meteorites,  adding credence to the idea that asteroids play a crucial role in  supporting life. The researchers said they discovered ribose and “other bio-essential sugars including arabinose and xylose,”  adding that ribose is crucial for RNA (ribonucleic acid), which copies  genetic codes from DNA and delivers them to ribosomes used to build  proteins essential for life. “Other important building blocks of  life have been found in meteorites previously, including amino acids  (components of proteins) and nucleobases (components of DNA and RNA),  but sugars have been a missing piece among the major building blocks of  life,” said the study’s lead author in a statement. “The  research provides the first direct evidence of ribose in space and the  delivery of the sugar to Earth,” Furukawa added. “The extraterrestrial  sugar might have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic  Earth which possibly led to the origin of life.” (Fox News)

Which Americans Are The Smartest?

The  folks over at SafeHome.org released a study that ranks the smartest  states in America (the folks in Washington, D.C. beat us out). SafeHome  says it used the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S.  Department of Education, the College Board and ACT to compile its  scores. The analysis of the available data covering educational  achievement and test scores found that the smartest U.S. state is New  Jersey, and the dumbest one is Idaho. New Jersey’s total score of 337.8  was safely ahead of No. 2 Utah, with its score of 324. Idaho had the  lowest score at 79.5, with the next lowest being Oklahoma at 97.8. Among  all states, the average score was 221, and 27 states scored above that  mark. The average score by region was mostly pretty evenly split, though  the West had by far the lowest average score, owing largely to Idaho’s  poor performance. Average scores in the Midwest were highest at 230,  followed by the Northeast (228), South (227) and West (202). But even if  Idaho is removed, the average score in the West would still be the  lowest of the four regions at 213. (Safehome)

Many jobs, not enough good ones

The  unemployment rate in the U.S. remains near record lows, but that  obscures a more concerning trend: There may be plenty of jobs out there,  but many of these gigs don’t pay well enough to keep Americans  financially secure, according to new research. Some 53 million workers,  or 44% of the U.S. workforce between the ages of 18 and 64, are holding “low-wage”  jobs, earning a median annual salary of $18,000. Such wages render  these workers highly vulnerable to economic shocks, and many face an  uphill battle to move into better paying positions. (Brookings Institution)

Local governments feel the squeeze

Local  governments wonder who will provide services as retirements increase  and hiring falls. Data show 44% of state and local governments are  seeing an uptick in retirements. A LinkedIn analysis also found that  hiring was down more than 5% for public administration jobs between June  2018 and May 2019. One reason for the lackluster interest could be that  younger workers have more options thanks to the tight labor market,  with jobs in state and local governments making roughly 4% to 8% less  than their counterparts in the private sector. (Axios)

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Thanksgiving  Day is mainly comprised of three activities: spending time with the  family, watching football, and eating a hearty meal of turkey. These  Thanksgiving Day fun facts will keep the conversation going, and you may  just teach your loved ones a thing or two about the national holiday.  Here are some fun facts about Thanksgiving to share around the dinner  table.

  • The  first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three day harvest  festival. It included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted  three days. It is believed by historians that only five women were  present.
  • Turkey  wasn’t on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Venison, duck, goose,  oysters, lobster, eel, and fish were likely served, alongside pumpkins  and cranberries (but not pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce!).
  • Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863. Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing letters for 17 years.
  • The  history of U.S. presidents pardoning turkeys is patchy. Harry Truman is  often credited with being the first president to pardon a turkey, but  that’s not quite true. He was the first to receive a ceremonial turkey  from the National Turkey Federation – and he had it for dinner. John F.  Kennedy was the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go, followed by  Richard Nixon who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Bush is  the president who formalized the turkey pardoning tradition in 1989.
  • There are four towns in the United States named “Turkey.” They can be found in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
  • The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500.
  • Butterball answers more than 100,000 turkey-cooking questions via their Butterball Turkey Hotline each November and December.
  • The  tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between  Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in  1920.
  • More than 54 million Americans are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday this year. That’s up 4.8% from last year.
  • About  46 million turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving each year. While not  super popular the rest of the year, turkey is a huge hit for holidays,  perhaps because it really serves a crowd. On Christmas, 22 million  families host an encore with yet another turkey.
  • Most  Americans like Thanksgiving leftovers more than the actual meal. Almost  eight in 10 Americans agree that the second helpings of stuffing,  mashed potatoes, and of course pie beat out the big dinner itself. Many  people will craft creative leftover concoctions out of what doesn’t get  consumed during the feast, or just head back for a whole second act.
  • An  estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are eaten on Thanksgiving. If you’d  rather leave your pumpkins at Halloween and dig into another  Thanksgiving dessert, you’re not alone. According to The American Pie  Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall — pumpkin pie only  comes in second place.
  • Black  Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. Thanks to all that  food we gobble up on Thanksgiving and houseguests stressing out the  plumbing system, Roto-Rooter reports that kitchen drains, garbage  disposals, and yes, toilets, require more attention the day after  Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.
  • Over  32 million people begin Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Black  Friday still draws the biggest crowd of the entire weekend, with 115  million people. A total of 69 percent of Americans love to get those  deals, which may explain why we can’t find a parking spot.

Thursday Gives Us Thanks With:

  • National Day of Mourning (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Turkey-free Thanksgiving
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