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