Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Enough was just enough for one Amazon delivery driver

In what has now become a viral tweet, a 22-year-old man quit his job as a delivery driver for Amazon mid-shift, leaving the keys in the ignition of his van, still loaded with packages, at a gas station in a Detroit suburb and caught a Lyft home. “It was immature and irresponsible on my end. At the same time enough is enough,” he said in a tweet that had more than 218,000 likes and had been shared more than 25,000 times. He was frustrated with the long hours, number of deliveries and pay because he often pulled nearly 12-hour shifts to deliver more than 100 packages for $15.50 per hour. The final straw, he said, was missing his sister’s birthday party. “She was real upset with me,” he said. “There is no set schedule.” He said that being late to his sister’s graduation party, coupled with the constant pressure to deliver more packages faster, finally took its toll. “This does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery partners,” Amazon wrote in a statement. “We are taking this matter seriously and have investigated the matter and are taking appropriate action.” The now former driver did return to the Marathon gas station in Lathrup Village several hours after his online tirade to wait for someone from Amazon to pick up the van. (WXYZ)


Black-owned businesses have seen increased sales in recent weeks in the wake of protests demanding racial justice and an end to police violence

According to Google, searches for “Black owned businesses near me” reached an all-time high last month in the U.S. Yelp has also made it easier for customers to search for Black-owned establishments on the restaurant review site, and Uber Eats says it’ll waive delivery fees for purchases from Black-owned restaurants through the end of the year. However, the business boon hasn’t been without growing pains for some companies. Black-owned bookstores have struggled to keep up with a surge in orders, many of them for a handful of sold-out titles on race relations. (AP News)


A number of businesses face an unusual problem this summer as a result of the pandemic: employees aren’t taking enough time off

With much of travel on hold, fewer employees have booked time off for vacations, data from HR software companies suggests. That’s creating a problem for employers, who are simultaneously worried about staff burnout and a rush to all take the time off at once around year-end. Some firms have been revamping their vacation policies in response. (The Wall Street Journal)


‘Avalanche’ of evictions starting?

The first wave of what a housing expert predicted would be a pandemic-induced “avalanche of evictions” may be picking up steam, putting an estimated 28 million U.S. households at risk of losing shelter. Eviction bans have been lifted in 20 states, while moratoriums at the federal level and in nine other states will expire at the end of the month. But even with bans in place, evictions have already targeted out-of-work undocumented immigrants, because migrants fear complaining about their landlord may lead to deportation. (The New York Times)


A bright fireball over Tokyo explodes with the force of 165 tons of TNT

The early morning skies over Tokyo were lit up by an explosive extraterrestrial object recently that also came with a sonic boom, according to some reports. Videos of the event show a spectacular light with green and purplish hues flying across the sky for just a few seconds before the light fizzles out. The impact of what was likely a small asteroid colliding with our atmosphere was picked up by a few of the infrasound monitoring stations set up around the world and overseen by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The International Meteor Organization reports that the meteoroid was visible from a large part of Japan’s Kanto region. The IMO estimates the space rock could’ve been around 5 feet in diameter with a mass of around 1.8 tons. For a comparison, the meteoroid that exploded over Russia in 2013 and blew out thousands of windows in the city of Chelyabinsk was likely 10 to 20 times more massive. Fireballs are common occurrences, though one large enough to generate a sonic boom is a rarer event, especially when it passes over one of the largest cities in the world. (Japan Times)


Nope, every dog year isn’t equal to 7 human years, researchers now say

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new formula that takes into account that variance. Tracking molecular changes in the DNA of Labrador retrievers, and in particular “the changing patterns of methyl groups” in their genome, according to a release, the study shows how dogs age at a much faster rate than humans early in their lives, then slow down after reaching maturity. Based on the study, a one-year-old dog compares to a 30-year-old human, a four-year-old dog to a 52-year-old human. The rate of aging decreases after dogs turn 7. The new formula “is the first that is transferable across species,” and scientists plan to test their findings on other dog breeds to study the impact of longevity on their findings, according to a release. Researchers also believe that observing changes in the methylation patterns before and after the use of anti-aging products could help veterinarians make more informed decisions in terms of diagnostics and treatment. (UC San Diego Health)


A family in Florida found a nearly 9-foot alligator with missing limbs on their doorstep

A family in Tampa, Florida opened their front door recently to find a gator lounging comfortably — and totally refusing to move. Crowds of people gathered around the house to take a look at the alligator, who was removed by alligator trappers. Residents in the neighborhood had done their best to protect oblivious delivery drivers from the unwelcome guest by plastering a warning sign that read “Delivery stop! Leave packages here! Alligator at front door!! (seriously).” The massive critter was missing two limbs, which is most likely the result of getting in a fight with another alligator, according to the alligator trappers. While the creature has been kicked off the family’s doorstep, he now has a home at the Croc Encounters facility. (Croc Encounters Facebook)


New Mexico’s suicide rate is highest in the nation

A recent report states that New Mexico had 535 suicides in 2018, the most recent year for which nationwide data is available. According to the report, rates of suicide in the youngest age group jumped significantly and mirrored a nationwide trend. New Mexico was fourth in the nation in 2017 with 491 suicides or a rate of 23.5 for 100,000 residents. Official data released annually by the American Association of Suicidology showed that New Mexico trailed only Montana, Wyoming and Alaska in suicides. But the state had a 9% increase in 2018 and reached the top of the list with a rate of 25.6 suicides per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 14.8 suicides per 100,000. New Mexico’s 535 suicides in 2018 was the its highest number of suicides since the state began consistently keeping track in 1999. New Mexico’s Department of Health has re-established a coalition of advocates and organizations who will meet and discuss how to address suicides. The department also is working with emergency departments in various hospitals to implement a secondary suicide prevention program to provide treatment and support for patients. (The Albuquerque Journal)


Young boy starts lemonade, snow cone stand after battling a brain tumor in the hospital

A 12-year-old boy in Westville, Oklahoma started his own lemonade stand business after getting out of the hospital for surgery to remove a brain tumor. It grew and now he makes both lemonade and snow cones. He has nine snow cone flavors. He says he started his stand after he battled a brain tumor and lost a lot of friends because he couldn’t play with them anymore. He encourages other kids to “go for it,” and says, “you can accomplish anything if you try.” The boy said he’s made around $2,000 in the four years he’s done this stand. He’s hoping to save up to upgrade his stand and possibly get a trailer. (Fox 23)


Man In San Antonio, Texas Starts Online Petition To Replace Christopher Columbus Statue With Statue Of Christopher Cross

The statue of Christopher Columbus has been removed from the San Antonio, Texas park that bears his name. Now there’s a petition online seeking to replace it with a statue of another Christopher who is also known for sailing and a lot less controversial. The Columbus statue has been taken down to have some graffiti removed but city council is scheduled to vote next month on whether or not to keep it down. A post on the singer’s Facebook page says the petition gave him a chuckle and the quarantine is inspiring some creative mischief among a few fans. While the park will never be the same without the statue there’s a petition sailing around online proposing that a statue of Singer/Songwriter and San Antonio native Christopher Cross might be all right. The request was started by a San Antonio resident who says if he can get 1,000 signatures, he will bring the idea to city council. He says Christopher Cross is a local treasure and they can even keep half of the name on the plaque. (


Museum: ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ car with Confederate flag to stay

A northern Illinois auto museum has no plan to stop displaying a Dodge Charger from the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show with the Confederate battle flag painted atop the vehicle. Statues of Confederate generals and soldiers are being taken down across the country, NASCAR has banned the flag from its races and the Confederate emblem is being removed from the Mississippi state flag. But the Volo Auto Museum about 50 miles northwest of Chicago says the famed “General Lee” from the first season of the TV show isn’t going anywhere. “We feel the car is part of history, and people love it,” museum director said. “We’ve got people of all races and nationalities that remember the TV show and aren’t offended by it whatsoever. It’s a piece of history and it’s in a museum.” Since the museum acquired in 2005 what it says is the last surviving 1969 Charger from the first season of the television program, he said nobody has complained. And the museum has continued to hear from people supporting the decision to keep the car as the push to rid the landscape of what is increasingly viewed as a symbol of racism, he said.“Several people have reached out with positive comments about us leaving it on display, complimenting us for leaving it there and not having a knee-jerk reaction to remove it like a lot of places are.” He says the General Lee is a piece of history and the museum would not remove it any more than it would think of removing the Nazi memorabilia displayed in parts of the museum’s military section. (Northwest Herald)


While doctors are stressing the urgency of wearing masks during the pandemic, they’re now warning that there could be acne popping up under your mask

Medical experts say they are finding that it is causing breakouts around the mouth, and many times along the sides of the cheeks and the nose. It has been lovingly called “maskne” as a play on word for acne. Because people are getting pimples, tender breakouts, sometime their skin is itching, scaling in those regions. The thing that is causing this is the mask itself. The thing is if you are wearing a mask for many hours a day, realize that is a vaporized humidified environment surrounding your mouth.  They add that if you are wearing a cloth face mask, wash it once a day to mitigate those break out and switch out surgical masks every day. (KJRH)


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that they have approved two products that effectively kill the virus that causes COVID-19 on surfaces

Both Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist have been tested in laboratories and “are effective against SARS-CoV-2,″ according to a press release provided by the EPA. The EPA must authorize a pesticide product before the company can make a “legal claim” that it kills a particular pathogen such as coronavirus. This week, it updated the entries for two Lysol products to show they have now “been tested directly against SARS-CoV-2.” The EPA expects to announce additional products following laboratory testing to be proven effective in coming weeks. (United States Environmental Protection Agency)


Wednesday Catches Up With:

  • Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • Coca Cola Day
  • Freezer Pop Day
  • Math 2.0 Day
  • SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
  • Tammuz (at Sundown)
  • Video Game Day

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