Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Caught on camera: Two furry intruders break into bank, steal cookies

Two masked intruders worked their way into a closed bank in Redwood City, California, leaving some damage behind but making off with no money before they were shooed away by animal control officers. The intruders, two juvenile raccoons, were seen inside a Chase Bank branch before it opened by a person using the bank’s ATM, according to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. The bank customer who first spotted a raccoon inside the bank thought he was seeing a stuffed animal on top of a desk, until it moved and he realized he was watching a break-in, so he called the PHS/SPCA. There were muddy paw prints on a tree outside the bank, so we suspect the raccoons climbed the tree to the roof of the bank, and then somehow managed to crawl into the air ducts and fell through the ceiling tiles onto the floor of the bank. There were several broken ceiling tiles, and the masked bandits knocked papers around and even a computer over, but it appeared their main target was a large box of almond cookies. Thankfully the raccoons were not injured during their morning escapade, and they didn’t take off with any money. (NBC Bay Area)


Construction reckons with racism

About 20 overt incidents of racism, including nooses, slurs, hateful graffiti and even a lynching threat, have been reported on North American construction sites within the last six months. Many companies are teaming up to investigate the hate and how these incidents hurt the industry, while workers of color share their experiences. A Mexican-American former construction worker who was subjected to racist language notes that the industry suffers from a skilled-labor shortage, and incidents of racism will keep potential workers away. Other insiders say rooting out racism will also make construction jobs safer and attract new clients. (Construction Dive)


Restaurants face long, uphill battle

Seven months into the pandemic, the restaurant industry faces a $240 billion loss, according to the National Restaurant Association. Government funds, like the Paycheck Protection Program, helped some restaurants bring back employees, but the future of the industry hangs in the balance. Restaurant sales correlate to income, and with no second stimulus in sight, disposable personal income is forecast to dip 6.5% in 2021. Some bright spots? Off-premises dining continues to climb and digital orders are up. Pre-coronavirus, one out of 20 orders were digital, now it’s one in five. (Restaurant Dive)


Michigan man who accidentally bought extra lottery ticket wins two $1M prizes

A Michigan man is $2 million richer after he accidentally purchased an extra Mega Millions lottery ticket. The 56-year-old man of Dearborn Heights, Michigan meant to buy one online ticket for the June 9 drawing so he could play his family’s birthdays — 01-05-09-10-23. After realizing he forgot to save the numbers as favorites so he could play them in the future, he logged onto the Michigan Lottery app to store them. He said that he logged onto the app to check on some tickets he had bought and saw that he had two tickets, each worth $1 million, pending. Michigan Lottery allows for tickets to be claimed up to a year after the drawing date. He has since claimed his winnings and said he plans on buying a home and then saving the rest. “Winning is exciting and gives me some comfort knowing that when I retire, I will have money in the bank,” he said. (Michigan Lottery Commission)


Puppy with green fur born in Italy, immediately named Pistachio

In an already unpredictable year, an Italian farmer discovered another strange occurrence this month, after being shocked when one of his eight dogs gave birth to a green-furred puppy. Within seconds, he named the tiny pooch Pistachio. The canine was part of a five-dog litter born October 9th. Just like their mixed-breed mom, they all had white fur except Pistachio. It’s very uncommon for a dog to be born with green fur. The phenomenon is believed to occur when pale-colored puppies make contact with a green pigment called biliverdin while in the womb. The effect, however, is also temporary. Pistachio’s bright green color has faded each day since it was born. The owner added that unlike the other puppies, who will be given away to new homes, Pistachio will be trained on the farm to look after sheep with it’s mother. (Reuters)


One Hot Planet

A team led by an astronomer from the University of Kansas has crunched data from NASA’s TESS and Spitzer space telescopes to portray for the first time the atmosphere of a highly unusual kind of exoplanet dubbed a “hot Neptune.” The findings concerning the recently found planet LTT 9779b details the very first spectral atmospheric characterization of any planet discovered by TESS, the first global temperature map of any TESS planet with an atmosphere and a hot Neptune whose emission spectrum is fundamentally different from the many larger “hot Jupiters” previously studied. Researchers say the planet is so intensely irradiated by its star that its temperature is over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and its atmosphere could have evaporated entirely. Yet, observations show its atmosphere via the infrared light the planet emits. While LTT 9779b is extraordinary, one thing is certain: People probably wouldn’t like it there very much. Hot Neptune LTT 9779b was discovered just last year, becoming one of the first Neptune-sized planets discovered by NASA’s all-sky TESS planet-hunting mission. (Scitech Daily)


Buyer Beware: the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are practically identical

Following a livestream on its YouTube channel this past Friday (10/23), iFixit published a full in-depth breakdown of its teardown for both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Both phones are almost exactly the same on the inside and out:

  • The displays are interchangeable and can be swapped between the two phones;
  • Apart from the camera shields, it’s tough to tell a difference between either phone under the hood. These phones are actually so similar in layout, that where the 12 Pro has an extra camera sensor and LiDar scanner, the 12 packs a plastic spacer. In case you’re unfamiliar with the new lineup, the iPhone 12 includes a dual camera module (a 12-megapixel wide-angle and 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle) while the 12 Pro has a triple camera setup with an additional 12-megapixel telephoto lens;
  • Aside from a few serial numbers, the logic boards on both phones are also practically identical;
  • Both phones feature the same Face ID, flash modules, and Lightning connector assemblies;
  • Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same 2,815mAh battery, which is smaller than 3,110mAh on the iPhone 11 and 3,046mAh battery on the 11 Pro (the battery is no longer in an L-shaped design, as featured in its predecessors. Apple used parts that were cheaper in an effort to keep the cost low with the addition of 5G connectivity).

While its important parts are modular and easy to find or replace, the glass on the front and back make it super fragile, so you’ll most likely have gut the entire phone and replace the body itself if you break it. (IFixIt)


Facebook is apparently preparing to break out the emergency tool kit to deal with the 2020 U.S. election

These internal tools, typically reserved for use in “at-risk” countries, help to slow down the spread of viral misinformation related to an election or other major event. The company is ready to implement those tools if needed as the 2020 election concludes. As part of the process, Facebook will not only slow down the spread of posts as they go viral, but will also alter the news feed to change the type of content that appears. Additionally, the company might also “lower the threshold” for what its software considers to be dangerous content. Essentially, the tools are meant to help limit the amount of exposure Facebook users have to posts that contain misinformation, sensationalism, and calls for violence. Facebook executives said they would only carry out the changes “in dire circumstances,” such as if violence erupted in relation to the election.  But the company does need to be prepared for all types of situations as well. (The Wall Street Journal)


Pope Francis names first Black American cardinal

Pope Francis this past Sunday (10/25) named 13 new cardinals, including the first Black U.S. archbishop to earn the promotion. The 72-year-old Archbishop previously served as archbishop of Atlanta from 2005 through part of 2019, after which he was named to the post in Washington, D.C., but after only a year in his new post, he will now be elevated to one of the highest ranks in the Catholic Church. His appointment, along with the other dozen appointees named by the pope, will take effect following a ceremony on November 28. His appointment follows a tradition of Washington archbishops receiving appointments since it became an independent diocese in 1947. He was hand-picked by the pope to lead the diocese and is most famous for helping guide the church through its sexual abuse crisis in the early 2000s. In addition, will be eligible to vote in a conclave for a future pope, as he is under 80 years old. Eight of his fellow newly appointed cardinals will be able to join him. (Fox News)


1 in 4 US workers have weighed quitting, poll finds

A quarter of U.S. workers say they have even considered quitting their jobs as worries related to the pandemic weigh on them, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in collaboration with the software company SAP. A fifth say they have taken leave. About 7 in 10 workers cited juggling their jobs and other responsibilities as a source of stress. Fears of contracting the virus also was a top concern for those working outside the home. The good news is that employers are responding. The poll finds:

  • 57% of workers saying their employer is doing “about the right amount” in responding to the pandemic; 24% say they are “going above and beyond.” Just 18% say their employer is “falling short.” That satisfaction seems largely related to physical protections from the virus, which overwhelming majorities of workers considered very important. Still, at least half also say it is very important for their employers to expand sick leave, provide flexibility for caregivers and support mental health, and workers report less satisfaction with efforts in these areas.
  • Lower income workers were especially likely to have considered quitting, 39% of workers in households earning less than $30,000 annually versus just 23% in higher income households.
  • While 65% of remote workers say their employers are doing a good job protecting their health, just 50% of those working outside the home say that. The pandemic is weighing heavily on women and people of color, who are most likely to work in essential jobs they can’t do remotely.
  • Fifty percent of women call the pandemic a major source of stress in their lives, compared to 36% of men. Sixty-two percent of Black workers and 47% of Hispanic workers say it is, compared to 39% of white workers. Federal labor figures point to a trend of working-age women, particularly Black and Hispanic women, increasingly dropping out of the labor force amid a child care crisis caused by school and daycare closures. Only about 1 in 10 say their employers are providing child care facilities, stipends or tutoring services. Only 26% say employers are providing extended family leave. Nearly 7 in 10 workers consider flexibility for caregivers very important. Fewer than half — 44% — said their employers were doing a good job of that, though just 18% rated employers poorly; another 37% called the response neither good nor bad.
  • The poll finds 28% of workers report working fewer hours since the pandemic hit, which could be because they are juggling responsibilities or because employers have cut back their hours. Among Black workers, the number rises to 38%.

(Voice of America)


Husband of world’s oldest married couple dies aged 110, leaving behind 104-year-old widow who he married in Ecuador in 1941

The man who formed one half of the world’s oldest married couple has passed away at the age of 110, leaving behind his 104-year-old wife who he married in 1941.  The husband passed away at his home in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, at around 11pm on October 22nd. He leaves behind his 104-year-old widow, with whom he achieved the Guinness World Record for the world’s oldest married couple in August. They were born in 1910 and 1915, respectively. The pair had been together for 79 years and had a combined age of 214. The couple had five children, each of whom went on to get college degrees. The eldest of their children has passed away. The couple also shared 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren. The couple told Guinness World Records in an interview earlier this year that they enjoyed going to the cinema together, gardening and big family dinners. (The Daily Mail)


The CDC is Investigating a Listeria Outbreak Linked to This Grocery Staple

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes deli meats are the likely source of a multi-state Listeria outbreak, which has sickened 10 individuals, according to a warning posted by the federal agency. Cases in three East Coast states, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, were reported by the CDC. All of the victims were hospitalized, and one person in Florida has since died. Nine patients who were interviewed reported consuming Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, prosciutto, and mortadella. The meats, which were pre-packaged or sliced at deli counters, were sold at various retailers. A common supplier has not been identified as the possible source at this time. The ill individuals had a median age of 81 years old, and 80% were female, according to the CDC. Pregnant women and senior citizens have a higher risk of getting sick with Listeria, in addition to those with weakened immune systems, the agency noted. In women who are pregnant, flu-like symptoms may develop. Infections may have dire consequences, including premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, and more. Symptoms of a possible infection include confusion, convulsions, fever, headache, loss of balance, muscle aches, and stiff neck. Symptoms generally develop between one day and four weeks after exposure. However, some cases have been reported as early as the same day or as late as 70 days. The CDC recommends that you avoid eating deli meats unless they’re properly heated if you’re in a high-risk group. Be sure to properly clean refrigerator shelves, as well as countertops, sinks, utensils, and any other surfaces that come in contact with deli meats. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)


KFC is welcoming back a seasonal fan-favorite by bringing back the fried chicken-scented 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog for the third consecutive holiday season

Created in partnership with Enviro-Log, the famous fried chicken-scented firelog is available exclusively at select Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart.com. Designed to make your home smell like KFC fried chicken, the 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog can be purchased now exclusively on Walmart.com and in select Walmart stores for a suggested price of $15.88, while supplies last. Free 2-day delivery is being offered on orders over $35 and same-day store pickup is available on orders placed before 3 p.m. local time All store pickups are free and contactless. Additionally, and for the first time ever, the the KFC 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog is going international later this fall. KFC fans in Canada are being advised to monitor KFC Canada on Instagram or the KFC Newsroom for details. (Chew Boom)


Tuesday Sweeps In For The Save With:

  • American Beer Day
  • Black Cat Day
  • Cranky Co-workers Day
  • Navy Day
  • World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

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