Tuesday, December 22, 2020



Man wins lawsuit against parents who tossed $25G “Trove of porn”

A 42-year-old man sued his mom and dad for tossing the steamy stash, which he claims was worth $25,000, while he was living with them in Grand Haven in 2016, according to court papers filed this week. The couple must now fork over a yet-to-be-determined amount of dough to replace the rare “trove of pornography” and “array of sex toys,” U.S. District Judge ruled. The judge shot down the couple’s claim that they had warned their son not to bring porno mags or movies into their home when he moved in due to a divorce in late 2016. The smut-centric spat first flared up in 2017 after the man left his parents’ pad and moved to Indiana. When he asked them to send his belongings, he noticed dozens of boxes of his kinky collection were missing and his parents later admitted to scrapping it, according to the lawsuit. His parents also kept some of the porn, which was described as the “worst of the worst”, in a safety-deposit box because they feared it might be illegal, according to court papers. The man and his parents now have until mid-February to file written submissions outlining damages. (Fox News)


Dating in 2020: Turns Out It Could Get More Awkward

Of respondents who had dated online before:

  • more than two in five (42%) say they’re doing so more now compared to before the pandemic. Apparently, quarantine can be the perfect time for romance, though not for everyone:
  • 59% of respondents say they will be dating less once the pandemic is over, but 41% say they will date more.
  • 44% say they feel a great deal/some anxiety about losing time to pursue dating during the pandemic, but 56% feel none/not much anxiety about it. 

So what does a pandemic date look like? Those polled said the ideal Covid-safe first date would involve:

  • meeting at an outdoor location (39%),
  • video chatting virtually (35%),
  • and staying socially distant with masks on (31%).

“The dating game in COVID is all screen and no scene,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “While 40% are using dating apps more, 44% have anxiety over lost time dating in real life. Look for a dating boom when the vaccines reach the singles as almost half plan to date more once the pandemic is over.”  (Morning Brew)


Brookings researchers estimate 300,000 fewer births in the United States next year

The think tank found that a 1% increase in unemployment correlates with a 1% decrease in births, and ongoing school/daycare closures could drop births further. Other variables weighing on parents:

  • Reduced access to reproductive services
  • Fears about coronavirus affecting a fetus
  • Being home with children 24/7
  • Reduced sexual activity

At the company level, baby product manufacturers are already seeing sales hits, and some are trying to develop premium products to offset losses. At the macro level, this could skew the future workforce toward older people. The Covid-19 baby bust won’t only “doesn’t only depress overall productivity, but it also puts a burden on social insurance systems,” Brookings Senior Fellow Melissa Kearney told Business Casual. Health and economic scares have caused birth busts before, including after the Great Recession, Hong Kong’s SARS outbreak in 2013, and the 1918 Spanish flu. (Brookings Institute)


Remote work, with a pay cut?

Should remote workers see their pay reduced if they relocate to an area with a lower cost of living? A majority don’t think so, according to a survey conducted in late November. Some sixty-two per cent of respondents said employers should not be allowed to cut pay in such circumstances, while another 17 per cent were on the fence. Many argued that employee compensation should be based on performance alone, although others noted that salaries already tend to account for the cost of living in a given city, and should be adjusted accordingly. (The Logic)


The smarter you are, the harder this is

Making methodical decisions can lead to higher-quality outcomes, but the smarter you are, the harder it is to do, according to former poker champ turned corporate advisor. “Smart people tend to rely on their intuition more,” she claims, but she believes trusting your gut is a precarious way to make choices, especially for those who’ve had a streak of luck in the past, coloring their view that future success is around the corner. People in general don’t do enough reflecting on their own decision processes. She added “They don’t think about the range of potential outcomes, and they definitely don’t look back on their past decisions objectively.” (Strategy+Business)


Teen takes exams in hazmat suit as family says school district won’t take COVID-19 seriously

A student in Houston, Texas showed up to school recently wearing head-to-toe personal protective gear, and his family said his school district isn’t taking the pandemic seriously enough. His family wanted the district to waive a requirement that virtual learners take some of their final exams on Spring Woods High School’s campus. The student said he was worried about contracting the virus on campus and spreading it to his mother, who is at high risk and could suffer severe medical complications. His parents said they tried every avenue to get the district to make an exemption. They also noted they’ve received multiple letters this month about positive cases on campus. Spring Branch Independent School District released a lengthy statement, saying it’s following state guidelines and safety is of utmost importance during this pandemic, saying in a statement that “Spring Woods High School has offered the family multiple testing options, including the option of the student testing alone in a room with only one proctor present wearing PPE. The family refused all options. Spring Branch ISD high school principals have been committed to working with families who have testing concerns or unique situational needs. ” (ABC 13)


Covid vaccine can turn people into ‘crocodiles’: Brazilian President Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has launched an attack on coronavirus vaccines, even suggesting that the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech could turn people into crocodiles or bearded ladies. The leader has been sceptical of the coronavirus since it first emerged late last year, branding it “a little flu.” This week he insisted he would not be vaccinated, even while launching the country’s mass inoculation program. “In the Pfizer contract it’s very clear: ‘we’re not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, it’s your problem,” he said in a statement. That vaccine has been undergoing tests in Brazil for weeks and is already being used in the United States and Britain. “If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they will not have anything to do with it,” he said, referring to the drug manufacturers. When launching the immunization campaign, Brazilian President Bolsonaro also said it would be free but not compulsory. Their Supreme Court ruled that the vaccine was obligatory, although could not be “forced” on people. That means authorities can fine people for not being vaccinated and ban them from certain public spaces, but not force them to take it. President Bolsonaro said that once a vaccine has been certified by Brazil’s regulatory agency Anvisa, “it will be available for everyone that wants it. But me, I won’t get vaccinated.” Presient Bolsonaro caught the virus in July but recovered within three weeks. Brazil is in the middle of a second wave of coronavirus infections. (Hindustan Times)


COVID ‘guilt-gifting’ spurs toy boom

Toymakers are already feeling some holiday cheer, and they credit pandemic-induced “guilt-gifting” for giving sales a boost. Market research firms are saying the industry’s revenue has surged 19% through the first three quarters of the year, bouncing back from sales drops in 2018, 2019 and a sluggish start to 2020. Mattel, Spin Master, and Funko stock have doubled since March, and Mattel’s CEO says he expects parents will splurge just as much, or more, during the holidays. (NPD Group)


The unlikely material of 2020

Cardboard may just be the most important material of 2020. Needless to say, the explosion in online shopping, people moving out of cities and restaurant takeout ditching plastic have all contributed to the cardboard industry’s banner year, says GoBankingRates. Demand has surged again as gift-giving ramps up over the holidays. Another big break for cardboard in 2020? Cutouts that helped create fake sports fans, fake restaurant patrons and even fake family members. (Go Banking Rates)


Putting Driving On Autopilot

If you want your Tesla to drive itself down some streets and on the highway with you still at the wheel, you need to put down some serious cash for the Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode. But in 2021, there might be more options. Instead of paying $10,000 to add FSD mode to the Tesla advanced driving system, called “Autopilot”, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted recently about subscription access. That means anyone with a Tesla could pay month-to-month for the driving mode. It’s currently in beta with a select group of Tesla users and that’s it. (Elon Musk Twitter)


Idaho fisherman catches trout that nearly doubles state weight record

A fisherman in Idaho recently landed a cutthroat trout that set a new state record for weight — nearly doubling the old mark. The man’s 20-inch trout was officially weighed at 2.27-lbs., according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The man caught his prize while doing some winter fishing at Grasmere Reservoir on December 12th. The angler “landed a very nice 20-inch Lahontan cutthroat trout,” Fish and Game said. “The 2.27-pound cutthroat was big enough to set a new certified weight record, passing the previous 1.17-lb record set by Hayleigh Urban earlier in September.” Lahontan cutthroat trout are originally native to the Lahontan Basin, which is located in northern Nevada, northeastern California and southeastern Oregon. The fish were recently planted in certain lakes in Idaho. (Fox News)


Pregnant McDonald’s worker receives donations after man throws drink in her face because he didn’t want ice

A woman at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Georgia witnessed another customer throw a drink in the face of one of the restaurant’s workers. The drink-throwing-customer was apparently angry because they didn’t want ice in their drink. The incident left the pregnant worker humiliated and unable to return to work. Fortunately, another female customer reportedly witnessed the incident and decided to help out. Aside from capturing the suspect’s license plate number and providing it to the restaurant, the woman decided to do something more for the victim. After giving her a small tip, the lady who witnessed the event went back later to share the driver’s plate number, and realized she was pregnant. The woman decided to create a small cashapp/venmo fundraiser that raised about $1700 in about 24 hours to put a smile on the mother-to-be’s face and show her not all humans are horrible. The witness recently shared an update, revealing that she continued to raise money for the other woman and had collected “well over $3k” and created a baby registry. (Feroza Syed Facebook)


Scientists have recently discovered a novel coupling mechanism linking neuronal networks by using human intracerebral recordings

This functional coupling mechanism may serve as a communication channel between brain regions. Neuronal oscillations are an essential piece of the working of the human brain for controlling the communication between neural networks and the brain’s processing of information by pacing neuronal groups and synchronizing brain regions. High-frequency oscillations with frequencies over 100 Hertz are known to indicate the activity of small neuronal populations. However, up to now, they have been considered to be exclusively a local phenomenon. The study conducted at the Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Genoa, demonstrated high-frequency oscillations over 100 Hertz synchronize across several brain regions. This critical finding reveals that high-frequency oscillations can achieve strictly-timed communication between brain regions. High-frequency oscillations were synchronized between neuronal groups with a similar architecture of brain structures across subjects but occurring in individual frequency bands. Carrying out a visual task resulted in synchronizing high-frequency oscillations in the specific brain regions responsible for the task execution. These observations suggest that high-frequency oscillations convey within the brain ‘information packages’ starting with one small neuronal group to another. The discovery of high-frequency oscillations synchronized between brain regions is the first evidence of the transmission and reception of such information packages in a context broader than individual locations in the brain. The finding also helps to understand how the healthy brain processes information and how it is altered in brain diseases. (Tech Explorist)


Tuesday Tips Us With:

  • Be A Lover of Silence Day
  • Chanukah
  • Date Nut Bread Day
  • Forefathers Day

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