Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Resilient brands head to Super Bowl

Brands that have been successful during the pandemic are making expensive gambles by advertising during the Super Bowl. DoorDash is using its star-studded, “Sesame Street”-infused commercial to showcase its expansion into pharmacy and pet supply deliveries. Meanwhile, Freelancer marketplace Fiverr, whose third-quarter revenue in 2020 spiked 88% year-over-year, and Scotts Miracle-Gro, which saw its gardening segment grow by 24% in 2020, will also be first-time Super Bowl advertisers. Previous Super Bowl advertisers Coca-Cola, Ford, Hyundai, Pepsi-Cola, Sabra and Avocados from Mexico are among those sitting out the big game this year, though Pepsi is still the official sponsor of the halftime show. (The Drum)


Pour a glass for American Airlines

Americans Airlines has become the latest carrier to pivot during the pandemic. The company is launching a new wine subscription service as diminished bookings and limited in-flight service cause a surplus of onboard wines. American is looking to generate $40,000 in sales through the wine program this quarter, with buyers earning miles for every dollar spent. Airlines have been getting creative to make ends meet amid a slump in air travel, selling everything from in-flight meals to stocked bar carts and pajamas. (Bloomberg)


Millions still pausing home payments

About 2.7 million homeowners are still postponing their mortgage payments, becoming more of a drag on America’s economic recovery, a group of economists say. The number of borrowers delaying payments peaked at 8.5% in June and steadily dropped to 5.5% by November, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, but it hasn’t budged since then. Now, economists are worried that the forbearance numbers could go up again as job growth sees new resistance. (The Wall Street Journal)


Get vaccinated at Google?

Google is the latest in a growing number of major U.S. companies that do not specialize in health care to step up and help roll out the country’s vaccination program. The tech giant said Monday it will offer some of its facilities as vaccination clinics. Meanwhile, Amazon wrote to President Biden and offered to help with tech and communication, and Starbucks is designing inoculation sites and donating the labor. The government-business partnerships could harness more manpower, logistical expertise and deep pockets to speed up the vaccination effort. (The Washington Post)


‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic now wants a pardon from President Biden

The 57-year-old “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic didn’t get a pardon from former President Donald Trump before Inauguration Day, so now he wants one from President Joe Biden. In emails, Joe Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage) says he has confidence in the Biden-Harris administration to help reform the criminal justice system. He believes Vice President Harris can “help clean up the corruption in the DOJ and other agencies.” On January 20, former President Donald Trump issued more than 73 pardons and 70 commutations before his departure from the White House. Joe Exotic’s legal team at the time thought he would be included on the list. His attorney had been waiting inside a limousine to pick Maldonado-Passage up from a Texas prison if he was pardoned. He said that they had brought supplies for “hair, makeup, wardrobes” in addition to a doctor and mental health expert in the event of his release. Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted his big cat zoo rival, Carole Baskin. (Fox News)


Coke with Coffee is (finally) here

Coke with Coffee is available in the United States after being available for years internationally. The product is made with Brazilian coffee and comes in dark blend, vanilla and caramel flavors. There’s also a calorie-free zero sugar version. Each 12-ounce can has 69 milligrams of caffeine. That’s about half as much as is in a 12-ounce cup of coffee but far more than what’s in a can of Coke. The new product comes at a time when Coca-Cola (KO) is focusing on its core products, including Coke and Coke Zero Sugar. Last year, the company announced plans to cut its portfolio in half and has discontinued brands like Tab and Odwalla to focus on its most powerful ones. Coke with Coffee was piloted in Japan in 2018. Since then, it has become available in over 30 markets throughout the world, including Australia, Italy and Vietnam. Now, it seems Americans are finally ready. (CNN)


For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth

The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up. The technology could also be used to boost the mission lifetime of small CubeSats that monitor agricultural crops on Earth or entire mega-constellations of nanosats that provide global internet access, by raising their orbits when they begin to drift towards the planet. The technology was developed by ThrustMe, a spin-off company from the École Polytechnique and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and supported by ESA through its program of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). It uses a novel propellant, iodine, in an electric thruster that controls the satellite’s height above Earth. Iodine is less expensive and uses simpler technologies than traditional propellants. Unlike many traditional propellants, iodine is non-toxic and is solid at room temperature and pressure. This makes it easier and cheaper to handle on Earth. When heated, it turns to gas without going through a liquid phase, which makes it ideal for a simple propulsion system. It is also denser than traditional propellants, so it occupies smaller volumes onboard the satellite. (SciTech Daily)


1 in 5 Americans have confidence Biden can unite the country

Just one in five Americans have “a great deal of confidence” in President Biden’s ability to make good on his goal to unify the country, according to a new poll released. While 22 percent said Biden will unify the country, 24 percent remained highly skeptical, saying that they have no confidence “at all” that he will be able to do so, the poll found. Thirty-five percent said they have a “good amount” of confidence Biden could unite the country and 19 percent said they had “not so much” confidence.​ Respondents to the survey were asked their opinion after watching a video of Biden’s inaugural address​ urging Americans to see “each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors.”​ (ABC News/Ipsos)


Air Force to allow longer braids, ponytails, bangs for women

Women across the Air Force and Space Force rejoiced to the news that the service will allow them to wear their hair longer than before, thereby loosening constraints that many airmen said had resulted in migraines, hair damage, and hair loss. The new grooming standards allow Air Force and Space Force women to wear their hair in up to two braids or a single ponytail with bulk not exceeding the width of the head and length not extending below a horizontal line running between the top of each sleeve inseam at the underarm through the shoulder blades, according to a press release. In addition, women’s bangs may now touch their eyebrows, but not cover their eyes. The branch’s top enlisted airman, Chief Master Sargant of the Air Force said the changes reflect the diversity of the force. (United States Air Force)


Tennessee man unable to receive unemployment after identity stolen

A Clarksville, Tennessee man never thought he’d still be fighting for his unemployment benefits months later. He tried to get unemployment and they denied me the first time and said “something was wrong with it”. The man has been unemployed since last June. So he kept applying, and applying, but each time would get denied. When he couldn’t get answers, he contacted his local tv station for help. When the tv station investigating report team asked the state’s unemployment office about it, they claimed the man already had an open claim in Rhode Island, and it’s against the law to receive benefits in multiple states. The only problem? It wasn’t him! He told them that he’s never visited Rhode Island and the unemployment agency didn’t tell him about that. He was told to file a police report. He says he answered some questions about his identity and within hours was approved for 14 weeks of benefits in Tennessee. When asked what could be done to prevent something like this from happening to someone else and if there is a way to know when something like this happens, the employment agency said people are urged to be careful who they allow to use their wireless devices and to be cautious when using public Wifi. (WSMV)


Across Mobile, Alabama people are letting their creative juices flow into the streets, hoping to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive

Since carnival was curbed by COVID-19, many are bringing the party curbside! From yard signs and wreaths to beads, bling, streamers and even memes, rolling through midtown you can see characters come to life. Each home has its own spin on how they want to spread the Mardi Gras magic, making people, laugh, smile and marvel as homes transform into floats with bigger than life size pieces. Some are using Yardi Gras as a way to support local artists. They plan to send out fliers with more information ahead of time. An organization called the Mobile Porch Parade is also creating a map of homes decorated for Mardi Gras to help guide people who want to sight-see. So far 300 people have registered. The map goes live on February 1st. (Fox 10)


The secret to this $5,000 electric motorcycle is a cast aluminum frame

Until now, Sondors was a brand people associated with electric bicycles. For most of the industry, making a motorbike frame involves welding pipes together. Instead, his company will use a cast aluminum frame, which is much cheaper and faster to produce. The Metacycle is propelled by a single permanent magnet electric hub motor, meaning no chains or belts, a nominal output of 10.7hp (8kW) and a peak output of 19hp (14.5kW). That might not sound like a huge amount, but the Metacycle only weighs 200lbs, and that’s still sufficient to reach 85mph. The motor is fed by a 4kWh lithium-ion pack that should give a range of about 80 miles according to the company. There’s no DC fast charging option, although with just 4kWh to recharge, there really wouldn’t be much point. The Metacycle doesn’t even appear to be connected to the internet, although there is a spot for your phone with an induction charging pad and a clear cover so you can use your own device for navigation. Sondors says that deliveries of the Metacycle should begin in Q4 2021. When it goes into production later this year, you should be able to pick one up for just $5,000. (Arstechnica)


Women in Montana disproportionately impacted by pandemic

A survey conducted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic found women in Montana are disproportionately affected by impacts on daily life, workplace disruptions, economic concerns and mental load. The study, conducted by Montana State University researchers, surveyed people in Montana, Colorado, Utah and North Dakota in April 2020. The lead author who is a professor in MSU’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, said in nearly every measurement, women expressed more negative effects on work, daily life and mental load. The study showed 68% of the women in the survey said they were stressed, compared to about half of the men surveyed. More than 80% of the women also said their lives had been disrupted, compared to 72% of men. The survey also found women were more likely to worry about others catching the virus than men at 75% to 64%, and more likely to worry about an economic depression at 82% to 74%. At the time of the study, Montana and Colorado both had stay-at-home orders, North Dakota relied on its residents to take individual action and Utah urged a stay-at home approach but did not require it. The study’s author said one of the things the researchers were curious about was if they could see differences based on support offered by the state governments. (Montana State University)


Tuesday Backtracks With:

  • Dental Drill Appreciation Day
  • Green Juice Day
  • Lotus 1-2-3 Day
  • Peanut Brittle Day
  • Plan For A Vacation Day (Last Tuesday)
  • Spouses Day
  • Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement

Add a Comment