Monday, February 1, 2021

72-year-old bottle of whisky fetches over $54,000 in auction

A 72-year-old bottle of Glen Grant single malt whisky from Scotland fetched more than $54,000 in an auction in Hong Kong on Friday. It is the first time that the 1948 Glen Grant whisky, by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, was offered in an auction. It is number 88 of 290 decanters bottled by the company and was auctioned off by Bonhams, fetching a price of 421,600 Hong Kong dollars ($54,300) including premium. “The bottle is especially auspicious – 88 is a symbolic number in Chinese culture, meaning ‘wealthy,'” Bonhams said in a news release. The bottle had a book estimate of 300,000 to 380,000 Hong Kong dollars ($38,000 to $49,000). The whisky, the oldest from the Glen Grant distillery, is in a Dartington crystal decanter with an American black walnut presentation box. Despite the economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic, interest in rare whiskies remains high. Other whiskies featured in the auction included a 35-year-old Hibiki whisky from Japan in a Kutani ceramic decanter that sold for 372,000 Hong Kong dollars ($48,000). (CBS News)


Japan prime minister says he’s determined to hold Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister renewed his determination to host the postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer as a symbol of human victory over the pandemic. While speaking from Tokyo at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, he also called for a transparent investigation by the World Health Organization into the pandemic, saying it is key to learning lessons to prepare for future pandemics. He also promised to expand an initial $130 million contribution to a fund to help developing countries acquire coronavirus vaccines. Olympic officials have repeatedly said the games will be held in July as planned after a one-year postponement, though various scenarios including the holding of events without spectators are being considered. Olympic officials have repeatedly said the games will be held in July as planned after a one-year postponement, though various scenarios including the holding of events without spectators are being considered. (Fox News)


GM aims to go all-electric by 2035

General Motors is pledging to make its entire fleet of vehicles all-electric by 2035 as part of a wider plan to become carbon neutral by 2040, CEO Mary Barra wrote on LinkedIn. As one of the first major automakers to make such a commitment, the company fleshed out its “triple zero vision,” including plans to use 100% renewable energy to power U.S. facilities by 2030 and global facilities by 2035. In November, Barra challenged electric vehicle giant Tesla, saying GM is “committed to fighting for EV market share until we are number one in North America.” (CNBC)


Jobs wane for less-educated workers

Hit hard by the pandemic, the jobs market has been slowly recovering, but while those with college education have seen a steady increase in employment, jobs for lower-educated workers have been on the decline since the start of winter. One out of every 20 Americans aged 25 or older with a high school education or less, many of whom work in industries directly affected by government restrictions, such as hospitality and construction, has lost employment in the past year, with a fifth of those losses occurring in November and December. (Washington Post)


10K stores forecast to close in 2021

A record 10,000 U.S. stores could close this year as pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions hit brick-and-mortar shops, advisory group Coresight Research says in a new report. The figure would mark a 14% jump from the closures seen in 2020, when some retailers were able to hold out by renegotiating their rent agreements. Another 4,000 stores are forecast to open, meanwhile, largely thanks to discount grocers and dollar store chains. (Coresight Research)


The Navy Is experimenting with a “Spacetime Modification Weapon”

The US Navy performed experiments on far-fetched technologies including a “spacetime modification weapon” which, researchers claimed internally, could revolutionize power and propulsion systems. The mysterious technologies were meant to take advantage of the “Pais effect,” patented by a American aerospace engineer, Salvatore Cezar Pais, which could enable a propulsion system that defies gravity. The “spacetime modification weapon,” based on a Pais patent for a “Plasma Compression Fusion Device,” is supposed to release “extremely high energy levels” and “make the Hydrogen bomb seem more like a firecracker, in comparison,” according to the documents. (The Drive)


Robin’s Hood

After raising $1 Billion from existing investors to improve its balance sheet, Robinhood has restarted trading in volatile stocks, including Gamestop, AMC, Koss Corp, and American Airlines. Robinhood also tapped into a $500M credit line to cover its collateral to clearinghouses. Last Thursday (1/28), the trading app halted trade on volatile stocks following a speculative rally fueled by the Reddit forum r/WallStreetBets, which now has more than six million members. That rally sent stocks of video game store chain GameStop soaring 135% on Wednesday (1/27). After Robinhood imposed trading restrictions on GameStop and AMC, the stocks crashed, costing retail investors billions, but once the restrictions were lifted on Friday, the stocks of GameStop and headphone maker Koss Corp were up 50%. However, Robinhood kept some restrictions in place. It is still barring purchases of fractional shares in GameStop and 12 other companies. Robinhood is preparing for an IPO that could value the company at more than $20 Billion. (CNBC)


Dark personality traits might help explain the link between childhood neglect and malevolent creativity

New research suggests that childhood experiences can be a statistical predictor of malevolent creativity and that Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism (the so-called “Dark Triad” of personality traits) play an important role in this relationship. Creative individuals are valued for their ability to generate novel and effective ideas, and numerous studies have investigated the psychological correlates and antecedents of creativity, but most studies have focused on the positive uses of creativity. Much less is known about the malicious use of creativity. The researchers found that higher levels of childhood neglect were associated with more malevolently creativity behaviors in adulthood. In other words, participants who reported experiencing more neglect in childhood were more likely to think about ways to take revenge on others, fabricate lies to simplify a situation, and pull pranks. In addition, the Dark Triad traits were found to partially mediate this relationship. Childhood neglect was associated with Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism, which in turn were related to greater levels of malevolent creativity. (Frontiers in Psychology)


Pregnant Women May Receive Covid Vaccines Safely, W.H.O. Says

The World Health Organization on Friday changed its guidance for pregnant women considering a Covid-19 vaccine, abandoning opposition to immunization for most expectant mothers unless they were at high risk. The change followed an outcry to the W.H.O.’s previous stance, which stated that the organization did “not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women” with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Several experts had expressed disappointment with the W.H.O.’s earlier position. The experts noted that it was inconsistent with guidance on the same issue from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and would confuse pregnant women looking for clear advice. The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while they have not been tested in pregnant women, have not shown any harmful effects in animal studies. And the technology used in the vaccines is generally known to be safe, experts said. (The New York Times)


Acting Capitol Police Chief admits they knew violence was coming but didn’t warn officers or prepare them for riot

The acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said department leadership knew an incident might occur on January 6th, but failed to prepare for it or warn their officers about the potential for deadly violence. Now, the Capitol Police’s union head is calling for her to be replaced even though she was not the chief during the attack on the Capitol building. USCP Acting Chief formally apologized to Congress recently for her department’s failure to properly prepare for the riot at the Capitol building. She replaced former USCP Chief, who resigned on January 16th. The former chief also admitted he was aware there was a “potential for some violent altercations” on January 6th. (The Hill)


Idaho man collects $250,000 lottery jackpot — his sixth big win

A man in Meridian, Idaho won $250,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket, claiming the jackpot is his sixth large prize won from a lottery game. The man told Idaho Lottery officials he bought his $250,000 Crossword scratch-off ticket and was pleasantly surprised to discover it was a top prize winner. He is well-known among his friends and family for his lottery luck since he has previously collected five other large lottery payouts. He said the Crossword ticket marks his largest prize so far. “I’m proud to help support Idaho public schools, that’s really why I play,” he said. He said his latest winnings will be set aside for his daughter’s education. (Idaho Lottery)


Black Lives Matter nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize by Petter Eide, a Norwegian member of Parliament, who represents the Socialist Left Party. “I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,” he said. “Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice. They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice. They have been able to mobilize people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people, it has been a broad movement, in a way which has been different from their predecessors,” he stated. The Black Lives Matter movement spread to more than 2,000 cities in over 60 countries. (The Guardian)


Johnson & Johnson Says One-Shot COVID Vaccine Candidate Is Effective

New data has been released for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that would require only one dose. According to early findings, Johnson and Johnson says its vaccine is 66% effective at preventing moderate and severe illness and 85% for the most serious symptoms. Officials say they’ll follow the FDA’s recommendation on whether to authorize this vaccine for emergency use. Other vaccines currently in distribution in the U.S. require two shots. The findings come as new cases of COVID-19 variants have been detected in the United States. (CNN)


Monday Slides In With:

  • Baked Alaska Day
  • Candy-Making Day
  • Car Insurance Day
  • CBC Day
  • Change Your Password Day
  • Decorating With Candy Day
  • Freedom Day
  • Get Up Day
  • G.I. Joe Day
  • Hula in The Coola Day
  • International Brownie Camera Day 2021
  • International Day of Black Women in The Arts (First day of Black History Month)
  • International Face & Body Art Day
  • Robinson Crusoe Day
  • Serpent Day
  • Spunky Old Broads Day
  • Texas Day
  • World Hijab Day

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