Thursday, June 24, 2021
Prison phone calls are now free in the state of Connecticut
Following the signing of a bill by Governor Ned Lamont, the new law will allow incarcerated individuals in the state to have 90 minutes a day of free calls. Previously, inmates were charged up to $5 for a 15-minute call, which advocates have long called “predatory pricing.” No other state in the U.S. has mandated daily free phone calls for inmates, though such measures exist in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. (WHDH)
Dating app Bumble is giving all of its employees a paid week off due to “collective burnout”
Bumble, the dating app where women are in charge of making the first move, has temporarily closed all of its offices this week to combat workplace stress. Its 700 staff worldwide have been told to switch off and focus on themselves. One senior executive revealed on Twitter that founder had made the move “having correctly intuited our collective burnout”. A spokeswoman for Bumble said a few customer support staff will be working in case any of the app’s users experience issues. These employees will then be given time off to make sure they take a whole week of leave. Bumble has grown in popularity during lockdown as boredom set in and swiping to find a match picked up. The number of paid users across Bumble and Badoo, which Bumble also owns, spiked by 30% in the three months to 31 March, compared with the same period last year. (BBC)
Seattle Pride Event To Charge White People A $50 ‘Reparations’ Fee To Attend
A Pride event in Seattle is planning to charge white people up to $50 in “reparations fees” to attend. The event, which is going down this Saturday (6/26) in Seattle’s Jimi Hendrix Park, is being hosted for Black and brown members of the LGBT community. Organizers said the specific pride event is to lift up their “voices, narratives, and contributions. All are free to attend HOWEVER this is a BLACK AND BROWN QUEER TRANS CENTERED, PRIORITIZED, VALUED, EVENT,” organizers wrote on the page of the event, which is called “TAKING B[L]ACK PRIDE. White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to keep this event free of cost for BLACK AND BROWN Trans and Queer COMMUNITY,” the event description continued. People are accusing event organizers of “reverse racism,” stemming from charging white people an admissions fee. It also prompted the group Capitol Hill Pride to call for the city to look into whether organizers were committing an ethics violation by only having white attendees cover the cost of the event. (The New York Post)
Man goes fishing during 5-hour closure of Louisiana bridge following 18-wheeler crash
A wreck involving multiple 18-wheelers shut down the Bonne Carre Spillway for five hours earlier this week. According to the Department of Transportation Development, the wreck happened on I-10 Eastbound near mile marker 214. Two 18-wheelers were involved and LSP reported 50-60 gallons of diesel spilled. No injuries were reported. However, while stuck on the bridge, one man grabbed his fishing pole and decided to try his luck on the lake. No word on if he caught anything. (WAFB)
Woman eats dog food for 30 days to prove it’s healthier than most human foods
One woman in Washington state, who owns the Paw’s Natural Pet Emporium chain, is eating only dog, cat, and bird food for a total of 30 days (until July 19) to promote ingredient awareness with foods for both humans and animals. She first reached for pet treats when she didn’t have time to eat at work and was pleasantly surprised by the taste and the short list of healthy ingredients. However, health experts say that while it’s certainly best for everyone, two legs or four, to be eating foods with as few ingredients as possible, it’s also smart to eat foods created for a human’s immune system and recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. (Fox News)
Black people are more likely to die in traffic accidents
Black people represented the largest increase in traffic deaths last year than any other racial group, even as Americans drove less overall due to the pandemic, according to recently released data. An estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020, the largest projected number of deaths since 2007, according the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number of Black people who died in such crashes was up 23 percent from 2019, the largest increase in traffic deaths among racial groups, according to the administration’s report. (United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Some used vehicles now cost more than original sticker price
When it was new, the window sticker price on a typical 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR double cab pickup was just under $29,000. Two years later, dealers are paying almost $1,000 more than that to buy the same vehicle, even though it’s used. Then they’re selling it to consumers for more than $33,000. Welcome to the wacky world of car and truck sales, where the pandemic and a global shortage of computer chips have pushed prices to record levels. Used vehicle price increases accounted for one-third of the large rise in inflation last month, according to the Labor Department. Prices shot up a record 10% in April and another 7.3% in May, as inflation spiked 5%, the biggest 12-month increase since 2008. The average used vehicle cost $26,457 this month. At present, consumers who have to replace a vehicle don’t have much choice. (Associated Press)
Emergency crew rescues sex doll after mistaking it for drowning woman
A team of emergency rescue divers was flummoxed after responding to the scene of a nude “drowning woman”, only to discover that it was actually a floating life-size sex doll. The uproarious gaffe was chronicled on Twitter by a YouTuber who had initially believed she was witnessing a real-life rescue in a city off Japan’s northeast coast. “While filming a fishing video, I thought a dead body floating in the water had washed up, but it was a blow-up doll,” she wrote about the strange scene. The influencer added that someone else had mistakenly phoned the authorities over the “drowning” woman, prompting a “Blues Brothers”-esque army of emergency services to arrive, ready to rescue what they thought was a person in peril. The photos show multiple fire and rescue brigades, police, and an ambulance working to dredge the dummy from the water in front of a crowd of onlookers. Thankfully the adult toy was “rescued safely,” according to the YouTuber. It’s unclear how the blowup doll ended up in the water. (Fox News)
Citizens urged to take precautions after police citations posted on dark web
People in Tulsa, Oklahoma are being urged to take precautions after someone posted Tulsa police citations on the dark web. City officials said 18,000 city files, mainly police citations and internal department files, are on the dark web. The person responsible for a ransomware attack on the city in May posted the files. Police citations include SOME identifying information:
- Date of Birth
- Driver’s License number
- Citations do NOT include social security numbers.
Officials urge anyone who:
- filed a police report,
- got a citation,
- made a payment with the city,
- interacted with the city any way where personal identifying information was shared (online or in-person),
to start taking precautions. Officials said the city’s Incident Response Team and federal authorities are investigating the data breach and monitoring any information being shared. (KJRH)
Workers flee factory jobs over wages
American workers are increasingly shunning jobs in factories as other industries lure them away with higher wages. As labor shortages continue to proliferate around the country, manufacturing employees are leaving in significant numbers due to stingy, slow-growing pay rises for factory jobs. Many workers are leaving for restaurant and retail positions, which have boosted their highest hourly wages, relative to wages in manufacturing, since the start of 2020. Although factory jobs once paid significantly more than those in many other fields, there are now significantly more opportunities for those “looking for a living-wage job.” (The Wall Street Journal)
Time for ‘Great Career Change’?
According to a new survey, data shows that slightly more than half of American workers would change their industry given an opportunity to retrain. Therein lies the rub, though: Retraining opportunities aren’t rife, but with a skills gap projected to widen faster than ever because of the pandemic, as even more restaurant and bartender jobs give way to technical roles, the need for companies and the government to train workers looks more acute. The survey also found that, of those who say they would switch fields:
- Half want higher compensation.
- 34% seek more growth opportunity.
- 24% are tired of working on the same thing.
NASA’s Hubble telescope remains in safe mode as the agency attempts to restart a crashed computer
NASA is trying to fix the Hubble telescope’s 1980s-era payload computer, which controls, coordinates and monitors its science instruments, after it crashed more than a week ago. The computer stopped working on June 13 and attempts to restart it and to switch to spare memory modules have all failed. NASA said the computer was “fully redundant” as the telescope had a second that could be switched over if necessary. “The operations team will be running tests and collecting more information on the system to further isolate the problem,” NASA said. The science instruments will remain in a safe mode state until the issue is resolved. The telescope itself and science instruments remain in good health. (NASA)
Australia pushes back on United Nations report recommending the Great Barrier Reef be reclassified as a World Heritage Site in Danger due to the effects of climate change on its coral
UN body Unesco said the reef should be put on a list of World Heritage Sites that are “in danger” due to the damage it has suffered. Key targets on improving water quality had not been met, it said. Environment minister said UN experts had reneged on past assurances. She confirmed that Australia planned to challenge the listing, which would take place at a meeting next month, saying: “Clearly there were politics behind it; clearly those politics have subverted a proper process.” The World Heritage Committee is a 21-nation group chaired by China, which has had a vexed diplomatic relationship with Canberra in recent years. (BBC)
Thursday Dumps Us With:
- Bomb Pop Day (Last Thursday in June)
- Celebration of the Senses
- Festival of Goodwill, Festival of Christ & Humanity, World Invocation Day (On Full Moon)
- Handshake Day (Last Thursday in June)
- International Fairy Day or Faerie Day
- Pralines Day
- Stonewall National Monument Day
- World UFO Day
1717 – The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), is founded in London, England.
1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.
1793 – The first Republican constitution in France is adopted.
1866 – Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.
1894 – Marie Francois Sadi Carnot is assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.
1916 – World War I: the Battle of the Somme begins with a week-long artillery bombardment on the German Line.
1948 – Start of the Berlin Blockade: the Soviet Union makes overland travel between West Germany and West Berlin impossible.
1975 – An Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashes at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. 113 people die.
2004 – In New York, capital punishment is declared unconstitutional.
2010 – John Isner of the United States defeats Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.