Thursday, October 27, 2022



Religious group brings sex dolls to holy site for ‘enchantment rituals’

A religious group is being slammed by Myanmar authorities after they allegedly brought two sex dolls to the country’s holiest Buddhist sites to perform an enchantment ritual on them. According to state media, the group of eight attempted to enter the Shwedagon Pagoda after leaving the dolls outside but were detained by the temple’s security guards. Security guards claimed the group stood in the parking lot and began to chant “ritual incantations.” “While performing their rituals, pagoda security staff called them for interrogation and rid the pagoda precinct of the dolls,” Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture said in a statement. The eight devotees have been charged with “defamation of the Buddhist religion.” The dolls were reportedly dressed up to symbolize certain members of the Buddhist faith and are said to have cost nearly $2,299 each to import into the country. It is still unclear what type of ritual the group tried to perform. (New York Post)


Juul reportedly discussing bailout

Juul is in talks over a bailout with two of its largest investors, Hyatt Hotels heir Nick Pritzker and investor Riaz Valani. The e-cigarette company saw its sales slow after the Food and Drug Administration issued, and then paused, a ban on its products over health concerns. The potential ban, as well as thousands of lawsuits over alleged marketing to underage people, has seen the company struggle to attract financing. It has since considered filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while two restructuring experts have been added to its board. (The Wall Street Journal)


Twitter deal closing tomorrow?

Tomorrow (10/28) could be Elon Musk’s T-Day, or the day he finalizes his long-anticipated, high-drama takeover of Twitter. Musk told a group of equity investors via video conference earlier this week he “pledged to close the deal” by the end of this week. Banks, including Sequoia Capital and Binance, are providing $13 billion of debt financing and they are in the process of getting the final paperwork ready. A Delaware judge set tomorrow as the deal deadline, and it looks like Musk will comply. Twitter shares jumped on the news. Meanwhile, internal Twitter data that revealed the social giant is “losing its most active users.” (Reuters)


eBay removes Jeffrey Dahmer Halloween costumes

Online bidding site eBay has removed costumes related to Jeffery Dahmer, who was convicted of killing over a dozen people between the late ’70s and early ’90s. The costumes are being removed under the site’s “Violence and Violent Criminal Policy,” and the decision to ban these costumes was not a new or recent decision, an eBay spokesperson said. Under this policy, users are not allowed to sell items that “promote or glorify violence or violent acts, or are associated with individuals who are notorious for committing violent acts.” In 1992, Dahmer was convicted and sentenced for 16 counts of first-degree intentional homicide committed between 1978 and 1991. He is infamous for the grisly manner of the murders, which were often followed by acts of cannibalism and necrophilia. (Washington Examiner)


Housing prices slump most since ’09

Housing prices have fallen the farthest since March 2009, during the financial crisis, as the Federal Reserve pushes up interest rates to curb the fastest consumer-price inflation in decades. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed a 1.3% drop in August from July, led by West Coast cities. Affordability issues, accentuated by mortgage rates at close to 7%, are cooling demand fastest in San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. Nationally, prices are still 13% higher than a year ago. (Bloomberg)


WFH helps those with disabilities

The labor market may be strongest among those with disabilities. After two years of pandemic — during which remote work became more widespread — 35% of these working-aged Americans hold jobs, up from 31% before COVID hit. Employment among those without disabilities, meanwhile, has only just returned to pre-COVID levels. While unemployment has also tended to rise faster among those with disabilities, a downturn this time may prove different. Remote work, a boon to those who have difficulty managing commutes or offices, is no longer out of reach. (Local Today)


Surefire Signs Your Brain is Infected, Say Experts

Brain infections are rare, but when they happen recognizing the signs and getting treatment is vital to a full recovery. Brain infections can be caused by several things, including COVID, according to doctors at Georgetown University Medical Center. Brain infections are caused by the penetration of some infectious agent (bacteria or virus) into the brain spaces (ventricles) and or tissues. There are a number of brain specific bacteria and viruses that target the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). In addition they say, “There is evidence that SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid, can directly infect brain tissue. As well it appears that bodily infections with the SARS-CoV2 virus can lead to compromised immune function, and alterations in brain physiology to both render the brain more susceptible to other types of infection, as well as producing inflammatory changes in brain tissue that can be symptomatic (and reflective of “long Covid”).” (Yahoo News)


Sauces sold on recalled due to potential allergen

The Seed Ranch Flavor Co. is recalling several products sold on and at a handful of retailers as the products contain undeclared soy. The recalled products include 5 fl ounce bottles of “Umami Everyday Sauce” and “Everything But The Sushi & Dumplings” sauce. The Food and Drug Administration said, “People who have allergies to soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.” No one has reported becoming ill from the products. (United States Food and Drug Administration)


Boys are being left behind in education

We know the pandemic hurt students’ math and reading scores across the country, but research is showing half of our students were at a disadvantage even before COVID hit. From elementary school all the way to graduate degree programs, girls are outperforming boys. In every state in the country, more women have college degrees than men, and more girls graduate high school on time than boys. A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, has spent years researching why this is happening and how communities can address this gender education gap. He’s found that girls outperform boys in reading by almost half a grade level in every state. In 10 states, girls are more than a full grade level ahead of boys. There are three big reasons boys are behind. First, a boys’ prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that helps you organize, complete tasks and pay attention, develops 1-2 years later in boys than in girls. Second, there are fewer male teachers in schools. Studies have shown boys learn better learning with male teachers, but only 24% of K-12 teachers are men. In elementary schools, only 11% are men, and in kindergarten, it’s just 3%. Third, research shows boys learn better in hands-on learning environments than in traditional lecture-style classrooms. (Brookings Institution)


Group sends letter to manufacturers, claims athletic clothes contain unsafe chemicals

The Center for Environmental Health said it sent letters to eight clothing brands after it conducted tests on clothing for the chemical bisphenol. The group said the products violate California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The Center for Environmental Health said it would give companies 60 days to respond to their letter before filing a complaint with the state. According to the group, unsafe levels of chemical bisphenol, or BPA, were found in Athleta, PINK, Asics, The North Face, Brooks, All in Motion, Nike and FILA sports bras. The group also said it discovered unsafe levels of BPA in activewear shirts made by The North Face, Brooks, Mizuno, Athleta, New Balance and Reebok. The CEH said some of the clothes contained up to 22 times the safe limit of BPA. In addition to clothing, BPA is commonly found on plastic food containers, aluminum cans and toys. (CBS News)


FDA urges Mighty Bliss electric heating pad customers to stop using them citing injury risk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging customers of the Mighty Bliss electric heating pad to stop using them and contact the company for instructions on returning them. The FDA announced a recall of over 500,000 electric heating pads after receiving at least 286 complaints reporting various injuries. Customers complained of burn injuries, electric sparking from the heating pads, and overheating, among other issues. and Walmart sold the heating pads, and at least 31 injuries were reported. Units were distributed and sold between July 2021 and July 2022. The FDA asks consumers to contact the company if they’ve purchased an electric heating pad or check their website for instructions on returning the product. (United States Food and Drug Administration)


Scammers target voters with political calls and texts

Are you getting tired of political calls and texts? You’re not alone. Midterm elections are fast approaching, and scammers are only adding to the amount of political messaging coming your way. So it is tougher than ever to tell if that appeal is real, or fraudulent. Whether you vote red, blue, or just want election season to be over, scammers are targeting you, hoping a hot-button issue will be enough to get you to answer or click. Mechele Agbayani Mills with the Better Business Bureau says it’s tempting to donate to a cause or candidate you’re passionate about, but make sure the requests are legitimate. Another scam to watch out for: the text-your-vote scam. In those cases, scammers aren’t after your money, but rather don’t want your vote to count. If you just want the calls to end, check with your cell provider: Most, including Verizon and AT&T, now offer robocall blockers. (KJRH)


Government awarding $1 billion to schools for electric buses

Nearly 400 school districts spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C., along with several tribes and U.S. territories, are receiving roughly $1 billion in grants to purchase about 2,500 “clean” school buses under a new federal program. The Biden administration is making the grants available as part of a wider effort to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles and reduce air pollution near schools and communities. Only about 1% of the nation’s 480,000 school buses were electric as of last year, but the push to abandon traditional diesel buses has gained momentum in recent years. Money for the new purchases is available under the federal Clean School Bus Program, which includes $5 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed last year. (Associated Press)


Thursday Kicks Up With:

  • American Beer Day
  • Birth of Baha’u’Llah
  • Black Cat Day
  • Civics Day
  • Cranky Co-workers Day
  • Navy Day
  • Read for The Record Day
  • World Day for Audiovisual Heritage


Historical Events

939 – Edmund I succeeds Athelstan as King of England.

1275 – Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1682 – City of Philadelphia Founded. The historical city in the State of Pennsylvania was founded by English entrepreneur, William Penn. Penn received the land as a payment to fulfill a debt that King Charles II owed to Penn’s father. Philadelphia is the only UNESCO-declared World Heritage City in the United States and it was temporarily the capital of the United States in the 1800s.

1838 – State of Missouri Passes the Extermination Order. Governor Lilburn Boggs signed Missouri Executive Order 44 as a result of the Battle of Crooked River which took place a few days earlier on October 24-25. The fight occurred between Mormon forces and a Missouri state militia and it resulted in 4 fatalities. The executive order ruled that ‘all Mormons were to be treated as enemies and that they must be exterminated or driven out of the state for public peace.’ The order forced members of the Church of Latter Day Saints to migrate from Missouri to Illinois.

1904 – New York City Subway Begins Operations. The oldest underground subway system in the United States, construction of the transit system began in 1902. Today, the NYC subway is one of the world’s largest and the most used rapid transit systems in the world.

1930 – ratifications exchanged in London, for the first London Naval Treaty signed in April modifying the 1925 Washington Naval Treaty and the arms limitation treaty’s modified provisions go into effect immediately; further limiting the expensive naval arms race between its five signatories.

1948 – Léopold Sédar Senghor founds the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1953 – British nuclear test Totem 2 is carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing”.

1967 – Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1991 – Turkmenistan Declares Independence from the Soviet Union. The Central Asian country had been a separate republic of the USSR since 1925. Saparmurat Niyazov, the head of the country under the Soviets, continued ruling the country under the title of President for Life until his death in 2006. The day is annually celebrated in the country as Independence Day.

1994 – Gliese 229B is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1994 – The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history.

1997 – October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15.

1999 – Shooting in the Armenian Parliament. 8 people, including the country’s prime minister, Vazgen Sargsyan and Speaker Karen Demirchyan, were killed when armed gunmen shot at the members of the Armenian National Assembly. The gunmen claimed that they were there to carry out a coup and that the prime minister was their target. The siege ended after the Armenian troops surrounded the parliament building and the gunmen surrendered.