Tuesday, September 26, 2023



Supermarket Food Waste Is a Big Problem

Dynamic pricing is not new; for decades, the airline, fashion, and hospitality industries have all found that dynamic pricing — the incremental adjustments to prices to reflect inventory, demand, and supply — has helped companies cut waste and save money. A recent study from U.C. San Diego’s Rady School of Management suggests that it might. The study’s author used economic models to show that if grocery retailers used dynamic pricing to adjust prices for perishable foods based on how long they’ve been on the shelves, retailers would likely dramatically curb food waste. The study zeros in on the question: What does more to stop food from being wasted from grocery stores — food waste diversion systems or smart pricing strategies? The results point to the fact that stopping waste at the source is more effective — environmentally and economically. In this case, that means finding a home for food before it reaches its “sell by” date. The study found that dynamic pricing could reduce food waste from grocery retailers by 21 percent. And with the high costs of groceries, especially for fresh food, lower prices can also do a lot to meet peoples’ economic needs. Every year, about 130 billion meals, or $408 billion in food, are thrown away in the U.S., according to Feeding America. Meanwhile, roughly 25 percent of adults reported food insecurity in 2022. All of this food waste — 35 percent of the U.S. food supply — results in “annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 42 coal-fired power plants,” according to a report released by the EPA in November 2021. Across the country, states have begun to implement strategies to divert food waste from their landfills. Vermont established a universal recycling law that requires separation and diversion of food scraps from the waste stream. Several states, including Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts have food recovery systems to collect and donate edible food to food banks. California, which has a reputation for leading on environmental issues, has a goal to divert 75 percent of food waste from landfills by 2025 by mandating residential and commercial organic waste collection systems and edible food recovery programs across the state. (Eater)


‘Not Fried Chicken’ ice cream recalled for possible listeria contamination

The recall includes two varieties of the novelty Not Fried Chicken Ice Cream treats: a 64-ounce bucket and the individual 2.5-ounce bars. The treats, which are designed to look like pieces of fried chicken, are described at Goldbelly.com as Life Raft Treats’ “signature offering,” and contain waffle-flavored ice cream and crushed corn flakes surrounding a cookie “bone.” The brand’s 6-count Life Is Peachy treats, also involved in the recall, are peach flavored frozen desserts made to mimic the appearance of actual peaches. No illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming the products to date, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The products were initially shipped to distribution centers in seven states. They were available for nationwide purchase via Goldbelly. (United States Food and Drug Administration)


Amazon Prime Video will soon come with ads, or a $2.99 monthly charge to dodge them

Amazon Prime Video will include advertising during shows and movies starting early next year, joining other streaming services that have added different tiers of subscriptions. Members of Amazon Prime can pay $2.99 per month in the U.S. to keep their service ad-free, the company said. Streaming services are in a heated tug-of-war over viewers and users are growing more adept at jumping in and out of those services, often depending on price. The platforms risk losing customers with price hikes, but they could lose them if they don’t generate new content that wins over users. Disney will begin charging $13.99 a month in the U.S. for ad-free Disney+ in mid-October, 75% more than the ad-supported service. Netflix already charges $15.49 per month for its ad-free plan, more than twice the monthly subscription for Netflix with ads. Amazon said limited advertisements will be aired during shows and movies starting early next year so that it can “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.” Live events on Amazon Prime, like sports, already include advertising. Ads in Prime Video content will start in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year. (ABC News)


Surgeons perform second pig heart transplant, trying to save a dying man

Surgeons have transplanted a pig’s heart into a dying man in a bid to prolong his life – only the second patient to ever undergo such an experimental feat. Two days later, the man was cracking jokes and able to sit in a chair, Maryland doctors said. The 58-year-old Navy veteran was facing near-certain death from heart failure but other health problems meant he wasn’t eligible for a traditional heart transplant, according to doctors at University of Maryland Medicine. While the next few weeks will be critical, doctors were thrilled at Faucette’s early response to the pig organ. (Associated Press)


McDonald’s to raise royalty fees for new franchised restaurants for first time in nearly 30 years

McDonald’s franchisees who add new restaurants will soon have to pay higher royalty fees. The fast-food giant is raising those fees from 4% to 5%, starting Jan. 1. It’s the first time in nearly three decades that McDonald’s is hiking its royalty fees. The change will not affect existing franchisees who are maintaining their current footprint or who buy a franchised location from another operator. It will also not apply to rebuilt existing locations or restaurants transferred between family members. However, the higher rate will affect new franchisees, buyers of company-owned restaurants, relocated restaurants and other scenarios that involve the franchisor. Existing franchisees who plan to maintain their current footprint or who buy a franchise from another operator, as well as those who rebuild existing locations or transfer their franchise to a family member, will not be affected by the price hike. (New York Post)


California lets insurers factor wildfire risks in rates to widen coverage

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara took steps to allow property insurers to factor in climate risks including wildfires in rate prices, if they increase underwriting in at-risk areas to wean consumers off state-funded coverage. Since 2022, seven of the state’s top 12 insurers have paused or restricted new business, including State Farm and Liberty Mutual, and the government’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, intended as an insurer of last resort, has risen to a 3% share of California’s market. The measures by the state’s insurance regulator follow an executive order by Governor Gavin Newsom urging regulatory action to expand coverage in underserved areas, account for catastrophe risks in rates, and keep the FAIR Plan solvent. (CNBC)


California governor vetoes bill banning robotrucks without safety drivers

California Governor Gavin Newsom late on Friday vetoed a bill to prevent heavy-duty driverless trucks from operating in the state, in a relief for companies developing autonomous technology to haul goods across the U.S. The labor-backed Assembly Bill 316, which requires a trained human driver to be present in autonomous vehicles weighing over 10,001 pounds, was passed by a heavy majority in both houses of the state legislature. A veto by the governor can still be overturned if the legislature chooses to vote in favor of the bill with a two-thirds majority in each house. This, however, is rare and has not happened in California since 1979. While many states, including Texas and Arkansas, have allowed the testing and operation of self-driving trucks, California bars autonomous trucks weighing more than 10,001 pounds, but the department of motor vehicles has been working towards developing a regulatory framework to lift that restriction, prompting the suggested bill. (Tech Crunch)


Long COVID can cause long-term damage to multiple organs, study finds

A third of long COVID patients sustained damage to multiple organs five months after infection, a study has found. Scans of patients who were treated in hospital for COVID-19 showed higher rates of damage to the lungs, brain and kidneys compared with the non-COVID control group. Lung injuries were almost 14 times higher among long COVID patients, while abnormal findings involving the brain and kidneys were three and two times higher respectively. How badly the organs were affected was often due to the severity of their infection, their age and other diseases in the body. (Sky News)


Tinder to charge power users $500 per month for VIP features

Tinder announced Friday that it’s offering some of its most-active users a $499 per month subscription. Users not put off by the hefty price tag will gain access additional features, such as the ability to send direct messages to people with whom they have not matched and “see and be seen by Tinder’s most sought after profiles,” according to the company. Tinder says it’s only offering the subscription to less than 1% of its users, and isn’t expecting a flood of subscriptions. This is not the first bet by Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, on more exclusive dating apps and features. (Yahoo News)


AI voice cloning scams on the rise, expert warns

Scammers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) tools to clone the voices of individuals they target on social media to place panicked calls to their family or friends in the hope of convincing the unwitting recipient of the call to give them money or access to sensitive information. Fraudsters carrying out voice cloning scams will record a person’s voice or find an audio clip on social media or elsewhere on the internet. The audio sample is then run through an AI program that replicates the voice, allowing the scammer to make it say whatever they type in addition to adding laughter, fear, and other emotions into the cloned voice depending on how the scam is scripted. Fraudsters carrying out AI voice scams are also using AI programs to search the internet for information about individuals and businesses, including audio or video posts on social media or elsewhere, for details that can be used to make more compelling calls to unwitting victims. (Fox Business)


Dengue outbreak declared in Jamaica

The Ministry of Health & Wellness has declared an outbreak of Dengue for Jamaica. The outbreak comes as the Ministry’s National Surveillance Unit advised that Jamaica has surpassed the Dengue epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for the month of September. This means, the country has seen an increase in the number of cases compared to what is normally seen during these months of the year. As of Friday, September 22, 2023, the country had recorded 565 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases of Dengue. Of that number, 78 cases had been confirmed with majority of the cases seen in Kingston & St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas. The dominant strain is Dengue Type 2, which last predominated in 2010. There are no Dengue-related deaths classified at this time, however, six deaths are being investigated. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually a mild illness in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains. Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness. The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol. (Outbreak News Today)


F-35s Only Mission-Ready 55 Percent of Time

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to congressional committees made public Thursday found that F-35 Lightning II fighter jets are only available to fly 55% of the time. That is below the stated goal of a mission-capable rate of 85% to 90%. In addition to the operational issues, the 96-page report detailed that 73% of replacement parts needed to be returned to suppliers because the Department of Defense maintenance centers had inadequate resources. According to the GAO, the Pentagon’s F-35 program is one of its most expensive, costing $1.7 trillion thus far. Of that amount, $1.3 trillion has been spent on the cost of operating and maintaining the jets. The report found that the Pentagon was sending 73% of F-35 components back to the original manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, because of a lack of repair capability at bases. In total, over 10,000 components are still waiting to be repaired. (Newsmax)


Yogurt could be the new breath mint

It turns out yogurt may have a previously unknown benefit: eliminating garlic odors. A new study conducted in a lab – with follow-up human breath tests being planned – showed that whole milk plain yogurt prevented almost all of the volatile compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent scent from escaping into the air. Researchers tested the garlic deodorizing capacity of yogurt and its individual components of water, fat and protein to see how each stood up to the stink. Both fat and protein were effective at trapping garlic odors, leading the scientists to suggest high-protein foods may one day be formulated specifically to fight garlic breath. For each treatment experiment, the researchers placed equal amounts of raw garlic in glass bottles and confirmed the cluster of offending sulfur-based volatiles were released in concentrations that would be detected by the human nose. They used mass spectrometry to measure levels of the volatile molecules in gaseous form present before and after each treatment. Results showed that yogurt alone reduced 99% of the major odor-producing raw garlic volatiles. When introduced separately, the fat, water and protein components of yogurt also had a deodorizing effect on raw garlic, but fat and protein performed better than water. In the case of fat, a higher quantity of butter fat was more effective at deodorization. The proteins studied included different forms of whey, casein and milk proteins, all of which were effective at deodorizing garlic – likely because of their ability to trap the volatile molecules before they were emitted into the air. A casein micelle-whey protein complex performed the best. (Ohio State News)


Tuesday Reveals Many Things To Us With:

  • Compliance Officer Day
  • Dumpling Day
  • Forget-Me-Not Day
  • International Day For The Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
  • Johnny Appleseed Day
  • Mesothelioma Day
  • Pancake Day
  • Remember Me Thursday
  • Shamu the Whale Day
  • Situational Awareness Day
  • World Body Painting Days
  • World Contraception Day
  • World Maritime Day


Historical Events

715 – Ragenfrid defeats Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne.

1777 – Philadelphia was occupied by British troops during the American Revolutionary War.

1786 – Protestors shut down the court in Springfield, Massachusetts starting the Shay’s Rebellion. Named after the rebellion’s leader Daniel Shays, the revolt began as a response to an economic crisis where people who owed debt were imprisoned. After a bloody conflict, the Shaysites were crushed by the government. This was the first armed internal conflict in post-revolutionary America.

1789 – Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first United States Secretary of State, John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States, Samuel Osgood is appointed the first United States Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph is appointed the first United States Attorney General.

1810 – Swedish Act of Succession is passed. The Swedish Act of Succession, also known as the 1810 Act of Succession was adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates. This act is part of the Swedish Constitution and regulates the succession of the Swedish Royal family.

1872 – The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) is established in New York City.

1892“The King of Marches” was introduced to the general public.

1908 – Ed Eulbach of the Chicago Cubs became the first baseball player to pitch both games of a doubleheader and win both with shutouts.

1908 – In “The Saturday Evening Post” an ad for the Edison Phonograph appeared.

1914 – Establishment of Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent government agency in the US, responsible for consumer and market protection was established by the Federal Trade Commission Act on this day.

1917 – Battle of Polygon Wood begins. Fought during World War I between the British and Australian troops and German army near Ypres in Belgium, the battle ended in an Allied victory.

1918 – During World War I, the Meuse-Argonne offensive against the Germans began. It was the final Allied offensive on the western front.

1934 – Steamship RMS Queen Mary is launched.

1944 – World War II: On the central front of the Gothic Line Brazilian troops control the Serchio valley region after ten days of fighting.

1950 – U.N. troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans during the Korean Conflict.

1954 – Japanese rail ferry “Toya Maru” sinks during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait, Japan killing 1,172.

1955 – The New York Stock Exchange suffered its worst decline since 1929 when the word was released concerning U.S. President Eisenhower’s heart attack.

1959 – Typhoon Vera hits Japan. The category five typhoon is thought to be the strongest typhoon to impact the island country in recorded history. The resulting rain, landslides, and damage caused the deaths of about 5000 people in Japan.

1960 – The first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago, IL.

1962“The Beverly Hillbillies” premiered on CBS-TV.

1964“Gilligan’s Island” premiered on CBS-TV. The show aired for the last time on September 4, 1967.

1969“The Brady Bunch” series premiered on ABC-TV.

1970 – The Laguna Fire starts in San Diego County, California, burning 175,425 acre.

1980 – The Cuban government abruptly closed Mariel Harbor to end the freedom flotilla of Cuban refugees that began the previous April.

1981 – The Boeing 767 made its maiden flight in Everett, WA.

1981 – Baseball: Nolan Ryan sets a Major League record by throwing his fifth no-hitter.

1984 – Britain and China initialed a draft agreement on the future of Hong Kong when the Chinese take over ruling the British Colony.

1985 – Shamu was born at Sea World in Orlando, FL. Shamu was the first killer whale to survive being born in captivity.

1986 – The episode of “Dallas” that had Bobby Ewing returning from the dead was aired.

1986 – William H. Rehnquist became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court following the retirement of Warren Burger.

1990 – The Motion Picture Association of America announced that it had created a new rating. The new NC17 rating was to keep moviegoers under the age of 17 from seeing certain films.

1991 – Four men and four women began their two-year stay inside the “Biosphere II.” The project was intended to develop technology for future space colonies.

1991 – The U.S. Congress heard a plea from Kimberly Bergalis concerning mandatory AIDS testing for health care workers.

1993 – The eight people who had stayed in “Biosphere II” emerged from their sealed off environment.

1995 – The warring factions of Bosnia agreed on guidelines for elections and a future government.

1996 – Shannon Lucid returned to Earth after being in space for 188 days. she set a time record for a U.S. astronaut in space and in the world for time spent by a woman in space.

1997 – A Garuda Indonesia Airbus A-300 crashes near Medan, Indonesia, airport, killing 234.

2000 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. The act states that an infant would be considered to have been born alive if he or she is completely extracted or expelled from the mother and breathes and has a beating heart and definite movement of the voluntary muscles.

2000 – Slobodan Milosevic conceded that Vojislav Kostunica had won Yugoslavia’s presidential election and declared a runoff. The declared runoff prompted mass protests.

2001 – In Kabul, Afghanistan, the abandoned U.S. Embassy was stormed by protesters. It was the largest anti-American protest since the terror attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, on September 11.

2001 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced plans to formalize a cease-fire and end a year of fighting in the region.

2006 – Facebook was opened to everyone at least 13 years or older with a valid email address.