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November 27, 2013

Remember that time we recommended you stock up on Sriracha?

  • Last Month The town of Irwindale, CA asked a judge to force Huy Fong Foods to cease operations at a local Sriracha facility where the company processes millions of chiles each fall. Residents say preparation of the peppers led to regular emission of fumes which are now being blamed for headaches, sore throats and more.
  • Tuesday Judge Robert H. O’Brien ordered the company to halt any operations that could be producing the odor, despite acknowledging a “lack of credible evidence” proving the facility is at fault, but will not force Huy Fong Foods to completely shutter the plant. The company has yet to respond to the ruling, but many assume prices will soon increase based on previous comments from Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran. source
16:16 // 10 months ago
November 26, 2013

U.S. military ignores no-fly zone in East China Sea

  • Last Weekend The Chinese government implemented new restrictions on U.S.-allied military aircraft, requiring them to identify themselves anytime they plan to pass through the new no-fly-zone over the Diaoyutai and Senkaku islands.
  • Tuesday a pair of unescorted American B-52 bombers passed through the newly-declared “Air Defense Identification Zone” without ever announcing their presence, as part of a scheduled training exercise. The breach was meant as a direct rebuke of China’s claims to control of air space in the region. source
23:27 // 10 months ago
November 13, 2013
18:19 // 11 months ago
November 12, 2013

Fun fact: Starbucks owes Kraft nearly $3 billion dollars

  • 1998 Kraft Foods and Starbucks make a fateful deal to bring the then-surging coffee chain’s main product to supermarkets across the country. The deal was to run until 2014.
  • 2010 The much-larger coffee chain backs out of the deal, arguing that Kraft broke the terms of the deal by not allowing Starbucks to sell its products in K-Cup form. The situation gets ugly, leading to lawsuits and money fights.
  • 2013 In an arbitration deal which was signed through gritted teeth, Starbucks agreed to pay Mondelez, a part of Kraft which was spun off last year, a total of $2.75 billion dollars, which sounds like a lot of money. It’s not all bad for the Bucks, though: Since breaking its deal with Kraft, its profits have risen 62 percent in the grocery space. source
22:27 // 11 months ago
October 29, 2013

Legal battle around Texas’ controversial abortion law isn’t over yet

  • Monday District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that a controversial provision of a new Texas law, requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, was unconstitutional. The provision was expected to force at least a dozen Texas clinics to close their doors.
  • Tuesday Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed papers with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, seeking an emergency appeal of Judge Yeakel’s ruling. Abbott has requested a decision by the end of the day; however, he’s previously said that he fully expects the case to wind up before the United States Supreme Court. source
14:44 // 11 months ago
October 23, 2013

White House denies events described on Senator’s Facebook page

  • Sunday Sen. Dick Durbin (D) claimed that a member of the House GOP told President Obama that he “cannot even stand to look at [him],” asking his supporters how Democrats could honestly work with such disrespectful people.
  • Wednesday White House spokesman Jay Carney denied Sen. Durbin’s claim, telling a White House reporter that he’d personally spoken with a participant in the meeting referenced by Durbin, and that what the Senator describes “did not happen.” source
17:33 // 12 months ago
October 22, 2013

When realistic-looking video games get creepy: Ellen Page edition

  • uncanny In a new video game, Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen “Juno” Page did significant amounts of motion-capture work in an effort to make the 3D-generated animations in “Beyond: Two Souls" seem super-real—helping the game move beyond the "uncanny valley" that separates realistic 3D images of humans from almost-realistic ones. Page is apparently such a good video game motion-capture muse that another recent game seems to have ripped off her likeness nearly wholesale.
  • uncannier Apparently the developers were able to take her motion capture work in an unanticipated direction, because there’s a beta version floating around somewhere which allows users to see a virtual Page naked in a shower. Sony, the publisher, recently sent out legal notices to sites hosting the NSFW images of Page’s PS3 doppelgänger, leading to speculation that Page threatened to sue. Obviously, stuff like this happens all the time.
0:48 // 12 months ago
October 15, 2013

New “robocall” restrictions take effect this week

  • October 16 New regulations will take effect that could directly impact the number of unwanted “robocalls” coming to your cellphone or landline, particularly for those living in battleground states. Starting Wednesday, companies that take part in automated telemarketing will be forced to receive written permission to contact the people they’re calling, with the only known exception being given to healthcare-related agencies that must make the calls for HIPAA compliance purposes. source
14:12 // 1 year ago
September 27, 2013

Obama’s mindset, in three quotes

  • Gov’t shutdown House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the Tea Party that they’ve threatened a government shut down or worse unless I gut, or repeal, The Affordable Care Act. I said this before. Let me repeat it. That’s not gonna happen.”
  • Debt ceiling “Voting for the treasury to pay America’s bills is not a concession to me. That’s not doing me a favor. That’s simply carrying out the solemn responsibilities that come with holding office up there. I don’t know how I can be more clear about this.”
  • Hostage taking I’m not going to start setting a precedent, not just for me, but for future presidents, where one chamber in Congress can basically say each time there needs to be a vote to make sure Treasury pays its bills, we’re not going to sign it unless our particular hobby horse gets advanced.”

President Obama threw down the gauntlet on House Republicans this afternoon, saying in his clearest language yet that there will be no negotiatiations whatsoever over funding the government or raising the debt ceiling. Period. This puts a lot of pressure on the House (or John Boehner, really) to pass “clean” bills to fund the government and avert a shutdown, rather than tie those bills to a wish-list of conservative policies. House Republicans may end up passing a funding bill that defunds Obamacare anyway, but it seems pretty clear that Obama will veto that bill if it lands on his desk. This is the speech a lot of liberal Democrats were hoping for the first time the House GOP tried this, in the summer of 2011. source

16:29 // 1 year ago
September 22, 2013

Americans fear gov’t shutdown

  • 60 percent of Americans say a government shut down would hurt the economy, a HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.
  • Another 44 percent say it would just hurt a lot. 19 percent say nothing would change, and 11 percent say it would help the economy. 
  • 50 percent of American families say a government shutdown would hurt their families and their livelihoods. This percentage includes 28 percent who say it really would hurt them and their way of life. 
  • And 7 percent said it would help them, plus another 33 percent who say a shutdown wouldn’t make a difference. 

While many Americans fear the possible outcomes of a government shutdown that may come about, the majority polled say it won’t actually happen. 55 percent of respondents said that the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress will reach a deal before the September 30th deadline, versus 18 percent who say they won’t. Have questions about the shutdown? WaPo comes to the rescue

11:48 // 1 year ago