๐ŸŒž Gas Pains – December 16 2021

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Happy Thursday. Kraft will give you a $20 gift certificate if you can’t find Philadelphia cream cheese to make your holiday desserts this year because you know, product shortages in the North Pole. 

credit: spreadthefeeling.com

In Case You Missed It. 

๐Ÿ“ˆ Reddit has filed for an initial public offering. 

๐Ÿ”ฅ Extreme weather including tornadoes and fire danger is sweating the central U.S. 

๐Ÿ›‘ Democrats seem unable to move their Build Back Better package because Senator Joe Manchin opposes the child tax credit. 

๐Ÿ“‰ The SEC announced new rules to make it tougher for executives to trade their own companies’ stocks. 

๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ’ป PornHub says that Hentai porn is the most searched term of 2021. That refers to adult anime and cartoon content. It’s not all naughty though. “Romance” and “romantic” searches more than doubled and searches for “passionate” jumped 139%.

โš“๏ธ The Navy tested laser weapons in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday and “successfully” hit a floating target. 

Coronavirus Update: ๐Ÿ˜ท Total confirmed global cases as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday: 271,699,321 — Total deaths: 5,325,637 — Total vaccine doses administered: 8,543,097,272 

  • Apple says it will delay returning to office work indefinitely due to continuing Covid cases, it's also closing three stores. 
  • Google will put workers on unpaid leave if they are not vaccinated by January 18. 
  • The UK hit a record for daily cases of Covid since the pandemic began in 2020.
  • court reinstated the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for health workers at hospitals that receive federal funding. 
  • Experts say that omicron symptoms include a “scratchy throat” as opposed to a “sore throat.” 
  • Other studies say that omicron thrives in airways but is slower to replicate in lungs, which may explain its less-severe cases.

MARKETS

Bitcoin

$49,158.89

Ethereum

$4,049.10

Cardano

$1.32

Dow

35,927.43

S&P

4,709.85

Nasdaq

15,565.58

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. 

  • Markets: Wall Street smiled following the Fed's announcement that it will issue three interest rate increases next year. Crypto markets followed suit and jumped across the board.

The Lead: Fed Just Dropped an Interest Rate Bombshell

credit: businessinsider

Fed chief Jerome Powell spoke on Wednesday and the markets liked what he had to say. Market prices jumped into the green because Powell confirmed that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates three times in 2022. 

Why does the market like this? 

Basic economic laws tell us that when governments keep interest rates low, inflation can result. That is what is playing out in the real world. Investors seem to be glad for a move to curb the inflationary surge. 

The Fed also says that it will taper off its investing in mortgage-backed securities starting in January. Powell acknowledged that these moves will not fix inflation overnight but says that these moves will put the U.S. “in a position” to make a turn from its peak. 

Passing Gas

credit: dutch news

New York City will ban gas stoves and gas heating in all new buildings and renovations, starting in 2024. This means that the Big Apple will now rely on electric power for heating and cooking. 

What’s so wrong with gas?

It’s a fossil fuel and the planet only has so much. Experts say that heating and water systems alone account for 42% of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

It is also not good for humans. A recent study found that 1,114 premature deaths were associated with gas heating indoors. There are also studies that show that gas heating and cooking are associated with higher rates of asthma and heart attack. 

In 2020, major public relations firm Porter Novelli dropped the American Public Gas Association from its client list because even they could no longer make the case for gas heating. 

If you’re one of those “but I love cooking on gas” people, believe me, I get ya. I felt like this too but read the data. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

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Let's All Sue Each Other

credit: foxnews

Hey, Americans, we have a reputation for being the most litigious country in the world. We might as well lean in! 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced legislation on Wednesday that would allow parents to sue schools that teach critical race theory. 

If you’re keeping count, Florida is now the third state to announce citizen litigation laws this year. In Texas, you can sue people for abortions that had nothing to do with you. In California, you can sue people regarding gun ownership. And now in Florida, you would be able to sue school districts and companies for teaching things you don’t like. Because, you know, schools have so much money for legal defense and payouts. 

It's Not Rocket Science

credit: verywellmind.com

Rocket scientists and brain surgeons–they’re just like us!

Researchers in England analyzed 72 brain surgeons and 329 aerospace engineers to find that their brains are not significantly more powerful than the 18,000 British people they tested.

“Essentially what we think it shows is that everyone has a range of skills, some people are better at some things and other people are better at other things, and it is very difficult to be better in everything across the board,” said Aswin Chari, an author of the study.

File this under: things we knew, but with SCIENCE.

News By The Numbers

599 million pounds. That is how much plastic packaging was produced by Amazon to ship our Prime Deliveries in 2020. A watchdog group says that 23.5 million pounds ended up in the ocean, God help us. 

$18.50. That will be the new minimum wage at Hobby Lobby, starting January 1. 

60 seconds. That is the new video length allowance for Instagram Stories. Previously, users had to split those up into 15-second chunks but the company is increasing that to compete with TikTok and SnapChat. 

16 years. That is how long researchers took to prove that Einstein’s theory of relativity was wrong. They failed. Turns out, Einstein was right.

What's Trending?

giphy.gif credit: cbs

Survivor is trending because the show crowned the winner of season 41. Season 41!?

Keechant Sewell is trending because she will become the first female police commissioner in New York City. 

#SellingTampa is trending. This is a new Netflix show about an all-Black, all-female real estate company. The buzz is that it’s binge-worthy because these ladies are “closing deals in heels.” 

Jorts is trending because the Internet is losing its mind about a cat named Jorts. It started with a Reddit thread where user said that a colleague accused them of “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes” because they called the orange office cat “dumb.” The coworker insisted that the user take “racial sensitivity training.” Jorts’ Twitter account has over 21,000 followers as of this writing.

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