WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TECH LAYOFFS?:
Spotify became the latest tech giant to shrink its staff, announcing it would cut ~600 workers, or 6% of its workforce. That brings the total number of tech layoffs in 2023 to ~57K, following ~159K in 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi. The Great Reduction is happening in a labor market that, for the most part, is humming along just fine. Why is it 2023 for most industries and 2000 all over again for tech? For one thing … tech companies hired a ton of employees from 2020 to early 2022, when it seemed Americans might never leave their homes again. Alphabet said it would slash 12K jobs on Friday after adding 30K+ jobs in 2022, per the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft said it would cut ~10K jobs last week after adding 40K in the last fiscal year. Basically, tech companies are backing away from staff counts they believed were necessary for a tech-centric future that hasn’t come to fruition.
Cosmetic Surgeon Performing Trans Surgeries Reportedly Posts Photo Of 15-Year-Old Girl With Breasts Removed:
A North Carolina cosmetic surgeon who posts photos of patients on whom she has performed radical surgeries to remove their breasts or genitalia reportedly posted a photo of a 15-year-old girl who had her breasts removed. Dr. Hope Sherie, a “double board-certified surgeon with over two decades of experience and a gift for long-term client relationships,” according to her website, had formerly served as an Air Force surgeon. Sherie’s website includes “before” and “after” photos of clients who have had the radical surgeries and one photo allegedly showed a 15-year-old who underwent a double mastectomy.
Miami-Based Restaurant Asks Fox News Analyst To Leave Over Conservative Political Views, Interaction Resembles ‘Jim Crow South’ Commentator Says:
Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell criticized North Miami, Florida, restaurant owners after the food establishment asked the conservative commentator to leave the eatery due to his political views. Paradis Books and Bread owners kicked Caldwell out of the restaurant, claiming the “behavior” and “words” of the group he dined with made the employees and other patrons in the space “very uncomfortable.” Caldwell explained the situation to “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Rachel Campos-Duffy, noting that the group had discussed several topics, including working at the legacy media outlet, values, violent crime, and progressive district attorneys. Restaurant owners then approached Caldwell and his companions, saying they were “not welcomed there because we aren’t politically aligned.” “This situation reminds me of something that MLK said in 1963, a very simple truth,” he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – and what I experienced yesterday, me and some of my neighbors, who I’m just getting to know, was an injustice.”
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NYC Bodegas Padlock Laundry Detergent As Shoplifting Scourge Hits New Low:
Desperate Bronx grocers are cracking down on serial thieves by slipping steel chains through the handles of laundry detergent bottles and securing them with padlocks – a new low in the shoplifting scourge across the Big Apple. “I put the detergent in jail,” lamented Jose Dario Collado, owner of Yankee Food Deli in University Heights, which began locking up $27.99 bottles of Tide and $12.99 containers of Dreft because thieves were cleaning up – to the tune of at least $1,000 a month in detergent alone. “Before the pandemic, New York was the best. Now, I don’t know what happened to the people,” huffed Collado. Four miles away at Pamela’s Green Deli in Crotona Park East, the ‘Tide’ has also turned. Near the back of the store, $21.99 bottles of Gain and $6.99 bottles of Era detergents are secured with a yellow chain and Tuff Stuff padlocks.
Study Shows Potential Link Between Eating Meat and Multiple Sclerosis Development:
Several genetic and environmental factors cause multiple sclerosis and a new report suggests these may include eating meat and having a less diverse gut. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. There is no singular cause of MS, but some research suggests outside factors such as where a person lives or their diet can influence their risk of having it. Gut bacteria are of particular interest because certain bacterial species regulate the immune response and are affected by a person’s diet. The team studied the gut microbiome, immune response, diet, and blood metabolites of 25 people with multiple sclerosis and 24 healthy people who served as a control group. The strongest association towards multiple sclerosis came from eating meat. People who eat high amounts of meat were more likely to have lower amounts of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron in their microbiome. This bacterial species plays an important role in breaking down carbohydrates from vegetables.
EXAMINER – COMMENTARY
by Nellie Bowles:
** Four months ago I believed I gave birth to a perfect angel. In an unexpected twist, our daughter – whom I have extended meetings with at 1 A.M., 3 A.M., and 5 A.M. – appears to be an active member of ISIS, sent here to break us.
** On Amtrak, one breakdown this week was so extreme, so inexplicable, that passengers began assuming they’d been taken hostage. An accident along a track between Virginia and Florida added 12 hours to one train’s journey. Staff needed to be switched out. At one point, panicked passengers started calling 911. You know it’s bad when you, as a train conductor, have to reassure your passengers they are not hostages in a terrorist plot: “Once again, for those of you calling the police, we are not holding you hostage. We are giving you all the information we have and apologize for the inconvenience.” I used to like Pete Buttigieg because he was my type of politician (a technocratic McKinsey shill with a sassy partner) but McKinsey would never put up with this.
** More drugs and surgery for kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics this week came out with new recommendations: Obese children should be given weight loss drugs and surgery at ages as young as 12 and 13, respectively. Now, that is probably the right thing to do for severely obese children. But also: The new recommendations argue that “obesity is a chronic disease.” Obesity, in the new mindset, can never be about choices. It is not a lifestyle problem. The message is: body positivity and junk food are a-ok (can’t be shaming anyone!) until the American medical establishment can profit, and then it’s a sharp pivot to hardcore drugs and surgery. It’s cheap, government-subsidized corn products shoveled into school lunches, then a series of expensive drugs for chemically imbalanced adolescents. There is no middle ground. One thing I noticed in the new pediatric guideline is they use the word overweight in a way I’d never seen. It goes: “youth with overweight and obesity.” As in: “This is the AAP’s first clinical practice guideline (CPG) outlining evidence-based evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity.” Obesity and “overweight” is a disease you catch. …
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Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:
** Over the years, when I felt twinges of envy, gazing at other people’s glamorous travelogues on Instagram or visiting friends who seemed to have the perfect lives, I summoned these comforting lines: The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. It is a fantastic reminder that people who seem to have it all – looks, talent, money, love – can make themselves miserable, while people who are not blessed with any of those things can be perfectly content. It is within our own power to be happy – or to self-destruct. —- Maureen Dowd
** It began with a joke. Actually, it was a retweet of a joke. The Washington Post’s politics reporter David Weigel retweeted the following joke … “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.” I know what you’re thinking: Call the police on this man immediately. I smirked when I read it. Not a full laugh, but a chuckle. Weigel apologized for the “offensive joke” later the same day: “I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm,” he said. But it was already too late. His colleague, Felicia Sonmez, had seized on the tweet, starting a public shaming of Weigel as a sexist. She’s spent the past few days reposting others calling her a hero; slamming one colleague who was silly enough to defend Weigel; posting about that colleague and tagging the bosses. Oh, and throwing editors under the bus (repeatedly). Never mind collegiality or handling minor disputes privately. Never mind that Weigel quickly took down the post and apologized for the poor taste. Never mind that they were friends and he had signed onto a petition in support of her as she geared up to sue the paper for discrimination (that suit was dismissed with prejudice by a D.C. judge in March). It was David Weigel’s time to be punished. “I have long considered Dave a good friend,” Sonmez wrote. “It’s painful and confusing when friends say and do things that are wrong, and makes it all the more uncomfortable to call them out – even though it’s necessary to do so.” The Post’s response … was not to chide Sonmez for indiscretion, or to suggest a Twitter time-out, but to suspend David Weigel for a month without pay. —- Bari Weiss
** DeSantis, unlike Ronald Reagan, is a supremely practical man. To the two dozen Floridians interviewed for this story, the governor is more defined by his actions than his ideology: He kept the schools open and taxes low. Period. Even the culture-war bombs he’s tossed – like going head to head with the Magic Kingdom over the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill – served to squeeze tax dollars out of a massive corporation. (This is, in fact, disputable. The showdown, which led Florida to strip Disney World of its independent status, may force nearby county governments to pay for services once covered by Disney.) While Reagan was a mythical figure, a movie star who trafficked in big, sweeping ideas, who liked to tell big, Hollywood-esque stories about himself and America, DeSantis is none of that. When you talk to people who like DeSantis, they use words like “effective” and “chief executive” – boring words, words that feel, in this moment of great national stasis, kind of reassuring. —- Olivia Reingold, politics and culture staff writer, The Free Press
** It’s dawning on many on the political center and right that the current younger generation in America is not like previous younger generations. They’re immaturing with age. Zoomers and Millennials are further to the left to begin with and, more critically, don’t seem to be moving rightward as they age. —- Andrew Sullivan
** Like many Americans, I’ve gone on a real journey with Harry and Meghan. When they first got together, I loved everything about what they symbolized. I loved that she was a California girl. I loved that they seemed so genuinely in love. But by the time the Sussexes landed on that Montecito veranda with Oprah I had been reduced to just one reaction: Oy. I didn’t think it could get more uncomfortable. I clearly suffer from a lack of imagination. —- Martin Clarke
** The war in Ukraine was a cascade of failures, and at the top is Putin’s own misguidedness, his own isolation and his own conviction that he knew what was best. The Russian military was unprepared all the way down to a tactical level, like using Soviet-era maps. Like using their cellphones to call home, which gave away their positions and allowed them to be ambushed or attacked. There wasn’t enough food to feed the soldiers. We got hold of actual copies of some of the invasion plans that some of the Russian military units had, which showed them expecting to race toward Kyiv within hours of invading. Russian military leaders didn’t think they’d need any reinforcements. I talked to many people who knew Putin personally, and they told me that the decision to go to war was based on his gut feeling. Putin didn’t seem to think he needed advice on the wisdom of this invasion. Putin was convinced that he knew best, that he understood Ukraine and its place in history as well as his own. —- Anton Troianovski, New York Times
** “Twenty-five is the new 18,” said The Scientific American in 2017, pointing to research that extended adolescence is a byproduct of affluence and progress in society. Which is why the finiteness of a mid-thirties half-life is such a surprise to those in their 20s and 30s. It runs counter to every meme and piece of advice young people receive about building a career, a family, a company and in turn, a country. If you still believe you’re a child at 30, there may be a hot crypto exchange in the Bahamas looking for a buyer. —- Katherin Boyle
Fans Bid Farewell To Disney World’s Splash Mountain As It Closed After 30 Years Due To Racism Assertions:
Disney World’s iconic Splash Mountain ride just went on its final run, and some people are not happy about it. Fans took to social media to share a retrospective of the water ride’s decades-long past, including footage of the doors to the ride closing for the very last time. The hashtag “goodbyesplashmountain” currently has 1.7 million views on TikTok. “I will miss you forever. Goodbye, Splash Mountain,” one video caption read. Another video noted that the line to board the ride was two hours long on its last operating day. Enterprising park visitors allegedly took water from the log flume and were reselling it on Ebay (sic) for up to fifty dollars per bottle. The ride opened in 1992 and has been a popular staple of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ever since, with celebrities like Princess Diana going for a ride. But the company announced in 2020 that it would shut down Splash Mountain, which was accused of having racist themes, in favor of creating a more inclusive Princess Tiana-themed ride in its place.
EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:
** How the invention of the microwave was an accident. WATCH
** Disney prices are … going down? With Bob Iger back as CEO, select parks will offer more lower-cost days, free parking, and free digital photo downloads. READ
** The changing world population, visualized. READ
** U.S. natural disasters caused $165B in damages in 2022, per an analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. READ
** Representative George Santos’s campaign commissioned a study of his background in 2021, and the results were so alarming that his own vendors urged him to drop out. READ
** Why flying on an airplane stopped being glamorous. WATCH
** Researchers identify a single protein that blocks a wide range of toxins in rattlesnake venom; may lead to improved treatments for snake bites, which cause 120,000 worldwide deaths each year. READ
** How the second half of “I Have a Dream” was spontaneous. WATCH
** Mars is ditching its M&Ms “spokescandies” over conservative backlash accusing the characters of being “woke.” Maya Rudolph will become the candy’s spokesperson instead. READ
THE POWER OF STORYTELLING:
For too long, companies have relied on offering ideas only by supplying data, numbers, statistics, analytics, and so on. We’ve heard for years now that “PowerPoint is dead,” yet time and again this is the expected form of communicating an idea or proposal. Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers in the use of simple images and one-line concepts to support his verbal storytelling. TED Talks have carried that practice forward and their world-class speakers are expected to speak in simple narratives, using stories and powerful imagery to convey their messages.
School Board Orders Dress Code After Trans Teacher With Giant Fake Breasts Sparks Protests:
A Canadian school board has demanded a new “professional” dress code for teachers following months of backlash over a trans teacher with “clownish” giant prosthetic breasts. Trustees on the Halton District School Board unanimously passed a motion on January 3 ordering the director of education to develop a policy to ensure “appropriate and professional standards of dress and decorum in the classroom.” The district’s Director of Education Curtis Ennis will have until March 1 to create the policy. “The HDSB’s commitment to human rights remains rooted in our core values and commitment to each and every student and staff who identifies as a member of an underserved and underrepresented group, and our approach is informed by opinions from leading employment law firms with human rights and equity advisors,” Ennis said. “This commitment and approach will continue to be applied as the HDSB looks to fulfill this motion.”
R.A. Lee’s 5-Star Grown-Up Twist on Snow White Now An Audiobook:
A princess in peril. A queen on her trail.
Thieves Make Off With $2M In Jewels In Less Than A Minute In NYC Smash-And-Grab Heist:
A crew of masked thieves pulled off a brazen smash-and-grab heist at a high-end Brooklyn jewelry store – making off with up to $2 million in gems in less than a minute. Employees and shoppers were still inside Facets Jewelry in Park Slope, New York, when the three crooks stormed in, threatened to shoot a worker, and began smashing display cases with hammers, police, and witnesses said. “I am shocked,” shop owner Irina Sulay said. “Honestly, it’s very scary. I couldn’t even talk yesterday. I was hyperventilating, crying, sobbing, and shaking.” “The whole thing lasted 38 seconds. They took two and a half full cases of diamond engagement rings, newer pieces we’ve designed in-house, and pieces we’ve collected – art deco and Edwardian rings,” she said. “I want to say 100 rings,” Sulay said the stolen goods are valued at between $1 million and $2 million.
Examiner – Facts:
** Broadway recently saw its best week of ticket sales since before the pandemic.
** The Louvre has limited daily visitors by a third.
Fatal Slashings And Stabbings In NYC Are Up 37%:
Fatal stabbings and slashings are up an alarming 37% in the Big Apple this year. The NYPD has logged 96 blade-involved killings so far in 2022, compared with 70 for the same period in 2021, according to department stats. Stabbings and slashings overall are up 10% in 2022, with 4,344 compared to 3,954 last year, the stats show. The disturbing data, which cover January 1 to December 11, come as NYC was racking up 16% fewer shootings, which dropped from 1,757 to 1,474 so far this year. “Not everybody can buy a gun, so what’s the next best thing everyone has access to? A knife,” observed Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective who is now an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “There isn’t real consequences if you get arrested with a knife; it’s probably just a misdemeanor and you’re going to be given a smack on the wrist,” he added.
Examiner – Reader Poll:
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Examiner – A Different View:…
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