The Data Examiner 08/20/2023


The effects of years of learning in virtual classrooms during the pandemic have left students entering the workforce lacking basic skills. The shortcomings run the gamut from general knowledge, including how to make change at a register, to soft skills such as working with others. Employers are spending more time and resources searching for candidates and often lowering expectations when they hire. Then they are spending millions to teach them on the job.

Chinese Exports Continued Slide In July:

Last month’s 14.5% drop from a year earlier exceeded both June’s 12.4% and the 12% expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, and was the steepest since February 2020. Aside from a short spring rebound, the decline dates to October, as Western consumers began shifting spending from goods to services such as entertainment and meals out. Chinese shipments to the U.S. were down 23%. The lone bright spot for Beijing: Shipments to Russia, under Western sanctions, were up 52%.


The recent fire in Maui, Hawaii.

Weight-Loss Drugs Show How Important Body Chemistry Is To Weight:

The brain is the body’s chief chemist, regulating appetite and determining how much fat it wants people to carry, according to years of research bolstered by a powerful new class of diabetes and weight-loss drugs. The amount is like a setting on a dial, and drugs such as Ozempic, its sister drug Wegovy and another, Mounjaro, lower the dial setting by acting on the brain to reduce hunger and make a person feel full sooner, obesity researchers say. That has put some long-held assumptions about weight and health on the chopping block.

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José Martinez, Director of Dance, Paris Opera Ballet, along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.

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** Beyoncé’s tour pays $100K to Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to keep trains running after bad weather delayed her concert.

** Study shows taking as few as 4,000 steps a day is enough to start reducing the risk of dying prematurely of any causes.

** Tampa mayor reels in an unexpected 70 pounds of cocaine – expected to be worth more than $1M – while on a fishing trip in the Florida Keys.


** Ex-government agent explains how money laundering works. WATCH

** Why your phone battery gets worse over time. WATCH

** Footage of Los Angeles in 1966. WATCH

** How airplane legroom got so tight. WATCH

Long Read:

** Fast, cheap, and deadly: How fentanyl replaced heroin and hooked America. READ

** Charting the decline of global birth rates. READ

** Ranking the pain of stinging insects. READ

** The 100 best books of all time. READ

** Photographer snaps an intense grizzly fight. READ


** Boston Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu has been accused of racial discrimination by a group of white restaurant owners who say they were targeted for city fees in part due to their ethnic heritage. According to the restaurant owners, Wu and the city singled them out for a $7,500 outdoor dining fee, a fee which only applied to establishments in their neighborhood. The plaintiffs are seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

** New York City cops are resigning at a record-breaking pace this year as the NYPD’s alarming exodus continues, according to new data. “The NYPD staffing emergency is approaching the point of no return,” said Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. The shocking stats show 239 officers tapped out in January and February, a 36% spike from the 176 who fled in the same period last year and a disturbing 117% jump from the 110 in 2021, NYPD pension data show.

** Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ first memoir, which was launched ahead of the announcement that he would run for president in 2024, sold more copies in its first week than books from Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

** Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker explained to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week how President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is a “two-tiered system of justice” in which conservatives often get the short end of the stick. Whitaker made the remarks during an appearance on Blackburn’s podcast “Unmuted” while the two discussed Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent congressional hearing.

** Boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather lived up to his nickname by upgrading his Rolls-Royce limo, which now sports mink rugs and a 45-inch TV. Total cost: $180k – enough to field a full baseball lineup of Kia Souls.

** A majority of liberal teen girls are now reporting they have a mental health condition. They also use social media more than any other group.

** The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule that would set the first national drinking water standard for “forever chemicals” that are dangerous to human health. The move could radically affect drinking water for nearly everyone in the United States.

** When dismissing a harassment case between neighbors, Canadian judge Dennis Galiatsatos ruled that flipping the middle finger is “a God-given, charter-enshrined right that belongs to every red-blooded Canadian.”

** People love swag from failed companies. Case in point: Sellers have flocked to eBay with SVB merch, including cups, hats, and cardboard boxes.

** Campbell Soup Co. says the big cheese of its snack division, Goldfish, is on track to hit $1B in annual sales.

** Adidas doesn’t know what to do with its stock of unsold Yeezys, having fielded 500+ offers to buy the Kanye West designed shoes.

DATA In-Depth

Homeless In San Francisco

Since 2016 San Francisco’s homeless budget has grown to $672 million from $224 million, yet the number of homeless in shelters has increased by 736. That equates to $609,000 in higher annual spending for each additional person in shelter.

The Data Examiner:

Foreign-born population share from 1960 to 2020.

DATA In-Depth

Ladies World Poker Tour Winner

A 70-year-old man won a World Poker Tour ladies’ event in Florida. David Hughes wound up winning the entire event, beating out 82 women, according to One participant in the event was a woman by the name of Ebony Kenney. As a video posted by Kenney shows, Hughes can be seen sitting at a table surrounded by women, sporting a white beard. He is the only man in the room.


** A graduate speaking at the City University of New York’s law school commencement called for a “revolution” to challenge oppressive institutions in the US – name-checking the “fascist” NYPD, the military, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the prison system. Future lawyer Fatima Mousa Mohammed, a Queens native who was selected by the graduating 2023 class to speak during the May 12 ceremony, praised CUNY for supporting student activism – but said the school still managed to fail students by supporting the NYPD.

** The University of Oregon is offering an “emergency fund” for trans-identified students to attain “gender affirming resources,” including sex toys and “trans vocal lessons.” The public university allows LGBTQ students to request financial assistance to cover transgender treatments, support, and resources under the Gender-Affirming Support Fund. The form is processed through the Office of the Dean of Students in coordination with the Financial Aid Office.

** Courses involving “Critical Whiteness Studies,” an offshoot of Critical Race Theory, will be available to students at several colleges across the country during the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. The University of New Mexico’s Department of English Language and Literature will host a “Critical Whiteness Studies” course in Fall 2023, where students “will learn about whiteness as an ideology of supremacy and domination.”

** A “woke” University of Pittsburgh anthropology professor denied there’s a difference in male and female bone structure during a discussion about gender, sparking disbelief and outrage. “If you were to dig up a human – two humans – a hundred years from now, both a man and a woman, could you tell the difference strictly off of bones?” Riley Gaines is shown in footage asking during the lecture. “No,” professor Gabby Yearwood replies, according to footage posted on Twitter. The response sparked appalled laughter from students, including Gaines, who describes herself on Twitter as a former University of Kentucky swimmer who believes there are “only two sexes.”


** Sonia Sotomayor has been paid more than $3 million by Penguin Random House – and didn’t recuse herself from several cases involving the publisher.

** Legendary actor Richard Dreyfuss condemned the inclusivity changes that will be implemented for next year’s Oscars, saying the new standards “make me vomit.” “This is an art form. It’s also a form of commerce, and it makes money. But it’s an art,” Dreyfuss said on PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.” “And no one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is.”

** After one Hasidic Jewish community banned AI usage, Brooklyn rabbi Moishy Goldstein created a chatbot that’s well-versed in Jewish law. Kosher.Chat is an AI chatbot “with a Jewish filter” meant to “prevent answers from opposing Torah values.”

** Planet Fitness is offering free use of its 2.4k US and Canadian gyms to teens ages 14-19 this summer for the third year. The program is designed to keep teens active when there’s no gym class.

** A California woman sued Subway in 2021, claiming its tuna products contained non-tuna ingredients. Last week, she asked to quit the case. Now Subway, calling the case “a shakedown,” is going after her legal team for $618k.

** Marvel actress Evangeline Lilly has spoken out against what she described as the recent push to make men less masculine and women less feminine. The 43-year-old took to Instagram accusing Hollywood of pushing a double standard where masculine men are trashed, but women who exhibit the same traits are considered “cool.”

** A recent study found that when researchers created accounts on TikTok belonging to fictitious 13-year-olds, they were quickly inundated with videos about eating disorders, body image, self-harm and suicide.

** Peloton recalled 2.2m exercise bikes for a seat defect, the latest in the company’s woes. Shares have dropped 95% since December 2020.


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Revered Concert Promoter John Scher Remembers Rock & Roll Legend Robbie Robertson:

John Scher, a top concert promoter and renowned entertainment CEO, says the death of Rock & Roll legend Robbie Robertson is a significant loss to entertainment and the world. Robertson passed away on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, after a battle with prostate cancer at 80. “We lost a great one today,” Scher says. Robertson was a guitarist and primary songwriter for the legendary group known as The Band. He was instrumental in transforming the careers of many Rock legends. “Robbie changed the course of Rock & Roll with ‘Music From Big Pink’ and helped Dylan transfer from a folk artist into a Rock & Roll force,” says Scher. “In the Band’s own right, they became a major headliner and a huge influence on the entire music scene.”


Pieces Of Life-Long Wisdom In An Age Of Nonsense

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