Puna, Hawaii Evacuated Due to Lava Flow

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Kilauea Volcano in the vicinity of Puna,Hawaii has been in a constant state of agitation since 1983. Yes, it has been erupting for 21 years and shows no signs of stopping. Of course, these have generally been smaller explosions- or no one would live in the area! But this Monday, after a long inch-by-inch journey down the mountain, the lava is finally reaching the edge of town, and the people are fleeing their homes.

In that 21 years, 200 homes have been eaten up by the lava’s flow, the most recent home to suffer burning up in 2011. At that time, the lava looked to move right over a number of other houses as well, but thankfully changed direction at the last minute. This time, the lava is moving right toward town, but reports from Terry Richardson indicate it has reached the local cemetery already. It has burned up some grass and trees, pushed through a fence into one resident’s back yard, and is threatening to a dozen homes immediately.

The Puna district has only 1,000 residents, many of them drawn to it by the beautiful greenery and the cheap housing. Now it looks like both the greenery and housing may burn up, and some of us wonder if maybe that was the reason it was all so affordable to begin with. Then again, every locale has its risks, and the majority of edifices have held out for 21 years.

Hawaii is divided into nine lava flow hazard zones, the lower numbers signifying higher danger levels. It so happens that Puna district on Hawaii’s southeast corner has a big stripe of zone one in it and plenty of zones two and three as well. One marvels at the bravery of these residents- some of us would have fled long ago.

Staind Singer Screws Up National Anthem

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The lead singer of Staind, a certain Aaron Lewis, really planted his feet in some cold cow patties a few days ago. It seems that he experienced a case of “bad nerves” and then proceeded to “stain” up the National Anthem.

Millions of television viewers witnessed Lewis’ shameful failure, while many millions more saw the reply on social media. No matter how fans attempted to explain away Lewis’ tragic miscue, the majority of verdicts coming in from those who witnessed the mishap were less than charitable.

While other performers have botched up the National Anthem, it remains true that Lewis’ failure was more egregious than many others. This is due to the fact that, unlike a comedian such as Roseanne Barr whose performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” could be expected to contain elements of humor, Lewis is a nationally respected pop and country singer with a serious reputation to uphold.

The fact that Lewis cut the cheese in front of millions of viewers all across the world has not escaped his attention. He immediately issued a sincerely worded apology, in which he made no mention of the fact that he had once berated Christina Aguilera for screwing up her own version of the National Anthem.

Whether or not Lewis’ career can recover from this unmitigated disaster will depend on how sincere the fans really judge his apology to be. While he acted quickly, and used all the right words and phrases, it may still be a case of “too little, too late”. Maybe Laurene Powell Jobs can help him out before his career takes a nose dive.

Spain’s Ebola Protocol is Hilariously Inadequate

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Meanwhile, in Spain they’re having a serious issue trying to quarantine their first Ebola patient. With the massive government cuts the new regime has carried out, public hospitals have been absolutely decimated. Lacking the funding and training to deal with a situation like an Ebola epidemic.

That’s led to some hilariously inadequate solutions to quarantine the country’s first Ebola patient. While we know that Ebola is not airborne, so there’s no need to seal her in an air tight room, you’d still think that the country would take more precautions than just hanging a few sheets, right?

When I showed these to Marnie Bennett she was pretty shocked. Really identifies the problem with slashing your nation’s healthcare budget. Not always a great idea in retrospect.

Liberian Ebola Healthcare Workers Threaten to Go on Strike

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With the Ebola outbreak steadily growing in Liberia, the healthcare workers in charge of containing the disease in the Ebola health wards are threatening to walk off the job if they don’t begin to receive an increased hazard pay. On October 1, Liberia’s finance ministry announced a new hazard pay scale to great criticism. Liberian health care workers are finally guaranteed a flat $5,000 death benefit, but the anger stems from the marked difference in monthly hazard pay. Doctors are receiving nearly double the monthly pay than nurses and lab technicians are getting.

Nurses are the ones cleaning up the bodily fluids that transmit the highly contagious virus and they say weren’t consulted about the new pay scale, feeling as if the new scale was unfairly forced upon them. While the nature of the work itself is very high risk, staff also say the conditions they’re working in are very taxing. To safely care for and clean up after patients, they must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is not only airtight and hot, it can’t be worn for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Since the Ebola virus outbreak began in March, almost 200 Liberian healthcare workers have become infected with the virus. Of those numbers, 92 have died; that’s a death rate of 52% according to WHO. If a more fair deal has not been worked out by Friday, the healthcare workers will officially go on strike. A staff representative at the Island Clinic says, “When they are making decisions, they do not regard us.” The government must agree to adjust the pay scale or risk losing hundreds of workers critical to the control of the disease.

Germany Plans to Make Sending Colleagues Work Emails After 6pm Illegal

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I think I want to move to Germany. The reason being is that the lawmakers there want to pass a law that makes it illegal for colleagues and bosses to send you emails any time after 6pm. In my opinion, this is absolutely genius. They’re saying that there is a direct correlation between workers who have constant access to their email and poor mental health.

What a country! They’re truly aiming to show that they are looking out for their people. France already went in and made a law requesting workers turn off their smartphones at 6pm, but Germany’s plan takes the cake.

Apparently, an intern at a bank in London died from working until 6am for 3 days straight. Perhaps this law would have saved a life if it were already implemented in the UK. I know certain execs like Ray Lane believe in this, and more of them ought to.

Any chance of this happening in the US? I researched it and came up with nothing. Hopefully, it will take off in Germany with the UK to follow in light of the intern’s death.

Ayn Rand Does Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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Okay, so Buffy The Vampire Slayer is my favorite show of all time. When Brad Reifler sent me the link to this, I literally died laughing. I’m dead. Right now as I type this.

The Toast has another in their many installments of Ayn Rand takes on popular culture. In which Buffy the Vampire Slayer is rewritten to match Ayn Rand’s unique view of the world. The end result is something that’s so horrifically funny, you have to read the entire script.

Perfect for longtime fans of the series. So check out what the Scoobies would do, if they were living in the world of Atlas Shrugged.

Gun Range Owner Decides Who Can And Cannot Use Her Range

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In today’s increasingly “PC” society, it is unusual to hear of a business that actively restricts a particular group of people and is not being sued by the ACLU. Enter a gun range in Arkansas owned by Jan Morgan; Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range is located in the city of Hot Springs. Her reasoning is sound: Islam, a religion, endorses and promotes the killing anyone who refuses to convert. She made the decision to ban Muslims in order to protect her customers.

She explained that it made no business sense to admit people onto the range that followed an ideology of murdering her or other customers. Events over the past few years, such as the Oklahoma beheading and the Ft. Hood massacre led her to believe the potential for harm existed if a Muslim rented a gun from her range and used it. Gun ranges exist across the US; each has strict rules for shooters and their guests to follow. Amazingly, I have not heard of a single mass shooting at a gun range. Banning a group of people is not unusual for a business such as a gun range or stadium.

Since businesses have the right to “refuse to do business with anyone,” it makes sense to restrict access to dangerous weapons to those who might use them on other patrons.

Bad Lip Reading Takes On The Walking Dead

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If you haven’t discovered the Bad Lip Reading videos yet, then you’re really, really missing out. These are some of the funniest videos you’re almost ever going to see. You absolutely need to check these out.

They’ve taken on everything, from TV shows to politicians, musicians. But this is the latest project.

I tend to share these with my buddy Jared Haftel who has a fairly monotonous type of job. He’s an investment banker, so there’s not a whole lot of joy in his work haha.

Here’s that infusion of hilarity that can make your Tuesday a little bit better. Prepare to laugh, I know I did:

The Shat Could Be Back In Star Trek 3

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Major fans of Star Trek could have a new reason to get excited about Star Trek 3, according to reports William Shatner has been contacted about appearing in the third installment of the rebooted franchise.

According to Shatner, talks are only in the preliminary stage. But at this time, that’s definitely exciting news.

Most of the major trekkers like Brian Torchin are pretty excited about this prospect. We’ll have to see how things turn out. At any rate, here’s a compilation of the Shat on Star Trek: The Original Series to whet your appetite:


UK Introduces Food Crime Unit To Battle Counterfeit Food

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Yes, you read that right.  Earlier this month, the United Kingdom approved a measure which will introduce a Food Crime Unit to battle counterfeit foods from being sold on the open market.  The move comes as a response to the horsegate scandal, in which several popular beef products were found to contain up to 100% horse meat.

Of course, the fact that people were in uproar over horse meat being eaten, opposed to being angry about how their food was being processed is beyond me.  But nevertheless, the United Kingdom’s government’s response, is to introduce a Food Crime Unit that will be responsible for enforcing the authenticity of various food products.

After the scandal broke, studies found that 31% of adults had changed the way that they purchase foods.  So it has had some impact on the public at large.

But of course, what a Food Crime Unit will be tasked with doing, to ensure the authenticity of the UK’s favorite brands, remains to be seen.

Only time will tell.