GBA, Your News: From Unemployment to Iggy Azalea
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here are this week’s highlights.
Wal-Mart Raises Wages: After years of scrutiny regarding wages, labor practices, and high employee turnover, the largest private employer in the country has finally give in. Wal-Mart will be increasing the wages of almost half a million workers, promising a minimum of $9/hour. Well, it’s about damn time! While many of us completely disagree with everything that Wal-Mart stands for, it’s awesome to see the public and the workforce band together to make a gigantic company change its ways. The wage increase will begin in April. We wish all those employees the best and congratulations.
Unemployment Claims Drop: Last week, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell farther than expected by about 10,000. Some economists say that it has something to do with the above mentioned increase in Wal-Mart wages, others say that weakening economies overseas is keeping more jobs at home. We can be sure that a combination of any and all theories contributed to this awesome trend. Of course the goal is that no one need government benefits, but the numbers are a step in the right direction.
HIV Research: Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Juniper, FL have created a compound that blocks the HIV virus from attaching to a cell and replicating. In a recent study, this compound successfully blocked all known strains of the HIV virus, as well as SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) from creating a “host cell.” Researchers are hoping that this compound can later be used as a significant source for an HIV vaccine. Science is getting kind of crazy good lately and this kind of breakthrough can be huge on a global level. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more about this in the near future.
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here is the not-so-good news.
Sold Out Festivals: It seems festivals have been growing exponentially in the past few years, with more people planning their summers around “festival season.” This also means ticket sales are getting more competitive. Festivals such as Ultra, Coachella, Electric Forest, Holy Ship and Burning Man are selling out in record times. The days of even waiting for a lineup to come out have passed. People are leaping before they look, and waiting in the digital line isn’t even enough anymore. Holy Ship has a waiting list so long, they’re having to add more ships before the festival is sold out so many years in advance that people lose interest. Of course, there are always scalpers who buy more tickets than they need, but for those who like to plan their lives the waiting game isn’t worth the trouble sometimes.
“Superbug” Outbreak: A suspected “Superbug” outbreak is suspected in the deaths of two patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The bug is an antibiotic resistant form of bacteria. 7 people have been infected, including the two deaths, with another 170 people suspected to be exposed. The contamination was transmitted through two endoscopes used to diagnose and treat pancreatic and bile-duct problems. The endoscopes have since been removed from the hospital and representatives of the university insist that the threat is gone. Antibiotic resistant bacteria is suspected by some to be one of the biggest threats to America today.
Sinking NYC: Climate change is no longer a debate, the only debate that continues is how bad things are truly going to get and how fast. A recent environmental group has released a “worse case scenario” for the Northeast, specifically New York City. Researchers are projecting that NYC will see a 6 foot sea level rise as well as a huge temperature increase by 2100. Basically, things are expected to get exponentially worse, so experts are suggesting city slickers get a spot in the country right away. As a whole, the world needs to start caring about our resources and how much we’re wasting, those plastic islands in the Pacific didn’t come out of nowhere…
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go.
Fifty Shades #1: Valentine’s Day was this past Saturday, and both single and taken women across the country waited eagerly for the release of the sexiest adaptation so far this year, Fifty Shades of Grey. The sexually driven novel lit a fire in the undercarriages of soccer moms everywhere, and the film came out as soon as the buzz began. Fifty shades took home the #1 spot in the box office that weekend and continues to do so this week. Hollywood is a ridiculous mistress, and as a society we love being entertained by her.
Drive-thru Ash Wednesday: Tuesday was Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday) and Wednesday started the first day of Lent. Usually, Christians go to church, confess their sins and receive a cross of ashes on their forehead as an external sign of repentance. Well, in these fast times, some people simply don’t have the time to go to church before their busy work day. A church in Ohio has solved that problem by offering their services while people stay sitting in their cars. Yes, drive-thru church services. As if Vegas wedding chapels weren’t enough…at least churches are keeping up with these modern times, right?
Iggy Azalea Leaves Twitter: The fact that this is considered “news” to anyone makes the entire situation awkward for everyone. Good Luck, Iggy fans.