Generous

When you’re a blogger, you get a really cynical view of people. Always happy to be proved wrong!

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) — A dozen workers at a South Florida real estate office who won $1 million in the Powerball say they’ll share their earnings with a new employee who didn’t join their pool.

The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/10gkbXq) reports Jennifer Maldonado had only been working as an administrative assistant at Keller Williams Partner Realty in Plantation for two weeks when she was asked to join the Powerball pool for Saturday’s drawing for $338 million.

Maldonado says she opted out because she had not even received her first paycheck.

Office team leader Laurie Finkelstein Reader says she felt lucky about the Powerball drawing. They put in $20 each and offered to lend Maldonado money to join.

They matched five numbers, winning $83,333 each after taxes. And they say they’ll share some cash with Maldonado.

Life in the fast lane

So I’m working at my desk, sipping on what is euphemistically called a “meal replacement shake” (although let’s be honest, it’s nothing like a meal and the reason I’m using a straw is so I can’t actually taste it) and I realize I forgot to shake the bottle. For some reason, the idea of blowing bubbles in the bottom to mix it up makes sense to me — but it’s a full bottle.

For the rest of the story, use your imagination!

Gut issues

The more I read about the bacteria in our intestines, the more fascinating it becomes:

Taking the right mix of bacteria could lead to a form of “knifeless gastric bypass,” a surgery-free method of causing the kind of significant weight loss associated with procedures that reduce the size of the stomach. According to New Scientist magazine, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have been able to induce weight loss in normal mice by introducing gut bacteria from mice who had undergone gastric bypass. The findings could lead to a similar treatment program for human obesity.

Gastric bypass surgeries have proven to be a highly successful method of treating obesity and associated diseases like type 2 diabetes. Patients who have the procedure often lose from 65 to 75 percent of their body weight. However, the procedure also comes with a high risk of fatality, particularly in patients who are severely obese.

The Massachusetts team, led by Lee Kaplan, performed gastric bypass surgeries on mice, then fed bacteria from those mice’s lower intestines to ordinary mice. Those mice lost 5 percent of their body weight over the next two weeks as compared to mice on the same diet who did not receive the bacteria.

This also leads me to wonder about the connection between antibiotics and weight gain, since that’s the reason they’re given to animals.

Comcastic

This is a fucking joke. And of course, SCOTUS has made rulings in recent years designed to make it almost impossible to meet the standard for a class-action lawsuit. Justice!

Comcast (CMCSA) Corp., the nation’s largest cable-television company, doesn’t have to defend against an $875 million antitrust lawsuit on behalf of as many as 2 million Philadelphia-area customers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The justices, voting 5-4 to reverse a lower court, said the case against Comcast was too unwieldy to proceed as a single class-action lawsuit.

The Philadelphia-based company was accused of monopolizing its hometown market. The suing customers said Comcast swapped territories and subscribers with competitors to ensure it could control the market and charge higher prices. Comcast has denied the allegations.

The high court, in an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the customers didn’t meet requirements for outlining a common method that could be used to determine monetary damages for each of the thousands of individual parties to the lawsuit.

Proof about a common methodology for measuring damages is needed before the case can proceed as a class-action suit covering many individual claims, the court said. The customers fell short when they produced a general theory about alleged overcharges from lack of competition without more detailed information about the impact of the specific antitrust allegation in the lawsuit, the court ruled.

Hat tip to John Yannone

Already gone

I think we’re already past the point where we can stop this and it’s time to work on adapting:

London, UK – British science fiction dramas of the 1970s and ’80s often took bleak pleasure in depicting a future world exhausted of fossil fuels in which feral survivors roamed the shattered landscapes of an industrial society in its death throes.

Now Britons, already shivering in the sub-zero temperatures of the coldest March in 50 years, are facing the prospect of an energy blackout for real amid reports the country has just two days of gas supplies left in reserve.

Thousands of homes across northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already endured power cuts and massive disruption in recent days, as heavy snow brought down electricity cables and blocked roads.

But there could be worse to come. The cold weather has prompted a surge in demand for gas as households have turned up the heat, depleting reserves and prompting fears that storage facilities could be empty within days.

“Britain on brink of running out of gas,” said the front page of last Friday’s Times newspaper. “Welcome to blackout Britain,” offered the Daily Telegraph on Monday, as the head of a Scottish power company warned the UK faced a “capacity crunch” over the next three years.

If only our leaders had acted like leaders, and actually done something. So it goes.

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