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Hostess officially closes: 18,000 workers lose jobs

November 28 2012

by: Tracey Parece


Hostess is officially closed, and more than 18,000 have lost their jobs just in time for the holidays. It's a sad situation that has many people concerned, not only for the former employees of the company, but also by the prospect of a future without Twinkies and Wonder Bread.

The news of the closing made headlines on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2012. As the company's employees should be enjoying the holiday, they are instead facing unemployment. However, as Hostess officially closes, there have been reports that some employees are not too upset about losing their jobs. According to the Inquisitr, the declining wages and worsening conditions at the company's bakeries have made the official closing of Hostess bittersweet for 46-year-old Kenneth Johnson who said, "I'd rather go work somewhere else or draw unemployment."

Hostess officially closes with store shelves laid bare of their products. A rush on their sweet snack cakes from Ding Dongs to Twinkies began at the first sign of trouble when the company started by closing just three of their bakeries.

The products that disappeared rapidly from stores reappeared just as rapidly on eBay with insane markups. People are seeking millions of dollars for what may be the last Twinkies on Earth as Hostess officially closes this week. How much would you pay for a box of Twinkies?

(Full Story...)




Death by Technology | Decline and Collapse

Scientists forecast extinction of wild coffee plant due to climate change

November 17 2012

by: Louis Goddard


Changes in the world climate could cause almost all indigenous Arabica plants — crucial to the commercial production of coffee — to become extinct by 2080, according to researchers at Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens. Writing in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE earlier this week, the scientists describe a number of potential scenarios based on simulations of climate change in key areas, particularly southern Ethiopia. While the most conservative model shows a 38 percent reduction in suitable 'bioclimatic space' over the next 68 years, others veer close to 100 percent, and the researchers emphasize that additional factors, such as deforestation, have yet to be considered.

Arabica is not the only plant used in coffee production — the beans of the Robusta strain, which generally contain more caffeine, are popular in southeastern Europe and are used regularly in instant coffee. Still, as The Telegraph points out, Arabica accounts for roughly 70 percent of the global market, including virtually all fresh coffee sold in US chains such as Starbucks. According to the research paper, even if extinction is avoided, shifts in the location of the plants are likely to alter the taste of the resulting product, as are moves towards more tightly regulated cultivation, with farmers using watering and cooling equipment in an attempt to retain a suitable environment for their crop.


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Death by Technology | The Environment

Death by technology: our generation’s struggle toward reluctant adulthood

November 17 2012

by: Quinn Davis


If ignorance is bliss, its cousin denial is a stubborn and sometimes frantic attempt to stay there. We’ve all heard parents and grandparents start novel-length speeches with, “When I was your age…” For them, the ignorance is gone, and so is the denial. They know the significance of April 15 and savor that one week off instead of spending their summers with no more teachers and no more books. But before all that, they too stepped into denial. The limbo of the adult world, denial let them dip their toes into careers and parenthood all while pretending that it was still okay to stay out late with their friends drinking cheap beer in seedy bars. Fortunately for me, my denial hasn’t been crushed yet by the real world. Since graduating college, I’ve slowed my dissolve into “real life” by changing career paths and spending most of my time in college again. But there’s one nemesis the lives of my adult relatives couldn’t prepare me for: the imminent death of my youth by the hands of technology. Many of us have started to deal with the idea of friending our mothers on Facebook. And we’ve been busy censoring the content we share lest that photo of you dressed as a Breathalyzer for Halloween challenges the wholesome image you sell to potential employers. I’m fine and well with all of this, even though it enforces my denial, meaning I’m pushed even further from bliss. The most oppressive part comes when I have to edit my goofy self down to an acceptable and dull representation of what it means to be a young professional. Take my e-mail address, for example. After college, my school-given address made of initials and numbers had to be replaced. Instead of choosing a sensible like so many of my peers, I went with quinn.d.uplets, a bastardized version of my nickname, Quintuplets. For a while, the goofy moniker worked fine; people guffawed or rolled their eyes once they realized the dorkiness behind the address. But soon after, I found myself repeating the address over the phone to interviewees and interviewers. It’s U-P-L-E-G-S? Quinnduplegs? Uplegs? What? Have you ever thought of having an easier address? One that’s, you know, normal? Well sure, I’ve thought of it. But I’ve also thought of what it would represent: that I may no longer “stick it to the man” by refusing to succumb to adulthood. That the qualities I’ve always thought of as endearing and unique are now just annoying and inconvenient. Maybe they always were, but it didn’t matter before. The pieces of myself that live on the Internet are obviously just representations of my fruitless struggle to get back to ignorant bliss. But until the real world wins, I’m perfectly happy using them to decorate my quaint little place in limbo.




Death by Technology

Cyberbullying, Death by Technology

October 31 2012

by: Joseph M Palmer


Cyberbullying happens 24/7, 365 days a year. It comes from anywhere, a smartphone, email, social network site, web site, or other technologically driven means. It is anonymous in many cases and it can kill.

Before reviewing how cyberbullying can kill, the stage needs to be set. We have all heard of cyberbullying, so the definition of it won't be discussed. There are numerous studies that have been done coming up with various definitions of cyberbullying. Getting away from the "clinical" definition is often easier, so it is enough to say it is "the physical, in your face bully that you don't see". It is the bully who isn't necessarily the strongest or even the "geekiest". It can be a seven year old or a seventy year old. It can be anyone with the technological means to communicate.

As in physical bullying, cyberbullying has a "target or victim" and the "bully or bullies". Please note that cyberbullying can and does occur in groups. This dispels the often thought belief that a cyberbully operates alone and in the dark confines of their bedroom or office. In many cases, a group will band together to taunt their victim. The simplest example is that of a group of girls in a school who refuse to friend someone on a social network, and then go on to describe how the "unfriended" is left out of the many events in which the group partakes. Socially ostracizing their "victim" and taunting all the while on the network. Does this only occur at schools among youth, or, does it also occur within the business environment as well? A strong case can be made that it occurs in all levels of our environment. Consider the next time an email is circulated about a fellow employee who may have had something "funny" happen to them. This in fact is "cyberbullying". As a side note, what may be handled by a parent at the school level may be handled by a lawyer at the business level. The number of lawsuits evolving from cyberbullying is ever increasing.

(Full Story...)



Death by Technology

Rise of the Machines - USA

October 18 2012



Death by Technology


October 16 2012

by: Micheal Snyder


When it comes to explaining the problems with our economy, one of the hardest things to do is to get people to understand that we are living in an economic fantasy world that is completely and totally unsustainable.  As a nation we consume far more than we produce, we spend far more than we bring in, our debt is growing much faster than our GDP is, our entitlement programs are growing at an exponential rate, our retirement system is a Ponzi scheme and the Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow in a desperate attempt to paper over all of our problems.  But we have all grown so accustomed to the debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying for so many decades that it actually feels "real" to most of us.  Unfortunately, history has shown us that it is simply not possible to grow your debt faster than your economy indefinitely.  At some point your consumption will drop back to a level more equal to your production.    Sometimes that adjustment can be gradual, but other times it can be extremely painful.  In our case, we have been living way above our means for so long that it would take a major economic miracle just to keep our adjustment to an "exceedingly painful" level.  We are living in the largest debt-fueled prosperity bubble in the history of the world, and our unsustainable economy is going to crash and burn at some point.  Hopefully it will be later rather than sooner, but a crash is most definitely coming.

The following are some of the reasons why the bubble economy that we are living in right now is unsustainable....

The Trade Deficit

Most Americans do not really understand what a "trade deficit" is, but it is at the very core of our economic problems.

Basically, we buy far more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  We send them huge piles of our money, and they send us oil that we burn in our cars and cheap plastic products that we end up throwing away.  We keep doing this month after month after month, and this is systematically making us poorer as a nation.

In 2012, it is being projected that our trade deficit will fall somewhere between 500 billion and 600 billion dollars.

At this point, the United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

(Full Story...)



Death by Technology | Decline and Collapse

100 Million Could Die As a Result of Climate Change by 2030

October 8 2012

by: Igor Volsky

The human toll of climate change is already staggering, but it will get much worse.


100 million people  could die as a result of climate change by 2030,  a new report from DARA, a nonprofit institute based in Spain, concludes. Climate change already contributes to “400,000 deaths on average each year,” mainly due to “hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children in developing countries,” while “an estimated 4.5 million deaths each year [are] linked to air pollution, hazardous occupations and cancer.”


These numbers will increase substantially by the end of the next decade, with “developing countries and above all the world’s poorest groups” seeing the greatest impacts. As the graphic below demonstrates, the low-emission country group “experiences approximately 40 percent of all its economic losses, and over 80 percent of all climate change-related mortality”:

Climate-fueled extreme weather is already taking an economic toll on the United States. 220 people have died so far this year from weather-related events, and the expected cost ranges  upward of $55 billion.


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