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Friday, January 6th, 2023

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Baby surrender box in Florida is used (npr.org)

A fire station in Ocala has a box to surrender a baby. A box designed to allow anonymous surrender of a child. It's a heartbreaking and fascinating thing to learn exists in this modern era.

The organization launched the first baby box in the U.S. in Indiana in 2016, and the organization received its first surrendered newborn in 2017. There are now at least 134 baby boxes scattered across numerous fire stations and hospitals in the country, according to the organization.

1/6/2023 8:27 am | |
Tags: florida

Shocking no one, Putin violated his own Christmas ceasefire (spectator.co.uk)

1/6/2023 11:15 am | |
Tags: russia, ukraine, christmas, war

Walgreens oversold the amount of theft they were dealing with (theguardian.com)

Walgreens' chief financial officer, James Kehoe, said during an earnings call that "shrinkage" – the difference between a balance-sheet inventory and actual stock – had returned to lower levels after a brief rise. Retail shrinkage is largely due to theft, though some is also due to accidental damage or loss.

"Maybe we cried too much last year when we were hitting numbers that were 3.5% of sales," Kehoe said, according to an earnings call transcript. "We're down in the lower twos, call it, the mid-2.5, 2.6 kind of range now."

But that's not all, there was also this walkback:

Walgreens added fuel to the fire last year when it said it was closing several of its San Francisco stores due to "retail theft" that could not be stopped despite security investments. The company hired private security at some stores and at least one outlet put ice cream under lock and key.

Those approaches were excessive, Kehoe admitted on Thursday.

"We've put in incremental security in the stores in the first quarter, actually, probably we put in too much, and we might step back a little bit from that," he said.

Ah the joys of our late-stage capitalist society.

1/6/2023 6:20 pm | |
Tags: crime

International "Wellbeing Rankings" paper (nber.org)

It started because I came across this post which is a Finnish psychologist discussing three things the Finns supposedly do.

However, in reading related discussions, I came across a very important note: Finland might be happy, but it also has some of the highest suicide rates in the world (4th highest in Europe.)

I also was brought to the above link, which ranks countries both for happiness and for unhappiness, then enabling a combined ranking.

From the paper's abstract:

Combining data on around four million respondents from the Gallup World Poll and the US Daily Tracker Poll we rank 164 countries, the 50 states of the United States and the District of Colombia on eight wellbeing measures. These are four positive affect measures - life satisfaction, enjoyment, smiling and being well-rested – and four negative affect variables – pain, sadness, anger and worry.

Digging into the data, the happiest place in the world is Hawaii. The happiest non-US state is Taiwan. The happiest European nation is Austria.

Out of curiosity, I pulled the data of the US states I've lived in to see how they directly compare

State Cantril Enjoy Smile Well rested Pain Sadness Worry Anger Overall
Georgia 29 30 37 62 38 46 48 50 18
Washington 41 19 41 102 73 41 72 4 33
Florida 50 52 25 81 43 69 90 79 47

I can hear you now asking, "What the hell is cantril?" - I wasn't familiar either. Here is the question they used which drove the cantril scores:

Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. If the top step is 10 and the bottom step is 0, on which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time?

Interesting stuff. I didn't expect Georgia to rank higher than Washington.

1/6/2023 6:55 pm | |
Tags: happiness

Rep. Porter continues to be a treasure (twitter.com)


1/6/2023 8:47 pm | |
Tags: us politics, congress, democrats

All credit to the C-SPAN camera crew this week (twitter.com)


1/6/2023 8:55 pm | |
Tags: us politics, congress

Random note as I rewatch West Wing this week. Sam Seaborn references having gone to a D&D camp.


Season 3, Ep. 13 - The Two Bartlets. In this episode Sam has to deal with the conspiracy minded Bob Engler, who is convinced of aliens and government cover ups of them.

Bob Engler: A little piece of land called Area 51, my friend.

Sam Seaborn: This is Dungeons & Dragons camp all over again. .... We tested U-2 planes at Area 51.

Reminder: I work for Wizards of the Coast, makers of D&D.

1/6/2023 9:04 pm | |
Tags: the west wing, dungeons and dragons

Kevin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week ends after 15 rounds of voting (pbs.org)

The next two years are going to be painful in the House based on this week.

1/6/2023 9:56 pm | |
Tags: us politics, congress, republicans

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