Recovering physicist
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200 Million Eggs Recalled Because Of Salmonella Concerns

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — More than 200 million eggs from a North Carolina farm have been recalled because of bacterial contamination.A notice posted on the Food & Drug Administration website Friday says the eggs shipped to restaurants and grocery stores in nine states may be tainted with salmonella. The bacteria causes nausea, diarrhea and, in rare cases, death. Twenty-two illnesses have been reported.

The eggs were distributed from a farm in eastern North Carolina’s Hyde County by Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms.

The notice says the recalled eggs include varieties sold in Food Lion and Walmart stores, and served at Waffle House restaurants.

The recall came about after the illnesses were reported and the FDA inspected the North Carolina farm.

Rose Acre Farms officials didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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satadru
4 days ago
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Tragic that in European countries chickens are vaccinated against salmonella so people don't get salmonella from eggs any more, but in the US the egg industry has fought similar requirements tooth and nail...
New York, NY
jefron
7 days ago
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Make American food gross again
Chicago
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1 public comment
acdha
4 days ago
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@satadru’s comment inspired me to do a little searching. This is apparently the alternative to spending less than a penny per dozen eggs according to https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/business/25vaccine.html
Washington, DC
deezil
3 days ago
Why the FDA doesn't compel certain businesses to make themselves safer, I will never understand. Here, please don't shoot yourself in the foot.

The Code's In Charge

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Sorta funny then...sorta not funny.

Nobody could have known, several years ago, that technological progress could make life so complicated in Echo Park.

But along Baxter Street, everyone seems to have a story about the ineptitude of drivers — following directions from navigation apps — who can't seem to handle one of the steepest inclines in Los Angeles.

...

Adams said "we sent a letter to Waze" — a GPS navigation service — suggesting removal of Baxter as a shortcut possibility, or at least listing it as hazardous during wet weather.

"They said they couldn't do that because it involves changing the algorithm of the app in a weird way," he said.

Changing the algorithm "in a weird way" must be the driving app version of social media's "reverse chronological order is harder than the moon landing."

Fortunately, there's a solution! Change the traffic rules!

One is to turn Baxter Street into a one-way avenue heading east, but as Talkington told me, that could create new traffic nightmares and penalize Echo Park residents trying to go west and north.

The other is to prohibit left turns onto Baxter from Lakeshore Drive, a popular shortcut maneuver.

Waze's "in a weird way" is, of course, just that if they cave to this request they'll have to cave into requests from every single neighborhood that's mad about through traffic and it'll never stop.
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jefron
17 days ago
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Wouldn't a better way would be to penalize high graded streets in the navigation algorithm?
Chicago
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EPA Ethics Official: I Didn't Have All The Facts When I Assessed Pruitt Rental

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When an ethics official at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined last week that Administrator Scott Pruitt’s rental of a room in a lobbyist’s home did not violate ethics rules, he did not have all of the facts about Pruitt’s rental situation, a new memo obtained by CNN reveals.

The ethics official, Kevin Minoli, wrote in a Wednesday memo that he only assessed whether the terms of the lease violated ethics rules, not whether Pruitt’s actual use of the space complied with rules.

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jefron
17 days ago
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Don't judge me for being a shill. I am just bad at my job
Chicago
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Give Scott Foster The Vezina

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The Blues have dressed an emergency goaltender this season, and the Hurricanes actually put their equipment manager Jorge Alves in a game last year—for precisely eight seconds with no shots on goal. Thursday night, Scott Foster not only became the first emergency goalie to make a save in an NHL game, but achieved…

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jefron
23 days ago
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Chicago
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Failing upward, new gilded age edition part infinity

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Plaque on Brandon family home, Ann Arbor Michigan c. 2012

Behold the magical business acumen of David “Dave” Brandon, who has now failed abjectly in three very high-profile jobs: CEO of Domino’s Pizza, athletic director at the University of Michigan, and CEO of the late Toys R Us.

The least obvious of these disasters on its face was his tenure at Domino’s, where the former Bain executive as brought in to take the company public.  He did so in August of 2004, and the stock sold at initial price of $13.40 per share.  Bain made mega-bucks on the deal eventually, although the company’s stock price languished under Brandon’s management: by the time he left for the Michigan AD job at the end of 2009, it was selling at $8.38 per share.

After Diamond Dave left, the stock price went through the roof in fairly short order, increasing by a factor of ten by 2014.  It is currently selling at a nifty 2,607% higher than when Brandon left.

Brandon’s stay in Ann Arbor (he was formerly a regent of the university, and got the job because he was chummy with then-president Mary Sue Coleman) was a truly spectacular disaster.  The Michigan AD basically has a license to print money, but Brandon’s motto when he came in was — I’m not making this up — “If it ain’t broke, break it!”

Five years later, that mission was accomplished.  Brandon completely botched the firing of one football coach and the hiring of another, bringing in the massively under-qualified Brady Hoke after being impressed in a one on one interview by Hoke’s “fire” and “passion” and “love for the job” (as opposed to more nebulous critieria, like his won-loss record as a football coach etc.).

Hoke started off OK but soon was predictably terrible: a situation that Brandon decided to address by forcing Hoke to fire his offensive coordinator, and then sitting in on Sunday film sessions with the coaching staff, to “help” them.  (Brandon was a 473rd-sting string defensive lineman at Michigan 45 years earlier).  Both of these moves were shall we say “disruptive,” and also quite crazy from a standard AD management practice standpoint, which is based on the idea that coaches are supposed to do the coaching, as opposed to paradigm-shattering administrators.

Brandon also did countless numbers of cheesy things, like contracting with Chobani Yogurt to offer an inspirational message about Michigan football every week, and flying a skywriting plane to trace the message “Go Blue” within sight of Michigan State’s stadium during a Spartan contest.  He also ran onto the field with football team out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel just before kickoff,  leaping up with the players to perform the quasi-sacred act of touching the MGOBLUE banner, he helped cut down the nets when Michigan’s basketball team won its NCAA regional final to advance to the Final Four in 2013, and much much MUCH more.

What finally sent Brandon’s superiors over the edge is that it turned out he sent at least hundreds and perhaps thousands(!) of obnoxious and incredibly inappropriate emails to fans who contacted him with complaints, telling his unhappy customers they “only had 5% of the information,” that they “quit drinking and go to bed,” that they “find another team to support,” etc etc etc. (This also isn’t exactly Management 101, but again, Brandon was and is a disruptive paradigm breaker, synergizing leveraged modalities in a fluid dynamic environment . . . OK I can’t do it any more.  The link in this paragraph has to be read to be believed.  Bless you Brian Cook, for all of eternity.)

In short, Dave Brandon was so insufferable in so many ways that a thousand UM students actually marched on the President’s house in October of 2014, demanding that he be fired.  Shortly afterwards, he was, with of course a giant severance package to go along with the million dollars per year he was getting from his job (His contract also gave him and his wife free use of new cars, with — this was my favorite touch — both the registration fees and REGULAR OIL CHANGES paid for by the university).

All these emoluments were bestowed on someone who was certainly worth tens of millions at a minimum already from his Domino’s stint — but perhaps the central principle of the new gilded age is that really rich people should never have to actually use their own money to pay for anything.  (Was this a principle of the original gilded age I wonder? I sort of doubt it. Surely Gould and Rockefeller and Morgan etc. actually LIKED throwing their very own money around, as opposed to other peoples.’  But I’m guessing).

After these various contretemps Brandon fled the jurisdiction was named CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, which he managed to drive into liquidation within a couple of years.  But not before — you guessed it! — getting huge “performance bonuses” from the board, including one of nearly three million dollars five days before the company filed for bankruptcy, so that Brandon wouldn’t leave.  That’s “wouldn’t,” not “would:”

The U.S. Trustee in the Toys R Us bankruptcy case has filed a strongly worded objection to the company’s plan to pay between $16 million and $32 million to its 17 most highly paid executives.

“It defies logic and wisdom,” the objection by Trustee Judy Robbins states, that Toys R Us is proposing “multi-million dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in bankruptcy,”

“Apparently,” Robbins said, “This Christmas, Toys R Us intends to deliver not only ‘children their biggest smiles of the year’ but the insiders, too,” which is a reference to court claims by Toys R Us that its number one goal is to keep children happy.

Robbins noted that five of the top Toys executives also received $8.2 million in retention bonuses five days before the bankruptcy filing in September. Those bonuses included a $2.8 million payment to Chief Executive Dave Brandon “just to stay with the company,” the objection states.

Apparently Toys R Us customers and vendors also only had 5% of the information, as in his farewell message to his soon-to-be unemployed work force, Dave was careful to blame the public at large for the company’s demise:

In his address, Brandon took shots at shoppers and vendors who cut back on their support for the chain in recent months.

“I believe that all of them will live to regret what is happening to our company,” he said.

Let’s wrap up this instructive little tale with a glimpse from a happier time.  Here are excerpts from an interview with Brandon shortly after he took the Michigan AD job (if you read the whole thing you won’t be disappointed):

Athletics hugely influenced me. While growing up, I was usually elected captain of the team in whatever sport I was playing. Eventually, I wanted to be captain of everything because that responsibility felt good to me.

For the most part, I picked my team. As a new leader, you must have people around who you can trust, so I have specific criteria for who will make it and who won’t.

I was a quarterback in high school. When there’s four minutes to go and you’re ahead by three touchdowns, everyone in the huddle is happy, confident, and supportive. But when you’re two touchdowns behind and you step into that huddle, you can look into your teammates’ eyes and see who you want on your team. They’re the ones looking back at you and saying, “We can do this and I will help you.” The others are already thinking about the excuses they’ll make in the locker room about why this didn’t work. You can’t win with those guys.

I have always answered my own email – hundreds a day – and get them all done before I go to bed each day. I refuse to give up on that. It lets people know I’m open, available, and engaged. I think it’s very important for me to stay in touch with my people. I’m like a blind dog in a meat house right now.

I knew I was going to be a bit of a shock to this place. I move fast and my expectations are high. My executive assistant (who came with me from Domino’s) has been very valuable in managing that. People would come to her in the first two weeks and say, “Does he really work that hard?” “Is his office always that clean?” “Does he expect our offices to look like that?” “Is that how he wants all of us to dress for work?” She became my ambassador of information. Yes, he works that hard. Yes, he expects your office to look professional. No, he doesn’t like blue jeans at work. She became this trusted figure that really eased the transition around here with a level of professionalism.

When we got here, the office itself was a mess. The Friday before I started, my wife, my assistant, and I came in after everybody left and worked all weekend. We ripped everything off the walls, painted, cleaned the carpet, emptied cupboards, put new art on the walls, wiped stains off the conference tables… When everyone walked in here on Monday, they couldn’t believe what they saw.

That was the smartest thing we ever did because people immediately understood there was a new sheriff in town and things would be different. It’s amazing how most people respond when you display an attitude like that.

And where will he go next?  I can think of one disruptive organization that seems to be generating very regular openings in its mismanagement class.  And it’s not as if Dave Brandon is unknown to the Biggest Show in Town:

On May 5, 2005, Brandon appeared on the third edition of Donald Trump‘s The Apprentice as part of the finale CEO interview panel.

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jefron
37 days ago
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Chicago
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Unification

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For a while, some physicists worked on a theory unifying the other forces with both the force of gravity and the film "Gravity," but even after Alfonso Cuarón was held in a deep underground chamber of water for 10^31 years he refused to sell his film to Disney.
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jefron
41 days ago
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Chicago
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2 public comments
lamontcg
65 days ago
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marvel and dc. mac, linux and pc. iphone and android. physicists still have a long way to go.
alt_text_at_your_service
65 days ago
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For a while, some physicists worked on a theory unifying the other forces with both the force of gravity and the film "Gravity," but even after Alfonso Cuarón was held in a deep underground chamber of water for 10^31 years he refused to sell his film to Disney.
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