Posts Tagged Facebook
Join the Ugly Sweater Party
Ugly sweaters have taken over. Here’s why we love to bask in their hideous warmth
Don’t put away your ugly holiday sweaters just yet. The holiday theme party craze has staying power this season. If you missed your local ugly sweater run billed as the “ugliest 5K on the planet” that’s held in 32 cities in the U.S. and Canada, you can still make the ugly sweater church potluck and tacky sweater pub crawl. Remember when we used to exchange ugly sweaters at white elephant parties? These days you can’t afford to give a good one away. You’ll need it for the surge of ugly sweater white elephant parties where you wear the sweaters and bring a different gift. An ugly dog sweater, perhaps?
There used to be a time when ugly sweaters were considered vintage kitsch as people discovered them in thrift stores or relatives’ closets and wore them as statements that softly mocked the manufactured holiday sentiment of 1970s Christmases. Or at least they generated a good laugh. I’m thinking of Bridget Jones’ favorite reindeer jumper worn by Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy.
Now ugly sweaters are so mainstream that the Whole Foods of Boston held the “tackiest holiday party of the year” last week. Bank of America released a commercial this season in which a couple used the cash back from their credit card purchases to throw an ugly sweater party. Coke Zero sponsored an Ugly Sweater Generator website this fall in which participants had the opportunity to design their own hideous garments. The company hired knitters to make the 100 most popular designs.
So why do we love ugly sweaters so much? Well, besides being warmer than sparkly holiday tank tops, they’re fun in a geeky sort of way, explains Shelby Walsh, president of Trend Hunter, an agency that follows social and cultural trends. “What we’ve found is that glamorizing awkward has become the new cool,” she says, referring to the popularity of the Facebook favorite awkwardfamilyphotos.com. “These sweaters are getting tackier and tackier. It’s almost a competition to see who can make the most fun of themselves.”
In fact, the most devoted ugly sweater wearers have taken the fashion to a new creative level. (Esquire.com published a slide show of some doozies.) People attach jingle bells, wear battery packs hooked up to blinking lights and glue on 3-D touches, such as cotton balls for snow or orange snowman noses. “It’s like Halloween for Christmas,” says Adam Paulson, a Chicago financial adviser who started a business selling ugly sweaters on the Internet with two friends in 2009.
When they launched the site four years ago, they scoured local thrift stores and sold 80 the first season. Now they have 10,000 sweaters in stock. Paulson’s favorite embellishments: A sweater with a baby doll in a cloth baby carrier that was sewn on the front. “It was supposed to be Baby Jesus in a Baby Bjorn,” he says. There was also a woman who wrapped garland around a green sweater and carried a star tree topper. “When she lifted her hand, she would look like a Christmas tree,” says Paulson, co-author of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On.
The ugly sweater trend strikes an emotional chord by connecting you to the Christmases of your childhood. According to Paulson, that includes parties with “old school” touches, such as the Chipmunks Christmas album and the yule log on the TV. “There’s an important nostalgia element,” adds Jennifer Baumgartner, a clinical psychologist and author of You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You. “You think about a relative or favorite teacher who used to wear them. When you wear your Christmas sweater, you’re celebrating that association.”
The phenomenon also facilitates social connection, adds Krystine Batcho, a psychology professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York who studies nostalgia. “Research shows that one of the most beneficial aspects of nostalgia is that it promotes a sense of belonging. You feel like you’re part of a little club where everyone gets the same joke,” she says. “With ugly sweaters, you try to out-dork each other and laugh. It’s a great way to combat holiday stress.”
- Join the Ugly Sweater Party (ideas.time.com)
- Ugly Sweater Run LA (runningwithachanceofcostumes.wordpress.com)
- coke zero will make you an ugly holiday sweater (brandflakesforbreakfast.com)
- Ugly Sweater T-Shirt (& a Giveaway) (lifeunsweetened.com)
- DIY Ugly Sweaters (acraftyday.wordpress.com)
- Ugly sweaters knit holiday revelers together (sfgate.com)
- Spreading ugly-Christmas-sweater cheer around the globe (members.jacksonville.com)
- Where did all the ugly sweaters go? (w/video) (victoriaadvocate.com)
- SLAYER, MOTÖRHEAD, ANTHRAX “Ugly Holiday Sweaters” Available (bravewords.com)
- Ugly Sweater Parties (avakfashionista.com)
Stoners: Jack in the Box wants your business
Jack wants you to tuck into his tasty bunk bed
Yep, that’s pretty genius marketing.
Jack in the Box, following in the footsteps of the rest of the fast food industry, is making a bid for the late-night crowd.
The West Coast fast food chain just released its Munchie Meal Menu — four new value meal items the company says are designed for the “late-night” crowd.
The options include: The Brunch Burger, a burger with a fried egg and hash brown draped across the patty; the Exploding Cheesy Chicken Sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich drenched in melted cheese sticks and cheese sauce; Loaded Chicken Nuggets, chicken nuggets “drowning” in two kind of cheese, ranch, and bacon; and finally, the crown jewel of the menu — the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger, “sourdough grilled cheese on top, cheeseburger on the bottom,” , adding, “Tuck into this tasty bunk bed.”
Though the release is written in stoner-ese — they’ve found the “cure to mellow even the meanest manifestation of the munchies” — Jack in the Box denies trying to lure druggies to its drive-thrus. Keith Guilbault, vice president of menu innovation at Jack in the Box, told ‘s Bruce Horovitz that the new menu is “targeted at folks looking for indulgent treats.” Horovitz says that includes “late-night shift workers and Millennials who get the munchies at odd hours.” (We’re pretty sure that just means stoners.)
But Jack in the Box, already known for stoner delicacies like , isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel with this one. Competitors have been unrolling special menus for millennial night owls for years now: Taco Bell calls it the “Fourth Meal,” McDonald’s names it the “After Midnight” menu, and Wendy’s went with “Moonlight Meal Deals.” White Castle has been serving breakfast from midnight on since 2011, and even gave its official stamp of approval to the ultimate generation Y stoner movie, “.”
The restaurants are all trying capitalize on night-time business — “one of the few growth categories in fast food,” says Horovitz. But is blatantly aiming that effort at stoners “genius marketing or shameless pandering?” asks Ally Grigg, on the .
Fast-food restaurants have caught on one of their largest fan bases: Teenagers and college students, especially those who like to eat at odd hours of the night.” It makes sense. “People who are stoned want junk food immediately without having to make it. They have money to burn and less of a sense of their responsibilities.”
- Is Jack in the Box Directly Targeting Drunks and Stoners? (247wallst.com)
- Stoners: Jack in the Box wants your business (theweek.com)
- Drinkers, Stoners & Insomniacs Wanted as Fast Food Expands Late-Night Menus (business.time.com)
- Jack In The Box unveils late-night munchy buster (q13fox.com)
- DINING: Jack in the Box adds Munchie Meals (pe.com)
- Jack In The Box Rolls Out The “Munchie Menu” (kymx.cbslocal.com)
- Jack in the Box’s Late-Night “Munchie Meals” Menu Launches (eonline.com)
- Late-night munchies go wild at Jack in the Box (usatoday.com)
- Jack In The Box Serves Up Burger With Grilled Cheese Sandwich For Bun, 3 Years Late (consumerist.com)
- Jack in the Box’s Stacked Grilled Cheeseburger (friendseat.com)
Billionaires for Cheap Labor—that’s how Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington D.C. trip should have been labeled. Zuckerberg met with Congress’ most influential leaders to push for comprehensive immigration reform, suddenly his favorite cause.
Taylor Jones / Cagle Cartoons
Rolling two lies into one sentence, Zuckerberg insisted that increasing the H-1B visa cap “isn’t the big point” but that “addressing and helping out the 11 million undocumented is actually a much bigger problem.”
Silicon Valley, including Facebook, has for nearly two decades used the H-1B visa to displace American workers with cheaper, younger foreign-born labor. Facebook, like every high tech employer, has a vested economic interest in increasing the cheap overseas labor pool.
Earlier this year, Zuckerberg formed FWD.us which describes itself as dedicated to moving immigration reform forward. Zuckerberg hired an in house staff of seven registered lobbyists and 20 outside advocates from Capitol Hill’s five most influential public relations firms to advance his anti-American worker agenda. A total of twenty-seven lobbyists dedicated to reforming immigration that will legalize at least 11 million illegal aliens and import millions more overseas workers spells bad news for unemployed Americans.
In April, Zuckerberg’s lobbyists scored a major victory in their ongoing efforts to undermine struggling Americans. By urging legislators to insert a few key words into the Senate’s immigration bill, S. 744, Facebook’s lobbying team enabled the company to circumvent an existing requirement that it make “a good faith effort” to hire Americans before petitioning overseas workers. As an added bonus, because of the repurposed Senate language, Facebook could also avoid paying higher wages to H-1B visa holders.
Facebook, advancing a third lie, wants Congress to believe that without more foreign-born workers, IT will collapse. Analysts have compiled a mountain of evidence that no IT labor shortage exists. In its 2013 study, the Economic Policy Institute wrote that “the United States has more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] occupations.” The EPI found that for every 2 U.S. students who graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job. Furthermore, among those not hired 32 percent said that no IT jobs are available and 53 percent said they found better job opportunities outside of IT. These responses prove that the IT market is glutted and that its wages are substandard compared to other industries.
Zuckerberg’s alleged compassion for 11 million illegal immigrants is misplaced. He should consider hurting Americans instead. For the last three years, 57 million working age Americans (16-65) have been either unemployed or out of the labor market. Coincidentally, 57 million represents the total of new immigrant workers that S. 744 would allow to compete with distraught Americans for the small handful of available jobs. More depressing statistics Zuckerberg would rather avoid: median household income remains flat, continuing a decade-long pattern; nearly 47 million American live in poverty, 47 million receive food stamps, a total larger than many nation’s populations. Charity, Zuckerberg should be reminded, begins at home.
With a net worth of $22 billion, Zuckerberg is America’s 20th richest person, exactly the profile Congress loves. Bowing and scraping, big shots like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Leader John Boehner rolled out the red carpet for one of America’s most well-known but craven public figures.
Neither Congress nor Zuckerberg cares about Americans’ struggles. What they do care about is more money and more power. Whether Zuckerberg can successfully convince Congress to pass an immigration bill tripling legal immigration’s current annual flow is uncertain. What is known is that Americans, despite Zuckerberg’s widely disseminated misinformation, want illegal immigration ended and legal immigration dramatically reduced.
- Zuckerberg ‘optimistic’ on immigration (politico.com)
- Facebook Founder Speaks on Immigration Reform and NSA (theepochtimes.com)
- Facebook’s Zuckerberg gives himself a label (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Facebook’s Zuckerberg Pushes Immigration in Washington – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- For California’s Illegal Immigrants, a Great Week by Joe Guzzardi (mbcalyn.com)
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says US spying hurt users’ trust (dnaindia.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg’s Zeal For Immigration Reform Was Inspired By A Middle Schooler (businessinsider.com)
- Zuckerberg and Rubio pair up to push immigration reform (tv.msnbc.com)
- TECHNOLOGY NEWS| WASHINGTON- Facebook’s Zuckerberg says U.S. spying hurt users’ trus (vic254krezzy.wordpress.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg Acknowledges Need to ‘Debug’ Controversial Immigration Reform Group (abcnews.go.com)
Facebook used in worker dismissal
DAVID GADD AND IAN STEWARD
A flight attendant was forced to let her bosses examine her Facebook pages and bank accounts in a stoush over what she was up to on sick leave.
The employment court move signals a future where bosses will increasingly demand access to what most workers regard as private details, says employment lawyer Andrew Scott-Howman. He said the development could be seen as creepy and intrusive.
Gina Kensington was sacked by Air New Zealand earlier this year following a dispute over sick leave she took to care for her sister.
She said she did not misuse sick leave, and went to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) seeking reinstatement.
Air New Zealand responded by demanding to see her Facebook and bank details.
Kensington refused, saying it did not have that information when it dismissed her and that “it is well accepted in New Zealand there are general and legal privacy expectations about people’s personal and financial information”.
But the ERA ordered she must hand over details for March 8 and 9 this year – saying they would provide “substantially helpful” evidence.
“The explanation for taking sick leave must be tested for veracity,” said ERA member Tania Tetitaha.
Facebook information had been used previously to sack people, but adding bank account data went a step further, Scott-Howman said.
He warned there would be a backlash from workers.
“I don’t really know that society has seen this sort of thing previously. But at a time when we think we are behaving privately, or at least within a restricted circle of friends, we are actually effectively on trial.”
He said courts always wanted to get “the best evidence”.
“And the courts see Facebook as a wonderful asset because all of a sudden not only do we have the potential for pictures and so forth but . . . we can see what time statements were made and pictures were taken.”
He said globally, and in New Zealand in relation to the GCSB law changes, people were fighting back against such intrusion.
“Because while this is best evidence . . . doesn’t it creep you out a bit? It feels intrusive and just, frankly, wrong.”
He said it was a form of spying on staff.
“Sometimes it is actually OK to spy, if you are on my time and you are doing something bad – but the question is where you draw the line.”
Scott-Howman said Parliament would be forced to pass laws to stop bosses and the ERA going too far. He said the ERA could simply demand evidence be produced.
The most high-profile Facebook sacking case involves Gisborne man Bruce Taiapa, who applied for a week’s unpaid leave in March 2011 to attend a waka ama championship.
He was granted three days, but then took the rest of the week as sick leave, claiming he had an injured leg. He lost his job after his boss saw photos of him on Facebook, taken at the waka ama championships.
The ERA upheld his sacking.
Air New Zealand and Kensington’s lawyers declined to comment on her case while it was still before the courts.
A hearing was held last Monday, but the findings are yet to be released.
- Facebook used in worker dismissal (stuff.co.nz)
- Facebook used in worker dismissal (aworldchaos.wordpress.com)
- Facebook and workplace dismissal | Your privacy (south-africa.co.nz)
- Airline demands to see employee’s Facebook page (smh.com.au)
- Facebook and workplace dismissal (netbranding.co.nz)
- Disclosure more likely after sick leave row – lawyer (radionz.co.nz)
- Facebook pages demanded in employment row (news.com.au)
- Airline demands Facebook page (theage.com.au)
- New Zealand Court Orders Facebook Disclosure To Employer (yro.slashdot.org)
- Facebook useful tool for bosses to check on staff (nzherald.co.nz)
The Feds’ ‘Ultimate Solution’ to Curb Distracted Driving
Photo: Ryan Harvey/Flickr
NOVI, Michigan — Distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people each year in the United States, a figure that represents about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities. How many of those people die because they were fiddling with their phones or navigating their navigation systems isn’t clear, but no matter. The feds say they’ve got “the ultimate solution” for curbing the use of mobile devices while we’re mobile.
Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says government regulation coupled with standards set by automakers and the electronics industry could reduce fatalities. He says we need “a technological solution, some sort of innovation” in which the device or the car would recognize when the driver is using a mobile device and deactivate it.
“This would be the ultimate solution,” he says.
Federal regulators want to make it impossible for you to send a text, update Facebook or surf Instagram while driving, a campaign that could have as big an impact on mobile phone manufacturers as automakers. This spring, the NHTSA and its parents at the Department of Transportation laid out — in a 281-page report (.pdf) — several guidelines for accomplishing this.
As we noted at the time, a key objective is limiting the amount of time a driver takes his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, with a maximum of two seconds for each input and total of 12 seconds to complete a task. NHTSA wants automakers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and internet browsing while the car is in motion, disable any kind of video functionality and prevent text-based information such as social media content or text messages from being displayed.
Beuse, speaking at the Telematics Detroit 2013 conference, says two paths could be taken to this destination. The first is less than feasible because it would require drivers to physically connect their smartphones or mobile devices to the vehicle’s embedded system, disabling functionality while the car is in motion. You can see the problem with that idea.
“[We would need] 100 percent compliance to get drivers to pair their phones,” Beuse said. If such integration isn’t user-friendly and dead simple, “[drivers] will be right back to using their handhelds.”
That makes the second idea far more viable: a proximity sensor, in the vehicle or the device, that recognizes when the driver is using the device and requires them to pass it off to a passenger. Think of a seatbelt chime, but more annoying.
This isn’t the first time NHTSA and the DOT have required companies to eliminate certain distracting features while driving. The most obvious example has been disabling video playback while the car is in motion. But Beuse admits the NHTSA must “figure out how to monitor compliance.” And this won’t just extend to automakers, but the automotive aftermarket that produces in-dash stereos with increasingly complex functionalities.
NHTSA and the DOT, led by outgoing honcho Ray LaHood, have made distracted driving a signature cause during the past four years. Although distracted driving is indeed a problem — the phenomenon accounted for 3,331 fatalities in 2011, up from 3,092 the year before — it’s hard to know just how many crashes and deaths resulted from the use of mobile devices behind the wheel.
“If you look at crash data, there are a number of crashes that are due to distracted driving,” Beuse says, but “our data is not refined enough to pinpoint [the exact cause of those] crashes.”
What’s going to be more difficult is to get what NHTSA wants: 100 percent compliance from automakers, consumer electronics companies, aftermarket manufacturers and the public.
“We can’t force consumers to pair their device to the vehicle,” Beuse says. “We need a technological solution.”
- The Feds Ultimate Solution to Curb Distracted Driving (textually.org)
- The Feds’ ‘Ultimate Solution’ to Curb Distracted Driving (wired.com)
- Genius Parents Curb Teen’s Distracted Driving With Manual Transmission (jalopnik.com)
- Are NHTSA’s numbers on distracted driving wrong? (oppositelock.jalopnik.com)
- Hard Lessons From Distracted Driving (wccbcharlotte.com)
- The End of Distracted Driving? – Continued (auiinsuranceblog.wordpress.com)
- NHTSA Releases New Distracted Driving Guidelines As Data Presents A Very Different Picture (thetruthaboutcars.com)
- How Federal Distracted-Driving Guidelines Will Shape Your Next Phone (wired.com)
- Distracted Driving in Charlotte Series Pt. 1 (wccbcharlotte.com)
- Truckers have unique view of distracted driving: Opinion (nj.com)