Category Archives: News and Views

11 Surprising Thanksgiving Facts

turkey-signDo you love Thanksgiving? I mean do you really LOVE everything about the holiday, from the delicious food to seeing your crazy relatives? Then you are going to be amazed at what goes into making the holiday what it is. And you thought cooking your turkey was a challenge.

1) Are you ready for a day (or three) of eating?

If you can’t make it through the daylong celebration of food, football and family be thankful that you weren’t around for the first Thanksgiving. That celebration took place in the fall of 1621 in Plymouth Colony between European settlers and the Wampanoag Indians and it lasted three days. Talk about a food coma.

2) What’s in a name?

If you think that your Thanksgiving celebration is something special, chances are it has nothing on the celebration in Turkey Creek, La. That town, which has only 440 residents, is one of four towns in the United States with the word turkey in its name. The others are Turkey, Texas, Turkey, N.C. and Turkey Creek, Ariz.

There are also seven towns named after popular Thanksgiving side dishes. Towns and cities named after cranberries are the most popular. In total, seven townships and cities in the United States are named for cranberries, though most have different spellings.

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Chrome Will Start Blocking All Remaining NPAPI Plugins In January | TechCrunch

Starting in January 2015, Google’s Chrome browser will block all old-school Netscape Plug-In API NPAPI plugins. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given that Google started its efforts to remove NPAPI plugins more than a year ago.

Over the last year, Google went from recommending that developers move away from this old architecture to actively blocking almost all NPAPI plugins. There was, however, always a whitelist that allowed some of the most popular NPAPI plugins like Microsoft’s Silverlight, Unity and Google’s own Google Earth plugin to continue to run in the browser. Starting in January, even that’s going away and all of these plugins will be blocked by default.

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Victoria’s Secret Launches Mobile Messaging App | Adweek

Victoria’s Secret wants to see what today’s millennials are talking about with a new twist on mobile messaging.

At the same time that practically all millennial-minded marketers are using Snapchat, Line, Kik and every other social and mobile platform out there to get in touch with teens, Victoria’s Secret has rolled out its own chat feature within its Pink shopping app.

The lingerie brand is the first marketer to use a chatting feature from a mobile messaging app called Frankly.

After opening the chat feature, app users can talk about predetermined topics like holiday gifts or school. Because this is Victoria’s Secret and millennials are fickle the public chats are customizable with different shades of pink backgrounds and branded emojis. There’s also the usual crop of smiley face emojis that app users can play with, much like a text message.

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Sheep mow the grass in Cleveland | Money. CNN

Mowing the lawn is a pain. An unkempt yard is a hazard. Solution: Bring in the sheep.

On a four-acre patch of unused industrial land along Cleveland’s Lake Erie shore, a flock of 36 sheep plus one protective llama is being employed to keep the grass short. Chomping away in the fenced-off space all summer long, the sheep kept the lot looking tidy for half the cost of a landscaping crew — $1,500 compared to nearly $4,000.

“There’s a lot of empty land, and not a lot of money to take care of it,” said Michael Fleming, executive director of community development organization St. Clair Superior, which founded the sheep grazing program in 2012 with $8,000 in grant money.

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AeroFarms Grows Plants Without Soil For Cities of the Future | Bloomberg

imagesAeroFarms has developed a vertical farming system that can grow organic baby leafy greens in urban settings. They’re doing it using aeroponics — the process of growing plants in mist without any soil — and plan to launch a branded product from a new 80,000-square-foot warehouse in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms CEO and Co-Founder David Rosenberg talks to Bloomberg’s Sam Grobart about how the company is bringing their produce mainstream for Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead: 2015″ series.

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Why a Phone Call Is Better Than an Email Usually | Entrepreneur

imagesThis isn’t going to be about efficiency. Sometimes the phone is a more efficient way to communicate than e-mail, and sometimes it isn’t. If two people leave a dozen messages on each other’s voice mail, that’s a lot less efficient than sending a single e-mail and reading a reply to it.

No, this isn’t going to be about how telephonic communication helps you work faster. This is about how the phone makes you work better. Because unlike e-mail, the phone forces you to be more emphatic, more accurate, more honest.

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Amazon Vows to Run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy | WIRED

Apple made the pledge. So did Google and Facebook. But Amazon stayed silent.

Over the past few years, Apple, Google, and Facebook pledged to run their online empires on renewable energy, and considering how large these empires have become—how many data centers and machines are now required to keep them going—this was a vital thing. But despite pressure from the likes of Greenpeace, the environmental activism organization, the other big internet name, Amazon, didn’t budge.

That all changed on Wednesday. With a post on its website, Amazon’s cloud computing division—Amazon Web Services—said it has a “long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”

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