I’m pretty sure this is accurate. Comments on Facebook.
This raises all kinds of questions about picnics and food safety.
I’m pretty sure this is accurate. Comments on Facebook.
This is kinda hilarious. Bummer to lose $1 billion. I'd cry too.
Earlier this week, Bill Ackman said he would give "the most important presentation" of his career, promising to deliver a "death blow" to health systems company Herbalife. Well, the presentation has come and gone, and while some tears were shed, Herbalife is still standing. In fact, their stock had a nice increase after Ackman's presentation.
Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management and self proclaimed activist-investor, put together a 250-ish slide deck about Herbalife. Pershing Square spent $50 million on the investigation, infiltrating 240 of Herbalife's health clubs. His investigation and presentation set about proving Herbalife is running a pyramid scheme with no real customers, only "phantom, fictitious customers."
While Ackman heavily attacked the Herbalife clubs, where representatives attempt to sell their products, and in turn, sign up more representatives. His attack went after this process, which he said required the reps to sign up for classes before distributing products, spending much of their own money without being able to earn anything for a long time. He said their recruitment process "creates this tendency to want to stay, because you're almost going to make it."
As for the people who are signing up, Ackman said, "It's a tragedy because they don't know they're being defrauded." He also accused the clubs of violating labor laws, again linked to need do lots of work for no pay at first setup.
Then, later on, the tears started. Ackman began discussing the "American Dream," saying "I'm a huge beneficiary of this country. [Herbalife CEO] Michael Johnson is a predator ... It's criminal. It's time to shut [Herbalife] down." He was certainly choked up and maybe shed a few tears, according to those in attendance:
Ackman tearing up (crying) using all the tricks in his bag.— DennisM (@newsagg) July 22, 2014
This is all part of Ackman's $1 billion bet against Herbalife, which he made in December 2012. At that time, he publicly launched an attack on Herbalife, saying he was shorting their stock. Of course, this spurred other investors to go long. Carl Icahn, with whom Ackman has had a long, but now resolved feud, went long and now holds 17 percent of Herbalife's stock.
Herbalife also offered a strong statement, responding directly to Ackman's attempt to ruin them:
Once again, Bill Ackman has over-promised and under-delivered on his $1 billion bet against our company. After spending $50 million, two years and tens of thousands of man-hours, Bill Ackman further demonstrated today that the facts are on our side.
We will continue to focus on our mission of bringing good nutrition and economic opportunities to communities across the globe. We recognize that he is running out of time to make good on his bad bet against Herbalife, with the equivalent of 25.7 million shares in put options that expire on January 17, 2015. Today is evidence that Bill Ackman will not succeed.
According to a recent study commission by the company, 87.5% of nutrition club operators feel good about the money they earn and 92% want to continue with their club. We are confident that the facts are on our side and look forward to fighting back."
The company is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, so perhaps the $50 million investigation was not all in vain. But for now, Herbalife is up 25.45 percent today.
Anyone want to get back into X-files with me?
Scully Likes Science
I like the cold aspect that this description adds to the smell of space.
Astronaut Reid Wiseman takes to Twitter with an olfactory report from space.
Add "wet clothing after rolling around in the snow" to the ways astronauts describe the smell of space.
Sometimes it's what you don't say that means the most.
Another dose of reality for the "Terrible STEM Shortage!" folks, courtesy of Slate. Here's what author Jordan Weissmann has to say:
With a little cleaning up, however, the federal data do tell a pretty clear story: The market for new Ph.D.s in the much obsessed-about STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—is stagnant. Over the last 20 years, employment rates are either flat or down in each major discipline, from computer science to chemistry. It’s not what you’d expect given the way companies like Microsoft talk about talent shortages.
Why no, it isn't, is it? There seems to be something a bit off. Weissmann is working with data from the
NIH NSF and their surveys of new doctorates in the sciences, and it shows several things. For one, the post-doc populations remain very high in every field, which isn't a good sign. The number of new doctorates who report being employed has not attained the levels seen in the late 1990s, for any field. And here's chemistry in particular:
Not a very pretty picture, to be sure. It's true that the number of postdocs have been declining the last few years, but the slack seems to be picked up, more or less equally, by people who are getting jobs and people falling into the flat-out unemployed category. And remember, this is a snapshot of new doctorates, so the numbers for more experienced people are going to be different (but ugly in their own way, to judge from the waves of layoffs over the last few years). It's notable that the new chemistry doctorate holders who are unemployed have outnumbered the ones with non-postdoc jobs for the last few years, which may well be unprecedented.
Weissmann's figures for computer science doctorate and engineers are telling, too, and I refer you to the article for them. Neither group has made it back to its heights back in 2000 or so, although the 2011-2012 number have picked up a bit. Whether that's a blip or a real inflection point remains to be seen. It's safe to say, though, that none of these charts support the "Just can't find anybody to hire" narrative that you hear from so many companies.
So disingenuous: "People are empowered from the bottom up."
Presumptive 2016 presidential candidate Hilary Clinton stopped by The Daily Show set for the first time in over a decade on Tuesday to talk about her new book, Hard Choices. Jon Stewart called it an impressive achievement of documenting four years as Secretary of State.
Then, he said, "I think I speak for everyone when I say that no one cares, they just want to know if you're running for president."
Clinton laughed as the audience roared – a tenor that was a far cry from her 2008 satellite appearance, when she was stumping for votes in Texas.
Stewart continued to make the audience go wild by giving Clinton an aptitude test, with just a few simple questions for picking out her future career. Questions like: Would you prefer to work in an office or from home? Do you like sitting in traffic or causing it? What shape would you like your office to be?
Clinton's answer to that question – "I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have, the better" – just about sent the audience into a frenzy.
Though the interview primarily focused on 2016, a possibility that The New Republic's recent cover story called "inevitable," Stewart managed to get in a few questions about policy – especially about how Clinton thinks it must evolve.
"We can't define our diplomacy and practice our foreign policy as leaders talking to leaders anymore. Because that's not how the world works," she said. "People are empowered from the bottom up."
The two-part interview, found below, also found Clinton touching on income inequality and whether she enjoys criticism. But despite Stewart's efforts, the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State ultimately left the 2016 question exactly where it was before: up in the air.
"You know, Jon, I was going to make an announcement," Clinton said. "But you kind of spoiled it."
Stewart couldn't let go. "So that's a yes?"
CollegeHumor returns for another round of a theoretical world where Google’s search engine is actually a person that everyone consults. In the latest video, Google takes a trip to the Deep Web, looks for pictures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and attempts to help someone determine if vaccines cause autism.
There’s a new US trailer for Terry Gilliam‘s latest film, The Zero Theorem, and some release info for the US, too. After months in limbo the movie finally has a Stateside release date of August 19th for digital and VOD, with a theatrical release set for September 19. Christoph Waltz stars as a troubled man tasked with a potentially impossible problem, and Mélanie Thierry, David Thewlis, Lucas Hedges, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon all play roles as well. Check out the new Zero Theorem US trailer below.Sure, the film has been dinged in overseas release, and there are things in this trailer (and in all of the trailers, really) that makes me feel some concern for the film. But still, I’m still going to give Gilliam a shot, as he’s one of the last true maverick weirdos working on a big scale.
Trailer via Apple.
Acclaimed director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) returns with the visually stunning sci-fi epic The Zero Theorem, starring Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as Qohen, an eccentric and reclusive computer genius. Living in isolation, Qohen is obsessively working on a mysterious project personally delegated to him by Management (Matt Damon) aimed at discovering the meaning of life – or the complete lack of one—once and for all. Increasingly disturbed by visits from people he doesn’t fully trust, including the flirtatious Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry), his unpredictable supervisor Job (David Thewlis), and would-be digital therapist Dr. Shrink-Rom (Tilda Swinton), it’s only when he experiences the power of love and desire that he’s able to understand his own reason for being.
It's not uncommon for a poacher or hunter to receive harsh criticism and public shaming, but does it count when the animal in question goes WAY beyond the endangered species list?
Click here for a larger view of the top image and here for a larger view of the bottom image.
Submitted by: (via Dangerous Minds)
Oh gawd, policy humor. I did lawl.
Pot snobs strike on opening day: ""It definitely hits you pretty good," he said after a couple bong hits, but noted some rot on some Copper Cush flowers. "You'd expect a little bit better bag appeal," he said."
A confused politician, a grandmother, and a marijuana aficionado walk into a weed store.
"she disrupts the sluggish train economy and flawlessly executes a deliverables hack to the benefit of a group of young consumers a full century before Y Combinator."
Children who read the story may not think much about whether the little blue engine is male or female. But adults do. If you remember the story, three trains — all male — refuse to help the broken-down engine over the mountain. They are too important, too busy, or too tired to pull an engine full of toys. ("I won't carry the likes of you!" they said to the disappointed dolls and stuffed animals).
The little blue engine who (after significant cajoling) agrees to help is female — and also self-deprecating. "They only use me for switching trains in the yard. I have never been on the other side of the mountain," she protests.
And then the little engine just leans right in and does it: she disrupts the sluggish train economy and flawlessly executes a deliverables hack to the benefit of a group of young consumers a full century before Y Combinator. Francesco Sedita, president of the Penguin division that publishes this beloved children's book, calls the engine "literally the first to lean in! She really is the poster engine of the can-do attitude." I think I can, I think I can, I think I can lean back and fall down the mountain instead with the lazy boys, because I haven't gotten lunch yet and I'm hangry. [NPR]
That's unfortunate wording. I learned first hand on Monday that swarms of bees are actually very docile and harmless. http://www.mnbeekeepers.com/about-bees/honey-bee-swarms
So well done.
What makes a potato salad? Is it a dollop of mayonnaise, a dash of white sugar, and perhaps some minced celery? Not in the future. In the future, single bowls of potato salad are made by thousands of people: citizen venture capitalists, from all over the world, ready to advance the interests of the species through one man in one kitchen with one vague desire to eat. The entire course of human history — kings murdering for crowns; millions dying in the machinery of revolution; ABC's LOST; every prayer; every orgasm — has led to this potato salad.
This absurd quest for the affluent has already raised more than $36,000 and shows no signs of stopping. Here are some of the titans of charity who are making it happen.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
9 projects backed, including:
2. Luke Burdack
38 projects backed, including:
3. Eleanor Briscoe
5 projects backed, including:
4. Laura June Topolsky
Brooklyn, New York
1 project backed:
5. Christopher Holland
82 projects backed, including:
6. Amanda Roberts
49 projects backed, including:
7. Tom Lieber
61 projects backed, including:
8. Kevin Rose
San Francisco, California
10 projects backed, including:
9. Eric Limer
New York City, New York
4 projects backed, including:
10. Joshua Malina
New York City, New York
5 projects backed, including:
Of course, if you've got no stomach for potato salad, there are plenty of alternative recipes for happiness.
via fh. Pretty sure the air horn was auto-tuned, but I don't care. The results speak for themselves.
As a professional internet, it’s my job to search the web for quality, intellectually stimulating content. Like this.
The heavens parted, and delivered unto us a scion of hope, a glimmer of immortality. This song.
Its been a few hours since I posted this and I’m pretty sure I’ve gone back to listen to it about twelve times now and each time it still makes me almost develop a hernia from laughing so much.
i’ve never loved something the way i love this post
How I feel when I have to talk about my artwork.
It's alarming that this kidnapping happened. Of course it is. But the way/scale at which it was portrayed in the media is shocking, and the way celebrities jumped on the hashtag campaign makes me feel even more cynical about shameless self-promotion in the face of human suffering. I guess I should get over it, since I know that people in power "never let a good crisis go to waste." Fuck.
Because, writes Max Fisher, “neither Boko Haram nor its kidnapping exist in a vacuum”:
There is the deep and growing economic and political marginalization of northern Nigerians, who happen to be mostly Muslim. There is the ever-worsening Nigerian government’s corruption and incompetence, which has included a military response to Boko Haram so heavy-handed and fumbled that it has killed and alienated a number of Nigerians who might otherwise be allies against the terrorist group. There are multiple, overlapping cycles of violence and distrust and resentment.
Then there was this:
Nigerian security forces, in their campaign against Boko Haram, have actually been detaining (some might say kidnapping) the family members of Boko Haram fighters since 2011. The family members, often women or girls, are not accused of crimes, but held for what appears to be simple leverage (some might say ransom). Of course this does not excuse Boko Haram for adopting the same tactic, but it helps shed some light on why the group might see this as a valid way to fight the government it so hates.
More than 200 of the girls remain missing, and while the Nigerian government has concluded an investigation into the incident, they won’t release its findings to the public. Meanwhile, Hayes Brown passes along the news of what looks like another mass kidnapping of women and children:
Militants reportedly attacked the village of Kummabza, located in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State, over the weekend, abducting more than 60 women and girls, as well as 30 boys. Local police have yet to confirm that the kidnappings took place and journalists have yet to independently verify the story on the ground. “Sources from the villages where the victims were taken, however, insisted that the victims included young girls and babies,” Nigeria’sPremium Times reported. Though no group has taken credit for the attack, fingers are being pointed at Boko Haram, the group who launched the kidnapping in neighboring Chibok in April.
As was the case in April, the lack of clarity on the ground and independent verification is leading to confusion over just who went missing and when.
via bunker. the final pane is perfect.
Getting back to basics today. Lately I’ve been focusing solely on science news stories and neglecting some of the cool basic science of our everyday lives. I decided to start with atmospheric pressure because it influences so much without us ever realizing it.
We don’t normally think of air as having any weight, but it does. The weight of our atmosphere is 14.7 pounds per square inch. We don’t feel that weight because our bodies are generally in equillibrium with the outside (more on this a little later). But the buddy we didn’t know we had is always looking for a difference in pressure to exert some force. Over the next couple of comics I’ll touch upon some other pressure-related phenomena, but for today you get drinking straws!
The misconception is that, when you drink through a straw, you’re sucking liquid through the straw and into your mouth. What’s really happening is that you’re creating a difference of air pressure inside your mouth, which is equalized by liquid flowing in. It all goes back to breathing, where your diaphragm (a muscle stretched across your rib cage) contracts, increasing the volume of your chest cavity, and the void is filled by air rushing into your lungs.
“Maki, in the comic you said that you can’t drink from a sealed container. Then what is this?”
Pouches like this still work because the container itself is deformed by the surrounding air pressure pushing on it, and subsequently pushing the liquid out. But we’ll talk more about the crushing power of our own atmosphere in another comic.
Each Saturday Morning here at Adafruit is Saturday Morning Cartoons! Be sure to check our cartoon and animated posts both nostalgic and new that inspire makers of all ages! You’ll find how-tos for young makers, approaches to learning about science and engineering, and all sorts of comic strip and animated Saturday Morning fun! Be sure to check out our Adafruit products featuring comic book art while you’re at it!