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Microblogs

  • [Reuters: Politics] Trump cancels Pelosi trip to Belgium, Afghanistan and Egypt: U.S. President Donald Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday that her trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan had been canceled over the partial government that has run into its 27th day.
    Related
    On first day in power, House Democrats challenge Trump to end shutdown [Reuters: U.S.]
  • [Reuters: World News] UK's Prince Philip, 97, escapes unhurt after road crash near royal estate: Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, was involved in a traffic accident while driving on Thursday near the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Buckingham Palace said. He was not hurt.
  • [Reuters: World News] Boko Haram claims attack on northeast Nigerian town of Rann: video: Islamist insurgency Boko Haram has claimed it carried out Monday's attack on the northeast Nigerian town of Rann, according to a video released on Thursday by Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida.
  • [Reuters: World News] Communist Cuba seeks improved governance: Cuba is on the verge of the most dramatic restructuring of its government in decades as popular criticism and frustration with a sluggish economy and bureaucracy mount.
  • [Reuters: World News] Zimbabwe charges activist pastor with subversion and incitement: Zimbabwean activist pastor Evan Mawarire was charged in court on Thursday with subverting the government, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, after violent protests this week that were met by a brutal crackdown from security forces.
  • [Reuters: World News] Britain 'deeply concerned' at Zimbabwe unrest; summons ambassador: Britain summoned the UK Zimbabwean ambassador on Thursday to express its deep concern at unrest that has left three people dead and many injured.
  • [Reuters: Sports News] Doping: WADA says has recovered doping data from Moscow lab: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Thursday its inspection team had successfully recovered doping data from a Moscow laboratory.
  • [Reuters: Money] Your Money: The words and wisdom of Jack Bogle: America just lost a true giant in investing legend and Vanguard Group founder Jack Bogle.
  • [Reuters: Company News] GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks edge up on defense, healthcare gains; pound firms: * Pound supported as UK PM May wins confidence vote (Updates with European stocks' close, U.S. stocks trading higher)
  • [Reuters: World News] Israel calls Malaysian ban on its athletes 'shameful': Israel condemned on Thursday Malaysia's ban on Israeli participation in international sporting events it hosts and said the decision was inspired by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's "rabid anti-Semitism".
  • [Reuters: World News] Britain should delay Brexit to hold citizen assemblies, Gordon Brown says: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday the government should delay the formal process of leaving the European Union by a year to hold citizens' assemblies to break the political impasse over Brexit.
    Related
    Japan PM Abe says he plans to push for peace treaty with Russia [Reuters: World News]
    Shinzo Abe says Japan hopes UK will avoid no-deal Brexit [World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting - The Washington Post]
    Shinzo Abe says Japan hopes UK will avoid no-deal Brexit [War Zones: War News, Coverage, Analysis & More - The Washington Post]
  • [Reuters: Science News] Lord of the rings: Saturn's halo may be relatively recent trait: Saturn's rings are one of our solar system's magnificent sights, but may be a relatively recent addition, according to data obtained from NASA's Cassini spacecraft before the robotic explorer's 2017 death plunge into the giant gas planet.
  • [Reuters: World News] Russia, Serbia sign nuclear cooperation agreement: Russia and Serbia have signed a cooperation agreement on civil nuclear energy, state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom said in a statement on Thursday.
  • [Reuters: World News] Factbox: U.S. eyes lasers, F-35s, 'Star Wars' tech for missile defense: The U.S. Missile Defense Review, unveiled on Thursday at the Pentagon, underscored the ways the American military is studying to detect and defeat ballistic missile attacks.
  • [Reuters: World News] Trump missile defense review calls North Korea 'extraordinary threat': President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy on Thursday that called North Korea an ongoing and "extraordinary threat," seven months after he declared the threat posed by Pyongyang had been eliminated. 
    Related
    Trump's new missile defense strategy eyes space-based sensors [Reuters: World News]
  • [Reuters: Politics] U.S. State Department recalls furloughed employees amid shutdown: The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it was calling its furloughed employees back to work next week as it takes steps to pay salaries despite a partial shutdown of the government.
  • [Reuters: World News] Doctor and child killed in Sudan protests: opposition-linked doctors' committee: A doctor and a child were killed during anti-government protests in Sudan on Thursday, a doctors' committee linked to the opposition said.
  • [Reuters: World News] Car bomb at Colombian police academy kills nine, injures 24: A car bomb exploded at a police academy in Colombia's capital Bogota on Thursday, killing at least nine people and wounding over 20 in an attack that prompted fears of a return to
    Related
    Gas explosion rocks central Paris shopping district, 9 injured [Reuters: World News]
    Car bomb in Colombia police academy kills five: Bogota mayor [Reuters: World News]
    9 dead in car bombing at police academy in Colombia capital [World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting - The Washington Post]
    9 dead in car bombing at police academy in Colombia capital [War Zones: War News, Coverage, Analysis & More - The Washington Post]
  • [Reuters: Sports News] Rallying: The Dakar, a world of sand and solitude: The Dakar Rally is a race like no other, a two-week long endurance challenge across Peru and some of the harshest terrain and conditions on Earth.
  • [Reuters: Technology News] Fossil to sell smartwatch technology worth $40 million to Google, shares rise: Fossil Group Inc said on Thursday it would sell its intellectual property related to a smartwatch technology currently under development to Alphabet Inc's Google for $40 million, sending the watchmaker's shares up as much as 11 percent.
    Related
    Fossil to sell smartwatch technology worth $40 mln to Google, shares rise [Reuters: Company News]
    Fossil to sell smartwatch technology worth $40 million to Google, shares rise [Reuters: Business News]
  • Show more…

Photos

  • D.C. restaurants grapple with drop in business from government shutdown

    On top of an already-slow January and a snowstorm, lack of federal workers worries eateries

  • Listen up! We?re playing a healthful tuna.

    NOURISH | A quick sear, a quick sauce and over a bed of greens they go.

  • Rocking beds and pillows that nudge when you snore: Tech wants into your bed

    Our tech columnist sleeps on a $5,000 Sleep Number 360 smart bed and investigates other sleep tech that?s flooding the market. Does any of it work?

  • Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress

    Marino, who was elected to a fifth term last November, said he will step down Jan. 23 and will take a job in the private sector.

    Related
    Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress [Campaigns: Campaign and Election News & Analysis - The Washington Post]
  • Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress

    Marino, who was elected to a fifth term last November, said he will step down Jan. 23 and will take a job in the private sector.

    Related
    Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress [Congress: Congressional News, Schedule, Votes & More - The Washington Post]
  • Dead newborn found in trash can at Amazon warehouse

    Police and fire officials responded to a call Wednesday night about ?a deceased infant in the women?s restroom located inside the secured facility,? according to the Phoenix Police Department.

  • US stocks edge higher as health care and industrials rise

    US stocks are slightly higher as defense contractors and industrial companies rise and health care stocks also gain ground

    Related
    US stocks edge higher as health care and industrials rise [World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting - The Washington Post]
  • US stocks edge higher as health care and industrials rise

    US stocks are slightly higher as defense contractors and industrial companies rise and health care stocks also gain ground

    Related
    US stocks edge higher as health care and industrials rise [War Zones: War News, Coverage, Analysis & More - The Washington Post]
  • Rudy Giuliani again promotes a laughable double standard on culpability

    The importance of evidence, it seems, depends on who's implicated.

  • Rudy Giuliani again promotes a laughable double standard on culpability

    The importance of evidence, it seems, depends on who's implicated.

  • Show more…

Entries

  • This Photo of Earth and the Moon Was Shot from 71 Million Miles Away (1177 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:37:00 -0500This Photo of Earth and the Moon Was Shot from 71 Million Miles AwayPetaPixel

    Here’s a new photo that shows Earth and the Moon from a whopping 71 million miles away. It was captured by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, which is currently on a mission to obtain a sample from a near-Earth asteroid and return it to Earth.

    The photo was captured on December 19th, 2018, using the spacecraft’s NavCam 1 camera. Earth and the moon can be seen on the bottom-left side of the photo. The much larger white object in the upper-right side is asteroid Bennu.

    Earth is 71 million miles (114M km) away in the photo, while Bennu is just 27 miles (43 km).

    Earth and the Moon were able to be captured in the photo by overexposing the asteroid with a 5-second exposure.

    Launched back in September 2016, OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to return Earth with its samples from Bennu on September 24th, 2023.

    (via OSIRIS-REx via DPReview)

    P.S. The most famous photo of Earth shot at a great distance is arguably Voyager-1’s Pale Blue Dot photo captured in February 1990. That photo was shot from a distance of 3.7 billion miles away.

    Image credits: Photographs by NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space

  • Heartbreaking Photos of Pet Owners Saying Goodbye to Their Dying Pets (4165 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:15:00 -0500Heartbreaking Photos of Pet Owners Saying Goodbye to Their Dying PetsPetaPixel

    Last Moments is a powerful photo series by Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer Ross Taylor, who was invited to document the intimate last moments in a beloved pet’s life when the owner must deal with a painful farewell.

    Taylor was inspired to turn his camera on this topic after his good friend went through the agonizing decision to euthanize her ailing dog.

    “When someone tells me they?re struggling with the death of a pet, my heart aches for them,” Taylor tells the Washington Post. “I was profoundly moved by witnessing her struggle and her love for her dog.”

    Taylor is a freelance visual journalist and an assistant professor in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. Between 2017 and 2018, he visited pet owners in the Tampa Bay area of Florida after they called the at-home pet euthanasia veterinarian service Lap of Love.

    You can find more of Taylor’s work on his website and Instagram.

    (via Washington Post via Fstoppers)

    Image credits: Photographs by Ross Taylor and used with permission

  • U.S. stocks edge up on defense, healthcare gains; pound firms (264 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:15:00 -0500U.S. stocks edge up on defense, healthcare gains; pound firmsReuters: Business News

    Gains in defense shares as well as healthcare helped to keep U.S. stocks in positive territory on Thursday, while an end to the latest chapter in Britain's exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May's defeat of a confidence vote, lifted sterling.

    Related
    Northern Ireland's DUP will hold May to promise of Brexit deal changes [Reuters: World News]
  • The new Nikon Coolpix B600 and A1000 cameras were not announced in the US (561 characters)
  • Beset by protests, Serb leader stages lavish reception for Putin (257 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:05:00 -0500Beset by protests, Serb leader stages lavish reception for PutinReuters: World News

    Serbia's pro-Western President Aleksandar Vucic staged a lavish welcome for Vladimir Putin on Thursday - even presenting the visiting Russian leader with a puppy - in what critics called a bid to deflect attention from weeks of anti-government protests.

  • Swiss Eye Tracking Startup Raises $1.9m (1108 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:52:00 -0500Swiss Eye Tracking Startup Raises $1.9mImage Sensors World

    Swiss startup Eyeware develops 3D eye tracking software for depth sensing enabled consumer devices, such as Microsoft Kinect, Intel RealSense, Orbbec Astra, etc. How do they track gaze from low-resolution 3D images?

    "Generally speaking: We require a low-resolution 3D pixel cloud of the face and eye regions and are agnostic to the underlying technology. It works as well for ToF sensors (i.e. non-RGB images). Our software uses that input to model the head pose and eye regions, providing the gaze vector in real-time."

    Eyeware announces the closing of its seed financing round of 1.9M CHF ($1.9M USD). The seed round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), in partnership with TRUMPF Venture GmbH, Swiss Startup Group, and Zurich Kantonalbank.

    Eyeware is a spin-off of Idiap Research Institute and EPFL created in September 2016. Eyeware software can use automotive grade ToF cameras to estimate attention of drivers for in-cabin monitoring and infotainment systems. The capital will be used by the Eyeware team to bring the 3D eye tracking development kit ready for integration into consumer applications.


  • Nikon Z7 Review: Does Nikon?s first full-frame mirrorless meet lofty expectations? (622 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:50:00 -0500Nikon Z7 Review: Does Nikon?s first full-frame mirrorless meet lofty expectations?SLRgear.com What's New

    Click here to read our Nikon Z7 Review Conclusion For Nikon fans, especially after many rumors and teasers, it was not a matter of "if" Nikon would release a full-frame mirrorless camera system, but "when." The wait finally ended this past September when the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera hit the scene. Equipped with a 45.7-megapixel full-frame image sensor, the same megapixel count as 2017's Nikon D850, the Z7 is the company's first high-end, high-resolution mirrorless camera. It is all about pro-level performance across the...
    (read more)

  • Using a Single DIY Globe Modifier for Simple, Stunning Portraits (9572 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:44:00 -0500Using a Single DIY Globe Modifier for Simple, Stunning PortraitsPetaPixel

    It?s not often I get to shoot very simple, clean white light shots, but in a recent shoot the model asked if she could get some updated ?Polaroids?. For those of you not familiar with the term when used in reference to a model shoot, it?s actually not the now-obsolete and ludicrously expensive single-shot film, but a request for very basic portraits of the model for their agency.

    This ?Polaroid? term is a relic from the analog film days and it essentially now means shots that are un-retouched and with the model wearing very little makeup.

    I was happy to shoot a few of these ?Polaroids? as it literally takes two minutes. You throw up some simple light, the model stands in for a couple of headshots, some three-quarter lengths and full body etc. You then send the shots with almost zero retouching over to the model and she then passes them on to her modeling agency so that they can be used as a reference point for those who are interested in working with the model in the future.

    Tip: Just really quickly while we?re on this subject. If you?re a photographer selecting models from an agency, you really must insist on seeing the models ?Polaroids?. In a world of amazing makeup and ridiculous post-production, you need to be looking at what the subject looks like without all of that. Failure to do so will result in you being caught out with a model with bad skin or worse.

    So back to the setup. I knew that for these raw looking shots that the light had to be very clean and flattering and without many shadows. This way, the light and its shadows aren?t hiding anything and a soft light at least makes the model look her best under those raw conditions. Like I said at the start, I rarely shoot simple white light but I did have an idea that I?d wanted to try for some time and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do so.

    Why You Never See a Globe Modifier Being Used

    For this setup, I only used one light and the modifier I used was actually a DIY one. The modifier is essentially a very diffused globe that sits on top of my strobe. The resulting light from this throws light absolutely everywhere around the room, especially when pointing straight up. It throws light onto the model, onto me and all over the room that you?re in. You can see why this type of modifier is not often used, because as photographers we crave absolute control of the light and this diffused globe is not giving us any control whatsoever.

    But we can use this one very fundamental flaw of globe modifiers to our advantage if we?re smart.

    What Do I Need?

    Firstly let?s see the DIY diffusion globe I was using. The globe itself is a simple FADO desk lamp that I bought from IKEA and its about 25cm in diameter. I then just removed all the wiring and bulb from the inside and it was ready to use in my photoshoot.

    Once that was done, I simply mounted it to an old speedring with gaffer tape. A speedring, if you?re not sure, is the part of a softbox that attaches it to your light. Imagine if you removed all of the struts from a softbox, you?d be left with the speedring. You can either temporarily dismantle your softbox for the speedring for this setup, or just use a spare one so that you don?t have to keep re-taping the globe on each time. Speedrings are also really cheap depending on the strobe brand you use so it might be worth picking up an extra one anyway.

    First Setup: Direct-Light

    Now that we have our light ready to go, let?s take a shot of the model with the globe pointed directly towards her and see what the results look like. Here?s a diagram of the setup I used below.

    Now let?s take a look at the resulting images from this direct light setup.

    So you guys can see for yourself that although there nothing wrong with these shots, there is still a lot of shadowing going on, not only on the model but also the background as well.

    You may actually like this look as it provides very clean and directional lighting that is still flattering due to its diffused softness. So if you?re happy with this, you?re done and you can X-out of here now?. but if you?d like to see a far more beautifying look without the need for any additional lights, read on.

    Second Setup: Diffused-Light

    Like I said earlier, the real beauty of this setup is to use its greatest flaw as its greatest strength. I mentioned that this diffused globe throws light absolutely everywhere, including onto the model, you the photographer as well as all over the room that you?re in. So here is the trick. By throwing up a couple of big white polyboards behind you, (or a big white sheet like I did), you?re effectively creating two lights. One light is the small globe that is a single point of light in front of the model, and the second light is now that big white sheet behind you.

    Take a look at the lighting setup below and then I?ll go on to explain why and how this works so well.

    Now take a look below at some of the resulting images from this diffused-light setup.

    Remember: the images below are from a SINGLE light setup!

    Look at the strong edge of the shadows yet filled with plenty of soft light. Look at how this setup still creates highlights, as can be seen on the legs, and look at how there are highlights and shadows on the arms in the three quarter length shot. All of this results in a very flattering light because it cast shadows to create shape but those shadows are also incredibly soft.

    As those of you who?ve followed my work for a while will know, I rarely shoot this type of bright white imagery, but even I have to admit that the light from this setup is absolutely beautiful! Plus this is just ONE light in a small room! This setup could really be used anywhere. Also, this setup only gets better the smaller the room you?re in and that includes home studios as long as the walls are white or at least close to white.

    White Polyboard Substitute

    I mentioned in the description of this setup that you could use white polyboards to bounce the light if you?re in a studio. These are just large sheets of 2×1 meter polystyrene that can be positioned around the studio to either block or bounce light. Most of us don?t have access to them all the time so a large white reflector or even a big white sheet is just as good.

    Two Lights in One

    So what on earth is going on here? How can we have defined shadows from a key light, as well as a fill light, but only be using a single light?

    Here?s what?s actually happing in the setup. Light from the globe facing the model goes straight to her like any key light to create a strong directional shadow. The resulting look of this is just like the original shots at the top of this article where the globe was pointed directly towards the model without any white bounce behind. The defined shadow of this key light is due to the small size of the globe in relation to the subject.

    But with the globe now pointing up, the globe’s light is also hitting the white boards/sheet behind you and bouncing back onto the model. This bounced light now fills in those shadows giving the illusion of an additional fill light.

    This ?two-lights-in-one? effect of the bounced light has a double bonus too as that bounced light is now incredibly diffused after bouncing off of the sheet, plus it has lost some of its power due to bouncing and having to travel further. Both of these things make for the perfect fill light.

    By The Way…

    Now you didn?t hear this from me?. but I?ve been told that this setup can also produce some very beautiful black and white portraits? if you?re still into that sort of thing.

    Closing Comments

    I love that I finally got the chance to try out this setup as it really does produce some utterly stunning light and in such a simple way too. I know there are a thousand and one ?phenomenal? single light setups out there, but ultimately most of them either involve an expensive modifier or simply require you to move the light to a different position around the subject.

    This single light setup doesn?t require an expensive modifier as you can pick up one of these diffused globes very cheaply indeed, and with two minutes of tinkering you can have it on your light and ready to go. Of course, you can play with moving the light around the scene if you like, but I personally preferred the globe above the camera so as to throw any shadows directly behind the model. This worked particularly well as the subject was always engaged with the camera, but if you were shooting with the model looking away from the lens, moving the globe around could create some cool looks too.

    P.S. You can sign up to the Jake Hicks Photography newsletter to receive my free Top Ten Studio Lighting Tips and Techniques PDF.

    About the author: Jake Hicks is an editorial and fashion photographer based in Reading, UK. He specializes in keeping the skill in the camera and not just on the screen. If you?d like to learn more about his incredibly popular gelled lighting and post-pro techniques, visit this link for more info. You can find more of his work and writing on his website, Facebook, 500px, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr. This article was also published here.

  • House tax panel chair wants Treasury Secretary to testify on shutdown (261 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:44:00 -0500House tax panel chair wants Treasury Secretary to testify on shutdownReuters: Politics

    The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives tax committee has asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to testify next week about the partial government shutdown's impact on the upcoming federal tax filing season, the panel said on Thursday.

  • Oxford University suspends funding from China's Huawei (254 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:40:00 -0500Oxford University suspends funding from China's HuaweiReuters: World News

    The University of Oxford said on Thursday it has stopped accepting funding from China's Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], the leading global supplier of telecoms network equipment, after scrutiny over the company's relationship with China?s government.

    Related
    Chinese phone maker Huawei punishes employees for iPhone tweet blunder [Reuters: Company News]
    Chinese phone maker Huawei punishes employees for iPhone tweet blunder [Reuters: Business News]
    Factbox: Huawei's challenges in Europe mount after Polish arrests [Reuters: Business News]
  • This Dog is a Talented Skateboarding Cameraman (1840 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:20:00 -0500This Dog is a Talented Skateboarding CameramanPetaPixel

    Illustrator Rob Mathieson has a dog named Fatman the Dog with some impressive camera skills. With a camera mounted to his back, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier captures great footage of skateboarders doing their thing.

    Mathieson has Fatman run after various skateboarders as they ride through urban locations and skate parks. Fatman is surprisingly good at keeping the subjects in the frame even as they weave around and over various ramps and obstacles.

    Check out some of Fatman’s quality work for yourself in these videos:

    Fatman has his own dedicated Instagram account, so you can follow along with the dog’s camerawork by subscribing.

    (via @fatmanthedog via Fstoppers)

  • Microsoft Will Spend $500M To Address Affordable Housing and Homelessness in the Seattle Region (1186 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:16:00 -0500Microsoft Will Spend $500M To Address Affordable Housing and Homelessness in the Seattle RegionSlashdot

    Microsoft is dedicating $500 million to fund construction of affordable homes and homeless services in the Seattle region in an effort to alleviate a growing housing crisis driven by the city's tech boom. From a report: The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant will commit $475 million for loans to affordable housing developers over three years and another $25 million to services for low-income and homeless residents. It's the largest philanthropic pledge in Microsoft's history. "This is a big problem," Microsoft President Brad Smith and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "And it's a problem that is continuing to get worse. It requires a multifaceted and sustained effort by the entire region to solve. At Microsoft, we're committed to doing our part to help kick-start new solutions to this crisis." Microsoft's announcement comes amid growing pressure on tech companies to mitigate the consequences of growth. Over the past decade, big tech companies have drawn thousands of newcomers to the Seattle tech region with lucrative tech jobs, bidding up housing costs and often squeezing out low-income neighbors.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • BRILLIANT: Aeromexico Gives Flight Discounts To Bigots Who Are Unknowingly Mexican (2321 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:11:00 -0500BRILLIANT: Aeromexico Gives Flight Discounts To Bigots Who Are Unknowingly MexicanOne Mile at a Time

    Aeromexico has gotten political in some of their ads recently. Aeromexico’s biggest foreign market is the US, though obviously right now there’s some contention between the US and Mexico, especially regarding the wall (heck, we’ve had our longest government shutdown ever over this).

    A couple of years ago, during the US presidential campaign, Aeromexico released an ad about walls, clearly aimed at Trump:

    Well, now the airline is back with their latest marketing campaign, which is some expert trolling, if I’ve ever seen. The premise is that while Mexicans like going to the US, Americans don’t like going to Mexico as much, so they wanted to figure out why.

    They interviewed a bunch of people and asked them why they wouldn’t consider going to Mexico.

    Since there has been immigration from Mexico to the US for a long time, they decided to give the anti-Mexico people DNA tests. All of the people featured in the video had some Mexico heritage, and the more Mexican they were, the bigger of a flight discount they got.

    Here’s the video:

    That guy who learns he’s 22% Mexican… ugh!

    Also, these people aren’t very good at math. For the couple that says they don’t like Mexico, the woman is 14.4% Mexican and the man is 18% Mexican, and he says “well that’s better than you.” I don’t think he gets that being a higher percent Mexican means being more Mexican (which he seems to think is a bad thing).

    Bottom line

    Usually it doesn’t make much sense for airlines to get political, though in Aeromexico’s case it seems smart. That’s because I imagine virtually everyone offended by this ad also wouldn’t otherwise consider going to Mexico (at least right now), while those who like visiting Mexico will like the airline even more after seeing this.

    What do you make of Aeromexico’s DNA Discounts ad?

  • Wedding flutes, a 1979 Jeep, a tiny bomber jacket: What people are selling to pay bills during the shutdown (309 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:10:00 -0500Wedding flutes, a 1979 Jeep, a tiny bomber jacket: What people are selling to pay bills during the shutdownBusiness News, Financial News, Business Headlines & Analysis - The Washington Post

    In the weeks since the federal government was paralyzed by a partial shutdown, furloughed workers and their families have offered treasured pieces of their pasts for sale. Heirlooms, passion projects and memorabilia are suddenly a means to an end, a way to feed the kids or scrape together a mortgage payment.

  • Invitation: Cemetery Commission @ Wed Jan 23, 2019 5pm - 6pm (EST) (All Agendas Web) (286 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:10:00 -0500Invitation: Cemetery Commission @ Wed Jan 23, 2019 5pm - 6pm (EST) (All Agendas Web)All Agendas Web Google Group

    You have been invited to the following event. Title: Cemetery Commission When: Wed Jan 23, 2019 5pm ? 6pm Eastern Time - New York Where: Hopkinton Town Hall-3-Town Hall, 18 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA, 3rd Floor Meeting Area (18) Calendar: All Agendas Web Who: * cde...@hopkintonma.gov

  • UPDATE 1-U.S. Energy Department to develop lithium recycling research center (252 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:59:00 -0500UPDATE 1-U.S. Energy Department to develop lithium recycling research centerReuters: Company News

    The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it is launching a research center on lithium battery recycling in an effort to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources for the metal that is increasingly being used in electric vehicles and electronics.

    Related
    U.S. Energy Department to develop lithium recycling research center [Reuters: Environment]
  • Former U.S. commerce secretary to lead group to help Permian residents (261 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:48:00 -0500Former U.S. commerce secretary to lead group to help Permian residentsReuters: Company News

    Former U.S. Commerce Secretary and energy executive Don Evans will chair a partnership of oil and gas firms that have pledged $100 million toward easing the civic strain of the shale oil and gas boom in West Texas and New Mexico, the group said on Thursday.

  • In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans join House Democrats to oppose lifting sanctions against Putin ally (378 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:47:00 -0500In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans join House Democrats to oppose lifting sanctions against Putin allyCongress: Congressional News, Schedule, Votes & More - The Washington Post

    The 362-53 vote registers formal House disapproval of plans to relax sanctions against companies controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin ally, Oleg Deripaska, and comes despite last-minute appeals by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. A similar measure narrowly failed in the Senate this week, despite 11 Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats. This is a [?]

    Related
    Russia knows what Putin and Trump discussed. Others might not find out for decades [World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting - The Washington Post]
    Russia knows what Putin and Trump discussed. Others might not find out for decades [War Zones: War News, Coverage, Analysis & More - The Washington Post]
    In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans join House Democrats to oppose lifting sanctions against Putin ally [Campaigns: Campaign and Election News & Analysis - The Washington Post]
  • In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans join House Democrats to oppose lifting sanctions against Putin ally (378 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:47:00 -0500In rebuke to Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans join House Democrats to oppose lifting sanctions against Putin allyCampaigns: Campaign and Election News & Analysis - The Washington Post

    The 362-53 vote registers formal House disapproval of plans to relax sanctions against companies controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin ally, Oleg Deripaska, and comes despite last-minute appeals by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. A similar measure narrowly failed in the Senate this week, despite 11 Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats. This is a [?]

    Related
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  • Norwegian Cuts Free Booze In Premium Cabin (2856 characters)

    Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:41:00 -0500Norwegian Cuts Free Booze In Premium CabinOne Mile at a Time

    Norwegian has been in a challenging financial position, and the airline is working on reducing costs this year. They’ve undertaken an “extensive cost cutting initiative,” which altogether is expected to save the airline $230 million.

    This comes in many different forms, and given that they’re a low cost carrier, I imagine only a small percentage of that will come from onboard savings.

    However, it seems like Norwegian is cutting costs in Premium, which is the premium economy cabin available on their Boeing 787s. This is generally an excellent value, in my opinion, as I just recently flew Premium from London Gatwick to New York, and had a good flight.

    Recently the airline cut lounge access for many Premium passengers without any sort of notice of the change. With this change, only those booking Norwegian’s (substantially) more expensive PremiumFlex fares receive lounge access, while others don’t.

    It seems that’s not the only negative change that Norwegian is making. Norwegian is also no longer offering free cocktails and liquor in Premium. Rather, only beer and wine are complimentary at this point.

    When I flew Norwegian not that long ago these items were still complimentary. With how Norwegian’s ordering system worked, you could order any drinks they have available at no additional cost through your inflight entertainment system.

    Now you’d have to pay for them.

    So at this point Norwegian Premium passengers still get two free meals, as well as complimentary soft drinks, beer, and wine. Liquor as well as other snacks are for purchase.

    Bottom line

    It’s unfortunate to see these negative changes to Norwegian Premium. This is a product that offered exceptional value and that I actually thought was worth flying, though if they keep making these negative changes, it will no doubt be a worse value proposition than ever before.

    I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot here a bit. Most major legacy airlines also have premium economy, with the benefit of offering more valuable frequent flyer programs, potential lounge access if you have status, etc. By making all these cuts, they’re making it less worthwhile to consider Norwegian.

    What do you make of these changes at Norwegian — smart cost cutting, or bad business?

    (Tip of the hat to Wandering Aramean)

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