Monthly Archives: November 2017
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Know all those gorgeous family pictures you had taken? The ones you spent hours picking out the perfect combination of outfits for?
Yes, the ones still on your hard drive…..
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We really love canvases on our walls. They had such a personal, classy touch. Not to mention, they’re a GREAT gift for grandma/grandpa/dad/uncle/teacher…..uhhh….okay, anyone!
I think the only thing that would make this better is if you could get one for FREE.
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How Black Friday Sales Madness Came to the U.K.
Before 2010, Black Friday didn’t exist in Britain. Now, the yearly retail sales bonanza is almost as ubiquitous in the U.K. as it is in the United States, and its tremendous growth shows little sign of slowing down in 2017.
In fact, this Friday Brits are expected to spend £1.8m ($2.39m) per minute on Black Friday, an eight percent increase on last year. That’s a faster rate of growth than in the U.S. — in a country that doesn’t even celebrate Thanksgiving. How did it happen?
Naturally it was American companies that brought Black Friday across the Atlantic. Amazon was one of the first, beginning to offer discounts in 2010. Amazon’s “global footprint” was key to turning Black Friday into a reality outside the U.S., Paul Murphy, analytics director at the consumer insight firm Kantar, tells TIME. “This is being driven much more by those people than the high street retailers.”
But the high street had no choice but to keep up, and that’s what they did – at least initially. Electronics retailer Currys PC World began to offer discounts in 2012, followed by the supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s in 2013 and 2014. “Retailers are under continual pressure to keep their prices competitive,” says Murphy. “You have to play on such a key weekend.”
It was in 2013 that Black Friday truly entered the British consciousness. As prices in some stores were slashed by as much as eighty percent, hysteria broke out. Videos emerged from a London Asda of throngs of people clambering over each other, shouting and swearing, all to reach heavily discounted widescreen televisions during a U.S.-style “doorbuster” event.
Fights broke out, with police called to dozens of stores, the Telegraph reported at the time. A church leader lamented that the “ugly side of human nature” had been revealed. Shoppers compared the situation in supermarkets across the country to a “war zone.” (Americans, of course, are familiar with these kinds of frenzied scenes — in 2008, a Walmart worker was trampled to death by a crowd of shoppers).
In the wake of these events – but also because of the acute logistical strain caused by a massive influx of sales in a short period of time – some British shops scaled back. Asda didn’t run a Black Friday sale in 2015 or 2016, opting instead to run a number of smaller sales throughout the month of November. Amazon is now hosting 10 days of sales rather than packing everything into a single day.
Now, according to Kantar, 68% of people are choosing to do their Black Friday shopping online in the U.K., compared to just 26% in store – perhaps to be expected, given it is an ordinary working day for Brits.
So it’s unlikely fights will be breaking out in malls across the U.K. this year. Nevertheless, British consumers, burdened by inflation and a weak pound, are warming to the idea of sales occurring before rather than after Christmas. The holiday comes at a critical time of year, many people’s last payday before they do their Christmas shopping.
But whilst it might be good for consumers, pressure to engage with Black Friday might actually be hurting businesses in the long run. “Just winning at the weekend isn’t how retailing works,” says Murphy. “You need to win every day.”
Slicing the real estate pie 100,000 ways
Real estate is hot. But you know that. It’s been in all the newspapers. With so much talk about who is selling what to whom and where, it should come as no surprise more Texans are signing up to become real estate agents.
In May alone, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) issued 16,216 sales agent licenses, slightly more than the same month last year. That brought total Texas active sales agents to 101,382.
If you think that’s a lot of folks trying to get a share of the real estate pie, you’re right. But that’s only part of the picture. Texas also has 43,343 active real estate brokers. With an estimated state population of 27.9 million served by 144,725 real estate licensees, that means there is one real estate agent for every 193 Texans of all ages—renters and homeowners alike.
But, wait. If there are 16,000 new licensees being signed up each month, why aren’t they as thick as fire ants? That’s because 10 percent of the real estate agents make 90 percent of the money. Many new agents don’t make it past their first license renewal, which comes after two years.
The old adage that the three most important ingredients to the real estate pie are location, location, and location, also applies to where a licensee sets up shop.
WalletHub did a report on “2017’s best places to be a real estate agent.” Honolulu was ranked No. 1 based on “real estate market health” (home turnover rate, days on market, etc.) and “job opportunity and competition” (sales per agent, median home price, agent wages, etc.). Austin was the highest ranked Texas city at No. 10 (falling from No. 4 last year).
If you want to know how much real estate agents in each Texas city make, check out salary.com.
Teen Dies After Collapsing from Dehydration While Trying to Lose Weight Before Muay Thai Fight
This article originally appeared on People.com.
An 18-year-old Australian woman died while cutting weight for an amateur Muay Thai fight, according to multiple reports.
According to 9NEWS, just one day before the fight was scheduled to take place, Jessica Lindsay collapsed from severe dehydration while she was running. Sporting News reported that she died four days later in a Perth hospital.
Leading up to her collapse, Lindsay had been cutting weight so she would be eligible to compete in the amateur fight, which had a weigh-in at 64 kilograms (which is approximately 141 lbs), the 9NEWS report said.
While the Combat Sports Commission has said that weight-cutting is not covered in its legislation, they are “constantly reviewing processes and guidelines around contest health and safety,” according to Sporting News.
9NEWS reported Lindsay’s death will be investigated by the coroner.
A GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the teen — which is raising money to help pay for funereal costs — also claimed that there were similarities between Lindsay’s death and the death of Jordan Coe. According to The Telegraph, Coe was a professional Muay Thai fighter who died in March of a suspected heat stroke while cutting weight for a fight.
The fundraising page also stated that it hopes that the teen’s “legacy will make a change and stop this from happening to anyone else.”
2017 Holiday Gift Guides
We have worked around the clock to produce a SOLID set of gift guides just for you! We’ve polled our readers, vetted them out ourselves and found what the most popular gifts this year should be and are. Gifts that will actually be used, actually be played with, and fit a variety of budgets!
Do we have your favorites on the list?
You may also be interested in these posts:
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Thousands of Amazon Workers in Europe Go on Strike for Black Friday
Thousands of Amazon workers in six distribution centers throughout Germany, and one in Italy, have gone on strike during Black Friday in protest for better wages.
Around 500 workers are taking part in the one-day strike in Amazon’s main distribution hub in Italy. They have also decided to not do any overtime until Dec. 31, which is peak season for the online retailer.
Italian unions said in a statement, seen by Reuters, that workers were striking following a failure to negotiate bonuses with the company.
Amazon’s spokesperson at its Piacenza-area center told Italy’s Sky TG24 TV on Friday the facility was keeping “our commitment to serve our clients” despite the strike.
In Germany, some 2,500 workers have gone on strike in half a dozen Amazon facilities over better wages. The strike is expected to end on Saturday.
Ver.di union spokesman Thomas Voss told Associated Press that Amazon employees receive lower wages than other mail-order or retail jobs. Amazon in Germany defended its position saying it was a “responsible” boss. “The strikes will not affect us keeping our word to our customers, as the overwhelming majority of our workers are continuing their normal work,” Amazon told AP.
Texas beefing up for Chinese
In June, China accepted its first shipment of American beef in 14 years amid advancing trade discussions. An isolated case of mad cow disease in 2003 prompted American beef bans across the globe, shrinking industry exports by 93 percent (see figure). Beef exports did not fully recover until 2010 and have bounced around $360 million since 2013.
U.S. beef producers have long lobbied for renewed access to the massive Chinese market. Rising incomes and dietary shifts pushed China’s beef imports to $2.6 billion in 2016, making it the second largest beef importer (behind the U.S.). However, American beef faces stiff competition from Australia, where exports totaled $600 million to China in a 2016 China-Australia free trade deal.
In 2002 to 2003, China imported just $23 million of American beef, accounting for less than half of a percent of U.S. beef exports. China’s role was even smaller in Texas, accounting for less than one-fifth of a percent of beef exports at $1 million. Unsurprisingly, China’s American beef prohibition was unnoticeable, but bans in Japan and South Korea slashed Texas exports by $249 million in 2004.
Japan and South Korea slowly regained confidence in the American product, surpassing pre-crisis import levels from Texas in 2014 at $296 million combined. While other nations followed suit, the Chinese ban held fast despite growing domestic demand. American beef still found its way into the country through Hong Kong, but quantities were limited.
In 2016, Texas exported half its beef to Asia; renewed access to China opens another vast market in the region. Increased cargo quantities benefit Texas producers by stimulating economies of scale, thereby driving down average transportation costs—a vital component in transcontinental trade.
The Cool Old-School Workout Machine Alison Brie Uses to Shape Up
If you look up the definition of “badass” in the dictionary, we’re pretty sure you’ll find a picture of Alison Brie, the star of GLOW, Netflix’s hit comedy series about a women’s pro-wrestling circuit in the 1980s. Not only because Brie gets raw in the ring on the show (think body slams, flips, and headlocks), but because the 34-year-old’s daily workout moves are kind of killer. Seriously. Scroll through her Instagram feed and you’ll find her knocking out weighted pull-ups, pulling sleds loaded with three times her body weight, and muscling through split squats while casually toting 80 pounds. NBD. That’s why we often look to Brie for fitspo—and the actress never disappoints.
In fact, she recently shared a video on her Stories in which she’s using Rogue Monster Lever Arms, which is an updated version of Jammer Arms—an old-school strength and conditioning machine commonly used in professional and collegiate football training programs. Brie’s caption: “fun new toy today.”
What makes it so great? “This machine grounds you while developing both lower- and upper-body explosiveness and strength,” explains health coach and performance specialist Faheem Mujahid, owner of HumanWorks, a private training studio in in Miami. Plus, the arms move independently of each other, which is a great way to work on muscle imbalances. You can perform both pushing and pulling movements; and it works multiple joints and muscles at a time. Check out the demo video below to see all the Rogue Monster Lever Arms can do:
RELATED: This Cardio Machine Works Your Entire Body (and Will Do Wonders for Your Butt)
So what was Brie doing with that hunk of metal in her video? We’d guess it was some variation of a squat to overhead press. (FYI: Brie notes in the video that this was her first time using this piece of equipment, which we take to mean that her form, or the move, may not have been at 100% yet.)
No access to Jammer Arms? Look to a cable machine instead, which offers less stabilization support, but allows a similar range of motion depending on the exercise. If you are a skilled lifter, you can also try this movement with a barbell, which would require more use of stabilization, notes Mujahid. “Barbell weight is static throughout each point within the range of motion as compared to the lever and cables, where the level of resistance varies depending on where the individual is within the range of motion,” he says. (You could also try a variation with with dumbbells. Check out how to do that move here.)
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Wondering how this might help Brie nail her wrestling moves as her alter ego “Zoya the Destroyer”? “As a wrestler, it is important to develop a strong center of gravity, as well as an efficient productivity force/output between both the lower and upper extremities due to the fact that most of the required muscles and/or positions used for the sport demand a high level of production from a transfer of force from a lower position to a higher position,” explains Mujahid. In other words, our money is on Brie claiming the championship belt when season two of Glow premieres sometimes in 2018.