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Current Event Cat of the Day: Bitcoin Tanks

Current Event Cat - Bitcoin Sinks

Bitcoin holders everywhere are scrambling to find their local suicide hotline number – and not just because the Christmas season is here and they are alone yet again, but because the price of Bitcoin has tanked.

The price of Bitcoin has plummeted by 50 percent since late November after China ordered third-party payment agencies to stop any “custody, trading and other services” related to the virtual currency.

The Chinese crackdown on domestic Bitcoin trading sent the price of the virtual currency on a downwards spiral. But don’t say the Chinese didn’t warn you: the Chinese central bank cautioned bitcoiners earlier this month that Bitcoins don’t have any legal status or monetary equivalent and shouldn’t be used as currency. The Chinese were very worried that the cyber currency, which is created, distributed and authenticated independently of any bank or government, could pose a viable alternative to China’s tightly controlled yuan.

And so the biggest Bitcoin exchange in China announced on Wednesday, just two weeks after China’s central bank said the country’s banks and payments systems were barred from handling the virtual currency, that “due to the reasons that everyone knows, BTC China has to temporarily stop its yuan account recharging functions.”

For those bitcoiners who lost out, just remember that the first rule of investment is to never invest money you can’t afford to lose. And the second rule of investment is to steer clear of Bitcoin no matter what those sneaky Winklevoss twins tell you.


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Current Event Cat of the Day: Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen

Amidst the chaos of the government shutdown and the looming debt-ceiling deadline, Obama announced Janet Yellen as his pick to head the Federal Reserve.

Did Janet Yellen get nominated because Obama hopes she’ll be yellen at Republicans to stop holding the country hostage? No. Instead, Janet Yellen was chosen to replace Ben Bernanke as the head the US Central Bank because of her skills and experience. Yellen has been Bernanke’s deputy for the last two years so the transition should be fairly seamless.

The chairman of the US Senate Banking Committee, Tim Johnson, said she had “a depth of experience that is second to none.”

“I have no doubt she will be an excellent Federal Reserve chairman,” he added.

Say what you will about Ben Bernanke, but the man knows when to aboandon ship. Janet Yellen will be walking into a disaster if the US government doesn’t get their debt ceiling issues worked out.

Once the Senate approves her (they only need six Republican votes so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle) she will become the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve. And the first Democrat to lead the Fed since Paul A. Volcker stepped down in 1987!

Funny how the first black president and the first female Fed chair (both Democrats) will be left to deal with a potentially huge financial catastrophe almost entirely concocted by Republicans who are unwilling to share any of the blame. Maybe those Republicans aren’t so dumb after all…. maybe it was a set up all along…

Via: The Washington Post & Current Event Cats

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Chinese Invent Hairy Stockings to Deflect Perverts

Hairy Stockings

Perverts are a problem. The Indians dealt with it by creating an anti-rape bra that emits powerful shocks when touched and alerts the police. The Chinese have gone a simpler route by inventing hairy stockings.

A user Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, uploaded a photo of hairy stockings designed to look like hairy man legs. The caption read: “Super sexy, summertime anti-pervert full-leg-of-hair stockings, essential for young girls going out.” Super sexy indeed – especially in the summertime. The furry stockings are guaranteed to deflect any unwanted attention! Or guaranteed to have everyone stare at you and possibly get accosted by a French guy.

Surprisingly, the bushy legwear isn’t for everyone. The hairy stockings are receiving a mixed reaction from Sina Weibo users:

“Damn, so disgusting!!!’ commented one user.

Essential for the subway?’ said another.

“If it has come to this, why not just wear pants?”

And most importantly:

‘This will not only prevent against perverts, it’ll definitely also result in preventing handsome guys from approaching you.’

Note: handsome guys CANNOT be perverts. It’s a fact.

It’s unclear whether the inventor of the stockings is making them available for purchase, but they’ve definitely attracted a lot of attention. But is it unwanted attention?

Via: Metro

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Booz Allen

Current Event Cat - Booz Allen

The firm Booz Allen Hamilton has fired Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old contractor who exposed the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet monitoring program. You would have thought he formally quit when he leaked top-secret documents and fled to Hong Kong, but no, he did not.

Booz Allen released a statement on Monday confirming that Snowden was, in fact, an employee of the firm stationed in Hawaii but for fewer than three months. Other items Booz Allen revealed? His salary and the fact that he was fired:

“Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013, for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy,” the company said in a statement. “We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.”

Booz Allen was reportedly “shocked” by the reports that one of its employees was the leaker of the NSA’s telephone and internet data collection program. And they’re probably pretty pissed too considering the firm gets 99% of its revenue from a variety of government contracts. Booz Allen is supposed to provide cyber security services and technical support for intelligence and defense agencies as well as civilian branches of government. Needless to say, shares of Booz Allen have been declining. I guess Snowden won’t be winning employee of the month any time soon.

Via: Current Event Cats & CNN

TGI Fridays: Accused of Faking Premium Alcohol

TGI Fridays

In case you didn’t have one, here’s another reason not to go to TGI Fridays: 13 New Jersey TGI Fridays have been using cheap booze in place of premium brands.

The investigation, known as “Operation Swill”, found that 29 bars and restaurants in the New Jersey area have been filling up their premium liquor bottles with the cheap stuff and passing it off to customers at the higher premium price. Authorities said the bars and restaurants were trying to “fool the customer and increase their profits.” 13 of those restaurants were TGI Fridays.  Not sure who orders top-shelf booze at TGI Fridays… Probably the same people who shop for fine wine at Walmart?

Officials said more than 100 state investigators worked on the probe. The year long investigation began as a result of complaints, and involved confidential informants and undercover detectives who used new technology to covertly test liquor samples taken from establishments. A year long investigation that involved over 100 investigators? I guess the detectives must have figured out this was a great way to get free drinks and decided to prolong the investigation. Or they kept getting drunk off cheap booze and contaminating the samples.

TGI Fridays said in a statement that it “was just made aware of this issue and is working closely with the franchisee and owner of the cited locations to review and investigate these serious allegations.”

“We have one of the most extensive bar and beverage programs in the industry, which sets a very high standard in the quality and service of our beverages,” the company added.

As of now, no TGI Fridays raids are scheduled for passing off low grade food products as restaurant quality food.

Via: The Washington Post

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Joe Fresh in Damage Control Mode… And Other News

Joe Fresh in Bangladesh

Damage control: Activate! Joe Fresh Style!

Loblaws, the company that owns the Joe Fresh clothing line, said that it will provide compensation for the families of victims who worked at the Bangladesh factory that collapsed last week. The incident left 380 people dead and hundreds missing. After Joe Fresh labels were found amid the rubble, it was revealed that the clothing line was produced in the factory. No wonder Joe Fresh sandals are only $4…. The garment workers in the factory reportedly get paid about $38 a month. That’s almost 10 pairs of Joe Fresh shoes! CBC News

henry gribbohm lost his savingsMeet someone who’s dumber than a carnie: New Hampshire idiot, Henry Gribbohm, decided it was a good idea to spend $300 of his $2,600 life savings attempting to win an Xbox Kinect for his kids in a game of “Tubs of Fun” at a local carnival. Not ready to admit defeat after losing the first time, Gribbohm went home, got the rest of his savings and continued playing until his bank account was completely empty. He did manage to get a consolation prize: a giant stuffed banana with dreadlocks. Gribbohm told local reporters. “I was going to get an Xbox Kinect…They lied to me.” Umm… this is the type of guy carnie games were made for (i.e the mentally retarded). CBS Local News

Ladies Night! With Guns!Shooting ranges are now taking cues from trashy bars by introducing Ladies Night! Women-only gun groups are popping up around the country (well, mostly around the south…) with the aim to “to teach a lady how to handle a gun safely.” With fun names such as Shooting Divas, Gun Powder Gals, and Pistol Packing Ladies, these groups want to show the world that guns and femininity go together like… carnie games and idiots? Anyways, it sounds like a great place to pick up women! On second thought, using cheesy pick up lines on women holding guns might not be the smartest decision. That won’t stop Henry Gribbohm from partaking though! Raw Story

Colbert Busch Went ThereOh no she didn’t – oh yes she did! Elizabeth Colbert Busch “went there” in her debate with Mark Sanford on Monday night. “When we talk about fiscal spending and we talk about protecting the taxpayer, it doesn’t mean you take that money we save and leave the country for a personal purpose,” said Colbert-Busch, in a direct attack on Sanford’s 2009 Argentinian trip with his mistress aka his hike on the Appalachian trails. Mark Sanford did what any cheating husband would do and pretended he didn’t hear her. But the moderator wasn’t having any of that, saying, “She went there, Governor Sanford.” The two are in a closely watched race for a South Carolina House seat. The Daily Beast

Whites Need Not ApplyNo ‘whites’ need apply. A casting call to hire a new CBC host that was looking for someone who was “any race except Caucasian”, has been withdrawn amid complaints. The Craiglist ad for the children’s show, Patty and Mamma Yamma, read: “Please only submit [an audition tape] if you match the following criteria: Male between the ages of 23-35 years; Any race except Caucasian.” The hiring agency has seen apologized for the “mistake”, saying the misinterpreted the request for a cast with diversity. First, what kind of casting agency posts host positions for children’s shows on Craigslist?  Second, if they were looking for someone to host a show about a yam puppet who runs a fruit and vegetable stand in Toronto’s Kensington Market, they should have just said “Asians only”. Problem solved. National Post

Syria Crosses the LineNot even new explosions in Syria and accusations of chemical weapons will be enough to get Obama involved. As deadly bombings hit central Damascus on Tuesday, killing 13 people, Obama told reporters in a White House news conference that he still wasn’t ready to get involved. Despite CIA evidence that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, Syria still hasn’t crossed the magic red line into Iraq 2.0 territory. Obama needs more evidence: “What we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them,” he said. New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Spain’s Unemployment Rate

Current Event Cat - Spanish Unemployment Rate

Spain’s unemployment rate has hit an all time high of 27.2% of the workforce. That’s 6 million Spaniards!

Actually, that’s over 6 million Spaniards. On the bright side though, the rate of increase of the unemployment rate has slowed down since the recession began. That’s something, I guess.

Some people aren’t so optimistic though:

“These figures are worse than expected and highlight the serious situation of the Spanish economy as well as the shocking decoupling between the real and the financial economy,” strategist at Citi in Madrid Jose Luis Martinez said.

Spain’s economy – the fourth largest in Europe – has had a rough go since the recession hit. The collapse of a property boom combined with billions of euros in state spending cuts and tax hikes have left the population feeling not so great about their economy.

Rajoy to the rescue! Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is set to unveil a new reform plan on Friday aimed at combating the recession. However, the news of a new plan won’t stop thousands of demonstrators from taking to the streets of Madrid on Thursday in protest of Spain’s austerity measures.

Via: Current Event Cats

You Now Need a Bachelor’s Degree to Work at McDonald’s

McDonald's Bachelor's Degree

Flipping burgers now requires a higher education.

A McDonald’s franchise in Winchendon, Massachusetts posted a job listing this week for a cashier with one to two years of experience and a bachelor’s degree. The ad calls for:

“Friendly people wanted to smile while serving lots of guests daily”

“Get a weekly paycheck with a side order of food, folks and fun.

Sounds tempting. The salary for the cashier position isn’t revealed, but if the $10 an hour management position is any indication, it’s probably pretty low… Too low to pay off the student loans.  $10 an hour would put a full-time worker at an average income of just over $20,000 a year.

But don’t get too discourage grads: the posting also promises “flexible hours,” “affordable health, vision and dental insurance” and even “free uniforms.” Not bad deal in an economy with 11.5% youth unemployment. Perhaps they will attract some college graduates.

But what happens if your employees start to get a little too educated? Strikes!!

New York City workers at more than 70 fast food chain restaurants (including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and KFC) are expected to walk off the job today in protest of low wages. In addition to receiving minimum wage salaries, many workers are part time and receive no benefits.The employees are seeking to nearly double their hourly pay to $15 an hour. Also on their list of demands: the right to form a union without intimidation of retaliation.

New York’s minimum wage is currently at $7.25 but is expected to rise to $9 by the end of 2015.

That $10 an hour management position doesn’t look so bad now…

Via: The Daily News

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Current Event Cat of the Day

Current Event Cat - Euro Zone

Current Event Cat of the Day:

The rate of unemployment in the Euro Zone hit a record high of 12% in January and February, official Eurostat figures have shown. The dismal unemployment numbers provide confirmation that the economy remains in a deep freeze.

The number of people unemployed in the 17 member states rose by 33,000 during the month of February, to hit 19.07 million, the statistics agency Eurostat said.

Who’s doing the worst? The highest rate was 26.4% in Greece, followed closely behind by Spain at 26.3%.

And who’s picking up the slack? The lowest rates recorded were in Austria at 4.8% and Germany at 5.4%.

Via: Current Event Cats

Yahoo Buys 17-Year-Old’s Startup for $30M

Yahoo Teen

British whiz kid Nick D’Aloisio has reportedly sold his news app Summly to Yahoo for $30 million, leaving everyone else wondering what they’re doing with their lives.

The idea for the app, which essentially condenses content on a smartphone, came to the teen when he was 15 and studying for exams. He went on to crate a prototype of the app and attracted a slew of celebrity investors including Ashton Kutcher and Yoko Ono. Random.

“If you have a good idea, or you think there’s a gap in the market, just go out and launch it, because there are investors across the world right now looking for companies to invest in,” he said.

I guess there’s not a gap in the market for Current Event Cats. Otherwise I’d be an Internet billionaire.

D’Aloisio will reportedly work from Yahoo’s London office so he can still finish his exams. He will also be the company’s youngest employee. I would hope so.

Which part of this article puts me most to shame?

  • a)   The fact that he’s is younger than Yahoo, which was incorporated in 1995.
  • b)   The fact that he effortlessly created a million dollar product while studying for a history exam
  • c)   The fact that he looks like a techie version of Justin Beiber
  • d)   All of the above

The answer, of course, is all of the above!

Via: The Washington Post

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