Wednesday, January 19

Month: January 2015

People Trust Congress Members Less than Car Salespeople, According to Gallup
Lifestyle

People Trust Congress Members Less than Car Salespeople, According to Gallup

We've all heard the stereotype of the sleazy car salesman who cons you into buying a junker for an exorbitant price. There's a lot of distrust when it comes to car salespeople, but as it turns out, people trust Congress members even less. In a new poll released by Gallup, members of Congress were listed as the least honest and ethical out of 11 different professions. Fully 61% of respondents listed Congress members as having low or very low honesty and ethical standards, 30% gave them an average rating, and only 7% rated them as having high or very high honesty and ethical standards. The numbers for car salespeople were more favorable. Only 45% of respondents answered that car salespeople had low or very low honesty and ethical standards, while 46% rated them as average. They only had a ...
Report Declares African Land Degradation a Top Priority
World

Report Declares African Land Degradation a Top Priority

A new report by the Montpellier Panel warns that if more is not done to aid Africa's ailing soils, the continent's current food insecurities will plunge into a vicious cycle for generations to come. The panel is made up of experts from the agricultural, ecological and trade industries from both Africa and Europe, whose recommendations include making land degradation a bigger priority for governments around the world. They noted that restoring and preserving the soil can greatly improve the economy, public health and the environment of the continent. The severe damage to the African landscape has caused less fertile soils, which in turn means fewer successful crops and greater amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Food scarcity is already a huge problem acros...
Centuries-Old Time Capsule Hidden in Foundation of Massachusetts State House Is Finally Opened
Lifestyle

Centuries-Old Time Capsule Hidden in Foundation of Massachusetts State House Is Finally Opened

When construction workers were called to the Massachusetts State House in Boston this past January to assess and fix a water leak in the building’s foundation, the very last thing they probably expected to find was a time capsule in the foundation cornerstone. But that’s exactly what they uncovered when they began working, and it wasn’t just any old time capsule planted a few years ago -- it was a box, dating back to 1795, likely buried by Sam Adams and Paul Revere. According to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, the box was probably placed in the building’s foundation during 1795, when Adams was serving as the Governor and had commissioned the State House to be renovated; Revere, being a renowned metalsmith and engraver during his time (in addition to his superior horse ri...
Family Conned by Craigslist Scam Finds Four Other Families Expecting to Move in to Their Home
Local

Family Conned by Craigslist Scam Finds Four Other Families Expecting to Move in to Their Home

When Spencer Skinner of Seymour, TN needed to find a new place for his family and for the foster dog program he heads, he naturally turned to Craigslist, as many people do these days. He found a four-bedroom home and paid the robust down payment, but a few days after moving in there was a knock on the door. The man standing there was the actual homeowner, not the person Skinner had dealt with via Craigslist. To make matters worse, four other families, who also fell for the scam, were pulling up, expecting to move in. "The homeowner, when he got there, was just as freaked out and stressed out as we were about it," said Skinner. According to a report from the Blount County Sheriff's Office, the con artist was a former tenant. Deputies say that she scammed people out of thousands. But she...
Why Experts Are Predicting an Acceleration in Commercial Real Estate in 2015
Business

Why Experts Are Predicting an Acceleration in Commercial Real Estate in 2015

If 2014 was the year that the commercial real estate market woke up from a long period of dormancy, then 2015 will be the year it rubbed its eyes, had its morning cup of coffee and started the day off with a buzz. That's at least how experts described the outlook for 2015 at a recent commercial brokerage forecasting event, according to a January 6 Las Vegas Review-Journal article. Across all sectors, from retail to industrial, commercial real estate will continue to make gains on the advances it made in 2014. This is especially true in the investment sector, which will see steady gains in land prices and rising confidence among property buyers. According to UrbanLand, a continued increase in the amount of investment capital entering the commercial real estate market can be expected throu...
Medical Device Tax Draws Ire
Business

Medical Device Tax Draws Ire

The Affordable Care Act has long been a divisive topic among politicians, with many feeling that the reform attempt best exemplifies a system of government that has become extremely partisan over the years. However, one element of the ACA's legislation has ironically become one of the few issues to unite both Democrats and Republicans: a medical device tax, enacted in January 2013, has drawn the ire of politicians and lobbyists on either side of aisle for over two years. Somehow, the controversy over the bill, which places a 2.3% levy on everything from IV bags to artificial hip joints, has continued unabated, with a number of proponents and opponents publishing their arguments in the first few days of 2015. This raises an important question: is the medical device tax hurting or helping t...
The Growing Reach of Solar Energy
Business

The Growing Reach of Solar Energy

2015 is expected to be the year of solar power, with lower costs and technology improvements bringing solar energy to new areas all over the country. As of 2014, 10 states have residential solar power available that costs the same or less than local electricity. Hawaii was not included in this count, as solar energy has been cost-competitive there for a long time. By 2017, that number is expected to jump to 28 states -- over half the nation! One of the keys to expanding the solar energy market is competitive pricing, and companies are striving to fulfill that goal. Solar energy makes up just 1% of electricity generation worldwide, so the market is wide open for new firms to enter. To compete with newcomers, existing firms are improving technology, and adding storage options and expanding...
Gluten-free Products Drive Sales For General Mills
Business

Gluten-free Products Drive Sales For General Mills

After poor performance in the first half of the fiscal year, General Mills has shifted its focus to three areas of the business in hopes of improving sales. The company's focus over the next six months will be on cereal, yogurt and healthy snacks. Altogether, the first half of the fiscal year brought a 3.5% decrease in sales for General Mills due to poor demand for its products, according to Food Business News. The company is hoping that through a combination of new products, improvements to its current products and strong marketing and advertising efforts they will be able to improve performance. Although General Mills's cereal brands have grown in the market over the last six years, the first half of the fiscal year did not reflect this trend and resulted in a decrease in retail sa...
How to Make Your Skin Glow in the New Year
Fashion

How to Make Your Skin Glow in the New Year

The new year is upon us and that means people have made their New Year's resolutions. For those who were less than happy with the way their skin looked for most of 2014, making skin care a priority in 2015 is an easy choice. While it's tempting to test out the various skin care fads that continually go in and out of style, no skin regimen, no matter how promising it sounds, can help if a person isn't taking care of their body. One of the best ways to do this is by sticking to a skin-healthy diet. “Skin reflects what’s going on in your body, so a well-balanced diet is essential,” says Linda Wang, Founder, Karuna Face Masks. “Avoid processed foods loaded with chemicals and sugar. They can spike insulin levels, which can lead to increased oil production, clogged pores and premature aging. D...
Winter is a Great Time to Buy and Sell Homes, According to Research
Business

Winter is a Great Time to Buy and Sell Homes, According to Research

With the holidays still in full swing, the last thing on most people's minds is shopping for a new home, much less selling one. Many people are deterred by cold weather and poor driving conditions, or distracted by holiday vacation plans. But according to data released this week by online realty brokerage firm Redfin, winter is when the housing market really comes alive. Redfin compiled home listing data, sales prices and time-on-the-market data from Oct. 2010 to Oct. 2014 and came up with some surprising results. Not only is winter the best time to sell a home for more than the asking price, it's also the best time to list a home and sell it fast. Redfin determined that homes listed in December, January, February and March have a higher chance at selling above the asking price than home...