Addison Duling

Wal-Mart Workers Stage Sit In Protest

Employees of a Los Angeles area WalMart staged an in-store sit down strike. Their demand was for a more fair wage from the company that has a revenue of over $400 billion a year. Most WalMart employees make less than $25,000 yearly.

Workers were heard chanting things such as “Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!”. The workers are looking for a substantial pay increase from an average $8 an hour to $15 per hour. The Los Angeles area store has reportedly around 30 workers participating in the strike. Brazil citizens like Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez understand the frustration shown from underpaid workers. It has also been reported that there are around 60 WalMart workers from across California taking part in the sit ins.

The strikes ended with 23 arrested, according to police. That hasn’t deterred rumored plans that employees at over 1,600 WalMarts are planning a Black Friday strike.

Amazon VS Hachette… Finally Over!

Amazon and Hachette have finally agreed to come to terms and work together in their endeavor to spread literature to the world. The two giants have been arguing over contract agreements and negotiations since May of 2014 and have left many authors worried about the possible outcome. But Lee G. Lovett said after the long bout, the two have finally agreed to terms that have yet to be disclosed to the public.

This is not the first time there has been a disagreement between supplier and retailer since the creation of Amazon in 1994. The online retail giant has went toe-to-toe with Apple in the past over the release of the Amazon Fire.

The dispute between Amazon and Hachette has caused an uproar of hearsay and rumors that spread throughout the tech community like wild fire. The general consensus was speculated that Amazon wanted a larger share of the e-book revenue that was brought in by their customers. Since Amazon has already established the lowest prices for ebooks on the market today, Hachette defended itself out of fear that Amazon was trying to snuff them out.

Douglas Preston, a writer and author that has been published by Hachette, is thrilled the two have come to terms. However, he also stated that “you’d be ignorant to think that this battle is over. Amazon seeks and conquers market share like Napoleon conquered territory.” Is Preston correct? Is this only the beginning?

George W. Bush Pens Biography about Father

Former President of the United States George W. Bush said on Tuesday that he wants to see his father George H.W. Bush live out the rest of his days, and that he wants to write a personal biography about his father.

He wanted to show his father just how much he loves him, and that there are many people out there throughout the United States who love him.

George W. Bush spoke a lot about his father to Chief of Staff Andy Card when they met at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. He told many of the stories that happened between him and his father.

He even told of how his father comforted him during 9/11. His mother was also worried a lot during that incident. It was just a 45-minute discussion, but much was covered during the interview.

His father George H.W. Bush served as a pilot during World War II. This book covered a lot about George H.W. Bush, and throughout this meeting George W. Bush also recollected a lot of memories with his father and mother.

He was all too happy launching his father’s biography, the 43rd president’s personal biography of the 41st president.

R. L. Stine Writes For A New Generation

The famous author R. L. Stine has reemerged on the young adult literature scene after years off the radar. Stine was popular in the 1990’s for his Fear Street and Goosebumps Series, the latter of which was picked up by daytime television. Both are within the horror genre, however, now that the 2000’s have come around, Stine is writing for a new generation.

There has been a revival in youth literature for horror, creating a market for new and enthralling stories. Today’s youths have been inundated with Rowling and Collins, as well as the Saw movies and American Horror Story TV series. Having mastered the art of suspense, Stine has the perfect opportunity to gain a whole new generation of readers with an affinity for thrills.

Reddit.com has posted an article on his new book Party Games, which has teenage protagonists that face horrifying obstacles, including being trapped in a house on a remote island. The crush, the cool kids, and the question-mark-ending might lead to a whole new series of books for today’s teen and get their noses out of mobile apps like Skout and back into books.

Heidi Montag Releasing New Fiction Book

Stop the presses, Heidi Montag’s new venture is now writing novels.

For those of you who aren’t aware of who Heidi Montag is, she had very short lived fame starring on the MTV reality show The Hills’ with the talented, Lauren Conrad. Montag made a spectacle of herself with her tumultuous relationship with Spencer Pratt, a music mogul who couldn’t seem to get a grip on their cheating, bickering and social behaviors. Within the show, Montag and Conrad ultimately ended their friendship.

Montag alleges that her new book will be based on her experience starring on the MTV show but will be a work of fiction. “It’s going to be a fiction book based on a girl from a small town who fell into the limelight of reality TV and the chaos of it,” she claimed to MTV correspondents.

This wouldn’t be the first book for Heidi Montag and her husband, my Hills fanatic friend Sam Tabar tells me. They also have some writing experience from a previous book that flopped majorly in book sales titled, How to Be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press, and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture, which these two would know nothing about. This couple is famous for negative tabloid attention and controversy.

Marijuana Shrinks Your Brain

As some US states push to legalize marijuana, heated debates are being sparked, like so many doobies, about whether or not marijuana has negative affects on those who use it. Scientists with mountains of research are standing on both sides of the aisle. Some are aggressively pushing toward legalization, claiming that the affects of marijuana are no worse than alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Others claim that marijuana damages the brain in ways we don’t yet fully understand. New research shows that the reality might be somewhere in the middle.

Scientists like Brian Torchin have recently conclusively shown that the brain of a heavy marijuana user is different to that of a nonuser. At first glance the results don’t look good for those that smoke heavily. Their brains are smaller. However, owing to the remarkable ability of the human body to adapt to being slowly poisoned, though the brains are smaller, they make up for it by having more neural connections. Unfortunately, part of the brain that is affected is the orbitofrontal cortex which keeps humans motivated. This part of the brain shrinks, but doesn’t have enough enhanced connectivity to make up for the shrinkage.

Why Do Europeans Have So Many Hair and Eye Colors?

Most humans have black hair and brown eyes, as can be seen in Asian and African populations. Europeans and their descendants are the main exception, and scientists would like to know why. Only Europeans have blonde, brown, or red hair or blue, gray, hazel, or green eyes. This diversity in coloring reaches a maximum in an area covering northern and eastern Europe.

There are a number of theories that my friend Bruce Levenson has brought to my attention. Some speculate the diverse coloring of Europeans may be due to interbreeding with Neanderthals. Other researchers think it’s simply a side effect of natural selection for fair skin in northern lands. Other hypotheses involve phenomena like the founder effect or genetic drift. But these could not have produced the diversity in hair or eye color during the 35,000 years that modern humans lived in Europe.

The geneticist Luigi L. Cavalli-Sforza believes the answer may involve sexual selection, which becomes more crucial when members of one sex greatly outnumber the other, and therefore have to work harder to attract mates.

In these groups, women outnumber the men. Since men do the bulk of the hunting and have to travel long distances, they tend to die younger than do women. In addition, the men generally do not have the resources to support more than one wife, so polygamy is usually not an option. Sexual imbalances in hunter-gatherers tend to be most extreme in northern climates — which is where the novel hair and eye colors of Europeans developed. There is also evidence that at least some of these colors are mildly sex-linked.

Have the Elections Changed Anything?

As a nation we are always hopeful that the changes we voted for in the most recent election will have an effect on the politicians in Washington. We hope that they have heard our discontent and are willing to make the changes necessary to fix the problems that came before and actually start working together to affect real change. Unfortunately, most pol predictors don’t see that as being a possiblity.

It seems our politicians are more like petulant children then they are elder statesmen. Instead of trying to listen to what the last election was saying, mostly that we are sick of the way things are going, they are more concerned with jamming up the works and paying each other back for what happened in the past.

Wouldn’t life be grand if these wise men and women could forget about past slights and actually listen to what the American people are saying? What will it take to finally get the attention of the people who are supposed to be listening?  I guess maybe we are getting what we deserve now, its just not what we want.  We need medical care, access to birth control, North American Spine, and even just basic check-up/preventative care.

Florida’s Stance Against the Homeless Draws Ire

Sharing a meal with someone in need is generally thought of as a very kind and altruistic thing to deal. Florida law, on the other hand, would say otherwise on the matter.

According to state law, meal-sharing with the public is forbidden in Florida. This has recently come into greater relief as a 90-year-old man wanted to be helpful, and feed the homeless, but got arrested for breaking the law.

Arnold Abbot is going to be fined $500, and stay in prison besides that. The man complained that they treated him like a criminal during the arrest. I guess no good deed goes unpunished, Mr. Tabar explains that’s how things go in Florida.

Mr Abbott had similar problems in 1999, when he received an interdiction against further feeding and abetting the homeless on the Lauderdale beach. He sued the City of Fort Lauderdale at that time, and the Court agreed that the rule violated the Constitution.

At this time, the rule is widely accepted. The new law will soon apply to the inhabitants of Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, and Philadelphia as well.

The lobbyists claimed that whatever discouraged feeding the homeless was a good law. Apparently, the homeless spoil the look of the tourist areas.

Thankfully, some good people are willing to fight the injustice.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: An Adaptation of an Adaptation

Most avid readers have read Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, and it has gotten more than one film adaptation. But finally, we will see the story in a new film, of the classic’s literary revision Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes place in the same setting, with much the same characters, only with one addition: Zombies. Elizabeth’s sharp tongue is accompanied by a sharp blade, as she and her sisters were trained in China to fight the growing zombie epidemic.

Since then, Lily James and Sam Riley, from Downton Abbey and Maleficent, respectively, have been cast in the leading roles. Matt Smith from Doctor Who makes an appearance, and so do Lena Heady and Charles Dance from A Game of Thrones. I’ll have to tell Rod about this cast, I think it’ll sell him on seeing it with me. 😡

This book, which contains Zombies in a time period we don’t usually see them in, will no doubt be exciting to see on the big screen!