Tuesday, April 22, 2014

General Mills (Reluctantly) Gets Rid of Anti-Suing Arbitration Rule

You might have read my screed last week about how General Mills, the makers of such things as Cheerios and stuff under the Betty Crocker label, had a new terms of use clause.
Betty Crocker, or at least her parent company
General Mills, now says it won't force you
into an arbitration session if you deal with them,
them get injured by one of their products.  

It basically said if you interacted with them, like downloaded a coupon or something, you lost your right to sue them.

Instead, if, in the unlikely event something bad happened to you through a General Mills product, like, I don't know, cooties in the Cheerios, you'd have to go through an arbitration process.

I guess a lot of other people were annoyed with this, too, and it became a PR nightmare for General Mills. So they rescinded the arbitration deal, but insist we're losing out on a Really Great Deal.

General Mills said arbitration would have "streamlined" the process for consumers if there were a product problem.

But Consumerists says they're still pulling the wool over our eyes on that one. 

Here's what Consumerist says:

"Arbitration clauses force every individual consumer to give up his or her right ot a lawsuit into a process that is proven to be unbalanced in favor of the business with massive legal teams at their beck and call."

As General Mills notes, people can still participate in the arbitration, which the consumer could theoretically win, but the arbitration clause means most lawyers won't get involved on the consumer's sice because of the unbalance and because damages are severely limited.

A consumer might have a good case, but the cost of making that case would far outweigh any damages he or she might receive under the arbitration clause, according to Consumerist.

So, the bottom line is, the process would have been streamlined and improved for General Mills, not you and me.

The fact that General Mills retracted this boneheaded arbitration deal in the face of bad PR means every once in awhile, we can win against big companies that try to take fairness and balanced business dealings away from us.

Bunnies Do What Bunnies Do: Why You Shouldn't Trust Them On Live TV

Thank Gawd Easter is over!  
The newscast at WBIR in Knoxville goes off
the rails due to bunny sex. 

Now we don't have to fear the sight of bunny sex.

Television station WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee thought it would be cute to have bunnies on the news desk in the run up to Easter.

But, bunnies do what bunnies do, and things didn't go as planned.

And there was probably the inevitable little kid question somewhere in the Knoxville area asking, "Why are those bunnies fighting?"

Uh, they weren't fighting.

Here's the video of live TV gone awry:

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Now It Doesn't Hurt Anymore." Boston Marathon Win Has Me In Happy Tears

Although this just happened a little while ago as I write this, I'm sure everyone in the world knows that a guy named Meb Keflezighi has won the Boston Marathon.  
Meb Keflezighi winning the Boston Marathon today.  

He's the first American to do so since 1983.

There will be a lot of commentary about the symbolism of an American win a year after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Certainly a nice touch, to put it mildly.

And there will be a lot of commentary about the interesting juxtaposition of having an immigrant win the Boston marathon, a year after some ugly comments about immigrants, given the Boston Marathon bombers last year were immigrants.

In a post race interview, in which Keflezighi looks about as "exhausted" as if he'd just walked half a block instead of winning the marathon, he said, "You know what? I'm blessed to be an American."

I also love it that you can see briefly, in the background among the spectators right after Keflezighi's win, a man in a white cowboy hat near the finish line.

The white cowboy hat guy is Carlos Arredondo, who was in the iconic Boston Marathon bombing photo as he helped rush a greviously injured spectator, Jeffrey Baumann to medics, a move that saved Baumann's life. By the way, Arredondo is another immigrant, from Costa Rica.

As the Fox news story in the above link notes, Arredondo has become something of a comforter in chief for Boston. And now we have Keflezighi to add to the mix.

But I won't worry about the politics now. You'll see the video, below, all over the place over the next few days but I have to share it now, anyway. The announcers are besides themselves as Keflezighi comes in for the win.

And another side isuse. Keflezighi is 38 years old! How does such a "geriatric" guy win the Boston Marathon?

One of the announcers says near the end of the clip, "Now it doesn't hurt anymore."


Kid Gets Cast For Broken Leg In Best Possible Way.

At a military hospital near Fort Drum, New York, a little girl was treated for a broken foot, and doctors had to put a cast on it.
Army Staff Sgt Shareef Stokely awesomely
raps out instructions to Jayden Bennett on how to
take care of the cast on her broken foot.  

One doctor, Army Staff St. Shareef Stokely, had to give the kid instructions on how to take care of the cast. He wanted Jayden Bennett, 8, to remember the instructions.

Jayden's mother, Jessica Bennett took the video. "The medic was amazing, Bennett told NBC's Today show.

"He was actually singing some Disney tunes before he even started putting the cast on her just to make her feel more comfortable."

This is how he have instructions on how to take care of the cast.  Genius! Watch:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mexico Quake Creates Resort Style Wave Pool

That big 7.2 earthquake in Mexico last week caused some damage and scared the bejeezus out of a lot of people.
Part of a building collapses during last week's quake
in Mexico.  

It also created something of a resort style wave pool out of a standard issue swimming pool at one location in Mexico.

Too bad people were understandably terrified of the actual quake to enjoy the wave pool.

But it is a fascinating short video of what an earthquake can do.


Kids Save Their Own Lives By Being Totally Obnoxious To Criminals

Kids can sure be annoying.  
Willie Myrick, 9, and Hezekiah Walker. Willie
saved himself from a kidnapper by repeatedly singing
Walker's song "Every Praise." 

The noise, the yelling, the hitting, the running around. It can be just too much.

Too much for criminals, anyway.

Two stories are circulating this weekend of kidnapped children who saved their own skin by being blessedly obnoxious.

In one case, blessedly is the operative word here.

Earlier this month, Willie Myrick, 9, was outdoors in the Atlanta, Georgia area when a man snatched him, shoved him into his car and took off.

Willie kept singing the gospel song "Every Praise" until the kidnapper got fed up with all that singing and pushed the kid out of the car, according to WMAZ in Macon, Georgia.

Willie told his church congregation later that the man kept cursing and telling him to shut up before eventually kicking him out. "He opened the door and threw me out...He told me not to tell anyone."

Well, I guess Jesus does save when you praise him.  Willie wasn't hurt, but police are still looking for the kidnapper.

On the bright side, Willie, who as you can tell is a huge gospel fan, got to meet the guy who wrote the song "Every Praise" The songwriter, Hezekiah Walker, heard the story and showed up at the church to sing the song with Willie and the rest of the congregation.

Note: The is the first time I've heard "Every Praise," since I don't follow gospel music. Not a bad song, so thanks, Willie, for introducing it to me.

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, a car containing two twin boys, age 7 and their one year old sister was carjacked while one of their parents had run into the house to grab a baby bottle.

The twins kept punching the carjacker with their fists and a rubber snake until this kidnapper, too, had enough with obnoxious kids.    (Note: Turn the sound down before clicking on the link: The television station has one of those annoying autoplay ads that won't let you stop it)

Yep, all that horseplay does pay off. The kids were uninjured, says ABC news.

Frankly, given these stories, I think police departments should hire kids as an effective crime fighting tool. Feed 'em lots of sugar and let them go after the bad guys.

You bet the streets will be safe if that happens.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Korean Cell Phone Symphony To Musically Start Your Saturday

When a cell phone goes off, it can be annoying, especially if you're trying to concentrate.

The Korean cell phone "orchestra" 
If 30 of them go off, sometimes you get a nice musical interlude.

Such was the case recently, when somebody in Korea brought together 30 cell phones and four pages, programmed them in just the right way to offer a little bit of music.

The Korean telecommunications company SK Telecom put this together to celebrate 30 years of mobile electronics in the country.

Korea has probably the fastest Internet connections of any country on Earth.

You probably don't recognize the song, as it's a jingle from a previous SK Telecom ad

A strangely fascinating video to watch and listen to: