Good morning. You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘dressed to kill,’ but what about dressing for life? A University of Southern California assistant professor has designed the world’s first wearable farm, a self-sustaining vest or cloak that can grow up to 22 different crops using fertilizer from insects and the wearer’s own human waste.
Tomorrow’s newsletter will feature the DONUT’s top Odd Stories since our June 2019 launch – stay tuned for a special Decade in Review edition Wednesday.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.”
― Robert Frost
California’s New Year’s Resolutions
On Jan. 1st, two landmark pieces of legislation are set to become law in California. Both the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – passed in June 2018 – and California Assembly Bill No. 5 (AB 5) will take effect with the new year, paving the way for radical changes in the ways companies do business within the state.
California Consumer Privacy Act:
The CCPA applies to all businesses in the state that meet at least one of three conditions, which includes a gross annual revenue over $25 million.
The law greatly expands the definition of personally identifying information, and gives consumers the right to refuse to let companies sell any data that falls under the new terms – it also prohibits companies from selling the data of children younger than 16 without consent.
Assembly Bill 5:
California AB 5 lays out a stricter set of requirements for companies regarding the classification of employees as independent contractors.
Independent contractors lack labor protections such as minimum wage laws, sick leave, and unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits given to full employees.
Where do we go from here? A standardized regulatory impact assessment (SRIA) of the CCPA by Berkeley Economic Advising and Research estimated the total compliance cost of the data privacy law to be approximately $55 billion, working under the assumption that 75 percent of California businesses would be affected by the bill. Three corporate opponents of AB 5 – Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash – have pledged $30 million each towards a ballot initiative that essentially exempts the companies from AB 5’s requirements in return for wage concessions for drivers.
So… what are people saying?
California’s new privacy law is an opportunity, not a chore
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
Russia, China & Iran
On Friday, China, Russia, and Iran began joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman that are scheduled to end today. Separately, Russia’s Defence Minister confirmed that the country’s first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles has been put into service.
According to a database compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University, the U.S. suffered 41 mass killings – defined as four or more people (excluding the perpetrator) being killed in an incident – in 2019, more than any other year on record. The 41 incidents resulted in 211 deaths, a toll only eclipsed by the 224 people who died in mass killings in 2017.
The U.S. military carried out airstrikes on five locations belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah (KH) militia group in Iraq and Syria yesterday. Chief Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman released a statement saying the strikes were in response to a KH missile strike that resulted in the death of a U.S. contractor and injured six others.
A Spotify spokesperson announced the company plans to suspend political ads on their platform starting in 2020, citing lack of a proper vetting process as the reason for the ban. Consulting firm Borrell Associates estimates that digital political-ad spending will reach $2.9 billion in 2020, more than doubling the $1.4 billion spent in 2016.
There were 5,250 workplace deaths in 2018, according to new data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news release also included a top ten list of the most dangerous jobs in America – logging workers ranked no. 1 with a fatal accident rate 28 times higher than the national average.
Both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closed trading on Friday at record highs, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.1% below its record high set on Thursday. The S&P 500 is just 0.6 percent away from posting its best year since 1997 which saw an annual gain of 29.6 percent.
They say it’s better to give than to receive – that’s exactly what 8-year-old Landyn Wadsworth discovered three years ago when she met some new friends who needed her help. Landyn had been searching for a canine companion with her mother at a local animal shelter in 2016, when she was saddened to discover just how many animals are without families during the holiday season.
The sadness encouraged Landyn to begin to raise money for treats and food for animals in shelters, a routine she’s kept up every year during the holidays. Instead of asking for gifts for herself, Landyn asks for money and uses it to buy Christmas gifts for the animals.
This year, Landyn raised enough money to buy 600 lbs. of pet food to keep her furry friends well-fed and happy – her mother Alisha says she’s already started collecting funds for her next donation. Landyn’s love for animals and her generosity each year reminds us that the greatest holiday tradition is the gift of giving.
Any dog owner will tell you that their beloved companion is a member of the family. That’s why one single mother in Montana was brokenhearted when her pitbull, Zeus, was stolen this past October.
Thankfully, Zeus was wearing a microchip, and was tracked down 2,000 miles away from his home and brought to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association in Charleston, West Virginia. But getting Zeus home wasn’t going to be so easy – he is too big to fly, and his owner wasn’t able to take time off of work to make the long drive.
That’s where the Many Paws Volunteer Transport came in, orchestrating a chain of 15 different drivers who transported Zeus across nine states in four days, while others helped pay for motel rooms and meals for the selfless volunteers. There’s nothing as heartwarming as getting to be with loved ones this time of year, and thanks to the support of many kind strangers, Zeus was able to enjoy the ultimate Christmas gift.
If you’re reading this, you probably care a lot about the state of politics in our country; but how do you get more involved without breaking the bank? Change4Change is making it easier than ever to contribute to your favorite progressive candidates using just your spare change!
After downloading the app and creating an account, just securely link your bank and Change4Change will round-up each transaction to the next whole dollar, donating your spare change to the candidate or candidates you choose — it’s never been easier to be the change you want to see in the world.
The best part? You can make a real difference while just living your everyday life. We love it and think you will too – download the Change4Change app today and get to changing things for the better.
Hot In Herre… Food Standards Australia New Zealand has issued a recall of their popular Sriracha Hot Chili sauce over fears that a buildup of lactic acid could cause the bottles to splatter all over the user when opened.
And then there were two… the College Football Playoff Semifinals took place Saturday night, with No. 1 LSU beating No. 4 Oklahoma 63-28 and No. 3 Clemson defeating No. 2 Ohio State 29-23 – the title game will take place on Jan. 13.
Energy Drink… researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have created a specialized ‘liquid sunlight’ that can absorb solar energy and retain it for up to 18 years (video).
News Flash… a team of Canadian scientists and engineers are collaborating on a project, dubbed Flash Forest, that aims to use customized drones to plant a billion trees by 2028.
Ticket to Ride
According to an Insurify study of over 1.6 million U.S. insurance applicants, which of the following vehicles has the most speeding tickets per driver?
A) Jeep Wrangler B) Dodge Dart C) Ram 2500 D) Subaru WRX