Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Nov 16, 2012
November 16, 2012
Your tax dollars at work:
The U-S Postal service reported a $15.9-billion-dollar loss yesterday for 2011, a bit more than the $15-billion dollars of red ink that was originally projected. Mail volume was down another 5-percent, prompting more speculation that at least one day of mail delivery will eventually be eliminated.
But about $11-billion-dollars of that loss came from a retirement benefit payment due this year, which was not made.
So what happens next? Without action by Congress, the Post Office will be completely out of cash by next October 15th after it makes a required workers compensation payment to the U.S. Labor Department. (Pacelli)
The National Retail Federation's 2012 holiday consumer spending survey shows that 81 percent of shoppers will purchase at least one gift card and will spend an average of $157 on gift cards, the highest amount in the survey's 10-year history. (Kaye)
What do you get when you add caffeine to sugar and popcorn? A whole new snack!
ABC News reports that the food scientists at Frito Lay have created a whole new food category --Cracker Jacks with caffeine!
How do they do it? The brand-new Cracker Jack'D Power Bites will have coffee as part of the recipe, and come in two flavors, vanilla mocha and cocoa java.
As far as what kind of jolt you'll get from the snacks, the company estimates it'll be about the same as a 1-ounce shot of espresso or two 12-ounce colas --about 70 milligrams of caffeine in each two-ounce serving.
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
It's happening. 12-12-12, The Concert for Sandy Relief is all set to go at New York's Madison Square Garden on December 12th. Check out the lineup: JON BON JOVI, BILLY JOEL, ALICIA KEYS, PAUL McCARTNEY, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND, ROGER WATERS, KANYE WEST and THE WHO! Details on how to get tickets will be announced soon. All proceeds will benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund. It's also a safe bet that the concert will air on HBO or as a Pay-Per-View event. (Marino)
Taking everything much too seriously:
How many people can you fit into a Mini Cooper?
Orange.co.uk says 28 gym members in East Sussex, England, managed to squeeze into a single Mini Cooper. The group of women set a new Guinness World Record by using every inch of available space in the car, including the dashboard and the trunk. After breaking the first record, they all crammed into an even smaller, older model Mini Cooper. Only 24 people fit into the smaller car. But, they still beat the previous record of 23. (Still)
Computers, and other techno-geek-a-zoid crap:
If website searchers are any indication, the Kindle Fire HD will outsell the iPad mini by two to one this holiday season.
Coupon clearinghouse website CouponCodes4u.com looked at data from its website and found nearly twice as many searches for the words, "Kindle Fire HD" as they did for the term "iPad mini" over the last three weeks.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, this is hardly conclusive evidence, but it's something to consider as you start thinking about Black Friday shopping deals. (Page)
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