Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Oct 15, 2014
October 15, 2014
The bigger the better:
The largest pumpkin in North America has just been weighed in California.
Grower JOHN HAWKLEY from Napa brought his giant pumpkin to the annual Half Moon Bay pumpkin weigh-off. Turns out his big orange squash weighs 2,058-pounds, which earned Hawkley a prize of over $13-thousand dollars. Hawkley revealed the secret to his growing method, he said, "I just kept the water constant. I didn't overfeed it. I took what I got." Other pumpkin growers faced challenges this year because of the devastating California drought. (Still)
Health and Medical Briefs:
Sports drinks have been linked to dental problems in athletes. A new study says those dental problems can be so bad, it affects athletes' performances. Nearly one-fifth of athletes at the London 2012 Olympics reported toothaches or bleeding gums that could have cost them a place on the podium. Eighteen percent of the athletes in the study said they had dental problems that negatively affected their ability to perform. About 46 percent said they had not seen a dentist in the past year.
WebMD.com says many elite athletes eat high-carbohydrate diets and consume sugary, acidic energy drinks, which may contribute tooth decay and erosion. Intense training also can lead to dehydration. That can reduce saliva production, which helps protect teeth from decay. (Bartha)
It's not even Halloween and already stores are announcing when they're going to begin the Christmas shopping season.
Yesterday, Macy's said it will open its doors for the first holiday shoppers at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. That's two hours earlier than last year. The department store chain said its employees were happy they had the chance to work on what could now be called "Black Thursday" so they could have Friday off. Those hardy employees who will face the first rush of holiday shoppers will also be getting "incentive pay," (also known as "hazardous duty pay") according to Macy's.
In what appears to be a political calculation, those folks planning to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act website won't find out about any rate increases until after the November 4th midterm elections. Enrollllment on the Healthcare.gov website begins on November 15th, or 11 days after the midterm vote. Last year's inaugural enrollment period began on October 1st.
Some states that Democrats are trying to defend --like Alaska, Iowa and Louisiana-- are expecting double-digit premium hikes from some state insurance companies on the exchange. (Pacelli)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
MARC CHERRY, the guy behind "Desperate Housewives" and now, "Devious Maids," is reportedly putting together a hot new series about ...cheerleaders.
TV Line reports "Cheerleader Death Squad" will follow a CIA agent-turned-teacher who recruits and then transforms select cheerleaders at his elite Washington, DC, high school into spies.
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