Skimm for February 15th
Quote of the Day: "How irritating am I? Most women don't even have one great dress, I have two." - Anne Hathaway
Got luckyTHE STORY: Heinz sold its most expensive bottle of Ketchup ever, agreeing to a buyout by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and a private-equity firm for about $23 billion.
THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): This is one of the food industry's largest-ever acquisitions and could become a game-changer for industry trends. The private-equity firm--3G Capital--will call most of the tomato shots. What made Buffett and friends go shopping in Pittsburgh? The vast global reach Heinz offers. 2/3 of its $11.6 billion in annual sales come from abroad. That's a lot of tapping the '57' in different countries. Before we all start dipping our fries, the SEC is said to now be investigating potential insider trading that may have gone down before the deal.
Got dumpedTHE STORY: Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's pick for secretary of Defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). As of noon yesterday, the US does not have an official Defense secretary. Fun times.
THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): Hagel needed 60 votes in the Senate to move onto the next round and Republicans made it clear that wasn't happening, nor were they ready to vote. They needed some space and more time to think about the new guy -- their former colleague for over 10 years. It's not really the end for Hagel, as he will likely end up getting confirmed, but more proof that Congress is a bit too addicted to playing hard to get. The Hill drama means for the first time a nominee for the top job at the Pentagon is being forced to experience a filibuster of sorts, congressional speak for formalized procrastination. Retiring Defense Secretary Panetta will stick around in the interim. We're sure he's thrilled.
REPEAT AFTER ME...What people are horrified by... Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee Olympic and Paralympic track star, has been charged with murdering his model girlfriend. Police found Reeva Steenkamp in a pool of blood, shot to death at Pistorius's South African home. Steenkamp may have been in the act of surprising her boyfriend on Valentine's Day, which could have gone very, very wrong. The "Blade Runner," his nickname because of the carbon-fiber blades on which he runs, made a name for himself last summer as the first double amputee runner to join in the Olympic Games. People around the world were shocked to hear that an athlete who had overcome such obstacles is now in jail. Best case scenario is that he shot her by accident, as South Africa's wealthy arm themselves out of fear of violent crime. The worst case scenario is pretty obvious.
What to say when it's raining... At least the rain doesn't puncture my umbrella. It could be much, much worse. Meterorite fragments are falling in western Siberia, injuring as many as 400. People saw a flash of light and then were greeted by the sounds of car alarms going off as meteorites usually cause sonic booms when they enter Earth's atmosphere. 10,000 police officers are searching for pieces of meteorite debris. This is not from an upcoming sci-fi movie. It is real.
What to say when you think someone's waving at you... They're not, I'm just blind. Have no fear, the "artificial retina" is here! The FDA has approved the first treatment to give limited vision to the blind through a technology called "artificial retina." With it, people with certain types of blindness would be able to see such every day dangers like stove top burners or cars, and sometimes even big letters. A sheet of electrodes is surgically implanted in the eye and the patient is given a pair of glasses and a video processor, which all work together to get visual signals to the brain. And that is officially the last time we'll complain about putting in contacts.
What to say when you're surprised your landlord raised your rent... Don't know why I have this reaction, it happens all the time. UN inspectors have left talks in Iran without a deal to access Iran's nuclear sites or a date for new talks. The UN is now saying it needs time to find a new tactic to investigate what Iran is up to with its nuclear program, since trying to get Iran to be specific about its program hasn't been going well for quite some time. The impasse between UN inspectors and Iran is a scary sign in the ongoing battle by six major world powers to get Iran to quit it with the nuke program, as they fear it could lead to a nuclear bomb. Iran says it just wants to brew nuclear fuel in peace.
What to say while talking on the phone... Sorry, I can't ignore that notification noise now that I'm a parent, again. The classic experience of caring for your very own virtual pocket creature, the Tamagotchi, is back as an Android app. The key to a happy pet? Letting it win at Rock Paper Scissors. Yes, that's now an option. Don't forget to vaccinate it.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Skimm HQ will be attending a birthday party for our friend George W. on Monday. See you back on Tuesday bright and early.
SKIMM'R OF THE WEEK: Ellie Levitt (Kansas), the publicity chair for The University of Pennsylvania's production of The Vagina Monologues, one of the biggest campus V-Day movements in the country. What is V-Day you ask? Well, it's a worldwide movement to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Last year Levitt's group raised $20,000. So get your monologue on.
BIRTHDAYS: Sydney Neal (Des Moines, IA); Amanda Brown (Columbia, SC); Shari Keiser (Chicago, IL); Teresa Stein (Fresno, TX); Sarah Murov (New York, NY); Uchenna Agbim (San Francisco, CA); Connie McGee (Nashville, TN); Mary Steinmetz (Minneapolis, MN); Jenny Fitzgerald (Chicago, IL); Alberto Galvez (Miami, FL)
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