This Just In: Flushable Wet Wipes Aren’t Flushable — At All
Apr28

This Just In: Flushable Wet Wipes Aren’t Flushable — At All

There are certain items we know never to flush down the toilet, such as medications, living creatures, and corrosive substances. However, there are other household items that you probably thought were okay to flush but, in truth, really aren’t. And yes, we’re talking about flushable wet wipes. “We have heard loud and clear from facilities across the state that this is a problem,” Greta Gauthier, legislative director of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said. And it’s not just Minnesota that’s sewer-deep in flushable wet wipe blockages. From Minneapolis to Australia, these items are causing major clogs in sewer lines in cities and backyards. “Whether they’re used for cleaning, babies, or personal care, our current sewer systems were not built to handle them,” Gauthier said. “It costs cities a lot of money to come in and manually remove them from their equipment. Some cities have to do it every day.” Indeed, earlier this month at the Hutchinson Water Treatment Plant in Kansas, city workers had to perform a quarter-million dollar repair to remove a monster mass of flushable wipes. Nationwide, there are roughly 700 water main breaks per day, and many are now caused by so-called “flushable” products. “We couldn’t get the flow through the valve so we couldn’t close it off,” said Tim Gratke, supervisor at the wastewater plant. And the wipes are becoming such as issue, that the MPCA is looking to ban the word “flushable” on labels. Because let’s face it: besides the fact that the wipes make it down the toilet, it’s clear that these products aren’t otherwise flushable. If you’re like most people who don’t spend too much time thinking about your pipes, you’re likely to forget the consequences of flushing, and it might be difficult to know what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. But as far as Gauther is concerned, the solution is simple: if it’s not toilet paper, throw it in the trash. “Wipes clog pipes, and your toilet is not your trash can,” Gauthier said. “So we have nothing against using the wipes, just put them in the...

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Las Vegas Takes in More Than 100,000 Attendees for Annual Broadcaster Convention
Apr21

Las Vegas Takes in More Than 100,000 Attendees for Annual Broadcaster Convention

Las Vegas is no stranger to mass tourism, but an ongoing trade show has made Sin City even busier than usual for the past several days. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show began in Las Vegas on Monday. More than 100,000 people traveled to Las Vegas for the annual six-day event in which broadcasters from all over the country gather to share ideas and heap praise on their peers. The NAB Show is a staple in the yearly Las Vegas convention calendar, drawing media stars from industries such as television, radio, and podcasting. The convention got off to a good start with a few titans of the industry being inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. Chuck Lorre, creator and writer for some of television’s most popular comedies, was inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame on Monday by actor Jon Cryer. On Tuesday, ESPN Radio hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were also inducted. The trade show is taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Westgate Las Vegas. Traffic for the event will be even heavier than usual due to a lane-blocking road construction project that is currently taking place on Convention Center Drive, which is the main route to the show. This year’s convention will mark the 25th consecutive NAB Trade Show held in Las Vegas, and the 35th NAB event since 1975. About 50% of the largest 200 shows in the U.S. take place in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando, so it’s not surprising that the NAB keeps returning to Vegas for its annual convention. In fact, the Casino City Times recently reported that the Trade Show News Network named Las Vegas as the “#1 Trade Show Destination” for the 22nd consecutive year. The city’s spacious convention centers, world-class food, and bright lights make it appealing to trade shows that attract people from all over the globe. While celebrities will get most of the press throughout the week, several technological innovations will also be on display in the NAB show. One of the biggest draws this year is the use of drones for aerial content creation, and more than 30 drone demonstrations have been scheduled for attendees to enjoy. Local hotels are enjoying the rapid influx of tourists, and resort rates are topping $300 per night at some locations. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects the NAB Show to net the city nearly $163.2 million in...

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Kansas Fireworks Trade Show Draws Nearly 1,000 Pyrotechnic Fans and Proprietors
Apr18

Kansas Fireworks Trade Show Draws Nearly 1,000 Pyrotechnic Fans and Proprietors

Fireworks may not seem like big business in the U.S., but a recent trade show in Kansas proved that it is one of the most underrated and profitable markets in the nation. According to The Morning Sun, Jake’s Fireworks in Pittsburg, KS, recently held their 17th annual trade show. Each year, fireworks fans and store owners from all over the country descend upon Pittsburg to see the latest and greatest products that the industry has to offer. This past weekend, roughly 1,000 people made the trip to Kansas to attend the trade show festivities. Jake Marietta, co-owner of Jake’s Fireworks, believes that his trade show is the best resource for store owners in search of new ideas to grow their business. “We want them to have the knowledge and resources of the industry to help them sell more fireworks,” said Marietta. “They sell more fireworks, we sell more fireworks.” The trade show’s success is largely tied to the innovative ideas that Jake’s introduces every single year. The American Pyrotechnics Association recently announced that the U.S. fireworks industry revenue has nearly doubled since 1999, and much of this success is due to creative ideas from store owners like Marrieta. At this year’s show, Jake’s unveiled several products and features to help store owners sell more fireworks, including a safety tube for mortars and video instructions for each new item. “They are literally on the cutting edge of every idea,” said Chuck Decker, owner of Decker’s Uncle Sam Fireworks in Green Bay, WI. “They help us to be better.” Kansas may not be a popular travel destination for most of the year, but Jake’s trade show is one of the most anticipated events in the entire U.S. fireworks industry. About 50% of the largest 200 trade shows in the country take place in Las Vegas, Chicago, or Orlando, but Jake’s yearly trade show is helping to change that narrative. In addition to helping store owners sell more fireworks, Jake’s also gave back to the community by donating $333,000 to Folds of Honor. Over the past few years, Jake’s has donated over $500,000 to the organization, which provides scholarships to families of fallen soldiers across the country. “It’s been unbelievable…they have been a huge partner in terms of fundraising for us,” said Dave Dierinzo, Folds of Honor Vice President. At the end of the two-day event, Jake’s launched over 100 different fireworks for attendees and local residents to enjoy. Over the next few weeks, the fireworks company will host similar trade shows in Texas, Indiana, South Carolina, Washington, and...

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Thanks To Internet, Americans Don’t Know Jack About the Zika Virus
Apr05

Thanks To Internet, Americans Don’t Know Jack About the Zika Virus

Most Americans have learned about the Zika virus primarily through online sources. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that Americans are widely misinformed about the Zika virus, which has been portrayed by some online outlets as the end of life as we know it. In February, 35% of respondents to a survey from the University of Pennsylvania said they believed the Zika virus was being spread by genetically modified mosquitoes, presumably unleashed upon the world by mad scientists or Monsanto. For better or worse, nearly three out of four Americans rely on the Internet to get information about health topics. The same number of people look up medical information online before visiting a doctor, and that information can color the info they eventually receive from their actual physician. A month after the University of Pennsylvania survey, Americans are still “woefully misinformed” about the risks of the virus, with people either wildly over- or underestimating the risks. In Boston, the Harvard Opinion Research Program found that far too many Americans don’t understand how the Zika virus spreads or the risks it poses to the United States population. “There are some important misconceptions about Zika virus,” said Gillian SteelFisher with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Some of those could prevent people at risk from taking steps to protect their pregnancies. And then there’s the reverse problem, which is there are some misconceptions that could cause people to take unnecessary or inappropriate precautions.” So far, only a few Americans have been infected with the Zika virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 273 Americans who did contract the virus, all of them recently traveled to countries in Latin America or the Caribbean where the Zika virus is rampant. The virus has been linked to two dangerous conditions, one that causes paralysis and one that causes serious birth defects in children born to mothers with the disease. In Zika-infected countries, there has been an epidemic of children born with microcephaly, which causes small heads and brain damage. The Harvard survey found that 40% of respondents didn’t realize that Zika could be transmitted sexually. One in four had never heard of the link between Zika and birth defects, while another quarter thought adults infected with Zika were most at risk. Because the mosquitoes that spread Zika already exist in the southern United States, researchers say the virus could spread during warmer weather. For now, the medical profession hopes that knowledge will be our best defense against the...

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Whoopie Goldberg Announces New Business Venture Into Medical Marijuana Products for Women
Apr01

Whoopie Goldberg Announces New Business Venture Into Medical Marijuana Products for Women

California is one of the largest medical marijuana markets in the world, and that may be why Hollywood actress and “View” host Whoopie Goldberg has established a new line of medical marijuana products aimed specifically at women. Goldberg will partner with Maya Elisabeth to form the “Whoopie and Maya brand.” Goldberg will serve as the company’s chairwoman. “I want to go nice and slow with this. I don’t want this to be a joke to people. It’s not a joke to women,” Goldberg said. As of right now, the company has plans for four products, all aimed at reducing pain and cramps associated with female menstrual cycles: a balm, a tincture, a sipping chocolate, and a bath soak. All of the product will be infused with marijuana. According to USA Today, Goldberg is the latest celebrity to put her name, and pocket book, behind the burgeoning industry that’s quickly becoming more and more accepted. In fact, a recent poll of clinicians by the New England Journal of Medicine showed 76% believe in the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana. Due to federal prohibition on marijuana still being on the books, the company will only operate in California, which is one of 23 states that have currently legalized the practice in some capacity. It’s also one of the most promising markets for such a product, considering the state already raked in about $2.7 billion worth of sales last year, according to the cannabis-focused data firms New Frontier and ArcView Market Research. Voters are expected to pass legislation this fall that would open up marijuana to recreational use as well, but Goldberg doesn’t appear to be interested in that side of the business. “This is a nice quiet way that I can be part of this,” Goldberg said of the new company. “It had to help people if I were going to be involved.” As more research has been gradually allowed on the benefits of medical marijuana, the general public and government have started to change the traditional stigmas attached to the industry. According to the company’s other co-founder, Maya Elisabeth, even England’s Queen Victoria is believed to have used a tincture similar to the one the company is...

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