KFC chicken shortage blamed on DHL, and it's not getting its act together

DHL has been shipping and losing packages for close to 50 years. Earlier this week, it became clear that their half century of shipping knowledge doesn't extend to poultry as they'd screwed up Kentucky Fried Chicken's supply chain in the United Kingdom so bad that the company was forced to shutter around two-thirds of their restaurants, as no chickens had been delivered. Apparently, DHL isn't satisfied with simply failing to deliver chickens to their finger lickin' good customer: a report from the Guardian suggests that, thanks to an Olympic level of incompetence on the part of the courier, chickens destined for the UK's KFC restaurants may have to be thrown out.

According to The Guardian, DHL, who took over KFC's UK supply chain management last week, has been keeping chickens destined for use at the fast food chain's restaurants in an unregistered cold storage warehouse. That's a problem: As the warehouse hasn't been registered with local health authorities, it wouldn't have been inspected to ensure that it was storing KFC's poultry in a way that complies with health regulations. As a result, there's a good chance that the chickens will need to be thrown out.Honestly, this is some genius level strategy on DHL's part: you can't be accused of not shipping chickens if all of the birds have to be tossed in the trash.

Interestingly, this isn't DHL's first clusterfuck rodeo. Six years ago, Burger King experienced similar issues after entrusting their supply chain to the shipping company. Read the rest

Britain's KFCs just ran out of chickens

Truly, the end times are upon us, friends. Soon, the dead shall rise from the earth and believers will be called to their reckoning. I know these things shall come to pass, for I have seen the sign: Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of chicken.

According to The Guardian, over two-thirds of the 900 KFC restaurants in the United Kingdom have been forced to close their doors, due to an acute shortage of birds to cook. The nightmare scenario is the fault of shipping giant DHL, who apparently hates joyfully greasy food. The Guardian reports that KFC chose DHL to manage its UK supply chain, because they'd illustrated having had their shit together when delivering stuff in other industries. By this logic, it's cool for you to leave your child's needs in the hands of a wheat thresher because it does such a good job of processing crops.

In a statement posted online, KFC assured the Internet that The Colonel is on top of the problem.

Fortunately, the chicken shortage shouldn't effect North American processed food aficionados, so we can all go on killing ourselves with scandalous amounts of sodium and fat, the same as always.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons Read the rest

Canada struggle to end solitary confinement is "justice deferred"

Until recently, under Canadian law, prison administrators could confine their charges to an indefinite period in solitary confinement. Thanks to a pair of high profile court rulings, this could change in a big way, provided the Federal government can get its shit together.

Last month, the Supreme Court in the Canadian province of British Columbia struck down a law that allowed prisoners to be kept indefinitely in solitary confinement. It was a huge win for prison inmates and society: long-term solitary confinement does nothing to rehabilitate or condition an individual to become a more productive member of society. Worse, as humans are social animals, being locked away from our peers for long periods of time can cause psychological trauma--that's not something you want to do to someone who'll eventually be released back into society. Human rights activists in BC applauded the court's decision. Unfortunately, a similar case, heard in a different region of Canada, is keeping the verdict from changing the country's confinement laws.

This past December, a Superior Court Judge in the province of Ontario handed down a verdict that found that solitary confinement lasting any longer than five days is absolute bullshit, according to the Canadian constitution. But, as the CBC details, the practice of doing so does not violate the constitutional rights of the individual being thrown into solitary.

Both verdicts have merit, but which has more weight?

It's a question that the Canadian government has decided can only be answered by another run through the legal system. Read the rest

Report: iCloud plan puts China's Apple users at risk

According to The Hong Kong Free Press, Apple is set to hand over the keys to the the accounts of iCloud users in China to a company owned by the surveillance and censorship-happy Chinese government.

Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) will take over the operation of Apple's Chinese data center at the end of February, making GCBD responsible for all legal and financial transactions between the Apple and China's iCloud users. Once GCBD is running the show, Apple will be responsible for investing one billion USD to build a new server farm in Guiyang and to provide technical support in the interest of preserving data security.

Apple's doesn't like telling folks what iCloud user data they're able to read. The information could be limited to the size of uploaded files and where those files were uploaded, or as comprehensive as being able to browse through the photos taken with an iPhone. That China's communist government, which is big on watching the digital doings of its citizens, censorship and political activism could will soon have access to the iCloud account information of every iPhone, iPad or Mac user in China pretty troubling. 

This isn't the first time that Apple has bowed to pressure from the Chinese government, either. At the ass end of 2017, they happily removed close to 700 VPN apps from the Chinese iTunes App Store, making it extremely difficult for iOS users to view uncensored content. So, say good bye to news stories about China and the rest of the world that hasn't been approved by Chinese state censors. Read the rest

John Oliver is here to remind you that things, as always, are not OK

Depending on your political leanings, the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, available on YouTube for the world to enjoy/loathe, will provide you with some catharsis or fill you with loathing. Read the rest

Identical twin drugged brother, left him in cell to escape prison

According to The Washington Post, a set of identical twins in Peru not only share the same parents and looks, but also, briefly, a prison sentence.

In January, 2017, Alexander Jheferson Delgado was in a Peruvian clink serving a 16-year sentence for robbery and child sexual abuse. For some people, no matter what they do, family is family. Alexander’s twin, Giancarlo, is one of those: he came to visit his incarcerated sibling, bringing food and letters from their family with him. Giancarlo met with his twin in a common area of the prison, walking with him as he returned to his cell. Once there, Alexander offered Giancarlo a soda. So nice! Except for the fact that the can of pop was laced with enough sedatives to lay out a rhino.

Once his twin was in a deep drug-induced sleep, Alexander stripped and swapped clothes with Giancarlo. Once in his brother’s threads, all he needed to do to make his escape was walk past six checkpoints inside of the prison to freedom. If the guards at the checkpoints had been doing their jobs, they would have noticed that Alexander did not have the stamp on his arm, given to all visitors to the facility, that his brother Giancarlo did.

When Giancarlo woke up, he tried to tell his captors what had happened. Of course, they didn’t believe him – at first. After checking Giancarlo’s fingerprints against the imprints of his brother’s that they had on file, the prison’s authorities had to admit that they had the wrong man under lock and key. Read the rest

Canadian healthcare isn't as free as you think

I love you, America! Between living in your country as a digital nomad for part of the year and attending events as part of my job, I've spent a lot of time in the United States. One of the biggest misconceptions that I've run into when talking to my American pals is that they believe we receive free healthcare.

This is mostly incorrect.

Most Canadians, with the exception of Alberta, where I live for half of the year, either pay for our hospital and doctor visits as part of our taxes or are billed monthly by the province we live in. Having been born and raised in Canada, I've taken for granted being able to see doctors or receiving emergency medical care whenever I need it – right up to the point where I no longer could. I needed to visit the hospital, shortly after moving from one province to another. I'd registered as a resident there, but my paperwork had somehow been lost. A month after seeing a doctor, I received an $800 bill in the mail. So, that sucked. Even when things work the way that they're meant to, not everything is covered. Things like dentistry, massage therapy or counseling only happen on a pay-per-use basis, or if you're lucky enough to have a job that affords you a health plan. I fall into this latter group, thanks to my partner. 

And then there's the cost of drugs.

As The Guardian recently pointed out, Canada has the second highest drug prices of any industrialized country in the world. Read the rest

Placing other people's poop in your person is a piss-poor plan

I can't believe I have to write this, but maybe jamming other people's shit up your ass isn't a great idea.

When done by medical professions, under very specific circumstances, a fecal transplant can mean the difference between life and death: implanting feces containing healthy gut microbiome into a patient's body has been used by doctors as a way to help fight antibiotic-resistant super bugs, like Clostridium difficile.  A lot of folks online have been blathering away about how research shows that the same sort of treatment could also act as a cure for obesity. As reported by The Guardian, on hearing this news, people are now shoveling other people's crap into their bodies without a doctor's supervision.

What's the problem, you say? Well, before the treatment is administered in a clinical setting, the fecal matter used is screened for disease and other nasties in an effort to make the transplant as safe as possible. Without proper screening, the risk of transferring diseases like Hepititus or HIV from one poo owner to another is pretty high. Additionally, a DIY fecal transplant conducted in the name of losing weight could have the opposite effect. A case study from a few years back illustrated that a woman who underwent a fecal transplant to deal with a drug resistant super bug ended up becoming obese as a result. Oops.

So, if you're feel that you could stand to lose a few pounds, take a look at your eating habits, exercise more or visit a doctor for help in losing weight before reaching for a bag of liquefied shit. Read the rest

A single unicode symbol can crash iPhone, iPad and Mac apps

Apple's been in the headlines over the past few months, for all of the wrong reasons. According to TechCrunch, their PR losing streak isn't going to stop any time soon.

TechCrunch reports that an IOS software development house has discovered that two unicode symbols, when inputted into a number of popular iOS apps, will cause the apps to crash. In many instances, once the apps crash, it's impossible to open them again. TechCrunch was able to recreate these crashes on a number of pieces of hardware running iOS and a Mac running the latest version of MacOS:

The bug crashes apps including Mail, Twitter, Messages, Slack, Instagram and Facebook. From our testing, it also crashed Jumpcut, a copy and paste plugin for Mac. While it initially appeared that the Chrome browser for Mac was unaffected and could safely display the symbol, it later crashed Chrome and the software would not reopen without crashing until uninstalled and reinstalled.

This isn't the first 'text bomb' issue that Apple's been confronted with. In January, it was discovered that it allowed a specific web address to crash any iPhone it was texted to.

Given that this bug effects so many different devices (all of which I use) I'm hoping that it gets sorted out fast.

Image courtesy of Pxhere Read the rest

Expect Northern Lights and power grid fluctuations this week

Good news! This week, folks living in as far north as Michigan may get treated to a stunning light show as Auroras will be shining brighter and further away from the planet’s axis than usual. What a rare treat! The bad news: the same phenomenon that causes the Northern Lights to do their thing could also screw with a few important technologies that we rely on, every day.

According to Seeker.com, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stated that charged solar particles, the result of a ‘moderate’ solar flare barfed out of the Sun on February 12 could cause minor fluctuations in power grids and have an impact on communications with satellites that are currently orbiting the earth. In her story on the issue, Seeker’s Elizabeth Howell took the time to explain how the particles are created:

Solar flares and particle ejections are associated with sunspots — dark areas on the sun's surface — that host intense magnetic activity. As the magnetic fields in a sunspot cross, NASA stated, this can cause a sudden energy explosion, also known as a solar flare. This sends radiation out into space.

Sometimes these explosions can also send off charged particles, which are called coronal mass ejections or CMEs. "CMEs are huge bubbles of radiation and particles from the sun," NASA stated. "They explode into space at very high speed when the sun's magnetic field lines suddenly organize."

These bubbles of radiation generally bop off into space, away from the earth. But not this week. Read the rest

Environmentalists sue White House for access to withheld public records on pesticide use

The Environmental Protection Agency's mission is in its name. But it's hard to tell whether or not the EPA is doing its job if the government refuses to release any records of its doing so.

In the summer of 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity – an organization that is passionate about the link between the well-being of humanity and the ongoing safety and diversity of all the creatures bopping around the earth – requested that the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service provide them with public records on the use of a number of pesticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion. Their request for information was never acknowledged.

Unwilling to take ghosting for an answer, they filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, demanding that the thousands of pages of analysis on how the pesticides' use affects wild plants and animals, be released. In a statement released by the organization earlier today, they cited the following:

The Fish and Wildlife Service had committed to releasing its analysis of that research for public comment by May 2017 and to finalize the documents by December 2017. But last year, shortly after donating $1 million to Trump's inauguration, Dow Chemical asked federal agencies not to finalize the legally required assessments that are crucial to establishing common-sense measures to reduce the pesticides' harm to endangered species. 

The EPA’s initial analysis of the three pesticides, released in 2016, found that 97 percent of the more than 1,800 animals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act are likely to be harmed by malathion and chlorpyrifos.

Read the rest

This book explains how to tell when your country's going to hell and how to stop it

You may have noticed of late that things in America are becoming less, well, American.

A cruel misogynist with dangerously racist beliefs is running the show. Nazis and bigots of all stripes no long fear giving voice to their hatred in public. The nation's journalists and the free flow of information are under attack. The government is working hard to defund the healthcare apparatus designed to protect the country's most vulnerable citizens. Piece by piece, the country's institutions, its heart and soul are being torn asunder, paving the way for something new. After reading Timothy Snyder's most recent book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, I gotta tell you, if you're scared of the outcome of all of this, chances are you're likely not scared enough.

Snyder is a scholar who specializes in the history of the the 20th century and, more pointedly, the holocaust. His knowledge of how a country's slow slide into fascism at the whim of a tyrant can occur is beyond reproach, given his academic street cred: he's the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale, a Committee on Conscience member at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. What I'm getting at is that he knows from bad shit, how it starts and historically, how it's gone down. With the current political and popular climate in a number of nations around the world, he's concerned that the ugliest parts of humanity are ready to rear their heads once again.

On Tyranny's only 126 pages long. Read the rest

ICE lawyer used his position to steal personal information from immigrants

The men and women of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) never seem to miss a chance to make themselves look like a shower of bastards. They've gone after a 10-year-old girl as she came out of surgery, separated children from their parents, and have created an environment where calling on the police for help can be a terrifying experience for undocumented immigrants.

One could argue that these things all happen as a result of current American legislation, morality be damned. ICE agents are doing exactly what they were empowered to do. As so much of what ICE does makes many people want to take a bath after reading about it, it's heartening to find that not all of the bullshit ICE employees pull is hunky dory under the rule of law. According to the Washington Post, a lawyer in the employ of ICE has been charged with stealing the identities of seven people under investigation by ICE, using their credentials for financial gain.

Charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and identity fraud, Raphael A. Sanchez, ICE’s chief legal counsel in Seattle, is up Shit Creek with nary a paddle in sight. According to the charging documents filed against Sanchez, the lawyer allegedly attempted to defraud several financial institutions using the identity information of individuals under investigation by ICE between October 2016- October 2017. There's not a lot of information out there on the extent of Sanchez's alleged crimes, yet. But we could learn more about what he was getting up to soon, as a plea hearing for his case is scheduled for later this week. Read the rest

Chatroulette survives as a masturbatory ghost town

Chatroulette is still alive and, unsurprisingly, full of schlongs.

For the uninitiated, Chatroulette was an Internet darling back in 2010. Created by 17-year-old Andrey Ternovskiy, the site served up the ability to have video chats with random people from around the world. At its peak, Chatroulette was host to around 35,000 users at any given moment, with a total of 1.5 million users worldwide. It was an enchanting way to meet new people from all walks of life. Musicians, jokers and attention seeking narcissists flocked to the site. Also, guys who love to jerk off in front of other people.

As most of us have the attention span of a fruit fly when it comes to shiny things on the Internet, Chatroulette eventually lost its lustre. The site’s users moved on to other services that offered less of a chance of stumbling across a stranger stroking one out. Despite Chatroulette’s diminished numbers, many of the wankers remained, continuing to make baby batter for strangers to this day.

The Verge’s Megan Farokhmanesh recently paid a visit to the near derelict website to speak to the skeleton crew of spunk monkeys that are still manning their love pumps, longing for a female audience.

I’m quickly running out of ways to talk about masturbation and dicks, so I’ll close by saying that Farokhmanesh’s short feature is long on entertainment and worth taking a few moments to read.

Image Courtesy of Pexels Read the rest

Hiding meth in a burrito is no way to treat a burrito

It's hard to find decent Mexican food in Canada. We're lousy with Taco Bells and, out west at least, we've got Taco Time. But these are just chains offering a cartoon version of the real deal. The first time I went for burritos with friends in San Fransisco's Mission District, I damn near cried.

The food was so good, I regret having not hired a poet to capture the emotion surrounding my meal. I've spent the past three months in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Same deal: the Mexican cuisine here is phenomenal. Hell the gas station down the street from me serves up fresh carnitas. It tastes like heaven. Back home in Alberta, gas station food tastes like death. I love Mexican cuisine! The thought of returning to Canada, with its sub-par joke tacos, fills me with ennui.

So, when I read how cops in Los Angeles discovered that criminals were moving crystal meth through the city disguised as burritos, I took it kind of hard.

According to The LA Times, two LA patrol officers were conducting a routine traffic stop when they discovered the occupants of the vehicle they'd pulled over were packing 14 beefy-looking, tinfoil wrapped burritos. The burritos turned out to be jammed full of around 25 pounds of methamphetamine. Obviously, arrests were made, but the thing that bothers me is this: while they got the drugs and a handgun off the street, no body even mentioned the fact that they'd desecrated those burritos. I just don't get it: in a world so bereft of decent Mexican food, doesn't anyone care about the damn burritos? Read the rest

This eye worm, once only found in livestock, is cozying up to humans

Did you know you can get worms in your eyes? According to National Geographic, it's a thing.

Back in 2016, 26-year-old Abby Beckley ended up with a bunch of the tiny, translucent critters living in and around the delicate flesh of the inside of her eyelids. Beckley described the sensation of the eye worms nesting in her as being similar to having an eyelash poking her. After much prodding and poking, Beckley managed to extract a worm from her eyelid... and then another. In total, she wound up pulling five worms out of herself before deciding that maybe checking in with a doctor might be a good idea. Beckley was in Alaska at the time that she discovered the infestation. After an initial consultation with the doctors there, she decided to head to Portland to hook up with an ophthalmologist who was able to snag yet another worm from her and send it to the CDC for analysis.

It turns out that the worms living in Beckley's head are called Thelazia gulosa – a parasite normally found in the eyes of livestock. The parasites are spread to a host when a face fly lands on an eyeball, like Beckley's, and begins drinking the sweet, delicious tears that keep it lubricated. The parasites, which gestate in the digestive tracts of the face fly, get passed on to the owner of said eye, where they mature until, finally, BOOM: eye worms. 

By the time Beckley was declared free of the parasite, she'd pulled 14 of the little buggers out of her eyelids. Read the rest

Build your own Boring Company flamethrower!

I'm not saying that building a flamethrower is a responsible use of your time – but I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the time to build one, either.

In January, Elon Musk's Boring Company built 20,000 $500-flamethrowers and sold them all to the tune of $10 million. $500 is a lot of cheddar to throw at what basically amounts to a fancy tiger torch. Provided you've got the right tools on hand, as you can see in this video, it's possible to build one for considerably less.

Disclaimer: Despite the fact that you can totally play with it, a flamethrower is not a toy. Always use fiery weapons that are the stuff of nightmares responsibly. Read the rest

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