Content for Tuesday, July 6


Study Proves Smart Technology Is Actually Not Making Us Dumber


A study done by the universities of Cincinnati and Toronto found that smart technology is not making people dumber. The study showed smart devices are actually freeing up people’s brains to solve more complex problems and learn other things. The study proved previous time-consuming tasks that people used to do with pen and paper are now solved much quicker with smartphones. Researchers said modern technology still has some drawbacks, but making people stupider isn’t one of them.



Parents Say Amazon Never Should Have Named It's Speaker ‘Alexa'


Parents of Alexas say Amazon’s home pod and its users are tormenting their kids. One parent said that they’ve legally changed their child’s name and switched schools in order to escape children and adults’ relentless harassment. Another parent claimed that bullies constantly order their 6-year-old to play music. A third person started an awareness campaign called “Alexa is a human.” In an open letter on the site, the family writes that the constant demands of their daughter Alexa are “devastating.” Users can easily change the wake word by saying “Alexa, change the wake word” and selecting from “Computer,” “Amazon,” or “Echo” in the app, but those are impractically common for a device trigger. Amazon says it kinda feels bad and that parents are most welcome to keep complaining. They said, “We’re saddened by the experiences you’ve shared, and want to be very clear: bullying of any kind is unacceptable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We value feedback from customers, and as with everything we do, we will continue to look for ways to offer them more choice in this area.”


Want to Sound Smarter? Avoid These 24 Overused Words and Phrases That Make You Sound ‘Pretentious’


Dozens of managers were asked what bothered them the most when they talk to employees and read emails or DMs from them. The most common complaint? All the “junk” words and phrases! Here are some of the most overused words and phrases that managers told us irritate them the most: 1. 3 AM in the morning AM is the abbreviation for ante meridiem, which means “before noon,” so if you use the complete phrase, you’re actually saying “3 before noon in the morning.” Just say 3 AM (or whatever time it is). Same thing goes for PM. 2. absolutely essential One dictionary definition of essential is “absolutely necessary,” which makes absolutely essential mean “absolutely, absolutely necessary.” Clearly the “absolutely” modifier isn’t essential at all. And for that matter, we’re not wild about “absolutely necessary” either. Avoid them both — unless it’s a casual conversation and you’re using it to emphasize the necessity of something. 3. actual fact Let’s look at the facts: a fact is something that’s known to be true, and actual means “existing in fact.” An actual fact, then, pretty much just means “a factual fact.” Stick with just plain fact. 4. at this point in time/at the present point in time Most managers complain about these phrases. Why not just say “now”? It’s a lot shorter, too. 5. depreciate in value Depreciate alone means “to lessen in value.” Don’t depreciate your writing by adding the redundant “value” to it. 6. eliminate completely/eliminate entirely Eliminate means “completely remove,” so the idea is, well, completely and entirely there without the unnecessary adverbs. You can’t eliminate something partially, so you don’t need to specify how much eliminating you’re doing. 7. combine together/join together Here are two two-word phrases that managers see all too often and hate — as in, “The company seeks to combine together two different approaches and increase sales.” Combine means “to join or mix two or more things.” You don’t need “together” since it’s already implied. It’s the same with “join together.” 8. end result/final outcome A result is at the end of something. You don’t need to distinguish it from a beginning result or a middle result since there are no such things. Same idea with “final outcome”: Outcome means the way something turns out; it’s already final without adding the word. 9. estimated at about When you estimate something, you roughly calculate. You don’t estimate something exactly, so why add the “about”? 10. exact same If something is the same as something else, there’s no degree of difference between them. You can say “nearly the same,” but “exact same” means, well, just “same.” Even though some guides and dictionaries say it’s okay when used to emphasize the point that something is literally the same, it’s still repetition and best to avoid. 11. favorable approval Approval is always favorable, so you don’t need that adjective in there. And of course, if it’s not favorable, it’s disapproval, not unfavorable approval. 12. feel badly For some reason, many people think adding the “ly” to “bad” makes it sound better, so they say “I feel badly” instead of “I feel bad.” But that’s wrong. (Do you ever say “I feel greatly”?) The only time you should say you feel badly is if you aren’t good at physically touching something. 13. general consensus of opinion A consensus is a generally held opinion. So a general consensus of opinion is an overachiever from the Department of Redundancy Department — a triple redundancy! Consensus by itself gets the point across, and more succinctly. 14. in close proximity Here’s another redundancy in action. A synonym of proximity is closeness, and close means, well, close. So “in close proximity” has an overload of “closes.” Even though it has become such a commonly used phrase, it’s best to just say “close.” 15. in my opinion When you’re sharing a perspective or insight, readers will already get the concept: it’s your opinion. There’s no need to throw in that all-too-overused phrase — unless, of course, you’re countering your opinion with others. If you really need to make it clear, opt for the simpler “I think …” 16. in the final analysis Many managers say this phrase comes off as pompous and jargony. Instead of four words, use only one: “Finally.” 17. in the process of If you’re in the process of something, it means that you started something and are still doing it. But it’s a clunky, often unnecessary phrase that is typically used with confusing sentences. 18. most unique This frequently appears on grammar pet peeve lists. The issue? Unique means “unlike anything else.” So you can’t have gradations of uniqueness. It’s unique, plain and simple. 19. past history/past memories/past records All of these words without “past” already refer to the past, so you don’t need to specify — unless you’re writing a science fiction novel and are referring to future and past history via time travel! 20. postpone until later Of course if you’re going to postpone something you’re not going to do it until later. What are you going to do otherwise, postpone it until earlier? Always eliminate “until later.” 21. the reason being/the reason why These sound long-winded and pretentious. “The office was empty at noon, the reason being that everyone was at lunch.” Why not say “because” instead? 22. summarize briefly (also its noun cousin ‘brief summary’) Summarize means to give a brief overview or statement, so to summarize briefly means “to give a brief statement briefly.” To summarize: Drop the “brief” and “briefly”! 23. situation It’s a modern trend, and one that many people hate: Adding “situation” to describe any event. Take this, which we recently heard on a weather report: “Be prepared for a strong wind situation.” What happened to plain old strong wind? 24. -wise This is another example of adding something that isn’t necessary. People add the suffix ”-wise” onto words to make them have more portent and more weight. But it can sound pretty ridiculous. In other words, you actually sound a lot worse, grammar-wise, if you tack on this unnecessary suffix!



Ritz Cracker ‘Edges’ Mystery Finally Solved



The makers of Ritz crackers took to TikTok and shocked consumers everywhere by showing them what the infamous Ritz ridges are actually meant for: to cut cheese. The scalloped edges are not for “aesthetic” reasons. A video depicts someone rolling the ridged cracker over a slice of cheese to cut it in half. The TikTok video, captioned “the more you know,” blew Ritz enthusiasts’ minds everywhere. But while this kind of cheese cutting is efficient and delicious, for others, it stunk. Some people were quick to criticize Ritz, saying that the cheese could just as easily be pulled apart with your hands.



What Words or Phrases Irritate You For Absolutely No Reason?


Reddit user u/oRedDeadDano asked: "What words or phrases irritate you for absolutely no reason?" Replies included: "Thats my truth." "Trying times”. "We’re all in the same boat.” "... "no offense". It usually means they are going to say something offensive but use it so they can't get criticized for it." "I’m infuriated be the unnecessarily explosive language used in headlines these days. “Politician 'slams' other politician for…” “Company exec 'shreds' new law…” “Woman 'eviscerates' innocent man accused of…” "Life hack." -- It's literally at the point where you'll see videos like "life hack: sprinkle salt on your food to make it taste better. Add as much or as little as you like!".... That's not a hack, that's just doing something correctly." "I have an irrational hatred of the phrase, “not all heroes wear capes”.


People Are Sharing The Pettiest Reasons They've Ever Dumped Someone


Someone on reddit asked,What’s the pettiest reason you’ve rejected someone?” Here are some of the best answers: 1. "He used too many exclamation points.” 2. "She had the same name as my mom. I just… couldn’t.” 3. "She ate a banana sideways. Would hold it horizontally, peel it and take bites from the side.” 4. "He didn’t use pillowcases. He owned them but never actually put them on the pillows." 5. "First day he visited my apt he opened the kitchen cabinet without asking, saw my kid's vitamins and said, 'Ooh gummies!' And started to shove them In his mouth.” 6. "She gave me a hug and a booger that was stuck to her nose got on my shirt and for some reason I never recovered.” 7. "He didnt have soap at his apt. Even by the 3rd date, no soap anywhere at his place, no dish soap even. He never smelled or anything, but just weirded me out.” 8. "She didn’t drink water.” 9. "Really nice guy... looked just like my dad's old high school photos. Couldn’t get past it." 10. "They wouldn’t let their dog walk when they walked their dog. Would carry the poor little f---er around.”



(Cool, Or Cringeworthy?)... Mark Zuckerberg Rides Hydrofoil Surfboard with US Flag for 4th of July... Memes Ensue

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an Independence Day greeting Sunday on Instagram-- he's riding a Hydrofoil surfboard to John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," while waving a giant American flag.


The MEMES... A few social media users photoshopped "Jaws" into the image as the massive killer shark is about to devour 'the Zuck.' Another social media user photoshopped Zuckerberg with the flag into the film "Titanic". The tech mogul is seen on his surfboard while Kate Winslet's character, Rose, wanders in the flooded hallways of the doomed ship. Another creative social media user photoshopped the image of Zuckerberg into a shot of the Gulf of Mexico, where an oil pipeline operated by Mexico's state-owned firm Pemex burst, causing a gas leak. Another social media user photoshopped the image of a monkey on Zuckerberg's face, remarking that the Facebook founder was emitting 'circus chimp vibe.'




The Most Patriotic Brand Is...


Jeep has been named the most Patriotic American brand. Researchers surveyed over 5,800 people ages 16 to 65 and asked them to rank 1,172 brands on their patriotism. Jeep topped the list followed Walmart and Disney while Amazon and Ford tied for fourth.


Blake Shelton And Gwen Stefani Got Married Over The Weekend

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani got married on the country singer’s Oklahoma ranch over the weekend. The couple were married in a chapel that Shelton helped build himself. The two had filed for a marriage last Thursday, giving them ten days to get married. They had a small ceremony only inviting family and a few friends. Carson Daly, the host of NBC's "The Voice", officiated at the couple’s intimate country nuptials. However, Shelton’s friendly on-screen nemesis Adam Levine, who quit “The Voice” in 2019, was a no-show as he was in Miami, where he’s believed to be recording. Instead, he spent the weekend with his wife Behati Prinsloo and their daughters — and doing yoga. Stefani and Shelton got engaged in October 2020 after dating for five years.



Joey Chestnut Sets New Record In Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest


Competitive eater Joey Chestnut broke his own by eating 76 hot dogs and buns in Sunday’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut ate one more frank than last year to win the Mustard Belt for the 14th time. More than 5,000 fans attended this year’s contest at the minor league baseball stadium, Maimonides Park. Fans weren’t allowed at last year’s contest. Michelle Lesco won the women’s hot dog eating contest downing 30.5 franks and buns. What you’d need to do to burn off the calories consumed by hot dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut Running According to verywellfit.com, a good estimate is that people burn 100 calories for every mile they run. That means a person would have to run 220 miles in order to burn off that large number of calories. With that in mind, someone could run from New York City to Boston and still not quite burn all the necessary calories, given it’s 215 miles between those cities. An average runner should aim to run a mile every 9-13 minutes, according to Healthline, so let’s just put that number at 10 minutes, which means an average runner can run six miles every hour. Dividing 220 by 6, that means it would take more than 36 hours of running to burn off the 22,000 calories. Swimming According to estimates from the American College of Sports Medicine, it takes a 205-pound person one hour to burn 931 calories swimming fast, and 651 calories swimming slower. So, let’s meet in the middle and say it takes an hour to burn 791 calories. If you divide 22,000 by 791, that’s nearly 28 hours of swimming that would have to be done. According to Swim Competitive, it takes an intermediate swimmer between 30 and 35 minutes to swim a mile. If that’s the case, then someone would have to swim for roughly 14 hours to burn off all the calories. For beginner swimmers, that time frame would be longer. Cycling/biking If you prefer going on a bike ride to burn off 22,000 calories, then it usually takes an hour to burn off 750 calories for a person that weighs 165 pounds. That means it would take just more than 29 hours of cycling to burn off the calories. If you go at a moderate pace of 15 miles per hour on a bike, that means a ride of 435 miles. Of note, it’s 440 miles between Boston and Washington, D.C. Triathlons If someone had to burn all those calories and decided a triathlon would be the best way to do it, well, that would take a while also. According to Ironmate, the average finisher in the annual Ironman Triathlon will burn between 8,690 and 10,495 calories. Either one of those numbers means you would have to run the world’s most grueling triathlon twice to burn a majority of the calories consumed in 10 minutes by Chestnut.



Today's AUDIO:



Topic Starters: Memorable Family Reunion Moments


  1. Call 1

  2. Call 2

  3. Call 3

  4. Call 4

  5. Call 5

  6. Calls with set-ups.


Garth Brooks


  1. Garth Brooks will play his first dive bar show on July 16th in Salt Lake City, and he explains whether there will be more.


Matthew McConaughey


  1. Matthew McConaughey says America is ‘going through puberty’ in July 4 message.


National Anthem Inside Walmart


  1. Walmart shoppers in Haslet, Texas stopped to sing a beautiful rendition of the national anthem on Sunday. A massive crowd of people stopped to sing with a woman who had began belting out the anthem under a giant American flag.


Rachel Nichols


  1. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols opened Monday’s “The Jump” with an apology to her ESPN colleagues and Maria Taylor, after leaked audio revealed Nichols citing the network’s “pressure” on diversity as to why Taylor was getting a hosting job and she wasn't.


LeBron James


  1. Lakers star LeBron James left his seat and confronted the PA announcer at his son’s basketball game after the announcer suggested referees were showing his son favoritism. Here are the play-by-play guys talking about what's happening.


Today's SOCIAL CONTENT:



TOPICS For SOCIAL MEDIA


Have you ever been drunk or high and came up with this truly amazing idea but then became sober and realized it wasn't as amazing as you thought it was? If so, what was the idea? -- "To have a fast food spot that sold frozen meals already cooked. Like you can order a heated up hot pocket, toaster strudel, chicken pot pie, etc." -- "While high I came up with the idea of making pens with white ink that would cover up any mistakes on white paper....realized not only that it had been done already but that I had one in my backpack next to where I keep the pen I used to write down the idea. -- "A food truck specializing in egg rolls the size of burritos." What basic, children's-age-level fact did you only find out embarrassingly later in life? -- "Don’t add dish soap to the dishwasher. Found that one out at 26. I swear it’s only because I grew up washing dishes by hand. Had a fun time cleaning that mistake." -- "I didn’t realize the handicap sign was a person in a wheelchair for a long time. I had always thought it was just a neat little symbol, kind of like a treble clef." -- "As a kid I used to think the Black Market was an actual place like a bazaar where all the criminals would regularly meet up." What villain could have won easily, but they f'd it up? -- "Bane had broken Batman’s back and could’ve easily killed him but let him live." -- "Dr. Evil coulda just shot Austin Powers like Scott wanted to." Think of the smartest person you know, what is the dumbest thing they’ve ever done? -- "We were in a Conference that mentioned bulimia and she said I think I have ancestors from there." --"My dad, Tafe professor. Got his mortgage down to $20,000 and had the opportunity to pay it all. Redrew and bought a brand new car. Totalled car. Bought another brand new car. Gave it to girlfriend at the time. Girlfriend left and kept car. Currently owes $250,000 on his same mortgage." What food-related opinion do you hold on to even if everyone tells you it’s wrong? -- "Most burgers have become unwieldy and overly messy. Whether they are waaay too big, which means I can't get a proper bite, or they are stacked with too many ingredients that make them fall apart, they have just become a pain to eat." -- "I find "perfectly cooked" scrambled eggs to be too wet for my liking."






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