Several alert readers sent us this advertisement that ran on the front page of CNN.com today. Wait–is the census going to steal my identity? Is my name, race, and birthdate all someone needs to open a credit card in my name? No. You do not need identity theft protection because of the census. Equifax has just mashed up some good information about how to avoid census scams with a sales pitch for credit monitoring services. [More]
New security rules have proven too complex for Alaska’s post offices to bear, so they’re ending their participation in Operation Santa, the 50-year-old program where letters addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” are answered by volunteers. The program will continue elsewhere, reports the Associated Press, but when I called the USPS to find out where letters should be addressed I was told parents should contact their local post offices for information.
Nancy Pelosi wants to scare the crap out of you, so her office has released the above scary graph, which we bring to you by way of Time’s Swampland blog.
In 2006, Raed Jaer, an Iraqi-born U.S. resident, was forced by TSA officials and JetBlue to cover his t-shirt—it read, “We Will Not Be Silent” in both Arabic and English—before he could board a flight. The airline and the two TSA officials (TSA was not named in the suit) settled out of court last week for $240,000, although JetBlue still denies they did anything wrong, and the TSA says they don’t “condone profiling in any way shape or form.” [More]
MSNBC’s Ads of the Weird blog is a little creeped out by Duracell’s new kidnapping commercial, and so are we. Making people feel bad about something is advertising’s job, we get that, but trying to scare parents into thinking their kid will be stolen from the playground by the classic man-in-a-van is going a little overboard. (Watch the commercial below.)
McDonald's Worker Screams And Runs Away From Little People, Probably Shouldn't Be Assigned To Register
When Ethan Wade, who has dwarfism, went into a McDonald’s in South Carolina recently to order some food, the cashier took one look at him and ran off, waving her hands in the air and shouting “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” She kept shouting from the back, and another employee came up to tell Ethan that she had a phobia of little people. Said Wade:
An employee in the franchise office told Wade about what the woman had said. Wade said, “The employee had stated to her, ‘Imagine if you saw a snake or a spider, how would you respond?’ And that employee said she understood that. And I said, ‘That’s unbelievable. I am a human being.'”
The TSA is testing a new crowd management system at two airports in Denver and Salt Lake City that they hope will make the security process less troublesome. No, the new system isn’t less invasive or more security-sensible, but it does give families with kids/strollers/bags their own lane, both for their sanity and for ours. Early reports indicate families are happy with it but too many casual travelers think they’re experts and head to the black diamond lane, which is only for people who walk briskly and frown a lot.
Two Boston doctors brought, by their admission, “probably two and a half times as much as we’d need” of baby food on a recent flight from Chicago Midway Airport to Manchester, N.H. The TSA agent told them it was above the official limit and confiscated it. The parents argued that in light of record delays, winter weather, and stranded-on-the-tarmac stories, they wanted to be fully prepared. The TSA officers told them they’d need a doctor’s note to bring that much food on board—but, um, from another doctor who wasn’t one of the parents.
Canada’s premier sporting goods store has pulled Nalgene bottles from their shelves over concerns that bottles are made with a cancer-causing chemical. The Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Co-op is waiting for the outcome of a study from Health Canada on the health effects of bisphenol-a (B.P.A.) before returning the ubiquitous bottles to shelves.
We are clearly a nation that treasures the concept of safety, because Taser International, Inc. reported a 150% increase in sales from last year that’s due almost entirely to its redesigned consumer model, which now looks more like an electric shaver instead of a gun and comes in pink, blue, silver, or black. The company plans to start airing an infomercial later this year, so look for that on those late nights in December when all the Christmas programming has got you down.
Jennifer invokes the name of The Consumerist when Scooba customer service starts back talking, and gets ’em to bend over like lil’ robo bitches.
“The youngest children’s reactions ranged from disinterest to fear.” “Marc, 14 months, was interested in the toy at first, but lost interest quickly, opting instead to dig in the dirt. One-year-old Julia was scared of Elmo and cried whenever the toy was activated.”