Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Wednesday quick hits: Oreo scandal; dead solar panels; photos of the year; the nurse shortage; food inflation dips

Is there less creme filling?
(Wall Street Journal photo)
Sometimes less is more, but sometimes less is just less, especially if you're talking about less filling in your delightfully creamed Oreo. "Oreo fans think there's less filing, but the Snack maker says it hasn't tinkered with creme ratio," reports Jesse Newman of The Wall Street Journal. "But suspicious consumers are on high alert."

Inquiring minds want to know: Where do dead solar panels end up? "The majority end up in landfills," reports Izzy Ross of Grist. "But there are no federal requirements for recycling solar panels, and states have different regulations for what to do with them. Panels can also contain small amounts of heavy metals like lead, which makes getting rid of them more complicated. The vast majority of panels are thrown away in landfills — only about 10 percent are recycled."

Photo by Louie Palu, National Geographic
It's finally time for the National Geographic photos of the year. A diverse and beautiful world awaits. In the photo, left, Finnish and U.S. soldiers train for winter warfare by navigating an obstacle course while on skis. The exercise took place two months before Finland — which shares an 800-mile border with Russia — joined NATO. The training was arranged in response to the war in Ukraine.

Is there a nursing shortage? That depends. "In 2022, the American Hospital Association quoted an estimate that half a million nurses would leave the field by the end of that year, bringing the total shortage to 1.1 million," reports Brittany Trang of STAT. "At the same time, National Nurses United insists there isn't a nurse shortage at all. There are plenty enough nurses for the country, they say — merely a shortage of nurses who want to work under current conditions."

Bill Watterson comic via
Mental Floss

When life gets too heavy, lift yourself up with some comics like Calvin and Hobbes. The wacky duo gets up to all kinds of shenanigans. The cartoon strip's artist was also a bit of a card himself.

After two years of stubborn food inflation, Americans can expect a slow drop in at-home food costs. "According to economists with the Department of Agriculture, while food prices are expected to remain higher in 2024, the rampant inflation rates experienced in 2022 and 2023 are anticipated to return to more 'normal' levels in the upcoming fiscal year, reports Charlsie McKay, RFD-TV News, which covers rural America.

Photo by M. Zilses, Unsplash
As the the holiday season approaches, it's time to consider how to eat all the treats you love without looking like you ate all the things you love. "What if the best way to curb sugar cravings is just to eat as much as you want? That is the core of an idea gaining traction among dietitians," reports Alina Dizik of The Wall Street Journal. "Who say that letting ourselves graze unfettered on a cache of Halloween fun-size Snickers can reduce our sugar lust in the long run."

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