Destruction in Japan: Last week, we talked about how this month’s SuperMoon (the moon’s closest approach to the Earth) might cause strange weather patterns, earthquakes, or other such chaos. Sure enough, Japan saw one of its largest earthquakes on record, plunging the country into a crisis. In the wake of the destruction millions of people have been displaced, thousands have lost their lives, and the country is facing a nuclear crisis due to the damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. At time of writing, the nuclear complex has faced multiple explosions and one of the reactors has caught fire. Radiation has been detected as far away as Tokyo and the situation is worsening by the day. The Red Cross has already launched relief efforts. To do your part, donate at RedCross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.
Wild, Wild Web: We’ve all heard the story. Traditional print media is slowly dying in the wake of the Internet Age. Across the country, newspapers and magazine sales are flagging. In fact in 2010, according to the recent State of the News Media, an annual report released by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, for the first time in history, more people get their news from the internet than from newspapers. In fact, all forms of media—TV, magazines, radio, and newspapers—saw a smaller audience. But that’s not necessarily bad news! Print media might be on the decline, but digital media is experiencing nothing short of a Renaissance. Digital media has become the new Wild West of the news world and newsmen are flocking to the web to stake their claim. The future of news media as a whole is still uncertain, but for now the possibilities are endless.
Those Greedy Mom and Pop Groceries: We all know what the big problem in food distribution is right now: the little guy! The small, independent grocers who operate separately from the larger chains are clearly the root of the system’s woes. According to an article by Adam Jones of Tuscaloosa News, to address this problem the U.S.Department of Labor will begin targeting small grocers in Mississippi and Alabama to search for wage and hour violations. According to the DOL, investigations in 2007 and 2008 found that small grocers owed $141,000 in back pay and 180 federal child labor violations had been committed. The DOL says they will not target larger chains because they find the problems, for the most part, at smaller grocers. Not to dismiss the fact that laws are being violated, but something about ignoring the big chains to chase after the little guy just seems wrong.
Billion Dollar Innovators: Good news for business in Birmingham. Local business incubator, Innovation Depot, has had an economic impact of around $1 billion over the past four years, bolstered by rising sales and employment in 2010 according to an article by Michael Tomberlin of The Birmingham News. Thanks
to many new clients, acquisitions and contracts, the businesses
associated with Innovation Depot have seen millions of dollars of
revenue over the past few years. Innovation Depot works with a total of 75 companies, more than half of which are information technology companies which,
according to Susan Matlock, chief executive of Innovation Depot, “had
some long-time pending contracts start to close as their customers
started making decisions. That was an indication that things were
picking up.” In fact, Innovation Depot companies are back to pre-recession levels. Well done, Innovation Depot. Keep on innovating!