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By Michael Rielly
Toys R Us announces final store closures
Remaining 75 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will close by April 24th.
Toy News Online
April 11, 2018
Toys R Us administrators Moorfields have confirmed the closure dates of the final Toys R Us stores in the UK.
The remaining 75 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the UK are to close by Tuesday, April 24th 2018. All 2,054 employees have been informed and will be paid up to and including their last day of employment.
Stores will continue to trade as normal up until the dates listed below and the nationwide stock discounting programme has been extended further. Discounts of up to 70 per cent are available throughout the stores, with all bikes, car seats, strollers and action figures currently on offer at half-price. Further 'Manager’s Specials' deals are available on selected products in stores.
“We are grateful for the hard work of everybody at Toys “R” Us’ during this extremely difficult and challenging time," said Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields. "We are working closely with the 2,000 employees affected by the closures to ensure they receive the support they need for redundancy and other compensatory payments."
“The stores across the county will be open as usual until the last day of trading and we would encourage shoppers to make the most of the great deals on offer. Extended discounts of up to 70% are in place from today and offers are available on some of our best-known brands.”
By Michael Rielly
Christmas in Action keeps giving spirit alive year-round
Times Record News
March 23, 2018
In Wichita County, some need goes unseen or unnoticed as homeowners remain silent and make do with what they have.
Plumbing for a kitchen sink stops working, so the disabled resident simply starts washing dishes in the bathtub or a working bathroom sink.
A house may look fine from the front, but a short walk around the home reveals a very different story – a leaky roof covered by a tarp to prevent overnight rains from soaking the elderly homeowner as they sleep in bed.
It's stories like these that Cassie Ahearn hopes to shed light on and make the repairs for low-income residents of Wichita County who are elderly, disabled or a veteran.
"Sometimes I get phone calls from churches with a member who has an issue. I'll send them an application," the executive director of Christmas in Action said. "Or, I'll get a call from a neighbor about a person who has a leaking roof. They say the person won't call because they are too proud."
If it weren't for neighbors helping neighbors – a slogan the non-profit has painted on their wall, Christmas in Action may not be able to help people in dire need.
"I have some people though who won't fill out an application though," Ahearn said. "They say they won't fill it out because other people need the services more than them."
By Michael Rielly
How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life
New York Times
By John Herrman
February 27, 2018
As the ranks of tech-industry critics have expanded, it has become harder to tell what common ground they occupy. Across various political divides, there is a sense that Facebook, Twitter and Google exert too much influence on the national discourse; closely connected to this is the widespread concern that we users have developed an unhealthful relationship with our phones, or with the apps on them. But on any more specific claim than that, consensus becomes impossible. The sudden arrival of a new class of tech skeptic, the industry apostate, has only complicated the discussion. Late last year, the co-inventor of the Facebook “like,” Justin Rosenstein, called it a “bright ding of pseudopleasure”; in January, the investment firm Jana Partners, a shareholder in Apple, wrote a letter to the company warning that its products “may be having unintentional negative consequences.”
All but conjuring Oppenheimer at White Sands, these critics offer broadsides, warning about addictive design tricks and profit-driven systems eroding our humanity. But it’s hard to discern a collective message in their garment-rending: Is it design that needs fixing? Tech? Capitalism? This lack of clarity may stem from the fact that these people are not ideologues but reformists. They tend to believe that companies should be more responsible — and users must be, too. But with rare exceptions, the reformists stop short of asking the uncomfortable questions: Is it possible to reform profit-driven systems that turn attention into money? In such a business, can you even separate addiction from success?