Gap Fires Creative Director, Eliminates Position in Face of Falling Sales

Gap has dismissed it’s creative director and eliminated the position entirely, according to sources. The retailers stunning move comes after the company released sales data that shows a continued loss of revenue. The company has also ditched Piperlime, an offshoot of the Gap company that offered shoes and other accessories. The changes have been implemented by incoming CEO, Art Peck.

The creative director who got the axe, Rebekka Bay, was brought on board in late 2012 in an attempt to salvage the brand. The Gap was a popular retailer in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, but their simple, preppy style has failed to translate to today’s young consumers. Marc Sparks knows that their woes are similar in nature to that of Abercrombie and Fitch, another clothing outfitter that has failed to keep up with the times.

When Bay was first brought on board, many wondered if she could salvage the floundering company. She took the company “back to basics”, which many critics argued led to an uninspired and boring line of clothing. Bay was given just 3 clothing seasons to pull of a miracle, but the company’s sales continued to slide.

Peck is now tasked with reinventing the entire Gap image. The job will be difficult, argue experts, as the company has failed to inspire shoppers for several years in a row, forcing the company name to fall somewhat into obscurity.

Old Navy and Banana Republic, both owned by the company, continue to do well.

Mystery Man Shovels Snow From Boston Marathon Finish Line

 

This week the northeast part of the United States have been pummeled by the storm Juno. Parts of the northeast have seen blizzard conditions where they have received nearly 3 feet of snow. Major cities like New York and Boston were shut down for a period of time. As the Boston blizzard was slowing down twitter user, Phillip Hillman, witnessed a man shoveling snow from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Hillman snapped a picture of the man and put it on twitter. The picture spread like wildfire with people trying to figure out the identity of the man, even the Boston Police got in on it with no results said Sergio Lins Andrade.

Check out the story on Buzzfeed.com to see the pictures and the tweets of the mystery man shoveling the finish line.

Eventually the man’s identity was confirmed. His employer, the Back Bay Social Club, confirmed that it was one of their bartenders, Chris Laudani. His manager said that during a slow spot Laudani stepped out to shovel the line. His manager also said that Laudani runs the marathon every year.

Something about this story brings a lump to my throat. Boston went through a traumatizing event together and they have stuck strong. The shoveling of the finish line shows how committed some are to honoring the memory of those killed and injured during the attack at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Boston Strong indeed.

The Real Reason Vaping Is Bad

On Wednesday, January 28, California health officials publicly announced that use of electronic cigarettes, or the nicotine consumption process called vaping, may be seriously bad for people’s health. E-cigarettes release 10 toxins when the nicotine in the cartridges used for them is burnt. Although there is not yet enough study on the long-term effects, and e-cigarettes are considerably less toxic than normal cigarettes, California health officials insist that federal regulators need to do more about controlling these products and advertising related to these products.

Although they are making a wonderful point, the bigger reason that regulators need to do more with controlling distribution of these products is because the companies that make them are targeting children.

In 2010, California ended sales of e-cigarettes to minors, but many states still allow minors to purchase them. The worst part is that the companies know this and have developed flavors like gummy bear and cotton candy.

Since seven cases in 2012, researchers have seen a jump of e-cigarette poisonings in children younger than 5 years old to 154 cases in 2014. Mark Sparks agrees that, until controls are in place, vaping is far too great a risk to young children. Although they can’t burn down a house accidentally by picking up an active e-cigarette, young children are experiencing more poisonings as a result of the nicotine addiction of parents and other adults at a far greater rate than with real cigarettes.

Founding Member of Blink-182 Quits the Band

Wait, I know what you are thinking- is this headline from 10 years ago, when Blink 182 broke up? I thought the same thing but alas it is not. This is a current headline with current news.

According to the story on Mr. Wavy, Blink 182 founding member, guitarist Tom DeLonge, has officially quit the band. As fans like Bernardo Chua know, this is the second time that DeLonge has quit the band, leaving them the first time in 2005. More on Chua is available on Zoominfo.com. The band reunited after drummer Travis Barker’s brush with death in a fiery plane crash. However it seems that DeLonge is over being in Blink 182 again.

DeLonge, along with the rest of Blink 182 were set to be in the studio soon to record new music as well as perform at the Musink Festival. However the other members of the band received an email from DeLonge’s management team saying that he was no longer interested in pursuing any avenues with Blink 182 at that time. He later sent another email confirming that, and this is a direct quote, “Tom. Is. Out.” However, to confuse things further, DeLonge said on Instagram right after the story broke that he did not quit the band and called the press release weird. Maybe he should talk to his manager.

According to the remaining members, Mark Hoppus and Barker, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio will be replacing Tom DeLonge as the guitarist and vocals for Blink 182.

Promising New Cancer Drugs Pose Other Health Threats

New and very promising cancer drugs are being tested, but there is a catch – the new drugs pose other health threats and the drugs may not pass FDA approval.
The new cancer-fighting drugs contain powerful drugs that give cancer cells a one-two punch and remove it from the body. The drugs contain CAR T, chimeric antigen receptor T cells, plus a powerful antibiotic known as bispecifics. The two work in tandem to grasp cancer cells from within the body, hold onto them and administer a lethal dose of antibiotics to the cells and/or tumor. The CAR T increases the potency of the antibiotics, enabling them to literally melt away cancerous tumors and eliminate them from the body. These new cancer drugs have been able to melt away tumors from cancer patients that have already been though chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments without success.
The downside of cancer treatment using the CAR T drugs is the cost of close to half a million dollars per patient and the threat the drugs pose to other aspects of health. The new cancer drugs and the disintegrated tumor cells release inflammatory chemicals, called cytokines, into the bloodstream during treatment. These residual cytokines can cause fever, a change in blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. The cytokines can be life-threatening to a cancer patient who is already in a compromised state of health. People like Brian Torchin are encouraged by these new findings. More on Torchin is available on DigitalJournal.com.

Bruce Levenson brings his Business Skills to Sports and Philanthropy

Bruce Levenson has proven himself to be a success in almost every aspect of the business world, with his UCG Group quickly becoming one of the main suppliers of news and data for the oil and gas industries as early as the 1970s. Levenson was still a student at the American University Law School Levenson began working as a journalist for the Washington Star, Levenson used his skills with UCG co-founder Ed Peskowitz to establish a newsletter designed for the oil industry. From a storage room where the two created the first Oil Express newsletters the UCG Group was formed that now provides data, analysis and statistics for a wide range of industrial areas across the World.

There is much more to Levenson than simply the businessman looking to new technologies to enhance his business career. Instead, the businessman is also well known for his work in a number of communities and sporting areas that provide him with an outlet from the stresses of business life and the chance to give back to others. Bruce Levenson took a controlling interesting with his consortium partners in the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise in 2004, Levenson took a large interest in the promotion and control of the Hawks and joined the NBA Board of Governors as the Hawks representative.

The Atlanta Hawks are more just a hobby for Levenson, instead they are often seen at the good causes and projects Levenson and his wife Karen are known to support. One of the major projects funded by Levenson was the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, which became a pet project for the Levenson’s as Karen’s mother is a Holocaust survivor. The Atlanta Hawks team attended the museum to raise awareness of it amongst younger people in 2014. Levenson and wife also spend a large amount of their time and money sponsoring a series of outreach programs developed through the US Holocaust Museum to keep the issues of the Holocaust alive in the minds of those who were not born when it took place during World War II.

Watch Out Big Pharma! Here Comes Elizabeth Warren

Drug companies who break the law will have to pay some big money to the U.S. National Institutes of Health if Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill passes next week. The bill proposes much higher penalties for things like kickbacks to doctors and Medicare fraud.

Warren believes the pharmaceutical industry has received significant benefits from successful medicines that have been discovered by publicly funded research. To date, minimal settlements and fines have been the only penalties assessed.

The Medical Innovation Act would put more money into medical research and make it easier for drug companies to discover new cures. Flavio Maluf added that the act will also make it more difficult to profit by defrauding the taxpayer. Companies that do not break the law would not have to pay penalties.

Senator Warren compares her bill to a “swear jar,” an old fashioned way to deter swearing and get more money for the household budget from wrongdoers. The act is intended to make a beneficial difference to the American people and to the drug companies who play by the rules.

New Posture Guide Infographic Released by North American Spine

As reported on PR Newswire North American Spine has recently released an infographic containing vital information on practicing good posture. North American Spine are exclusive providers of a spinal surgery procedure known as AccuraScope. This procedure is minimally invasive ans has been used to help deal with chronic back pain in patients. The popular procedure has been done 8,000 times and is always carried out by board certified physicians who specialize in helping patients with interventional pain management techniques. The success rate of this procedure is 80% and on average patients save $23,190 over a 5 year period using this method.

The infographic itself has a lot of useful information not just for people suffering from back pain but for people in general. For example, it has a section on how to improve posture when sitting as well as standing. On top of this it also has a section outlining how to properly lift objects so as not to strain one’s back during the process. It should also be noted that the info graphic posts sources for all the information listed to ensure that readers are able to trust the accuracy of it.

It should also be mentioned that North American Spine is celebrating six years of providing back pain patients relieve using the AccuraScope method. The procedure is outpatient and typically lasts only about 45 minutes. It uses special cameras to scan the spine for indications of issues that could be causing pain. Once something is found the physician can then go in using advanced tools to treat the problem quickly, and accurately. This new technology is what has led to the high success rate of the procedure. Dr. Darren Schuhmacher mentioned that he was pleased with the results and happy to be able to help people get lasting relief from their back pain.

For more information on North American Spine and their new infographic, click here.

Green Coffee Can Protect the Body From Skin Cancer

According to a decade-long study involving white non-Hispanic Americans, it is has been revealed that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of skin cancer development by 20 percent. This comes as a great news for people at Slow Ventures who don’t want to get their day started without a cup of coffee.

It is important to note that there are other factors that can reduce the risk of malignant melanoma as well. For instance, people who smoke are much more likely to get skin cancer. Regular alcohol consumption can also increase cancer risk.

The study also revealed that decaf coffee didn’t have the same cancer-preventing effects as coffee that is conventionally caffeinated. Coffee also has a number of other health benefits that could prove to provide long-term benefits. For instance, the compounds in coffee can boost brain power and have the ability to reduce water weight.

Ball Pit House

Roman Atwood has been making splashes in the YouTube world for years now and has effectively built a dedicated audience that is in the millions. Each and every day he posts a video to his vlog channel, as well as periodic prank videos to his main channel which gained him notoriety in the first place. He pulled off a prank several days ago that is unlike any other prank that has hit the internet. A lot of times someone will come out with a video and people all over the world try to hop on board and make follow up videos, but this one doesn’t even seem feasible to be copied. He bought a quarter million ball pit balls and decided to fill his house with the balls and throw a party for his family and friends. The video was more of a concept idea and a feel good video then it was of a prank, although they did scare his girlfriend Britt when she returned to the home by stacking balls up against the door to pour out onto her. All in all it has been an incredible successful video that has over ten million views in in first two days. Prankster channels on YouTube have gotten increasingly popular over the last several years, but Roman Atwood was one of the pioneers and has continued to grow in popularity as time has gone on. Fans like Haidar Barbouti look forward to seeing what he will come up with next.