Only a faucet company would think to put a spigot on its workers’ bladders. The five dozen factory workers at WaterSaver Faucet company in Chicago are up in arms over the disciplining of 19 workers in June for “excessive use” of restrooms — an amount their human resources department determines is 60 minutes or more over 10 work days, or just 6 minutes a day. The company implemented a toilet-tracking system earlier this year that requires employees to swipe a keycard to use the bathroom, allowing management to track time spent within.
Mmmm and MPh
Eight teams of rookies with food skills, fresh concepts, an entrepreneurial spirit and the American dream to one day own a food truck have taken to the highways and byways. Yep, The Great Food Truck Race is back for a fifth season on the Food Network, beginning in mid-August. A new cast on a culinary road trip travels from Southern Cali to the beaches of Key West, Florida.
Doubling Back on Trek
You never know when one of those pesky economic success stories is going to come back to bite you. Before Scott Walker started running ads lambasting Trek Bicycle as a way to discredit Mary Burke, a former executive with her family’s company, he probably should have found out the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation used Trek as part of a campaign designed to lure new businesses into the state. WEDC has since been phasing out the ads, which referred to Trek as one of five exemplary companies doing business in Wisconsin and prominently featured Mary’s brother John Burke.
Making a splash
Australian Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe came out as gay in a TV interview earlier this month, after more than a decade of denials that began with the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, when he was only 15 years old. As recently as his 2012 autobiography This is Me, Thorpe wrote, “People (will always) want me to be gay, and others (will) try and use it against me.” But in an interview conducted last month with broadcaster Michael Parkinson, the five-time Olympian admitted to years of depression suffered as a result of denying his sexual orientation. Thorpe earned words of support and encouragement from Australian gold medal-winning diver Matthew Mitcham, who came out as gay himself in 2008 and hopes Australians will support Thorpe.
For grown-up kids who want a building block apocalypse in their basement, McFarlane Toys has teamed up with AMC to create The Walking Dead toys. Playsets from the series include Daryl Dixon with his chopper, The Governor’s Cave (with light-up walker head aquariums) and the Prison Tower with gate. Figures include Michonne, Carl Grimes, Riot Gear Walker, Michonne’s Pet Walker and Herd Walkers. The playsets arrive to Toys ‘R’ Us this fall, at about the time The Walking Dead returns to AMC.
Speaking of product plugs: WiG received a news release announcing that “Ms. Las Vegas,” female impersonator Frank Marino, fancies napping on Juve
Rest. The makers of this so-called “sleep wrinkle pillow” promise that it helps a diva minimize the kind of wrinkles caused by facial compression that results from sleeping on a pillow.
Cheap and easy
Peter LaBarbera of the ultra-right Americans for Truth about Homosexuality said after an LGBT Pride party at the White House that Barack Obama is “obsessed” with homosexuality. That’s not as amusing as this other recent broadcast statement from LaBarbera: “I think homosexuality in one sense offers to men, if I can say this on your program, it offers the cheap orgasm. It’s a lot harder to be a man, a real man and have a family, court a woman, marry a woman, have children, raise a family.”
The University of Miami is selling 88 acres of rare Southern Florida forest — a habitat for plants, animals and insects found nowhere else — for the construction of businesses about as common as houseflies. Yep, endangered pine rockland will be plowed under to make way for yet another Wal-Mart and Chick-fil-A, plus 900 apartments. In a statement about developing the forest, the university said it is committed to preserving the forest.
No pictures, please
After significant public outcry, prosecutors in Virginia say they will no longer seek photos of a 17-year-old’s penis to use against him in a felony case that alleges he made a sexually explicit video of himself and consensually sent it to his 15-year-old girlfriend. The sexting case made headlines when prosecutors obtained a warrant to photograph the teen’s erect penis to compare to videos seized from his cellphone — by administering an injection if necessary. Privacy advocates had criticized the plan as a violation of the teen’s constitutional rights.