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April 03, 2013

United Airlines has passengers detained for daring to suggest that the inflight movie wasn't suitable for kids

Passengers Claim United Flight Was Diverted After They Complained About In-Flight Movie – Consumerist
The parents say they were flying from Denver to Baltimore on United in February when they noticed the movie being shown on the public screens was “Alex Cross,” better known as the movie where Tyler Perry doesn’t put on a dress. Regardless, the parents felt the crime flick might be inappropriate for their 4- and 8-year-old sons, so they asked the crew if there was any way the drop-down monitors in front of them could be turned off or if another film could be put on in its place. “The first flight attendant also claimed that the screen could not be folded up independently (which it clearly could) and that even if it could, she would still not authorize closing it because of the passengers sitting behind us,” they write to Fallows. “At this point, the passengers behind us spoke up and agreed the content was inappropriate for children and announced it would not bother them at all to switch it off. Both flight attendants, and later the purser, claimed that they have no authority or ability to change or turn off the movie. The purser did, however, agree with us, as did many more of the passengers around us, that it is patently inappropriate to expose children to such content.” According to the parents, they asked if the captain had any authority to resolve the issue; they also asked for the captain’s name, but were told they would have to ask the captain directly when they deplaned. “Throughout these interactions the atmosphere was collegial, no voices were raised and no threats, implicit or explicit, of any kind were made,” write the parents. “The flight continued without incident, while my wife and I engaged our children to divert their attention from the horrific scenes on the movie screens.” But then they say that an hour later, the captain made an announcement that the flight was being diverted, for “security concerns” to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The family say they had no idea they were the security concerns until they had landed and police boarded the plane to escort them off the jet.

Nestle is going to sail a grocery store down the Amazon so it can sell junk food to even more people

Do you remember when Nestle tried to convince mothers in the developing world that breast milk was inferior to formula so they could sell more toxic crap? Good times. Nestle to Sail Amazon Rivers to Reach Emerging-Market Consumers - Bloomberg
Nestle SA will begin sailing a supermarket barge down two Amazon river tributaries tomorrow as it competes with Unilever to reach emerging-market customers cut off from branded goods. The world’s largest food company will send a boat with 100-square meters (1,076 square feet) of supermarket space on a journey to 18 small cities and 800,000 potential consumers on the Para and Xingu rivers in Brazil, before starting the journey again. The vessel will carry 300 different goods including chocolate, yogurt, ice cream and juices. “Direct distribution gives them a competitive edge over regional competitors who don’t have the resources to do this kind of thing,” said James Targett, an analyst at Consumer Equity Research in London. He has a “positive” rating on Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle. Nestle expects as many as 1 billion people in emerging markets to exit poverty and be able to afford its products in the coming decade. The foodmaker has adapted its products in such regions by offering smaller, cheaper versions of products such as Alpino ice cream and Ninho milk powder through direct distribution to make them more accessible to low-income shoppers. Unilever has also been building a distribution network into Brazil’s shantytowns.

April 02, 2013

Man loves his small town so much he bought 200 houses to fix and rent

This is great. Man Buying Foreclosed Homes To Fix Them, Then Sell Or Rent Them Cheap To Save Town – Consumerist
There is no magic solution to the housing crisis that has hit many towns across America, but one man in Carpentersville, Ill. has come up with a very unique way of addressing the situation. In an effort to save his town from becoming a ghost land of empty, foreclosed homes, he’s bought 193 forecolosed home, fixed them up, and either sells or rents them at a discount to locals. CNNMoney says the 60-year-old man, who is a co-owner of the town’s largest employer, started on his quest in 2005 when a housing complex in the area had a raft of foreclosures and subsequently, crime started popping up there. “It really was neglected,” he tells CNN. “I went to the town, the county; I went to Habitat for Humanity; I told them that we needed to do something about this neighborhood. I couldn’t get help from anybody.” Instead, he bought 69 of the foreclosed condos there himself, and his plan came to life. The homes he buys for usually less than $30,000 at auction and fixes them up. He then rents them out for below market value. He started to see how this idea could help if he employed it in other parts of the town; it not only helped his community but kept business thriving in the area by preventing customers of his company from being turned off when they visited the town to wheel and deal. “I couldn’t afford for Carpentersville to become Detroit,” he said.