In light of May being National Beef Month, here are seven facts about cows and beef that may surprise you.
1. The United States and Brazil are the top beef-producing countries in the world.
2. Beef is a source of 14 essential nutrients: protein, iron, zinc, selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, phosphorus, pantothenate, magnesium, and potassium.
3. There are more than 1,000 breeds of cow worldwide.
4. Uruguay, Argentina, and Hong Kong consume the most beef in the world at more than 100 pounds per capita each.
5. Only about 60 percent of a cow is used for meat. The rest is used to create items such as leather, glue, soap, and pharmaceuticals.
6. Cows are descendants of a type of wild oxen known as aurochs that were first domesticated more than 10,000 years ago.
7. Beef is the third most popular meat consumed globally, topped only by pork and poultry.
Beef is a nutritious food staple in countries around the world, and global demand for it is on the rise.
Fake companies abound on social media
One of the ironies of social media today is that while Facebook and other social media companies automatically slap a challenge notice on fake news, their own advertising is often fake, with no such fact check in sight.
Advertising fraud on social media takes a number of forms: Brand theft, product misrepresentation, and fake reviews, to name just a few.
Social media users are ripe for the picking. Facebook is one of the largest superstores in history, with billions of shoppers and millions of small businesses pitching products. Small business ad revenues, nearly $70 billion a year in advertising for the company.
The fact is if you have a few bucks, you can advertise on Facebook and no one will look into your business at all.
According to an FTC study, 94 percent of scam victims said they saw an ad on Facebook or Instagram.
Brand theft is an old scam that finds new life on Facebook.
Advertisers use the pictures from real products and then claim you can order them at prices well below retail. Clothing is often fraudulent. If you went to your favorite clothing store and saw a brand name nightgown for sale at $60, you then have an electronic cookie on your computer. When you go to Facebook, you will likely see the same photo of the same nightgown advertised on a Facebook ad for $20. The difference between the two? The Facebook ad is a fraud, and you won’t get the product, it won’t be the same product, or the site will contain a worm or virus that steals your credit card info. Using PayPal doesn’t help. In fact, one hint of a scam is the store takes only PayPal.
Meanwhile, the fake company will list hundreds of positive reviews. Beware. These reviews are often solicited. Users get an email that says: Give us a positive review and we will send the product free. After the review is submitted, reviewers never receive anything.
According to Time Magazine, scammers set up dozens of companies with silly double or triple-word domains. Some examples from the Time article: ByDivStore.com, BoldWon, GoShoes.
According to Buzzfeed and Time, most of the clothing scams originate in mainland China.
Town Talk: A conversation with Commonwealth Attorney John Bell – New laws as of July 1
In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Commonwealth Attorney John Bell about some of the new laws that took effect on July 1, 2021.
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
7 tips to make your move easier
Moving requires careful planning and months of preparation. To efficiently sort and pack everything, you’ll need to be organized. Here are a few tips to help you keep things in order and make your move easy to manage.
1. Use small boxes since they require less effort to carry. It’s also helpful if they’re all about the same size. This will make it easier to stack and load them onto the truck.
2. Pack the clothes hanging in your closets quickly by slipping large plastic bags over them. Simply cut a hole in the bottom to fit the hangers.
3. Clearly identify each box by room and indicate what’s in it. Label the sides rather than the tops of boxes, so the information is visible when they’re stacked.
4. Keep track of screws, handles, and other small components from disassembled furniture by placing them in a sealable bag and taping it to a corresponding piece of the same furniture.
5. Take pictures of the back of your electronics (television, DVD player, video game console, etc.) before you unplug them. This will make it easier to reconnect them at your new place.
6. Prepare one or more boxes with all the items you’ll need upon arrival such as cleaning products, dishcloths, and toilet paper. Remember to include pajamas, sheets, a toothbrush, and anything else you’ll need for your first night. If possible, place these boxes in your car rather than load them onto the truck.
7. Make sure you have cool drinks and snacks on hand to offer to your moving crew.
10 ways to reduce how much you consume
Your consumption habits can have a considerable impact on the planet. This year for World Environment Day, which takes place on June 5, consider taking stock of your daily practices to determine how you can adopt a greener lifestyle. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Always ask yourself if you really need a product before you buy it. Avoid purchasing items that are likely to end up at the bottom of a drawer.
2. Extend the lifespan of your appliances by getting them repaired by a professional. You may be able to fix minor issues yourself with the help of an online tutorial.
3. Learn how to recognize quality materials and design, so you can choose products that will last a long time.
4. Rent or borrow equipment that you only intend to use occasionally. Keep this in mind before you purchase tools, cleaning equipment, and sporting goods.
5. Buy used goods such as clothing, toys, tools, and cell phones whenever possible.
6. Choose products that are made or grown locally or that have other eco-friendly features.
7. Sell or give away items you no longer want. If something’s still in good condition, there’s no reason it should end up in the garbage.
8. Avoid single-use and over-packaged products. In particular, steer clear of plastic bags, paper napkins, throwaway cutlery and single-serve snacks.
9. Minimize your consumption of beef, dairy products, and processed foods, as these require high amounts of energy and resources to grow, produce and package.
10. Cut back on food waste by making a grocery list and checking expiration dates on the items you buy.
To learn more about World Environment Day, visit worldenvironmentday.global.
How to use the 2021 Pantone colors of the year in your home
For 2021, Pantone announced not one but two colors of the year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Here’s how to incorporate these shades of natural, stony gray and warm, uplifting yellow into your home.
In the bedroom
Opt for bedding or pillows that combine both colors. For a more dramatic change, consider painting the walls gray and furnishing the room with a bright yellow bedside table, lamp, or reading chair.
In the living room
Add touches to these trendy shades by replacing curtains, throws, cushions, or rugs. You could also hang artwork that features these colors.
If you want to use paint to make an impression, consider creating a gray or yellow accent wall, and provide contrast by placing a footstool, shelf, or side table in the other color against it. Wallpaper in these shades can also wow.
In the kitchen
Find accessories or small appliances in gray or yellow. Look for serving dishes, oven mitts, towels, toasters, and more in these colors. You can also change your chair cushions, tablecloth, and table runner.
Ultimate Gray and Illuminating can be integrated into any design style. Consider bringing these colors that evoke fortitude and optimism into any space that could use a pick-me-up.
Virginia invests over $203.6 million to expand access to child care, increase support for providers
Governor Ralph Northam announced on April 2, 2021, that an additional $203.6 million in federal stimulus funds and expanded eligibility criteria for the Child Care Subsidy Program will help further stabilize Virginia’s early childhood care and education system, provide child care assistance to additional families as they seek stable employment or return to work, and deliver critical operational and technical resources to new and returning child care providers.
First Lady Pamela Northam and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn celebrated the new investments during a virtual meeting of the Northam Administration’s Children’s Cabinet on Thursday. Video of the First Lady and Speaker at yesterday’s meeting is available here.
“Early educators have been diligent and dedicated to keeping children safe and meeting the needs of our youngest Virginians since the early days of this public health crisis,” said Governor Northam. “As we emerge from the pandemic, the strength of our recovery will depend upon our ability to help families return to the workforce and provide quality, affordable options for early childhood care and education. These additional investments will help address the challenges child care providers are facing and ensure we can continue to deliver critical resources to those most in need now and into the future.”
While nearly 90 percent of child care center programs have reopened, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in ongoing staffing challenges, revenue shortfalls, and increased operational costs for many providers. Through the additional funding, Virginia will continue to provide stabilization grants to sustain current providers and help closed providers re-open as well as retention bonuses and scholarships for child care educators. To support families and children in areas where there are few or no options, Virginia will also offer grants to help open new programs.
“I’m grateful to the legislators for their support of our littlest learners during another successful General Assembly session,” said First Lady Northam. “This funding will help our superhero educators continue to support Virginia’s most valuable asset—our children.”
The expansion of the Child Care Subsidy Program is a result of House Bill 2206, sponsored by Speaker Filler-Corn and recently signed into law by Governor Northam, which establishes a new short-term eligibility category for parents seeking financial assistance for child care while they are looking for employment and temporarily expands income eligibility guidelines for families with young children. The new income eligibility levels allow families with a household income of up to 85 percent of the state median income to apply if they have a child under age five, or not yet in kindergarten, to qualify. Funding for the new eligibility category comes from federal coronavirus relief funds dedicated to child care assistance that Virginia received through the December 2020 stimulus package.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the immense value of quality, accessible child care for Virginia families,” said Speaker Filler-Corn. “These times have been incredibly hard on parents balancing the need to put food on the table while having to look after their children at home. I thank Governor Northam for signing this legislation which will help lighten the burden on many working families by making quality child care more affordable during this public health crisis. I am thankful to have received the bipartisan support of my colleagues in the House and Senate as we work to protect families and build the foundation for a better Virginia.”
The additional federal funding will support families and child care providers by enabling the Commonwealth to:
• Waives co-payments for families in April, May, and June to reduce financial hardship and support children’s access to care.
• Increases absence days so that providers and families can manage occurrences where child care providers may temporarily need to close or children may need to quarantine.
• Builds the foundation for a statewide mental health consultation program to assist child care providers in helping children through this difficult time.
• Issues the fourth round of child care stabilization grants to eligible open providers in the Commonwealth.
• Provide funding for grants and contracts to support increased access to child care in underserved communities.
• Supplement the state’s innovative child care educator incentive program so that eligible educators in child care centers and family day homes that receive public funding such as the Child Care Subsidy Program are now eligible for up to $2,000 this year to strengthen the quality and reduce turnover.
“We know that access to quality early childhood care and education has been a concern for many working families, even before the pandemic,” said S. Duke Storen, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). “Over the past year, enrollment in our Child Care Subsidy Program has declined by 32 percent, further demonstrating the financial burden families have continued to experience amidst the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. As Virginians return to school and work, we must not only ensure the available supply of child care to meet the increased demand but also continue to make investments to maintain a strong child care system.”
VDSS, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, is working to operationalize the application process for expanded Child Care Subsidy Program eligibility. VDSS expects to be able to communicate additional program details and stabilization grant information to families and providers by mid-April.