CNN Coverage | Official Oscar Site
The following are the nominees for the 2014 Academy Awards (the ones I care about) announced by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on Thursday. For some strange reason, she was joined by "Hunger Games" actor Chris Hemsworth. Weird. I wonder who he had to screw to get that spot... Anyway, The Academy Awards will air live on ABC on March 2, starting at 7 p.m. ET. Share your picks in the comments.
CNN Coverage | Official Oscar Site
Xerox system failures essentially gave a green light to unlimited spending on food stamp cards at Walmart on Saturday. Store managers at Walmarts in Louisiana called Walmart corporate headquarters on Saturday to report huge throngs of shoppers clearing the shelves as the result of a system outage at Xerox, the company who is contracted to process EBT (electronic benefit transfer of food stamps) transactions for the store, which granted unlimited credit to EBT recipients. It is unclear, even after the chaos died down, who will be responsible for the outrageous overspending. Xerox is arguing that they have documented policies and procedures for benefits processing during the event of a system outage. Walmart executives chose to override those policies to accept the EBT cards for the full value of all purchases. That, to me, leaves Walmart holding the bag. Walmart says the responsibility lies with Xerox, whose fault it was that the system went down in the first place. The outage was a result of a routine test gone wrong. Another bearer of responsibility should be the consumers, whose greedy motives led them to overindulge and live beyond their means for a moment. These customers represent the dictionary definition of dishonesty. Who do you think should be responsible for the overspending? Here's the full article from MSN:
Wal-Mart, Xerox blame each other for food stamps spree
Louisiana food stamp recipients stripped bare the shelves of some Walmart stores when a computer glitch left their debit cards with no limits.
By Kathy Finn of Reuters
Throngs of shoppers flooded Wal-Mart stores in Louisiana on Saturday, buying groceries using electronic benefit cards that contained no credit limits.
NEW ORLEANS — Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Xerox Corp blamed each other on Monday after Louisiana food stamp recipients stripped bare the shelves of some Walmart stores when a computer glitch left their debit cards with no limits.
Managers of Wal-Mart stores in the small, north Louisiana towns of Springhill and Mansfield alerted police on Saturday night that throngs of shoppers had flooded into the stores and were buying groceries using electronic benefit cards that contained no credit limits.
Food stamps glitch causes run at Wal-Mart 1 day ago 1:34 Views: 61k EBT cards are debit-type cards issued under the state's food stamp program and coded to show the amount of money available for individuals to spend. Food stamps are a federal government subsidy program for low-income people that is administered by the states.
When word got out Saturday that the EBT cards were showing no limits, card holders rushed to area Wal-Marts to take advantage.
"Some people had eight or 10 shopping carts full of groceries," Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said on Monday.
Xerox said on Saturday that its systems that process EBT transactions suffered an outage stemming from routine testing of backup generators that malfunctioned. Louisiana was one of 17 states affected by the outage.
Kayla Whiting, a spokeswoman at Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, pointed to Xerox as the source of the problem and referred further questions to Xerox.
Xerox corporate spokesman Bill McKee provided a written company statement saying that Xerox has a "documented process for retailers like Wal-Mart to follow in response to EBT outages."
But the statement left unclear who would cover the unauthorized spending, and it referred further questions to Wal-Mart.
Louisiana officials said they had no intention of being left holding the bag. "The outage was the result of failures by our contractor, Xerox," said Trey Williams, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
He said emergency procedures in place with Xerox allow retailers to call a phone number and receive authorization for purchases any time the EBT system is down. "Some retailers chose not to follow the process," he said. "Those businesses are only being reimbursed for the (maximum) amounts on individual cards," he said.
Williams said that amounts transacted above the cards' available balances were returned to Wal-Mart marked "as insufficient funds."
He could not provide an estimate of the total amount of overspending or say who will cover it in the end. "That's a conversation between Xerox and the retailer," he said.
CARTS FULL OF GROCERIES
Springhill's Lynd arrived at his town's Wal-Mart store at about 7 p.m. local time and found a few hundred shoppers jamming checkout lines with carts filled to overflowing.
Lynd said he told the manager that the store had a right to refuse service, but the manager said she had contacted Wal-Mart headquarters and was told to accept the cards.
The shoppers "decimated the grocery section of Wal-Mart," Lynd said.
The shoppers broke no laws, Lynd said, adding that police intervention was not required to disperse the crowd. At about 9 p.m., Wal-Mart said that the glitch had been fixed and the EBT cards were again showing appropriate spending limits.
"When they heard the announcement, people just left their carts in place and walked out of the store," Lynd said.
Mansfield Assistant Police Chief Gary Hobbs reported a similar scene in his community. He said that several other grocery stores in the area temporarily stopped accepting EBT cards when they became aware of the glitch, but Wal-Mart continued.
Related: Wal-Mart turns to 'made in USA'
I am counting the minutes until tonight's season premiere of American Horror Story: Coven. Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett join the cast this season as "the Sadist" and the "Voodoo Queen" respectively. But what I'm most excited about is the return of the amazing Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode. I haven't read any reviews, news, or spoilers about this upcoming season so I can be totally surprised by the first episode. The only thing I'm worried about is that I watched the first 2 seasons on Netflix in a matter of a week, so how am I going to endure the wait for new episodes each week? I guess that's life in the big city.
Don't forget to watch American Horror Story: Coven season premiere tonight at 10pm on FX.
I was talking with my friend Michelle the other night about the long abandoned theme park in Beech Mountain, NC called "The Land of Oz." I learned that "Wizard of Oz" enthusiasts open the park once a year for tours of such sights as Dorothy's house, the witch's castle, a real yellow brick road, and tiny munchkin houses.
I can't wait to go this year when it opens next month. I love abandoned things from bygone eras, and this seems like a gem. You can find tons of information on the park just by Google searching it, but here are some links to more information about the Land of Oz theme park to get you started.
Graciela Martinez, a normal, healthy girl, was found dead from heat stroke in her brother's BMW on Wednesday after a lock malfunctioned. Everybody's just taking this at face value, but seriously? How does a girl get left for dead in her brother's car? Doesn't anyone miss her at the dinner table? And then think to look in the cars, or get in one to go looking for her? This is craziness. Something seems fishy. Here's the article with a video:
A 14-year-old girl was found dead inside a car that investigators said she couldn't exit.
This is definitely weird. Tell me what you think in the comments.
Raw Chicken from "Mealbreakers"
I wasn't prepared for what I saw in a slide show at the bottom of a Huffington Post article about moldy Chobani yogurt. This slide show of about thirty or so images depicts a range of disgusting to horrifying things people have found in consumer goods and fast food.
Some are gross, but not totally beyond human comprehension, but snakes and mice and paper clips baked into bread!? No way. But, yes way, because everything you see on the internet is true, right?
Read the article about Chobani's nasty yogurt (it's gross enough without having a mold problem), and then brace yourself for the slide show called "Mealbreakers". You're welcome.
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.