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France Bans Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Food

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Image by Flickr user alistairas.

The French parliament passed legistlation on Thursday that would ban supermarkets from trashing unsold food products. Instead, supermarkets will have to donate that food to charity groups that will then distribute it those in need. According to the AFP, some grocery stores would even destroy the food before throwing it away, making it completely inedible.  

"It's scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods," said Guillaume Garot, an assembly member who sponsored the bill. 

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'Deadpool' Made One Little Fan's Big Wish Come True

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Deadpool isn’t particularly known for being a nice guy, but you know who is? Ryan Reynolds, the star of the upcoming Deadpool solo movie. And when he’s not busy filming action-packed scenes and mouthing off behind that mask, he’s taking time out to be a real-life hero, making one little Deadpool fan’s wish come true.

Reynolds paid a visit to Tony Acevedo, a young boy who’s currently fighting a very heroic battle all his own with Hodgkin’s disease. The Make-a-Wish foundation teamed up with Reynolds to grant his wish: to spend the day with his favorite comic book character, the Merc With a Mouth. Reynolds took to Instagram to document the occasion:

Not only did Acevedo get to hang with Reynolds, he also got to dress up like his hero and throw a few punches around. Seriously, if this isn’t enough to make your heart melt, then you should probably seek medical attention. Of course, Reynolds couldn’t keep from adding a bit of Deadpool’s signature humor to the Instagram post, ending it with “Tony’s next fight is with Hodgkin’s Disease. Hodgkin’s Disease best be wearing its brown pants.”

If you need a few more warm and fuzzy feelings today, may I direct you to Chris Evans and Chris Pratt’s recent visit to a children’s hospital? These superheroes really are using their powers for good.

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Fuller House: Olsen Twins Not Returning as Michelle, EP Confirms

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Someone tell Danny not to bother saving a seat for Michelle at the Tanner family dinner table. Neither of her portrayers — Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen, respectively — are set to appear in Netflix’s Fuller House, according to the series’ executive producer Robert L. Boyett. “Although Ashley and Mary-Kate will not be a part of Fuller House, I know […]
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17 hours ago
Did anyone actually think they were coming back?
Overland Park, KS
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Miracles of Modern Science cover Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” on strings — watch

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Since forming some 10 years ago at Princeton University, Miracles of Modern Science have nearly perfected the art of reimagining arena-sized pop songs as symphony hall opuses. The Brooklynites take this route on their own original material, such as their 2011 debut Dog Years and their forthcoming Mean Dreams LP. They especially excel on their cover songs — brilliant takes on hits like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Charli XCX’s “Break the Rules”, and Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” — many of which have gone viral.

The latest entry in their covers series is Foo Fighters’ “Everlong”. Considering its rock anthem status, and the fact that it played a prominent part in David Letterman’s touching send-off earlier this week, it’s admittedly an ambitious, high-stakes choice for the band. They knock it out of the park, though, rockin’ out as grandly as one can on violin, mandolin, and cello. It’s a pretty neat sight whether or not you love the song. (Though, c’mon, who doesn’t like “Everlong”?) Watch the performance below.

The band’s new album, Mean Dreams, arrives on August 14th.

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Are Your Packages Really More Secure With UPS’ New Access Point Service?

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Last October, United Parcel Service announced it would attempt to cut down on delivery stops and protect consumers’ packages from sticky fingers with its Access Point service that drops off packages at local businesses where you can pick them up at your convenience. While the idea seems great in theory – who doesn’t want to protect their unattended packages? – in practice, it appears there are still a few kinks to work out: Mainly that people aren’t aware of the service, and the packages may not be as secure as we’d hoped.

Those issues certainly appeared to be the case this week when an editor for ANIMALNewYork spotted “more than two dozen packages crammed into the aisle” of a small local grocer.

When UPS announced the service, it said it was designed for people who work or live in big cities, where packages left on the doorstep could be stolen. It would allow consumers to skip waiting at home to sign for a package and instead pick them up at the pharmacy, convenience store, dry cleaners and other local businesses.

Prachi Gupta says in her post that she was unaware of the Access Point service until she received a notice that one of her packages had been delivered to the grocer. Upon arriving at the store, she says she was greeted with a long line of customers, several frustrated with this new service.

“One frustrated woman told me that she had no idea why her package was sent to a bodega,” Gupta writes. “Another man complained that his packages had been routed to two different Access Point locations.”

As for her package, it was actually deemed undeliverable to the store twice thanks to a required signature. She only learned the package was at the store through a UPS slip left on her door.

An employee at UPS’s West Houston Street facility tells ANIMALNewYork that several customers have expressed their displeasure with these new service.

Aside from the frustration of not knowing about the service or the requirement that you have to slog out into the city to retrieve it, the bigger issue appears to be the fact that these packages were left in the open.

The local grocer tells Gupta that packages are usually kept in a room below the store. It wasn’t clear exactly why the packages were left “in the aisle for at least an hour.”

UPS vice president of new product development, Stephanie Callaway, tells ANIMALNewYork that leaving packages out in the open is “not what we consider to be a secure location,” and that the company would look into the situation.

She went on to say that the issues seen this week were likely the result of local businesses getting acclimated to the new service. So far, New York has designated about 550 businesses, including dry cleaners, bodegas and other store, as Access Point locations.

For the most part, she tells ANIMALNewYork that the feedback from retailers and customers has been positive.

“The numbers were off the charts,” she said. “Ninety-eight percent said they had a good experience while they were picking up their package. It’s not typical for us to see that.”

Your Package Might Be In The Grocery Aisle Due To New UPS Service [ANIMALNewYork]

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Why you shouldn't drive slowly in the left lane

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There are basically two types of drivers: those who get worked up about people driving slowly in the left lane, and those who do it all the time and have no idea they're upsetting everyone else.

In case you're in the second group, some background: every state has some sort of law that discourages people from traveling in the left lane on multi-lane roads and highways. It's not that you're never allowed in the left lane, just that you should only use it when necessary, for passing, then get back over.

That's because even if you're driving fast, there's always someone going faster. If you promptly get back over after passing, that car will be able to pass you,allowing everyone on the roadto get to their destinations as quickly as possible. If you don't, it'll inevitably lead to buildups of traffic and likely raise the chance of accidents.

The system works best when people aren't hogging the left lane. That's one reason why National Motorists Association has declared June Lane Courtesy Month in an effort to to raise awareness about the importance of getting out of the left lane.

Here's Vox's small contribution — an explanation of the reasons why traveling in the left lane is a bad idea.

State laws restrict driving in the left lane

left lane driving

Every state has some lawon the books restricting use of the left lane. In 29 states (shown in yellow), states, the law says any car that's moving slower than the "normal speed of traffic" should be in the right lane — so even if it's going at the speed limit, a car that's not moving as fast as the other cars around shouldn't be in the left. Georgia has recently increasedthe penalty for violating this law to a misdemeanor.

In 11 states (shown in green), states, the laws are even stricter — specifically saying the left lane is only for turning or passing. Most of the remaining states say cars need to get over if they're blocking traffic that wants to pass, or if they're traveling more slowly than the speed limit.

Police are cracking down on left lane drivers

MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images

Traditionally, these laws have seldom been enforced, and were often just used as a legal excuse for police to pull people over for unrelated reasons.

Recently, though, police in several states — including WashingtonTexas, andOhio— have increasingly been issuing tickets to people they spot traveling slowly in the left.

It impedes traffic and probably makes everyone less safe

There's a certain rationale for these laws and enforcement campaigns. When drivers travel in the left lane, it makes the road more congested and probably more dangerous for all parties involved.

Research showsthat many traffic jams result from a surprisingly small number of slow cars obstructing traffic, with their effects rippling outward. A small buildup of cars that can't pass because someone is driving slowly in the left — right next to another car traveling slowly in the right — is the exact type of scenario that can start this cascade of traffic.

Now, some people counter that as long as they're going the speed limit, they don't have to move over— and by slowing down would-be speeders, they're making the roads safer.

Apart from the fact that in 44 states, simply going the speed limit doesn't permit drivers to travel in the left lane, this argument doesn't make a lot of sense based on research into how accidents occur.

Unfortunately, there isn't much research on the effect of impeding people from passing in the left lane specifically. But there is evidence thatslowing down and changing lanes is more dangerous than speeding.

Lanes changes account for about four percentof all car accidents in the US, and perhaps as much as ten percentof accidents on highways. Meanwhile, research has generally shown that the strongest predictor of an accident isn't speeding, but variance from the average speed of traffic — and a car going five miles per hour slower than the surrounding traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one going five miles per hour faster than it.

If relatively slow drivers are scattered among the right and left lanes, faster drivers have to repeatedly slow down and weave back and forth, changing lanes many times to pass all of them. If the slower drivers are all driving in the right lane, a faster driver can pass several at a time, then get back into the right, cutting down on the total number of lane changes and eliminating the slow downs.

Update There's even some evidence that this is why accident and fatality rates are so much lower on the German autobahn, compared to US interstates, even though speed limits are higher (or in some places nonexistent) in Germany. Lane discipline is much more strictly maintained there, allowing drivers to travel more safely at faster speeds.

Vox Video Archives: The Better Way to Board an Airplane

Download video: http://www.vox.com/vox_rss/mp4_redirect?url=http://ak.c.ooyala.com/5kYWJ4cTrbnEoffci_iGlo7g7I4cYL1O/DOcJ-FxaFrRg4gtDMwOjFpaDowODE7X4
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1 day ago
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3 public comments
2 hours ago
I can't endorse this, because it's not safe to be in the lane with all the trucks for any extended period unless you are yourself driving a truck. On most US interstates (two lanes each way), that means there is the truck lane and the car lane, and nobody should be even trying to pass.

State legislation that fails to take this into account is actively mandating unsafe driving, and needs to be changed.
Mountain View, CA
1 hour ago
What about the motorcycles, do they need their own lane too?
49 minutes ago
Motorcycles can safely share the car lane. It's only a problem with big rigs and only when they reach a critical density; unfortunately, we're at or above that density on most of the long-haul routes already.
1 day ago
the older I get, the more I want automated traffic ticketing for things like this.
23 hours ago
Or any ticketing at all, ever.
21 hours ago
They claim tickets will now be written here for driving below the speed limit in the left lane but unless there is huge education campaign with tons of signage and dozens of officers writing tickets constantly for months, I don't see it making any impact.
20 hours ago
And they only claimed that for a few states. Here in CA it would take... hundreds of officers for years. It would however, raise lots of money.
1 day ago
Chicago, IL
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