Broad-based scientific team from government, academia and industry joins forces to identify new opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of polyurethane -- one of the most widely used but little recycled plastic materials.
Polyurethane is one of the world's most widely used plastic materials, but it's often overlooked in our daily lives. Yet whether you're at home, at work or in your vehicle, it is usually not far away, with common end uses ranging from mattresses and furniture cushioning to building insulation, car parts and even the soles of shoes.
But as with other plastics that go largely unrecycled, the widespread use of polyurethane is generating concerns about its environmental impact. To better understand the opportunities for recovering polyurethane for recycling and for replacing the chemicals used in its production with plant-based alternatives, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University and The Dow Chemical Company joined together to conduct the first comprehensive assessment of "Material Flows of Polyurethane in the United States." The study was recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
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Free Market > Government
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might just devote my blog exclusively to the onion headlines
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"Business owners around the country are offering up a lament: 'no one wants to work.' A McDonalds franchise said they had to close because no one wants to work; North Carolina congressman David Rouzer claimed that a too-generous welfare state has turned us all lazy as he circulated photos of a shuttered fast-food restaurant supposedly closed 'due to NO STAFF.'
Most of these complaints seem to be coming from franchised restaurants. Why? Well, it’s not complicated. Service workers didn’t decide one day to stop working — rather huge numbers of them cannot work anymore. Because they’ve died of coronavirus.
A recent study from the University of California–San Francisco looks at increased morbidity rates due to COVID, stratified by profession, from the height of the pandemic last year. They find that food and agricultural workers morbidity rates increased by the widest margins by far, much more so than medical professionals or other occupations generally considered to be on the 'front lines' of the pandemic. Within the food industry, the morbidity rates of line cooks increased by 60 percent, making it the deadliest profession in America under coronavirus pandemic.
Line cooks are especially at risk because of notoriously bad ventilation systems in restaurant kitchens and preparation areas. Anyone who has ever worked a back-of-the-house job knows that it’s hot, smelly, and crowded back there, all of which indicate poor indoor air quality. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency recommended increasing indoor ventilation to fight the virus, but such upgrades are costly and time consuming. There is no data available on how many restaurants chose not to upgrade their ventilation systems, but given how miserly franchise owners are with everything else, one could guess that many, if not most, made no upgrades at all.
Ventilation issues are deadliest for line cooks and other back-of-house jobs, but there are other reasons why food workers’ morbidity rates shot up. Food workers are much more likely to be poor and/or a racial or national minority, and poor people and black and Latino workers are much more likely to die of complications from the coronavirus.
Restaurants are often intentionally short staffed, making it difficult to take time off, so sick workers likely still came to work (and infected others in the process). Bars and restaurants are COVID-19 hotspots, and service workers and customers alike get sick after prolonged restaurant exposure. The difference is that many of those customers have health insurance and other safeguards to prevent them from dying of the illness; 69 percent of restaurants, on the other hand, offer their employees no health benefits at all.
When coronavirus is spread at restaurants, and restaurant workers make little money and rarely earn health benefits, it’s no wonder morbidity rates are so much higher for food service workers. But rather than collectively grieve the deaths of tens of thousands of the people who serve us and keep us fed, and keep such tragedies in mind when considering the state of the food-service industry labor market today, business owners and their political lackeys call these workers 'lazy.'
There are, of course, also living, breathing people who have decided they do not want to risk their lives for $7.25 per hour and no health benefits. That is a perfectly rational decision for the homo economicus to make. Given how dangerous restaurant work is during a viral pandemic, if restaurant owners really wanted more workers, they would offer living wages, health benefits, and adequate personal protective equipment. But all the wage increases in the world won’t bring back the dead.
There aren’t enough people working in the service industry, and service bosses have somehow turned that into our problem, into something we ought to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t fall for it. Profits accumulate because of labor — without workers to exploit, the owning class can’t get richer. Capitalists cannot exploit the labor of the dead, so when large swathes of the working class die, they turn their ire on the living.
This is a barbaric response to mass tragedy. Workers across the country and the globe are dead or grieving. We shouldn’t risk further tragedies for a paltry minimum wage."
- Sandy Barnard, "Service Workers Aren’t Lazy — They Just Don’t Want to Risk Dying for Minimum Wage." Jacobin, 5 May 2021.
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Miss Susan of Texas really never misses huh
I refuse to allow my most popular post be a twitter screenshot that I added nothing to but I have no idea what to change the caption to and no one liked my memes smh, y’all have such low standards and I will never recover from thousands of people coming into my house and telling me i’m not funny... ms. brockjampton of tiktok i’m so sorry I failed you... Anyway if anyones reading this you’re very sexy and I hope you’re having a nice day. Drink some water, eat some fruit, bully rich people online, look at the stars, and steal a street sign.
Also, to the dumbasses in my notes, in case you couldn’t tell its called a joke. I know the rich people buy rich people drugs from other rich people doing illegal rich people things while being protected by other rich people... it’s almost like its a subtle criticism of the rich people consuming copious amounts of illegal substances while thousands of people are imprisoned for it... pointing out the hypocrisy of the “smart” wall street men being drug addicts who would be villainized and shamed if they’re poor. Its almost like its an exaggeration of the circumstances for comedic purposes... or MAYBE its just funny to imagine these rich assholes struggling to do their “jobs” after fucking over the general population... like y’all are something else
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Gotta love learning about the wonderful world of high finance.
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Help! My Employee Thinks She Deserves Pay In Exchange For Labor!
Ask A Manager, 19 October 2021:
I’m not comfortable with one of my new staff members and how overconfident she is. Her work is great and she needed very little training but she’s got very big britches.
“Jane” has only been with us for two months. Just today she asked for a meeting with me and our payroll manager. It turns out payroll made an error entering her direct deposit information that resulted in Jane not getting paid, not once but two times.
Our company requires potential candidates to complete sample assignments during the interview process and we pay them an hourly contractor rate. It turns out she didn’t get paid for her assignment period, or for the next full pay cycle. The payroll employee apologized directly to Jane in an email, because it was their error in entering her information and not following up/fixing it that resulted in Jane not getting paid. Jane was able to show emails back and forth where she checked in with the payroll employee and asked if it was fixed, which they confirmed it was. Today was payday and Jane didn’t get paid. She checked with the employee again and they acknowledged that they “thought” it was fixed. It’s upsetting for Jane, I understand, but I think she was out of line about the whole thing. People make mistakes.
Neither payroll nor I knew anything about it until today. We both apologized and assured her the issue would be handled. After that, she looked at me and the payroll manager and said, “I appreciate your apology, but I need you both to understand that this can’t happen again. This has put me under financial strain and I can’t continue to work for COMPANY if this isn’t corrected today.” The payroll manager was heavily in agreement, but I was speechless that she’d speak to management like that.
Payroll handled the whole thing and cut her a check with the okay from HR. Jane had referenced that not being paid put her in financial hardship and unable to pay bills, so HR allowed the use of the employee hardship fund and gave her $500 in gift cards so she can get groceries and gas and catch up on bills. I’m just kind of floored that she’s getting gift cards after speaking to her superiors like that. I’m also uncomfortable because why is our company responsible for her fiscal irresponsibility? Her personal finances or debts are not the company’s responsibility. I just don’t think it’s the company’s responsibility to give her more than what she’s earned (the extra $500 from the employee emergency relief fund) to fix things for her if she overspent or didn’t prioritize her bills or save smartly. We also don’t know if she is actually experiencing a financial hardship or just claiming she was.
HR allowed her paid time to go to the bank today and deposit her check. I told our HR person that while it’s not okay Jane didn’t get paid, the way she approached it was uncalled for. HR told me, “She’s right, it can’t happen again and it shouldn’t have happened at all.” I’m getting tired of the respect gap I’m seeing with younger staff. I think Jane would be better suited in a different department. I’m not comfortable having her on my team since it’s obvious she doesn’t understand she’s entry-level and not in charge. Should I wait a while before suggesting she transfer to a different department?
You raise a number of important issues, not least among them: why do we work? Do we work because the vast majority of us are helpless to escape a fundamentally exploitative global capitalist system that requires us to exchange our time and skills and labor for money or else simply fuck off and die? Or do we work because we must get taken down a peg or two before we get too uppity to be useful to our social and economic betters?
I'm being rhetorical, of course! The correct answer is the latter, obviously. Work is not something people should or even usually do for a paycheck, which is what makes this situation so bizarre! Work is something people do because it's the right thing to do, because it is intrinsically good for its own sake, which is to say: because it literally enriches and empowers only the most worthy in order to further distance otherwise useless, entitled grunts like your employee from getting anywhere close to laying even the barest finger, even a pinky finger, on the means of production. There's nothing more purely and altruistically satisfying than working, especially when we know that our labor serves to strengthen the boot upon our own necks! A strong boot means a happy worker! Huzzah!
And what you have here, letter writer, is not a happy worker — what you have here is a worker who believes work and pay are related, and that they are entitled to reimbursement for their work merely because that is the immutable and binding nature of the laws where you live. I can't think of a better example of one being too big for one's britches than this little grabby-gabby wiseass with the gall to demand payment for services rendered per an expressly agreed-upon prior contract between all parties.
It's a real shame that the law requires people to be paid for their labor regardless of whether they bring a sufficiently sunny attitude to the workplace, and there's certainly nothing sunny about being clear and direct that you cannot continue to work for free indefinitely with a spring in your step and a song in your heart! What kind of sourpuss can't show a bit of cheer in the office, even if the lights are off at home and they can't afford groceries or other basic essentials because of the repeated incompetence of an employer who holds their very survival in their hands? That's not the kind of can-do attitude that gets people ahead in this world!
Of course, by "people" we mean young people, who will never succeed as long as they remain universally and frightfully presumptuous. Everyone your age and older has unimpeachable comportment in every situation, whereas people who are younger than you are disrespectful smart-alecks — and it's frankly disturbing that your HR department conceded so quickly to your employee's unreasonable fixation on receiving money that she was legally entitled to! What's next, avocado toast and $5 lattes on demand???? A living wage???? Health insurance???? For an entry-level employee who's so poor with money management that she complains about going months without pay????
Only people who suffer in silence at length out of sheer and absolute terror at offending those who hold control over their financial wellbeing deserve to be paid money for food and shelter, and they can take their paychecks whenever your company damn well gets around to it, and thank you for the pleasure! Why wait to transfer this employee out of your department — surely you're not afraid of offending this selfish peon? Cut her loose, along with anyone else she might have influenced with her money-grubbing ways, and ensure that you are surrounded only with the worshipful lackeys you deserve!
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@emilyisliving on Instagram
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*Syndrome from Incredibles voice*:
“And when everyone’s a capitalist…
no one will be….”
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God, the Onion truly is impeccable
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How to Ditch Amazon
Support your local libraries and the small businesses that are actually making the products you want. Fuck Jeff Bezos and the systemic, universal worker abuse, gaslighting, and brutality they live off of.
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I think comparing the NFT bubble to the Dutch tulip mania is affording it greater dignity than it warrants. NFTs aren’t going to go down like tulip bulbs – they’re going to go down like Beanie Babies.
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Amazon is using union-busting Pinkerton spies to track warehouse workers and labor movements at the company, according to a new report
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