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This Day In History

Hometown Hall This Day in History May 9

Troy Warren #thisday-all


 

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Health And Wellness

Want to ward off heart disease? A daily cup of green veggies may help

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren 

You’ve heard of the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what about a cup of leafy green veggies?

New research shows a cup of nitrate-rich vegetables each day can assist in markedly reducing the risk of heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Annually, around 655,000 Americans die from the condition.

Researchers from Australia’s Edith Cowan University examined whether people who habitually ate higher amounts of nitrate-rich vegetables — including leafy greens and beets — had lower blood pressure. It also assessed if the same people had a decreased likelihood of being diagnosed with heart disease down the road.

The findings were published last month in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Using data from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study, researchers analyzed more than 50,000 people in Denmark over a 23-year period. It was discovered that people who ate the most nitrate-rich vegetables had about a 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure. They also had a lower risk of heart disease, ranging from 12% to 26%.

“Our results have shown that by simply eating one cup of raw (or half a cup of cooked) nitrate-rich vegetables each day, people may be able to significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” Catherine Bondonno, Ph.D., of ECU’s Institute for Nutrition Research said in a press release. “The greatest reduction in risk was for peripheral artery disease (26%), a type of heart disease characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels of the legs, however, we also found people had a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.”

The study found no additional benefits if participants ate more than a cup of nitrate-rich vegetables daily, which was found to be the optimum quantity.

“People don’t need to be taking supplements to boost their nitrate levels because the study showed that one cup of leafy green vegetables each day is enough to reap the benefits for heart disease,” Bondonno said.

If people have a hard time incorporating a cup of leafy greens into their diet, Bondonno said making a spinach-banana or berry smoothie may make it easier.

“Blending leafy greens is fine, but don’t juice them. Juicing vegetables removes the pulp and fiber,” Bondonno said.


 

 

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Editors Picks HT Local News

Mother’s Day 2021: An improvement but still not normal

By Helena Oliviero, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren #picks-all #local-all

The menu is already set.

Christine Lomax Diaz will grill chicken for her mother on Sunday and make potato salad. But not just any potato salad — potato salad made the way her mother, 86-year-old Irene Lomax, does it, splashing in the brine from a jar of dill pickles, little by little, until she gets the tartness “just right.”

No doubt her mother, who lives in an assisted living community, will disagree with whether the flavors have come together correctly. But even the thought of that brings a smile to Diaz’s face.

After a year of fear, heartache and separation caused by the coronavirus, Diaz is determined to make sure that this Mother’s Day looks, feels and even tastes more normal. At the same time, she and others across metro Atlanta realize that life has not returned to the way it was before the pandemic.

Georgia, along with much of the country, is teetering on the cusp of normalcy. Just in time for Mother’s Day, visits with loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are resuming. But facilities may require advance scheduling, set time limits on stays and perform temperature checks on outsiders. Restaurants are once again serving indoors. Yet, many are anticipating diners’ hesitancy and have ramped up outdoor seating, elevated takeout to the next level and are preparing carryout special brunch kits for Mother’s Day. Entertainment venues are returning to full capacity while encouraging the use of face masks and offering cashless concessions.

Some Georgians will resume their holiday traditions, as though the pandemic is over; others will carefully follow public health advice to mask up around strangers and avoid crowds.

“I’ve been so looking forward to Mother’s Day, and I am like, is this for real?” said Diaz, who lives in Dahlonega. “How long is this going to last?”

Public health officials are warning that the coronavirus continues to spread and mutate. New coronavirus infections have remained relatively low in recent weeks, and vaccinations are on the rise, but Georgia has not yet gotten the pandemic under control, experts say.

Still, this year is not like last year, when so much was unknown. Many in metro Atlanta are adapting.


 

What felt weird a year ago for Aaron Stoddard and his wife, Diandra, is now no big deal.

They are planning a Sunday road trip for his mother, Anne Stoddard, who lives in a house not far away from them in Mableton. This trip to Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland, Ga., will be different from their other visits. Because of the pandemic, the winery’s walking tours through barrels of aging wine have been suspended. Visitors are required to wear masks when ordering and keep their distance from other wine enthusiasts.

None of that matters to the Stoddards.

“We are used to wearing masks now,” said Aaron Stoddard. “The seating will be spread out. But those changes do not impact the overall experience — at least for us. We go for the wine and the views, which haven’t changed during the pandemic.”

Nursing homes safer, but not safe

Mother’s Day arrives only about a month after state and federal agencies eased restrictions at nursing homes and other long-term care communities.

Some 24% of the roughly 17,600 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Georgia occurred at those locations. Now, 98% of residents in long-term care communities are vaccinated, said Ginny Helms, president, and CEO of LeadingAge Georgia, which represents nonprofit and mission-driven senior care organizations. The number of new infections at long-term care facilities has plummeted.

“It is wonderful,” said Helms. “It is like people coming out of their cocoons.”

But strict safety measures and vigilance are needed, she said.

The number of confirmed cases in the communities remains low, but there was a slight uptick in April, according to the latest state data.

“I’ve been so looking forward to Mother’s Day, and I am like, is this for real?”

– Christine Lomax Diaz, of Dahlonega, who plans to cook for her 86-year-old mother on Sunday

And a new study underscores why emerging variants continue to pose a threat to the public, especially vulnerable populations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an unvaccinated health worker set off a COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Kentucky. Dozens were infected, including 22 residents and employees who were already fully vaccinated.

Fewer of those vaccinated were infected than those who had not been vaccinated, and they were far less likely to develop symptoms or require hospitalization. But one vaccinated individual died, according to the CDC.

The outbreak involved a variant of the virus that had multiple mutations in the spike protein, the kind that can make the vaccines less effective.

Many of Georgia’s long-term care communities have measures in place to protect residents during Sunday’s increase in visitors.


 

A spokesperson for A.G. Rhodes’ three nursing homes in metro Atlanta said most indoor visits will take place in common areas instead of residents’ rooms to limit foot traffic throughout the building and, therefore, decrease the risks for potential exposure to COVID-19.

Deborah Malone saw her adult daughter, Niki Malone, only twice briefly over a year-long ban on visits at Niki’s group home for medically fragile adults in Rome in northwest Georgia. Visits have resumed, but they are still extremely limited. Malone is currently allowed to see her daughter only once a week and only outdoors.

As for Mother’s Day, it will likely all come down to the weather.

“If the weather is good, I will probably be able to see her,” said Deborah Malone. “But it should not be like this.”

Keep it simple

Of course, modified Mother’s Day celebrations will take place at venues throughout the state, not just in assisted-living centers and nursing homes.

At a lot of churches, Mother’s Day has been among the highest-attended services of the year, after Easter and Christmas.

While many churches switched to online services during the pandemic, a growing number now offer both in-person and virtual worship options. Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta will hold its Mother’s Day services virtually. Members have been invited to share photos of their mothers, which will be shown during the service. North Point Community Church in Alpharetta returned to in-person services about a month ago but requires people to register in advance to limit capacity. Social distancing is encouraged, and masks are required. The church continues to offer services virtually as well.

ExploreFrom March: Nursing home residents finally get to see their loved ones face to face

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Botanical Garden — with its 30-plus acres of colorful blossoms, sculptures, water features and exhibits — has been especially popular during the pandemic and has sold out practically every weekend for nearly a year. Mother’s Day typically is one of the most popular days to visit the garden, but capacity has been more restricted during the pandemic. Visitors must reserve time slots when purchasing tickets online. Masks are required for everyone older than 4, including the vaccinated.

The Midtown restaurant 5Church Atlanta is utilizing time slots as well. Owner Ayman Kamel said the restaurant has always offered multiple time slots for the Mother’s Day buffet and plans to take extra safety measures, which include requiring that diners have their temperatures checked and wear masks unless seated.

Kamel said the restaurant has seen its numbers pick up in recent weeks, and he expects 5Church to host about 75% the number of guests it normally would on Mother’s Day.

But, for those who just can’t wrap their heads around eating at a restaurant, he’s also offering elaborate family takeout packages.

In many ways, the pandemic has forced people to a back-to-basics mentality, with an emphasis on family, said Alyza Berman, an Atlanta psychotherapist.

What’s important still hasn’t changed, Berman said. She urged people to not feel pressure to come up with lavish plans or gifts. Keep it simple, she said.

Atlanta Mocha Moms, a support group for mothers of color, will continue to gather virtually for safety reasons. In previous years, the group of women dressed up and gathered for high tea at St. Regis or The Ritz-Carlton. This year, they planned a Saturday Google Meet affair, still with big hats and fancy dresses.


 

The pandemic has been challenging but has led to positive changes that will be long-lasting, said Atlanta chapter president Tia Smith. Over the past year, she and her husband have juggled child care responsibilities and her mother moved in with them.

Even a virtual tea has benefits — it’s easier for family members to celebrate Mother’s Day, especially for those who live in other states. And, for many, a home event is more affordable than a restaurant outing. Eventually, when the pandemic ends, she could see the group doing a hybrid of online and in-person events.

Making plans

Diaz will drive from Dahlonega and pick up her mother, Lomax, early Sunday from her Cummings assisted living community. Both of them want there to be plenty of time for talking and seeing other family members before their grilled chicken and potato salad lunch. Even though she sees her mother twice a week, now that they’re both fully vaccinated, Diaz loves the outings.

Not long ago, they went to have their nails done. Diaz called the salon ahead of time to make sure the staff all wore masks and were following COVID safety protocols.

On a recent afternoon, both mother and daughter were all smiles as they planted petunias and spearmint in the memory care unit’s community garden. Lomax watered the additions and sprinkled plant food on top. They sipped Diet Coke on the outdoor patio. And they talked about making Mojitos once the newly planted spearmint grows into full leaves.

“I’m so glad for this,” Lomax said of the visits. “I felt so lost.”

On Mother’s Day, she’ll feel at home on Diaz’s deck with other family members. They will drink sweet tea, enjoy the meal, perhaps debate the potato salad’s level of perfection. Most importantly, they will be together.

“This will be so wonderful to share this time with my mom, a blessing for all of us,” said Diaz.


 


 

 

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HT Business

Reddit “WallStreetBets” Traders Go Wild After AMC Theatres CEO Embraces Their Ownership: “He’s Totally Onboard”

BY ALEX WEPRIN | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #business-all

Adam Aron bets that online enthusiasm will help keep the exhibition giant afloat until the pandemic wanes. “Just go on Twitter, just go on Reddit, just go on YouTube, read what these people write. They love AMC.”

To a casual listener of AMC Theatres’ second-quarter earnings call Thursday, AMC CEO Adam Aron’s short monologue about the 1988 Oscar-nominated drama Gorillas in the Mist may have been seen as a mere aside, another pop culture reference that the movie-loving executive likes to pepper into his earnings calls.

To the community on Reddit’s “WallStreetBets” forum and other online investment communities, it was a flashing red signal that Aron was on their team as they sought to stick it to the hedge funds (and make some money in the process).

“[Aron] is totally onboard, convince me otherwise,” wrote user Nruggia.

“This dude is so smooth with the subliminals. Gotta love it lol,” added yazooguy1.

Indeed, Aron made no secret of the fact that AMC, and he himself, is totally on board with the online traders that have bought and memed the theatrical giant’s stock, helping to push it from $2 per share to over $20 per share in weeks.

“These individual investors likely own a majority of our shares, they own AMC. We work for them. I work for them,” Aron said on the call of the “more than 3 million” individual investors that own AMC shares. “By definition, their interests and passions are important to AMC, their ambitions and passions are important to me.”

And with that, Aron discussed Gorillas in the Mist and announced that the company would donate $50,000 to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, and that he would personally match that donation and join the charity’s Digit Society (named after Fossey’s favorite gorilla), making it a $100,000 donation in total.

That announcement sent the Reddit community to the moon, so to speak. Reddit’s WallStreetBets community members sometimes refer to themselves as “apes” and had over the past two months raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Gorilla Fund.

“Above and beyond those cash donations, we already started discussing with the Fossey Fund other ways that AMC can be of help,” Aron added.

“I would bet that AA is in this sub somewhere, just soaking it all in, and waiting for chances to send cryptic messages. Sure, he could pay someone to do it, but you know he wants to be among his ape family,” wrote user Crysus1026.

“THIS is how you do celebrity CEO. When are we going to get this kind of investor relationship interaction out of Ryan?” added Inevitable Professor.

The “Ryan” in this case is Ryan Cohen, the largest shareholder and incoming chairman of that other meme-stock, GameStop.

The video game retailer, which saw its stock rise from around $11 per share to nearly $350 during its Reddit-fueled peak in January, has since seen its share price settle, somewhat remarkably, at above $150 per share. Cohen and the company’s board have rejiggered that company’s leadership, but otherwise have barely acknowledged the role online traders have played in the stock’s rise.

Not so with AMC’s Aron, who, based on Thursday’s call, intends to make appealing to the internet a priority for the company in the coming months.

“Just go on Twitter, just go on Reddit, just go on YouTube, read what these people write. They love AMC,” Aron said on the call, adding that “you’re going to see a lot more outreach to literally millions of investors in our company. And it’s going to be quite public.”

Aron said that will include more tweeting, and more appearances on places like YouTube, in addition to CNBC or Bloomberg.

It’s a strategic decision: Bet on the online army to keep AMC’s stock price high, enabling it to bolster its liquidity and stay afloat until the pandemic wanes. It’s one reason that CNBC commentator Jim Cramer called Aron “Houdini” in a column last month.

“He knows the capital markets are the key to staying alive, and he is using them for exactly what they are worth,“ Cramer wrote. “Oddly, if the WallStreetBets people can keep the stock higher, Adam can raise even more money, buy even more debt and the stock will, indeed, be worth more. Virtuous circle? I would certainly say so. Isn’t capitalism grand?”


 

 

Categories
Editors Picks HT Movie TV

Elon Musk Says in ‘SNL’ Monologue That He’s the First Host With Asperger’s Syndrome

BY TRILBY BERESFORD | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren #picks-all #reviews-all

Talking about how he sometimes posts “strange things,” the Tesla CEO and SpaceX leader said, “I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill normal dude?”

Elon Musk took on hosting duties for the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, declaring as he took the stage that he is the first person with Asperger’s Syndrome to host the variety sketch series.

“Or at least the first to admit it,” he said. Multiple outlets subsequently noted that Dan Aykroyd, who is known to have Asperger’s, hosted before Musk.

During his monologue, the controversial Tesla CEO and SpaceX leader said, “It’s an honor to be hosting Saturday Night Live,” adding that he means it. “Sometimes after I say something, I have to say, “I mean that,” explained Musk, due to the fact that there is often not a lot of variation in tone in his speaking voice.

Musk went on to talk about how he believes in a “renewable energy future” and that humanity can be multi-planetary. He also made fun of himself, joking that sometimes people are reduced to “the dumbest thing” they ever did, giving the example of the time he smoked weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast. “It’s like reducing O.J. Simpson to ‘murderer,’ said Musk. “It was one time.”

Speaking again about himself, the host acknowledged that he is misunderstood. “I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works. To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill normal dude?”

Toward the end of Musk’s monologue, he praised the fact that SNL is truly live, and that he could say anything, even something shocking. “I drive a Prius,” he said with a laugh. Musk also brought his mother on stage, and the two recalled the time that Musk made a video game about space when he was a child. “And I’m excited about my mothers day gift,” she said. “I hope it’s not Dogecoin.”

The appointment of Musk, who is, according to Forbes, the third richest person in the world, was unusual given that SNL hosts are typically actors or musicians, and occasionally, athletes.

Prior to the episode airing, comedian Sarah Cooper tweeted, “I hate the fact that elon musk is hosting SNL and I hate even more the fact that there’s literally no way I won’t watch it.” Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien tweeted, “Billionaires actually make great SNL hosts. Go back and watch the John D. Rockefeller episode.”

In the early months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Musk was vocal on social media about how the outbreak was being handled. In March of 2020, he tweeted, “This coronavirus panic is dumb.” He also raised concerns about the accuracy of testing processes. He contracted symptoms months later, describing his situation on Twitter as most likely a “moderate” case of COVID-19 with symptoms similar to “that of a minor cold.”

For the first time ever, SNL was live-streamed internationally on YouTube in over 100 countries. Miley Cyrus was the musical guest.

Coming up on the variety sketch series next week, Keegan-Michael Key will host with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo. Season 46 will then wrap with the May 22 episode hosted by The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, with musical guest Lil Nas X.


 

 

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HT Classic Cars

Hometown Hall Muscle Car of the Day May 8

Troy Warren #carnews-all


 

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HT Woof Post

Hometown Hall Woof Post of the Day May 8

Troy Warren #woofpost-all


 

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HT Classic Cars

Hyundai Confirms Genesis GV70 EV, Ioniq 6 Sedan Coming in 2022

BY JOEY CAPPARELLA | CarAndDriver.Com

Troy Warren #carnews-all

An investor presentation also states that the Sonata mid-size sedan and Palisade SUV will be updated next year.

– Hyundai confirmed several new models in an investor presentation, as reported by Motor1.

– New vehicles coming in 2022 include a Genesis GV70 EV, an Ioniq 6 sedan, and updates for the Hyundai Palisade and Sonata and Genesis G90.

– We should learn more about these new models next year.

Hyundai’s ambitious new-product launch cycle will continue into 2022, with an investor presentation confirming several new EV models and updates to existing vehicles. The Genesis GV70 compact crossover will spawn an electric variant, and a new Ioniq 6 sedan will join the Ioniq 5 hatchback in Hyundai’s new EV subbrand. Updates will also be applied to the Hyundai Sonata and Palisade and the Genesis G90 full-size luxury sedan.

The GV70 EV will likely follow the template established by the Electrified G80, which features a battery-powered electric drivetrain but looks nearly identical to the gas-powered sedan. It may be called the Electrified GV70. We expect it to be sold in the U.S. market eventually, possibly for the 2023 model year.


 

The Ioniq 6 will be a sedan and may look somewhat like the Hyundai Prophecy concept car shown last year. Its name implies that it will be slightly larger and more expensive than the Ioniq 5, and Hyundai describes it as being mid-size.

Hyundai will also apply mid-cycle updates to various models. The first to arrive, sometime later this year, is the 2022 Genesis G90, which will likely adopt the same “two lines” styling motif seen on the rest of the luxury brand’s models. Next year, we’ll see visual updates for the 2023 Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan and the 2023 Hyundai Palisade three-row SUV.

Look for more news to come in the coming months about Hyundai and Genesis’ expanding lineup.


 

 

Categories
COVID-19 Updates

Hometown Hall United States COVID-19 Update May 8

Troy Warren #covid-all


 

Categories
Technology News

YouTube ratchets up Roku face-off by adding YouTube TV to main YouTube app

Joan E. Solsman | CNET.Com

Troy Warren

And Google may send free streaming devices to some YouTube TV subscribers, the latest escalation in its standoff with Roku over a distribution deal.

Google’s YouTube is tweaking its app for Roku to include access to its live-TV streaming subscription service, YouTube TV, the search giant said in a blog post Friday, as it also explores sending free streaming devices to YouTube TV subscribers. 

It’s the latest escalation in a standoff between Google and Roku over a new distribution deal for YouTube TV, a subscription service that streams live television channels and is typically used as an alternative to cable or satellite for cord-cutters. After their previous deal expired last week, YouTube TV’s dedicated app was removed from Roku’s channel store, preventing new downloads. However, the YouTube TV app continues to work on Rokus for anyone who previously installed it — and, until now, the main YouTube app on Roku was unaffected.

But with Google’s move Friday, the main YouTube app is set to serve dual purposes — its traditional job of offering up YouTube’s massive library of online video free for anyone to watch with ads, as well as new access to YouTube TV’s live channels and other features for paying subscribers. 

Roku described YouTube’s move Friday as “the clear conduct of an unchecked monopolist bent on crushing fair competition and harming consumer choice,” according to a statement. “The bundling announcement by YouTube highlights the kind of predatory business practices used by Google” that are under investigation by Congress, attorneys general across the U.S. and regulatory bodies around the world, Roku added. 

Indeed, Google is facing a dearth of investigations into whether it abuses monopoly power on several fronts. Most recently, for example, Google was grilled by senators on an antitrust subcommittee about accusations it uses the marketplace heft of its Google Play app store to retaliate against rivals and entrench its own power. While YouTube TV is a relatively small service, with more than 3 million subscribers, YouTube itself is the world’s biggest source of online video, with more than 2 billion viewers every month. 

Previously, Google has rejected Roku’s claims that it’s abusing YouTube’s market dominance as baseless, saying that YouTube is negotiating with Roku in good faith. 

Carriage disputes between programmers and distributors are nothing new — they’re a routine annoyance for customers of traditional cable and satellite TV. Up until last year, the absence of these kinds of service “blackouts” was one of the ways streaming set itself apart from the aggravations of television’s past. 

But in the last year, they’ve cropped up with the launches of many big, new streaming services, such as both HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock failing to launch with support on Roku. The tensions come as streaming has grown more popular than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, amplifying a long trend of people watching more video over the internet. Streaming distributors like Roku and streaming programmers like YouTube both want to control the data, money, programming and discovery tools at the heart of your streaming activity. Both sides want to entrench themselves in positions of power for the next era of television.

The latest standoff between Roku and Google’s YouTube TV demonstrates that even with long-established apps, both sides may agitate to get the upper hand as the dynamic of power evolves for the future of TV.  

On Friday, YouTube said YouTube TV’s service would be available inside its main YouTube app for Roku through an update that would roll out “over the next few days.” But this feature will also expand to “as many devices” as possible over time, it said. 

YouTube is still working with Roku to reach an agreement, the company added, but it also noted that Google is in separate talks with other partners about possibly securing free streaming devices “in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku.” Essentially, that means Google is considering sending free streaming gadgets made by one of Roku’s rivals to YouTube TV customers if YouTube TV’s service on Roku is disrupted further. 

Google itself is a Roku hardware rival; its Chromecast streaming devices compete with Roku, making Google both a partner and competitor in different facets of its business.

Roku first warned customers in late April about possible disruptions to watching YouTube TV on its devices, claiming that Google was abusing YouTube’s dominance to make monopolistic demands. Google rejected the accusations, saying it’s negotiating with Roku in good faith. When their previous deal expired last week with no new agreement in place, Roku removed YouTube TV’s app from its channel store but stopped short of cutting off all access to YouTube TV on its devices.