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Here are Thursday’s top personal finance stories. Don’t miss them:

On Memorial Day Weekend, consider maggot hot dogs and locust ice cream

How far would you go for a meatless, environmentally-sustainable barbecue menu?

Amazon is selling entire houses for less than $20,000 — with free shipping

There are a number of strange but intriguing cabins and homes for sale on the internet giant that are low priced. But they’ve often got big downsides and additional costs.

Women work better in warmer offices

As the summer office thermostat wars heat up, workers share their fights to keep workspaces comfortable.

This $17 product could be a key to losing weight permanently

You can step up your weight loss by using one each day, research shows.

Skipping this activity with your kids could make them misbehave

Research find both parents and kids are nicer when they do this together — and children grow up to be more successful.

Beyond Meat’s burger could pose health risks to people with peanut allergies — even though it doesn’t contain peanuts

Restaurants including TGI Friday’s, Carl’s Jr. and supermarket chain Whole Foods serve the Beyond Burger.

These are the worst times for Memorial Day road-trippers to travel

A record number of drivers are expected to hit the road for the three-day weekend, according to a AAA forecast.

The savviest travel pros take these items on vacation — but you probably don’t

Unique road trip games and essentials that travel pros say you shouldn’t leave home without

Here’s how much more it will cost you to buy a home in a ‘gayborhood’

Communities with large LGBTQ populations continue to be hot spots for gentrification.

Trump’s trade war with China will hit TVs, dishwashers, toys, lithium batteries, iPhones — even Silly Putty

President Trump’s tariffs could affect 23% of consumer goods, according to one estimate.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch
U.S. manufacturing growth slumps to 9-year low in May as China trade tensions heat up

Faced with less demand from customers and a flareup in U.S.-China trade tensions, American businesses grew in May at the slowest pace since before President Trump was elected, a pair of new surveys shows.

Companies back bill targeting robocalls that consumer advocate says won’t stop calls

Washington is taking steps toward cracking down on robocalls, but experts are noting it’s a slow process as Corporate America raises concerns about potential restrictions.

American businesses, not workers, may be hurt most by technological disruption, Dallas Fed chief says

While it is fashionable to say that the American worker is being displaced by technology, U.S. businesses may be hurt more, and this could lead to the next economic downturn, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Thursday.

Mortgage rates slide to match the lowest of 2019 as trade war heats up

Rates for home loans fell again, in what should be a bonus for home shoppers, if they could find homes to buy and scrape together a down payment.

New-home sales slump 7% in April after reaching the best level of the cycle

Sales of newly-constructed homes fell but sales figures from earlier months were found to be much higher, painting a drastically different picture of the residential construction landscape than earlier narratives.

New Fed survey finds Americans in better financial shape as expansion continues

A new survey of American household finances finds economic well-being is getting better, despite a flurry of headlines to the contrary.

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bestmixer.io

Europol indicated that on Wednesday the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service had seized Bestmixer.io which is a bitcoin transaction mixer. A statement from Europol referred to the action as the “first law enforcement action of its kind against such a cryptocurrency mixer service.”

Europol, FIOD and Luxembourg Authorities Seize Bestmixer.io

The operation that was carried out jointly by Europol, FIOD and Authorities in Luxembourg was started in June last year after Bestmixer services were flagged by Internet security firm McAfee. Following the crackdown, six servers were seized in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Bitcoin transaction mixer websites such as Bestmixer.io operate by pooling together funds and then creating a new web of transactions with the aim of obfuscating their source. In essence, what the coin mixer users do is to send funds plus an extra fee and then they will receive all their money from a different source. This makes it difficult to trace the original source of the funds. Bestmixer is a leading cryptocurrency mixer that offers cryptocurrency mixing services for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core.

Bestmixer has transacted 27,000 bitcoins since its launch

According to Europol, the funds going through Bestmixer.io are said to have had a criminal origin or a criminal destination and the mixer was being used to launder and conceal criminal transaction of funds. Since its launch in May 2018 Bestmixer.io had mixed an estimated 27,000 bitcoins achieving a turnover of approximately $200 million.

Bestmixer.io blatantly advertises their money laundering services on the site where they have described the anti-money laundering policies but go ahead to explain how mixing could help avoid the regulations by making money untraceable and anonymous. Offering this service is illegal in most countries.

CipherTrace CEO, Dave Jevans stated that the crackdown indicates that increase in regulation on crypto-to-crypto services.  This comes at the back of European AMLD5 regulations and US FinCEN views that indicate that cryptocurrency services are money business services and as such should be subject to regulations.

Featured Image: bestmixer.io

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The Abyss Platform

Epic Games—the developer behind the global success Fortnite—is partnering with blockchain game distribution platform, The Abyss. The company made the announcement earlier today.

Epic Games and The Abyss Blockchain

The Abyss blockchain is a new digital gaming platform that offers MMO’s (Massively Multiplayer Online games) and other video games. Offering a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model, it gives indie-studios the ability to develop, run, market and manage their games. There is no interference from a third party.

Further, users can generate income via “the unique multilevel referral program which serves as an additional revenue stream for gamers and developers.

Epic Games Involvement – UE4

Now, The Abyss is partnering with Epic Games. The platform is offering its partner developers licensing, maintenance and support for Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).

Released by Epic in March 2014, UE4 has become one of the most widely used engines for commercial game development. In essence, it is a tool used by game developers to create real-time, high-fidelity experiences as it offers the most advanced graphics out there.

In return for use of UE4, developers on The Abyss platform will be required to make quarterly payments, the equivalent to 5% of their returns, once they earned over $3,000.

Developers will also receive marketing support from The Abyss if they do use UE4 to develop their game. For example, the platform will help to attract early players for new games, and offer extra traffic for already released ones.

Unreal Engine Developers

On the partnership, Mike Gamble, Head of Games Licensing EMEA, for Epic Games, said:

“We’re delighted that The Abyss has chosen to provide additional resources to Unreal Engine developers and publishers on its platform. UE4 scales to hundreds of millions of players, and access to premier support and connections with the global community can be critical to success of large-scale games with live operations.”

>>Bitcoin Price Is On The Rise According To Brian Kelly On Fast Money

By offering UE4, The Abyss is hoping to attract more gaming studios and games to its blockchain. And further, as Abyss users are able to accept the native ABYSS token for payment and purchases, the platform is aiming to help Unreal Engine developers to adopt cryptocurrency.

What do you think? Have you heard of The Abyss platform? Sounds pretty cool!

Featured Image: Deposit Photos/opturadesign

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Here’s one way to get parents and toddlers on the same page.

People who regularly read with their children say that the little ones are less likely to be hyperactive and disruptive, according to a new study from Rutgers University. What’s more, the moms in this study revealed that more frequent story time sessions also made them better parents.

Researchers studied 2,165 mother-child pairs from 20 large U.S. cities, and asked the women how often they read to their kids at one and at three years old. The mothers were then interviewed again two years later (when kids were three and five), when they were asked about how often they had to engage in harsh, physically aggressive discipline (such as spanking, hitting, slapping, shaking or pinching) and/or psychologically aggressive discipline (shouting, threatening a spanking, swearing, calling the child “dumb” or threatening to send them away), as well as how their children behaved. (The study also controlled for factors such as parental depression and financial hardship, which can cause or exacerbate negative behaviors in both mother and child.)

DragonImages/iStock
Reading together benefits both parents and kids.

And the families who read together regularly (at least four times a week) were associated with less harsh parenting two years later. This could be in part because the moms who engaged in regular read-together time also reported fewer hyperactive and disruptive behaviors from their kids. But the close physical contact and bonding that forms from poring over the pages of a picture book together has also been shown to improve the quality of parent-child relationships, the authors noted, which can also reduce parental stress.

Related: Why celebrities like ‘The Property Brothers,’ Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o are writing children’s books

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents read regularly to their children to strengthen the parent-child bond, and to also stimulate their brain development. The AAP suggests starting this story time as early as infancy, and continuing it through kindergarten at least.

How often is “regularly,” though? The National Education Association has found that kids who were read to three or four times a week were more likely to count to 20 or higher than kids who were not read to as much (60% vs. 44%). They were also more able to write their own names (54% vs. 40%). The Rutgers study authors recommended reading a book together every day.

After all, reading with children in their infancy and preschool years has been associated with better language skills (such as a more advanced vocabulary) once they go to school, and an increased interest in reading — which, in turn, makes them more likely to reach higher education and attain better economic stability. Illiterate adults, on the other hand, earn 30% to 42% less than their literate counterparts.

Related: This ‘50 States 50 Books’ campaign wants to close the children’s literacy gap

Parents should consider sitting down with a traditional print book versus huddling together over an e-book, however, as a recent study found that kids and parents talk and interact less when they’re swiping through a story on a phone or tablet compared to when they turn actual pages bound into a book. And the parents in the study also admitted that they were more likely to give negative asides to their kids while reading e-books, such as telling them “don’t push that button,” instead of discussing the actual story.

Related: How e-books are ruining parent-child bonding time

“For parents, the simple routine of reading with your child on a daily basis provides not just academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child’s success in school and beyond,” said lead researcher Manuel Jimenez, an assistant professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s department of pediatrics, in a statement. “Our findings can be applied to programs that help parents and caregivers in underserved areas to develop positive parenting skills.”

Considering children’s print book sales were up about 3% in 2018 over the year before, according to the Association of American Publishers, and IBISWorld expects the $2.3 billion children’s book market to grow 0.9% each year through 2022, however, it looks like plenty of parents have been buying into all of these positive claims.

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Reuters/Courtesy of Beyond Meat
The Beyond Burger is made of plants and contains no animal products, but it does contain pea-protein isolate.

Beyond Meat, the maker of the Beyond Burger BYND, +4.34%  the plant-based meat substitute that looks and tastes like beef that’s sold at Whole Foods AMZN, -2.39%   and restaurant chains like TGI Friday’s and Carl’s Jr., doesn’t contain any peanuts.

But people with food allergies should proceed with care, according to Utah-based Nadia Pflaum, an investigative producer with KUTV 2News in Salt Lake City. Pflaum said she had to take Benadryl after eating a Beyond Burger she purchased at Carl’s Jr. in Salt Lake City.

‘We added cautionary language to both our packaging and website.’

—Statement by Beyond Meat

The ingredient, pea-protein isolate, and some restaurants fail to give allergy warnings, she said. Pflaum said she’s allergic to peanuts, but has never had an issue with peas and didn’t see any warning signs at the restaurant, despite advertisements for the burger.

“Beyond Meat was advertised all over: Outside on the windows, inside on the walls, on place mats, placards and even on the cashiers’ shirts. But nowhere did we see any print, fine or otherwise, that offered any allergy warnings,” KUTV 2News reported.

Beyond Meat and Carl’s Jr. did not immediately return requests for comment, but Beyond Meat told KUTV 2News that its products are labeled in compliance with legal requirements, and that the warning about the presence of peas in its meatless burgers is not required by law.

“We added cautionary language to both our packaging and website,” a spokesperson told the media outlet. “This language appears immediately below the ingredient list, where consumers would typically look to find allergen information on a food package — it is where the FDA-required ‘CONTAINS’ statement for major food allergens would normally appear.”

Don’t miss: Are you ready to move beyond chicken and beef? Try ‘tasty’ locust ice cream and maggot sausages instead

Pflaum says she experienced wheezing and itching, the same reaction she gets if she accidentally eats a peanut. Beyond Meat labels have a star next to the ingredient “Pea protein isolate” with fine print that reads: “People with severe allergies to legumes like peanuts should be cautious when introducing pea protein into their diet because of the possibility of a pea allergy.”

Meat-substitutes with pea-protein isolate are highly concentrated and potent.

—Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital

“Only about 5% of people with peanut allergies have a problem with other beans. When they do, those beans can include peas, and having a product that has pea protein might increase their chances of having a problem,” Dr. Scott Sicherer, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai, told MarketWatch.

Meat-substitute products that contain pea-protein isolate are highly concentrated and potent, and, therefore, may trigger allergic reactions even in people who have never had problems eating peas. “That could be why the intolerances are happening,” Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City says.

The National Restaurant Association urges consumers to tell food-service employees about their allergies. “Any individual that has a food allergy needs to let their server know to see if the establishment can accommodate their needs,” William Weichelt, director of food safety and industry relations for the National Restaurant Association, told MarketWatch in an email.

“If a food service establishment wants to serve those with food allergies, it needs to be prepared to work with customers to help make them feel comfortable with their selection and that includes knowing what allergens are in the food they prepare,” he added.

Beyond Meat, hot off a soaring IPO, raised at least $240 million at a valuation just shy of $1.5 billion, suggesting that the alternative meat market could have a long-term future. The plant-based or lab-grown meat market could surge to $140 billion over the next decade as new companies make up a 10% share of the $1.4 trillion ,eat market, Barclays said Wednesday.

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Solutions Risque

Montreal, Quebec, Canada–(May 23, 2019) – Solutions Risque Investigations & Security Services, a security and investigation firm headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has been offering executive protection services since 2017 to crypto companies and professed “crypto influencers” who have been cast into the limelight and increasingly at risk of crypto crime. Solutions Risque is showing an expanded concentration and niche security expertise working with individuals in the crypto community.

Quebec’s Support for Crypto Miners

On April 29, 2019, the province of Quebec’s energy board, Régie de l’énergie, ask Hydro-Quebec, North America’s largest producer of renewable energy offering some of the lowest electricity rates in North America, to allocate a total of 668 megawatts to crypto miners.  To date, most crypto miners were located in China but the Chinese government has been threatening an outright ban on crypto mining. The news coming out of the Canadian province has led to a dramatic influx in interest by crypto related companies wanting cheap electricity and support from a local government making Quebec, Canada the global hub for Bitcoin mining.

A spokesman for Hydro-Quebec confirmed the industry shift from China to Canada:

“Of the world’s top five largest blockchain players, we have at least three or four” – David Vincent, director of business development Hydro-Quebec. Chinese based Bitmain Technologies, operates the world’s largest and second largest Bitcoin mining pools in terms of computing power, confirmed that the company was in talks with Quebec’s energy board, with an eye towards identifying potential bitcoin mining sites in the province.

A spokesman for Solutions Risque confirms the company’s interest:

“Crypto has enormous growth potential for the coming decade and Solutions Risque will continue offering executive protection, investigations and corporate security services to those in the crypto space.” – Jonathon Bachar

About Solutions Risque Investigations & Security

Solutions Risque, is a fully bonded, insured and licensed Montreal private investigation and security agency granted by The Bureau de la sécurité privée. Our team comprises of experienced professional Montreal private investigators from the public and private security industry that adhere to a high standard of protection and professional ethics. With over 35 years of experience, our Montreal and Quebec expertise in surveillance, fraud prevention, private investigation and protection services are often solicited by other provinces and states.

For More Information Contact:
Solutions Risque Investigations & Security
www.SolutionsRisque.com
info@SolutionsRisque.com

Please See Disclaimer

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Memorial Day is the new Black Friday — but that doesn’t mean it’s the best time to buy everything.

Originally a holiday devoted to mattress sales, in recent years retailers have morphed the holiday weekend into a bigger sales weekend to mark the halfway-point to Black Friday. Consequently, there are plenty of great deals to be had during this upcoming three-day weekend (and in the following week). “Memorial Day sales represent about the closest thing we’ll see for ‘across the board’ discounts until holiday season,” said Brent Shelton, an online shopping expert.

But unsuspecting shoppers can get duped by stores advertising deals that are indeed too good to be true. Here are some of the products shoppers should avoid purchasing during Memorial Day weekend.

Automobiles

When it comes to cars, the best time to buy is typically between July and October as dealerships look to make room for newer models, according to CarBuyingTips.com.“Holidays are decent times to get deals, but…the best time to get deals is when new products are coming in and old products are going out,” said Justin Cupler, savings expert with The Points Hound. As a result, better savings can often be found during Fourth of July and Labor Day sales events.

But that doesn’t mean consumers should avoid anything automobile-related. Memorial Day often has the year’s best sales on tires, as retailers aim to cash in on families getting ready for summer road trips, Shelton said.

Laptops

The electronics items on sale during Memorial Day weekend won’t necessarily be the cream of the crop, Shelton said. “There’s going to be some sales, but it’s going to be on older, slower machines,” he said. Consumers in the market for a new Macbook AAPL, -1.84% for instance, would be better off waiting until later in the summer for back-to-school deals. Good deals on electronics can also be found on Black Friday, for those who are willing to wait longer for the best savings.

Don’t miss: If you’re young and think you can’t afford to save for retirement, try this

Televisions

As with laptops, certain TVs will go on sale during Memorial Day, but these tend to be older models with fewer bells and whistles. Many good deals on televisions typically come up around Black Friday — there were 139 different sales on TVs reported by deal shopping website Deal News in the last two weeks of November alone. January is also a good time to buy, since retailers will be clearing shelves to make room for newer models. But according to Deal News, prices for TVs are always going down as newer models with fancier features continually come to market.

Clothing and swimwear

Retailers may advertise between 20% and 40% off clothing items during Memorial Day weekend, but those sales are nothing to call home about, said personal finance expert Jen Smith. “These are common sales seen throughout the year,” Smith said. “Consumers need not splurge on clothing this holiday weekend because these very same sales will pop up again.”

Plus, retailers like Nordstrom JWN, -1.79% Dillard’s DDS, -0.97% and Victoria’s Secret LB, +11.86% have semi-annual or annual sales that trump their Memorial Day weekend deals.

As for swimwear and other summer-specific apparel, consumers are better off waiting until later in the summer to score the best deals, said Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at savings website RetailMeNot. “Shoppers are most likely to find the deepest savings towards the middle to end of summer as stores start to release their fall merchandise and need to clear the shelves,” she said.

Power tools

Consumers won’t have to wait long to get the best deals on power tools, as Father’s Day is generally the best time of year to buy these items. “Although some tool deals in May offer good savings, especially for outdoor power equipment, wait until June, or right after Memorial Day sales, for a better over-all selection of savings options that can rival Black Friday tool deals,” Shelton said.

See also: Thinking of selling your home? Do it before 2020, economists say

Jewelry

This time of year, diamonds aren’t the wallet’s best friend. For shoppers looking to score a deal on jewelry, the best time to buy is right after Valentine’s Day, when retailers put a lot of their items on clearance, Cupler said. Price reductions on rings and necklaces will also crop up in late summer, as this is usually one of the slowest times of the year for jewelers, according to CreditDonkey.

This story was updated on May 23, 2019.

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Rising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports will translate to an extra $831 in annual costs for the typical American household, according to new projections from Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers.

Thursday’s projections on the impact of the newly-implemented 25% tariffs are about double the earlier estimates of $419 per household, the Fed said. The latest round of tariff hikes, in addition to those introduced last year, could cost over $106 billion for American households, the researchers said.

That could be approximately 19 gas tank fill-ups of a mid-size car’s 15-gallon gas tank if regular grade gas prices held at AAA’s $2.84 average.

That $831 could pay for five weekly trips to the grocery store for a family.

The latest figure doesn’t take into account any further adverse economic impact from China’s retaliatory tariffs. Starting June 1, the Chinese government will raise tariffs as high as 25% for roughly $60 billion in 5,000 American products. The products range from frozen fruits to vodka.

Trump’s critics have been complaining that American companies and consumers are getting hurt most by the trade dispute. They say it could increase the costs of Apple AAPL, -2.40%   iPhones and make new washing machines, televisions and computer monitors cost prohibitive.

Earlier this week, footwear makers like Nike NKE, -1.06%   and Under Armour UA, -1.75%   wrote to President Trump, asking for the removal of footwear from a proposed list of tariffs.

Elsewhere, tax analysts say the tariff fight could wipe out any economic gains from the 2017 overhaul of the federal tax code. Though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created an estimated 340,000 full-time equivalent jobs, one tax analyst said all of America’s tariffs and China’s retaliatory tariffs could cut away 580,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

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There’s nothing like cranking up the office A/C to make workers lose their cool.

Almost half of workers (46%) complain that their office is either too hot or too cold, according to a CareerBuilder survey, and 15% of employees admit that they’ve actually argued with a coworker about the office temperature. And now new research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE finds that there’s a degree of seriousness to these office thermostat wars. In fact, women work much better when their workplace is warmer.

Researchers asked more than 500 college students to take math, verbal and cognitive reflection tests while the temperature in the room was set to between 61 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit, and studied how they answered questions at various temperatures. And women’s math and verbal test scores dropped when the room temperature dropped under 70 degrees — but math scores began rising 1.7% as the room warmed up. But men performed better in slightly cooler office spaces, and somewhat worse in warmer settings, although the temperature’s impact on male productivity was less pronounced than it was on women.

Minerva Studio/iStock
Men may struggle when the office gets too hot, however.

“It’s been documented that women like warmer indoor temperatures than men, but the idea until now has been that it’s a matter of personal preference,” wrote study co-author Tom Chang from the University of South California in the report. “What we found is it’s not just whether you feel comfortable or not, but that your performance on things that matter — in math and verbal dimensions, and how hard you try — is affected by temperature.”

Indeed, women were more likely than men to fight with a colleague about workplace climate control in the CareerBuilder survey, with more than 1 in 5 (22%) of female employees getting heated about the temperature, compared to 7% of men. College Humor even riffed on the gender temperature gap in a viral 2016 video that dubbed air conditioned offices as “the women’s winter.” 

Sarah Johnson, the public relations director at FitSmallBusiness.com digital business magazine, told MarketWatch that “passive-aggressive temperature wars” hit her small office every summer.

“One of our co founders will come in and set the thermostat down to 70 degrees, which to me is too cold,” said Johnson, 50. “So as soon as he leaves the room, I’ll tiptoe over to the thermostat … and I’ll put it right back on up to 77. And then he comes back and turns the temperature back down. And the game just keeps on going.”

It got so bad that when this founder teased her that the icy office “feels like Florida,” she used the company credit card to buy herself an $80 space heater on Amazon.

Freelance writer and author Laurie Endicott Thomas told MarketWatch that her fingers were literally blue while she was working in an office in the 90s. She had circulatory problems, which meant her extremities would get cold very easily, yet a coworker kept turning the temperature down.

“I put up with this until one day when my cold, blue, aching fingers could not move well enough for me to type. I checked the thermostat and found that my coworker had set it to 50 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Thomas, 57. “I told our boss that I could not work unless my office was at least 68 degrees, as OSHA recommends. They called the HVAC person to readjust some of the air vents, to balance the temperature in the building, and they told ‘Mr. Freeze’ that he was not allowed to touch the thermostat ever again.”

These are not isolated incidents, probably because nearly 1 in 5 (19%) workers confessed in the survey to secretly changing the thermostat during the summer like Johnson; 13% to cool things down, and 6% to warm the place up.

So what’s going on here? A 2015 report found that most office buildings set the base temperature to a comfort model developed in the 1960s that suits the resting metabolic rates of men; namely, a 40-year-old man weighing 154 pounds. But women’s metabolisms are generally slower than men’s, because they are smaller and have more body fat versus muscle. So the report suggested that this standard office heating and cooling formula might be overestimating the resting heat production of women by as much as 35%.

And differences in how men and women traditionally dress for work in the summer is also part of the problem. “In really corporate offices, the men are always going to be wearing three-piece suits — pants, a shirt and a jacket — so they are going to be warmer in the summer compared to a woman in sleeveless dress and maybe open-toed shoes,” explained Career Contessa founder Lauren McGoodwin.

A building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is another culprit. The Brownstein Group public relations agency housed in a historic Philadelphia building has learned that the climate varies from office to office, even on the same floor. “It was 80 degrees and sunny in Philadelphia — and I had my space heater on high. But about 15 feet past my office, my colleague was using a fan to keep cool,” Laura Emanuel, director of public relations at Brownstein Group, told MarketWatch.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Air conditioning often gets cranked up in offices during the summer. (shironosov/iStock)

And at the temperature war’s peak in her office, management had to tape the thermostat shut to keep the peace because so many workers were fiddling with it. “If you wanted to change it, you had to make your case to our CFO, who was the keeper of the thermostat!” Emanuel said.

Among those freezing at work, 13% told CareerBuilder that they use a space heater like Johnson, while 20% sip hot drinks, 19% wear a jacket all day and 6% swaddle themselves in blankets to warm up at their desks. And their colleagues sweating that it’s too hot will drink cool beverages (42%), dress in layers  (27%) or use a personal fan (26%).

But before the thermostat wars hit full steam, CareerBuilder and McGoodwin offered these suggestions to keeping your cool.

  • Don’t touch the thermostat.This passive-aggressive response will only cause problems. Try talking to your co-workers about it instead, and decide on a temperature that’s comfortable for everyone. “Strategize with your manager,” said McGoodwin. “Explain the constant back-and-forth with the temperature, and the time that is wasting, and explain, ‘I think we could minimize this if we came to a group decision about the temperature should be in the office.’”
  • Walk away. Soaking up some sun outside can warm you up if you’re freezing, and the exercise is a proven stress buster and mood booster that can soothe your temper and boost productivity.
  • Be flexible. If a particular time of day or a specific office space is too warm or too cold for productive work, talk to your manager about adjusting your work schedule, telecommuting or moving to a conference room for a portion of the day to work more comfortably.

This article was originally published in May 2018.

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Beef up on food safety before the long weekend.

An Illinois-based meat company this week recalled more than 62,000 pounds of raw beef over E. coli concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) — just days before many Memorial Day revelers sink their teeth into grilling season.

The Aurora Packing Company’s 62,112 pounds of potentially contaminated meat include steak cuts, brisket, chuck and ribs, according to a list of nearly four dozen recalled products posted online. Their USDA mark of inspection includes the establishment number “EST. 788,” the agency said.

The products in question had been “shipped nationwide for further distribution and processing,” according to the USDA agency, which advised that institutions dispose of the items or bring them back to where they purchased them. Consumers haven’t yet reported any illnesses linked to consumption of the recalled products.

Escherichia coli O157:H7, the foodborne pathogen identified in the recall, is a common E. coli in North America that the federal government has called “the worst type of E. coli.”

iStock/boblin
The USDA this week announced the recall of more than 62,000 pounds of raw beef.

Don’t miss: Tyson will use X-ray metal detectors to screen its chicken for ‘metal fragments’

People with such an infection typically begin feeling sick three or four days after consuming the contaminated product, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and bad stomach cramps.

While most people recover within a week or so, some infections prove “severe or even life-threatening,” the CDC says.

Health risks aside, one 2005 study pegged the annual economic cost of illness, premature deaths, medical care and lost productivity due to E. coli O157 infections at $405 million.

The FSIS urged people to only consume meat products cooked to a 165°F internal temperature. “The only way to confirm that beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature,” the agency said.

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