Posts by Nicole Goodkind

  • China says no to funeral strippers, a new country is founded and more: This week's weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    This week in weird business news…

    A new way to mourn

    China says no more strippers at funerals. A statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday said the government is working with local police to stop suggestive funeral performances, which are intended to draw more mourners to the events. The problem mostly affects rural areas and according to CCTV there are a number of troupes in China offering these services for about $322 an event and put on as many as 20 shows a month. This has been a problem that the Chinese government has been working to eradicate since at least 2006. The practice is also common in Taiwan, where scantily-clad females dance at memorial services in order to placate spirits who are unsettled.

    Introducing Liberland

    Groupon isn't keeping it safe

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    Glenn Beck makes women's jeans, Pizza Hut sued over croutons: Weird business news

  • How Michelle Phan went from food stamps to the most popular woman on YouTube

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Thursday marks the 10-year anniversary of YouTube, the video streaming service that has transformed the way we share and experience videos online. In honor of the milestone, Yahoo Finance sat down with Michelle Phan, the most popular woman on YouTube.

    Phan, who began giving makeup tutorials, has 7.6 million YouTube subscribers and has racked up 1.1 billion views. She also has a makeup line, a media company, a book deal, a beauty subscription service and a music label.

    She’s also only 27, was just listed as one of Inc. Magazine's 30 top entrepreneurs under 30. Just nine years after she began filming makeup how-to's and posting them to YouTube, Phan is estimated to be worth $100 million. But it wasn’t always that way. Phan’s first video was made on a borrowed laptop from her local community college — she was waitressing and living on food stamps at the time.

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  • Your leftover hotel shampoo is saving thousands of lives

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Have you ever wondered what happens to the leftover shampoo and soap at hotels? Six years ago Shawn Seipler had the same thought. As a sales executive, he spent about 150 days each year in a hotel and left a lot of half-filled shampoo bottles and barely used bars of soap behind. He called downstairs and was told that leftover toiletries were simply thrown out. It turns out that Americans throw out nearly 1 million bars of soap everyday. Meanwhile, there are 2.7 billion people around the globe without access to basic sanitation and there are 1.5 million childhood deaths each year due to diseases prevented by hand washing, according to the World Health Organization.

    Seipler put two-and-two together and in the beginning of 2009 launched “Clean the World,” with a mission to work with hotels across the world to collect soap and bottled amenities, recycle them and send them to children in need. The company has three large recycling centers where they process donated soap. In the centers, the soap goes through a disinfecting process and is melted and repackaged into new bars of soap.

  • HBO gets serious about Game of Thrones piracy

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Loyal Game of Thrones viewers were shocked on Sunday when Brooklyn bar, Videology, abruptly ended its weekly screening party after two years. The reason? The small neighborhood stronghold was served a cease-and-desist by HBO.

    To celebrate the premiere of the program Videology threw a party and charged a cover, to pay for food and drink says co-owner Wendy Chamberlain. HBO saw this as profiting off of the show. “As a pay subscription service, HBO should not be made available in public establishments,” said HBO in an email statement. “When it does happen, it is of particular concern when there is an attempt to profit off the programming. We have taken such actions for well over a decade.”

    “This is lunacy, it is such old-world thinking,” says Yahoo Finance contributor Henry Blodget. “If an agency came up with the idea of having a social strategy, of getting local bars to actually throw parties where people dress up as characters in the show, new networks would be salivating at that.”

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  • Working on Wall Street can help save the world: Peter Singer

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    In a society that’s still reveling in the Occupy Wall Street, anti-banker spirit, the terms ‘investment banking’ and ‘altruism’ don’t quite seem to go hand-in-hand. But Dr. Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and author of “The Most Good You Can Do” disagrees. He believes that working on Wall Street can be more noble even than being a social worker.

    “I don’t think that Wall Street is necessarily harmful at all,” he says. One of Singer’s students, Matt Wage, deliberately got a job as an arbitrage trader so that he could donate more of his money and within a year of graduating from Princeton he was giving six-figure sums to charity.

    This is all part of a movement called "effective altruism," which Singer champions. The movement attempts to look at the hard data and be practical when it comes to charity—not emotional, as many tend to be. Instead of giving to a cause close to your heart, give to the cause which will save the most lives, advocates Singer.

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  • A $56 million espresso that puts your Starbucks habit in check: This week's weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    Enjoy your espresso in space

    The next time you complain about a $5 latte at Starbucks be thankful you’re not spending $56 million. That’s how much it’s costing SpaceX to send a capsule containing an espresso machine to the International Space Station. Lavazza and Argotec built the machine, called the ISSpresso, using zero gravity technology for astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. She’ll also be receiving a package of NASA designed coffee mugs that recreate the role of gravity in normal drinking on Earth.

    The package launched earlier this week and arrived today. Along with espresso the cargo capsule provided essential groceries and supplies. The Dragon space capsule will be loaded with trash and cargo and return to earth in 5 weeks. SpaceX is currently working on reducing the cost of Dragon launches.

    He just wanted to fix the plumbing...

    Smartphone causes dumb fight

    That’s it for your weird business news. Check back next week for more—same time, same place.

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  • How mobile banking can bring Sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    Most Americans become engrained in the banking system at a young age—opening a savings account is a right of passage. Today 62% of the world’s population has a bank account, that’s up from 51% in 2011.

    Still, there are around two billion people in the world who don’t have access to the global banking system. These “unbanked” people are overwhelmingly from undeveloped or developing countries and usually live well below the poverty line. They also tend to be women.

    This information comes from the World Bank’s “Global Findix” which collects data on financial inclusion around the world. “Having an account or a safe place to save allows you to have savings to invest in new businesses, to pay for education and to manage unexpected shocks and risks,” explains Dr. Leora Klapper, lead economist of development research for the World Bank. 

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Bank accounts are critical to reducing poverty, says Dr. Klapper. “Having my paycheck deposited directly into my account is a convenience but for millions of women around the world it’s a game changer.”

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  • Raising the minimum wage helps businesses make more money: NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    There are people marching in the streets all over the country today to increase the minimum wage—and a lot of those protests are near Yahoo Finance’s offices right here in Manhattan. In the midst of this, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report advocating for an increase of the minimum wage for $15 an hour. The report outlines a number of reasons the increase would benefit New York, where the cost of living is the highest in America.

    According the comptroller’s analysis, raising the minimum wage would impact 1.5 million New Yorkers and add a collective $10 billion to their salaries. An increase in the minimum wage would also save the city between $200 and $500 million annually in Food Stamps and Medicaid, and add $250 million annually in tax revenue, according to Stringer.

    Related: Is $15 an hour a realistic minimum wage?

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

  • Incidents at Walmart responsible for 46% of this city's crime rate: Weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    This has been a big week for weird business news. Ikea rolled out veggie meatballs in most U.S. stores, Burger King sponsored the wedding of Joel Burger and Ashley King and “Price is Right” model Manuela Arbeláez accidently gave away a $21,960 car to a contestant. Here are some more odd stories that you might have missed:

    Taco Bell on Fleek

    Taco Bell is going Hipster. They’re trying to appeal to Millennials, hard. The Yum-brands owned company recently released a 1984-esque film bashing McDonalds breakfast food, created sriracha-inspired meals and even told the world via Twitter that they’re on fleek (that’s Millennial speak for on point).

    Now the company has announced that they will start opening restaurants inside of shipping containers and…ready for this? Start a delivery service…Congratulations Taco Bell; you’ve just brought Netflix binges to the next level.

    Missing house

  • Rand Paul sells NSA spy-cam blockers to raise campaign cash

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he would run for President this week and while the Libertarian contender has a long race ahead of him some say he’s already won the web store battle. Paul is selling a number of quirky items on his official website that help broadcast his message and face across America. But buyer beware -- according to Rand Paul aide Sergio Gor, all purchases are considered donations to the campaign and max out at the $2,700 FEC contribution cap. Gor also assured Yahoo Finance that all items for sale were either made in America or printed in America. 

    Items for purchase include a Rand Paul branded “NSA Spy Cam Blocker” for $15 and a copy of the United States constitution autographed by Rand Paul for $1,000.

    Rand Paul isn’t the only candidate trying to connect with younger voters through wacky swag. Hillary Clinton has not yet announced that she will run for President in 2016 but her Super PAC, Ready for Hillary is already selling a slew of Clinton-branded items. These include champagne glasses, cocktail napkins that are on backorder, and mason jars. 

     

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