Qatar Airways glamorous new business class suite is traveling the globe on its newest plane, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – take a look

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

  • Qatar Airways started flying the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2021 with a new business class product.
  • A total of 30 business class s2uites comprise the cabin with sliding doors for privacy.
  • New innovations including a wireless charging pad can also be found in the suites.
Qatar Airways has a new product to offer its premium cabin customers that are flying on the newest addition to the airline’s aircraft family.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner is now flying for Qatar Airways, with the Middle Eastern carrier the first in the region to debut the ultramodern jet.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The first models were delivered to Qatar Airways just before the pandemic and are finally getting acquainted with passengers. Welcoming passengers in business class is the airline’s new business class suite, found only on the 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qatar Airways has been steadily improving its premium product, culminating so far in the “Qsuite” that’s found on its Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 XWB family aircraft.

Qatar QSuite Business Class Review Airbus A350 DS_3353

Here’s what it’s like to fly on Qatar Airways’ Qsuite onboard an Airbus A350-1000 XWB.

But while the Dreamliner isn’t quite large enough to accommodate the Qsuite, passengers will still have access to an enclosed suite with a sliding door.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Step onboard a brand-new Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

A total of 30 business class suites comprise the eight-row cabin located squarely between the first two boarding doors.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Seats along the cabin wall are configured in a reverse herringbone configuration, meaning they’re angled towards the window.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

As these seats face away from the aisle, they’re ideal for passengers traveling alone and have unobstructed views of the window.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Center aisle seats, alternatively, are configured in a herringbone configuration, angled towards the two aisles in the cabin.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

These seats are ideal for couples or companions traveling together as they are angled in a way that their headrests are nearly touching,

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

A version of the famous Qsuite double bed is not available on the 787-9 Dreamliner but couples can get a similar experience by lowering the seat partition when in lie-flat mode.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Passengers traveling independently, however, can simply raise the partition for additional privacy.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Each seat features a high-definition touch-screen display that features Qatar Airways’ Oryx One entertainment system. Flyers can access thousands of hours of content including movies, television shows, music, and more.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Also controlling the in-flight entertainment system is a large tethered remote with a touch-screen of its own. It also acts as a game controller.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has exterior cameras that can also be accessed through the entertainment system, offering top-down and forward-facing views.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

And when it’s time to sleep, the seat reclines fully flat to a 79-inch bed.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Closeable suite doors offer greater privacy, similar to Qsuites. The doors don’t fully latch, however, and there’s a small gap in between the door and the seat wall.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

A do not disturb feature is built into the seat number’s lighting system. Passengers can press a button to turn the seat number red, indicating that flight attendants shouldn’t bother them whether they be sleeping, working, or relaxing.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Seat controls can be easily accessed when in upright or lie flat mode.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

In-seat power is offered at the seat with a 110v AC power outlet and USB charging port conveniently located next to the counter space. In-flight WiFi is also available for passengers to use.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Wireless charging is also available and compatible with Apple and Android devices. Airlines are just starting to introduce these types of innovations in business class, as Insider found on a JetBlue Airways flight from London to New York in Mint business class.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Here’s what flying JetBlue is like across the Atlantic in Mint business class

A smaller storage compartment can be found above the counter and is just large enough for a passport, small purse, or tablet. There’s also a small mirror for passengers to use.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

When it’s time to eat or work on a computer, the tray table slides out directly from underneath the in-flight entertainment screen.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Passengers can adjust the length of the table, as well as its angles, depending on preference.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qatar Airways is continuing its dine-on-demand offering in the cabin where travelers can order anything on the menu at any time during the flight. Passengers don’t have to abide by the normal airline notions of mealtimes.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Business class passengers receive amenity kits including items and toiletries such as an eye mask, socks, a toothbrush, and more. Qatar Airways also gives hygiene kits to each passenger including hand sanitizing gel, nitrile gloves, and a face mask.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Premium brands represented in the cabin and dining offering include Narumi, BRIC’S, Diptyque, TWG Tea, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, and The White Company.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Source: Qatar Airways

“Our passengers deserve the best and I am confident that they will appreciate the larger Dreamliner variant for its unmatched comfort in the sky,” Akbar Al-Baker, Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Source: Qatar Airways

At least seven of the 30 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft that Qatar Airways has on order from Boeing have arrived at the airline. The new aircraft have slowly but surely been making their way across the Qatar Airways network.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

From Doha, they’re scheduled to visit destinations over the next few months including Accra, Ghana; Amman, Jordan; Stockholm, Sweden; Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Jakarta, Indonesia; Phuket, Thailand; Karachi, Pakistan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manchester, UK; Muscat, Oman; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; Vienna, Austria; Tunis, Tunisia; and Singapore, among other destinations.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

And while the product is not as groundbreaking as Qsuite, it still offers business class travelers an exclusive, private, and luxurious way to travel.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class - Qatar Airways Flight 2021
Inside a Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some colleges are practicing ‘affirmative action’ for boys, since more girls apply, education experts say. It points to a bigger problem.

boys college enrollment
Togi, an 11th grade student at Wakefield High School, sits at his desk in Arlington, Virginia, on June 3, 2021.

Researchers have been sorting out a paradox for decades: If US employers favor men with a college degree, why is that demographic shrinking?

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group, suggests that the gender gap in higher education is the highest it’s ever been: Men made up just 40% of college students during the 2020-21 school year, while women made up around 60%. Men also accounted for more than 70% of the decline in students at US colleges and universities over the last five years.

In an attempt to keep the gender ratio somewhat even in their student bodies, some private colleges are now accepting a higher portion of their male applicants than their female ones, the Wall Street Journal recently reported.

On average, boys tend to have lower GPAs.

“That overall lower achievement is what ends up hurting boys in the admissions process,” Jayanti Owens, a sociology professor at Brown University, told Insider. “Some universities have really started to systematically recognize this and, in an effort to not have tremendous gender imbalances in their student body, are practicing affirmative action of sorts for boys.”

The reasons for this admissions discrepancy are manifold, but education researchers cite two factors in particular. First, the US education system prioritizes rule-following and organization over active learning, and second, there’s a shortage of male teachers and college counselors – particularly men of color. Neither of those factors is new, but changes in the labor market over the last four decades have given them new significance.

Before 1970, many working women had jobs that didn’t require a college degree, such as clerical or sales work. Starting in the 70s, though, the labor market began allowing women to enter a broader range of professions that required more education. As women became more incentivized to pursue college, more girls applied.

That incentive to get a higher degree – combined with the way schools are set up – has led girls to surpass their male peers. A gender gap in college enrollment has persisted since the 1980s.

Now, Owens said, many boys face a “cumulative disadvantage” in school.

“It starts early and it gets bigger,” she said. “And by the time you get to applying for college, it’s very large.”

Girls’ rule-following skills may give them an early edge

Kids in masks returning to school
Third grade dual language students wear masks on the first day of school at Montara Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, on Monday, August 16, 2021.

Boys who don’t easily acclimate to classroom norms may struggle to see themselves as college-bound.

A 2011 study found that girls start school with more advanced social and behavioral skills, whereas boys are more likely to have difficulty paying attention or sitting still in class. Preschool-aged boys are four times more likely to be expelled than girls, according to the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness.

Owens’ research has shown that behavioral challenges seen as early as ages four and five can be significant predictors of whether boys will drop out of high school or decide not to go to college.

One reason boys may be seen as misbehaving, she said, is that the early education system prioritizes rule-following and self control.

“You really need to have high levels of self-regulation and self-control to be able to sit there and pay attention for that long,” Owens said. “So part of it is that girls are more able to do that, on average, and part of it is that you can have teachers respond to boys who are not doing that as troublemakers or naughty. That can lead to sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby boys that get this message end up acting out more, in part because they don’t have the attention skills, and in part because they’re rebelling against this idea that they’re not good at school.”

Studies indicate that teachers often rate boys as having more behavioral problems than girls. What’s more, Owens said, boys often score lower on linguistic and reading tests than girls – a discrepancy that persists from kindergarten through high school.

It’s not clear why these academic and behavioral differences exist. Cultural and social conditioning likely have an influence. Young children may be raised to view reading and language as feminine subjects, for example. A 2011 study found that parents are more likely to read to girls than boys, and more likely to spank boys than girls.

Challenges in school may also discourage boys from seeking academic help. A study of 3rd-grade public-school students found that kids who received negative feedback from teachers or didn’t see themselves as good students were more fearful of seeking help than their peers.

“Building in a culture of asking for help, and normalizing that from a very young age, can be transformative for students – especially for low-income boys or just boys in general,” Adrian Huerta, an assistant education professor at the University of Southern California, told Insider.

High-school boys ‘find out too late’ how to prepare for college

boys college enrollment
Deborah Sewell, who teaches a non-credited reading class at Montgomery College, answers Isaiah Rodriguez’s questions during class in Takoma Park, Maryland, on February 12, 2020.

Boys tend to score higher than girls on standardized science and math tests in high school. But those subject-specific advantages, whatever their cause, “don’t translate into overall advantages in educational attainment,” Owens said.

Instead, research has found that 8th-grade girls are more self-disciplined than their male counterparts – qualities that factor into their grades. Girls at all age levels also demonstrate higher levels of engagement in class. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely than girls to get suspended in K-12 public schools – and kids from schools with high suspension rates were less likely to earn a college degree, a 2019 study found.

“You are marked as a bad kid, and that means teachers and counselors are less likely to have patience for you and less likely to present you unique opportunities related to college-going,” Huerta said, adding, “often boys find out too late what they need to do in order to prepare for college – they might find out their junior or senior years that you need to take these classes, you need to take these tests.”

The pandemic has made these trends more pronounced.

“We’re seeing this gender disparity in higher education exacerbated, where there’s fewer and fewer boys in higher education as a result of the pandemic,” Owens said.

Financial strains may compel young men to enter the workforce right away

High school students wear mask while walking into school.
Students at a Florida high school walk to campus on their first day of school on August 23, 2021.

Some young men face an additional deterrent to enrolling in college: the need to support themselves or their families.

An analysis from the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, reported in the Wall Street Journal, found that boys from low-income backgrounds were the least likely of any demographic group to enroll in college in 2019. COVID-19 has exacerbated financial woes for many families, creating a heightened pressure to enter the workforce.

“Financial strains cause young men to say, ‘College is really expensive. Who’s going to pay for it? Who’s going to pay for my books? Who’s going to pay for my car?'” Huerta said.

For these boys, Owens added, it’s often easier to follow a path that’s been laid out for them already.

“If you’re a boy coming from a low-income family, you might have role models around you who have gone into the trades or who have gone into other non-professional occupations,” she said. “That’s the example you have in front of you.”

More male teachers and active learning techniques could be part of the solution

Kindergarten teacher Mary Hoftiezer and the class fly like airplanes during a story break at Fairview Elementary in Denver, Colorado, on January 23, 2019.

The US education system is notoriously underfunded – but, at the moment, US school districts collectively have access to billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds.

“Right now is a critical time in our national history,” Huerta said. “How are we going to use those dollars?”

In an ideal world, he said, every US school would have two or three college counselors – including men of color. The current national ratio is one college counselor for every 424 students.

Owens, meanwhile, is pushing for funds to go toward early education. She’d like to see preschools and kindergartens incorporate more active, hands-on projects and fewer quiet lectures. Recruiting more male teachers at that level is also critical, she added.

“I would really invest in changing the structure of schooling,” Owens said. “So you are both setting boys up to have higher levels of the skills that get rewarded in schools, and simultaneously changing the structure of schools to make them more friendly to boys.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ugly Christmas sweaters may be in short supply this year, as the shipping crisis has left them stuck on delayed container ships, a report says

Women in Christmas sweaters run in a race in Germany
Participants in the Ugly Christmas Sweater Run.

  • A company selling ugly holiday sweaters predicted a shortage amid the supply chain crisis.
  • “Christmas sweaters, there’ll definitely be a shortage,” one exec told The Detroit Free Press.
  • Retail spending is expected to be on par with 2020 spending, The National Retail Federation said.

The US may be facing a shortage of ugly holiday sweaters this holiday season amid the worldwide shipping crisis, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Ostentatious holiday sweaters have been growing in popularity for years. There are ugly-sweater fun runs held around the world. Rent the Runway launched a capsule collection. A Popeyes version sold out in hours. Office Christmas parties use them as a theme. And there are many, many lists – here are three from Insider – compiling and reviewing the ugliest of the ugly.

But the ongoing supply chain crisis may make it more difficult for consumers to get their hands on them, Fred Hajjar, of, told the newspaper.

“Christmas sweaters, there’ll definitely be a shortage,” Hajjar reportedly said.

That Michigan-based company expects to sell about 100,000 sweaters this year, the Detroit Free Press reported. But many of those sweaters are now delayed in transit, with several shipping containers full of them stuck in Long Beach.

Consumer spending this holiday season isn’t expected to drop, despite the supply chain issues, according to the National Retail Federation.

A crowd wearing ugly holiday sweaters under heavy snowfall
A crowd wearing ugly holiday sweaters.

US shoppers are expected to spend about $1,000 apiece on gifts and holiday items, including the ugly sweaters they buy for themselves. That’s about what they spent last year, despite the pandemic, the group said.

“Consumers are ready to celebrate, and gift-giving is high on the list,” Matthew Shay, NRF chief, said in a statement.

It added: “The retail industry is working diligently with ports, labor, shippers and transportation providers, as well as government officials to overcome supply chain challenges and make sure consumers have access to the gifts they want to give and, just as important, receive.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

An astronomer at Japan’s space agency is making simple animations that reveal the surprising physics of the solar system

planets solar system scale
An artist’s concept of our solar system showing a sense of scale and distance.

James O’Donoghue went viral for the first time in December 2018.

He was a planetary scientist for NASA at the time, but the federal government had temporarily shut down due to budget disputes in Congress. He’d been told not to work or even check his email. So with extra time on his hands, he took to Photoshop.

O’Donoghue and his NASA colleagues had just measured the material raining onto Saturn from its rings, and found that the rings will slowly fall away over 100 million years. He realized that people would probably wonder what that will look like.

So a few days before their study’s publication, O’Donoghue slapped an expanding black circle onto an image of Saturn and faded most of its rings away. The New York Times featured his animation with the news of the study.

saturn rings disappearing gif
O’Donoghue’s impression of how Saturn may look in the next 100 million years. The innermost rings disappear as they rain onto the planet.

Then, as he continued to roam the Internet while waiting for government work to resume, O’Donoghue realized that he couldn’t find any videos comparing each planet’s spin side by side. So he made one.

He pulled together images of all the planets, tilted them to the correct degree, and made them spin at their real-life speeds. He threw numbers next to them for good measure.

The video took off.

“It was viewed by 1.6 million [people] in a couple of days. As someone with 450 followers, I thought that was a bit ridiculous,” O’Donoghue told Insider.

But he realized that it had taken about 16 hours to make the video, which means he’d reached roughly 100,000 people for each hour of work.

“I thought, ‘This is actually kind of efficient’ – an efficient way of doing outreach to people,” he said. “If you’re from a rural area like myself, that’s kind of important. I didn’t have any exposure to any scientists where I’m from. You’d have to go very far away to reach one.”

O’Donoghue grew up in the English town of Shrewsbury, then later among the hills and farms of Newton, Wales. He’d never thought of astronomy as a career option until he left for university.

Since the planets video, O’Donoghue has almost always had another idea for an animation bouncing around in his head. He has now created more than 80 such animations for his Youtube channel.

The effort earned him the Europlanet Society’s Prize for Public Engagement last month.

James O’Donoghue selfie in front of nasa symbol
James O’Donoghue at NASA.

“Among the talented and motivated science communication projects nominated this year, James O’Donoghue’s brilliant animations stood out,” Dr. Federica Duras, who chaired the award jury, said in a press release. “In their simplicity they are a masterclass in outreach and communication, and the fact that they do not rely on language and translation means that they are perfectly inclusive, easily adaptable and usable all over the world.”

“A lot of this is just play,” O’Donoghue, who now works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), told Insider. “I kind of just go where I enjoy with it.”

Here are some of his best videos.

After his early successes, O’Donoghue pivoted to illustrating the speed of light

This series of videos shows a particle of light (a photon) traveling across different distances in space. It zips around Earth faster than you can blink, and ping-pongs between Earth and the moon every 1.255 seconds.

But the distance between planets is so large that it takes a photon several minutes to cross. That’s why space agencies like NASA will always have a delay in communicating with rovers on Mars – even if they develop the ability to send messages at light speed.

Another video shows how the moon has retreated over 4.5 billion years

About 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized object (or perhaps a series of many smaller objects) crashed into Earth, sending bits of our planet’s crust into space. They fell into Earth’s orbit and eventually coalesced, forming our moon. That newborn moon – a ball of molten rock with a magma ocean – was nearly 16 times closer to Earth than it is today.

As it cooled, the moon backed away, retreating thousands of miles.

O’Donoghue’s sequence starts with the moon’s current position and follows it back in time to its birth, tracking its distance from Earth, apparent size relative to our planet, and the speed of its movement.

Some videos debunk myths, like the dark side of the moon

Although there is a side of the moon that we never see from Earth, it’s not dark all the time.

“Remember not to say ‘dark side of the moon’ when referring to the ‘far side of the moon,'” O’Donoghue said on Twitter. “This graphic shows the dark side is always in motion.”

The video shows how sunlight falls across the moon as it orbits Earth. In one orbit of about 29.5 days, all sides of the moon get bathed in sunlight at some point.

Others demonstrate shocking facts of physics – like the true center of the solar system

Hint: It’s not really the sun.

“Instead, everything orbits the solar system center of mass,” O’Donoghue explained on Twitter. “Even the sun.”

That center of mass, called the barycenter, is the point of an object at which it can be balanced perfectly, with all its mass distributed evenly on all sides. In our solar system, that point rarely lines up with the center of the sun.

His animation shows how the sun, Saturn, and Jupiter play tug-of-war around the barycenter, pulling our star in looping mini-orbits.

Earth and the moon have their own barycenter, too

That point is about 3,000 miles from our planet’s center, just below its surface.

By the way, Earth has two types of day

The sidereal day happens each time Earth completes a 360-degree rotation. That takes 23 hours and 56 minutes.

But because Earth is constantly moving along its orbit around the sun, a different point on the planet faces the sun directly at the end of that 360-degree spin. For the sun to reach the exact same position in the sky, Earth has to rotate 1 degree further, which takes another four minutes to make a 24-hour spin.

The solar day – the one humans count in the calendar – happens when Earth spins that extra degree, and the sun is at the same point in the sky as it was 24 hours ago.

Because we go by solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth actually completes a full rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times per year.

A more recent video shows how fast (or slow) a ball would drop on each planet

For this video, O’Donoghue collaborated with Rami Mandow, who founded the website Space Australia.

The speed of the ball’s fall depends on the planet’s mass – a more massive planet has a stronger gravitational force – and its density. The closer the ball is to a planet’s center of mass, the stronger the gravitational force.

“I really like how this one came out,” O’Donoghue said.

Many of his animations compare the planets

This animation also shows how fast each planet spins and how much they’re tilted on their axes.

He’s also compared planets by putting them all on one globe

This video shows how quickly the planets spin relative to one another. Jupiter, for example, rotates 2.4 times faster than Earth.

His adaptation of a NASA animation shows the oceans draining away

This remake of a 2008 NASA video shows what it would look like if Earth’s water drained away, revealing the hidden three-fifths of the planet’s surface.

“This animation reveals that the ocean floor is just as variable and interesting in its geology as the continents,” O’Donoghue said.

O’Donoghue even circled back to his main research subject: Saturn

It may not be obvious in photos, but the ice and rock chunks that make up Saturn’s rings circle at rates nearly 70 times the speed of sound. But each ring moves at its own specific pace. The animation above shows how it all moves.

“In a way, the ring system is like a mini solar system,” O’Donoghue said. “Objects close to Saturn orbit faster, otherwise they would fall in, while objects far away can afford to go slower. This is the same for planets.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Small businesses say their revenues are plummeting as they’re forced to turn down business because of the labor shortage

closed store
Businesses have cut their hours because they don’t have enough staff.

  • Businesses are cutting back on their services because of the labor shortage.
  • Those affected range from a cleaning company in Virginia to a dog-walking business in Georgia.
  • Even though the service cuts cost them customers, they don’t have enough staff to operate as usual.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Laughing Pets, a pet-sitting and dog-walking company in Atlanta, Georgia, turned down a holiday job worth around $2,500 because it couldn’t find enough staff.

“We get, on average, four new inquiries per day and we have to turn all of them away,” its owner Karen Levy told Insider.

She said that she used to hire 12 members of staff, which has fallen to just five. As well as turning away prospective customers, she’d had to suspend some visits to long-term clients, too.

“I may never get those clients back,” Levy said, adding that she was even grateful for cancellations because it meant her remaining staff wouldn’t get burned out.

Levy isn’t alone. Other businesses small across the US have also resorted to dramatically slashing their opening hours or cutting back on their services – both because they can’t find enough staff to operate as usual and because labor is getting more expensive. Nearly a quarter of small and medium-sized businesses said in a poll by Alignable they’d reduced operating hours to cut payroll expenses.

At Maid to Sparkle, a residential cleaning service in Richmond, Virginia, the workforce has fallen by roughly half, according to owner Jonathan Bergstein.

As a result, the company is cleaning between 15 and 20 houses a day, down from 30 pre-pandemic, he said.

He said that he had to turn down business and reschedule loyal customers, who he feared he could lose to a competitor.

“Every morning we have to decide who will be cleaned and who will not be cleaned,” Bergstein said.

He said that the labor shortage and the resultant drop in capacity meant that Maid to Sparkle’s gross profit had dropped by between $1,000 and $2,000 each week.

Before the pandemic, Maid to Sparkle made around $750,000 a year in gross profit, Bergstein said.

“Now we’ll be lucky if we gross maybe $300,000,” he said.

Debra Marsteller is the CEO of Project Independence, a medium-sized nonprofit in California that works with adults with developmental disabilities. She said that the organization had lost around 30% of its staff.

“This is why I’m up in the middle of the night,” she said.

The labor shortage meant that the organization was having to reduce support to some adults in supported-living facilities, according to Marsteller. Some may move to other agencies as a result, Marsteller said.

“Normally, we try to move our higher-need independent-living individuals into our supported-living program, but this has become less possible due to staff shortage and the inability to attract new staff to meet the increased need for daily support shifts,” she said.

And Laborjack, a labor-for-hire company in Colorado, told Insider it expected to turn down jobs worth between $300,000 and $500,000 in 2021 because it can’t find enough workers.

Laborjack’s owners said in July that it had been able to raise prices, but had had to put up wages and pay out more bonuses to attract more workers.

“Our margin has decreased despite the fact that we’re increasing prices, just because we’re trying to pay out all these bonuses,” co-founder Blake Craig said.

The owners of small businesses are in many cases cutting down how many hours they spend managing their business to instead provide labor themselves.

Bergstein said he was cleaning houses for around five hours a day, while Levy said she spent around 30 hours a week doing dog walks and pet visits, on top of running her business.

“I can’t remember having a day off in the past few weeks,” she lamented.

Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple is being sued by a San Francisco man for $1,383.13, the exact cost of his iPhone 12. He says the company refused to fix the phone while it was under warranty.

An old San Francisco building is reflected inside the glossy Apple store logo
San Francisco’s Apple Store.

  • An Apple iPhone owner sued the tech giant for $1,383.13, the exact cost of his phone.
  • Theodore A. Kim filed the lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court last week.
  • Kim said the company refused to repair his iPhone despite it being under warranty.

An iPhone user in San Francisco has sued Apple for the exact cost of his iPhone, saying the company refused to repair the device despite it being under warranty.

Theodore A. Kim filed a lawsuit in San Francisco seeking $1,383.13, the original cost of his phone. The claim was filed in small claims court.

“It levels the playing field so that just a simple consumer like me can sue a big company without having to worry about getting lawyers and all that other stuff,” Kim told Insider in a phone interview last week. “I feel like at least I want my day in court.”

The court clerk set a trial for 1.30 p.m. on November 23, 2021, according to documents. Apple didn’t respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

The phone Kim’s suing over was originally purchased from an authorized Apple seller in Vietnam in October 2020, he said. The iPhone 12 was under Apple’s warranty until October 2022, he said.

When Kim returned to the US during the pandemic, he was having trouble getting the phone to read a US sim card. So he called Apple, and they told him to bring it into a local Apple Store.

“And so I brought it into the store and they sent it to the repair depot – then they came back and said, ‘Yeah, we’re not going to fix this because it’s been tampered with,'” Kim said. “And I said: ‘Tampered with in what way?'”

He didn’t get an answer, he said. Instead, they returned the phone. But now it had a broken SIM tray, Kim said.

A few weeks later, Kim filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Apple responded to that complaint, saying the iPhone would have been repaired if it had been broken while the company had it.

“Apple considers this matter closed,” the company said, according to the BBB website.

Since Apple wouldn’t fix the phone under the warranty – which Kim said was voided by the company – he offered to pay for the repair. But the company again refused, he said.

As a final gambit, he sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s email address in late June. He didn’t hear back. So he turned to Google for ways to solve the problem.

“And I found a blog post of someone in Seattle successfully suing Apple in small claims court,” Kim said.

In that 2012 case, a blogger brought Apple to small claims court in Washington after his 2008 MacBook Pro’s graphics card died. That blogger’s experience was similar enough to his that Kim thought he might have a chance in court.

“So I said, ‘Well, OK, why don’t I try the same avenue,'” he said. “I kind of jokingly said, ‘Well, this is like a David and Goliath kind of situation.’ We’ll see what happens.”

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey believes hyperinflation is an impending threat to the US economy – and will change everything

Jack Dorsey appears at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey believes that inflation in the US will soon worsen.
  • In a tweet, he said he expects hyperinflation to strike the US economy and the rest of the world.
  • “It is going to change everything,” he added.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warned inflation in the US is soon going to get considerably worse.

In a tweet on Friday, he wrote: “Hyperinflation is going to change everything,” adding that “it’s happening.”

Hyperinflation is when inflation – the increasing price of goods and services – rises uncontrollably for a period of time. It is typically caused by an initial trigger such as a war, social uprising, or supply shock – an event that unexpectedly leads to a sudden increase or decrease in the supply of goods or services.

Dorsey’s comment comes after consumer price inflation rebounded as new disruptions to the supply chain kept prices rising higher.

The Consumer Price Index – a commonly used measure of US inflation – rose 0.4% last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced. That exceeded the median forecast of a 0.3% gain from economists surveyed by Bloomberg, Insider’s Ben Winck and Andy Kiersz reported.

In late September, the US economy was hit by supply bottlenecks, which are still troubling businesses and consumers. Americans, who held back from spending through the Delta variant surge, began buying more products again, leading to retail sales still trending near record highs through August.

Yet, massive order backlogs and shipment buildups at key ports have kept companies from matching supply with consumers’ surging demand.

In response to a user comment, Dorsey added that he sees inflation escalating around the world too. “It will happen in the US soon, and so the world,” he tweeted.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also recently weighed in on the subject of inflation. He said he was more concerned about higher inflation than previously, CNBC reported.

At a recent virtual conference, Powell added that inflation pressures “are likely to last longer than previously expected,” and that they could run “well into next year.”

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Twitter’s internal data shows its algorithm amplifies right-wing political content over similar content posted by left-wing figures

Former President Donald Trump in a black coat speaks into multiple microphones
Former President Donald Trump, who was one the most powerful right-wing voices on Twitter during his presidency.

  • Internal researchers said Twitter’s algorithm showed bias toward right-wing politicians.
  • Tweets from “accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification,” they said.
  • The research, published Thursday, came as former President Donald Trump launched a competitor.

Twitter’s algorithm amplifies right-wing political content more readily than similar left-wing content for users in the US and a handful of other countries.

Internal researchers at the San Francisco company studied the way Twitter’s algorithm surfaced tweets from elected legislators in seven countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US. The researchers looked at the content that popped up in the personalized timelines of about 2 million daily users.

“In six out of seven countries – all but Germany – Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group,” Rumman Chowdhury, director of software engineering, and Luca Belli, staff machine learning researcher, wrote in a blog published on Thursday.

The research was published amid an ongoing conversation about how social media companies, including Facebook, can affect political discussion and election results in the US and elsewhere. It was also published just as former President Donald Trump, once Twitter’s right-wing star, announced his own media company in an attempt to compete with Silicon Valley tech giants.

Twitter allows most users to choose between a chronological timeline and an algorithmic timeline. With the latter, the most visible tweets are decided by a combination of factors, including the types of accounts a user has chosen to follow.

The researchers said they found that tweets from all elected officials, regardless of their parties, were seen more often when users chose the algorithmic timeline option.

In separate findings, the group looked at media outlets in the US, which they lumped into political categories.

Twitter's logo swooping to the right
Twitter’s algorithm shows bias toward right-wing politicians, the company says.

“Right-leaning news outlets … see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets,” they wrote.

The researchers stopped short of saying why, exactly, the right-wing content received greater amplification in users’ personal timelines. But they said it could be that “different political parties pursue different strategies on Twitter.”

“However, understanding the precise causal mechanism that drives amplification invites further study that we hope our work initiates,” the researchers wrote in a discussion of their findings.

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This ghost kitchen pioneer, which pays delivery drivers up to $88,000 a year, says a happy and well-paid workforce is the key to its success

Inside a ClusterTruck ghost kitchen.

  • Ghost kitchen pioneer ClusterTruck is paying its delivery drivers up to $88,000 a year.
  • To support those wages, the Indiana-based company does not use a third-party delivery model.
  • It also never oversaturates the driver pool, which aims to ensure they are making enough money.

Ghost kitchens, which are used for delivery-only restaurant services, became hugely popular at the start of the pandemic. Now, more than 18 months later, they’ve maintained their presence, despite the reopening of many dining rooms.

According to market research firm Euromonitor, the ghost kitchen industry could be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

One of the main drivers of growth in the industry is the changing cost structures of the foodservice market.

Ghost kitchens’ delivery-focused model allows businesses to significantly cut down on rent and staffing costs by employing fewer people. In the case of ClusterTruck, which is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, its delivery drivers’ happiness is integral to its success.

“Drivers are our core constituency at ClusterTruck,” its chief operating officer Brian Howenstein told Insider.

He said ClusterTruck is vertically integrated, meaning it manages the entire process – from cooking up orders made by in-house chefs to using its own delivery drivers.

The company’s use of its own delivery fleet is particularly notable. According to Howenstein, all delivery drivers are gig drivers contracted to ClusterTruck, rather than through a third-party delivery service like Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

Their jobs are assigned on an on-demand basis. “If a courier decides they want to start delivering for ClusterTruck, they can go into the app and hit ‘I’m available.’ “As soon as we have demand, we’ll send them a notification and they’ll start heading to our kitchen to start delivering,” Howenstein said.

The company tries to manage demand to make sure it never brings on too many drivers. “To make our system work, we have to make sure our drivers are happy and that they’re making enough money,” Howenstein said.

The company works to never oversaturate its driver pool. “If we have 100 orders, we may only bring on 20 or so drivers to deliver those,” Howenstein said. “We want to make sure each driver makes enough money to be happy and that it’s a good gig for them financially.

Such a structure has allowed the company to pay drivers no less than $15 per hour. In many cases, however, they can make more than $80,000 per year, as a result of the on-demand business model. Insider has viewed documentation provided by ClusterTruck showing the payment of such salaries.

Those higher salaries are dependent on the number of jobs couriers get assigned per hour. “We keep their utilization really high, which is where they really start to make money,” Howenstein said.

CEO Chris Baggott told Insider the company can provide its drivers with between four and six jobs per hour. “An Uber or a DoorDash driver is lucky to get 1.2 to 1.3 jobs per hour,” he said.

“Our goal was, let’s take the worst job in the gig economy, which is delivering prepared food, and let’s make it the best,” Baggott added. “We truly treat them like our front of house. They are the face of our company.”

ClusterTruck also differentiates itself from competitors with its no-fees structure, all while making a profit. Howenstein said the company can support this model because it saves costs on non-essential services.

Howenstein said: “We have no wait staff and we are able to exist in rents that are not high-dollar real estates because customers aren’t coming to us, we’re coming to them.”

According to Howenstein, 95% of the ghost kitchen industry is still based on the third-party delivery model, and the economics of it, in his opinion, are fundamentally broken and unprofitable.

Looking ahead, he said the biggest thing he’ll watch out for is whether ClusterTruck’s competitors are profitable without being untenably priced for customers.

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Ex-soldiers offered mercenaries $10,000 a week to join a private army that would fight in Yemen’s civil war, prosecutors says

Fighter from Saudi-backed forces in Yemen
A fighter with forces loyal to Yemen’s Saudi-backed government holds a position against Huthi rebels in Yemen’s northeastern province of Marib, on April 6, 2021.

  • Two former German soldiers planned a mercenary force to fight in Yemen’s ongoing disastrous civil war, prosecutors say.
  • The men wanted to recruit up to 150 men and offered $10,000 a week to join their private army.
  • The ex-soldiers reportedly reached out to Saudi government agencies to ask for funding, per the BBC.

Two former German soldiers worked to set up a mercenary force, in which recruits would be paid $10,000 a week for their services, to fight in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, according to prosecutors.

Arend-Adolf G and Achim A face terrorism charges in Germany for allegedly planning to recruit up to 150 men, consisting of former police officers and soldiers, and offering their services to Saudi Arabia’s government, the BBC reported.

They planned to pay each recruit a wage of about €40,000 ($46,400) a month for their services, prosecutors said.

The former soldiers are accused of asking Saudi government agencies to finance illegal missions in Yemen. The prosecutors said their outreach attempts were unsuccessful, per the BBC.

Yemen has been devastated by a civil war since 2014 between Saudi-backed pro-government forces and Houthi insurgents.

According to UNICEF, more than 10,000 children have been killed or injured in war-torn Yemen. The UN says that the fighting has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with over two-thirds of the population in need of aid.

Yemen Houthi rebels
A gathering to donate to the Houtis fighters battling the government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, on February 04, 2021 in Sana’a, Yemen.

The Germans were accused of setting up the paramilitary unit at the start of 2021, and, according to the BBC, they actively tried to recruit at least seven people.

The mercenary force would have worked to capture areas held by armed Houthi rebels in Yemen, Deutsche Welle reported. The suspects also had plans for the unit to take part in other conflicts, the broadcaster said.

The “ringleaders” were aware that the mercenaries would have to kill people, including civilians, according to prosecutors.

Germany’s Military Counter-Intelligence Service received a tip citing the plans, according to German newspaper Spiegel.

One of the men was arrested in Munich and the other in Germany’s south-western Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district, the BBC reported.

They are due to appear in court on Wednesday.

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