Opinion ‘There’s a Very Human Cost to Convenience’
Interactions between early modern humans and Neanderthals were a lot more common than we thought
The Neanderthal DNA in East Asians today can be traced back to interactions between Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe 45,000 years ago. Remains from the Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria reveal the complexity of populations as humans migrated from Africa to Eurasia.The oldest known remains of modern humans in Europe have been identified in the Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria, according to new research published last week in the journal Nature.
Amazon is fast because ofwith human needs — such as going to the bathroom. Pro-union workers in Bessemer, Alabama, that they didn’t always have time to use the bathroom because of Amazon’s rigorous demands on them to pack and ship orders. Drivers who deliver those orders report a similar problem: Deprived of breaks, they sometimes have to pee in bottles. Amazon recently denied this phenomenon had ever occurred until it was confronted with the . The company then reversed itself, , and announced it would “look for solutions.”
One driver spoke to Intelligencer about his workload, the infamous bottles of urine, the surveillance he experiences on the job, and why he supports a union. Intelligencer has changed the driver’s name to protect his identity.
US mass shootings: At least 50 since the Atlanta spa shootings
At least three people were killed and two were injured in a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, continuing the long string of similar incidents that preceded it. © CHANG W. LEE/The New York Times/Redux Cynthia Shi and her boyfriend, Graham Bloomsmith, embrace outside Gold Spa near Acworth, Ga., on Thursday, March 18, 2021, one of three massage businesses where eight people were killed and another injured by a shooter on Tuesday.
I clock in around 10 a.m. When I get there, I get a bag with a key and a work phone, I get my assigned route, get a mask. We probably wait in the lot for about an hour, just waiting to load up. When it’s our turn, we pull our carts out and load up our van. And that has to happen within like 15, 20 minutes. They’re really on our case about getting that done really fast. The shifts at our station probably last anywhere from eight to ten hours. I’ve heard stories from other stations that it can last up to 12.
Amazon has some sort of computer-generated schedule for us. We were not consulted with it at all. But I’ll just be going about my day sometimes and I’ll get a text message from my dispatcher telling me that I’m five or ten stops behind. And I’m not moving slow. I’m working the whole time, and they’re telling me I’m behind. So there’s always that pressure. You fall just a little bit behind and they’re tracking you all day. They’re watching you. They will make sure that you stay on task. And ideally, they just want you to work as fast as possible. They don’t care about whether you get hurt or whether you’re being safe.
F-35 cockpit upgrade has $444 million cost overrun
Lockheed Martin spent $444 million more than expected to upgrade the F-35 fighter jet's power and memory, a cost overrun that U.S. taxpayers and allied partners must pay, Bloomberg reported.The 63 percent overrun was due to the task being "more complex than originally thought," according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).Lockheed won the initial $712 million contract to redesign hardware and software for the F-35 cockpit computer in December 2018.The extra dollars have now bumped the program cost to an estimated $1.28 billion.
The work phone has a GPS so they know where we are. I don’t like it at all. They’re micromanaging us. It’s stressful. It gives us anxiety all day. I’m just trying to do my job, and they’ve got to treat me like a child, following me around all day, thinking I’m not doing my job sometimes. Probably with other jobs, you can kind of take a break here or there, take two minutes, look at Facebook. You take more than five minutes and they’re going to call you and say, “What’s going on?” And you need to keep going.
We have a 30-minute break. I’m pretty sure it would be illegal for them not to give us that break. But there’s no extra 15-minute breaks just for rest. Outside of that, a lot of people just eat as they go. I do the same thing. I’ll bring nuts and fruit and whatever. You eat on the go. And then, after lunch, you don’t even have a minute to rest; you just got to get right back on your route.
Everyone does that, peeing in bottles. It’s funny, I’m seeing this everywhere now. Even before Amazon, UPS is doing this, FedEx is doing this. Every truck driver is doing this. The real issue related to that is that Amazon is just driving us way too hard. They give us an unreasonable amount of stops, between 200 and 250 stops a day. And they’re driving us so hard that we don’t have time to go to the bathroom. The real issue is the excessive workload and the lack of respect. They don’t care about our livelihood. The only thing that matters is getting those packages delivered as fast as possible. It wouldn’t be hard to give us an extra one or two ten-minute breaks. They could strike a deal with certain gas-station companies and tell them that drivers have to be able to use your bathroom.
Apple AirTags hands-on: These trackers are small and impressive
Apple's newest product is a tracker called an AirTag. You attach it to an item and can keep track of it with your iPhone's Find My app.This kind of tracker isn't new. But the biggest selling point for the AirTag is Apple's Find My network which is made up of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Last week, the Find My network was opened up to third parties that can use the network for items like bikes and headphones. This will only increase that number of devices on Find My and make it even more robust. And that's important because let's say you lost your keys and they had an AirTag attached.
During peak season, I was doing six days a week, ten hours a day. I would just come home, eat, fall asleep, wake up, go back to work. I did that for months. There is no easy day. Even if you have a relatively small route, you still come home tired and frustrated. You know, you’re driving through traffic all day, or you’re just dealing with issues that come up on the road. There’s no one I’ve talked to who doesn’t come home very tired each day. We have to work more hours because they’re not paying us enough to live comfortably. But then, the more hours we work, obviously the more likely we are to be tired. And you don’t want to be driving tired behind the wheel.
The union vote in Bessemer pretty much happened as exactly as I expected. Corporations always use every dirty little trick they can think of to try and stifle the union vote. They do whatever they can to intimidate workers, misinform workers. I have attempted to talk to my co-workers about organizing, and I felt some pushback from, you know, my delivery-service-partner owner and from Amazon managers. Anywhere you go, it’s all the same thing. I was handing out flyers to co-workers, and an Amazon manager came out and said, “I want you to stop doing that.” I had to explain to him this was a protected act under the National Labor Relations Act. And we had to argue for about five minutes before he’d leave me alone. All it is is handing out flyers, just information from worker to worker. It’s really none of his business. But he felt obligated to come and tell me to stop doing this. What does that tell you about how he feels towards his workers?
Can Western brands recover in China after backlash?
Some foreign companies are facing a boycott in China - they are not the first and won't be the last."Anyone who offends the Chinese people should prepare to pay the price," was the blunt message from China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying when asked recently about a number of Western companies facing a boycott after they expressed concern over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.
We want to expose the truth and have people realize that there’s a very human cost to convenience, and stuff doesn’t get delivered in one day without a ton of effort from close to a million workers who work for Amazon every day.
It’s really irrelevant if what they’re paying is better than another company. The only relevant thing is, Is it going to pay my bills? I would love to see someone draw up a budget where you can live comfortably on $15 an hour. And obviously, people do it, you know, but it’s a stressful life to make ends meet like that. A lot of people I know at my delivery-service partner are working two jobs. And that’s just ridiculous because our work is worth more than that. [Editor’s note: He earns $18 an hour.]
Amazon is like any other corporation that has ever existed. It was started solely to make money. Hearing about workers’ issues doesn’t necessarily make them more money. To Amazon, it’s a waste of time. They just want to pay us as little as possible, give us the cheapest health-care plan possible; they don’t even give us a pension. They’re not going to invest in any kind of safety equipment. It’s all about just keeping costs low. And they don’t care about workers. They only care about profit.
Hiker Discovers Skeletal Human Remains Near California Trail .
The Los Angeles County Coroner Investigator determined the skeletal remains to be human and an investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the death.Burbank Police received a call on the afternoon of April 22 from a hiker concerning what appeared to be human remains near a hiking trail above Elmwood Avenue in Burbank.