Food and beverage
The land of cotton, candy
Say these words without cracking up a little: artisanal, fair-trade, organic, all-natural, hand-spun … cotton candy.
Yes, Coryn Enfinger, 28, and her cousin Ariana Rioseco, 22, have launched a company that makes cotton candy for grownups, even for grownups who eschew artificial dyes and want their sweet confections to be free range and cruelty free. Sink or Spin Cotton Candy debuted at the Tampa, Fla., Etsy Craft Party on June 6, nearly selling out with flavors like chai, creme brulée and lychee.
Next up: rum, coconut, cinnamon and pumpkin. They sell the product in 32-ounce containers (no stick) for $4.50.
Shame, shame, shame
A Chinese environmental group has launched a smartphone app that tracks and shames polluting factories, highlighting how the government is welcoming public monitoring of companies that pollute.
The app uses real-time data published by local environmental authorities and enables the public to check hourly pollution data and see which industrial plants are producing excessive emissions.
The plants are on a list of about 15,000 drawn up by the Ministry of Environment that are required to monitor their air emissions and wastewater discharges. Since the beginning of the year, the government has required that the emissions data be made public.
Blanket protects kids
An Oklahoma company has created a protective blanket that developers say could give children a better chance of surviving debris from a tornado – or bullets from a 9 mm handgun.
The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof pad designed to protect students during disasters at school. The 5/16-inch thick rectangle features backpack-like straps that allow users to put it on, and then duck and cover.
Steve Walker developed the pad, The Oklahoman reported, after a massive tornado struck last year in Moore, Okla., killing 24 people including seven children inside an elementary school that didn’t have a tornado shelter.
The new material also protects against nails, shards of metal and other sharp objects. At $1,000 per blanket, some say buying one per student would be less expensive than building tornado shelters.
Jealous peets go after high-tech gadgets
About 1 in 10 U.S. pet owners have had their Fido or Fifi damage one of their electronic gadgets, according to a new survey.
The animals’ favorite chew toy: power cords, according to San Francisco-based SquareTrade, which sells extended warranties for laptops, tablets, mobile devices and other electronics.
The survey, which also found that male dogs are 86 times more likely than female pooches to damage a device, was conducted in May by Survey Sampling International, which collected feedback from 1,012 dog and cat owners.
Laura Berry, an educational consultant who lives in Orland Park, Ill., said one of her five cats, 8-year-old Sophie, in March threw up on the keyboard and mouse of her Hewlett-Packard all-in-one computer.
“It didn’t work well after that,” she said.
Cellphones account for almost a third of damaged devices, the survey found. The incidents range from a pet knocking the device off a table to vomiting or urinating on it.
Jealousy is believed to be a factor, as a quarter of pet owners said they were using the electronic item when the pet damaged it. Pets younger than a year old are three times more likely to damage a device than older pets.
Tampa Bay Times, The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune contributed.