LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS

No surprise, I guess, but life expectancy in the U.S. ticked down again–for the third year in a row.  The leading causes, once again, are more deaths from drug overdoses (a new high, topping 70,000), and suicides (up by nearly 4%). How long can a person born in 2017 expect to live in the United States? 78.6 years, which is down from 78.7 years in 2016.

GENERAL MOTORS SHIFTS GEARS

On Monday, GM announced it was cutting thousands of jobs in North America, closing a bunch of plants, and restructuring globally.  This overhaul means GM will stop making cars that no one wants – like the Chevrolet Volt (never caught on?! cheap gas kill it?), the Chevrolet Impala, and the Buick LaCrosse, to name a few – and focus more on those we do: SUVs, hatchbacks, crossovers and trucks. GM is also placing big bets on new technologies as it transitions to self-driving, electric cars of the future, which eventually we’ll all be gravitating toward..right? These moves are expected to save GM about $6 billion a year by the end of 2020.

LETTUCE CONFUSE YOU?

Don’t eat it! Don’t serve it! AVOID ROMAINE LETTUCE AT ALL COSTS! That was the initial message last week from the CDC, which said it was investigating the source of the E. coli outbreak, which, to date, has sickened a total of 43 people in 12 states, plus another 22 in Canada.  Fast forward to now and it’s OK to eat romaine–maybe, sorta, kinda–all depends which harvest that lettuce has come from and where it’s produced, you see. Romaine lettuce labeled w/a harvest region outside of the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California is apparently fine…as is lettuce from Mexico…lettuce grown in a greenhouse…and lettuce grown hydroponically. What’s not safe? Lettuce from California’s Central Coast growing region. Don’t know where those regions actually are? Don’t know how to read labels? Don’t wait to sound paranoid asking your waiter? Another “don’t eat it”–this time from NoPo–as we await another likely outbreak in what has been a record-breaking year for foodborne illnesses.

ROCKY HANGS UP HIS GLOVES

On Wednesday, Sylvester Stallone announced that he was retiring Rocky, the fictional boxer he portrayed in inspirational fight films for more than 40 years.  In a sentimental Instagram post, Stallone, now 72 (!!!), expressed his thanks to the world for “taking the Rocky family into their hearts”.  He said it’s been his “ultimate privilege” to have created and played Rocky, which became an international success in 1976. It then went on to make a bunch of sequels–the most recent being Creed II, which had the biggest opening of the entire Rocky franchise.

JANE’S STILL FONDA FITNESS

Jane Fonda returns to her fitness roots, partnering with video commerce retailer, Evine, to develop a lifestyle brand for women over 50 [So, yeah, that’s you .. and you .. and you!]. Expect to see activewear, athleisure, health and wellness products and more from this now 80-year old fitness enthusiast who made exercising fun – and memorable! – back in the 1980s.

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