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Coupons & Deals

Bella 5-Quart Slow Cooker & Mini Dipper Just $17.99 on BestBuy.com (Regularly $40)

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slow cooker with chicken and vegetables in it

Best Buy is cooking up some great deals!

Today, February 27th only, head over to BestBuy.com where they are offering this Bella 5-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker with Mini Dipper for just $17.99 (regularly $39.99).

This 5-quart slow cooker can hold up to a 4-pound roast and is easy to use with just the turn of a dial! Simply turn it to one of the three temperature settings and walk away – easy peasy! The stoneware insert is also removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

Plus, it includes a 0.65-quart dipper which is great for keeping dips and sauces warm. It would also be fun for some cheese or chocolate fondue with the kiddos!

bella slow cooker and dipper stainless steel side by side

This slow cooker has great reviews…

This is an ideal, easy-to-use, slow cooker. I purchased it because I needed a plain old slow cooker, nothing fancy. It is perfect for stress-free cooking — just plug it in, turn it on, and voila! The slow cooker works great. I’m very happy with it. Plus you get the little warmer as an added bonus! Perfect for gravy and sauces. I recommend this brand if you’re looking to save money but not lose on quality. It’s a great buy.


Pleasantly pleased with this slow cooker. Picked this up for our socially distanced holiday party and it performed very well. The cooking temperatures remained consistent as I used a remote thermometer during the cooking process. The added bonus was the mini dipper. I would purchase this slow cooker again.


Cook up these tasty recipes in your new Crock-Pot!

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Entrepreneur

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Service Can Help Your Business Grow and Retain Customers

This $20 course could change your business.

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Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Any entrepreneur worth their salt knows that it’s all about customer service. That’s one core tenet of running a business that’s always been true. Ninety-six percent of all consumers say customer service is important when choosing a brand or product. But while understanding that customer service is important is one step of the battle, the more important step is learning how to implement great customer service into your business. For that, The Ultimate Guide to Customer Service should come in handy.

This quick-hitting two-hour course is an outstanding introduction to customer service. It’s led by Prof. Paul Cline, Ed.D., a serial entrepreneur and psychology expert who is CEO at Advanced Ideas, Inc. He’s an award-winning university professor, therapist, corporate trainer, professional speaker, and business consultant who has built multiple businesses. He knows a little something about customer service.

In this guide, you’ll get 15 lectures on faster problem solving, customer handling, and much more so that you can boost your business and avoid losing money based on poor customer service. With great customer service, you’ll make more money from each customer, save money on advertising, retain existing customers, and earn more referrals. You’ll also learn the five tenets of total quality management (TQM) and how to avoid the ten deadly sins of customer service.

Student Michelle Lat writes, “This course has totally changed me a lot. My perspective and everything.” 

Give your business a boost through extraordinary customer service. Learn how in The Ultimate Guide to Customer Service, now on sale for just $19.99.

Looking to diversify your investments in 2021? Check out DiversyFund to start dipping your toes in private real estate for as low as $500.

Prices are subject to change.

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Space

Mysterious stripes spotted over Russia in satellite images — and NASA is perplexed

Near the Markha River in Arctic Siberia, the earth ripples in ways that scientists don’t fully understand.

Earlier this week, NASA researchers posted a series of satellite images of the peculiar wrinkled landscape to the agency’s Earth Observatory website. Taken with the Landsat 8 satellite over several years, the photos show the land on both sides of the Markha River rippling with alternating dark and light stripes. The puzzling effect is visible in all four seasons, but it is most pronounced in winter, when white snow makes the contrasting pattern even more stark.

Why is this particular section of Siberia so stripy? Scientists aren’t totally sure, and several experts offered NASA conflicting explanations.

Related: Earth’s 8 biggest mysteries

One possible explanation is written in the icy ground. This region of the Central Siberian Plateau spends about 90% of the year covered in permafrost, according to NASA, though it occasionally thaws for brief intervals. Patches of land that continuously freeze, thaw and freeze again have been known to take on strange circular or stripy designs called patterned ground, scientists reported in a study published in January 2003 in the journal Science. The effect occurs when soils and stones naturally sort themselves during the freeze-thaw cycle.

The stripes covering a portion of the Central Siberian Plateau vary by season. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

However, other examples of patterned ground — such as the stone circles of Svalbard, Norway — tend to be much smaller in scale than the stripes seen in Siberia.

Another possible explanation is erosion. Thomas Crafford, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told NASA that the stripes resemble a pattern in sedimentary rocks known as layer cake geology.

These patterns occur when snowmelt or rain trickles downhill, chipping and flushing pieces of sedimentary rock into piles. The process can reveal slabs of sediment that look like slices of a layer cake, Crafford said, with the darker stripes representing steeper areas and the lighter stripes signifying flatter areas.

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In accordance with the image above, this sort of sedimentary layering would stand out more in winter, when white snow rests on the flatter areas, making them appear even lighter. The pattern fades as it approaches the river, where sediment gathers into more uniform piles along the banks after millions of years of erosion, Crafford added.

This explanation seems to fit well, according to NASA. But until the region can be studied up close, it’ll remain another one of those quintessentially Siberian curiosities.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Entertainment

Travis Scott to Provide Hot Meals to Houston Families Impacted by Deadly Winter Storms

Travis Scott to Provide Hot Meals to Houston Families Impacted by Deadly Winter Storms
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Along with his Cactus Jack Foundation partners, the ‘Sicko Mode’ hitmaker teams up with City of Houston officials and the Houston Health Foundation for the relief effort.

AceShowbiz
Texas native Travis Scott (II) has launched an emergency initiative to feed Houston families coping with the aftermath of deadly winter storms.

The rapper and his Cactus Jack Foundation partners have teamed up with City of Houston officials and the Houston Health Foundation to provide 50,000 hot meals to locals impacted by last week’s (ends February 19) big freeze.

They will work with local business owners to identify the most vulnerable groups of people in need of assistance. They will also coordinate with The Black Service Chamber as well as The National Association of Christian Churches for the relief effort.

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It’s not the first time Travis has joined forces with City of Houston officials for a charity initiative – they launched their first-ever Holiday Toy Drive event last Christmas (2020), during which city folk were gifted toys, food items, Christmas trees, blankets and clothing.

Travis founded the Cactus Jack Foundation in November 2020. His philanthropic endeavors aim to “help those who got that same passion to go hard in life,” and its launch date coincided with his third annual “Travis Scott Day”. He was honored with his very own day, November 18, by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner back in 2018.

The relief effort news came as Travis was reported to be under investigation for possible violation of COVID-19 rules. The “Sicko Mode” hitmaker got a potential problem in his hands after drawing big crowd for his Cactus Jack pop-up newsstand on Tuesday, February 23. Los Angeles Department of Public Works claimed to have not given a permit for the surprise event.

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Politics

Budget 2021: Mortgage guarantee to help buyers with 5% deposit

Carlisle MP John Stevenson, a member of the Conservative Northern Research Group, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was “too early” for tax rises, adding that now was not the time for winding up measures which have supported people and businesses through the pandemic.

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Coupons & Deals

Olde Thompson 16-Jar Labeled Orbit Spice Rack Jars & Rack Only $24.98 Shipped! (Reg. $50)

Head over to Amazon and get this Orbit Spice Rack with Filled Jars for Only $24.98 Shipped! (Reg. $50). This handy, well-stocked spice rack comes with 16 sealed jars filled with frequently used spices. Stainless jar caps bear the names of the spices in clear, black lettering. The rack revolves, bringing all the glass jars into view, so finding the spice of choice is easy. The rack itself is handsome, made with a black base and a matching stainless finial. It fits neatly on any countertop or stores easily in a cabinet. The set makes a great gift idea for new homeowners or newlyweds.

Keep in mind, Amazon pricing can change at any time! Don’t wait to purchase this deal or it might be gone when you come back!

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Musics

Blake Shelton Wants Maroon 5 to Perform at His Wedding Because Adam Levine ‘Owes’ Him

Blake Shelton Wants Maroon 5 to Perform at His Wedding Because Adam Levine 'Owes' Him
WENN

The ‘Red River Blue’ crooner jokingly says the former judge of ‘The Voice’ owes him a ‘full-band performance’ at his upcoming nuptials with fiancee Gwen Stefani.

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Blake Shelton has joked Adam Levine “owes” him a “full-band performance with Maroon 5” at his wedding.

The country star has been in a joke rivalry with his former fellow “The Voice” judge since the show began in 2011, and has said he’s keen to have Adam and his band perform at his upcoming wedding to Gwen Stefani because he “wants it to cost him.”

Blake made the joke as he commented on a recent request made by Miley Cyrus on social media when she asked Gwen if she could perform at her wedding, where she even promised to be on her “best behavior.”

Speaking about Miley, Blake told People magazine, “Miley is one of the most talented singers I have ever met. She drives me crazy because she’s a lot like Kelly (Clarkson) in the way that they can burst out with this voice. If I’m going to sing, I have to think about it and go warm up. It’s unfair.”

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“Gwen was showing me that she even said, ‘I promise to be on my best behaviour.’ I’ve known Miley long enough (for her to have to say), ‘By the way, I’ll be nice when I get here.’ So that was nice of her. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but I still say Adam owes me a full-band performance with Maroon 5, mostly because I want it to cost him. I would rather have Miley as a human being.”

Blake and Gwen haven’t decided on a musical act for their big day yet, but Miley is hoping they’ll choose her.

The “Midnight Sky” hitmaker asked Gwen for the job on Twitter after the “Hollaback Girl” singer responded to a video Miley posted and called the musician “talented.”

Miley then wrote, “When my hero’s tweet me I get horny. (sic)”

Before she later added in a separate tweet, “ALSO @gwenstefani @blakeshelton I’ll be your wedding singer! I promise to be on my best behaviour. Or worst. whatever you want! It’s your special day! Cheers to loving you both almost as much as you love each other! (sic)”

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Celebrities

Kate Hudson Amuses Prince With Her Struggle to Avoid Wardrobe Malfunction at 2005 Golden Globes

Kate Hudson Amuses Prince With Her Struggle to Avoid Wardrobe Malfunction at 2005 Golden Globes
WENN/Avalon/PNP

Looking back at her red carpet moments for awards shows, the ‘Deepwater Horizon’ actress also shares her thoughts on her 2001 Academy Awards look that landed her on the ‘worst dressed list.’

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Kate Hudson has opened up about Prince‘s reaction to her best attempt in dodging fashion mishap at a big awards event. When looking back at her 2005 Golden Globes experience, the “Deepwater Horizon” actress confessed that her struggle to avoid a wardrobe malfunction amused the late musician.

The 41-year-old shared her story in an interview with PEOPLE. “I spent the Golden Globes not being able to sit. I was sitting, actually, next to Prince,” she first divulged. “I was trying. I was sideways. He just thought it was so funny. And God rest his soul, but I was sideways the whole time… And then if I sat too much, the whole dress would have split. That was a bit of a malfunction.”

During the event, Kate opted to go with a strapless, curve-hugging brown Versace gown with a side train and a circular cutout in the back. When asked whether she tried the dress before the ceremony, she exclaimed, “We didn’t even think about it… When I got in the car, I had to stand in it!”

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In the interview, the “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” star also looked back at her other red carpet moments, and shared her honest thoughts about her fashion style at 2001 Academy Awards. Despite landing on the “worst dressed list” with her daring Stella McCartney dress at that time, she insisted that she did not regret it.

“The dress was amazing. My hair is naturally actually really curly. We accentuated the curl and put it up, and everyone was like, ‘This is a disaster,’ ” she recounted. “And they were like, ‘What is she wearing? A lampshade?’ Meanwhile, then the caplets became trendy. But I look back on that and I’m like, ‘Oh, I think it’s actually cool.’ ”

Kate will make a virtual appearance at 2021 Golden Globes on Sunday, February 28, and will be dressed by Sophie Lopez. Speaking about how she had to make a “different way of working” for the actress, Sophie explained during a pre-Golden Globes Zoom event, “We are able to cheat in ways we couldn’t if it was an in-person event… We can safety-pin things, we don’t have to worry about tripping over long hemlines.”

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Movies

Judi Dench Needs Assistance to Learn Her Lines Due to Deteriorating Eyesight

Judi Dench Needs Assistance to Learn Her Lines Due to Deteriorating Eyesight
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Because of her declining eyesight, the ‘Blithe Spirit’ actress, 86, needs her friends to repeat her lines to her in order to help her memorize them before she’s filming a new project.

AceShowbiz
Dame Judi Dench is determined to keep acting despite her “intensely irritating” deteriorating eyesight.

The 86-year-old actress suffers from age-related macular degeneration, which affects the middle part of a person’s vision, and she now has to enlist her friends to help her learn her lines for new projects by repeating them back to her, so she doesn’t have to keep reading from a script.

“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult,” she said during an online event for London sight loss charity Vision Foundation.

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“I’ve had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again. So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

The “Cats” actress admitted she could walk past someone she knew and not recognise them, because she has to be “very close” to a person before she can identify them.

“Finty, my daughter, goes and has her eyes checked,” she said. “It (her sight issues) is intensely irritating. But it does enable you to do one thing and that is that you have to get very close to people before you can recognise who they are.”

“During lockdown I made a film and I was up close addressing people wearing masks during rehearsals, nothing to do with any scene I’m in. It’s kind of exquisite if you can do that and that’s the good side of it, and you have to look at that side of it.”

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Health

J&J passes panel review, nears EUA

On Wednesday, the FDA announced that the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine was safe, more effective on serious cases of Covid-19 than on more moderate cases, and totally protective against hospitalizations and death. 

Today, the independent group of infectious disease professionals that advises the FDA on whether a vaccine should receive a thumb’s up or down, is meeting for an all-day discussion on the J&J vaccine’s merits and shortcomings. The group is charged with deciding if the vaccine’s merits outweigh its shortcomings.

If past is prologue, the experts will make a recommendation quickly, and the FDA will grant emergency use authorization even more quickly. And then we all wait for production and distribution. According to the Washington Post, full ramp-up of vaccine production won’t occur for another month. Some doses, about 20 million, should be available in March.

As for its effectiveness, the J&J vaccine is not as impressive as its two approved predecessors. Timing of the others’ approvals and the emergence of the more insidious variants apparently have played a role. The Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine were approved one week apart in December. The variants started showing up in the fall. 

The Johnson&Johnson vaccine, developed by its subsidiary Janssen Biotech, is reported to be 72% effective against moderate to severe Covid cases in the US. But in South Africa, the vaccine was 64% effective in the same category of disease. The New York Times reports that its effectiveness is much higher with severe levels of disease; in the US and South Africa, its efficacy was at least 82%. The J&J trial included 45,000 participants worldwide.

The Johnson&Johnson vaccine is a one-dose product that doesn’t require excessive refrigeration levels. The other two vaccines require an initial shot and then a booster. 

The logistics regarding the Pfizer vaccine should be getting easier, however, as the FDA granted Pfizer’s request to have its product stored at standard pharmacy-refrigeration levels.The FDA said that Pfizer submitted documentation showing that the vaccine was not altered after being stored, undiluted, for two weeks at normal freezer temperatures. 

In Israel, the Pfizer vaccine apparently has reduced the use of ventilators in those 70 and older, two months after the country started its vaccination plan in December. The study, reported in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said that by February 84% of that age group had received their second shot, while just 10% of people younger than 50 had been totally vaccinated. Comparing the two age groups, the need for ventilators in the older group declined 67% by February. The preliminary conclusion was by vaccinating eligible groups, disease spread was minimized and severe disease was possibly reduced. 

And in another study conducted in Israel and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that at least 7 days after the second dose of Pfizer vaccine is administered, the vaccine is 92% effective.

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