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  • 44 Injured by 'Tsunami' in Malfunctioning Wave Pool Accident

    A park employee confirmed an "accidental breakdown in machinery" caused the incident, and not a disgruntled worker.

    44 tourists have been injured by a "tsunami" in a malfunctioning wave pool in China.

    Videos of the incident published online show dozens of adults and children being smashed together after faulty equipment suddenly caused a giant wave to sweep through the attraction at Yulong Shuiyun Water Amusement Park in Lonmgjing.

    Five people were still being treated in hospital on Tuesday for injuries such as fractured ribs, the South China Morning Post reported.

    "According to the initial stages of the investigation, the incident was caused by a power cut that damaged electronic equipment in the tsunami pool control room, which led to the waves in the tsunami pool becoming too big and injuring people," a government notice posted on Weibo said.

    The park was shut down while an investigation took place.

    The footage shows families screaming in terror as they attempt to flee the freak wave, with some children being thrown out of the pool completely and onto the pavement; swimmers were pulled from the water afterwards bloodied and crying.

    A park employee confirmed an "accidental breakdown in machinery" caused the incident, and not a disgruntled worker.

    "Online rumors say that a worker wrongly operated the controls, but in reality it was a problem with the equipment," they said.


    • A New Jersey bill would require schoolchildren to be taught cursive handwriting

      Should children be required to learn cursive?

      A New Jersey legislator says so. Assemblywoman Angela McKnight has introduced a bill that would require elementary schools to teach kids how to read and write in the graceful, flowing loops taught to previous generations as a matter of course.
      You remember cursive handwriting. It's what we use to sign our names on, say, a check or other legal document. It's fallen out of favor in the digital age, even getting dropped from Common Core standards in 2010.
      Since then, many schools have stopped teaching it, New Jersey Assembly Democrats say.

      "In some cases, children are entering middle school without knowing how to sign their own name in cursive," McKnight (D-Hudson) said in a statement. "We are doing our children a disservice by not teaching them a vital skill they will need for the rest of their lives."

      California, Texas, North Carolina and other states have moved to encourage cursive in recent years.

      "Our world has indeed become increasingly dependent on technology, but how will our students ever know how to read a scripted font on a word document, or even sign the back of a check, if they never learn to read and write in cursive?" McKnight said.

      Even in the days of texting, some research shows cursive still can improve cognitive development, spelling and writing speed.

      "When writing cursive, the word becomes a unit, rather than a series of separate strokes, and correct spelling is more likely to be retained," says the International Dyslexia Association. "The Declaration of Independence and many other important archival documents are written in cursive. A cursive signature is more difficult to forge than a printed one."

      Research also shows that we learn more when taking notes in longhand compared to taking notes on, say, a laptop.

      "Knowing how to write in cursive isn't only for writing 'thank you' cards to Grandma — research suggests it can boost kids' reading and writing skills, too," says publishing company Scholastic.
      The bill was introduced in the state legislature last month and is heading to the education committee for review.


      • You'd Think Falling 15 Feet at Work Would Entitle You to Workers' Comp

        An exotic dancer who fractured her jaw and broke multiple teeth at XTC Cabaret had to crowdfund her medical bills thanks to her status as an independent contractor.

        Footage of dancer Genea Sky’s fall is horrific: She goes from working her way up a pole at XTC Cabaret in Dallas, Texas to tumbling a reported 15 feet to the stage, appearing to land squarely on her face. The accident left the dancer with serious injuries—and serious medical bills that she is wholly responsible for covering. Sky received an incredible amount of blowback for using GoFundMe to raise money for her medical expenses (a perversely normal thing to do) for reasons that surely have nothing to do with a fundamental disrespect for her line of work.

        In the video, Sky recovers quickly and begins twerking, but the brutality of her landing is still jarring. On Sunday, multiple clips of the incident were circulating on Twitter, and Sky identified herself as the woman in the video. (Sky did not respond to an interview request for this story.) Sky shared via Instagram that she has already undergone jaw surgery after suffering from a jaw fracture, as well as broken teeth, a chin laceration that required stitches, and a sprained ankle.

        She set up a GoFundMe to cover her medical expenses, which had exceeded its $20,000 fundraising goal by more than $18,000, as of Thursday. “I’m so thankful for all the positive messages I’ve been getting and all the love,” Sky said in a Twitter video on Sunday. “It really means a lot… That’s why I decided to post this video, just to say thank you and let you guys know that I am having a hard time but I am okay and I’m gonna be okay.”

        Many people were quick to criticize Sky for crowdfunding her medical bills, scolding her for asking for help and instructing her to use her stripping money to cover her bills instead. But Sky and many other exotic dancers like her occupy a space designed to minimize benefits and maximize worker precarity: Sky is a contractor, not a full-time employee, which frees XTC Cabaret from having to provide her with health insurance or workers’ compensation, the former thanks to federal policy and the latter courtesy of state policy.

        Eric Langan, CEO of the hospitality company that owns XTC Cabaret, confirmed Sky’s contractor status in an interview with TMZ. TMZ noted that while “the club is looking into helping Genea financially,” its owners ultimately did not claim legal or financial responsibility for her injuries. “The club's position—entertainers choose their own routine, and as a company, they exercise no control over a dancer's art form, so if they fall—it's on them,” per the TMZ report.

        It is unknown whether or not Sky will try to compel Langan’s company or XTC Cabaret to provide her with compensation. But if she did go for legal recourse, she wouldn’t be the first exotic dancer to do so. In 2008, LeAndra Lewis was hit with a stray bullet while working in a strip club in Columbia, South Carolina; as a result, her uterus was damaged and she lost a kidney. In 2012, Lewis sued the nightclub’s parent company for workers' compensation and lost. But after Lewis appealed, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that she was an employee of the club and awarded her worker’s compensation in 2015. And in California, legislation designed to classify more workers as employees (with all the protection that entails) has already paved the way for strippers looking for benefits, according to the Intercept. With any luck, Sky could be able to follow a similar route and secure the medical-debt-eliminating bag she deserves.