10 Entertaining Things to Check out While You’re Waiting in Line Today

Good morning and Happy Black Friday! Another year, another Thanksgiving, followed by today – Black Friday – a major holiday shopping event in the United States (and outside of it), with retailers featuring big discounts, crazy opening hours, and special offers throughout the holiday weekend. Last year, Thanksgiving weekend saw 54.7 billion in retail sales and even more the year before.

This year, Black Friday is expected to gross even more, with over 100 million people shopping. If you’re open to ideas, be sure to look at our list of favorite deals this year (featuring some stock photography modeling by yours truly!) to find awesome stuff to buy for your business.

Since you might be among the shopping droves today, I’ve collected some of the most interesting business news from around the web – be sure to read this post while waiting in line to pay!

The feel-good news

10 Entertaining Things to Check out While You re Waiting in Line Today

There is a lot to be grateful for.

1. We’ve never been better off.

In today’s busy, globally interconnected world, it can be easy to unintentionally start taking things for granted. Thanksgiving was yesterday, so now is a good time to stop and consider what we, as the human race, have to be thankful for.

One striking thing that few of us consider in our hectic lives is just how much better the overall quality of life is now compared to any other point in history. Forbes reports that in the last 50 years, infant mortality rate has decreased in developing nations and in the first world. World hunger has also dropped, and almost 90 percent of all children in the world are now enrolled in elementary school. The New York Times reported just two months ago that violent crime has drastically dropped in the United States in the past 20 years.

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Between our long life expectancies, medical breakthroughs, and everyday miracles like the internet, digital photography, and air travel, we are living lives that would have seemed like a dream to people growing up just a few generations ago. So, whether it’s this morning, this holiday season, or any time of year, take time to pause and be thankful for the things you have and the comparative good fortune of being born into this era.

2. More shopping options!

Because why not? Some people would like to do their holiday shopping small scale and locally. Black Friday is great, but if you only hit the big box stores, you could be missing out on unique things that small businesses offer. And of course, supporting your local community and local economy is worth doing.

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. It’s the day ‘unofficially’ dedicated to spending money on holiday gifts at small businesses in your area. It was started by American Express in 2010 to encourage people to shop at small businesses. You can check out a list of deals here. Last year, this shopping event grossed 5.7 billion in the U.S. alone.

Some cities are doing their own grassroots alternatives to Black Friday. One example is Little Boxes PDX, which is Portland, Oregon’s answer to major chains with deep discounts. Local stores offering discounts are all listed on a map of the city and smartphone app, and there’s a raffle with tons of different small business-related prizes. Time also reported some other Black Friday alternatives around the country.

3. Good news for women

Here’s some feel-good news for feminists (men and women) and supporters of women in business:

As we reported last week, this was the year of the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day during Global Entrepreneurship Week. This day celebrates women in business around the world, including a meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in NYC. You can read details here.

This article about women in business should cheer you up if you’re a feminist, an entrepreneur, both, or a person of any age just starting out who needs encouragement! You’re welcome.

The news gets really bizarre.

10 Entertaining Things to Check out While You re Waiting in Line Today

Teresa and Joe Giudice by Steve Mack/Getty Images

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These might make you wince.

4. Air BnB wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Business Insider reports that Air BnB’s global head of hospitality, Chip Conley, has expressed a desire for the company to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Yes, the prize given to international activists who risk their lives for the good of others.

Air BnB is a great company that is helping improve relations worldwide in its own way. However, they should focus on their core business rather than pursuing a prestigious award.

5. Have you heard about these Uber PR blunders?

Uber, the transportation company, has recently faced negative publicity due to a series of public blunders.

From executives investigating journalists’ personal lives to a controversial French Uber post, the company has been making mistakes lately.

These blunders serve as reminders of what not to do as a business, regardless of size. Uber’s current public image showcases a list of public relations mistakes.

6. Real Housewives of New Jersey couple sent to prison for tax fraud

Last month, Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe Giudice from the reality TV show Real Housewives of New Jersey were convicted of fraud, including tax evasion, and sentenced to 15 months and 41 months in prison, respectively. Teresa claims she was unaware of the family’s financial activities.

Danetha Doe, a business strategist with a helpful blog on financial advice, provides valuable insights on this issue. I recommend reading it if you and your partner are not open about finances.

The super interesting news

10 Entertaining Things to Check out While You re Waiting in Line Today

Mall for Africa aims to bring online shopping to those who previously lacked access. Just in time for the new year, here are some things to keep an eye on.

7. Women can now be attorneys in Saudi Arabia

While other countries have long allowed women to become attorneys, Saudi Arabia recently welcomed its first female lawyer and the first woman-founded law firm. Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran became the country’s first female lawyer last year and opened her firm in September. Al-Zahran focuses on labor and women’s rights cases and was named one of the world’s most powerful Arab women.

If this topic interests you, check out our list of empowering books for women. Perhaps you can find a good deal on one today?

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8. The Cleveland Clinic’s Top 10 for 2015

The Cleveland Clinic, a leading medical institution in the United States, annually publishes a list of groundbreaking medical advancements they believe will change the game in the upcoming year. This year’s list includes a Dengue Fever vaccine and innovative approaches to phlebotomy and breast cancer treatment.

9. 500 Brunches, or basically friendship dating

Julie Krafchick, founder of 500 Brunches, a Bay Area startup established two months ago, explained that her idea is a solution to the lack of platforms focused on helping people make friends. 500 Brunches organizes multiple events each week in San Francisco, and users complete a survey to be matched with potential ‘brunchmates’. With the growing popularity of online dating, the concept of online friendship-making is worth exploring and may evolve further.

10. Mall for Africa

If you have an ecommerce business or you’re a consumer in Africa, you know that online shopping can pose challenges on the continent. From outdated payment methods to postal strikes and difficulty reaching remote locations, purchasing items online is not always feasible. Mall for Africa acts as a mediator between retailers in the U.S., Europe, and Africa, handling logistics, payments, and delivery. Although currently focused on Nigeria, the largest African economy, it will be interesting to see if this business model expands across the continent.

We hope we’ve entertained you while you’ve been waiting. If you’ve discovered any other interesting stories, please share them with us in the comments below!

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