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A top Disney World rival is planning to implement ‘surge pricing’

The popular theme park attraction is planning to follow in the footsteps of its competitor, and fans may not be happy about the move.



Disney World rival Legoland may be the next popular institution to implement a major change to its pricing that consumers have recently been extremely resistant to.

Scott O’Neil, the CEO of Merlin Entertainments, which owns Legoland, Madame Tussauds and Peppa Pig Theme Park, just revealed in a new interview with The Financial Times that his company is currently developing a dynamic pricing model, better known as “surge pricing,” for its attractions. Dynamic pricing is when the price of a product/service is adjusted based on the time of day and other factors such as consumer habits and demographics.

Related: Wendy’s is planning a major price change, and customers aren’t happy

O’Neil claims in the interview that the change will make customers pay more for tickets at its attractions during peak summer weekends than on rainy weekends in the off-season. The change will take place at its top 20 global attractions by the end of the year, and in major U.S. attractions next year.

“If [an attraction] is in the UK, it’s August peak holiday season, sunny and a Saturday, you would expect to pay more than if it was a rainy Tuesday in March,” said O’Neil.

O’Neil also revealed during the interview that the dynamic pricing model will help the company make up for the money it lost during the Covid pandemic as it experienced a decrease in foot traffic at its attractions.

In a recent report of the company's performance, Merlin Entertainments reveals that it's seeing a normalization of consumer demand at its theme parks.

“With no material COVID-19 related attraction closures remaining, our operational footprint has now largely returned to pre-pandemic levels,” said the company in the report.

The LEGOLAND Band perform in dinosaur costumes during the LEGOLAND California Dino Valley Grand Opening at LEGOLAND California on March 22, 2024 in Carlsbad, California. 

Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

If Legoland implements dynamic pricing, it won’t be the first major theme park to do so. Since 2018, Disney has used dynamic pricing to charge more money for tickets at its theme parks on busy days and less for days with lower attendance. Disneyland and Disney World are notorious for increasing their ticket prices on weekends and holidays to help push fans to visit the attractions on days with decreased demand.

The idea of dynamic pricing has recently caused an uproar amongst consumers. Fast-food chain Wendy’s  (WEN) recently angered its customers last month after its CEO Kirk Tanner revealed during an earnings call in February that the company “will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing” as early as 2025.

Social media users called Wendy’s “greedy” for its plan to test out the change and even threatened to boycott its restaurants.

After facing backlash, Wendy’s later claimed in a statement that its CEO’s comments about dynamic pricing during the earnings call was “misconstrued.”

“This was misconstrued in some media reports as an intent to raise prices when demand is highest at our restaurants,” reads the statement. “We have no plans to do that and would not raise prices when our customers are visiting us most.”

Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

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Never Ever Forget

Never Ever Forget

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via,

Beware the Ides of March,” Shakespeare quotes the soothsayer’s warning…



Never Ever Forget

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via,

Beware the Ides of March,” Shakespeare quotes the soothsayer’s warning Julius Caesar about what turned out to be an impending assassination on March 15.

The death of American liberty happened around the same time four years ago, when the orders went out from all levels of government to close all indoor and outdoor venues where people gather.

It was not quite a law and it was never voted on by anyone. Seemingly out of nowhere, people who the public had largely ignored, the public health bureaucrats, all united to tell the executives in charge — mayors, governors and the president — that the only way to deal with a respiratory virus was to scrap freedom and the Bill of Rights.

What Happened to This Document?

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a classified document, only to be released to the public months later. The document initiated the lockdowns. It still does not exist on any government website.

The White House Coronavirus Response Task Force, led by the vice president, will coordinate a whole-of-government approach, including governors, state and local officials, and members of Congress, to develop the best options for the safety, well-being and health of the American people. HHS is the LFA [lead federal agency] for coordinating the federal response to COVID-19.

Closures were guaranteed:

Recommend significantly limiting public gatherings and cancellation of almost all sporting events, performances and public and private meetings that cannot be convened by phone. Consider school closures. Issue widespread “stay at home” directives for public and private organizations, with nearly 100% telework for some, although critical public services and infrastructure may need to retain skeleton crews. Law enforcement could shift to focus more on crime prevention, as routine monitoring of storefronts could be important.

A Blueprint for Totalitarian Control of Society

In this vision of turnkey totalitarian control of society, the vaccine was pre-approved: “Partner with pharmaceutical industry to produce anti-virals and vaccine.”

The National Security Council was put in charge of policymaking. The CDC was just the marketing operation. That’s why it felt like martial law. Without using those words, that’s what was being declared. It even urged information management, with censorship strongly implied.

As part of the lockdowns, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which was and is part of the Department of Homeland Security, as set up in 2018, broke the entire American labor force into essential and nonessential.

They also set up and enforced censorship protocols, which is why it seemed like so few objected. In addition, CISA was tasked with overseeing mail-in ballots for the November election.

Congress passed and the president signed the 880-page CARES Act, which authorized the distribution of $2 trillion to states, businesses and individuals, thus guaranteeing that lockdowns would continue for the duration.

They wanted zero cases of COVID in the country. That was never going to happen. It’s very likely that the virus had already been circulating in the U.S. and Canada from October 2019. A famous study by Jay Bhattacharya came out in May 2020 discerning that infections and immunity were already widespread in the California county they examined.

What that implied was two crucial points: There was zero hope for the zero COVID mission and this pandemic would end as they all did, through herd immunity, not from a vaccine as such. That was certainly not the message that was being broadcast from Washington.

The growing sense at the time was that we all had to sit tight and just wait for the inoculation on which pharmaceutical companies were working.

Different Sets of Rules

By summer 2020, you recall what happened. A restless generation of kids fed up with this stay-at-home nonsense seized on the opportunity to protest racial injustice in the killing of George Floyd.

Public health officials approved of these gatherings — unlike protests against lockdowns — on grounds that racism was a virus even more serious than COVID. Some of these protests got out of hand and became violent and destructive.

Meanwhile, substance abuse raged — the liquor and weed stores never closed — and immune systems were being degraded by lack of normal exposure, exactly as some doctors had predicted.

Millions of small businesses had closed. The learning losses from school closures were mounting, as it turned out that Zoom school was near worthless.

It was about this time that Trump seemed to figure out that he had been played and started urging states to reopen. But it was strange: He seemed to be less in the position of being a president in charge and more of a public pundit, tweeting out his wishes until his account was banned. He was unable to put the worms back in the can that he had approved opening.

By that time, and by all accounts, Trump was convinced that the whole effort was a mistake, that he had been trolled into wrecking the country he promised to make great. It was too late.

Mail-in ballots had been widely approved, the country was in shambles, the media and public health bureaucrats were ruling the airwaves and his final months of the campaign failed even to come to grips with the reality on the ground.

(In this interview, I discuss how the censorship industrial complex is working to end free speech in America. I also discuss what I see coming in the November election. Go here to watch it).

Didn’t They Say Vaccines Would Prevent Infection?

At the time, many people had predicted that once Biden took office and the vaccine was released, COVID would be declared to have been beaten. But that didn’t happen and mainly for one reason: Resistance to the vaccine was more intense than anyone had predicted.

The Biden administration attempted to impose mandates on the entire U.S. workforce. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, that effort was thwarted but not before HR departments around the country had already implemented them.

As the months rolled on — and four major cities closed all public accommodations to the unvaccinated, who were being demonized for prolonging the pandemic — it became clear that the vaccine could not and would not stop infection or transmission, which means that this shot could not be classified as a public health benefit.

Even as a private benefit, the evidence was mixed. Any protection it provided was short-lived and reports of vaccine injury began to mount. Even now, we cannot gain full clarity on the scale of the problem because essential data and documentation remain classified.

What Exactly Happened?

After four years, we find ourselves in a strange position. We still do not know precisely what unfolded in mid-March 2020: who made what decisions, when, and why. There has been no serious attempt at any high level to provide a clear accounting much less assign blame.

Not even Tucker Carlson, who reportedly played a crucial role in getting Trump to panic over the virus, will tell us the source of his own information or what his source told him. There have been a series of valuable hearings in the House and Senate but they have received little to no press attention, and none has focused on the lockdown orders themselves.

The prevailing attitude in public life is just to forget the whole thing. And yet we live now in a country very different from the one we inhabited five years ago. Our media is captured. Social media is widely censored in violation of the First Amendment, a problem being taken up by the Supreme Court this month with no certainty of the outcome.

The administrative state that seized control has not given up power. Crime has been normalized. Art and music institutions are on the rocks. Public trust in all official institutions is at rock bottom. We don’t even know if we can trust the elections anymore.

In the early days of lockdown, Henry Kissinger warned that if the mitigation plan does not go well, the world will find itself set “on fire.” He died in 2023. Meanwhile, the world is indeed on fire.

The essential struggle in every country on Earth today concerns the battle between the authority and power of the permanent administration apparatus of the state - the very one that took total control in lockdowns - and the enlightenment ideal of a government that is responsible to the will of the people and the moral demand for freedom and rights.

How this struggle turns out is the essential story of our times.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/25/2024 - 13:00

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Spread & Containment

Decreases in social disparities in air pollution during lockdown suggest the need for sustainable policies

Is everyone equally affected by environmental pollution? This is the essence of ‘environmental justice,’ a concept that originated in the United States…



Is everyone equally affected by environmental pollution? This is the essence of ‘environmental justice,’ a concept that originated in the United States during the 1970s. It revolves around the idea of ensuring fairness and equity in environmental issues, preventing the disproportionate impact of environmental problems on specific groups or regions. The U.S. has made significant progress in reducing air pollution through stringent regulations and policies, turning its attention to addressing social disparities in air quality. However, there remains a gap in environmental justice research in Korea.


Is everyone equally affected by environmental pollution? This is the essence of ‘environmental justice,’ a concept that originated in the United States during the 1970s. It revolves around the idea of ensuring fairness and equity in environmental issues, preventing the disproportionate impact of environmental problems on specific groups or regions. The U.S. has made significant progress in reducing air pollution through stringent regulations and policies, turning its attention to addressing social disparities in air quality. However, there remains a gap in environmental justice research in Korea.


A research team led by Professor Hyung Joo Lee from the Division of Environmental Science and Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), in collaboration with the California Air Resources Board, conducted a study on the air pollution impact of lockdown policies in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research aimed to analyze how these policies affected social inequities in air pollution exposures and provide insights for formulating environmental justice policies. The findings were published in the international environmental journal Atmospheric Environment.


Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an air pollutant emitted from vehicles and industrial activities, serves as a crucial indicator of combustion-related air pollution. The team investigated the influence of lockdown policies on social disparities in NO2 air pollution.


The findings revealed a notable reduction in average NO2 concentrations in California, U.S., by approximately 34% post-lockdown, excluding weather-related influences. Non-urban areas experienced a 17% decrease, while urban areas saw a 50% reduction in NO2 levels, primarily attributed to the significant decline in traffic during the lockdown.


Furthermore, the research team analyzed shifts in social inequity related to air pollution, employing an environmental justice perspective. They identified socially vulnerable groups based on education level and race/ethnicity and assessed their exposure to air pollution, noting a substantial decrease in the disparity from 79% to 37%. This reduction was attributed to the fact that disadvantaged communities in the U.S. are more likely to reside in areas with elevated nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vehicles such as diesel trucks, and in close proximity to roads, distribution centers, and ports. Consequently, these communities were more affected by the reduced traffic during the lockdown. The implementation of lockdown policies to curb the spread of the coronavirus not only resulted in a decline in average air pollution levels but also contributed to a reduction in social inequities linked to air pollution. This highlights the potential for policies regulating NOx emissions from internal combustion engines to lower the average concentration of NO2 and simultaneously narrow the disparity of air pollution exposures.


The team underscores the importance of learning lessons for future air pollution policies from the experiences in California. While the decrease in social disparities in air pollution exposure during the lockdown might be temporary, persistent reduction in these inequities can be achieved through targeted source controls via air policies. This requires a nationwide analysis of social inequities in exposure to each air pollutant and efforts to tackle the specific sources responsible for these disparities.


Professor Hyung Joo Lee stated, “Currently, Korea is primarily focused on lowering the average air pollution levels. He emphasized, “However, the simultaneous reductions of average air pollution levels and social inequities of air pollution are achievable. This can be accomplished by developing policies that incorporate environmental justice principles.”


The research was conducted with the support from the BK21 FOUR program of the Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea.

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Online dashboard to help fight to save children from deadly diarrheal diseases

University of Virginia researchers are developing a flexible online tool for navigating information used in the fight to save children from deadly diarrheal…



University of Virginia researchers are developing a flexible online tool for navigating information used in the fight to save children from deadly diarrheal diseases by identifying transmission hotspots and accelerating the deployment of treatments and new vaccines.

Credit: Courtesy Colston lab

University of Virginia researchers are developing a flexible online tool for navigating information used in the fight to save children from deadly diarrheal diseases by identifying transmission hotspots and accelerating the deployment of treatments and new vaccines.

Diarrhea not only kills hundreds of thousands of children around the world every year, it contributes to malnutrition that can prevent kids from growing and developing to their full potential both physically and mentally, trapping them in poverty. While significant progress has been made against the disease in recent years, the UVA researchers say that the modern era of “big data” offers a vast untapped opportunity to respond more nimbly and help more children.

Their Planetary Child Health & Enterics Observatory (Plan-EO) is bringing together the expertise of epidemiologists, climatologists, bioinformaticians and hydrologists (water supply experts) to provide an unprecedented, big-picture view of diarrhea around the world. The information and predictions that these experts come up with, will be hosted in a map-based online portal, giving infectious disease experts and local leaders in low- and middle-income countries the information they need to make smart decisions, prioritize resources and move quickly to save lives.

“Diarrhea is very much the great unmentionable public health threat, often ignored or seen as an unavoidable experience of childhood. We want to change that,” said epidemiologist Josh M. Colston, PhD, an assistant professor in the UVA School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, who is leading the initiative. “As patterns of infectious diarrheal diseases shift due to climate change, we want the public health community to be ready and have all the most up-to-date epidemiological estimates and predictions at their fingertips.”

Addressing Childhood Diarrhea

To build out the new online dashboard, Colston is collaborating with experts in UVA’s School of Engineering, School of Data Science and Biocomplexity Institute, as well as colleagues at Johns Hopkins University. They are taking a multidisciplinary approach to a complex problem, seeking to capitalize on a vast array of expertise and build on longstanding relationships with collaborators overseas.

The researchers say that as climate change accelerates, the need to track diarrhea’s spread is only increasing. Flooding, for example, can help spread dozens of bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause diarrhea, worsening the situation in areas already reeling from the effects of the weather. That’s why it’s important for UVA’s project to include hydrologists, climatologists and experts in areas that go beyond infectious disease, the researchers say.

“Awareness is really growing that diseases have multi-faceted risk factors that encompass environmental, social and behavioral elements. We saw that with the pandemic, and we certainly see it with diarrheal diseases. That’s why a collaborative approach is crucial,” said Margaret Kosek, MD, professor of medicine and an infectious-diseases clinician. “We’re fortunate here at UVA to have experts in all these aspects all on the same Grounds, as well as the support to bring them together.”

Vital Data at a Glance

The new online dashboard, now under construction, will be updated continually to provide the latest data on pathogen dynamics, akin to John Hopkins’ invaluable COVID-19 dashboard during that pandemic. Visitors to the Plan-EO site will be directed to a world map-based interface where they can select data on specific diarrhea-causing pathogens, such as E. coli or Shigella bacteria.

The dashboard will allow researchers and leaders to understand the magnitude of the disease burden and predict the potential implications for the children living in endemic areas. It will also allow infectious disease experts and local leaders to coordinate the best strategies for responding to and containing the outbreaks, ultimately saving lives.

“Let’s say you’re an epidemiologist in Africa or South Asia and you’re interested in a specific community in a particular country to carry out a water-improvement project or vaccine trial,” said Venkat Lakshmi, hydrologist and John L Newcomb Professor of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Using the Plan-EO interface, you’ll be able to navigate to that location on a map and get robust predictions of the prevalence of particular pathogens, as well as published information on studies that have been carried out in the surrounding areas. It’ll be a gamechanger.”

The researchers plan to launch the dashboard later this year, with assistance from capstone students at the UVA School of Data Science. 

Findings Published

The researchers have described their ambitious project in the scientific journal PLOS One. The research team consists of Colston, Bin Fang, Eric Houpt, Pavel Chernyavskiy, Samarth Swarup, Lauren M. Gardner, Malena K. Nong, Hamada S. Badr, Benjamin F. Zaitchik, Lakshmi and Kosek. The researchers have no financial interest in the project.

The work is being supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, grants 1K01AI168493-01A1 and 1R03AI151564-01; the National Science Foundation, Expeditions in Computing grant CCF-1918656; NASA’s Group on Earth Observations Work Programme, grant 16-GEO16-0047; and UVA’s Engineering in Medicine program, Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health. Additional funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, grant OPP1066146.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog at

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