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Yes, fireworks prices are skyrocketing, but there should be plenty of bottle rockets and sparklers for you and your family this Fourth of July

The latest data shows imports of bottle rockets, sparklers and other fireworks at a record pace, even as consumer demand appears likely to wane. That could…

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Many cities, such as New York, returned to hosting big public displays in 2021 after skipping 2020 due to the pandemic. AP Photo/John Minchillo

If you’re looking forward to shooting off bottle rockets and Roman candles this Fourth of July, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad is that fireworks prices are soaring this year along with pretty much everything else. The good news, however, is that at least you don’t need to worry about a shortage - there should be plenty of rockets, fountains and sparklers to go around.

I’m an economist who has been following the fireworks industry for years. Despite soaring wholesale prices, I believe the latest data suggests you may be able to beat inflation and snag some fireworks deals - if you’re patient.

Fireworks imports at a record

Fireworks were first invented in China over 2,000 years ago. Today, that’s where most of the world’s fireworks still come from.

China has been responsible for 87% of the world’s fireworks exports since 2010. Much of these are low-priced mass market products, like firecrackers and Roman candles, the kind you’ll find at your local fireworks store.

In the U.S., regular people – as opposed to professional pyrotechnicians – typically light off the most fireworks around the Fourth of July, and so businesses import large amounts well in advance of the holiday to ensure a large supply.

The U.S. imported 185 million pounds of fireworks, mostly from China, in the first four months of 2022, the latest data available. That’s already 27% ahead of last year’s record pace. And this doesn’t even include figures for May and June, the two months that usually account for the biggest volumes in a typical year.

The figures include about 5.5 million pounds of fireworks for professional displays - which means that all but about 3% of these imports are intended for private consumer use. The 179 million pounds aimed at consumers already equates to over half a pound of fireworks for every man, woman and child living in the U.S - with more on the way. In all of 2021, the U.S. imported a record 1.25 pounds of fireworks per person.

More expensive fireworks for the expansive public displays cities typically put on come from countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland and the U.S.

American manufacturers, which produce an estimated 6.7 million pounds of fireworks a year, focus on designing the more sophisticated rockets for big public displays, and often help orchestrate them.

Consumer demand likely to fall

But there’s reason to believe consumer demand might actually be lower than usual this year.

In 2020, most public displays were canceled to avoid encouraging large crowds that might spread the coronavirus. As a result, Americans were lighting off a lot more fireworks in backyards and city streets than usual - often illegally.

Public displays began returning in 2021, and more are expected in 2022. That’s translating into a surge of professional fireworks imports, though they still remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

But the return of large displays will likely reduce demand from more casual users since it is hard to go to a professional show and light off lots of small fireworks at the same time. And severe drought in large swaths of the U.S. should further damp consumer demand as officials urge cities to restrict the use of fireworks to avoid sparking wildfires.

That means prices should … rise?

Basic economics tells us that when supply is high and demand is low, prices should go down. The data available suggests otherwise, thanks to the fastest pace of inflation in over 40 years.

Importers paid an average of US$1.30 per pound for fireworks in the first four months of the year, a 15% increase from 2021 - or close to double the overall rate of inflation.

Unfortunately, the consumer price index doesn’t have detailed data on the cost people are actually shelling out for retail fireworks. But there is data on the price producers are paying for explosives, propellants and blasting accessories, which include fireworks. The latest data, for May 2022, shows prices were up 11% from a year earlier.

And there’s reason to believe the amount retailers ultimately charge for fireworks will go up even more after factoring in the soaring cost of transporting goods, higher insurance premiums and rising labor costs.

Be patient and stay safe

It seems likely that retailers beleaguered by pandemic-related supply chain problems in everything from coins and toilet paper to baby formula and even Grape-Nuts cereal simply placed big fireworks orders as early as they could.

But I think it’s likely that this will lead to a glut in supply, and fireworks peddlers will be saddled with too many rockets for too little demand and may have to eventually lower the price to entice inflation-weary consumers.

So if you’re planning to shoot off fireworks as part of your Fourth of July celebrations, there’s probably no need to hoard them the way many people stocked up on toilet paper or baby formula. In fact, you might benefit from waiting and taking advantage of better deals closer to July 4.

One note of caution, though: Use common sense when lighting your rockets and candles, especially if children are around. Thousands of people in the U.S. are injured from fireworks every year, and some even die. Per-capita injuries spiked during the pandemic after decades of declines.

It’s also smart to pay attention to how fireworks affect nearby pets and take some precautions to protect them.

Whether you are lighting fireworks, watching them illuminate the night sky or just hiding from the noise, I wish all of you a happy Independence Day.

Jay L. Zagorsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Government

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican…

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New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill that would have made Ivermectin available without a prescription.

Ivermectin tablets packaged for human use. (Natasha Holt/The Epoch Times)

The Republican governor vetoed the bill on June 24, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Some fellow Republicans questioned the timing.

It certainly seemed like a convenient way to bury a veto of a bill that won support from the vast majority of Republicans in New Hampshire,” JR Hoell, co-founder of the conservative watchdog group RebuildNH, told The Epoch Times.

Hoell is a former four-term House Republican planning to seek re-election after a four-year hiatus from the the New Hampshire legislature.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Department of Children Youth and Family (DCYF) tried to take custody of Hoell’s 13-year old son after a nurse reported him for giving human-grade ivermectin to the teen months earlier.

Several states have introduced bills to make human-grade ivermectin available without a prescription at a brick and mortar store. Currently, it can be ordered online from another country. In April, Tennessee became the the first state to sign such a measure into law. New Hampshire lawmakers were first to introduce the idea.

Both chambers of the state’s Republican controlled legislature approved the bill.

In his statement explaining the veto, Sununu noted that there are only four other controlled medications available without a prescription in New Hampshire and that each were only made available after “rigorous reviews and vetting to ensure” before being dispensed.

“Patients should always consult their doctor before taking medications so that they are fully aware of treatment options and potential unintended consequences of taking a medication that may limit other treatment options in the future,” Sununu said in his statement.

Sununu’s statement is very similar to testimony given by Paula Minnehan, senior vice president of state government regulations for the New Hampshire Hospital Association, at hearings on the bill.

Minnehan too placed emphasis on the review that went into the four prescription medications the state made available under a standing order. They include naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, which is used to counter opioid overdoses, hormone replacement therapy drugs, and a prescription-version of the morning after pill.

It also includes a collection of smoking cessation therapy drugs like Chantix, which has been linked to suicide, depression, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Last year, Pfizer, the leading maker of the FDA-approved drug, conducted a voluntarily recall of Chantix. Narcan has also been linked to deaths caused by severe withdrawals that have led to acute respiratory distress.

Rep. Melissa Blasek, a Republican co-sponsor of the New Hampshire ivermectin bill, told The Epoch Times, that one could veto any drug-related bill under the pretense of overdose concerns.

The reality is you can overdose on Tylenol,” she said. “Ivermectin has one of the safest track records of any drug.”

The use of human-grade ivermectin became controversial when some doctors began promoting it for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Government agencies including the FDA and CDC issued warnings against its use while groups like Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) heavily promoted it.

Some doctors were  disciplined for prescribing human-grade ivermectin for COVID-19 including a Maine doctor whose medical license was suspended by the state.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 20:30

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Aging-US | Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone…

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BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Credit: Hillje et al.

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Aging is known to involve epigenetic histone modifications, which are associated with transcriptional changes, occurring throughout the entire lifespan of an individual.

“So far, no study discloses any drift of histone marks in mammals which is time-dependent or influenced by pro-longevity caloric restriction treatment.”

To detect the epigenetic drift of time passing, researchers—from Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, University of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, University of Milan, and University of Padua—determined the genome-wide distributions of mono- and tri-methylated lysine 4 and acetylated and tri-methylated lysine 27 of histone H3 in the livers of healthy 3, 6 and 12 months old C57BL/6 mice. 

“In this study, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing technology to acquire 108 high-resolution profiles of H3K4me3, H3K4me1, H3K27me3 and H3K27ac from the livers of mice aged between 3 months and 12 months and fed 30% caloric restriction diet (CR) or standard diet (SD).”

The comparison of different age profiles of histone H3 marks revealed global redistribution of histone H3 modifications with time, in particular in intergenic regions and near transcription start sites, as well as altered correlation between the profiles of different histone modifications. Moreover, feeding mice with caloric restriction diet, a treatment known to retard aging, reduced the extent of changes occurring during the first year of life in these genomic regions.

“In conclusion, while our data do not establish that the observed changes in H3 modification are causally involved in aging, they indicate age, buffered by caloric restriction, releases the histone H3 marking process of transcriptional suppression in gene desert regions of mouse liver genome most of which remain to be functionally understood.”

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204107 

Corresponding Author: Marco Giorgio – marco.giorgio@unipd.it 

Keywords: epigenetics, aging, histones, ChIP-seq, diet

Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article:  https://aging.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Faging.204107

About Aging-US:

Launched in 2009, Aging (Aging-US) publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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For media inquiries, please contact media@impactjournals.com.

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Government

FDA asks for COVID boosters to fight Omicron’s BA.4, BA.5 subvariants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines be modified beginning this fall to include components…

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FDA asks for COVID boosters to fight Omicron’s BA.4, BA.5 subvariants

By Michael Erman

June 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines be modified beginning this fall to include components tailored to combat the currently dominant Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the coronavirus.

The FDA said manufacturers would not need to change the vaccine for the primary vaccination series, saying the coming year will be “a transitional period when this modified booster vaccine may be introduced.”

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

The new booster shots would be bivalent vaccines, meaning doses would target both the original virus as well as the Omicron subvariants.

The decision follows a recommendation by the agency’s outside advisers to change the design of the shots this fall in order to combat more prevalent versions of the coronavirus. read more

BA.4 and BA.5 are now estimated to account for more than 50% of U.S. infections, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and have also become dominant elsewhere.

The FDA said in a statement on Thursday that it hoped the modified vaccines could be used in early to mid-fall.

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) with partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) and Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) have been testing versions of their vaccines modified to combat the BA.1 Omicron variant that caused the massive surge in cases last winter.

Although they have said those vaccines worked against BA.1 and the more recently circulating variants, they did see a lower immune response against BA.4 and BA.5.

The companies had already been manufacturing their BA.1 vaccines, and said on Tuesday that swapping to a BA.4/BA.5 version could slow the rollout.

Pfizer/BioNTech, which on Wednesday announced a $3.2 billion contract to supply more COVID vaccine doses to the United States, said they would have a substantial amount of BA.4/BA.5 vaccine ready for distribution by the first week of October. read more

Moderna said it would be late October or early November before it would have the newly modified vaccine ready.

Reporting by Michael Erman in New Jersey and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: Reuters

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