Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Savvy Shopper: 'Where's the beef?' Check out these meat deals

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Anyone who ever attended high school probably knows about the George Orwell book "1984." In case you slept through that class, this novel offers a bleak storyline where a brutal dictatorship governs society in the year 1984.

Instead of the dark age that was forecast, that year was ushered in by a Wendy's commercial featuring a harmless elderly lady shouting, "Where's the beef?" Almost immediately, America engulfed itself in a mania where even presidential candidates were repeating the catchphrase.

For those who weren't around at the time, such a fad might be hard to understand. For those who were there, it was completely impossible to grasp. I still can't wrap my mind around it. However, compared to the prison-like conditions Orwell predicted, hearing, "Where's the beef?" over and over again wasn't so bad! As a tribute to the 30th anniversary of this famous phrase, I thought I would show where the beef is by listing excellent deals on meats.

In addition to these specials, you can get a list of all the good to great offers by clicking on the provided link or coming to our Facebook page. (Click or log on to Facebook and enter "Lubbock Savvy Shopper" in the search tool.) To make things even more convenient, "like" our page to get the deals delivered right to your news feed! Don't miss out!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review and trailer: Out Of The Furnace (15) | Movies | Showbiz & TV | Daily Star. Simply The Best 7 Days A Week

But this star-studded effort clearly has much higher aspirations. Brave director Scott Cooper seems to intent comparing his latest to The Deer Hunter.

Like that Oscar-laden classic, this is set in a decaying Pittsburgh steel town and has a returning soldier finding it hard to adapt to civilian life. If that isn't enough, at one point Christian Bale actually goes out of the furnace reviews deer hunting and bottles it when he's about it to pull the trigger.

Sadly, it's the film doesn't do too well out of the comparison. It's stylish and well acted but it is far too predictable to bother any awards panel.

After a stint in jail, Russell Baze (Bale) comes home to find his weird girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) has shacked up with the tubby local cop (Forest Whitaker). Meanwhile, his Iraq War vet brother (Casey Affleck) has gone all Christopher Walken and taken up bare-knuckle boxing.

As self-destructive sports go it's not quite as dangerous as Russian roulette. But with Woody Harrelson's violent mountain man on promoting duties it comes pretty close.

After a lot of moody shots of rusting factories, a revenge plot slowly kicks into gear pitting Bale against Harrelson. Both actors put in brilliant, film-saving performances. It's always watchable but the mix of pulpy drama and gritty realism never quite fit together.

Rating: 3/5. Out on Wednesday, January 29.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Grudge Match, review

Dir: Peter Segal; Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, Kevin Hart, Jon Bernthal. 12A cert, 113 min.

As Oscar andBafta nominees jostle at the boxoffice, here is a low-fibre, high-fat alternative: The Best Exotic Marigold Punch-Up. Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone have made a comedy about two former boxers who decide, after 30 years in retirement, to settle an unpaid score.

Stallone's character, Henry 'Razor' Sharp, is a blue-collar Rocky Balboa-type, now toiling in honourable obscurity in a Pittsburgh steel mill. De Niro's Billy 'The Kid' McDonnen, meanwhile, has become round and gregarious, not unlike Jake LaMotta, and spins yarns about the old days from the stage of his downtown nightclub.

'Rocky versus Raging Bull' was surely the pitch that convinced Warner Bros. to press ahead, but Grudge Match feels less inspired by those two (very different) films than slightly struck dumb by them. Kim Basinger plays a shared love-interest, Alan Arkin a prickly trainer and Jon Bernthal an estranged son, and you can't help but suspect they're only there because, well, these are the kind of people that appear in films about boxers.

The rematch itself comes about after both men agree to lend their faces to a video game, and it is in the motion-capture studio that they meet for the first time in three decades, clad in unforgiving green leotards, their extremities marked with glowing ping-pong balls.

As the two men argue, and eventually come to blows, their digital avatars copy their movements on a giant screen in the background: it's a sharp idea, brilliantly executed, with the airbrushed past and saggy present moving perfectly in synch. In fact, it might be the only verifiably sharp idea in all of Grudge Match, which is otherwise underscored by the merry bleeping and whirring of an entire cast and crew faxing it in.

It all builds, of course, towards De Niro and Stallone actually doing battle; a spectacle which the director, Peter Segal, charitably shoots either at a distance or in tight close-up. Something about it reminds you of the sequence from the original Rocky film in which Stallone spars with a side of beef, except with Stallone replaced by a second side of beef, and the first side of beef fighting back. There's something intensely creepy about it, a sinewy weirdness straight out of On Sales.html">Jan Švankmajer, and I was thankful when it was over - as were the film's insurers, no doubt.

IN PICTURES: Robert De Niro's greatest roles

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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10 things Taiwan does better than anywhere else

(CNN) -- Editor's note: This story is part of a series highlighting superlatives of countries around the world. Click here for pieces on , the United States, and South Korea, and watch for upcoming installments featuring other countries.

With 23 million people crammed onto an island that covers just more than 36,000 square kilometers, Taiwan ranks among the 20 most densely populated places in the world.

Although the industrious island has built a global reputation for cheap electronics, this is one Asian tiger that offers far more than stickers on the backs of calculators.

Economically there's little it has left to prove, but Taiwanese people remain a proud and determined bunch.

Here are 10 things they do better than anyone else.

For an island smaller in area than Switzerland, Taiwan sure has a lot of night markets -- an estimated 300 island-wide.

These open-air bazaars are particularly loved for street food, referred to locally as xiao-chi, literally "small eats."

Perennial favorites are oyster omelets, stinky tofu and an assortment of snacks on a stick straight off the grill.

Specialty drinks range from bubble tea to shots of snake blood.

According to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, some 70% of tourists to Taiwan will visit a night market.

The top three Facebook check-ins for 2013 in Taiwan were all night markets; Tainan Flower Night Market (12th globally) nabbed the top spot, followed by Luodong and Feng Chia night markets in Yilan and Taichung, respectively.

MORE: The 10 best dishes from Taiwan's night markets

If literal toilet humor (eating out of miniature urinals and toilet bowls) is your idea of an amuse bouche, Taiwan provides a belly full of laughs.

Modern Toilet restaurants address taboos pertaining to dining etiquette, posing witty rhetoric on websites such as: "To eat or to pee? Now that is the question."

At the other extreme, you can get a cutesy overdose at a Hello Kitty namesake cafe, where everything from burger buns to soup bowls is shaped like the mouthless cartoon cat. (For more on the kitty obsession, read point 9 below.)

What's that? Can't get enough pink and glitter?

That's OK, because Taiwan is home to the world's first Barbie-themed restaurant, with Mattel-approved smotherings of pink plastic and frilly tutus.

Previous themed restaurants in Taiwan have included a cafe based on an Airbus A380, complete with trolly dollies serving food and drinks from a cart, as well as restaurants with jail, hospital and school-inspired themes.

Since 2011, Taiwanese citizens have been able to log onto iTaiwan, the island's free WiFi network.

Taiwan is one of the first places in the world to offer free WiFi on a mass scale.

In June 2013, the service was rolled out to tourists in four of the five largest cities, using more than 4,400 hotspots.

Visitors can sign up for an iTaiwan account with their passport at Taiwan Tourism Bureau centers and offices in transportation stations, then receive complimentary WiFi in Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung and Tainan.

More: Taiwan offers free WiFi to all foreign tourists

You might think it'd be in Beijing or Shanghai, but the National Palace Museum in Taipei houses the largest collection of Chinese artifacts and artwork in the world.

The impressive permanent collection comprises more than 650,000 items.

Chinese history is told through bronze statues, jade carvings, calligraphy, lacquerware and other historical pieces -- many of which belonged to Chinese imperial families -- including an intriguingly life-like, meat-shaped stone and a jadeite cabbage.

Despite several rounds of building expansion, only a fraction of the collection is on display (no more than 10,000 items at any one time), making the museum worth returning to several times a year.

MORE: 5 Taipei hotels with megabucks art collections 5. chinese lunar new year cards news

With an army of about 400 animators, Next Media Animation (NMA), a Taiwan-based animation studio, can turn any news story into a cartoon in as fast as 90 minutes ('making-of' video here).

More impressively -- the videos are usually satirical, outrageous and hilarious.

The studio, created by a Hong Kong media tycoon, takes infotainment to another level.

Founded in 2007 to create CGI-animated videos for news without real footage for Apple Daily News in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the talents of Taiwan's animators were exposed to the world with the 2009 release of their hilarious video of what might have happened during Tiger Woods' infamous car crash.

In the video, now ex-wife Elin Nordegren chases Tiger Woods' car with a golf club after finding out about Woods' affair.

After the video went viral, the company decided to service international audiences in Japanese and English.

Some of the team's most popular recent works include a video about the execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle and a review of five stories that must die in 2014.

One of the world's most vegetarian-friendly destinations, Taiwan offers 6,000 or so restaurants serving an impressive variety of delicious vegetarian fare to feed the 10% of the country that shuns meat.

But while it can't beat India in terms of the abundance and variety of vegetarian dishes on offer, Taiwan is the best place to hit when you're craving meat but don't actually want to eat any. That's right, we're talking about mock meat.

Given how important flesh is to the traditional Chinese diet, it's no surprise Taiwan's fake meat -- usually made of soy protein or wheat gluten -- can fool even hardcore carnivores.

Yes, there have been scandals that revealed actual meat inside supposed mock meat dishes. But it's is a thriving industry here and is considered a staple across Taiwan.

Mock meat stir-fries in particular taste surprisingly like the real thing.

MORE: 40 Taiwanese foods we can't live without

Baseball may be Taiwan's most popular sport -- diamonds are almost as common as dumplings around the island.

Taiwan holds the record for the most Little League World Series championship titles (17), nearly double that of its closest runner-up, Japan.

Adding to a cabinet of trophies, a team from Taiwan won the 2013 Junior League Baseball Junior World Series.

In a year when the Obamacare debacle played out in global headlines, it's worth to noting that Taiwan has what many call the best universal healthcare system in the world.

Legal residents can visit any specialist in the country.

Docs anywhere will pull up their entire medical record via smart card, consult and prescribe Chinese medicine and/or prescription drugs.

Fees are billed directly to and reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Administration, whose 2% administrative costs are the lowest in the world.

MORE: CNNGo in Kaohsiung: Taiwan's largest port and coolest art 9. Hello Kitty obsession

Taiwan's obsession with the Japanese-born Sanrio character doesn't stop at feline-themed restaurants.

Taiwan holds the distinction of being the first in the world to be honored with Hello Kitty-branded beer.

Brewed by Taiwan Tsing Beer, the drink purred its way onto the shelves earlier this year.

The light brew features fruity flavors, from lime to a distinctly avant garde banana infusion.

Eva Airways in 2013 made headlines with the resurrection of its themed planes, which feature the ubiquitous cat on everything from exterior liveries to headrest covers to fruit, which is cut in the shape of you know what.

Eva Airways' dedicated Hello Kitty Jets site offers horizon-expanding trivia, including Hello Kitty's height (five apples tall) and weight (three apples).

The Grand Hi-Lai Hotel in Kaohsiung offers Hello Kitty-themed rooms, the cat's iconic ribbon and/or silhouette stamped on everything within eye(sore)'s reach.

Pink kitty curtains, kitty bath amenities, kitty tea set and a radio that plays Hello Kitty music are all involved.

MORE: At last: World's first Hello Kitty Beauty Spa

Not reaching for the insulin shot yet? Then you can book a breakfast date with a talking and moving "live" Hello Kitty.

Yes, we recognize xiaolongbao as a delicacy homegrown in Shanghai, but Taiwan is slowly taking over the dumpling world, one broth-filled bite at a time.

Starting from a single shop in Taipei, Din Tai Fung now serves its famed xiaolongbao in destinations as far flung as Australia, Thailand and the United States.

Two of its Hong Kong branches have earned a coveted Michelin star, with the mothership Xinyi store in Taipei sneaking into the Miele Guide.

Not bad for a chain restaurant, and not a "fancy" one at that.

When Tom Cruise visited Taiwan in 2013, he joined in on the 18-pleats-per-dumpling action with a cooking class at the shop's Taipei 101 branch.

MORE: Golden chains: 20 best franchises for travelers

Even better? CNN put Din Tai Fung at number two on its list of best franchises for travelers.

With additional reporting by Hiufu Wong

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daily Deals for January 20, 2013

<Super Salep>It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

TUAW's Daily Deals

The iLoud Bluetooth Speaker [On sale for $239, down from $299]

For the musician on the go, in the studio or on the stage, the iLoud speaker is designed to meet all your mobile sound needs.

iLoud is the first portable Bluetooth speaker designed with musicians and audiophiles in mind. It allows you to reproduce your music -- in every possible mobile situation -- as accurately as you would in the comfort of your studio. Plus, it offers a quarter-inch microphone/guitar input for use with iOS music-creation apps, so you can record, edit and perform all on-the-go.

Pumped with 40 Watts of sonic power, iLoud sounds two to three times louder than comparable-sized speakers. Together with its high-power output, iLoud also delivers hi-fi sound thanks to its time-aligned two-way system, precision custom neodymium loudspeakers, tuned bass-reflex non-resonant enclosure and a high-end 24-bit DSP using IK Multimedia's proprietary processing algorithm to perfectly match the woofers with the tweeters.

What does all that mean? That it provides a richer, more powerful sound for any type of music style from rock to hip-hop to electronic music that can't be found in any other portable speakers in its category.

Save 20% on the iLoud Bluetooth Speaker at TUAW Deals.

Deals from Dealnews

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  • MegaMacs: [Mac Pro] Refurb Mac Pro Xeon Quad 2.66GHz Workstation Bundle for $550 + $28 s&h
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  • Best Buy: [iPhone Accessories] Philips Docking System w/ Radio for iPod / iPhone for $50 + free shipping
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iOS Software Discounts

OS X Software Discounts

Note: All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly. TUAW is not responsible for third-party deals and cannot guarantee availability or quality of any particular product at a specific price.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Around Where Does Nelson Cruz Start To Make Sense?

Here's a thing about Nelson Cruz: nobody really wants him. Mariners fans have been afraid of the Cruz possibility from the beginning of the offseason, and the rumors haven't gone away, with Ken Rosenthal chiming in Friday. Nevermind the performance-enhancing drug suspension; Cruz, simply, is overrated by people paid to talk about the game. He turns 34 years old in July and he doesn't really walk or play defense. People have been terrified that the Mariners would give Cruz the massive contract he entered the offseason looking for.

Here's another thing about Nelson Cruz: nobody really wants him. It's the middle of January and Cruz remains a free agent, and he's a free agent without a strong market. The best fit, at this point, is probably Baltimore, but Baltimore hasn't done anything. Seattle's the only other fit, and they haven't done anything. The Phillies looked obvious from the get-go, but they instead went with Marlon Byrd. Maybe, in the past, Cruz would've secured a major payday, but teams are smarter now, and one of the first things smart baseball people learn is that players like Cruz are overrated.

Used to be people talked about five years and $75 million, like Cruz was going to get it from somebody. That would make for a certain disaster. That's what turned people off from Cruz in the first place, as they wanted to avoid stepping on a landmine. But in reality, the choice isn't Nelson Cruz for five years, or something else. Cruz will have to play for his best offer, and his best offer is going to be quite a bit lower than the nightmare offer we imagined in November.

Certain players, you don't want under any circumstances, because they don't make sense under any circumstances. Yuniesky Betancourt, for one. Yuni sucks, and he's not getting better, and if you're in a position where you're considering a job for Yuniesky Betancourt, you'd be better off giving it to somebody younger. I wouldn't want the Mariners to sign Betancourt for the league minimum. Other players, you don't want at high salaries, but you can tolerate for something more reasonable. Any player who makes a positive contribution makes sense at some kind of deal, and Nelson Cruz isn't a replacement-level outfielder. He's just overrated and aging.

So as much as we've all been afraid of Cruz, we've really been afraid of an expensive Cruz. There is a point at which the Mariners could be sensible in signing Cruz to a deal. Even with the lost draft pick. The thing to consider isn't the player, but the value of the player relative to his contract. Cruz could sign a reasonable contract. And look at the Mariners' outfield right now. I like Michael Saunders, but he isn't a star. Dustin Ackley might be charitably referred to as "developing". Franklin Gutierrez spends half his take-home on bubble wrap. Logan Morrison hasn't actually been good for years. Corey Hart's neat, but after surgeries he might be a DH. Abe Almonte is interesting, but unproven and in possession of options. The Mariners have one of the worse projected outfields in the major leagues.

So Cruz could actually be an improvement. Maybe that means you put him in left and you make Hart the regular DH, and Morrison's around to give breaks to Hart and Justin Smoak. And Cruz, too, for when he's day-to-day. I don't know, I'm not worried about the alignment right now. Cruz would probably make the Mariners better. So what would it be worth paying him, in exchange for his making the Mariners better?

The last three years, by FanGraphs, Cruz has been worth about 3.9 WAR. Baseball-Reference says 3.7. Steamer projects Cruz to be worth 1.6 in the coming season. Let's just call it an easy 1.5. That's worth about $9 million, flat.

Maybe you bump it to $10 million, given how close the Mariners are to being competitive. Now, there's the matter of the draft pick. Let's assume Kendrys Morales does sign somewhere else before June. In that case, the Mariners lose that compensation pick for signing robinson cano agent Cano, and then they'd lose a second-rounder for signing Cruz. The slot value of the pick last year was about $1.2 million. Let's value that pick at, say, $2 million. That pick could turn into a pretty good prospect. Subtract $2 million from $10 million and you have Cruz making sense at a year and $8 million.

But Cruz would probably like more security. Give him two years. Bump him down to roughly 1 WAR in 2015, because he is getting older, and if his skills don't decline, he might still become more fragile. There's, say, $6.5 million of value for a year from now. So we're up to $14.5 million over two years.

Maybe Cruz wants three? You give him 0.5 WAR in the last year, and that'd be worth something in the neighborhood of $3.5 million. Which would take you up to $18 million over three years. John Buck, as it happens, is coming off a three-year deal worth $18 million. He signed when he was 30, and he'd been worth three or four wins over the previous three years. This offseason, Carlos Ruiz signed for three and $26 million. Scott Feldman signed for three and $30 million. Phil Hughes signed for three and $24 million. James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed for three and $21 million. Javier Lopez, Boone Logan, and Joe Smith earned three-year contracts as relievers somehow. Cruz might not love the idea of $18 million over three years, or about $15 million over two, but he isn't really the guy with the leverage here. He doesn't have a market, and while he'd fit with the Orioles, the Orioles might prefer Morales, who also doesn't have a market.

So all that - that would be reasonable. Cruz would make sense around:

  • one year, $8 million
  • two years, $14.5 million
  • three years, $18 million

And these are estimates, so while three years and $20 million would be more than three years and $18 million, that still wouldn't be terrible. Things start getting messy around three years and $30 million, and you definitely want to avoid a fourth guaranteed year, but even $30 million wouldn't be a catastrophe, relative to what we expected a few months ago. That might be overpaying by about $4 million a year, but that's a somewhat small fraction of the budget. Overpaying is seldom a good idea, but there are shades, there are degrees, and Cruz could be an awful lot more overpaid. We thought he would be. It's not the end of the world to be a little bit off.

Look - gun to my head, I think Abe Almonte might actually be better than Nelson Cruz right now, given their respective overall packages. If that were true, then signing Cruz would be almost a complete waste. But Almonte could be put in Tacoma, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with having depth. Depth allows you to re-visit things down the line. I'd love for Almonte to be good - I'd love for all the players to be good - but Almonte doesn't need to be on the Opening Day roster. He's not going to start to suck a lot if he isn't in Seattle in April.

I don't think I'm ever going to love the idea of the Mariners signing Nelson Cruz. It's hard to love the idea of a team signing anyone who doesn't even project to be overall league-average. The last three years, Cruz has been about as valuable as Joe Saunders, and nobody really wants him back. But Cruz could probably improve this team, and this team could absolutely use some improvements. So there's a price at which Cruz would actually, really, genuinely make sense. With that in mind, I'm not totally opposed to the Mariners going the predictable route. I'm just opposed to them paying too high a toll.

This post came from: U.S.S. Mariner, and is copyright by the authors. This RSS feed is intended for the personal use of readers and not, for instance, spam blogs.

Around Where Does Nelson Cruz Start To Make Sense?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Here's the Cool Graph Reddit Fans Should Show Haters Who Still Claim It's Not a Legit News Site

Known as the "front page of the Internet," reddit">Reddit is one of the most interesting websites around. As everything from a news aggregator to collection of discussion forums to a launch pad for anything viral, it's a vast website that does its best to condense everything around the Internet into one fairly digestible place. But it hasn't always been so easy to use or so popular.

A new graph created by Michigan State University PhD student Randy Olson shows how Reddit and its network of subreddits have evolved over the past few years.

In his research, Olsen tracked the evolution of the site since its inception in 2005 and saw that while the primary user base has been "horny programmers" for much of the time, the development of topic-specific "subreddits" have made Reddit and much more inclusive community with a vast array of users talking about many different topics. Although Olsen developed several interesting graphs to track this (as well as this very cool interactive map), the most reveling one shows how the site's 24 most popular subreddits have developed over the past few years.

As you can see from the graph, 2008 was the year when Reddit really started to take off by allowing users to create their own subreddits, making it even more possible for users to make the community their own. This quickly prompted the creation of subreddits such as r/pics, r/WTF and r/funny, as well as a variety of subreddits dedicated to pictures and videos (which has always been Reddit's bread and butter).

Despite the bad jokes, Reddit always has been somewhat of a haven for horny programmers (subreddits like r/gaming and r/gonewild (NSFW) have always been among the most popular), but as Olsen's graph demonstrates, it has become an increasingly diverse and open place for just about anything.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Buying Discount Baby Formula? Another Win for Perrigo!

<On Salesp>Swapping out branded products for store brands is a trend that's picked up steam since the Great Recession. However, eager-to-please parents have been less willing to make the shift to generic baby formula -- until now.

In yet another win for private-label giant Perrigo Company ( ) , high-profile recalls for well-known brands including Abbott Laboratories' ( ) Similac and Mead Johnson Nutrition Company's ( ) Enfamil have shifted more and more parents to store brands.

Recalling the past
Abbott and Johnson haven't done their marketing teams any favors in the past few years. Following the death of an infant in 2011, the media circled around Mead Johnson as retailers including Wal-Mart voluntarily pulled Enfamil from shelves. The media frenzy surrounding that story was one reason Mead saw its North American sales fall 12% year over year in the first quarter of 2012.

Abbott took a similar hit when it voluntarily recalled Similac in 2010. That caused Abbott's U.S. pediatric nutritionals business to sag 7% in 2010.

Couple those two high-profile fumbles with tightening post-recession purse strings, and the share of private-label formula is climbing steadily, improving from 11.2% to 12% over the past year.

Profiting from private labels
Of course, Perrigo is no stranger to taking market share from branded counterparts. The company has a long history of winning retail shelf space by offering cheaper versions of over-the-counter, or OTC, drugs such as cough syrup and painkillers.

Industrywide sales of private-label OTCs have grown to represent 35% of all OTC sales being collected across retail, and that share growth has increased Perrigo's revenue from those store-branded alternatives to $933 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. That was 21% higher than the same period a year ago.

And Perrigo believes there's plenty of running room left for growth, given that it launched 60 products in fiscal 2013 worth $130 million in annual sales and plans to launch 75 products in fiscal 2014 worth $190 million in annual sales.

Perrigo also thinks there's $10 billion in branded sales that could move to OTC over the next five years, and potentially a larger opportunity if drugs currently sold behind the counter, such as statins for lowering cholesterol, move out front.

Bulking up on formula
Sales of private-label baby formula fall under Perrigo's nutritional segment sales, and that business has been growing nicely.

Perrigo generated sales of just $171 million from the segment back in 2008. But the company racked up sales of more than $500 million in 2013.

The broader infant-formula category grew 2.7% in the year ending in September. Meanwhile, sales of private-label formula grew 7.7%. That helped lift Perrigo's nutritional segment sales 25% year over year to $129 million in the fiscal first quarter. The segment's operating margin also improved, increasing by nearly 1% to 11.7% in the quarter from the year prior.

Perrigo thinks it can grow that business even more thanks to larger, bulk containers and packaging that more closely resembles the branded version. Perrigo is also looking to increase sales by boosting its presence in overseas markets, such as China.

Going global
The push into overseas markets isn't limited to baby formula. The company just completed its merger with Ireland-based Elan in December.

As part of that deal, Perrigo lands a nice recurring royalty stream from the blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, which Elan co-marketed with NASDAQ: Biogen ( BIIB ) . Sales of Tysabri have grown by a compounded 19% over the past four years.

Biogen bought out the remaining rights it didn't own from Elan back in February 2013 for $3.2 billion. But Biogen remains on the hook for royalties that will hit 18% of Tysabri sales up to $2 billion and 25% of sales above $2 billion. Tysabri had sales of $1.6 billion in 2012 and $401 million in the third quarter, and a phase 3 trial for expanding the drug to include secondary progressive MS remains under way.

That deal not only gives Perrigo the Tysabri royalty stream,but also provides shareholder-friendly tax relief.

Perrigo forecasts the shift of its corporate tax structure out of the U.S. to Ireland will drop its tax rate from the mid 30% range to the high teens. Combined with operational overlap, the merger is expected to save the company $150 million a year.

Fool-worthy final thoughts
Across Perrigo's many businesses, the company expects fiscal 2014 sales to climb 12% to16% in fiscal 2014. It's also forecasting 23% to 25% operating margin and 13% to 18% EPS growth. Sales of nutritionals, including infant formula, will grow 8% to 12% this year. If that plays out as hoped, the company will generate $6.35 to $6.60 per share in earnings. That projection has analysts modeling for $8.01 in earnings per share in fiscal 2015, suggesting Perrigo will have plenty of profits to reward shareholders going forward.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Medical examiner identifies man found dead in snow on Cleveland's East Side

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has identified the man who was found face down in the snow on Cleveland's East Side Saturday.

The man on Sunday was identified as 43-year-old Brian sears parts.

Sears was found near the 10400 block of Meech Avenue Saturday morning. His cause and manner death have not been released.

Cleveland police are investigating his death. Police have said Sears was found to have head injuries. The homicide unit was called to the scene where Sears was located.

Police said Sears was first spotted around 8:30 a.m. Saturday by a security guard for a nearby auto parts company.

Meech Avenue is off of East 93rd Street.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Intel's Haswell NUC: D54250WYK UCFF PC Review

<Deal Of The Daya href="">G1.Sniper Mid-Range Expansion: GIGABYTE Launch Z5S and Z5Battlefield 4 Mantle Update Delayed Until JanuaryAnandTech Google Hangouts Live with ARM's Peter Greenhalgh