August 29, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Ted Goodman wrote about the military’s role in the creation of McDonald’s drive thrus.
- In 1975 the McDonald’s brand was running strong and it was a well-known and popular fast food restaurant.
- At the time a military base in Arizona had a rule against soldiers wearing their military fatigues in local establishments.
- McDonald’s wanted their business though, and to get around the military’s rules, they created an outdoor window that soldiers could order from, without having to actually enter the restaurant.
- Today this is recognized as the first ever McDonald’s drive thru.
- Sadly, while McDonald’s has a plaque memorializing it, the drive thru itself no longer exists – it has been turned into a parking lot.
Read more here.
Source: Daily Caller
August 27, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Norway’s tourism board helped Disney with the creation of Frozen, believing that the film would boost tourism to the country. The plan worked a little too well writes Jon Henley:
- After the release of Disney’s Frozen, tourism to Norway increased by 20%.
- It set off a trend with an increasing number of movies being shot in the scenic Nordic country.
- One island’s roads are unable to handle the traffic from a sudden influx of visitors.
- Their waste disposal infrastructure isn’t built for these kinds of numbers either.
- And the most popular beaches are eroding away.
- Things are only going to get worse with the number of tourists expected to double in the coming years.
- The Economist though speaks out in the defense of such tourism. The magazine notes that it brings substantial economic benefits to local communities.
- And infrastructure failures are more signs of poor policymaking and governance, they suggest, than anything else.
Read the full article here.
Source: The Guardian
Via: Mental Floss
August 26, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Believe that politicians are lying scum who will say anything to get votes? Turns out most of them follow through on what they say:
- Studies have consistently found that American Presidents have made a good faith effort to keep about two thirds of their campaign promises.
- Bush, after all, cut taxes and enacted education reform as he had promised. Obama delivered health care and environmental legislation.
- In fact, Obama so far has kept about 70% of his promises, while Republicans have kept about the same proportion of the promises they made before they took over the house.
- Over in Europe politicians keep even more of their promises, likely because in parliamentary systems the ruling party controls both the legislative and the executive branch.
- In cases where politicians don’t keep to their promises, it is often due to unusual circumstances – such as the once in a generation financial crisis that required Bush to pass a deficit inducing stimulus package.
- Perhaps politicians are thought of as liars because when they do abruptly go back on their word there is a lot of coverage around it, and people remember it more than instances of promises being kept.
Read more over here.
Source: Five Thirty Eight
August 25, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Peter Yeung reported on a study that looked at CEO pay and company success:
- A study found that an individual who invests $100 in companies with the most highly paid CEOs, will see their money grow to $265 over ten years.
- But if that same $100 was invested in companies with the lowest paid CEOs, the money would balloon to $367 over the same time period.
- This seems to be driven in part by a corporate culture – that regulators sometimes encourage – which focuses on annual performance rather than long-term gains.
- What’s unclear is if potential bosses demand high pay so that they take on the job of the CEO of a company that was already struggling – thus explaining the poor performance.
Read more here.
Source: The Independent
August 24, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
The drone economy is upon us, and even as entrepreneurs come up with new and exciting ways to exploit their capabilities, we can also expect to see the launch of companies that aim to serve drone owners. Arriana McLymore wrote about one such service:
- Verifly, an app, allows users to purchase short-term drone insurance, for an individual drone flight.
- The insurance policy will cover damages resulting from any injury liability caused by the drone, and for legal damages as a result of invasion of privacy.
- The policy can cost as little as $10, and can cover as much as $1 million in damages.
- The policy cost is determined by the risk factors of the area the user is in – such as the presence of buildings like schools, or expensive housing neighbourhoods.
- The insurance policy won’t cover any damages done to the drone.
- It also won’t cover drones that fly indoors, are entered into competitive racing competitions, or those that fly above 400 feet.
Read more over here.
August 22, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Hannah Nichols looked at how the calendar affects divorce rates:
- A study found that divorces peak during August and March.
- These are the months right after winter and summer school holidays.
- One explanation for this could be that struggling couples want to make it to the holidays to see if something like a Christmas vacation can save the relationship.
- But perhaps the disillusionment that comes with an unsuccessful vacation is what pushes couples over the edge.
- The peak in August might also be a result of couples wanting to sort out what a post-marriage family structure will look like before kids start a new school year.
- And there’s more sun in the August – something that leads to increased activity and motivations to act.
Read more here.
August 18, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
The American flag is flown at half-mast – a symbol of mourning – an awful lot. Ruth Graham looked at the intricacies behind the decision to lower the flag:
- Technically only the President and governors have the right to order that American flags be flown at half-mast.
- President Obama has used the power frequently. Over the course of his Presidency so far he has ordered the flag lowered almost 70 times. In contrast George W. Bush made the same order 58 times, and Bill Clinton did it 50 times.
- Once you include governors then flags were officially flying at half-mast somewhere in the United States 328 days in 2015.
- At times the decision to lower the flag can be controversial. John Kasich once bowed to public pressure and ordered that flags be flown at half-mast to commemorate the death of a police dog shot during a robbery.
- At other times the hands of officials are tied. The flag code requires that flags be flown at half-mast for 30 days after the death of a current or former President, and 10 for a Vice President, Supreme Court Chief Justice, or Speaker of the House.
- Of course most people don’t realize that only the Presidents and Governors have the authority to order that flags be lowered. Mayors frequently do it, and Donald Trump once ordered the flags on his properties lowered after a shooting in Chattanooga.
Read more here.
August 17, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Back in February Centives wrote about night mayors and Amsterdam’s pioneering role in creating them. Now it’s looking to lead the field again by appointing a bicycle mayor writes Feargus O’Sullivan:
- The bicycle mayor will be responsible for streamlining communications between cyclists and city officials.
- As with the night mayor, the bike mayor won’t have or share any real executive powers with Amsterdam’s actual mayor. The position though will give them influence and legitimacy as a representative for the city’s cyclists.
- Candidates for the post submit a short video explaining why they should be elected. There will then be an online vote, and a jury of experts – including the city’s mayor – will decide amongst the most popular candidates.
- Some think the post is a little redundant since Amsterdam is already one of the world’s best cities in terms of cycling infrastructure. But others feel that there is scope for an advocate to help change the perception of cyclists as a nuisance on the road.
Read more over here.
Source: City Lab
August 15, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
To this day, in the aisles of supermarkets around the world, you can see in Cheese Whiz and Reddi-Whip relics of a bygone golden era of food in spray cans. For this is what the future was meant to be like according to Nadia Berenstein:
Imagine a multi-course dinner materializing from a series of aerosol canisters. Elegant canapés crowned with gobbets of liverwurst and cheese-spread, sprayed from a can. A pair of self-heating cans deliver the main course: a cloud of fluffy mashed potatoes alongside a slurry of barbecued meat, finished off with a misting of hickory flavor “for a gourmet touch.” For dessert, how about a spray-on sundae? Ice cream, banana whip, chocolate sauce, maraschino topping—just push and go.
What happened? She explained:
- Inspired by the success, after World War 2, of whipped cream in a can, food manufacturers looked to push the boundaries of meals that could be aerosolized.
- Ideas that made it to market included: spray-on martini, spray-on barbeque sauce, spray-on coffee, and spray-on cake batter.
- Food engineers believed that such innovation would go as far as space, giving astronauts an easy way to consume a variety of foods.
- But while manufacturers loved the idea, families were less enthused about giving children food in cans that could be sprayed all over furniture.
- The marginal amount of convenience that food in spray-cans offered, also didn’t quite justify the added cost of buying gas-pressurized foods.
- And for many there was a lingering unappetizing link between aerosol cans and hygiene products like hair sprays and deodorants.
- The final nail in the coffin for spray-on meals though, was a shift in societal preferences for more natural, less proceed foods.
Read more about some of the early engineering challenges that spray-can food manufacturers overcame, and the possibility of a spray-on renaissance in the years ahead, over here.
Source: Lucky Peach
August 12, 2016 in Daily Bulletin
Name your favourite philosopher. Hell, name a philosopher. Chances are you’re thinking of Plato, Aristotle, or Socrates. Think a little harder and you might arrive at more recent thinkers like Locke, Kant, and Descartes. But the fact remains that the philosophers considered to be the best, lived centuries – if not millennia – ago. Justin looked into why:
- During the time of Plato, the earth’s population was in the millions. Today it is in the billions. We would expect that there would be 60 times as many great philosophers today as there were in Plato’s time.
- Perhaps the dearth of philosophers is because back in Plato’s era there were limited things that smart people could do. Today budding philosophers might become journalists, television stars, professional chess players, or even military generals.
- There might also be a network effect. Just as a lot of technological innovation is happening in a short span of time in Silicon Valley, there might have been a spurt of philosophical innovation in Plato’s time.
- Or maybe it’s because the earliest discoveries are the easiest. After all, students start learning about calculus in grade school now – but Newton is still revered for initially figuring out the principles.
- A lot of it could also be “retroactive esteem”. To this day philosophers extend and expand upon “Aristotelian” ethics. This work goes way beyond anything Aristotle every contemplated or achieved. But the field is still considered to be Aristotelian.
- Or maybe this all just means that society was greater back then, and this is further evidence of the slow decay of the modern world; emancipation of slaves and women be damned.
Read more musings, and what this all means for how people should be taught philosophy today, over here.
Source: Daily Nous
Via: Marginal Revolution