The Economics Of Orange Juice

September 22, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Caitlin Dewey wrote about America’s love of orange juice:

  • 11 kilograms of orange juice is consumed per American per year, making it the country’s most popular source of fruit intake.
  • In contrast Americans consume a paltry 1 kilogram of fresh (unjuiced) oranges per year.
  • Orange juice made from Florida’s orange groves bring the state $900 million a year.
  • Yet the OJ affair is fading – orange juice consumption is declining as people forsake sit-down breakfasts and question the health benefits of sugary juice.
  • A disease called huanglongbing, which turns oranges bitter has infected Florida’s groves, putting pressure on supply, causing prices to go up.
  • Hurricane Irma* could be the final nail in the coffin – some estimate that as much as 70% of the harvest was lost as winds pulled unripe oranges off of trees.
  • The resulting increase in price and decline in consumption could see apple juice take orange juice’s spot as America’s #1 fruit source.

Read more on The Washington Post.

*There have been several natural disasters across the globe. Please consider donating to local charities. They could use your help.

Denmark Is Appointing A Technology Ambassador To Silicon Valley

September 21, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Amsterdam pioneered night mayors and bicycle mayors. Denmark is leading the way with a Technology Ambassador, writes Nurfilzah Rohaidi:

  • Technology companies are now richer and more powerful than several nation states.
  • They have the potential to transform economies, shape elections, and undermine critical infrastructure.
  • To deal with this Denmark is appointing a Technology Ambassador – based in Silicon Valley – to represent its interests.
  • The Ambassador will market the European Union – and Denmark in particular – as a future technology talent hub.
  • He’ll also look for ideas to improve Denmark’s cybersecurity.
  • Rohaidi notes that Silicon Valley is the right location for the Ambassador – the unprecedented idea is, in its own way, a startup.

Read more on Gov Insider.

You Can Hire A Consultant To Get You Into A Sorority

September 20, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Alyssa Giacobbe wrote about sorority consultants:

  • Rushbiddies coaches girls through the sorority rush process. Prices start at $100 for a 90-minute session, though the most popular package is $1,500, and includes 40 hours of chat and Skype support.
  • Some parents happily pay the fee – they’re used to asking for outside help and don’t want their offspring to miss out on any college experiences.
  • Clients are taught how to have in-person conversations – a dying art in an era of mobile communications.
  • They’re also given advice on the outfits to be wearing in their summer Instagram photos, and told to avoid having anything political on social media.
  • It’s not enough to get into just any sorority – Rushbiddies aims to get its clients into one of the top ones – as ranked by websites like

Read more on Town & Country.

Via: Marginal Revolution.

Colleges Are Offering Scholarships To Professional Gamers

September 19, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Colleges are paying attention to esports wrote Collin Binkley:

  • Esports is big business – the biggest tournament in the world has a $20 million prize pool.
  • Colleges are taking notice. They’re offering scholarships to gaming athletes who can spread the college’s name.
  • Specialized coaches and other support staff help to ensure gamers reach their full potential.
  • The University of California, Irvine, even drummed up $250,000 for an eSports arena.
  • The NCAA – a nonprofit that works with college sporting programs – has taken note and is considering getting involved.

Read more on AP.

In Stock Images Women Are Now More Than Just Sex Objects

September 18, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Claire Cain Miller wrote about the top image result for “woman” (pictured) on Getty’s stock image library:

  • In contrast to the rugged woman hiking on the rocks today, a decade ago, in 2007, the top-selling picture for “woman” showed a half-naked person lying on a bed draped in a towel looking alluringly at the camera.
  • The change is driven in part by the Lean In photo collection developed in by Getty in collaboration with Shery Sandberg, to provide the media with more gender-positive stock images.
  • In addition to changing what ‘woman’ represented, Getty has also seen a 47% increase in searches for pictures of “female CEO”.
  • There’s still some ways to go. The typical woman in the Lean In collection is young, white, and has long brown hair.
  • Those that show women in science are rarely used in general science stories – they’re typically only trotted out in stories related to the difficulties women face in science fields.
  • Gender positive photos of men – for example those where they’re taking care of a baby – can have troubling subtext too. The men often have beards and are muscled, in an apparent attempt to emphasize their masculinity.

Read more in The New York Times.

“Market Price” In Restaurants Is Mostly A Sham

September 15, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Ever seen “MP” listed on a menu instead of the actual price? It’s probably a trick, wrote Kate Krader:

  • Shielding diners from prices on menus began with freshly caught seafood. Supply is erratic and prices can swing between extremes, making it difficult to print a set price on a menu.
  • But chefs liked the air of exclusivity it added to menus and so began to use the label on their proudest creations.
  • Hiding prices also helps prevent sticker shock and artificially lowers the average menu price, making it more popular on sites like Yelp.
  • This is just one strategy that restaurants have pursued to improve margins. Overall restaurant food prices rose 2.6% last year, while the cost of ingredients fell 1.3%.

Read more on Bloomberg.

Fear The Dragons

September 14, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist wrote about how the Chinese zodiac calendar can affect life outcomes:

  • Dragons are a respected symbol in China and those born in the year of the dragon are thought to have a bright future.
  • Chinese births dramatically increased in 2000 and 2012 – the two most recent dragon years. This is particularly remarkable since China’s one child policy makes it difficult to time births.
  • Dragon children get higher grades and are 11 percentage points more likely to go to university.
  • This seems to be because parents invest more in dragon children by educating them, giving them more pocket money, and reducing their chores.
  • This self-fulfilling prophecy effect demonstrates the power of expectations in driving success.

Read more on The Economist.

The Economics Of Friends…A Decade Later

September 13, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

It’s been a decade since Friends was on the air yet the show remains popular. Arienne Thompson looked at just how popular:

  • Warner Brothers, the studio behind Friends, continues to syndicate the show around the world – and earns $1 billion a year doing so.
  • Each of the six main characters get royalties of 2% a year from that syndication revenue.
  • All in all that’s $20 million a year each for Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.

Read more on USA Today.

A Netflix For Movies. Wait, What?

September 12, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Netflix revolutionized watching movies at home. MoviePass is trying to do the same for watching movies in the theater:

  • MoviePass users pay a monthly fee to watch as many movies as they want at the theater (though they’re limited to one movie a day for the cheapest package).
  • MoviePass sends them a credit card which they use to pay for the movie tickets.
  • The company operated for six years and managed to get 20,000 subscribers to its service.
  • Then it cut prices from $14.95 a month to $9.95 a month and the resulting media blitz increased the number of subscribers to 150,000.
  • MoviePass may be losing money if the new subscribers are frequent moviegoers. But over the long run it hopes to negotiate deals with the industry to reduce theater prices and boost attendance – especially for non-blockbusters.
  • Movie theaters, for their part, aren’t thrilled at the prospect of MoviePass getting a lot of subscribers and then using its bargaining power to force them to accept lower prices.

Read more on Deadline.

Oyster Vending Machines

September 11, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The French are selling oysters in vending machine wrote The Guardian:

  • Oyster vending machines are an evolution of the manned stalls that oyster farmers used to have on the roads along France’s coast.
  • For oyster connoisseurs the ability to satisfy an oyster craving at all hours is a tantalizing prospect.
  • It is especially appealing to a younger generation familiar with buying things on the internet, without a shopkeeper guiding them.
  • For sellers it’s a way to cut out the middle man – like a grocery store – and boost margins.
  • The machines are a triumph of food safety laws. Live oysters that aren’t stored the right way could lead to food poisoning – something few are concerned about.

Read more on The Guardian.