I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day — I always have. But when I first started drinking alcohol, I refused to drink beer. I disliked the taste and I couldn’t stand the smell. So every year, when I would celebrate the beer-focused holiday, I did anything I could to avoid it by picking from a selection of alcoholic alternatives. So if you’re in the same boat as I once was, here are seven St. Patrick’s Day drinks that aren’t beer, in the event that you, too, have a strong aversion to ales.
Maybe your go-to Irish drink features a classic whiskey base, or it might be sweetened with Bailey’s Irish Cream. You may simply prefer an Irish cider like Magners Irish Cider, or there’s a chance you’ll just end up going for a non-Irish drink that’s green, staying true to the holiday’s classic and festive color scheme. There really isn’t a “wrong” choice to make in this situation, and shockingly, there are a ton of options that you’ll be able to choose from. So if you’re down to ditch beer this year, check out each and every one of these non-beer St. Patrick’s Day drinks, below. Honestly, these festive AF sips look pretty darn delicious.
1Irish Cream Coffee
If you’re looking to stay warm, an Irish cream coffee is the way to go. Almost any Irish bar will be able to make this classic beverage, mixing Irish whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream, coffee, and — obviously — whipped cream. If you need a recipe, though, here’s a good one.
Magners Irish Cider is delicious, and it basically fueled the majority of my study abroad experience. There’s a good chance you’ll find the apple-flavored goodness in the fridge at your local Irish pub, but just in case, here’s a brand locator so you can see where to buy it.
4Lucky Charms Shots
Odds are you’ll have to make your own Lucky Charms shots at home this year. But they’re cute, festive, and they honestly look delicious. Definitely worth the effort, if you ask me.
5Irish Cream Hot Chocolate
Coffee haters, listen up. Irish Cream Hot Chocolate is the sweeter alternative to Irish Cream Coffee, blending Irish whiskey, Baileys, and whipped cream with hot chocolate, per Food 52, and honestly, it’s so good. None of you are too “adult” for this glorious combination.
6Green Jello Shots
If you don’t mind lime flavoring (or green apple, if you’re feeling fancy), go for green jello shots. Chances are they’ll be selling these at your local bar, but they’re also pretty easy to make. Here are a few ideas for inspiration.
While margaritas may be a Mexican staple as opposed to Irish, they’re green — and in my eyes — that makes them totally St. Patrick’s Day appropriate. You can order them anywhere, but check out this simple marg recipe if you’re celebrating from at home.
Even though beer is a typical St. Patrick’s Day staple, there are so many festive alcoholic alternatives. Between mixed drinks, shots, and hot beverages, you’ll have a super wide selection, and there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll have a blast. As the Irish say, “Sláinte.”
With mounting news stories surrounding the dangers invading YouTube Kids and children’s games over the past couple weeks, it’s becoming clearer that the Internet is not a safe space for our kids, regardless of protective algorithms and filters.
An Edinburgh mother named Lyn Dixon reports the encounter her 8-year-old son had with the ‘Momo Challenge,’ a game played on YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms that encourages kids to self-harm and eventually kill themselves.
The game’s mascot is a scary face of a black-haired, bug-eyed girl who looks like an eerie twist on a character straight out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Link Factory, a special effects firm from Japan, created the character but claims that they have nothing to do with the suicide challenge, which has sparked outrage across the globe.
“He showed me an image of the face on my phone and said that she had told him to go into the kitchen drawer and take out a knife and put it into his neck,” Dixon told the Daily Mail on Tuesday. “We’ve told him it’s a load of rubbish and there are bad people out there who do bad things but it’s frightening, really frightening.”
The concerned mother said her son is now petrified to be in the dark, as the haunting face and dooming instructions lurk in his mind. The terror has stayed with him for months, especially after he saw the challenge appear again recently.
“It started with him not wanting to go upstairs on his own because it was dark up there,” Dixon explained. “He was terrified and wouldn’t sleep in his own bed and then we got to the bottom of it and we explained it wasn’t real.”
“It’s a big fear, that we can’t always control what he’s exposed to on the Internet,” she continued. “You read these stories about children committing suicide and we all know how difficult life is now with the pressures on children. Social media is a massive part of that. It’s horrific and we’ve got no control over it. There are controls on the phone, but it doesn’t go to the degree I would like it to because it’s what you can’t see that’s the worry.”
Thankfully, Dixon got to her son before it was too late, but many parents haven’t been so lucky.
The disturbing game has recently been linked to the death of a 13-year-old boy in Belgium who hanged himself and a 12-year-old girl in Argentina who was convinced she had to sacrifice her life for her brother.
Other countries where the challenge has been reported since last year include the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Spain, Scotland, Colombia, India, and Pakistan. Over 130 teen deaths have been reported in Russia alone.
“The constantly evolving digital world means a steady influx of new apps and games and can be hard for parents to keep track of,” said a spokesperson for NSPCC Scotland. “That’s why it’s important for parents to talk regularly with children about these apps and games and the potential risks they can be exposed to.”
One UK school just issued another warning to parents after an alarming discovery was made that the ‘Momo Challenge’ is getting into other children’s platforms.
“We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s [programs],” tweeted Northcott Community Special School. “Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnight, Peppa pig to avoid detection by adults. Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing.”
If children refuse to follow the directions of the creepily intimidating Momo character, they are threatened with acts of violence or death, such as “being killed in their sleep.”
Authorities encourage parents first and foremost to talk to their kids and reinforce that they have the power of choice to say “no,” in spite of the pressure.
“Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable,” said one NSPCC expert.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to your kids about the ‘Momo Challenge’ today, and share this message with the parents you know on Facebook.
A former bank boss tried to justify inflated CEO salaries because the job is stressful. The people of Twitter were not having it.
There’s no doubt that running a company is a tough job. Holding the fate of hundreds or thousands of employees and the weight of success or failure of a business on your shoulders is definitely a big source of stress.
But how much more valuable is one person’s stress than another?
That’s the question Dr. David Morgan, former CEO of Australia’s Westpac Banking Corporation, inadvertently addressed in an interview for a new biography. According to The Age, Morgan told the book’s author, Oliver Brown, that the reality of CEO life is “seldom openly discussed.”
“Most people don’t talk about it honestly,” Morgan said. “Yes, CEO life is very glamorous. You’re recognized, you’re given the best seats in restaurants, and you’re ridiculously overpaid. But you need stamina. As the leader, you rarely play the grand final, but more an endless succession of semi-finals.”
“You can hardly ever relax, and that creates intense strain,” he added. “Behind closed doors, some CEOs literally weep.”
And that was the straw that broke Twitter’s back.
People who have ‘literally wept’ over stress at jobs where they made under $40K a year showed up by the thousands.
Dr. Morgan was the CEO of Westpac from 1999 to 2008. In 2007, his annual pay topped $10 million. That’s $833,000 a month, $192,000+ a week, or assuming a 7-day work week, $27,000+ per day. If he worked 16-hour days every single day (which is surely not the norm, but let’s go with it for the sake of the stressful argument), that’s $1,700+ per hour.
But sometimes they weep in private, right?
At least Morgan admitted that CEOs can be “ridiculously overpaid.” But trying to justify that with multimillionaire tears totally falls flat for the multimillions of people who work in stressful, underpaid jobs every day.
Twitter user Frankie Zelnick illustrated this point with a simple tweet in response to The Age’s article share.
Raise your hand if you’ve “literally wept” from stress at a job that paid you less than 40 grand a year 🙋♀️ https://t.co/KTSomQAyqh
“Raise your hand if you’ve ‘literally wept’ from stress at a job that paid you less than 40 grand a year,” she wrote.
The responses rolled in like thunder.
I make $13.50/hour. It’s retail, so I stand all day, and also have to coddle the emotions of abusive people. The walk-in is a good place to cry because it’s cold and people can’t see you through the peephole. I’ve had office jobs ($30k, $28k) where I cried outside on the street.
This is me hiding in the back after a particularly hard day dealing with customers who want to pretend that I’m the reason their lives are miserable and that tearing down my everything is the only way to fix it. Minimum wage. pic.twitter.com/qw2T43u6y4
I spent a year working in animal rescue for $10/hr. My building was near a trailhead, and I often used my half-hour lunch break to walk 15 minutes into the woods, scream at the top of my lungs, and then walk 15 minutes back.
— Glen “Deport the Nazis to Antarctica” Dower (@lEtoileduWord) March 2, 2019
For my last six months at a previous job I spent half an hour in my car having an anxiety attack six mornings a week for $34,000/year Canadian. In terms of hours I was expected to put in, I was working for less than half of minimum wage.
Funeral Arranger. Had to deal with grieving families. Childrens funerals. BABIES. Dressed and groomed bodies as well as admin. Facilitated viewings. When I demanded to be paid a living wage, CEO was outraged and told me to claim WFTC. For real. Spot the benefit scrounger.
Wept. Chronic panic attacks. Feelings of intense dread just at the thought of waking up in the morning knowing I’d have to go to work. Once I had a panic attack so bad at work, I literally passed out and had to go to the hospital.
I work in children services in the UK, we joke that you haven’t really made it as a social worker unless you have a breakdown in the kitchen/bathroom. Make less than £40,000, have huge case loads and we’re cutting the work force by 50%, and closing all our children centres.
An entire thread could have been dedicated to the pay/tears ratio of teachers.
Unless you have tried to educate a classroom full of kids, it’s hard to understand the amount of stress that goes along with the job. I started out as a teacher and while it’s a rewarding career in many ways, it’s also the hardest job I’ve ever had—and one of the worst paid per actual working hour. Every teacher I know has “literally wept” over their jobs, many while working other jobs to make ends meet.
I’m a teacher. Need I say more? The stress mostly comes from everything other than the actual teaching! Definite tears.
^ This. Quit shortly after one older student continued to verbally berate me & upper staff did nothing. Then, had to go to school for weeks in a panic b/c another of my students was dismissed for threating to shoot up the school.
Abusive students & admin are why I finally threw in the towel, too. It got so bad at one school that I cried every morning getting ready & started taking unpaid sick days when I ran out of PTO. I got out 4 years ago and still have issues from the stress and poor treatment.
I have a master’s degree, and breaking 24k is a good year. Yes, I have literally cried. (Be nice to your college profs. Adjuncts make literally nothing, are not guaranteed work, and don’t get any benefits.)
What stressed out millionaires don’t recognize is how much stress is caused by not having financial security.
Some users shared stories of how they couldn’t afford to take time off work, even for medical reasons.
I was having a miscarriage & my biannual class observation by the dept chair had been scheduled for months (I was an adjunct at the time making roughly 20K). I was afraid to cancel class & reschedule – I knew how easily I could be replaced. So I taught a 3 hour class in a diaper.
Others pointed out the ocean of difference between crying over a stressful job when you have more than enough money and crying over a stressful job when you’re poor. There’s just no comparison.
There’s a huge difference btw weeping at a job & then going home to a house you dont have to worry abt losing & kids you dont have to worry abt being able to feed, and weeping at a job & then going home to a place where nothing, not even food, is guaranteed bc you make min wage.
Worked a few min/wage and now 200k. Stress exists in both, but to compare is ignorant at best. Food is on the table, lights stay on, housing is paid, and bank accounts are fine. Garbage for CEOs to ask for sympathy here. Not the same stress, not even close.
When your work includes business meetings over rounds of golf and tables at 5-star restaurants, followed up by going home to a luxurious house that you can afford to pay someone to clean, and a retirement account worth more than most of us will make in our whole lifetimes, it’s hard to feel sorry for you, no matter how hard your job is.
Running a company is stressful, but so are millions of other people’s jobs that pay a tiny fraction of what most CEOs make—and without the perks. Dr. Morgan easily could have retired in comfort after his 9-year stint as Westpac’s CEO. Most of us have to work our butts off for our entire adult life to be able to stop working and still have food on the table.
So yeah. We know CEOs have tough jobs, but the teachers, social workers, non-profit employees, retail associates, and other underpaid, overstressed workers aren’t going to lose any sleep over anyone’s $1,000+/hr tears.
Dhananjay Motwani is thinking of an animal, and his 20 Questions opponent is, question by question, trying to figure out what it is.
“Is it larger than a microwave oven?” “Yes.” “Can it do tricks?” “Maybe.” “Is it a predator?” “No.” “Is it soft?” “No.” “Is it a vegetarian?” “Yes.”
What’s impressive here isn’t that the questioner is a computer; that’s old hat. It’s that the machine and Motwani are chatting in his blue Hyundai Sonata, trundling along one of Silicon Valley’s many freeways. The traffic, as it tends to be in this part of the country, is bad. The game is a good way not just to pass the time, but to show off what the Echo Auto can do as we creep toward the Sunnyvale lab where Amazon taught it to understand the human voice in the acoustic crucible that is the car.
Amazon introduced the road-going, Alexa-equipped device in September of last year, and started shipping to some customers in January. Amazon is working with some automakers to build Alexa into new cars, but the $50 Auto works with tens of millions of older vehicles already on the road: All you need is a power source (either a USB port or cigarette lighter) and a way to tap into the car’s speakers (Bluetooth or an aux cable).
About the size and shape of a cassette, the Echo Auto sits on your dashboard and brings 70,000 Alexa skills into your car. Its eight built-in microphones let you make phone calls, set reminders, compile shopping lists, find nearby restaurants and coffee shops, and hear Jake Gyllenhaal narrate The Great Gatsby.
Adding the Auto to a growing collection of Echo products makes sense. “There’s no better place for voice than in the car,” says Miriam Daniel, Amazon’s head of Echo products. Your hands are supposed to be on the wheel, your eyes on the road. But when she and her team started developing the thing about 18 months ago, they discovered that there’s no worse place than the car for making voice recognition actually work. “We thought the kitchen was the most challenging acoustic environment,” Daniel says. But family chatter and humming refrigerators proved easy to overcome compared to wind, air conditioning, rain, the radio, and road noise. “The car was like a war zone.”
To safely cross the aural minefield, Daniel’s team started by adapting the Echo’s hardware, software, and user interface to the car. That meant adjusting the device so it can handle being turned on and off frequently, and boot up in a few seconds instead of the minute and a half it took when they first tried it. The team adjusted its responses to be shorter. They added geolocation, so the device can point users to the nearest caffeine injection site. They disabled incoming “Drop Ins,” where approved friends and such can automatically connect to one’s Echo device for a chat.
Daniel’s team created new audio cues and streamlined the potentially distracting activity of the Auto’s LED bar. They gave it one tiny speaker to play the occasional error message, but chose to rely on the car’s audio system to do the heavy lifting, to reduce the Auto’s bulk and cost. They tested a variety of microphone arrays and settled on the dashboard as the best placement after eliminating the cupholder (far from the driver’s mouth and prone to rattling about), clipped onto an air vent (too noisy), and ceiling (would leave wires dangling all over the place).
At Amazon’s reliability lab, the Echo Auto endured climatic chambers, heat and UV exposure, drop tests—just what they sound like—and yank tests, in which a specialized device yanks cords out of the thing with different levels of force. Standard stuff for all Echo devices.
But making sure the Echo can hear you properly in a moving car took a new kind of test. That’s why Motwani, an Alexa product manager, is pondering large, not-soft herbivores while driving me to Amazon’s testing complex in Sunnyvale. The complex contains mocked up kitchens and living rooms, but I’m not allowed to see those. Instead Motwani leads me into a gray room the size of a one-car garage, most of it taken up by a black Honda Accord.
In the driver’s seat is what looks a bit like the upper bit of a crash test dummy, a head and shoulders mounted on a gray plastic box. The head features a black cross where a human has eyes and a nose, a pill-shaped opening for a mouth, and unsettlingly accurate, molded ears. Its maker, Head Acoustics, calls it an Artificial Head Measurement System with “the acoustically relevant structures of the human anatomy,” and it’s a common tool in audio testing. Also in the Honda are six large speakers, placed throughout the cabin.
Standing by the computers on a table against one wall, Motwani and two of his fellow Amazon engineers decide to start their demonstration at 40 mph, in the rain. A few keystrokes later, the speakers come to life, and the inside of the unmoving, sheltered car becomes an auditory facsimile of what it sounds like to drive through a storm: the pelting rain, the swiping windshield wipers, the engine running, the tires humming against the wet asphalt. They’ve collected these sounds by sending drivers into the wild in cars loaded up with microphones, then playing the sound recorded by each at the speaker in the same location.
From the computer, the engineers show off the other conditions the car can mimic: different speeds, changing weather conditions, windows up or down, talk radio or music blaring. This is where the dummy goes to work, and when I learn why its sole facial feature is a mouth, which is really a speaker. For up to 18 hours on end, it will talk to the Echo Auto sitting on the dash, calling out the same commands and queries over and over again. The team records Alexa’s responses, looking for weak points and misunderstandings. This is how machine learning happens: You feed your system as much data as you can find. And the process works best when that data is carefully selected (or created) to simulate what Alexa will be listening for.
Now that the Echo Auto has shipped to some customers, the garage-lab is focused on improving its performance in extreme conditions like convertibles and rain (though probably not the combination of the two). Like other Alexa products, it will keep getting better, and keep adding skills. But today, at least, it hasn’t bested the human mind: my ride with Motwani ended before it could figure out what animal he was thinking of. It was an elephant.
An Ode to…is a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.
Tiny House Hunters fills me with a rage I cannot describe, and I absolutely crave it.
The HGTV show, streaming on Hulu, is about people who are sick and tired of being able to stretch in their own home and instead choose to live in glorified mobile homes. It follows either a single person trying to move into the mountains, a couple on the verge of breaking up, or a family who doesn’t seem to get that children get bigger on their quest to find the perfect tiny house.
Frequent quotes from the show include “Wow, this is tiny,” or “There’s not a lot of storage in here,” and my personal favorite, “A king size bed won’t fit in this loft!”
These are all things you’d expect from a tiny house, but the people who end up on Tiny House Hunters seem to have deluded themselves into believing that tiny houses have some sort of TARDIS-like magic that makes an impossibly cramped 200 square foot space feel bigger on the inside.
On a typical episode, an exasperated realtor will show contestants three different, but equally hellish, tiny homes. At the end of the episode, the contestant(s) will sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each house on camera, bitching about the lack of a full-size dishwasher and reluctantly accepting a composting toilet, before settling on the worst possible choice. The final scenes of each episode shows the contestants settled into their tiny homes and resigned to constantly stepping on their partners.
And nothing brings me simultaneous hate and joy like yelling at the TV in my human-sized living room.
Others on social media feel the same anger I do when I watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters. I love how furious other people get watching it — it validates my own unbridled rage.
THIS BITCH ON TINY HOUSE HUNTERS WANTS ENTERTAINMENT SPACE, ROOM FOR MORE THAN ONE GUEST TO STAY OVER, A CRAFTS SPACE, FULL KITCHEN, BIG CLOSET, AND ROOM FOR 4 PETS. I’M ABOUT TO SCREAM AT THE TV LIKE A MAN WATCHING FOOTBALL
house hunters: we are downgrading to a tiny home but we want arts and crafts space, entertainment space, a room for my daughter, sleeping space for multiple guests at once, space for the 4 dogs, lots of storage, high ceilings, big bathroom
Episode 1: Hi, I’m Jarrrrrred with too many r’s. This is my friend who I am clearly banging named Too Good For Me. She thinks this is a bad idea because WIMMINS B SHOPPING and she probably thinks that she would like to not crack her head on the roof of my house
I am not hating on anyone who lives in a tiny house. Personally, I think they’re great, and love the idea of living somewhere with little impact on the environment. Given the chance, I would absolutely live in a tiny house. But would I live in a tiny house with three dogs, two sticky toddlers, and another fully grown human being? Absolutely fucking not. Tiny House Hunters is so rage-inducing because the contestants on the show manage to pick the worst houses and be in the worst circumstances for tiny house living.
My most vitriolic reaction to the show was during an especially cursed episode, when a couple bought a literal burned down shack surrounded by garbage for a massive $155,000. In a Slate interview, Aubree and Jordan explained that land in Los Angeles isn’t cheap, and that the fact that the patch of trash dirt was already zoned for residential living saved them thousands of dollars on permits.
To be fair, their reasoning does make sense. But in an infuriating follow-up interview published this year, the couple explained that after clearing the debris from the house and building a tiny guesthouse, they ran out of money and moved into the 18 by 18 foot guest house. Now they’re moving out of the property and into a full-size two bedroom home.
When Slate asked if they ever watch Tiny House Hunters, Aubree responded with “No, it’s triggering.”
As Roxane Gay wrote in Curbed, “When one aspires to own a tiny home, they have a corresponding tiny American dream.”
While some contestants on the show will probably thrive in a mobile tiny house, like most of the single people with pets, many seem to be trying to fix a deeper issue — whether it’s a couple desperately trying to fix their relationship by literally getting closer or a growing family that’s low on funds. Buying a tiny house like slapping on a bandaid after being mauled by a bear.
Like reading the worst posts on r/relationships or hate watching The Bachelor, I have a sick fascination with unpacking the characters of Tiny House Hunters. What makes anyone feel more alive than yelling at preventable disasters? You’ll probably love it, too.
Guidebooks highlight San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood for its lively bars and restaurants, nurtured by the removal of an earthquake-damaged freeway and swelling tech industry salaries. At Uber’s headquarters nearby, data scientists working on the company’s food delivery service, Uber Eats, view the scene through a more numerical lens.
Their logs indicates that restaurants in the area take an average of 12 minutes and 36 seconds to prepare an evening order of pad thai—that’s 3 minutes and 2 seconds faster than in the Mission District to the south. That stat may seem obscure, but it’s at the heart of Uber’s bid to build a second giant business to stand alongside its ride-hailing service.
Uber is fighting other well-funded startups and publicly listed GrubHub in the fast-growing market for food delivery apps. Winning market share and making the business profitable depend in part on predicting the future, down to the prep time of each noodle dish. Getting it wrong means cold food, unhappy drivers, or disloyal customers in a ruthlessly competitive market.
The mobile apps of Uber Eats and competitors such as DoorDash list menu items from local restaurants. When a user places an order, the delivery service passes it along to the restaurant. The service tries to dispatch a driver to arrive just as the food is ready, drawing on a pool of independent contractors, like in the ride-hailing business. Meanwhile, the customer is shown a prediction, to the nearest minute, of when their food will arrive.
“The more detail with which we can model the physical world, the more accurate we can be,” says Eric Gu, an engineering manager with Uber Eats’ data team. The company employs meteorologists to help predict the effect of rain or snow on orders and delivery times. To refine its predictions, it also tracks when drivers are sitting or standing still, driving, or walking—joining the growing ranks of employers monitoring their workers’ every move.
Improved accuracy can convert directly into dollars, for example by helping Uber combine orders so that drivers carry multiple meals without any getting cold. Drivers get a small bonus for ferrying multiple orders on one trip. “We can save on delivery costs and pass back some savings to the eater,” Gu says.
Four blocks away, Uber rival DoorDash has its own team of data mavens working on an AI-powered crystal ball for food deliveries. One of their findings is that sunset matters. People tend to order dinner when it’s dusk, meaning they eat later in summer and shift their habits when the clocks change in spring and fall. Like Uber, the company keeps a close eye on sports schedules and weather patterns, while also tracking prep times for the dishes offered at different restaurants. Company data indicates that pad thai takes 2 minutes longer to prepare Friday through Sunday than during the rest of the week, because kitchens are busier.
Rajat Shroff, vice president of product, says DoorDash data also clearly shows the connection between accurate delivery predictions and customer loyalty. “That’s driving a big chunk of our growth,” he says. The company was valued at $7 billion this month by investors who plowed in $400 million of fresh funding.
DoorDash has also been working to better understand what happens in restaurants, for example by connecting its systems with Chipotle’s in-house software so orders can be sent in more smoothly, and DoorDash can track how they’re progressing. The company has built a food-delivery simulator in which past data is replayed to test different scheduling and prediction algorithms. Both DoorDash and Uber use their data to offer drivers more money to head to areas where demand is expected to be strong.
Analytics company Second Measure says credit card data shows that DoorDash overtook Uber Eats for second place in US market share in November, behind GrubHub. As of January, the company says, GrubHub took 43 percent of food-delivery sales, compared with 31 percent for DoorDash and 26 percent for Uber Eats. DoorDash is a customer of Second Measure.
Still, DoorDash says it gets orders to customers in an average of 35 minutes. That’s slightly slower than the 31 minutes Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats for the US and Canada, says her service averages for the US.
Uber’s data scientists have a potentially big advantage over their competitors: the rich live and historical traffic data from the company’s ride-hailing network. The company is also digging more deeply into its data on restaurants and Uber Eats drivers.
One project involves analyzing the language on restaurant menus. The goal is to have algorithms predict prep times for dishes it doesn’t yet have good data about by pulling data from menu items that involve similar ingredients and cooking processes.
Chris Muller, a professor at Boston University, says the data-centric view of dining taken by Uber Eats and its competitors is helping to drive a major upheaval of the restaurant business. “This is the biggest single transformation since we saw the growth of fast casual” chains like Chipotle that promise speedy meals of higher quality than fast food.
Joe Hargrave, who grew a farmers’ market stand into five Bay Area taco shops, is living through the food app transformation. He designed his Tacolicious stores for people who share his love of good food you can eat with your fingers while watching baseball. Now, more of his customers are eating their tacos at home, and delivery has become a lifeline.
Orders via apps including DoorDash and Caviar make up about 12 percent of Hargrave’s business, he says. They’ve helped revenue grow 8 percent over the past year, even while in-store business shrank by roughly a quarter. He appreciates what the apps do, but accommodating the delivery boom hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve spent my whole career trying to figure out how to put the best product in front of people,” Hargrave says. “Now I’ve been thrown this curveball where I have to put it in a box.” Tacolicious switched its register system to better handle delivery orders without compromising in-store service. There’s now often a person in each restaurant working exclusively on packaging and checking delivery orders.
Muller and Hargrave say the app-and-algorithm approach to dining can squeeze conventional restaurants and could even put some out of business. Uber’s standard cut of each order is 30 percent, a significant bite in a traditionally low-margin industry. Even restaurants like Tacolicious that accommodate delivery services must also serve people who walk in the door.
That’s one reason Uber is encouraging the development of “virtual restaurants,” which operate out of an existing restaurant’s kitchen but sell only via its app. Uber said last year that it was working with more than 800 virtual restaurants in the US; many operate during hours when a restaurant’s main business is slack or closed, allowing more efficient operation and use of the property.
Uber and DoorDash also work with so-called dark kitchens, operations that serve only via delivery apps and can be more efficient and predictable than conventional restaurants. DoorDash operates a 2,000-square-foot kitchen space in the Bay Area that it rents to such operators.
Muller likens the arrival of Uber Eats and others to how online travel sites shook up the hotel industry, forcing hoteliers to adapt their business models to a market where consumers are more engaged, driving more visits, but at lower prices.
How lucrative this new form of restaurant business will be is unclear. Uber has previously said its service is profitable in some cities, but financials released for the last quarter of 2018 didn’t offer detail about Uber Eats. In all, the company said it lost $940 million, 40 percent more than the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2018, the company said Uber Eats accounted for 17 percent, or $2.1 billion, of its worldwide gross bookings.
GrubHub has been consistently profitable since it went public in 2014 and sold $1.4 billion worth of food in the final quarter of 2018, an increase of 21 percent over the previous year. But it also reported a small loss after a big jump in marketing spending. GrubHub’s management told investors that competition wasn’t harming growth, but analysts interpreted the company’s results as showing how the rise of DoorDash and Uber Eats will put all the delivery apps under pressure.
Uber and DoorDash both declined to provide more detail about their businesses but are rapidly expanding their reach. DoorDash says it covers 80 percent of the US population, and Uber Eats claims to have reached more than 70 percent, in addition to serving more than 100 cities in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Sallenave, the Uber Eats head for the US and Canada, predicts eating via app will become the norm everywhere, not just in urban areas. “We fundamentally believe we can make this business economically viable, not only in large cities but also in small towns and in the suburbs,” she says.
Multiple parents have reported that their children have seen the scary image of the bug-eyed, black-haired girl spliced into YouTube Kids videos, Fortnite, and Peppa Pig.
Momo is actually a sculpture called “Mother Bird” originally created by the Japanese firm Link Factory. The company claims to have no involvement with the suicide game, but that hasn’t stopped its image from being used to scare children into thinking it’s a living, breathing entity.
Once it cuts into the screen, the Momo character asks kids to contact her and give her their phone number. They are then sent instructions to self-harm via WhatsApp or other online platforms, often along with death threats to the player or the player’s family for not complying. Several kids have cited that Momo has told them they “will be killed in their sleep” if they don’t follow through. Refusal can also “trigger [other] abusive messaging and their mobile device being hacked,” according to a parent fact sheet created by South West News Service. The last challenge is for the player to commit suicide so they can meet “Mother Bird.”
While the challenge has invaded many countries globally — including the U.S. and Canada — concern is particularly running rampant in Europe as of late. It was ignited by a viral story of an 8-year-old from Edinburgh, U.K. who was told by Momo to put a knife to his neck.
“He showed me an image of the face on my phone and said that she had told him to go into the kitchen drawer and take out a knife and put it into his neck,” the boy’s mother, Lyn Dixon, told the Daily Mail on Tuesday. “We’ve told him it’s a load of rubbish and there are bad people out there who do bad things but it’s frightening, really frightening.”
The 8-year-old has remained haunted by the scarring image for months, particularly after another recent encounter… and he’s far from the only one.
Since the story started spreading like wildfire yesterday, schools, police, and parents who say their kids, too, have seen Momo are issuing warnings.
Law enforcement is encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the importance of resisting the pressure to follow harmful instructions or those that require you to give up personal information.
“Even basic open source research suggests that ‘Momo’ is run by hackers who are looking for personal info,” wrote PSNI Craigavon. “The danger lies with your child feeling pressured to either follow the orders of ANY app via ‘challenges,’ or peer pressure in chat rooms and the like … More important is that your child knows not to give out personal info to ANYONE they don’t know, that no one has the right to tell them to, or make them do ANYTHING they don’t want to.”
“Our advice as always, is to supervise the games your kids play and be extremely mindful of the videos they are watching on YouTube. Ensure that the devices they have access to are restricted to age-suitable content.”
Though the latest scare is Momo surfacing on YouTube Kids, Peppa Pig, and Fortnite, the creepy creature had its beginnings on WhatsApp. CBS News reached out to the company for comment.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told CBS this week. “It’s easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages to us so we can take action.”
YouTube is also under fire from parents outraged that their filters are not tighter.
But, ignoring orders, he soon began having snowball fights and making friends.
His parents too, rebuked orders, refusing to requisition a house from a German family, and instead deciding to share it with them.
The family story was recorded by Kim’s son, Rhidian Brook, in a novel The Aftermath, published in 2013.
It has now been released as a film, with actress Keira Knightley starring as Rachel, a character loosely inspired by Kim’s late mother, Anthea.
“I am very proud of my son, Rhidian, for writing this story and recording our family history,” said Kim, now 80 and living in Brecon.
“But I am also so proud of my parents.
“They had a Welsh heritage and they took this welcoming and generous spirit with them to Germany.”
Much of the book and film focuses on the character of Kim’s dad Walter – Lewis in the film.
Born in 1895, Walter grew up on a farm near Presteigne, Powys.
He was stationed in Egypt and Arabia during World War One, becoming friends with T.E Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – who impressed Walter with the way he managed to unite the Arabs.
During World War Two, Walter was then tasked with contributing to the rebuilding of government in Germany once the war was over.
Kim said: “I remember he sent home lots of letters and photos.
“I also saw pictures in weekly magazines of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, so I knew a bit of what to expect.”
Still, arriving in Hamburg – recently completely destroyed by a strategic bombing campaign by the Allies – was a shock.
“I recall meeting with dad, then being driven through miles of ruins,” he said.
“There was literally nothing standing, and lots of the ruins had black crosses on them, marking the dead bodies.
“The desperation and starvation was in your face.”
As the Allies were determined no former Nazis were going to be in positions of responsibility, Walter was installed as Governor to Pinneburg, a district just west of the city of Hamburg.
He was given use of a local mansion, but instead of ordering the German owners to leave, instead opted to share the property with businessman Wilhelm Ladiges, his wife Erika, daughter Heike, seven, and sons Theo, 12 and Holger, five.
The Ladiges had the first floor and the Brooks the ground floor, but both families shared a kitchen in the basement.
Kim recalls: “We were told not to really talk to the Ladiges, even though they had been as anti-Hitler as anyone dared during the war.
“We were meant to display dignified curtness, but it was an extremely cold winter, so we wanted to have snowball fights.
“I soon learnt German and began to play with Heike in the countryside. We climbed trees and played hopscotch.”
His ability to break down barriers earned him the nickname Der Eisbrecher or the ice-breaker.
But it wasn’t just the children who formed relationships.
Kim said: “During Christmas 1947, I remember us children dressing up in sheets and the two families singing Silent Night in German around the tree.
“Both sets of parents had tears rolling down their cheeks and, after that, the relationship moved on with greater warmth and understanding.”
Once warmer weather arrived, the Brooks began taking Heike with them on their trips to the seaside.
Kim said: “It wasn’t allowed, so she had to hide in the car’s footwell in case we bumped into military police.
“But she was treated as an equal, and this was important. We weren’t quite so nice to the kids we knew had been members of the Hitler Youth.”
In total, Kim lived in Germany for four and a half years, returning to Britain for boarding school aged 13, with the whole family leaving in 1951.
He and Heike remained pen pals, but it was 15 years before they saw each other again.
By then, they were both married with children of their own.
These children, on both sides, heard stories of their parents’ unusual upbringing, but it was Rhidian, 54, Kim’s eldest son, who put pen to paper.
The film rights were subsequently bought, but the plot is very different to the real story, containing fictional affairs and assassination attempts.
Kim said: “We travelled to Germany to see some of the filming.
“We met Keira Knightly and the actors Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke.
“They were so nice to us, and intrigued to hear the real story.”
Kim, who still speaks German, also remains in contact with Heike.
He said: “She doesn’t resent the fact that British moved into her home.
“It is clear she admired my father and was fond of us.
“My dad always used to say he wasn’t interested in revenge or retribution.
“His job was to rebuild and to create reconciliation.”
‘The unsung peacemakers’
Rhidian, 54, said he wanted to write the story to celebrate those forgotten in history books.
He said: “I am a novelist and enjoy fiction, so I took the original story and reinvented it.
“I wanted to imagine what a woman – like my grandmother – might have felt having to share a house with a German family and follow her journey from resentment and prejudice to acceptance and understanding.”
He added: “All too often, history records the battles and tanks and the names of the generals of war.
“To me, though, I wanted to record the unsung peacemakers and the people who put things back together.
“Both the book and film are about how people and cities and infrastructure are mended when they are broken.
“This bit of history is constructive, not destructive, but it is just as important.”
Every once in a while, I’ll open something up that hasn’t seen the light of day for a while. One of my kids’ baby boxes, a closet in my mother’s house, or a box of old files. It always yields discoveries, forgotten memories and much more. Sometimes I’ll open something up because it needs to be cleaned or fixed, as was the case recently with my father’s 1955 Seeberg jukebox, long sitting idle in the basement. As with anything that is aging and has moving parts, it needed some care, my father long having left this life and his jukebox behind.
A rare quiet hour with a piece of your childhood can reveal much. It gets you thinking. Here’s what I found amid the ancient parts, tangles of wires and 30 years of dust.
I think the intensity of today’s life, fueled by a ravenous and omnipresent digital media makes us long for a simpler time. I can’t rightly be nostalgic for the 50’s, because I didn’t live during them. But I can imagine what it was like at the advent of television, the wonder created by post-war American innovation and the pride our country felt having saved the world from Nazism, the clarity of purpose we had fighting communism. As I combed over the vacuum tubes and smelled that unique aroma of old electrical components heating up, I couldn’t help but feel the need to unplug more.
When the jukebox was king and record players were a staple in our homes, people mattered more. Relationships mattered more. Families sat around the kitchen table and talked. Children played using their imagination – outside of all places. Neighbors came over for coffee. We gathered around the phone for that long-distance call or happy birthday wish. That doesn’t happen much anymore. It’s been replaced by ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ on Facebook.
Peering into the intricate innards of dad’s jukebox I also found perspective on how far we’ve come as a nation in a relatively short time. For those who face injustice, any amount of time to forge progress is too long, but still, in today’s victim culture and chorus of negative viewpoints on the state of our nation, thinking back to where we were as a country in 1955 is certainly worthwhile.
When dad’s jukebox was new and blaring out Bill Haley and the Comets as the centerpiece of some sock hop or saloon, America was a segregated country. Young black girls were being escorted to school by soldiers. Brown vs. Board of Education had only been decided the year before. It would still be 10 years until the Civil Rights Act. Martin Luther King was far from a household name.
Just like freedom and democracy, technology requires responsibility on our part to ensure we don’t lose our humanity in cold technology. The alternative is being enslaved by computers.
Racism wasn’t about a governor wearing blackface in a yearbook or a throw-away line from some talking head or politician. It was institutional, endemic and often protected by law. It wasn’t that long ago. We would do well to remember that we’ve come a long way toward a more perfect union.
Watching the hulking Select-O-Matic squeaking and clicking past the two-hundred 45s, I felt a sense of awe at today’s technology as well. I pulled out my phone. There is a whole world at our fingertips today. There are positives and negatives of that to be sure.
The jukebox brought people music. That old cabinet television in the wall brought family-friendly entertainment into our living rooms. That new car expanded our horizons.
The other day my kids were watching a commercial that was inappropriate. Today, Americans are more stressed and suffering from more mental illness. Much of our changing attitudes can be traced to how we interface with technology. We’re more jaded and often dour as a people. Too many of us grab for the phone the moment we get up. We take more work home with us. We read for pleasure less than ever before. We socialize less.
We are on the verge of significant advances in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics and even more computerization. Will our 21st-century advances lead to more freedom, free time and a better quality of life? I’m at best skeptical based on recent history.
Just like freedom and democracy, technology requires responsibility on our part to ensure we don’t lose our humanity in cold technology. The alternative is being enslaved by computers.
Closing the glass top and locking the back, I couldn’t help but think about everything that will happen in my life and the life of a nation until those leads, tubes and connections are exposed again. We spend so much time predicting the future, but we can learn so much about our present by taking a little time to peer into our past. You never know what you’ll find when you try – even inside dad’s old jukebox.
Tom Basile is a former Bush Administration official, SiriusXM Contributor, columnist and author of “Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq.” Follow him on Twitter at @Tom_Basile or at www.TomBasile.com.
Lewis Hamilton wants to zoom on out of 443 Greenwich St.
The star Formula One race car driver has listed his sprawling 8,900-square-foot penthouse there for $57 million. Hamilton bought the unit for $43.99 million in 2017 and never lived there.
That eye-popping price — “out-of-whack with reality” — has raised eyebrows even within the star-studded building, sources say. Hamilton has bought another penthouse at 70 Vestry St., also in Tribeca, for around $40.7 million.
Famous residents include Meg Ryan, Rebel Wilson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Bieland Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The Weeknd and Bella Hadid rent a $60,000/month penthouse there, while Jennifer Lawrence rents out an apartment she owns.
Hamilton’s five-bedroom triplex, which includes six bathrooms and two half baths, features 3,400 square feet of outdoor space and a pool. It is anchored by a 20-foot great room, a chef’s kitchen outfitted with Christopher Peacock cabinetry, a library/den with a gas fireplace, an internal private elevator, and a top terrace level with glass walls.
The Real Deal, which first reported the listing, noted that Jet.com’s founder Marc Lore paid $43.8 million for his 443 Greenwich penthouse, which also featured a pool.
These in-unit pools are in addition to the shared indoor pool, which is just one of the former factory’s amenities — along with a gym, his and hers locker rooms, a hammam and a 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace.
The Hamilton penthouse includes the sale of two parking spots; he owns another two. The building only has 15 spaces.
The listing broker, Mara Papasoff, of Brown Harris Stevens, declined to comment.
Northern lights, step aside. It’s the South Pole’s time to shine.
Very few of us will ever get to witness the spectacular light show that is the aurora australis. With incredibly strong winds and temperatures below -95°F, it’s nearly impossible to film there, too.
Shot by Robert Schwartz, a technician at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, special equipment was created to keep the cameras running all night. The footage captured is a soothing and magical sight to behold.
While you may not be able to localize these lights entirely in your kitchen, you can view this natural wonder online, anytime.
A mother in California says her daughter is the latest victim and that it nearly cost her family their lives, CBS News reports.
Momo, the sculpture-turned-WhatsApp-meme, has hadparents, , and even Kim Kardashianspeaking out against a viral challenge reportedly hidden in YouTube Kids videos. If four years worth of urban myths are anything to go by, the terrifying character instructs viewers to perform increasingly dangerous acts until she finally demands they kill themselves.
According to Pearl Woods, her 12-year-old daughter with autism, Zoey, began exhibiting unusual behavior and mentioning Momo a few weeks ago. “Where is ‘suicide’ coming from? Why would she ask me about a knife into an outlet?” Woods said, per CBS.
Though Woods said she monitors what her daughter watches, reports say Momo is often snuck into the middle of videos, past when parents might have stopped screening it. Woods said last weekend, the situation nearly became explosive when Zoey turned on the gas kitchen stove without lighting it, flooding the place with gas.
“Just another minute, she could’ve blown up my apartment, she could’ve hurt herself, other people, beyond scary,” Woods said.
After that incident, Woods said she started finding Momo clips spliced into the videos Zoey watched. “It was Momo making bad videos,” Zoey reportedly said. “It was bad.”
It’s unclear what videos Pearl Woods and her daughter saw that included images of Momo. told the Daily Dot earlier this week that it had found no evidence of the challenge and that such content would be removed for violating its policies. Real or not, authorities are warning parents to pay close attention to what their children watch online.