Friday Four

Friday, May 01, 2015

1. I have noted before that Little Man doesn't let his still-limited vocabulary prevent him from communicating. Sometimes, before we take off in the car, I offer the kids snacks or drinks. Since he hasn't realized he could just say no if he isn't interested, my son taps the item with his foot as I offer it, if he doesn't want it.

2. Is the hotel mini-bar on its way out? That's the impression I get from an interesting piece about this innovation from the 1960s. The article quotes one hotelier:

We had eight full-time mini-bar staffers who each checked 150 rooms a day [and] they simply couldn't get to every room every day. Plus, we found that guests weren't using the mini-bars as much as one would think. In Times Square, many retail outlets are open 24/7, so beverages and snacks are available everywhere, all the time. In addition, some mini-bar items have expiration dates, and we were throwing items away. It was a pure business decision: mini-bars were not profitable.
The article incidentally reminded me of the following question at Leonard Peikoff's web site:
A situation discussed in the New York Times: A man checked in to a hotel and ate the $6 box of Oreos in the minibar. Later that day he replenished the Oreos in the minibar with store bought Oreos before the minibar was restocked. Is this proper? [format edits]
To the answer, I find that, in today's cultural context, I can only add, "Yuck!"

3. Word to the wise: No matter how much your kid begs you for "more experiments", never store dry ice in a vacuum flask:
Well, I can't be the first person to do this, surely? Indeed, a quick google shows that the Thermos webpage explicitly says to not put dry ice in one as it may cause the top "to eject forcefully" -- a lovely piece of understatement there. So I found a dry-ice supplier in London, and rang them to ask what to do. [minor edits]
On top of this being a Very Bad Idea, nobody the author called after doing this had a clue what to do about it. He had to improvise.

4. Uber, having already broken new ground in personal transportation, is now experimenting with providing same-day delivery service. According to TechCruch, over 400 retailers are at least in talks with Uber regarding the idea.

-- CAV


Today: Minor corrections. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

My brother works at a manufacturing facility and someone thought it would be funny to put dry ice in a 2 liter coke bottle on the shop floor.

When it exploded, the area was evacuated as no one knew what it was and there was some fear of an industrial accident in the making.

As it turns out, it damaged one of the tail assemblies even though said assembly stood quite some distance above the floor.

I can only imagine what the overpressure would have done to someone's eardrums had they been in close proximity.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Please tell me this was someone new...