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L.A.-based ice cream man Joe Nicchi charges 'influencers' double for cones
He says his company would survive even if Instagram disappeared tomorrow.
- Los Angeles truck, CVT Soft Serve, charges people asking for free ice cream $8 for per cone instead of $4.
- The truck's founder, Joe Nicchi, highlights the message in the hashtag, #WeLoveMostOfOurCustomers.
- Nicchi does not appreciate "influencers" asking for free food when he has a business to run.
Food trucks are essential to Los Angeles. It's difficult to drive a few blocks without stumbling into a handful; in my neighborhood, taco trucks reign supreme. About a dozen miles away over the Hollywood Hills, an ice cream truck has figured out a way to stand out, a challenging task in an oversaturated market: charge influencers double.
It wasn't even a marketing ploy. The truck's founder, Joe Nicchi, simply got fed up with "influencers" asking for free cones to share photos of on Instagram. Employing the hashtag #InfluencersAreGross, Nicchi, who drives one of CVT Soft Serve's two trucks around the Valley (among other parts of Los Angeles), recently posted this sign on his truck. As he told The Guardian,
"We're the anti-influencer influencers. It's weird… but I think it's really fun. I hope it inspires small businesses to hold their own and tell people to f— off."
Nicchi, like many in the City of Angels, is an actor who needed to earn a living while hustling from audition to audition. Instead of going the usual route — instructing yoga replaced waiting tables years ago — he decided to appeal to our collective sweet tooth. He rolled out his first CVT truck in 2014.
Is there a dark side to social media influencers? | The Stream
It's not only the $4 cone the greedy and privileged seek. One famous actor requested free ice cream for her entire crew in exchange for a photo. The whole idea is reminiscent of the rumor that Salvador Dali used to pay for his dinner by signing the bill instead of forking over cash. Yet Dali was not alive during a time when anyone can pay for tens of thousands of followers and then set up shop for doing nothing but snapping photos. The current story invokes less romance.
Beyond the demand for free stuff, influencer culture has become dangerous. Agencies are rushing in to manage and curate personalities, many of whom have no particular skills beyond looking appealing on camera. While there are certainly positive benefits to social media, such as women openly discussing overcoming eating disorders, there are plenty of factors working against the mental and physical health of the influenced.
Take Kim Kardashian's recent announcement that she's vegan. The context is not a war against animal cruelty; it's not even about better health. She declared that a plant-based diet is the reason her waist is now skinny. Veganism is her response to the charge that she had ribs removed in order to fit into a particular dress.
The real issue is the revival of corset training, a 19th century fashion that carries a host of potential health issues, including breathing problems from lung restriction, atrophying of back and pectoral muscles, and the possibility of fractured ribs. That the influenced are putting their health at danger by wearing a device that does nothing to actually promote weight loss or better health is a shameless consequence of unfettered capitalism using social media posts as subterfuge.
This is what happens when influencers wield #science without realizing a hashtag doesn't actually reflect the real world. The Kardashians have a vested interest in followers buying corsets and it has nothing to do with health. Sponsorships and clothing lines are the motivating factor behind the revival of a practice that should have been left in the Victorian era, especially when we should be influenced by #equalpay, not looking like a cartoon.
Back in the real world, Nicchi notes that CVT would survive even if Instagram disappeared tomorrow. Not only will good ice cream outlast every silly trend, but the whole debacle points to something much more humane in us: supporting small businesses. He hopes the recent press will help influence the fact that small business owners don't have to be held hostage to entitled clientele with loud fingers.
"There's something so redeeming about outing influencers," he says. "I hope that more people do not allow likes and comments and followers to hold weight in the business. I want people to go to a restaurant because the food and service is fantastic."
What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.
- Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
- The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
- The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
Jet bursting out of a blazar. Black-hole-powered galaxies called blazars are the most common sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Cosmic death beams: Understanding gamma ray bursts<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="cu2knVEk" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c6cfd20fdf31c82cb206ade8ce21ba3f"> <div id="botr_cu2knVEk_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/cu2knVEk-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/cu2knVEk-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.
- The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
- According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
- "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."
Puerto Rico's iconic telescope facilitated important scientific discoveries while inspiring young scientists and the public imagination.
- The Arecibo Observatory's main telescope collapsed on Tuesday morning.
- Although officials had been planning to demolish the telescope, the accident marked an unceremonious end to a beloved astronomical tool.
- The Arecibo radio telescope has facilitated many discoveries in astronomy, including the mapping of near-Earth asteroids and the detection of exoplanets.
Bradley Rivera via twitter.com<p>In 1963, the concave dish was built into a natural sinkhole on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The location was <a href="https://www.space.com/20984-arecibo-observatory.html" target="_blank">picked because it was near the equator,</a> providing scientists a clear view of planets passing overhead, and also of the ionosphere, which is the uniquely reactive layer of Earth's upper atmosphere where the northern lights form.</p><p>Since its construction, scientists have used the Arecibo telescope to map near-Earth asteroids, detect gravitational waves, study pulsars, detect exoplanets and <a href="https://www.seti.org/goodbye-arecibo" target="_blank">search for alien civilizations</a>, among other projects. Here's a brief look at some of the discoveries and accomplishments made using the Arecibo telescope:</p><ul><li>1964: Astronomer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Pettengill" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gordon Pettengill</a> discovers that Mercury's rotation period is 59 days, significantly shorter than the previous prediction of 88 days.</li><li>1974: Physicists Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. discovers the first binary pulsar, for which they won a Nobel Prize in Physics.</li><li>1974: Scientists use the telescope to transmit the "Arecibo message" to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Globular_Cluster_in_Hercules" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">globular star cluster M13</a>. The message, when translated into image form, contains basic information about humanity and human knowledge: the numbers one to 10, a map of our solar system, an illustration of a human being, and the atomic numbers of certain elements.</li><li>1989: Scientists use the telescope to image an asteroid for the first time.</li><li>1992: Astronomers Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail become the first to discover exoplanets.</li></ul>
The Google-owned company developed a system that can reliably predict the 3D shapes of proteins.