In case you didn’t notice, Trader Joe recently sailed its way into the current culture war when it went back on its pledge to rebrand several of its ethnically-themed products. A petition (started by a high school senior) had taken the grocer to task for the perhaps pejorative way it names certain items, causing the grocer to at first promise reevaluation and change, and then to double down.
Last week, we described the nearly untenable position retailers find themselves in as they necessarily mandate in-store mask use for locations across the country but do so without a national order in place, leaving them to enforce policies even in states that do not require masks at this time. As we asked last week, how, particularly as the mask divide gets increasingly contentious, are retailers to enforce their policies?
We have previously described and lamented the politicization of face masks, our single greatest weapon against coronavirus this side of a vaccine, but, as coronavirus numbers reach previously unfathomable peaks seemingly every day, we have to talk about them again.
White Castle, purveyors of tiny burgers and stoner fantasies, is running a pilot program testing a kitchen robot called Flippy, which will take over some kitchen duties like running the fryer and grill. That’s right, before we get robot umpires to definitively call balls and strikes or robot lifeguards to keep our swimmers safe, we are getting an almost fully autonomous robot in a QSR kitchen. This is likely a sign of things to come, with automation and robotics assuming back-of-house tasks with increasing frequency and efficiency though this could lead to some serious Matrix-level dystopia.
When I turned 30, I gave up driving entirely. Your humble blogger, you see, has a bit of an aggressive personality, and I came to realize that I was making myself and everybody around me miserable when I was on the road (I also got like 4 tickets in two months, surely a soCal record). My abdication of the drivers’ seat was well-timed, however, and I easily transitioned from the front seat of my Civic to the back seat of the burgeoning ride-share economy.