Why is vanilla bland?

Plus, waiting for Starbucks.
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

Tech Trivia:

How long have humans been harnessing solar power?

Hint: Since way before the '70s!


(Scroll to the bottom to find the answer)

Wait times holding Starbucks back | LinkedIn

“Starbucks is on a mission to make its Frappuccinos and other multi-ingredient drinks faster, Bloomberg reports. It’s spending billions of dollars toward that goal, including buying new equipment, making operations more efficient and using smaller ice cubes, which are easier to scoop. More than a third of customers have to wait more than five minutes to get their drink after placing their order, according to surveys from researcher Technomic. The long wait times are due in part to long menus and customized drinks.”

‘Woof! Woof! Ruff! Woof!’ | BarkBox

Roughly translated, that means, “Happy National Dog Week!” Our friends at BarkBox want to help you celebrate the week dedicated to the pups in our life we love so much. The spooky season’s around the corner, there’s no better time to get your pup (or pups, for the truly dedicated) their very own BarkBox. That’s because, for a limited time, you’ll get a free dog skeleton hoodie in your first box! [Ad]

What makes TikTok so thirsty for Joe Burrow? | Washington Post

“Like any story idea that initially prompts my colleagues to laugh in my face, this one needed science — and luckily, science has been studying human attraction for decades. Even better, some scientists have spent considerable time researching the attractiveness of quarterbacks.”

How did vanilla become a byword for blandness? | New York Times

“If, presented with all the ice cream flavors in the world, you ask for vanilla, you are making a declaration: ‘Not for me a life of adventure. I choose the road more taken.’ This is the default, the dead end, where imagination is extinguished. In idiomatic usage, per the dictionary, ‘vanilla’ (or, more damningly, ‘plain vanilla,’ as if that were not redundant) means ‘having no special or extra features.’ So: the bare minimum, the absence of flourish, the annihilation of fun — buttoned-up and bougie, innocuousness incarnate. In a word, a bore.”

Make travel easy — like, really easy | CALPAK

Imagine traveling without having to worry about your luggage, from packing to hauling it around the airport to worrying about it after you've checked your biggest piece. That's exactly why the CALPAK Evry Starter Bundle exists. The Evry Starter Bundle features a carry-on, large check-in luggage, 3 packing cubes, 2 pouches, and 1 luggage tag. The Evry Starter Bundle is strong, impeccably made, and looks good. Look stylish at the airport, feel organized, and focus on the joy of getting there (almost) as much as the destination itself. [Ad]

How to tag your pets in the Photos app in iOS 17 | Apple Insider

“Pets are just as important as people, and finding the right picture of them within your abundance of photos may be tricky. Being able to tag them by name eliminates this issue and allows you to quickly find the best picture of them. Whether you're looking for a specific picture, or want the Photos app to create a slideshow of just your pet, tagging them will make these processes more efficient.”

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The correct answer: Over 2700 years ago.

The correct answer: Over 2700 years ago.

According to The DC Sustainable Energy Utility: “In 700 BC glass lenses were used to make fire by magnifying the sun’s rays. Greeks and Romans use to create buildings with south facing windows to allow the sun to heat and light indoor spaces.”