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Meet Pantone 448 C, "The ugliest color in the world"

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According to Wikipedia, Pantone 448 C has been dubbed "The ugliest colour in the world."

Described as a "drab dark brown," it was selected in 2016 as the colour for plain tobacco and cigarette packaging in Australia, after market researchers determined that it was the least attractive colour. The Australian Department of Health initially referred to the color as "olive green," but the name was changed after concerns were expressed by the Australian Olive Association.

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j_k
8 hours ago
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‘The Mandalorian’ Set Photos Reveal Seamless “Stagecraft” Technology at Work

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The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

Even though Disney+ spent a lot of money to get the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian off the ground, they still had to be a little more conservative with the budget than they are with the feature films. Instead of building massive sets, Lucasfilm is utilizing new “Stagecraft” technology that uses a rear-projected LED screen to create a reactive environment that essentially works as am immersive real-time green screen. Now, thanks to new set photos from behind the scenes, we can see the Stagecraft tech at work.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

Here’s a wide glimpse at the Stagecraft being utilized in the opening scene of The Mandalorian from the first episode. As you can see, the screen surrounds the entire set and allows the crew to shoot from any angle. The technology allows the screens to change how the environment looks based on how a scene is being shot.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

So if the camera is panning along with a character (as above), the perspective of the environment moves as the camera does, recreating what it would be like if a camera were moving in that physical space. You can get a better idea of how this is achieved over here.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

This is especially helpful when you have a shot featuring a character in fast motion across a big environment. For example, here’s a shot of Kuiil riding a blurrg with Baby Yoda in hand, trying to make it back to The Mandalorian’s ship the Razor Crest as Imperial Scout Troopers are in pursuit. The screens surround the actor and allow for seamless depiction of him riding through the desert.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

It’s not just sparse landscapes where the Stagecraft screens are helpful either. In this shot from the sixth episode of the series, you can see the busy background of the docking bay on Ranzar Malk’s ship. Parts are strewn all over the place, and sparks fly from people fixing their ships. It would take countless props and crew members to bring that set to life in the real world. But here, it’s created digitally, with the assistance of physical foreground pieces to help blend the real with the digital.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

Sometimes the screen technology is used to complete the partial, practical ship used on set. As you can see above, screens around and above a half-completed version of the ship extend the set digitally. It’s much cheaper than building the entire ship itself, and the perspective change allows them to shoot it from any angle and still see the entire ship.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

The Stagecraft technique is even used for some shots of the Razor Crest in space. Again, a completed practical ship isn’t needed, and the screens allows the camera to move around the cockpit of the ship without having to worry about replacing a green screen in post-production with visual effects. Yes, sometimes some touching up is required to get rid of the visible seams of the screen itself, but that’s far less work than building the entire ship digitally and matching it to camera angles that way.

The Mandalorian Stagecraft Photos

This kind of tech is truly a gamechanger. It’s not something everybody can do since it’s still expensive. But it’s cheaper and more efficient. As time goes on and the technology becomes easier to replicate, this could not only make blockbuster production less risky, but it could allow independent productions to pull off higher production quality without breaking the bank. We’re very interested to see how this technology evolves in the future.

All photos come from the latest issue of the American Cinematographer (via The VP Movie Club). You can learn more about how The Mandalorian was shot with this technology in a recent episode of the Go Creative Show podcast featuring an interview with cinematographer Baz Idoine right here.

The post ‘The Mandalorian’ Set Photos Reveal Seamless “Stagecraft” Technology at Work appeared first on /Film.

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j_k
10 hours ago
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The Critical Points: How much are Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats really costing you?

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Each week in his column “The Critical Points,” TPG Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr presents his opinion on a loyalty program, card product or recent news that he believes is overlooked, unsung or the result of groupthink taking mass opinion in a direction with which he doesn’t agree. His goal is not necessarily to convince you to agree with his position but rather to induce critical thought for each of the topics and positions he covers.

When Chase announced changes to its popular Chase Sapphire Reserve card — including a higher annual fee along with the addition of Lyft benefits, DoorDash credits and a DashPass membership — I wanted to know the exact impact to cardholders. After all, a $100 increase in an annual fee should include a proportional boost to the card’s value proposition. So I began scrolling through the local restaurants in DoorDash, and I quickly saw the prices listed through the app seemed to be noticeably high.

This (naturally) got me thinking about food delivery apps in general. The area I live in (south of the Atlanta metro area) only entered the service area for companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub within the last year. While I’ve used them a few times, I’ve always paid with Uber credits from The Platinum Card® from American Express or the monthly $10 in Grubhub credit from the American Express® Gold Card.

This has kept me from truly paying attention to the food prices and the overall amount I am paying for the convenience of food showing up at my house. I know that many people use these services daily, so I thought it’d be interesting to show how much these apps are really costing you.

The research

I decided to do a quick research project comparing the cost of food on a restaurant’s own menu with the prices for the same food in the food delivery apps. I priced hypothetical meals for two people, then added in any stated service charges, applicable delivery fees and tax. Here are the results for four restaurants in my local area that are available on all three apps.

KFC

Item Restaurant Uber Eats DoorDash Grubhub
8-piece meal $22.49 $20.00 $23.49 $22.49
Service fee $0 $3.60 $4.23 $2.31
Delivery fee $0 $1.99 $6.99 $3.99
Tax $1.57 $1.40 $1.64 $1.74
TOTAL $24.06 $26.99 $36.35 $30.53

In this case, here are the premiums you’re paying through the three delivery platforms:

  • Uber Eats: 12.18%
  • DoorDash: 51.08%
  • Grubhub: 26.89%

Newk’s Eatery

Item Restaurant Uber Eats DoorDash Grubhub
Black and blue salad (x 2) $19.98 $18.98 $18.98 $18.98
Service fee $0 $2.85 $1.01 $2.79
Delivery fee $0 $2.49 $1.99 $7.19
Tax $1.40 $1.33 $1.33 $2.03
TOTAL $21.38 $25.65 $23.31 $30.99

In this case, here are the premiums you’re paying through the three delivery platforms:

  • Uber Eats: 19.97%
  • DoorDash: 9.03%
  • Grubhub: 44.95%

Hooters

Item Restaurant Uber Eats DoorDash Grubhub
Original style wings (x 20) $26.99 $26.99 $26.99 $26.99
Service fee $0 $4.05 $2.97 $3.89
Delivery fee $0 $0.99 $1.99 $2.79
Tax $1.89 $1.89 $1.89 $2.36
TOTAL $28.88 $33.92 $33.84 $36.03

In this case, here are the premiums you’re paying through the three delivery platforms:

  • Uber Eats: 17.45%
  • DoorDash: 17.17%
  • Grubhub: 24.76%

O’Charley’s

Item Restaurant Uber Eats DoorDash Grubhub
Louisiana sirloin (x 2) $38.70 $38.70 $38.70 $38.70
Service fee $0 $5.81 $2.05 $1.19
Delivery fee $0 $2.49 $1.99 $2.79
Tax $2.71 $2.71 $2.71 $2.99
TOTAL $41.41 $49.71 $45.45 $45.67

In this case, here are the premiums you’re paying through the three delivery platforms:

  • Uber Eats: 20.04%
  • DoorDash: 9.76%
  • Grubhub: 10.29%

Now, it’s worth noting that the above charts do not reflect two important points:

  1. If you are ordering just for yourself, you likely won’t meet order minimums, which mean you’d incur a small order fee in addition to the above costs. It could also render your DashPass useless, because you didn’t meet the minimum order amount for free delivery.
  2. If you typically tip on these services, the price difference will be that much more for you.

Key takeaways

Based on the above results for the four restaurants that were in all three platforms in my local area, here are some key data takeaways:

  • The platforms were (on average) 22% more expensive than ordering directly from the restaurant for table service or take out.
  • Based on averages, Uber Eats carried the smallest premium (17.4% more expensive than ordering directly from a restaurant), followed by DoorDash (21.8%) and Grubhub (26.7%) — again, not including any tip.
  • The variation among the data was dramatic for both DoorDash (a low of 9.03% and a high of 51.08%) and Grubhub (10.29% to 44.95%), whereas Uber Eats was the most consistent.
  • Grubhub taxes the service fee and delivery fee at the same rate as the food cost, while Uber Eats and DoorDash do not.

Paying a 17-27% premium to have food delivered directly to you may seem like a fair deal for the convenience factor, but sadly, there are outliers that go far beyond these reasonable levels.

The Chick-fil-A case

If you really want to see how egregious your food cost could be from a food delivery app, take the strange case of Chick-fil-A on DoorDash. In the DoorDash app, there is (oddly) no combo meal available for ordering. If you want a sandwich, fries and drink, you have to order them individually. These items are also priced much higher than ordering directly through the Chick-fil-A app.

If you want to order a combo meal for yourself on the Chick-fil-A app, it would be $7.05 (including tax) here in Georgia:

If you wanted the same items ordered via DoorDash, your total would end up being $19.14 after all fees, tax and a $3 tip. Here’s how the math works out:

Item Restaurant cost DoorDash
Chicken sandwich $3.69 $4.80
Medium fries $1.89 $2.45
Medium soda $1.69 $2.20
Chicken sandwich meal $6.59 Not available on menu
Service fee $0 $1.04
Delivery fee $0 $2.99
Tax $0.46 $0.66
Small order fee $0 $2.00
Tip $0 $3.00
TOTAL $7.05 $19.14

If you do the math, ordering a Chick-fil-A meal through DoorDash would cost you 171% more here in Georgia than ordering directly from the restaurant. Is that worth the convenience?

Promotions can save the day

The great equalizer to these costs is the set of promotions and discounts that the apps seem to have on a regular basis. Around the holidays, Uber Eats had 30% and 50% off promos every week, making your costs equal to or even lower than what they would be in restaurant. There are plenty of promos for first time customers, so if you haven’t signed up for any of these (or Seamless, Postmates, etc). make sure you take the time to find the portal or code that makes your first order even cheaper. Unfortunately, many promotions for existing users through portals or card-linked programs are rather measly (1-2%) and typically not worth going out of the way to earn the credit.

Further potential problems

Of course, the costs associated with these services is just one factor in deciding whether or not to use them. I’ve had some good and bad delivery experiences with food apps since they became available in my neighborhood. The most frequent problem is food that arrives cold, because your driver has multiple orders to deliver and doesn’t use a hot bag.

I’ve also encountered very lengthy delivery times that don’t match the original estimate, and I’ve also received incomplete or flat-out wrong orders. In a couple of instances, I’ve driven back to the restaurant myself after receiving my delivery order, because the order has been entirely wrong or full entrees are missing. This obviously defeats the purpose of a food delivery service.

Finally — and probably most disturbingly — a study by U.S. Foods found that almost 30% of food delivery drivers admitted to tasting the food they were delivering.

Bottom line

I’m the first to admit that a sample size of four restaurants doesn’t make my quick research a fully-fledged statistical analysis, but I am confident you would see similar results across all restaurants if you continued the comparisons. I completely understand and am often willing to pay a premium when ordering through an app. It’s clearly less hassle than getting the kids in the car to pick something up or trying to scramble and cook the second we get home from tennis lessons.

On the other hand, there are routinely wrong orders, significant variation in costs (as shown in the some of the above examples) and the chance that a few of my fries may be missing when my order shows up. All of this has refocused my attention on just how much I am paying for the convenience factor of food delivery apps. This isn’t to say that there’s no place for them, but it’s critical to do your due diligence to make sure you aren’t overpaying for a service that isn’t worth it.

Do you know how much these apps are really costing you?



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j_k
13 hours ago
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Get in the mood with this commercial from the 90s "Pure Moods" music collection

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Remember when ambient music was Enya and the X-Files theme song, and you could get your favorite mood music from a 1-800 number, instead of streaming it straight to your phone? Remember when my mom actually listened to this on a semi-regular basis, but always skipped the X-Files song, even though it was the only one I cared for, because that show was cool? Good times.

I didn't remember that the Twin Peaks theme was on here, though. I think they missed the irony of those soothing dulcet tones from northern Washington?

Fuck "Tubular Bells" though.

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j_k
2 days ago
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An Update on My Testosterone-Boosting Experiment: 7 Years Later

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In 2013, I published a series of articles about testosterone, which covered the following topics:

In the final installment of the series, I shared the results of a 90-day experiment in which I tried to increase my testosterone naturally. 

At the beginning of the experiment, I had passed through a month in which, because of heavier than usual work commitments, I had experienced more stress, eaten a poorer diet, and gotten less sleep than I usually do. My lifestyle during that period had been abnormally unhealthy for me, but mirrors the lifestyle many men live month in and month out. My testosterone levels at that time were 383 ng/dL and my free T was 7.2 pg/mL — close to the average for an 85- to 100-year-old man.

By making some simple lifestyle changes over the course of the following three months, I was able to get my testosterone levels up to 778 ng/dL total and my free T up to 14.4 pg/mL. I successfully doubled my testosterone. 

After sharing the results of my 90-day experiment, I laid out the lifestyle changes I had adopted which made that doubling possible. 

You can read that original report here.

Since that time, seven years have gone by. And I found myself curious as to where my testosterone levels stood currently, given that I’m not only older, but no longer follow the exact lifestyle guidelines I recommended in the original article. While I’ve kept up much of the protocol I set out there, like prioritizing sleep and stress management, I’ve also made some tweaks to my workout routine, and significant alterations to my diet. 

Below I’ll lay out what these changes look like, and then show how they’ve affected my testosterone profile.

Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made Since My 2013 Testosterone-Boosting Experiment

Changes in Diet

When I originally published the article on increasing your T, I recommended eating a diet heavy in foods that are high in fat and cholesterol like nuts, eggs, and meat. My recommendations were based on the fact that our glands need certain minerals — like zinc and magnesium — to get testosterone production started and that Leydig cells (located in your testicles) need cholesterol to make T, as well as the fact that studies showed that eating more fat and cholesterol can increase testosterone levels.

For the past seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with PhD’s in health and nutrition sciences on the AoM podcast, which has given me a better understanding of the nuance of scientific studies generally, and the dynamics of testosterone specifically. What I’ve learned about diet and testosterone after talking to these experts is that while some studies have indeed shown that high-fat/high-cholesterol diets can increase T, the difference is often so marginal as to be insignificant, and that if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re likely already getting enough fat, cholesterol, and minerals to produce healthy levels of testosterone. You don’t need to pile your plate with Brazil nuts and bacon. You can certainly follow a high-fat diet if you want to, but it’s not necessary to maintain optimal T levels. 

Of greater importance than the exact macronutrient breakdown of your diet is that you 1) keep your weight down, period; adipose tissue (which stores fat) converts testosterone into estrogen, and 2) get enough protein in your diet, period; protein builds muscle mass, and muscle mass, when exercised, produces more T.

I personally found that while a lower-carb/higher-fat diet worked fine for my overall health profile, the lack of carbs made me feel weaker during my workouts. Thus for the last several years, I haven’t been following my high-fat plan as laid out in the original testosterone article. Instead, I’ve been using a flexible, “If It Fits Your Macros” meal plan. I set a goal each day for the amount of protein, carbs, and fat I can consume. As long as I stay within those numbers, I can eat pretty much anything I want. 

My macro numbers have fluctuated throughout the past three years based on my different barbell training goals. There will be periods when I’m consuming 4,100 calories a day and periods when I’m eating 2,700 calories a day. It just depends on what my barbell training is looking like during that particular time.

Whatever the amount of calories I’m eating, the ratio of my macro breakdown has remained roughly the same:

  • Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fats: 30%

I eat more carbohydrates than is currently popular in some circles. But I’ve found that eating more carbs better fuels my workouts, which allows me to lift more weight, which allows me to get stronger and build more muscle mass, which enhances testosterone. 

If you’re curious, here’s what you’ll see me eating most days. I’ve pretty much stuck to this meal line-up for the past three years. Not because it’s special, but because I find it easy to stick with:

Breakfast

  • 8 oz egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 oz shredded cheese
  • Mission Carb Balance Burrito Tortilla (these have 25 grams of fiber per tortilla!)

I just scramble up the eggs and make a simple breakfast burrito. 

Mid-Morning Meal

My mid-morning meal consists of a whey protein shake. To get my fats, I’ll add a tablespoon of olive oil to it. For my carbs, I’ll either add ¼ cup of rice flour to my shake or I’ll pour the shake over a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or oatmeal. Just depends on what I’m feeling like. 

For more insights on how I consume whey protein, see my article on the subject.

Lunch

For lunch I have chicken and sweet potatoes or barbacoa and yams. I’ll throw in some other veggies and fruits too.

Post-Workout Meal

I train at 3PM and I’m done at 4PM. For my post-workout meal, I have a shake that consists of whey protein, with some sort of carbohydrate, and creatine.

Dinner

I just eat whatever my family eats for dinner — enchiladas, spaghetti and meatballs, pancakes and eggs (breakfast for dinner baby!) — in portions that stay within my macro guidelines. 

Changes in Supplements

During my initial testosterone-boosting experiment, I took a few supplements that some studies showed could help with testosterone production. 

No, none of them were those “natural testosterone boosters” you’ve likely seen advertised in men’s magazines. I knew seven years ago those things didn’t work and are a waste of money, so I never took them. 

The supplements I did take were vitamin D3, fish oil, whey protein, and creatine. Research suggests that those first two can increase testosterone a bit, but I’ve dropped them, as I’ve learned that the boost is so marginal that they’re not necessary. Folks should be fine if they eat a balanced diet and go outside to get some sun. 

I do continue to take whey protein and creatine, not as a way to directly increase my testosterone, but as a way to build muscle (they’re the only two muscle-building supplements that work), which indirectly increases my T.

I’ve also made a habit of regularly taking a magnesium supplement in the form of Natural Vitality Calm. I didn’t start taking it in order to increase my testosterone, but because I enjoy it as a hot drink at night, and it seems to keep me regular (bowel-wise). Who knows, maybe it helps my T too.

Changes in Workouts

Exercise helps to boost testosterone by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat, which as I’ve mentioned, converts testosterone into estrogen; the less fat we store, the more T we have.

Two forms of exercise are particularly helpful for increasing testosterone. The first is lifting heavy weights using compound lifts that work large muscle groups like the squat, deadlift, and shoulder press, and taking adequate rest between sets. The second is HIIT or “High Intensity Interval Training,” which calls for short, intense bursts of effort, followed by periods of less-intense recovery.

I was doing both of these types of exercise during my original testosterone experiment, but in a less structured form than I do them now; I just kind of made up my own workouts at the time. For the past five years, I’ve been following a training program laid out by my Barbell Logic coach, Matt Reynolds. I started off with a novice linear progression that consisted of doing the main barbell lifts for 3 sets of 5. I’ve since moved to more advanced programming that Reynolds tailors just for me. Thanks to my consistent training, I’ve packed on about 40 pounds of muscle over the past several years. 

I end all my barbell training sessions with some HIIT. I mix it up to keep it interesting. I’ll do intervals on my assault bike, or sprint outside down my neighborhood street. I also like doing kettlebell swings or calisthenics. As long as I can go hard and fast with it and it gets me out of breath, I’ll do it. My HIIT sessions last 10-15 minutes. 

As I recommended in the original article, I continue to avoid overtraining and prioritize recovery. I only do “official” workouts four times a week; on “rest” days, I just take walks around the neighborhood, sit in the sauna, and generally move and stretch my body.

My Testosterone Levels 7 Years Later

So with those changes in my lifestyle, and putting on seven years in age, where do my testosterone levels sit currently?

I took a test this month and the results showed I had 796 ng/dl total testosterone and 18.5 pg/ml free testosterone.

Those levels are on the high end for men my age (I’m 37), and a little higher than they were in 2013, even though I’m seven years older, and even though I’m not following the exact protocol laid out in the original testosterone article. 

What this goes to show is that increasing testosterone simply comes down to living a healthy lifestyle, and that can take various forms. 

While I don’t do the same kind of workouts I did seven years ago, I still work out. While I don’t eat the same diet I ate seven years ago, I still watch what I eat. 

Ultimately then, the specific practices attendant to a healthy lifestyle matter less than the fact that you do them consistently. Keep your body fat down (with whatever diet suits you). Lift heavy weights (with the workout program you personally enjoy). Prioritize sleep and stress management (with the methods that work best for you). And you should be good. You don’t even have to make it an intentional goal to increase your testosterone; just live a healthy lifestyle, and optimal T levels will likely follow (unless you have an underlying problem like hypogonadism). I haven’t thought at all about increasing my testosterone over the last seven years; instead, I just made it a goal to get strong, and my healthy T levels naturally came along for the ride. 

The post An Update on My Testosterone-Boosting Experiment: 7 Years Later appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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[YMMV] Amazon Prime: Scan Your Box Tape & Earn $5

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Update 1/19/20: Deal is back and valid until March 31st, 2020.

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Amazon Prime members can get $5 when they scan their box tape

The Fine Print

  •  Not all packages are shipped with box tape. A digital box tape image will be provided on this page for customers who made a purchase.
  • Scannable box tape is available on most physical products sold by Amazon.com, and will not be included in digital content or Amazon Gift Cards.
  •  Offer good while supplies last.
  • Shipping charges and taxes may apply to discounted and free promotional items.
  •  Offer limited to one per customer and account.
  •  The maximum benefit you may receive from this offer is $5.
  •  Promotional code only applies to orders of at least $10.
  •  Promotional code expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) May 31, 2019.
  • Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time.
  • Offer is non-transferable and may not be resold.
  •  This offer is available to Prime members only.
  • This offer applies to members signing into the Amazon mobile shopping app for the first time.
  • If you violate any of these terms, the offer will be invalid.

Our Verdict

Should be basically a free $5 for Amazon prime users, when use the $5 off it needs to be an item of $10+ so keep that in mind. As always we will add this promo to the complete list of ways to save on Amazon. Looks like most people won’t be eligible due to having to sign in to the mobile app for the first time

Hat tip to reader Mike G

The post [YMMV] Amazon Prime: Scan Your Box Tape & Earn $5 appeared first on Doctor Of Credit.

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5 days ago
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