Ghost Kitchens

Boo!  Not really trying to scare you, but given it’s Halloween, it seemed timely to share this latest trend: you may be familiar with ghost employees, but now we have ghost kitchens.

The idea is emerging from people’s desire for prepared food to be delivered to their homes or offices.  Grubhub and Dash are just of the few delivery services, and I am sure you are aware that Uber and Lift have both joined in this service.

Here is an excellent article on it from a recent USA Today.

You will notice that commercial kitchens are becoming multi-brand production facilities.  From an efficiency perspective, this makes a lot of sense.  But, what it says to me is that we are seeing a fracture in traditional accounting and business management models.  Think about how complex the multi-company billing model has to get to accommodate this style of business.  Perhaps Blockchain will finally get a foothold here.  It does seem a natural place for the distributed ledger approach.

We need to study what is happening here.  It is a brave new world of business models.  It will also naturally result in a multi-company model for quality control and customer satisfaction.  Lots of ways to ding customer loyalty on this one.

I guess this is pretty scary now that I think about it.

Training Doctors for Climate Change?

There are times when I wonder where critical thinking has gone.  One of my recent blogs about beach umbrellas proves we can pass laws straining gnats while swallowing camels (a phrase Jesus used).

Now, it seems even the medical community has gone over the cliff.  Please do not think about whether climate change is real or not.  That is not the point.  Scan this article on the front page of the New York Times and think critically about whether medical schools really need to have a curriculum on a gradual change in temperature.

I would argue that the only schools of medicine that possibly need this at this time are those of psychology and psychiatry.

The others have way too much to cover already especially with the reemergence of diseases we thought we cured decades ago now that we have such a large group of immigrants.

To me, this all speaks volumes about where we all are as critical thinkers.


Echo Look?

I guess the male perspective doesn’t apply here.  Most of us men have two or three pairs of shoes we wear and repair until they fall apart, possibly keeping them past that point.  We have a few go-to pairs of pants and then possibly a dozen shirts or so we wear all the time depending upon the season and the daily plans.

So, the idea of a digital assistant to capture, compare and criticize our wardrobe and how it looks on us is just not important.  This male perspective, of course, explains my surprise that the latest manifestation of the Amazon Echo product portfolio (call the “Look”) that seems odd to me at least.

Of course, I am sure Amazon didn’t do this without some careful market research.  And, given today’s obsession with the online social media and online pictures, I guess I see the evolution will now be that individuals will focus on showing all the outfits they own and of course being marketed to for those deemed perfect to improve their looks.

Not that you needed another warning about this, but there are no privacy concerns here either, are there?  Seems like nefarious individuals would just love to hack into this device as voyeurs.  Who am I to raise this as a fear?  I have several Amazon Echo devices listening in already in my home and office locations.

I guess it was only logical to expand the point of view for those who seem to document everything they eat online.  I am actually thankful that they do so often when I want to check out a new restaurant.  But, I do think some have gone a bit too far.  That is why this picture kind of says it all.

I can’t wait to see what Amazon comes up with next … can you?

Zipper Merge


I was raised in New York where people have zero tolerance for almost anything they find objectionable.  If you have been in traffic and do not move within a fraction of a second after the car in front of you moves, you will hear honking from behind you to get going.  Time delays are in fact called a New York minute which means instantly.

Driving in the South, especially on the major roads, shows how courteous people are in general.  If the sign ahead says a lane will disappear, people merge way ahead of the merge point.  As a result, they tend to jam up and stop leaving a lane next to them empty.

People like me use that empty lane and then merge at the last point.  This is wired into me because I am from New York where drivers almost instinctively wait for the last minute.  In fact, they may ride the shoulder even beyond the merge to eke out another few feet of “lead” compared to the imaginary competitor they are driven to beat to the next exit or traffic light.

So, feeling my driving roots from New York and being in the South for so long I was a bit stunned to see an article justifying my New York driving habits.  It was from a few years ago but was recently posted to Facebook so it was news to me.  The November 4th, 2016 article from “HowStuffWorks” describes the right way to merge and it indeed is the Northern method.  It is called zipper merging because the cars take turns (in a perfect world).  Of course, in New York, the merge becomes more of a game of guts about how assertive you are going to be in the merge.

Here is a link to the article on How Stuff Works.

It is nice to be right, but in the South, you will probably get a hand gesture and worse for being so efficient.

When does an animal become a mineral?

I have always loved fossils.  The ones I have seen most often, of course, are the ancient seashells and small organisms you find in ancient seabed rocks. It never crossed my mind that the changes in these animals over time which we call petrification could redefine them and create all kinds of a ruckus.

But it has read about it here in Science Magazine.

I have no concerns about what anyone will ever find on my property in Atlanta, but this does really point out questions we never thought to answer when property right laws were written.

Of course, it really makes me upset when I ask my lawyer friends about whether any laws are really “binding” if they were contested.

To a person, they almost always tell me the same thing: it depends on who has the best lawyer and that often depends upon who has the most money.

This, in turn, makes me crazy because almost everyone I know who has been robbed, embezzled, or been abused in life and sought restitution tells me that the criminal justice system is mostly about being sure that criminals get just treatment … it is not about us who have been wronged at all.

Perhaps that old joke suggesting we should stop using rats for biological testing and use lawyers instead.  We are running out of rats, you don’t nearly become as attached to them, and there are some things you just can’t get a rat to do.