Ferrari is cruising into the restaurant biz

November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019




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Happy Friday, people. Listen closely: Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm

We know what you’re thinking… But no, we didn’t overdose on doggie CBD this morning. Writing about race cars just had us talking about palindromes (words/phrases that read the same backwards and forwards) — and Mr. Owl is a classic. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way: Today, Ferrari enters the pasta-making game, and mind-reading headbands ensure 3rd grade will never be the same. And with that: Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog.

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Ferrari kicks its business into a higher gear in its latest race to… serve lasagna?

On a recent conference call, the CEO of Italian automaker Ferrari announced plans to diversify beyond its signature stylish supercars… by launching a high-end fashion line and an upscale restaurant.

Ummm… what?

More specifically, the carmaker plans to launch 2 high-profile partnerships: one with the Michelin-rated chef Massimo Bottura to launch a Ferrari restaurant, and the other with fashion house Giorgio Armani to expand a line of Ferrari-branded apparel.

These ventures are intended to draft off Ferrari’s iconic brand.

It’s all part of the (race car-themed) road map

Ferrari has been a name brand in Italy since it was founded in 1939. But the company really doubled down on its branding efforts in 2016, when Ferrari separated from its former owner Fiat. 

Ferrari started its big branding efforts where most brands do: merch. The company’s store has sold an increasing amount of high-end apparel emblazoned with Ferrari’s famous prancing horse in its store for years.

These new partnerships, however, are the automaker’s boldest fashion and food moves yet.

But Ferrari has made some strange business bets before…

And the last one involved a massive theme park. 

That’s right: In 2010, Ferrari launched Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The theme park — which, fittingly, features the world’s fastest roller coaster — has been successful so far.

Now, the Italian carmaker just has to find a way to get its ravioli to move as fast as its race cars and roller coasters — and Ferrari will really be off to the races.

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USDA hopes to revive spinach sales with a more colorful variety

Unlike some super greens, whose benefits have been overexaggerated, spinach has long walked the walk (ranking No. 5 on a 2014 list of the most nutrient-dense fruits and veggies by the CDC).

But after the leafy super green was linked to a 2006 E. coli outbreak that hospitalized 102 people, spinach consumption never recovered. 

Now, the US Department of Agriculture is trying to change that. Their solution? Paint it red.

Well blow me down

Before the outbreak, annual per capita spinach consumption in the US was around 2.3 lbs. Afterwards, that number fell to about 1.6 lbs, according to the USDA.  

Beiquan Mou, a plant research geneticist at the USDA, has been working to cultivate red spinach for the last decade or so. And, on Monday, the department announced that Mou’s grand plan to gussy up the mean green with a red sheen was finished. 

Now, the USDA seeks to collab with a lucky seed company looking to make Popeye’s favorite treat more popular. 

Will a new color rejuve the veg?

That’s what Mou is hoping: “Spinach has only been green — kind of boring,” He told Quartz. “So I was thinking, maybe I could do something to change it and make it more colorful.”

The geneticist added that the new color improves the already rich vitamin and mineral levels of the plant by increasing betacyanin (a phytonutrient responsible for giving spinach a red stem) to create the rosier version.

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Way Running shoes are built for something longer than an ultramarathon… life

Here’s the deal: Over 23 billion pairs of shoes are made worldwide every year. Of those, about 300 million end up in a landfill. That’s a whole lot of unnecessary garbage.

The founders of Way Running wanted to be a part of the solution, so they created a new — and more sustainable — one. Here’s how:

  1. Buy a pair of their Sustainable Runners and keep the box.
  2. Pound the pavement to your heart’s content.
  3. When they’ve reached their limit, dust off that shoebox and ship ‘em back. You’ll get a rebate on your next pair, and the Way team will re- and upcycle all of the shoe’s components.

Want in on this revolutionary new model? You’re in luck — their Kickstarter is now live. Reserve your pair of these future-friendly kicks and you’ll also get to chime in as a Beta tester.

Serious sustainability →

This week’s weirdest ways to spend money

It’s holiday shopping season, y’all. That means that you’re about to get bombarded with deals, steals, and discounted Hot Wheels. 

But remember: Not all cash-burning is created equal. With that in mind, here are some of this week’s most innovative ways to burn paychecks:

  • American Girl Doll studded with Swarovski crystals, $5k: Want to teach your little girl the importance of mortgage-busting jewels at a young age? Look no further than this gem, available in American Girl flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
  • Focus1 mind-reading headband, $450-$2k: Manufactured by US-based BrainCo, this hip headwear “enables schools to bring real-time engagement metrics as well as neurofeedback-based focus and relaxation training into… classrooms.” Umm… fun?
  • Elysium Health Index “biological age” test, $500: The controversial makers of an anti-aging pill are back with a new product that tells customers their true “biological age” in an effort to help them reverse that pesky aging process. Best of luck!
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Airbnb struggles to gain back trust after several scandals

It’s a not-so-beautiful day in the neighborhood. In the past week, Airbnb has faced scrutiny for a deadly shooting as well as lax enforcement of loopholes that enabled a nationwide scam.

This seems like a bad time to ask for extra towels

A “mansion party” on Halloween night drew about 100 people from across the San Francisco Bay area. Though the Airbnb listing explicitly forbade parties, this isn’t the first time the property owner fudged the short-term rental bucket. Then, a shooting at that Airbnb that night led to five deaths.

That same day, VICE reported on a nationwide scam in which a person or organization with at least 94 property listings in 8 cities created a bait-and-switch operation involving phony listings, fake reviews and — dun dun dun — coercion. And you thought bed bugs were bad. 

‘Maybe I’ll take my chances with Sheraton… ’

But Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky hopes you will reconsider. He recently announced a ban on “party houses,” though it’s unclear exactly what that means. The company also announced the addition of two top police officials as advisors to its online and offline safety strategy. 

To further nip naughties in the bud, Airbnb will launch an ambitious program to verify each home and host on its platform to ensure listing accuracy and assess whether rentals meet basic standards for cleanliness and home amenities. Airbnb hopes to achieve 100% verification of its 7m listings by December 15, 2020. 

Other big plans for 2020? Oh, yeah – Airbnb hopes to go public.

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What Else…

🤑 Pawn-demand. Backed by Sequoia Capital and Accel, an Indian startup called Rupeek Fintech will offer a pawn shop service that arrives at customers’ homes to pick up — and pay for — the staggering $1T in gold possessed by Indian households.

🎥 A new war drama is hitting Hollywood, and it’s starring… James Dean? A new CGI action drama is being developed in Tinseltown that will star the avatar of Dean, who has been dead for 64 years. And the company behind it says this is only the beginning.

🔧 Make way for mobile mechanics. A company called Wrench offers on-demand car repair, and it’s accelerating into the fast lane with $20m of new premium VC funding in the tank.

👟 Crikey, Nike! The sportswear juggernaut is under fire for its treatment of blazing track star Mary Cain, who said she was emotionally and physically abused while in the system. And it once again traces back to the now-defunct Nike Oregon Project.

😱 Travis Kalanick’s ghost kitchens are haunting the industry: The Saudi Arabian sovereign-wealth fund invested $400m in Kalanick’s CloudKitchens back in January, valuing the company at about $5B, which marks the first known large Saudi wealth fund investment in Silicon Valley since Jamal Khashoggi was murdered.

🐦 Speaking of Saudi Arabia… the country reportedly recruited 2 Twitter employees to steal personal data from unnamed activists with large followings on the platform. The complaint alleges that the employees, who were both charged with acting as agents of the kingdom, were compensated with a designer watch and beaucoup bucks funneled into secret bank accounts.

🚂 Fun read: “Thomas the Tank Engine” was used in a financial cover-up at Mattel.

Shower Thoughts
  1. With the advent of grocery delivery services, it is now possible for a pizza to be both delivery AND DiGiorno.
  2. Drinking almost any beverage out of a coffee mug feels fine, but drinking coffee out of a regular glass feels really weird.
  3. The idea of Santa living in the north pole probably came the fact that he needs to live somewhere definitely habitable but unreachable by children.
  4. Stomping is uppercase walking and dancing is cursive walking.
  5. A bottomless pit is the safest pit to fall into.
  6. via Reddit


    “Do our belts hold up our pants… or do our pants hold up our belts? Anybody? ANYBODY?!?!?” –Bobby

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