Coca-Cola has another new flavor. This time, it got some help.
The latest product out of Coca-Cola Creations — Coke’s innovation platform, which brought us starlight and pixel-flavored sodas — is a collaboration with Marshmello, a masked DJ and electronic music producer.
If you think the artist worked with Coke to develop a marshmallow-flavored beverage, you’re wrong. Instead, the new flavor has notes of strawberry and watermelon, Marshmello’s favorites.
“For our third Coca-Cola Creations drop, we sought to add an unexpected remix of flavors to a great Coca-Cola taste,” said Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at the company, in a statement announcing the collaboration Wednesday.
“We created a vibey blend of my favorite flavors in this all-new mix,” Marshmello said in a statement. “I think it tastes amazing and I hope fans love it too.”
The new flavor, which also comes in a zero-sugar variety, will be available for purchase starting on July 11 in the United States for a limited time. It will be offered in other countries later this summer.
It’s vital for Coca-Cola (KO), which has discontinued beloved but outdated drinks like Tab, Odwalla and Honest Tea, to get young consumers excited about its core product, Coke. Coca-Cola Creations, which launches digital experiences along with the limited-edition flavors, is designed to help do that.
So far, the flavors have been … abstract.
Starlight was “inspired by space,” the company said in February, describing it as having “notes reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire, as well as a cooling sensation that evokes the feeling of a cold journey to space.”
Byte, the second flavor, “makes the intangible taste of the pixel tangible,” said Vlad when it launched in April.
Compared to space and pixels, strawberry and watermelon are perfectly mundane. And the idea of partnering with artists on products featuring their favorite flavors is not new, at least in the fast food world.
McDonald’s (MCD) has had success with its celebrity meals, versions of artists’ preferred orders that are available for a limited time. The burger chain has teamed up with Travis Scott, BTS and Saweetie, among others. Burger King has followed with its own celebrity deals.
For Coca-Cola, this is the first time a beverage has been created with an artist, the company said.
When Bored & Hungry first opened in Long Beach in April, the burger joint didn’t just embrace the aesthetics of crypto culture. It was all-in on the digital money part too.
Sure, meme-y references to rockets and bulls dotted the walls, and Bored Apes — those cartoon monkeys that celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Post Malone have touted as six-figure investments — covered the cups and trays. But customers were also offered the option to pay for their meals in cryptocurrency. The restaurant was putting its bitcoin where its mouth was, so to speak.
Not even three months later, in the midst of a crypto crash that has some investors looking for the door, that’s not always the case.
During a lull in the lunch rush one recent afternoon, as a cashier stamped paper bags with the fast-food spot’s logo, twin menus hanging over his head — listing Bored & Hungry’s meat-based and vegan options, respectively — showed prices only in old-fashioned U.S. dollars.
A smashburger: $9.25. Pepper-seasoned fries: $3.50. An ape-themed cup of soda: $3.50.
Missing: any mention of ethereum or apecoin, the two currencies the popup boasted it would make history by accepting as payment.
An employee who declined to give their name said that the store wasn’t accepting crypto payments. “Not today — I don’t know,” they said, declining to clarify how long ago the store stopped accepting crypto or whether that option would eventually return.
Owner Andy Nguyen didn’t respond to repeated emails. Company co-founder Kevin Seo later said the restaurant has shut off its crypto payments system “from time to time” for upgrades but is currently accepting ethereum and apecoin.
With both coins down more than 60% since early April and undergoing double-digit intraday swings, it would be understandable for any business to be reluctant to accept them in lieu of dollars. But utility may also be a factor. At the restaurant’s grand opening, a staffer told The Times that the crypto payments were unwieldy and going largely ignored by customers.
Nearly three months later, it was hard to find a patron who cared much one way or the other about the restaurant’s fidelity to the crypto cause.
“Yes, ethereum is a currency in a way where you can exchange [nonfungible tokens, or] NFTs and stuff … but as far as buying food and all that, maybe not,” one crypto-enthusiast diner, Marc Coloma, said as he munched on fries outside the restaurant. “People want to hold on to their ethereum. They’re not gonna want to use it.”
Michael Powers, 46, of Long Beach was less in the loop. He comes to Bored & Hungry a lot — as often as two or three times a week, he estimated — but although the ape-themed signage was what first drew him in, he didn’t know the spot was NFT-themed until his sons explained it to him.
Powers’ one foray into crypto, an investment in the Elon Musk-promoted currency dogecoin, didn’t end well, and he doesn’t plan on trying again. “I’ve had my fill” of crypto, he said — though not of the burgers, which offer an upscale riff on In-N-Out’s “animal style” sandwiches. (The chopped onions and creamy sauce are a nice touch that, incidentally, isn’t subject to wild swings in value or exorbitant transaction fees.)
Another Long Beach local, 30-year-old Richard Rubalcaba, said he bought into ethereum after meeting other crypto investors during the four-hour wait for Bored & Hungry’s grand opening. But on this visit he too paid in U.S. dollars.
“I don’t know how [crypto purchases] would work, with the crash,” he said.
The crypto ecosystem is currently in free-fall, with high-profile companies either taking drastic steps to stave off catastrophe or simply collapsing altogether, while cryptocurrencies themselves plunge in value.
The two e-currencies that Bored & Hungry initially accepted, ethereum and apecoin, are down to about 23% and 17% of their highs over the last year, respectively. Estimates put the entire sector’s worth at less than a third of what it was in early 2022.
Nor have the nonfungible tokens that form the backbone of Bored & Hungry’s brand been immune. A sort of digital trading card series built around drawings of anthropomorphic monkeys, Bored Apes count the likes of Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg among their owners; some have sold for millions of dollars. Yet they’re now facing the same market pressures as the rest of the crypto economy.
According to the crypto news outlet Decrypt, the cheapest available NFT in the series (that is, the “floor”) has fallen below $100,000 for the first time since last summer, and the project as a whole recently saw its value approximately halved over the course of a month.
That only raises the urgency of getting new buyers into the ape “community.”
One customer — Lindsey, 33, of San Pedro — said she didn’t know anything about crypto but came to Bored & Hungry because she’s a fan of the vegan burger brand it carries. But, she said, the scene at the restaurant made her want to learn more about the ecosystem.
Perhaps that was what Nguyen was thinking when he spent more than $330,000 on the various ape NFTs on display at his restaurant.
Crypto skeptics have long warned that someone would get left holding the bag when the hype cycle played itself out. Better that bag should contain a burger and fries than nothing at all.
In this clip, Eddy Curry talked about some of the earlier days in his career before running into cardiac problems. Eddy described the situation as a stressful one as his career hung in the balance. He recalled the NBA offering him $400K annually for 50 years if he took a DNA test that showed he was more likely to develop heart problems. However, Eddy explained how his agent at the time showed him the negative precedent he would be setting for future Black players.
In this clip, TK Kirkland spoke about the infamous fake TK Kirkland accounts on the VladTV YouTube channel and how he’s come to accept them as a net positive despite finding them annoying in the beginning. He also talked about staying fit and the importance of investing in yourself, particularly health-wise.
Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban also known for owning the Dallas Mavericks like so many other investors has come a long way from a few years ago to being strongly positioned against Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency to now being one of it’s biggest bulls & it making up a substantial position in his portfolio.
In his most recent interview, Cuban reacts to the crypto crash and why he is a long term believer in Bitcoin, Ethereum and crypto in general.
About Mark Cuban:
Mark Cuban is an American billionaire entrepreneur, television personality, and media proprietor whose net worth is an estimated $4.7 billion, according to Forbes, and ranked No. 177 on the 2020 Forbes 400 list.
Carnival Strippers, originally a photo essay following the women who performed in travelling ‘girl shows’ in the United States from 1972 to 1975, is often held as a pioneering example of a photographic project that shares authorship with the subjects of its images.
Interrogating gender politics and self-representation, the project is defined as much by the testimonies of the women involved as the photographs Meiselas took of them. The project sought to make a feminist argument which resounds particularly today as the project celebrates 50 years since its making.
A third edition publication of the project, published as ‘Carnival Strippers Revisited’ now unfolds the central themes of the work through the additional of new material. Published on Steidl, it includes unseen color photographs, contact sheets, handwritten field notes, and interview transcriptions. Carnival Strippers Revisited explores how representation of ourselves and others is a process that refracts through many layers. In these layers, the creation of our stories is a collective activity mediated by multiple and far-reaching points of view.
In this new video, we share audio material from Meiselas’ interviews with the strippers and other carnival workers. Through testimonies not traditionally represented within the women’s liberation movement, the showgirls’ answers lucidly deconstruct the workings of patriarchy. At the same time, their managers’ disparaging comments provide a poignant and ironic counterpoint.
Meiselas, who sought to document a phenomenon already in decline, was interested in the ways we capture history from early on during her career. With this new expansion on Carnival Strippers, we see the project as a forerunner to her later explorations of archives in her works in Nicaragua and Kurdistan. Read curator Abigail Soloman-Godeau’s essay contextualising the photographer’s practice here.
Susan Meiselas is an American photographer who was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948. Her first major project, which we’ll look at here focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. Meiselas photographed at the fairs for three consecutive summers while also teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was published in 1976.
Speaking of the project, Meiselas said, “From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.”
“The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record.”
“The all-male audience typically included farmers, bankers, fathers, and sons, but “no ladies and no babies.” The degree of suggestion on the front stage and participation on the back stage under the tent varied greatly from town to town, depending on legislation and local leniency. The show stayed at each spot for three to five days each year; then the carnival was torn down, the truck packed up, and the women followed.”
In her introduction to Carnival Strippers, Meiselas said, “The girl show is a business and carnival stripping is competitive and seasonal. Those women who make it a career find winter employment on a series of related circuits—go-go bars, strip clubs, stag parties, and occasional prostitution. For most women the carnival is an interlude on the way to jobs as waitresses, secretaries and housewives.”
RadioShack, a bankrupt electronics retailer recast as a cryptocurrency platform, is getting unexpected attention online after its Twitter account took an abruptly explicit tone.
The former tech retail giant’s still active Twitter account began trending on Friday after it shifted from tweeting about cryptocurrencies to roasting other users on the social media platform. The reasons for the verified account’s apparent turn aren’t clear, but its profanity-laced tweets amused other users on the social media platform.
“[W]ho else high [as f**k] [right now],” the account tweeted Thursday morning.
Twitter user @ChrisWooleyAC tweeted a picture of an old remote control car at RadioShack, asking, “what’s y’all’s return policy? I got a remote control car for Christmas back in 03 that stopped working. I need a refund.”
“Got a receipt?” RadioShack tweeted in response. “Head over to our Antartica[sic] location for a *potential* refund.”
After tech mogul Elon Musk tweeted about a SpaceX Falcon 9 landing, the account tweeted, “congrats on the landing of your new giant metal c**k elon.”
“Any last words before we close the coffin?” Twitter user @Mare_Loch tweeted in response. “Radio Shack: Yes, a tweet. Please engrave it on our headstone.”
The RadioShack account replied, “we’ve prepared something special for you,” and included a photo of marquee lettering used to spell “d**krash” featuring the company’s trademark circle “R” logo.
RadioShack, once a household name in the 1990s, filed for bankruptcy in 2015, ending its then-ubiquitous retail presence. However, investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez purchased the company earlier this year and relaunched it as a cryptocurrency swap, keeping much of its retro branding, reports Fortune magazine.
The company’s website even appears to sell household electronics and has a store locator showing locations across the country.
As the brand’s Twitter account took on a new tenor, users took a swipe at RadioShack becoming a cryptocurrency platform. Other Twitter users seemed to enjoy interacting with a once-bankrupt brand.
Twitter user @snoopdoug44 tweeted, “Congrats on your bankruptcy!”
“Bankruptcy my a** dawg,” RadioShack said in a reply with a map of the U.S. covered in the company’s logo.
“F**k you! Lots of love, The Shack,” the crypto swap wrote in another tweet.
Twitter user @coffeebreak_YT responded, “the store I used to buy double AA batteries at is trying to start internet beef while running a crypto scam. 2022 is WILD [for real].”
RadioShack fired back.
“[H]i now that we finally got your attention, wanna dm us? we’ve got some double AA batteries for your vibrator you p**sy,” RadioShack said in a response.
Some photographers on TikTok are trying an unconventional technique for unusual results: taking a rock to the front of their lenses, scratching the glass, and destroying them in the process.
Photographer Illumitati posted a video of her using a rock to mortally wound her Canon 50mm f/1.8 in response to a viral video made by Andres Videography where he appeared to do the same to his lens.
However, Andres didn’t actually scratch his lens; eagle-eyed viewers will notice that he was actually scratching a lens filter placed on his Sony 85mm.
But in Illumitati’s case, she actually takes a rock to the front element of her 50mm. Speaking to PetaPixel she explains what happened.
“I saw another person do it with a filter, and my intrusive thoughts told me to try it on the lens for real,” she says.
“This came up on my ‘for your page’ and as a photographer, I’d never cringed harder in my life,” Illumitati says in her TikTok video.
“But then I was so curious to see what a photo from that camera would look like I actually destroyed one of my lenses,” she continues. “Then I set it down and got ready to take a couple of portraits and to my surprise, it actually gave it this glow. I don’t recommend doing this to your lenses but hey, it’s kind of cool.”
When asked by PetaPixel, the portrait and fashion photographer seemed to have no regrets over the video.
“I really did scratch it, and the photos were actually not bad at all. The lens is really not great in the first place so I don’t think I’d use it,” she says.