Observations On The News: Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If this is Tuesday, it must be Observations on the News:

  • Just Imagine: Micky D Servers in Low-Rise Jeans. According to the Orange County Register, McDonalds is looking to revamp its uniforms into something hipper for its teen employees. The article notes that Micky D is courting teen brands such as Sean Jean, Phat Farm and Abercrombie & Fitch to create a more fashionable look for its employees. The article provides the written image of Micky’s Girls in an Abercrombie tank, hoodie and low-slung jeans. This is all fine and good, but can someone please do something about the Hot Dog On A Stick uniforms?
  • McMansions and McAnnoyances. The LA Daily News is reporting that a number of people are starting to fight back against the McMansionization (how’s that for a word) of the Valley. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is when you buy a property, scrape it, and build a lot-line-to-lot-line multistory monstrosity. In many areas, this destroys the nature of the community, especially in the valley, which was originally designed with single-story ranch houses in mind. It is a side-effect of the high housing prices: with real estate prices at an all-time high and little vacant property left to develop, builders buy up older houses simply for the land, demolish the old structure and build larger homes with the square footage and amenities that command top dollar. Personally, I hate the trend.
  • But Our Chocolate is Safe. The McTrend today is companies swallowing other companies. McDonalds, for example, owns Boston Market; Whirpool is trying to buy Maytag. So, is it any surprise that Hersheys is buying Scharfenberger. This means that the maker of such gourmet confections as Kit Kat and Twizzers will be slumming with the Berkeley-based manufacturer of of drek chocolate that uses use only cacao beans that undergo thorough fermentation, and whole vanilla beans from Madagascar and Tahiti. What’s next, Microsoft buying Apple?
  • Speaking of Microsoft and Apple… Yesterday, I noted that Microsoft’s new product, Virtual Earth, shows the Apple campus as non-existant (actually, it is using a 1991 picture). Actually, Virtual Earth is a new Microsoft-Beta product that uses USGS imagery (old), vs. Google’s satellite imagery. The reason I mention this is that it has prompted a change to Google Maps: the addition of a HYBRID button that overlays street information on the satellite maps. For example, this is a map of our old house. Here is the satellite image. Here (and this is neat) is the hybrid image. Cool.