Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Globe Cup of Coffee

The cream rises above the fold!

"Free coffee — with a catch — is coming to Massachusetts" by Graham Ambrose Globe Correspondent  July 14, 2018

PROVIDENCE — Welcome to Shiru Cafe. Keep your cash. The coffee is free, as long as you are a university student and drink your beverage in-house.

The catch? You must give up some personal information: your name, your e-mail, your age, your field of study, your professional interests. And open yourself up to communications from Shiru’s corporate sponsors — companies that pay the cafe to reach its clients.

This is the cream and sugar of Shiru’s clever business model, a benign-seeming variation on the data-mining that drives so much modern commerce. At most coffee shops, the revenue stream is straightforward: Customers buy drinks. Here, companies buy access to customers and potential hires. The cafe is both a vendor of drinks and an intermediary connecting corporate recruiters to the youngest members of the American intelligentsia.

The reporters have internalized the values and terminology of their paymasters! 

The sad thing is they have no idea how elitist their propaganda reads, or maybe they do. They know for whom the paper is of and for.

“What’s important to us is providing a space for students to learn more about the professional world after they graduate,” said Keith Maher, Providence store manager.

And if all of this seems a little off-putting — a commercial intrusion on your caffeine ritual, not to mention, privacy — it doesn’t seem to bother students who stream here in the least. The place is jammed. About 4,000 Brown University students have signed up for the Shiru treatment, and the cafe serves about 1,000 people a day during the school year, according to Maher.

Ya' think?

“The information Shiru is ascertaining is the same information already out in the public, so I had no hesitation to give it up,” said Jacqueline Goldman, a master’s student in epidemiology.

Just stay out of the frat houses (they arrested him on the way to see his mother?) and lab, okay?

Must be something about Temple, huh?

Shiru arrives in the United States at a moment of heightened skepticism toward data-gathering, a lucrative industry that capitalizes on information many consumers consider trivial. Shiru’s success highlights the manifold ways that companies can ride the flood of consumer data — whether to sell consumers a product or, in the case of Shiru, to find workers in a competitive labor market.

As tech behemoths like Facebook and Google try to allay concerns over privacy, Shiru’s information-gathering on students has not drawn much scrutiny. The company says that student data is guarded closely against misuse and has so far been used only to create analytics on store attendance.

“We never, ever sell student data,” said Alex Inoue, Shiru’s general manager. “All of the data is protected safely and only used internally to provide students with access to professional opportunities.” He added that no third-party contractors have access to student data, and that Shiru does not give individual student information to companies.


I suppose the hackers are of no concern, either.

Since its founding in Kyoto, Japan, five years ago, Shiru has opened 16 stores in Japan and four in India, all of which are located near major universities. And according to Inoue, in India, the cafes are located on campus because Shiru partners with the universities. The cafe has more than 50 corporate sponsors in Asia, including Microsoft, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Accenture, Nissan, and Suzuki.

Who knew that Accenture was an arm of the defense intelligence community?

Yeah, don't worry about that data at all!

As for India, "a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in western India over allegations of smuggling cows, police said Saturday, despite calls by the country’s highest court for immediate steps to stop deadly mob violence across the country. Cows are considered sacred in Hindu-majority India, and slaughtering them or eating beef is illegal or restricted across much of the country. The mob found two men bring cows home Friday in Rajasthan state, but one escaped." 

Maybe they should convert to Catholicism. Maybe not.

Now, to capture the market at elite schools in America, Shiru has planned an ambitious expansion. Providence is the first US outlet. By October, cafe executives hope to launch stores near Yale and Amherst College. Two other stores, near Harvard and Princeton, are slated to open later in the fall.

It truly is a richer's paper.

So when does UMass-Bo$ton get one? 

You can ponder the tuition increase as they drink the money you saved on free coffee.

Patrons and employees of the Providence cafe see Shiru’s mission as a win-win: a boon for companies hoping to woo top talent, and another way for caffeine-addled Ivy Leaguers to get hired. According to Maher, corporate sponsors sign on for an annual partnership with the cafe, and Shiru does not receive a commission for successful recruitment.

At the Providence location — smartly located next door to Brown’s center for career services — patrons said networking at Shiru feels harmless.

“I’m a college student. I’ll take any kind of job-hunting platform I can get,” said Jessica Bellows, a senior at Brown studying biomedical engineering. She and others noted that the promise of free beverages, not the interaction with recruiters, is the main lure for students. Shiru allows patrons one free cup of coffee or tea every two hours. 

That will keep you hopped up (and hooked) all day, and you won't be as hungry, either!

Corporate sponsors have three main ways of reaching students at Shiru: in-store advertising, including on coffee cups and HD monitors; e-mail communications, sent by Shiru on the company’s behalf; and site programming, such as on-premise chats over coffee between students and corporate recruiters.

Currently the Providence location has no corporate sponsors. Funding from the parent company, Enrission Inc., keeps the store afloat (the store has hired two Brown students as paid interns to try to lock down sponsor companies), but, according to some patrons, the store, which opened in March, has already amassed a legion of loyal customers. During the school year, students began arriving at the store opening, 8:30 a.m., to snag a seat. By April, around 1,000 customers were visiting each day, according to Maher. At a “crazy-crowded” cafe, as one student described Shiru, wait times have been kept low thanks to online ordering.

Shiru vends only to university students and personnel. Faculty are charged $1 for beverages, and everyone pays $1 for to-go drinks, a policy that encourages customers to spend time on site.

The coffee, which comes from Rhode Island-based Downeast Coffee Roasters, is fair trade and organic certified, according to Maher. The teas come from a company in New Hampshire. Pastries include croissants, cookies, bagels, and doughnuts, and cost between $2 and $4, Maher said. 

Oh, then this is all good!! 

Without sponsors, Shiru’s Providence outpost has not yet advertised any companies or sent any corporate communications, customers said, but even when corporate sponsorships do appear, students believe any potential spam will be worth the free drinks.

“The savings are very big,” said Rushil Kumbhani, a junior at Brown studying biology, who estimated that he has saved at least $100 on coffee since Shiru opened in the spring. “They could send me an hourly newsletter and I wouldn’t mind.”

He wasn’t alone in expressing indifference about relinquishing personal data for a little personal gain.

“This is way more benign than other data-sharing that happens,” said Goldman, the epidemiology student, sipping on her free cold brew. “And at least I’m getting compensated for it.”

Yeah, and that's the mo$t important thing to the Globe.


Maybe you shouldn't finish the cup:

"California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma" by Brian Melley Associated Press  June 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES — California officials, having concluded coffee drinking is not a risky pastime, are proposing a regulation that will essentially tell consumers of America’s favorite beverage they can drink up without fear.

The unprecedented action Friday by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to propose a regulation to clear coffee of the stigma that it could pose a toxic risk followed a review of more than 1,000 studies published this week by the World Health Organization that found inadequate evidence that coffee causes cancer.

But buy all their other $cientific bull$hit, including climate crap.

Yeah, world and state authority is looking out for your health!

The state agency implements a law passed by voters in 1986 that requires warnings of chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects. One of those chemicals is acrylamide, which is found in many things and is a byproduct of coffee roasting and brewing present in every cup of joe.

If the regulation is adopted, it would be a huge win for the coffee industry which faces potentially massive civil penalties after recently losing an 8-year-old lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court that could require scary warnings on all coffee packaging sold in California.

Judge Elihu Berle found that Starbucks and other coffee roasters and retailers had failed to show that benefits from drinking coffee outweighed any cancer risks. He had previously ruled the companies hadn’t shown the threat from the chemical was insignificant.

The state’s action rejects that ruling.

‘‘The proposed regulation would state that drinking coffee does not pose a significant cancer risk, despite the presence of chemicals created during the roasting and brewing process that are listed under Proposition 65 as known carcinogens,’’ the agency said in a statement. ‘‘The proposed regulation is based on extensive scientific evidence that drinking coffee has not been shown to increase the risk of cancer and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.’’

Attorney Raphael Metzger, who won the court case on behalf of The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, said he was shocked the agency would move to nullify the court decision and undermine its own report more than a decade ago that drinking even small amounts of coffee resulted in a significant cancer risk.

I wi$h I could say I wa$!

‘‘The takeaway is that the state is proposing a rule contrary to its own scientific conclusion. That’s unprecedented and bad,’’ Metzger said. ‘‘The whole thing stinks to high hell.’’

Because their is tax loot and an indu$try at $take!

The National Coffee Association had no comment on the proposed change. In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics.

Scientific evidence on coffee has gone back and forth over many years, but concerns have eased recently about possible dangers, with some studies finding health benefits.

Big Coffee didn’t deny that acrylamide was found in the coffee, but argued it was only found at low levels and was outweighed by other benefits such as antioxidants that reduce cancer risk.

The state agency’s action comes about a week after bipartisan bills were introduced in both houses of Congress to require science-based criteria for labels on food and other products. One of the sponsors, Representative Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, alluded to the California coffee lawsuit as an example of misleading warnings.

‘‘When we have mandatory cancer warnings on a cup of coffee, something has gone seriously wrong with the process,’’ Schrader said in a news release. ‘‘We now have so many warnings unrelated to the actual health risk posed to consumers, that most people just ignore them.’’

The lawsuit against Starbucks and 90 companies was brought by the tiny nonprofit under a law that allows private citizens, advocacy groups, and attorneys to sue on behalf of the state and collect a portion of civil penalties for failure to provide warnings.

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as Proposition 65, requires warning labels for about 900 chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.

The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. 

Yeah, when it comes to $$$$, your health is $econdary. 


The Globe is a cancer:

"Report finds high skin cancer rates in Mass., particularly on Cape" by J.D. Capelouto Globe Correspondent  June 16, 2018

One out of every 20 people in Massachusetts has been diagnosed with a type of skin cancer, one of the highest rates in the country, a recent report found. The rates are even higher on Cape Cod, where the Barnstable-Yarmouth area placed in the top five metropolitan areas for skin cancer.

How many drink coffee?

The report, released recently by Blue Cross Blue Shield as sun bathers begin heading to the region’s beaches, found that 8.6 percent of people in the Barnstable-Yarmouth area have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Dr. Julie Craig-Muller, a primary care physician in the Cape town of Mashpee, said the high rates in part reflect the allure of warm-weather attractions in the region and the lifestyle of residents. “We spend a lot of time outdoors; it’s lovely here,” Craig-Muller said.

Overall, the study ranked four New England states in the top 10 for skin cancer rates: Connecticut (No. 3), Rhode Island (tied for 4th), and Vermont (tied for 4th), and Masssachusetts (tied for 6th).

The report is based on 2016 medical claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Health Index, which measured health conditions of privately insured individuals in nearly every county in the country.

Local health specialists said a mix of factors, including New England’s demographics, the habits of its residents, and societal pressure to look tan, may contribute to the findings.

“We still have a lot of young women using tanning beds, which we really need to discourage in a big way,” said Dr. Bruce Nash, chief physician executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Even if you have to bully them.

The study also backed up previous reports that rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are rising nationwide.

Experts said this could be due to the aging baby boomer population in places like Cape Cod, a popular retirement destination. Nash said skin cancer can take decades to develop and become noticeable, and 30 years ago “tanning was viewed as something healthy.”

Nearly a third of the Cape’s population is age 65 and over, according to 2016 census data.

Craig-Muller said adequate sunscreen did not exist until the mid-1980s.

“Now we have the baby boomer generation and the generation a little older than they are that are really starting to develop skin cancer because of all the exposure they had,” she said. “Our mothers just said, ‘Go play outside, we’ll see you at dinner.’ ”

Doctors on Cape Cod said they have noticed the rise in melanoma cases, and said skin cancer has become a major focus at their practices.

Maybe you shouldn't go the ballpark anymore, 'eh?

Dr. Mark Liska, a dermatologiest in North Falmouth, said he used to treat about one melanoma case a month. Now, he sees about two to three every week, a change he said coincided with the aging Cape population and increased use of tanning beds.

“Tanning salon use has been on the rise in the past few decades,” Liska said, adding that “it’s been suggested that if you go to a tanning bed once, it increases your melanoma risk by eightfold.”

Meanwhile, the the ethnic makeup of New England states could play a factor in the region’s high rates of cancer rates.

“When we look at different populations, we certainly know that fair-skinned people are more at risk for skin cancer than darker-skinned people,” said Nash, of Blue Cross. “When you consider that, you can make a reasonable judgment about … our local population compared to others.”

More than 80 percent of New England’s residents are white, 2016 Census data show.

Nationally, the study ranked Florida as the top state for skin cancer diagnoses (7.1 percent). That state’s Sarasota-Bradenton area was the top metropolitan area, with an alarming 10 percent skin cancer rate.

To prevent skin cancer, doctors urge staying away from tanning beds, wearing and reapplying sunscreen with an adequate SPF, and wearing sufficient hats and clothing in the sun..... 

Don't go to the beach then.


I $ee. Need to $ell $ome $un$creen if nothing el$e. 

After all, Globe has been promoting get out there, etc, etc, all summer. 

From the same issue:

The city’s two public outdoor pools and South Boston ‘family-friendly’ beach open this weekend

You just can't go in the water!

"Sorry, you can’t jump into the Charles River this summer during the community swim event" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  June 14, 2018

If you were hoping to strip down to your swimsuit and jump from the dock along the Esplanade into the Charles River at the annual “City Splash” event, you’ll have to wait until next year.

For the first time in five years, the Charles River Conservancy said it won’t be hosting its annual swim for eager city dwellers trying to cool off. The nonprofit announced the cancellation in a newsletter sent out Thursday morning.

The conservancy says there’s a good reason it decided not to put on the annual event, however, news of the cancellation comes days after the Environmental Protection Agency gave the Charles River a winning grade for cleanliness. It’s only the second time the river has earned such a high grade in the past 23 years, the agency said......

After Pruitt left it cleared right up (or was sunk).


Yeah, give them a month.