It Smells Like Fast Food In Here

If some (young?) person nearby smells like a fast-food restaurant, it might be their cologne, a candle, or their shoes. This information came to me via THE HUSTLE newsletter.

KFC had given out chicken-scented candles to New Zealand fans years ago.

Burger King held a one-day sale of “Flame-Grilled Fragrance” in Japan in 2015.

Back in 2012, 110 lucky fans got free “Eau de Pizza Hut” perfume, which smelled like “hand-tossed” dough.

If I had these products in my home I would probably gain about 50 pounds in a few months. But of course, making me want those products is the point of marketing. 

Are you doomscrolling lately?

Have you been doomscrolling lately? It is the act of scrolling on your device and reading or skimming the endless stream of bad news that hit us daily on news sites and social media. The pandemic, economic hard times, violence in the street and the Black Lives Matter protests are all important stories but seem to all be part of a doomsday scenario.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary people have recently flagged doomscrolling as one of the words it is watching for 2020 for possible inclusion into the dictionary. 

The word has appeared in stories in Business Insider, and the close variation, “doomsurfing,” appeared in the New York Times.

Why are people doomscrolling if the news is so negative? It is a combination of a "fear of missing out" (FOMO), a “hurry-up-and-wait” instinct and a realdesire to get information on the pandemic and other issues even if that information is incomplete, questionably accurate and depressing.

With so many sources of information at our fingertips, the temptation to doomscroll is seductive to many people.

Keeping the Currency Local

I saw this in the news and had to did a little deeper into the story. 

The little town of Tenino, Washington (population: 1,884) was hit hard business-wise by the pandemic. Not only were there residents who couldn’t afford groceries, but the small downtown shopping area looked abandoned. Like other places, the mayor, Wayne Fournier, considered grants for business and microloans, but they wouldn't help families and individuals.

Then they came up with printing their own local currency. 

Starting with $10k for low-income residents they printed their own dollars to distribute which were only good at their local stores. That helped the residents and it helped the businesses because the money didn't go to outside stores.

It turns out that the idea wasn't new. During the Great Depression, Tenino printed sets of wooden dollars for the same reason. The 2020 effort used the same 1890 newspaper printer to make its wooden currency.

The little town is not unique and other places then and now have also used “local currencies” to help small communities recover from tough economic times.

Residents have to apply to get the wooden notes worth $25 each (during the Depression they were 25 cent notes) and the cap is $300 per month. Similar to food stamps, there are a few restrictions, such as it not being good for cigarettes, lottery tickets, or alcohol. The currency is designed for the essentials, including food, gas, and daycare. Almost every business in town accepts the new currency and then submits redemption requests to the city to redeem them for cash.

The unique wooden currency recalls the city's roots. In the 1850s, the town appeared because of the Gold Rush. In 1872, the Northern Pacific Railroad added a new station in Tenino, and by the turn of the century, the town was known for its lumber business, its quarries, and its wooden currency. 

The new Tenino currency has a Latin inscription that they translate as "We have got this handled."