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Internet Attention Seeker Puts Target On Blast – Kinda

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  • This guy is the reason for the stupid “For Display Only” signs…



Photo by Goby on Unsplash
Photo by Goby on Unsplash

 

We have covered Target blaming customers for a box that was supposed to be a three-hundred dollar vacuum being a box of rocks, but a self-identified ‘award-winning multimedia journalist’ is accusing Target of breaking the law. Is there something to this or just a cry for attention?

Massachusetts Target

David Leavitt tweeted pictures of ‘Tori’ the target manager, a DISPLAY for Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush with a price tag of $0.01, and a screenshot of  the Massachusetts Item Pricing Law (which requires that stores sell items at the lowest price indicated on a sign or advertisement). The law also states that if there is a discrepancy between the price listed on the shelf and what the item rings up to, the customer should be given a ten-dollar deduction from the lowest advertised price. Leavitt said that Target ‘refused’ to sell him the toothbrush, so he called the police.

Leavitt’s Rant

“I just had to call the police because @target refused to sell me the toothbrush. I did not call 911. I called the business number for the police and told them it was not an emergency and they could take their time and explained the situation. The police verified @target displayed the price of the toothbrush for $0.01 The store manager Tori refused to sell me the toothbrush for displayed price. The police said I need to sue them and that they are making me a verified report take to court. Corporations like
@target are not above the law. The police officer told me they’d testify that they saw the price and that the manager wouldn’t sell me the item for the price listed.”

 

To reiterate; Leavitt found a display tag that had a $0.01 price printed on it. Leavitt believes that is the price he should pay for the in-package item the display advertised. As his own photos show, it is clearly marked as a display tag.

He Made A Follow-Up Tweet Days Later

In a tweet posted three days later, Leavitt said: “I have not been able to afford to go to a dentist in over three years. So yes I wanted a good toothbrush and was thrilled to see such an amazing prize on an @OralB but @target refused to honor it and now I have to take them to court.” Despite him saying it was over three years since he went to the dentist, Leavitt posted in April of 2018 saying: “#YouAreWinningWhen you get the dentist’s office waiting room to turn off Fox News.”

Is He An Award-Winning Journalist?

Leavitt said that he was a journalist for CBS, AXS, Yahoo and The Examiner. However, when he went viral for outrageous, offensive tweets, both CBS and AXS tweeted that he is not affiliated with them. He appears to have been a freelancer at one point and has a screen capture on The Wayback Machine that shows he was authored at least at one point in 2014, but his author page has been removed from the sites.

When He Went Viral

Leavitt went viral after tweeting: “The last time I listened to Ariana Grande, I almost died too.” This was the day that Manchester Arena was bombed at a Grande concert, the bombing left twenty-three dead. After this CBS and AXS disavowed him. The only other recent writing Leavitt has done is for his blog, LuvItOrLeavitt.com. On his Muck Rack page, (A site that collects journalist’s clips) most of the articles that appear to be authored by Leavitt, but not written by him. Some are written by or are written about the author David Leavitt, who is a different person.

GoFundMe

There was a GoFundMe started on behalf of the manager Tori, but it is not linked to her, instead, it was created by a third party fundraiser who goes by the name Carpe Donktum on social media. They are a semi-prominent pro-Trump meme creator with over 200,00 Twitter followers. After a day of the search, Carpe Donktum located Tori and tweeted: “HUGE UPDATE:
I have made contact with #TargetTori, she has received authorization to release 2 photos to verify that we are in contact.

I need a representative from @gofundme to contact me to arrange the transfer of control of the account to Tori.” a representative for GoFundMe said that Carpe Donktim does not have access to the funds and that GoFundMe is working with them to find the beneficiary. “We guarantee the funds raised will be sent directly to the intended beneficiary. If we cannot make contact or the beneficiary refuses the funds, donors will be fully refunded.”

 

One would think this is an easy fix – Simply offer Leavitt the display item for a penny, as marked. They’re usually non-functional and  only for display. He’ll refuse, but Target will have honored the displayed item for the displayed price.  A quick glance at Leavitt’s social media presence shows he’s known for this kind of attention seeking behavior. This won’t be the last time we hear from him over issues like this…

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Germany Goes Nuts Over Sausage Vending Machines

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  • Weird vending machines usually come from Japan, but the Germans are stepping up their game

Quick, name a food associated with Germany. There’s a pretty good chance you came up with either beer or sausage. It’s a bit of a tired stereotype at this point, but there’s no denying facts: Germans love their beer and sausages.

But what are Germans to do when they leave the beer hall late at night and a craving for a snack hits them? It must’ve been a common problem, as the ever-so-practical Germans have come up with an answer.

Enter the sausage vending machine. It sounds like a joke, but sausage vending has become a booming business in Germany in the past few years.

According to the German Press Agency, the machines are particularly popular outside cities. Butcher shops in less developed areas close earlier, but the German stomach doesn’t always abide by business hours. Vending machines are just a response to demand.

“Especially in structurally weak, rural areas, vending machine solutions are becoming increasingly popular,” industry spokesman Heike Richter told The Independent. “There is a strong development towards the vending machine, which is used to deliver meat, milk, eggs and other products to customers outside of core opening times.”

The most popular kinds of sausages – such as bratwurst and bockwurst – are common fare in the vending machines, but that’s not all. Some of them also sell barbequed meats, steak, potato salad, vegetables, milk…

Basically, they vend anything you’d expect to find at a German butcher’s shop. You could get a whole dinner out of these things.

There are currently more than 570,000 sausage vending machines in Germany. Their growing popularity has also seen them pop up in neighboring countries, like France.

But fans of traditional German brick-and-mortar shops don’t need to worry. According to trade authorities, the machines are an extension – not a replacement – of a normal shop.

But How’s The Sausage?

So you can buy your sausage, steak and veggies from a vending machine. The fact just begs a follow-up question – would you want to?

Vended food doesn’t exactly have the reputation of gourmet fare. Even if it is convenient, there’s no point in buying the vacuum-packed sausages if they don’t taste good, right?

Well, there’s always a thing to be said for the quality of German manufacturing. The popularity of the machines sort of speaks for itself, too. However, we do have a first-person account of German vending machine food.

Martin Egnash of Stars and Stripes decided to give the machines a go. In his story he details the experience of trying a variety of things from a vending machine in the town of Mantel, southwestern Germany.

Egnash said the machine contained what you’d usually expect from a German butcher. There were some more unusual foods too, like a jar of rouladen. That is, a thin slice of beef wrapped around bacon, onion, and mustard. Yummy!

Egnash decided to go for a more conservative option. “I decided to try the bergbratwurst, which turned out to be delicious,” he wrote.

“For reasons I’m still not sure about, I also tried the leberwurst. This is a liver sausage in a can that looks suspiciously like cat food. The liver spread actually tasted really good on top of some bread with a couple of pickles on top.”

All in all, the food got a passing grade.

“I think everything I tried was pretty good. Not great. But certainly better than I expected. I would try it again sometime if I wanted to grab a steak and the butcher was closed,” Egnash summarized.

For stuff that usually costs between $3 to $6, that’s not bad at all.

Been A Long Time Coming

Despite their recent explosion in popularity, the sausage vending machines are not a new invention. Just with a bit of searching, you can find images of a woman using a sausage vending machine from 1931. That’s almost 90 years of sausage vending.

German butcher Steffen Schütze detailed his innovative idea of attaching a vending machine to his shop to The Local.de already back in 2012. According to him, the spark for it came from a botched late-night barbeque he’d decided to have with some friends.

With all the stores closed, they had to rely on sausages from 24/7 gas stations. As a professional butcher, Schütze wasn’t exactly impressed by the quality of the meat.

You could ask why he didn’t get sausages from his own shop, but let’s not go there.

In any case, soon afterwards a brand new vending machine stood next to this shop. The customers loved it, a promising omen of things to come for the German sausage vending business.

“On one top-performing day we had about 300 products that went. I am excited to see how it’s going to be when we finally get barbecue weather,” Schütze said at the time. We can only assume it went well.

Addressing concerns about his sausages keeping fresh, Schütze said he kept a “careful watch” on them. He replaced the products with new ones every evening and said the machine was fully temperature regulated.

Additionally, the machine carefully produced the meat to the customer, instead of just dropping it like a regular vending machine.

This video of excited German guys getting double the sausage proves that even such advanced technology can fail, though. But they certainly don’t seem to mind.

Leave it up to the Germans to put sausages and engineering together.

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Kellogg’s Rights 16-Year Wrong in South Korean Cereal

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  • 16 year ago, South Koreans voted for green onion flavored Chex cereal.
  • Kellogg’s ignored the popular vote making chocolate Chex instead.
  • The new flavor, available online, sold out within days of its release.

There’s a relationship milestone that we don’t discuss enough. Becoming Facebook official used to be a thing, now it’s appearing in someone’s Instagram feed (not stories, main feed). Meeting parents, leaving a toothbrush, and co-habitation are all traditional signs of relationship success. But what about the first time you eat your Weird Snack in front of someone? We all have it; incongruous food combinations we love to eat when we’re home alone. Carrie Bradshaw loved to eat saltines with grape jelly while reading fashion magazines. I like potato chips dipped in frosting while bingeing ensemble dramas. 

 

The only time this weird habit we all have and don’t talk about gets aired is during snack-food flavor voting campaigns. Lays and M&M’s have both gone hard into advertising by flavor voting. And they come up with flavor candidates that make it okay for us to show our true selves, like cappuccino potato chips. Horrible idea, but is someone out there already dipping their chips into their morning coffee? Maybe. Probably. Yes.

Popular Votes are Just Suggestions?

During a “pick-the-flavor” campaign in South Korea for Chex, people let themselves be vulnerable. They overwhelmingly voted for green onion flavor over chocolate. Does that make any sense for breakfast cereal? No. But the heart wants what the heart wants. Kellogg’s couldn’t believe the popular vote results, and so went forward with manufacturing the chocolate-flavored Chex. Not unlike elections in America. 

 

Raphael Rashid, a South Korean-based freelance journalist, saw the similarities to politics. “South Koreans are used to or have experienced, you know, like years, if not decades, of dictatorship.” So they accepted chocolate Chex into their lives, not without bitterness. Yoon Gunhee, around 14 at the time of the voting, remembered people voting for green onion because it was funny. “The rigged voting at the time was such an unpleasant experience,” she told the Associated Press

“Not Disgusting,” Flavor, a Rousing Success

The new flavor sold out within days of its online launch. But it doesn’t seem like anyone’s pouring milk over the green onion Chex and enjoying them as a breakfast cereal. Most people on Twitter are using them as a crunchy garnish on ramen or tteok-bokki. 

 

Rashid did a Chex green onion product review, as a breakfast cereal with milk. We measure success for novelty snack food flavors by a different metric. The South Korea Chex seems to have exceeded expectations, at least according to Rashid, “It’s not disgusting, that’s for sure.”    

 

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Reigning Champ Finds Hot Dog Eating Contest’s Corona Measures a Mixed Bag

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  • Just like with any sport, Major League eaters take their sport seriously

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused many popular events to change how they host their activities or to straight up cancel them. Among them is the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Hosted each year on the Fourth of July in Coney Island, New York, the Major League Eating (MLE) event has had to buckle. Instead of holding the competition outside, the eaters will gorge themselves indoors in a private space.

The men’s and women’s contests will have only five competitors instead of the usual 15. A slew of other safety measures has also been put in place. There will be no live audience and the staff will wear gloves and masks.

According to the organizer, the event will air on the ESPN at noon on July 4. That means can still watch returning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo defend their titles.

They are lucky to be competing at all. Some regular contestants will not be able to attend this year due to travel restrictions, MLE said.

The Man with the Iron Stomach

Speaking of MLE champions, Joey Chestnut is among the greatest. The 36-year-old Californian is a 12-time champion of the Nathan’s hot dog contest. He is also ranked as the number one competitive eater in the world by MLE.

In 2018, Chestnut broke the contest’s world record by eating 74 hot dogs within the 10-minute bout. Last year he fell slightly short, finishing “only” 71 dogs.

He also holds more than a dozen other eating records. Among them are boysenberry pie, buffalo wings, carnitas tacos, gyros, icecream sandwiches and pizza. Just this February he set a new record on Big Mac hamburgers by eating 32 of them in 38 minutes.

A hot dog on teal background

Pros and Cons

So when it comes to stuffing your face, this guy knows what he’s doing. And like all professionals, he takes his art very seriously.

In an interview with UPI Chestnut talked about the positives and negatives he saw in the new arrangements for the upcoming test of stomachs. To begin with, he thinks going indoors might make the competition a bit easier.

“I won’t be exposed to ridiculous weather. Coney Island has the potential to be really hot and humid on the Fourth of July, so we’re avoiding that, and also there can be rain,” he pondered.

But the indoor setting will also pose a challenge that us regular eaters might not expect – air conditioning.

“Depending on how they prepare the dogs, I feel like they’ll cool down more inside than they do in the sun, so hot dog quality might go down a little bit. There’s a trade-off,” says Chestnut.

According to the champion, cold dogs are not as easy to swallow as hot ones. In a contest of eating speed, that could prove to be a crucial factor.

The biggest drawback of them all, though, is the lack of audience. Chestnut said that he definitely wishes he could have a crowd present.

“There’s been times when it’s ridiculously hot, and I’m feeling faint before the contest even starts. The crowd motivates me and I actually get a personal best – better than I’ve ever done in practice.

“I just have to remember there are going to be millions of people watching on ESPN, and use that as motivation,” he explained.

A Champion’s Strategy

When it comes to his eating strategy, Chetnut didn’t believe he’d make drastic changes. He planned to follow his usual approach – eating two hot dogs separately followed by two buns.

According to the rules, the hot dog doesn’t actually need to be assembled. The performance is valid as long as the contestant consumes both the dog and the bun.

Chestnut said that he begins every contest by assessing the freshness of the food through touch.

“If the hot dogs are really fresh and the buns aren’t too stale, I’ll think: ‘Oh, wow, my first minute should be about 14 hot dogs. Then the second minute should be 11 or 12.’ I start having goals really, really quick,” he explained.

But there’s always the risk of aiming too high. Chestnut said that going for any more than 14 dogs per minute means that he ends up swallowing bigger pieces.

“Swallowing huge chunks of meat means I’m straining certain muscles in my throat, and those are going to most likely get tired earlier in the contest.”

Bag of Tricks

He also has a bag of tricks he uses during competition. For example, he dips the buns into a cup of water to soften them up, making them easier to swallow.

“After my 10th hot dog, every time, I start dunking into a different cup, so then I can see what cup I’m on,” he said. A true pro keeps track of his pace, after all.

This method also helps Chestnut gauge how much water he’s ingesting. If the cup is nearly empty after ten dogs, he’s filling himself up with liquid instead of hot dogs. If it’s too full, he knows he’s working too hard to swallow the buns.

“I have to keep that perfect balance of enough water to get the food down quickly and efficiently, without so much water that it takes up my capacity.”

Like all athletes, Chestnut has trained hard. Over his 15-year career in competitive eating, he has constantly strengthened his throat muscles.

Keeping a journal of his exercises, Chestnut said some of them have been more successful than others.

“When I was younger, I would do crazy things to push my body to new limits. I feel like if I knew my body as well as I do now when I was 25, I’d probably be doing a ridiculous number now,” he reflected.

“But right now, I think I can still put up a new record just by knowing my body, and knowing how to push it.”

Go get ‘em, champ.

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