Happy Friday. Here’s today’s Lance Lawson puzzler, taken from the pages of this paper in the late 40s. Solution at the bottom of the page.



CONTROVERSY “Single Mom, Sorry.” A good excuse to not tip?


What if the bill is $140? Voila: Reddit controversy. (I'd post the link  but the URL would probably trip the filters.)


Interesting quote from the Daily Mail: “Several single mothers refuse to belief the receipt is real, saying the Redditor is exacting a vendetta against them.” That’s entirely possible, given the eek-a-girl! terror the female sex brings out in some of reddit’s users, who are either socially-inelegant types who live through digital surrogates, or plain old classic-flavor sexist dolts who think the internet was made for trading pictures of 15-year-old girls while telling grown-up ones to make him a sandwich.


As for the thread itself, like most long discussions about tipping and customers in restaurants, it will make you despair for humanity.

Ive always wondered this, why is tipping this huge thing for waiting on tables? Ive always heard the answer "because they dont make any money" well if they dont make any money then they should probably go find another job. Waiting tables is NOT a hard job in the grand scheme of things. People work at Mcdonalds make way less than waiters and work just as hard.

And he's sincere. You should see the trolls.




Passing along something funny in which someone I know in the most tangential sense appears. Behold: the Pintervention.




I saw that before BuzzFeed found it, by the way. (I typed that wearing a hipster mustache and an ironic T-shirt.) Also: I don’t believe this is real. “Coke Zero challenged unsuspecting train passengers to unlock the 007 in them for their chance to win exclusive tickets for the new James Bond movie SKYFALL.” Yes, and no one in Coke Zero’s legal department thought there’s be any problem with this.




The end is excruciating, with all those dum-dee-dee-dee dum, dum-dum-dum dum-dee-dee-dee dums.


TECH This story about an expensive sports car for sale outside of Zynga’s HQ suggests the car is a metaphor. Possibly a parable.

“Clearly bought on a whim,” says Vilcsak, “[By] either an incredibly unfortunate Zynga employee or an incredibly misinformed Lamborghini owner. Either way, nobody’s winning here.” However Vilcsak, whose own company Airbnb might be one of the few companies getting investors excited at the moment, doesn’t view the image as symbolic of a Valley-wide downturn.


But it is sobering nonetheless. With Groupon and Zynga (and also Facebook, albeit to a lesser degree) suffering on the public market, I’m hearing more and more talk of a private market chill — less easy money and more suspicion thrown towards astronomical valuations and social plays.

Right. Because most of this stuff has a faddish vogue that convinces the start-up founders they’re geniuses, and makes the angels happy, then crashes when the billion-fingered herd moves on to the next toy. Here’s an interesting story about a game that had huge download numbers and great reviews - but it’s a financial bust because in-app purchases are so scant.

I hate IAP; when I see a free game on iTunes app store with a sidebar that says “Top Purchase: 10,000 coins” I never bite. But I’m not the target market for those things, anyway.

On the other hand, some good ideas founder because it’s just too much damned work.

Back in April we brought you an interview with Lucas Rayala, the founder of Minnesota startup Altsie. Altsie provided a new socially charged way for independent movie go-ers to enjoy independent films.


Altsie built partnerships with independent film producers and local businesses to show movies in their establishments. The platform brought more customers to local businesses, let independent film fans comingle with each other and served as a platform for independent film producers to have their movies screened.

Well, that’s over. The founder’s account is here. Excerpt:

I was confronted with my own limitations and began to see myself in the harshest, most honest light ever directed on me. This was a humbling experience and a blessing. I always thought of myself as a great conversationalist and an intelligent person, one who could take on any challenge in front of me. Now, I watched myself blunder into meetings with businessmen, asking for help to raise money, and I realized I had no idea what I was saying, or even asking.

But it worked for a while, because he kept at it, plugging away at the expense of his money and health. One of a thousand such tales, I’ll bet.


So what the deuce is Airbnb? If memory serves, sieve that it is, it’s an online registry of apartments and houses that lets people rent their homes to people they’ve never met. Checking . . . yep. For example: here’s a list of some places in the Twin Cities. It's all above-board, and wonderful life-long relationships are born, but I can't help thinking that some modern-day Dahmer is thinking "whoa, they come to me? I don't have to go get them?" Also, staying in a stranger's house just gives me the creeps, if the owner is still there. If you're surly when it's early, you can just grump in peace at a hotel restaurant. Stay at someone's home, and there's a chance you'll be greeted in the morning with "Hope decaf's okay!"


SOLUTION She couldn't have seen him through the windshield. Have a great weekend!