The Cost Of Raising A Child
A new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that it will cost $241,080 to raise a child born in 2012 to the age of 17. Other findings:
– biggest expenditures: housing (30%) followed by childcare and education (18%), food (16%), transportation (14%), healthcare and miscellaneous expenses (both 8%) and clothing (6%)
– the average annual cost of raising a child is $12,600 to $14,700
Windows 8.1 Is On The Way
Microsoft announced yesterday (August 14th) that Windows 8.1, the revised version of its latest Windows operating system, will be available starting on October 17th. That release date is nearly a year after the debut of Windows 8, which represented a significant overhaul of the operating system in an effort to make it work well on tablet computers as well as desktop and laptop computers. However, the remake confused and frustrated many people, leading to disappointing sales of devices running on Windows 8. Windows 8.1 is Microsoft’s attempt to make the revised operating system easier and more appealing to use, and it will be available as a free update for people who own Windows 8 devices.
Beer From Concentrate?
Lugging twelve-packs of suds to a tailgate could potentially become a thing of the past. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has developed a beer concentrate that the drinker must simply add water and carbon dioxide to in order to produce a 16 ounce ale. The mixable beer must be made in a special Carbonator– a 16 ounce plastic bottle. A user just adds their pouch of beer concentrate to their water-filled Carbonator and shakes. The beer pouches will only be sold in liquor stores due to their high alcohol content. (Food Beast)
Oxford English Dictionary Takes On “Literally”
Oxford English Dictionary has added another meaning to the word “literally.” A senior editor of the dictionary says, “Our job is to describe the language people are using. In recent years an extended use of literally has become very common, where literally (or literal) is used deliberately in non-literal contexts, for added effect, as in they bought the car and literally ran it into the ground.” The additonal meaning of the word states it can, “be used for emphasis rather than being actually true.” Boston University psycholinguist Berko Gleason says, “My impression is that many people don’t have any idea of what ‘literally’ means– or used to mean.” (Daily Mail)
Would You Try Pepsi-Flavored Cheetos?
Pepsi-flavored Cheetos may sound like some nightmare food mash-up, but they actually exist, although they’re tough to come by in the U.S. The Impulsive Buy blog wrote a review of the snacks, which are sold only in Japan, but can be bought on eBay if you really want to give them a try. The site says the cheese powder on the Frito Lay snacks have been replaced with cola powder, and writes of the taste: “The first sensation, which I did not expect, was a very acidic bite. It’s very citrusy, almost sour.” The Pepsi-flavored Cheetos also reportedly pop and fizz when they’re eaten, similar to the sensation of soda in the mouth, and smell kind of like flat soda mixed with cinnamon.
Should Restaurants Replace Tipping with a Service Charge?
Although tipping is a standard part of going out to eat, The Week reports that there’s growing support in the restaurant industry for doing away with the practice and replacing it with a standard service charge. The conventional belief about tipping is that it motivates the wait staff to give better service. But a Cornell University study found instead that patrons don’t adjust their tips according to service, but instead tip out of habit, giving whatever percentage they usually do no matter how good or bad the service is. Former San Diego restaurant owner Jay Porter wrote in Slate that eliminating tips actually makes it easier to provide good service, since cooks, who make similar base wages as the wait staff, will get a cut of the service charge money, while they don’t get anything from tips. He says implementing a service charge at his restaurant led to the food improving, quote, “probably because our cooks were being paid more and didn’t feel taken for granted.” Service charge proponents also say it’s better for the wait staff, since they’d be paid a better wage without having to hope for a busy night. Although there are some restaurants that do have a service charge instead of tips, customers tend to get upset about it, often seeing the extra charge but not making the connection that they’re saving on the tip, and also feeling like their power to reward or punish the server has been taken away.