The Daily Valet. - 1/11/24, Thursday
✔️ Have Your Heard the Buzz?
Thursday, January 11th Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Buckle up, because this is a highly caffeinated newsletter today.
Today’s Big Story
The Buzz on Caffeine
Too much? Not Enough? Is decaf really “the new sober”?
Are you sipping a coffee while you read this? I'm guessing that a lot of you are. Have you been hearing all the chatter about caffeine lately? Yes, it can give us a boost, but too much can mess with our sleep, make us feel jittery and in some extreme cases, send us to the hospital. So how do we know what's the right amount?Generally, government and health groups recommend that healthy adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. That comes out to about four, 8-ounce cups of coffee, one nutrition scientist tells the Wall Street Journal. (And sadly, no, that 20-ounce Starbucks Venti doesn't count as one cup of coffee.) And believe it or not, we are doing pretty well on this target. The average American adult consumes about 200 milligrams of caffeine a day and in Europe, it is 270 milligrams, according to a recent study.Of course, experts agree that a person's tolerance for caffeine—as well as its benefits or risks—can vary widely, depending on their habits, size, overall health and other factors. But more than 85% of Americans drink at least one caffeinated beverage a day. Energy drink sales are also on the rise, and so are their doses of caffeine.But some people are giving up coffee (and caffeine) altogether. After a decade or so of people making “But first, coffee” a whole personality, a recent poll found that Americans are drinking less coffee than before the pandemic—especially with regard to the amount of cups per day they consume. Both Salon and NBC News have wondered, is decaf “the new sober”?While part of it is the steadily rising cost of coffee, a lot of it has to do with shifting tastes and values. Last year, market research company Mintel reported that “39% of coffee drinkers want to reduce their caffeine consumption.” The word “reduce” is key here: I'm as likely to go completely caffeine free as I am to become a teetotaler or a vegan, but I can concede that I probably don't need that much of such a powerful stimulant surging through my veins at all hours of the day. However, it's not exactly a guilty pleasure. According to the BBC, there's growing evidence that (like other drugs), in the right dose, it has some serious benefits, such as the mental clarity and energy we've come to rely on.
The best time in the morning to drink coffee is around 10 am, not first thing. And these experts will explain why.
Bitcoin’s Coming of Age
SEC approves bitcoin ETFs in watershed for crypto market
Federal regulators on Wednesday approved a new financial product, the first U.S.-listed exchange traded funds (ETFs) to track bitcoin. It's being called a watershed and landmark moment for the cryptocurrency industry that proponents hope will increase investment in the technology.What exactly does this mean? Well, after a decade of hype, Bitcoin will be listed on exchanges, giving it a legit pathway to investment portfolios alongside stocks and bonds. This will make bitcoin investing more accessible to Main Street investors, without requiring them to own the digital asset directly. Those in the know predicted that Bitcoin ETFs could start trading as soon as later today.The decision marks an end to a decade-plus of rejections for so-called spot bitcoin ETFs, but SEC Chair Gary Gensler made it clear in a statement that the agency remains wary. “While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”
Rather than storing Bitcoin in online wallets, investors in Bitcoin E.T.F.s would own shares in funds containing the digital currency.
Ready for the Iowa Caucuses?
How the high-stakes caucuses work and why this year is going to be different
Let's start with what a caucus is not. It's not a primary. It's a closed-door meeting, in more than 1,600 precincts across 99 counties. And they only involve people in the same party. This means that Iowa's Republican caucus, which kicks off on January 15, will be the star of this year's show, due to no significant challengers to President Biden on the Democratic side.Republican primary voters will gather in schools and churches to cast ballots in what will be the first test of the 2024 Republican presidential field. They'll listen to speeches, mingle and cast private ballots for their candidate, similar to a straw poll. The gatherings are meant to encourage conversations between neighbors, rather than just casting ballots.According to Axios, the Democratic National Committee removed Iowa from its early contests last year at President Biden's request. Iowa Democrats have pivoted to a mail-in process. Cards must be postmarked and returned by March 5, which is Super Tuesday. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley came out swinging at Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, as the two sought to emerge as the leading alternative to former President Trump, who has been urging his supporters to get out and vote.
ANother One Down:
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Wednesday that he was ending his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
The Coolest TVs at CES
They're big, they're bright, they're... transparent?
The Super Bowl is the biggest television event of the year and it's being played in Las Vegas next month. Right now, the biggest televisions are being unveiled in the very same town at CES 2024, which I fondly think of as the Super Bowl of TVs. I'm not all that into tech gear, but I'm always excited about new advancements in televisions.One of the biggest and brightest has to be the Hisense 110UX. At a whopping 110 inches wide, this behemoth boasts 10,000 nits of peak brightness—that's five times the light output of today's average TVs. TCL is supersizing sets, too. Its 115-inch TV doesn't produce quite as much light as the Hisense 110UX, but PC Magazine says the difference to the human eye will be imperceptible.However, the really big news was clearly the transparent screens. Both LG and Samsung introduced them. LG's Signature see-through OLED T has a 77-inch 4K screen with a contrast panel that you can raise or lower with the press of a button. When raised, the OLED T looks like a normal TV. When lowered, it creates this 3D floating effect (that can even mimic an aquarium). Is it a gimmick? Sure. But Samsung also debuted a glare-free display that the company claims all but eliminates any noticeable reflections on the TV's screen. Now that's something we could all use, right?
Currently, there are more than 275 million television sets in the United States.
In Other News
Slaughtering, breeding and sales of dog meat for human consumption will soon be illegal.
Have you heard about ...
Be More Knowledgable About Coffee
Don't Get Roasted. Elevate Your game.
In a world where coffee has become more than just a morning pick-me-up, cultivating a deeper understanding of this beloved beverage has become essential for anyone who partakes. When you show up to a coffee shop for a meeting or maybe meet someone for a casual first date, you want to seem knowledgeable—or at the very least, confident in what you're ordering.And for men who appreciate the finer things in life, upping your coffee know-how will elevate your daily ritual from a routine to a truly sophisticated and rewarding experience. Whether you're a seasoned coffee enthusiast looking to brush up or a newcomer to the world of specialty brews, here's a quick guide to help you become a proper connoisseur.
What We’re Buying
An affordable flannel
We're not even a month into winter, so now is the perfect time to stock up on flannels. They're excellent for layering and come in many patterns and colors that fit into anyone's closet. Whether you're gearing up for a laid-back weekend or adding a touch of rustic charm to your daily attire, they're a go-to winter choice. Since you bought gifts last month, your pockets might be a little fragile, so we've found some excellent affordable options—all under $50.
Checked flannel, $40 / $14.90 by UNIQLO
Embrace the waiting
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