The Daily Valet. - 11/29/23, Wednesday

✔️ Did You Hear That?

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Wednesday, November 29th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

Silence, as they say, is golden.

Today’s Big Story

Silencing the Sound of Food

The Sound of Crunching is such a serious annoyance that Doritos has made a silencer

Doritos silencer

“What are you eating?” Have you ever been asked that on the phone ... or are you more considerate than I am? Because I've often been caught noshing on nuts or sipping coffee while on the phone or taking a meeting over Zoom. I never get away with it and I could really be infuriating people. My partner says I definitely am. He suffers from misophonia—a disorder that causes decreased tolerance to specific sounds or stimuli. And noises such as chewing, slurping, sniffing and heavy breathing are common triggers.And while it's still a little-known condition, misophonia can be so debilitating to a person's daily life that it qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to soQuiet, a nonprofit that advocates and supports people with the disorder.But you don't even need to be diagnosed with misophonia to be annoyed with the crunching of snacks that is amplified by a microphone when on the phone or playing a game using a headset. According to PCGamer, 86% of “gamers” claimed they ate snacks while playing (you monsters). Around 30% of gamers said the sound of someone snacking impacts their performance (I could see this), and 18% said it actually makes them want to log off.Doritos, among the crunchiest of snacks, must've gotten ahold of similar research, because the chip behemoth just released a crunch-cancellation software that removes the sound of chewing from voice chats, Zoom or any calls that use headphones. But it was really created for gamers. They knew that people crave crunchy foods because they are more stimulating to eat than soft foods. Since the crunch was a draw for the eater and a drawback for the listener, they came up with a workaround for what they call a “pain point.”To address the crunch issue in the gaming community, Doritos turned to technology. About 500 people were recorded munching on Doritos, and those recordings were used to simulate 5,000 different crunch sounds. And while the artificial intelligence software is “trained exclusively on Doritos,” one marketing exec told the Washington Post, it actually works on some other crunch sounds, including different types of chips, crackers and raw vegetables. Adding that this is just the beginning of the chip brand's AI ambitions.


Saveur discovered that when it comes to enjoying your food, the ‘how’ might be as important as the ‘what.’

The Extended Truce Appears to Hold

Hamas frees 12 hostages amid talks on possible second extension of Gaza ceasefire

Hamas on Tuesday freed 10 more Israeli hostages and two Thai nationals in exchange for 30 imprisoned Palestinians, after the militant group and Israel agreed to extend the pause in fighting in Gaza by two days.The gunfire, bombardment and cries of anguished relatives have for days now largely been replaced by the relief and joy of hostages reunited with loved ones and growing diplomatic murmurs of an extended cease-fire. But while the U.S. and others push for a broader deal, government rhetoric and public opinion in Israel seem unequivocal: Sooner or later the intense military campaign in the Gaza Strip must and will resume, reports NBC News.Negotiations now include groups other than women and children, said a diplomat with knowledge of the talks, who said the proposal is for a pause longer than two or four days. Without another extension, the pause would only last until midnight tonight. Israel is also continuing to allow more fuel and an increased number of trucks carrying aid into the enclave as part of the ceasefire. But according to an analysis by the New York Times, Israel is facing pressure from the White House to fight more surgically once it returns to its invasion, while international pressure is building on Israel to stop its attacks entirely.

Dig Deeper:

Here's what NPR says we need to know about the 150+ hostages still held by Hamas.

America’s First Carbon Positive Hotel

Doing good sure looks good in Denver

Carbon positive

Did you know that buildings currently account for 45% of greenhouse emissions? This is composed of both the “embodied carbon” which goes into the construction and the ongoing operational energy needed to run it. While carbon-neutral construction has increased in recent years, it's not enough to slow climate change. “Carbon positive” structures take the concept of carbon-neutral design one step further.This fresh concept is setting a new standard of sustainable living. And it's all kicking off in Denver, where Populus, the first carbon positive hotel in the United States is set to open in early 2024. The name is derived from the scientific name for aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) and its exterior is meant to mimic the distinct eye-shaped patterns on the tree while improving its energy performance. The window “lids” also channel rainwater to keep the exterior clean without extra energy for washing. While the design is already striking, it becomes all the more beautiful when you learn it was made with as many reclaimed and eco-friendly materials as possible.Not only is the building offsetting its carbon by planting over 5,000 acres of local forest, but the staff will also rely on other renewable benefits, such as sourcing food used in its ground floor and rooftop restaurant via regenerative agriculture partnerships, and utilizing landfill diversion programs to minimize waste. It's part of a larger push to think more about how our built environment interacts with our communities—from the need for open green spaces to vehicle miles required and overall utilities.

Next Up:

Seattle's Pioneer Square will soon be home to the second carbon positive hotel in the country.

Ikea Just Unveiled Smart Home Sensors

What’s More, The sensors will cost less than $10 each


Ikea used to be a place where you got cheap furniture, right? But recently, it's been on a mission to democratize the smart home, with all sorts of integrated lights, wireless speakers and electric blinds that are both affordable and well-designed. This week, the company announced a set of smart home sensors: a door and window sensor named Parasoll, a motion sensor called Vallhorn, and a water leakage sensor called Badring. These are set to be globally released starting in January 2024.The Verge reports that each of the sensors is likely to retail in the U.S. for under $10, based on pricing in Europe. The motion sensor can be used both indoors and outdoors to activate lights or other automations when movement is detected. And it can be paired to directly control up to 10 Ikea smart bulbs right out of the box.The Parasoll works like a standard door and window sensor, alerting you of activity but also pairing with a smart bulb to automatically turn on a light when someone opens the door. Gizmodo says the Badring has the potential “to be nothing less than a lifesaver.” By alerting you as soon as it senses a leak, it could end up saving you a lot of money at its very reasonable price. Badring works by featuring a built-in siren that goes up to 60 dBA upon sensing a depth of at least three feet. They're truly helpful improvements that are easy to install, unintrusive and best of all, affordable.

In Other News

Nikki Haley

Other big donors have also backed the former U.N. ambassador’s campaign.

Have you heard about ...

Little Mac

The Long Read

When the young and the old befriend one another, everyone can benefit. So why doesn’t it happen more?

The Atlantic

Most Americans don’t seem to have much age diversity in their friendships. A 2023 study found that, for a group of young adults ages 21 to 30, more than 80 percent of the people in their social circles, not counting relatives, were born within five years of them. Even looking at a broader age range, nearly 63 percent of adults don’t have any close friends who are at least 15 years older or younger than them.”

- By Annie Midori Atherton

Read It:



What We’re Buying


Clarks Wallabee

Take advantage of these being on sale, because they rarely are. Wallabees are known for their distinctive moccasin construction, crepe rubber sole and simple, versatile design.

Get It:

Wallabee, $170 / $102 by Clarks

Morning Motto

Go with it.

Most likely, you will not end up where you think you are going to end up, even in the short term—which is a good thing. Go with it.


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