The Daily Valet. - 6/24/24, Monday

Monday, June 24th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Let's have a great week, okay?

Today’s Big Story

Are You a Mosquito Magnet?


New study suggests certain colors you wear could attract bugs to bite you


There’s a lot of good things that come with summertime. But the influx of bugs sure ain’t one of them. And with much of the country set to suffer through a wetter and hotter than average summer, health officials are reminding the public to protect against mosquito bites.

Dubbed “the world’s deadliest animal” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitos are responsible for causing more death than any other animal worldwide. Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry some pretty nasty diseases. They spread a variety of viruses and parasites, such as malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, filariasis, West Nile virus and yellow fever. While there are thousands of species of mosquitos across the globe, only about 200 types of mosquitoes live in the continental U.S. and U.S. territories, and only 12 of them spread disease.

If you’re the type to find yourself getting a lot of mosquito bites, it could be because of the way you smell or the colors of the clothes you are wearing, recent research has found. “If you think you are a mosquito magnet, it’s probably the case,” Jeffrey Riffell, a biology professor at the University of Washington who studies mosquito sensory systems, said in a video on the university’s website released earlier this month. “Some individuals are bitten way more than others.”

According to TIME, Riffell has been working with a team of researchers to try to better understand how mosquitoes find food—male mosquitoes drink nectar from flowers to get sugar, while females drink blood as a means to help with laying eggs. His team discovered that female mosquitoes find humans “by following a trail of scent cues,” such as the chemicals humans exude from their skin, sweat and the carbon dioxide gas humans exhale when they breathe. Mosquitoes are also drawn to certain colors—they love red and black, Riffell said in the video. But mosquitoes tend to dislike white and green.

Researchers also discovered that mosquitoes often learn from their interactions. Meaning, if they find you attractive and bite you, they may start to like biting you. Yet they are also able to learn to avoid you. If you try to swat them, they may learn to stay away from you to some extent. So show those blood suckers no mercy this summer.

A full moon can increase mosquito activity by 500% because mosquitoes use visual cues to find their next meal, which is easier to do when the moon is full.

Israel Suggests War May Soon Enter New Phase


Netanyahu also walks back proposal for Gaza hostage-ceasefire deal

The intensive phase of Israel’s war against Hamas is “about to end,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Sunday night interview on Israeli television, although he emphasized that did not mean the conflict was coming to a close. According to the New York Times, his remarks were the latest suggestion by senior Israeli officials that the war could soon enter a period of change.

And international pressure on Israel’s actions in Gaza have mounted since it started its operation in Rafah. Last month, the UN’s top court ordered Israel to immediately halt its controversial military operation there, calling the humanitarian situation “disastrous.” In his interview, Netanyahu said that he is ready to make “a partial deal” with Hamas to return some hostages still being held captive in Gaza, but he reiterated his position that the war will still continue after a ceasefire “to achieve the goal of eliminating” Hamas.

That walks back the Biden-approved deal for a three-phase proposal that would lead to the release of all remaining 120 hostages and to “sustainable calm” in Gaza. While Israel’s military says it is close to dismantling or seriously degrading Hamas’s military infrastructure, the government has not proposed any clear plan for the administration of Gaza after the war. Also on Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant arrived in Washington for meetings with U.S. officials amid growing fears that border clashes between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah could escalate into all-out war.

Dig Deeper:
Vox examines why Israel's catastrophic war policy is driven by a national ideology of trauma.

Climate Change Is Making Our Bills More Expensive


Researchers warn the hazards will only get worse, for the planet and the economy

What if human-caused climate change is not only leading to higher temps and longer storms, but high prices, too? Like we really need something else to worsen inflation … but researchers are saying it’s happening. So are the shoppers at Costco. The hefty, store-brand olive oil bottles they had been purchasing for years, the ones they all agreed were the best and cheapest around, suddenly cost twice what they used to.

According to the Washington Post, as human-created greenhouse gas emissions wreak planetary chaos, researchers forecast even more economic effects, driving temporary price increases—and raising risks for longer-term inflation, especially as spikes become more frequent. Of all the goods that could be affected by climate-driven price spikes, food is among the most vulnerable.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—a U.N. coalition of the world’s top climate scientists—projects that disasters will increasingly strike multiple agricultural regions at the same time, creating worldwide shortages. One study found that the risk of simultaneous crop failures in major corn-growing regions could increase from a 6% chance per year in recent decades to 40% if the world warms to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures — a threshold the planet is likely to exceed within the next decade.

Extreme weather events influenced by climate change are causing ever greater destruction, forcing insurers to increase their premiums where they can.

The Business of Restaurant Reservations


As American Express acquires Tock, who’s winning the reservation wars?

There was once a time when you had to call a restaurant on the phone to book a reservation. You might spend five minutes going through the whole process only to be told no tables were available. The internet and apps like Resy made all of this much more simple. Then the bots came...

In April, the New Yorker published a fascinating story about the people making thousands of dollars a year from reselling restaurant bookings on sites like Appointment Trader and Cita Reservations. These sellers often use bots to automate the process of snapping up reservations the moment they become available and then they resell the booking for as much as six hundred dollars. Think of it as Stubhub for restaurants.

But now, lawmakers are hoping to take “black market” reservations off the menu, so to speak. The legislation would fine the middlemen for reselling those dinner times without the restaurant’s permission. Meanwhile, American Express just aquired Tock, its second acquisition of a reservation system: It has also owned Resy since 2019, a partnership that has opened up exclusive Resy perks for Amex cardholders. Why? Restaurants are one of their cardholders’ largest spending categories, the company says. Eater, who looked into the state of the reservations systems today, found that Amex is also clearly leaning into the cachet of both the hard-to-get credit card and the competitive reservation. After all, people who want one likely also want the other.

OpenTable has been taking reservations online since 1998.

The Long Read


The annual rite of passage has always been more about the ambivalence of adults than the amusement of kids


During the years between the two world wars, as anxieties over the rise of fascism suffused the adult world, advocates began to see summer camp as a way to instill the principles of democratic cooperation into the next generation.

- By Ashley Stimpson


Relaxed Summer Staples on Sale


Pick up some quality pieces
during G-Star RAW's sale event


Rovix relaxed short, $110 / $77

Can one pair of shorts be both tough and comfortable? Yes. And these from G-Star RAW prove that point. Cut from strong twill that's been washed for softness, they feature oversized cargo pockets—a modern take on workwear and military style. The boxy, throwback silhouette feels very 2024 and the touch of stretch in the material means that they're ready to keep you cool on any warm weather adventure. And right now, you can get up to 50% off select items during the brand's Summer Sale event—including a wide range of denim—so check it out.


Premium Dakota denim shirt,
$210 / $105


Rovulc II denim sneaker,
$90 / $63


Raw denim chino,
$220 / $110

Get up to 50% off at G-Star RAW during the Summer Sale event

Morning Motto

Don’t rush it.


The happiest people I know are slowing own, not speeding up.




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