It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for She Wants the Tea – #421.
Would AirPods try to sync to any iPhone around them if they are already synced?
Say what you want about Apple's pricey wireless headphones, but no one can deny that they are a slick piece of technology. With all of Apple's arguable missteps over the last few years with the iPhone 7 and the latest MacBook Pro, I think I am with Burnie in thinking that the AirPods are the best piece of tech to come out of Cupertino in quite a bit. One of the reasons their tech is so easily admired is because it is smart.
One such bit of intelligence is that there is a maximum proximity to a device required to attempt pairing. This means that pairing the AirPods isn't just about Bluetooth range; it is also about being close enough to the device for pairing to actually make sense. Additionally, if a set of AirPods is already synced with an iPhone, the user must press and hold the pair button on their case to reinitiate the pairing sequence. However, pairing with an iPhone will also instantly pair them with any other iCloud-enabled device, such as your Apple Watch or Mac, without you having to do anything at all. From there, the handoff of the audio is as simple as changing the relevant output settings on the device to point to the AirPods.
What is the monetary equivalent for 300k miles on American Airlines?
Airlines, in general, tend to be very quiet on the monetary value of the miles and rewards programs. This is likely for legal reasons but also because the air of uncertainty means that consumers are more prone to arbitrarily assign a greater value than is likely accurate. In truth, American Airlines’ (and all airline mileage programs’) values are dependent on several factors that can change on a daily, or in some cases minute-by-minute, basis. These factors can include the current state of the air travel market, the expected passenger load for a particular flight or route, the origin and destination airports, and more. Since these mileage exchange rates are controlled by the airlines themselves, there is a bottom line cost that they are willing to allow for the exchange. With the exception of the rare fixed value points, which are points worth an established or predetermined dollar value, point values can accurately be described as being equal to exactly what you would be willing to pay for a ticket at the time of cashing them in. In other words, if you are looking for a specific route and intend to fly a specific class with your miles, then that will drastically affect the current value of your points. Your willingness to be more flexible with flight times, routes, and seat assignments naturally adds more value to your points because it allows you to, theoretically, gravitate toward a better use of them. A popular series of articles on this very subject gave birth to the below diagram, which I believe provides an accurate rendering of the valuation of mileage points at any point in time.
Using this diagram as a guide, we can use Gus's 300K miles as a reference point for valuation and see if we can come to a rough idea of the how the valuation of these points is not just a simple division problem of ticket cost over miles traveled, but rather a possibly telling example of our own differences of opinion concerning value.
As background, there are a few facts we need to establish as baselines. First, we are all now @gus. Restrain your sudden urge to drop everything and just head home and turn your phone off for the next few days. Secondly, we are going to assume that we are all just basic American Airlines rewards members. This tier awards 5 points per every dollar spent on tickets. This means that our 300K miles is equivalent to roughly $60,000 spent on air travel. In reality, point specials and a higher member status likely reduces this dollar amount somewhat, but in order to have a stable baseline, lets just say $60,000 is the initial "value" of our 300K points. Lastly, there is some variable that could be introduced around redeemable miles being accrued based on mileage flown versus purchased but, again, in the interest of creating a baseline valuation as well as the fact that as of 2016 American Airlines has modified their accrual program to be based fully off of the amount spent, we are going to ignore that as well.
Now that we are all in agreement that an easy base valuation of our accrued miles is roughly $60,000, we can review the hypothetical cost of trips and base our mileage valuation off of our willingness to spend that kind of "equivalent" money. For example, let's assume a flight from Austin to LA would run you 50K miles or $500. Based on our previous calculation, your per-mile value should be around 20 cents per mile, but some quick math tells us that this trip from Austin to LA would reduce the value of those 50K miles to a mere penny. This is a 95% loss in valuation! Now let's take an international flight as an example. Let's say you, as Gus, need to waste some time "reviewing" the London venue for RTX. Let's assume that your flight from Austin to London can cost you $2,000 or 100K miles. The same quick math now tells us that this updated valuation is around 2 cents per mile. While significantly better than your trip to LA, it is still a far cry from the accrual valuation. While unsurprising, it is still crazy just how much of a loss we take on the redemption of the miles.
With these two valuation examples we can move on to the point of all of these details to decide what our own valuations are. Ultimately, your valuation of these tickets may be very different from the real Cheese Master and it is completely dependent on whether you would take the trip if miles weren't in the picture. Essentially, if you are okay paying $2,000 for the trip from Austin to London, then you can confidently say that the value of your miles is roughly 2 cents per mile. On the other hand, if you are just as willing to take the $500 trip from Austin to LA, then your miles are actually worth only 1 cent. Personally, I know from planning a trip to RTX Austin that a flight from NYC to Austin will run me, on average, around $400. Given that it is a domestic flight, we can estimate a mileage valuation of slightly below a penny. Knowing what I know now, I would almost want to save my mileage for other uses like class upgrades, long international flights, or a bid to be the first to fly in a brand new plane.
Since we all should have a good idea of the economics behind airline rewards programs, I'm interested to know which way you would go. Would you take them all because it is better than spending cold hard cash or are you a mile hoarder?
Does Project Red actually contribute to AIDS research?
It does. Per the licensing agreement, products and brands leveraging the Project Red brand are required to give up to 50% of their profits to Project Red. However, it should be pointed out that not only does the exact amount of contribution differ based on the brand and company contributing due to differences in license agreements, but that Project Red is not a non-profit organization. Instead, they are often pointed to as an example of ethical consumerism since they are claiming to combine humanitarian efforts with running a profitable business. Despite criticisms around this model, they claim to have raised $465 million and affected over 90 million people. Additional criticisms of the business have pointed to the fact that many of their largest brands tend to spend far more in advertising their "Red" products than those products actually generate for the Global Fund. Those critics are quick to point to the idea that had companies like Apple, Gap, or Nike just donated their advertising budget outright, the fund would be in a much better place.
Does Susan G. Komen charity contribute at all?
First, anyone who has an interest, or intention, in contributing to a charity, I recommend they spend some time on Charity Navigator. This site does a fantastic job of breaking down thousands of nonprofit organizations to essentially vet and rank them on various financial criteria. Using this site we can quickly see that the Susan G. Komen foundation does not actually look that bad at the moment. However, it is important to point out that this ranking is what the current state of the charitable foundation. The rumors surrounding the Komen foundation's possible corruption are actually a few years old and, while the organization has begun to finally drop some of the negative stigma around their name, it is obviously not completely behind them.
The reason for this reputation stems largely from the organization's original founder, Nancy Goodman Brinker, who in 2012 announced that she would be stepping down as CEO, only to be kept in the position and suddenly claim a $684K annual salary. Additional controversy quickly followed as reports about ties to various pharmaceutical companies and government lobbyists further tainted the non-profit's image. As of 2015, Brinker had stepped down to a purely advisory and unpaid role, with the new CEO, Judith A. Salerno, claiming a much more modest $200K salary.
What does "allow it" mean?
There is some debate on this and it apparently depends on what part of London you happen to hail from, but, for the most part, this would be used as a synonym to "just leave it alone" or "don't worry about it."
Slang from every state?
There have actually been several articles written on this subject and, naturally, not all of them agree. However, this one from Slate is definitely one of the more comprehensive, and it also comes with a nifty infographic. While it may not always be considered "slang," it is probably the most relevant interpretation of the question asked on the podcast. For the record, Nebraska would be "runza" which is apparently a pastry of some sort? I've never heard of it.
Do you agree with the choice for your state's word?
Where are horses from?
Fossil evidence suggests that the ancestors of the modern horse evolved in North America and traveled to other parts of the world via land bridges which existed at the time. Despite this concentration, geological shifts and a changing planet actually killed all of the North and South American horses off near the end of the Pleistocene epoch. It would take roughly 14,000 years before horses would be once again seen on this continent when Columbus made landfall with horses on board.
Interestingly, because of this narrow descendant line, every thoroughbred horse can be traced back to only three Arabian stallions that continued the line by mating with European mares.
Where are cats from?
Originally thought to have originated specifically in ancient Egypt because of the obvious affinity for the creatures, recent archaeological and DNA evidence has tracked all domesticated cats to the Felis silvestris, also known as the wildcat. This smaller species of feline has existed for millennia across much of the Near East. While it is difficult to lock down Egypt as the Near East territory which saw the final evolution of "Fluffy," it is certain that the wildcat's own domestication began around 7500 BCE in various parts of the fertile crescent as man began to rely more on farming, rather than hunting, as a source of food. The domestication of the wildcat was initially intended to control the rodent population in and around the fields and food stores of the farmers. However, the domesticated cat quickly became somewhat of a status symbol, i.e., if you had a cat, that meant you had grain to protect and therefore either had money to buy it or land to grow it, both of which meant you were definitely "well off." It was this status symbol, and their connection to the gods of that time, that led noble Egyptian households to mummify their feline friends.
Michael chugging BBQ sauce?
Watch it here.
Hamburger roulette video?
Watch it here.
Can you breathe in your dishwasher and would it work as a shower?
We know from previous answer posts that a dishwasher’s water temperature is typically somewhere around 120 degrees or, on the “sanitize” setting, as high as 150 degrees. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), prolonged exposure of 120-degree water and less than five minutes under 140-degree water will lead to third-degree burns. Additionally, anyone who has ever taken a vacation and forgotten to run the load of dirty dishes will tell you that while dishwashers may not be 100% airtight, they do tend to have a pretty strong seal. However, assuming that you were able to ensure that enough breathable oxygen were available, as well as a way to vent your exhaled carbon dioxide, you could limit the water to a reasonable 105-degrees, and you managed to remove all of the racks and shelving without damaging the water sprayers, then… sure.
Since this is the internet and it is filled with people of… questionable... intelligence who are typically motivated by alcohol, here is a DIY video.
Note: In honor of Philly D guest starring on MDB, “Don’t Be Stupid, Stupid!” Do not try this at home.
Are you allowed to send photos of the inside of cargo space on airlines as ground crew?
This is largely left up to the discretion of the airlines, as the FAA is more concerned with pictures taken inside the actual terminals. However, most of the airlines I was able to review have a consistent "no photos of employee-only areas." This would include the inside of a plane's cargo area, in and around the plane, as well as any behind the scenes employee lounges.
American luchador Mexican wrestler posing as Trump supporter?
American luchador Sam Adonis has spent the last several months carrying a Trump-adorned American Flag to the ring for his Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling matches. When Reuters interviewed him, he made it clear that while he is not a direct Trump supporter, he does enjoy the fact that, for the moment at least, Trump's controversial presidency IS putting a bit more money in the young luchador's pocket.