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What does graffiti artists geotagging their work mean for minted NFTs?

Artists are currently working to mint NFTs through geotagging. ioTex and FOAM are two brands revolutionizing the way artists and workplaces flow.

As technologies continue to advance, humans scramble to adapt. It is almost like the saying, “Humans make plans and God laughs,” in terms of inevitability.

Naturally, the market will take some dips and the volatility combined with environmental risk is much too high at the moment. With that being said, major investors are on board and diligently working to transition to a new proof-of-stake model that requires much less electrical energy consumption.

Location, visual and voice technology will reign supreme in the 21st century. Eventually, ease-of-access will triumph in every situation, from minted NFTs in ioTex to location processing in FOAM.

geotagging iotex nfts
Drop a pin, send your location (via Fakurian Design)

Currently, graffiti artists are beginning to mint NFTs via geotagging. Peep a few examples of companies working to solidify geotagged NFTs within the blockchain.

ioTex utilizes cloud-based consumption for the greater good with Pebble Go

ioT = the internet of things. ioTex has put together a device capable of recording and encrypting data. That way, minted NFTs and other technologies’ location, temperature, air quality, and motion can be monitored.

This could play a key role in healthcare as vaccination temperatures can be pristinely tracked throughout the duration of their journeys.

geotagging mint iotex nfts
Disestablishmentarianism – It is only a matter of time (via Fakurian Design)

The thoroughbred item that this company has ponied up major shekels for is called the Pebble Tracker. Reminiscent of Pokemon Go, Pebble Go provides proof-of-presence for shareholders without spoof locations.

FOAM serves at the forefront of resilient alternatives to current maps/location services

This company magnifies every issue and tackles it with ferocity. They hang their hat upon the fact that GPS is a dying medium. Eventually, all tracking and location services will exist within the blockchain.

Given this notion, FOAM represents the future of proof-of-location. It exists as an interdisciplinary workspace that works to support urban entrepreneurs through decentralization. 

GPS tracking is much too faulty, unreliable, and prone to hacking (via FOAM Whitepaper)

FOAM relies upon carbon-friendly verification layers at its core

Given the fact that it is latched upon the third-party gatekeeper, Ethereum, this company is already ahead of the eight ball. The reason being, Ethereum is based upon proof-of-stake and not proof-of-work processes.

“If the conception of legitimacy for NFTs can be pulled in a good direction, there is an opportunity to establish a solid channel of funding to artists, charities and others.”

ETH co-Founder Vitalik Buterin

Here are a few other tangible features FOAM has in the vault:

  • Heatmaps used to depict intensity of data
    • (intensity = staked value of a signal)
  • Radio beacon zones with virtual transport layers
  • Plasma operatives
  • Counter factual verification
  • Byzantine consensus & triangulated positional data

Minted NFT checkpoint validators signify less hacks/breaches, stronger privacy and peace of mind

Whether you like it, own it, comprehend it, or despise it – NFTs are quickly establishing permanence in our rapidly evolving society. Due to their non-invasive nature and reflection of independence, it is inevitable that the blockchain will eventually have us all linked up. 

After all – that is the goal, right? To deconstruct the long-broken centralized system of banking? Our system is much like Medusa and there are many snakes that need to be cut before the head can fall and grow new roots.

This color range signals intensity levels that render hotspots on a map (via Miro.Medium)

Being politically correct is overrated – as long as you make sure you were historically correct in the long run. Owning any stake of the decentralized banking system is a wonderful way to do so.

While these terms and phrases might sound foreign, it is good to familiarize yourself early on. Sooner or later, we will all understand ways to privately capture our own data and release it at our own discretion.

Until then, tune in and we will provide all the free game you need about the future! I come in peace, Earthlings! 

The Basics of NFL Betting: A 101 Guide for Newbies

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the US.

If you’re new to NFL betting or to sports betting in general, we’re here to help with this guide to teach you all about the basics of NFL betting. Armed with this essential knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether or not NFL betting is for you and when to go all in. 

So, without further ado, let’s get into the basics of NFL betting.

Single-Game NFL Bets

Betting The Point Spread

Another popular way to gamble on football is point spread betting. This is when the favored team to win has to do so by a specified number of points (the spread) in order for you to receive a return on your original bet, leveling the playing field for the underdog team.

Betting The Moneyline 

It might not be quite as popular as betting the point spread, this is arguably one of the easiest types of football bets to wrap your head around when you’re still starting out.

The aim of this bet is to pick the winning team for a specified game. 

Betting Totals (Over/Under)

When you bet on the “total” you aren’t betting on the winning team, but rather on the total points scored at the end of the game. This is also known as over/under betting.

You will have the choice to pick either over the given total odds at your chosen bookies or under this number to predict how many points will be scored overall. 

Multiple-Game NFL Bets


A parley is a type of bet that involves multiple events rather than a single game. You can place a combination of a point spread, money line, or total bets each week but rarely in the same game, although the exact rules can vary depending on your sportsbook. 

For parlay bets, a lot of sportsbooks will offer as many events as you wish to include whereas others place a limit on the maximum number. Although parlay bets tend to come with a higher potential reward, you will need to get every prediction right in order to win. 


A teaser bet is a variation of a parlay bet where you are betting against the spread or the total, giving up a potential payout in order to receive spreads that are more in your favor. 

If you are betting on the total, you can also include a teaser bet and some sportsbooks will provide a list of alternatives so you can work the spread both ways for every game. In order to win the bet, all of your selections will need to be correct. 

nfl bets
Photo Cred: Pexels

In addition to the bets we’ve already discussed, you can also wager on the performance of individual players, which team will win the game, and the outcome of a single play.

Prop Bets

Props are an extremely popular and commonly placed bet during the Super Bowl although you can place them at any time during the NFL season. These can usually be anything from the first team to score to how many yards a specified quarterback can make a throw for.

You will receive a statistic for your sportsbook’s predicted total and you can bet on whether it will be over or under. Make sure to double-check the odds you are offered. 


For the ultimate NFL enthusiast, you can even start betting on future NFL games that are to occur in the next year’s Super Bowl. Keen, right? These are called futures bets. 

You can bet on who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy or on the player awards for the season, such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, etc. 

Another popular futures bet is team win totals which are when your sportsbook will specify the number of wins for each team (usually including a hook) which you can then bet under or over. This is also sometimes referred to as “season props” by certain sportsbooks. 

Final Thoughts

football referee
Photo Courtesy: Pexels

As you can see, there is plenty to learn about NFL sports betting, but once you’ve mastered the basics, including the things we’ve talked about throughout this article, you will be on your way to making money in no time. 

This will be even easier if you’re already a huge NFL fan as you’ll have the knowledge and the experience to back up your bets, increasing your chances of being successful.

Good luck!

Why close domestic travel is more important now than ever

This year of staying in has likely given us a stronger desire to travel than ever before. Being home within the same four walls only invigorated the urge people had to visit something new, unfamiliar, exotic. Seeing the kitchen counter or the driveway just doesn’t hit the same… but that doesn’t mean all close domestic travel is mundane.

Somehow, being restricted to an environment we thought we knew inside out, perhaps let us realize how little we knew after all.

The streets you never saw

Granted, this doesn’t sound all that exciting. But COVID walks became a thing, right?

Instead of sitting down for coffee, you grabbed it to go and walked for hours with the friend you were meeting. You turned corners you never knew existed. Worked out outside on the piers by the Hudson in New York or your local park.

And in LA, hiked up Runyon Canyon more times than you would have dared to bet.

We came to cherish the simple things more than we ever did, and realized privilege was in places where we might have seen none before.

Close domestic travel became a new way to explore, uncurling back the layers of places we thought we knew as well as the back of our hand.

In spite of the excitement from travel reopening that’s something too precious to let go of.

Flying, flying

Naturally, if you can, go visit the family members you haven’t seen in months. Go on the honeymoon that was canceled or the trip you had been saving for. Most people have an insatiable desire to travel, and that is a good thing. We should want to learn more about the world.

Hopefully, those will turn out even more meaningful, because as essential as travel is for culture and knowledge of our world, the immediacy and limitless access society has grown accustomed to is something that had yet to be put in perspective.

It’s difficult to realize just how many planes were in the sky on a regular basis in previous times. Opening your local flight radar when there were supposedly “no planes” going anywhere was scary. There were still so many.

Travel but make close and domestic

This isn’t a call to stop flying or discovering the world if you are lucky to.

But simply one to acknowledge that regardless of restrictions this “travel bug” never left us. We were just able to satisfy it with less for a while and appreciate the beautiful things that lie around us. From road trips to train rides, our eyes may have opened a little along with our minds.

To be overly general: New Yorkers took to Sag Harbour or The Hamptons. Even day trips to Coney Island, or picnics in Central Park peaked in their appeal and hopefully will continue to be a thing. Drives to Vermont to be surrounded by nature, or to Big Sur from LA for some peace and quiet.

It took a minute, but I took the opportunity to visit places I had never been in my home country. Places I honestly wouldn’t have particularly thought of as “vacation” destinations prior to this year. I’m not saying it replaces it.

Considering the past year as “hard times” is an understatement for most, and a desire to travel is the first thing on many people’s wishlists. But when you come back, it might be worth keeping your eyes open, because we tend to miss what’s right there in front of us.

TikTok reminds the world that NYC was never dead

With 70 percent of New Yorkers vaccinated, and the mask mandate lifted just a couple of weeks ago, social media has been filled with videos of packed subway stations, bar hopping, and resumed brunch hours. It has been proclaimed, even on TikTok, that NYC is back. But this is all to the disdain of native NYC residents who claim that the city was never dead.

TikTok is known for having trends that pervade the platform. Some are inherently positive, and some are quite the opposite. In this case, there is no ill-will, but it is a matter of accuracy for New Yorkers. If NYC was never dead, take it from them; and if TikTok says NYC is back, let’s examine what has in fact changed.

NYC was never dead, but there were dark times in the Empire State

NYC was the epicenter of the pandemic. The virus tragically took 30,386 lives.

While hundreds of thousands of people escaped the pandemic-riddled city back to their hometowns, NYC residents were left at the hands of the virus. Empty streets, deserted subway stations, and an empty Times Square were just the tip of the iceberg.

Businesses that have been there for decades closed down for good, 631,000 jobs were lost, and while people worried about tourism, residents couldn’t afford to pay for rent or food. Images of stuffed hospitals, and panicked staff trying to find room for the piling dead bodies flooded the local news. Scared citizens were left to watch from their homes.

After relentless months of hardship and collected fear, the city that never sleeps took a much-deserved rest, and while others labeled it dead, New Yorkers proved what truly made the city, not the crowded streets, and Broadway shows, but the people. During hard times, New Yorkers stayed strong, and took care of one another.

“Nature is healing,” TikTok says NYC is back

A TikTok video showing the city slowly returning to normal, and proving critics wrong who called the city “dead forever,” had hundreds of comments from New Yorkers who voiced how resilient the city truly is.

“Whoever said it was dead must not have been born here. The city always bounces back. We’re resilient & strong. Love my city,” reads one comment.

The reality of the city isn’t meant to be funny

The app has also been flooded with NYC vlogs, especially from out of state residents who are slowly moving back, who claim the city is back by showing shenanigans of the city, depicting it as a zoo.

Although it’s all meant for comical purposes, native New Yorkers have shown disapproval of these videos, upset that real communities are put into a negative light by people who weren’t here during tough times. 

In a TikTok video from dutchdeccc, he reacts to these type of videos, criticizing them for creating a false narrative of the city. As well as being insensitive to people’s livelihoods.

“This whole making fun of the city trend..all of the quirky New York things, none of it is quirky or funny. Like seeing a dead body or talking about a shooting ‘LOL shooting on my block so funny,’ what? Someone lost their life, somebody’s family is grieving, someone’s community is grieving. New York is not a Disney World ride, that’s a real person, and this is a real place,” he says.

He then finishes off the video by challenging people who make these kinds of vlogs to actually think about the real issues within the neighborhoods they inhabit. And how they’re directly causing some of these issues (kicking people out of their neighborhoods, causing higher rent, and cost of living for other New Yorkers…).

He urges them to do better, and to simply think before they post.

The video received thousands of comments sharing the same thoughts as him, and asking for sensitivity for communities who’ve gone through a lot, especially in the last year.

NFT houses offer virtual getaways and new digital affordances

NFTs have expanded from a simple labor of love into an absolute behemoth through continual growth and mass adoption. Thanks to Krista Kim, the first-ever digital getaway NFT house has been minted and sold for over $500,000 on Super Rare. These NFT houses offer owners the possibility for a virtual getaway as well as digital affordances.

Minting proves provenance

NFT this… NFT that. It seems that NFTs are popping up left and right in our ever-evolving universe.

For those unaware, NFT stands for nonfungible token, which provides digitization through a ‘minting’ process.

digital getaway
Krista Kim’s Mars House in night vision from a distance (Credit: Krista Kim)

‘Mint’ is the usable world for verification and officially marks an NFT as a redeemable item capable of sale, transfer, modification etc.

As decentralization of current systemic structures begins to set in – NFTs play a pivotal role in that process. They deal with basic primitives such as ownership, transfer, and simple access control to online assets. 

As a whole, cryptocurrency and NFTs are disruptors. As we experience a mass transition into digitization, a major change is inevitable. Suffice to say, change is never easy but it will be swift. 

Multipurposed and multifaceted use cases bring endless possibilities.

Supercharged NFT industries aim to be frictionless 

When it comes to techism and digitization innovation is paramount. Being able to separate yourself within any endeavor will always be pivotal. As of this very moment, NFT platforms are so nascent and brand new that there are countless limitations. 

virtual getaway
Mars House master bedroom (Credit: Krista Kim)

As disruptive creatives, it is our goal to shatter barriers en route to testing and stretching parameters. Therefore, we must utilize outside-of-the-box thinking. Realize that everything happens for a reason and in order to evolve you must continually strategize different movement mechanisms.

NFT homes give release from reality through streams of consciousness

An NFT home represents a digital asset that is synonymous with self-expression and livelihood enrichment. These homes are collaborative, immersive and exist within a metaverse. Digital assets contain strong value propositions because they appreciate over time. 

digital getaway
Mars House outdoor space (Credit: Krista Kim)

How exactly do these NFT homes garner value? Well, first it is imperative to build with sustainable materials that might translate to real life. Some examples include glass, steel and LED walls as architectural substrates. 

Second, they must be scalable to translate into reality. As a social asset, there are well-calculated steps that can be taken to shift the current landscape and preserve parallel worlds.

NFT houses serve as an online oasis

More and more people are seeking harmony through escapism and meditative states of well-being. It is clear that an NFT home can provide this sense of relief as a continuum of fluidity and virtual getaway. 

nft houses
Curate a life worth living – that way getaways are purely enjoyed (via Quino)

Nothing was ever achieved within your comfort zone rather achievement exists within the throws of constant flux and change. This rapid evolution has already begun and NFTs are certainly a barometer of our modern era. 

Whatever you do, do not discredit or devalue NFTs because they are not going anywhere anytime soon. In essence, be a producer, not a consumer, and see if that doesn’t boost your overall disposition within this world.

English for the Older Adults: How to Learn It

Older adults want to continue to learn English too…

Do you have a parent or a grandparent who needs a little boost in life? Learning languages is a universal solution for older adults to improve brain activity, find friends and get rid of boredom.

However, the first place in the ranking of the most relevant arguments in favor of English learning is that the elderly would like to have more fun in their lives and boost the interaction.

English is the language of international communication. It has long been no secret that this is the key to successful career advancement and “hassle-free” communication in any country.

Not all people on the planet speak it, but “gestures plus a couple of English words” is already a formula of mutual understanding, making it a significant push to study the language.

older adult learning english
Woman in Black Using Her Smartphone While Having Coffee

Try Private Lessons with the Older Adults to Learn English

Older adults need to try private lessons and find an English teacher. If you want them to practice additionally on your own, then it is worth remembering some recommendations. The person has to do it regularly, willingly every day, at least for ten minutes.

The best time for learning is in the morning. The first step should be familiarity with letters, sounds, reading rules, and phonetics. The person needs to find out how to pronounce a particular word with the help of transcription in the dictionary.

It can be an online translator, where there is a “pronounce a word” function. The older adult needs to listen to it several times, try to repeat it.

Visual dictionaries, which can also be found on the Internet, are very convenient. Ask some younger generation to help, and if you are an advanced Internet user, your usual search engine will help. Vivid pictures, words pronounced by native speakers, and translation into Russian will facilitate the memorization process.

The older adult will need to determine their English proficiency level in order to see how much they need to learn. Remember that people get an incomplete and not entirely accurate result from such tests, but it speaks the truth! This service is provided by many language schools and is often free of charge as well. Another technique that works well for adults is the so-called mind map.

Learning English is always a two-way process. If you are ready to study, you have the desire and motivation, and then it is essential to choose the right teacher. Most English language schools give a free first trial lesson. It will reveal to you the competence of the teacher.

Group Lessons Can Be Helpful

There are many opportunities to learn a language on your own. It is almost impossible to learn to speak alone with yourself. That is why many centers that provide lessons for older adults conduct classes for retirement age classes.

The basic skills in learning a foreign language are these: listening, reading, vocabulary, grammar, and speaking in the process of training. Many language schools also place great emphasis on pronunciation in their curriculum. The older do their homework and check it in the lesson with the teacher.

Training should take place twice a week, and the classes should last an hour and a half. There should be no more than twelve people in the group, so far only women. This diversity can positively impact the learning process: the students get to know each other, communicate, and have fun.

Positive Influence of Learning English

It is possible to look at the advantages of education in the “adult” age from a health-improving perspective.

Research in Toronto has shown the effectiveness of learning a new foreign language in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Spanish woman Mari Huston began learning English after reading Shakespeare plays at 60. Now she is 90, and she perfectly translates the works of the Spanish writers into English.

Wrap It Up… Older Adults should study a foreign language

The life of a modern adult is in full swing at a frantic pace. Allocating time throughout the day is considered a skill taught by smartbooks, courses, business coaches.

Nurture the motivation of your older people to study a foreign language. Desire will automatically appear as the person starts the lessons. Passion will help people find time, energy, and money. This ingenious chain is the foundation of personal progress.

Terrifying side job stories show us the lengths creatives go to be successful

For the creatives struggling to make ends meet and clients who aren’t proud to pay… These terrifying side jobs stories are for you.

As people will remind us again and again, it can be hard to make a living as a creative. Many creatives are forced to seek side jobs to sustain their creative practices, but terrifying stories of these endeavors swarm.

The fear: Are side jobs sustainable for creatives?

As an English major, many of my peers have told me that my chosen major is “impractical” and that I’ll never find a job after graduation. Honestly, I’m scared they’re right.

It’s difficult to be successful as any type of artist, which is why many choose to do something more “practical” on the side. However, these side-hustles aren’t easy either. Here are stories of side-hustles gone wrong that remind us how difficult it can be to make a living as a creative.  

Exploited rideshare drivers

This past week, Uber Eats driver Smithson Michael posted an emotional TikTok of himself after receiving a measly tip of $1.19. He had been driving for this customer for more than an hour.

Even when you don’t consider how Uber tends to financially exploit their drivers, this is an insultingly small tip. “I got $1.19 and $2 from the app. What’s that? That’s not even enough to cover gas.”

Many of us take for granted these services and the people providing them. Drivers like Michael deserve our respect and compassion. 

Big side hustle fail: The Amazon tycoon wannabe

In his blog AcceleratedFI, writer Jim shares stories and tips to help his readers achieve financial independence. His content includes failed side-hustle stories. One in particular stands out, as he lost $1,600 after being promised he would make at least $10,000 per month.

As with many failed side-hustle stories, it starts with misleading advertising. A few years ago, it seemed that everyone was talking about how much money you could make from selling products on Amazon. And that is true technically; there are some people who have successfully monopolized product sales. But it’s not easy starting out. 

Jim paid $60 for a course on Amazon product businesses. He learned a few rules such as, “Your product should be small and relatively lightweight,” and “it should sell for $15-$50.” After researching products, Jim settled on a garlic press.

It was small and lightweight, and there were very few competitors. There were only four other garlic press sellers on Amazon at the time. However, as soon as he ordered $1600 worth of supplies, competition exploded. Long story short, he lost $1600.

Copywriting–bad for the soul?

Many young creatives will happily take any job that remotely relates to their field of interest when they’re first starting out. For example, Zulie Rane writes how she took a job writing product descriptions for bidgets. She earned a penny per word writing mundane descriptions of furniture. 

Although boring, the side-hustle might have been worth it if it was making her plenty of money. But with only a penny per word, you would have to dedicate a lot of time to actually make a substantial amount of money. There aren’t enough hours in the day for that. Plus, Rane writes that “it’ll crush your soul.” 

Many of us have to pay our dues when we first enter our chosen career, and it’s not fun. Sometimes, it is not even worth it. Do your best to prioritize both your long term goals and your happiness. 

What more terrifying than a side job story with no ROI

Joseph Terndrup writes on his website Side Hustle Nation about his failed side-hustle attempts. In one of his anecdotes, he describes how he tried to generate ad revenue by creating a content website. He spent months writing and producing content, yet he generated absolutely no ad revenue. 

If you Google “how to make money on the side” or “how to make money from home,” writing some sort of blog will always some up as a suggestion. But making money from your writing is not as easy as Google will tell you it is. It can take years to establish steady website traffic. 

For Terndrup, he spent $500 and 6 months of his time, and reaped $0 for his efforts. 

Dishwashing horror story

Melanie Lockert writes about her side hustle fails in her blog Dear DebtShe likes to use TaskRabbit to help her find gigs or odd jobs to make some extra cash. She’s worked holiday parties, helped people move, etc. Lockert has relied on these jobs to help get her out of $81,000 of student loan debt, but it has been no easy feat. 

One of Locker’s gigs was to clean someone’s fridge and to start a load of dishes in the dishwasher. It sounds simple enough, but unfortunately, Locker but the wrong kind of soap in the dishwasher. She had to clean up loads of suds and water.

After cleaning up the mess, she restarted the dishwasher, but made the same mistake. She failed to see that the bottle of soap said, “Do not use in automatic dishwasher.” Needless to say, she had to have an awkward conversation with the man who hired her. It didn’t sound like he’d want her back anytime soon.

As a creative, not all of us are fully appreciated in society. It’s not that easy to get a well-paying job right after graduating. Luckily, Locker has worked her way out of it through side-hustles, but the dirty work isn’t always as simple as it sounds. 

After these terrifying side jobs stories are more appreciative of creatives?

If you are searching for a side-hustle, try to consider what is profitable and what will make you happy. “Profit” and “happy” aren’t exclusively synonymous words, but do your best to find a balance.

And for the rest of you, make sure to show appreciation for the people working to support themselves as creatives. Many of them might be the people helping you throughout your day—your driver, your dog walker, whoever it may be—so they deserve your support.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and the problematic colorism in ‘In The Heights’

If you haven’t already heard, the Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda has taken his critically-acclaimed musical In the Heights to the big screen. It was released last week in theaters and on HBO Max, and it seems that it’s all anyone can talk about. But the conversations don’t just focus on the film’s material; In the Heights is being criticized for its problematic colorism.

Miranda first found success after writing In the Heights in 2005, which then made its way to Broadway in 2008. The musical surrounds the Latinx community in Washington Heights, and the narrative follows a range of characters, all with different dreams and struggles. 

Miranda’s fame grew with the success of Hamilton. The musical received praise for its ingenuity and diverse casting of Latinx and Black performers for the roles of America’s white founding fathers.

Like Miranda’s other works, his new movie displays a deeply talented cast with eloquently written songs. However, the film adaptation of In the Heights has been receiving plenty of criticism as well.

Colorism in ‘In the Heights,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda responds

A lot of people feel that In the Heights failed to adequately represent the Afro-Latino population of Washington Heights. Lin-Manuel Miranda intended for the musical and movie to artistically and accurately portray a community that society often ignores.

He tells Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “Your job as an artist is to write what’s missing. All I want is for this neighborhood [Washington Heights] to feel seen.” 

Unfortunately, Miranda fell short. The Latinx community is a diverse group, so many argue that the makers of In the Heights were practicing colorism by omitting dark-skinned and Afro-Latinx actors.

For those who don’t know, Alice Walker coined the term “Colorism” to describe how people of color with lighter skin may experience more privilege than people of color with darker skin. 

Three days after the film’s release, Miranda tweeted an apology statement: 

Reframing his mistakes

We can learn from Miranda’s mistakes, as he would wish us to, but we can also learn from his progressive response to criticism.

In Miranda’s interview on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noahhe responds to these critiques thoughtfully as he did in his apology statement.

When asked about the Afro-Latinx community who spoke up about not feeling seen in In The Heights, Miranda replies, “You have to acknowledge that and let it in…all I can do is learn from it and promise to do better. When you make something, you’re creating a frame,” and you have to acknowledge when you’ve left people out of that frame. 

Miranda cannot take back the mistakes he made with the film, but he can apply what he’s learned to his next project. He tells The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,

I’m happy to take the learning from it and bring that to the next one and also Hold space to be proud of the thing we made that has been half my life. I have to be able to hold both those things because they’re both true.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Despite his shortcomings, Miranda promises to improve. This open-mindedness can only bolster his talent as an artist.

Whether it is a musical or movie, In The Heights and others need to preach accuracy and inclusivity, and to be conscience about colorism. I think I speak for most of us when I say we’re eager to see what he comes up with next. 


What is Instacart and why do some say it’s better than Uber?

For those who may be unfamiliar, Instacart is an app designed for quick and easy grocery delivery. People with the normal app order groceries. And then people with the “shoppers” app see their orders, shop for the items, and deliver them. As with the popular food delivery apps such as Doordash and Uber Eats, pretty much anyone can sign up, but many people see Instacart as far preferable.

You must pass a background check, and have your own car to get approved, but most people are approved to start delivering the same day they sign up.

Last year, Instacart’s popularity boomed

Instacart enjoyed a popularity explosion during the Covid-19 pandemic. The demand for grocery delivery apps skyrocketed, with many people afraid to leave their houses and be in public. Although fewer people are scared to go shopping now, Instacart has established itself as a forefront option in the rapidly expanding gig economy.

The gig economy refers to the wave of flexible, freelance jobs that are employing new people every day. Popular jobs that fall into this category are rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, and even renting rooms with Air B&B.

I deliver for Instacart, and it has been the perfect college job. The flexibility presented by Instacart is excellent, and it allows me to make money in a short period of time. It is the most laid-back, stress-free job I have ever had. Despite its increased popularity, I think it is still underappreciated within the vastness of the gig economy.

There are some things about Instacart that are more flexible than other gigs. There are some things that are more frustrating. I would like to share the benefits, and disadvantages of choosing Instacart for your side hustle. We will use Uber and Doordash as a reference since they are the most popular apps in their fields.

Advantages of Instacart

Schedule control

The level of control that Instacart drivers have over their work schedule is unmatched. This is because… there is no schedule. Anybody who works for Instacart can choose to work whenever they want, and for however long they want. This is due in part to the fact that Instacart drivers are paid based on deliveries completed, rather than hours worked.

This is a common theme in the car-based gig economy and is more or less the same for Uber and Doordash drivers. Uber drivers do have a 12 consecutive hour limit. But is unlikely that anyone would Instacart for that long anyway. As presently constituted, A driver could not deliver for Instacart for years, then log back in and start up again like they never left.


Instacart offers an incredibly high amount of driver autonomy. Instacart drivers have no bosses, operate under relaxed time restraints, and also rarely even have to deal with customers.

There are no bosses for all three of our companies. However, due to the nature and urgency of Doordash orders, drivers have stiffer time restraints to live by.

Also, Uber obviously has a lot of customer interaction. You may directly deal with unruly, offensive, or even dangerous customers as an Uber driver. This is never something you have to deal with delivering for Instacart, given that face-to-face customer interaction is uncommon.

The pay

It is difficult to predict how much you will make delivering for Instacart because you work by delivery instead of hours, and every delivery is a different amount of money.

However, The pay is mostly on par with other jobs in the Gig economy. It is estimated that Instacart driver makes 15 dollars an hour before tips. This is pretty good, and keep in mind it will vary dramatically based on what orders you accept, and how long they take to complete.

You could take deliveries (Batches as they call them) for as little as 5 dollars without a tip, but it can also be as much as someone is willing to tip. Although highly uncommon, you could earn over 100 dollars for a single delivery. However, a “good” batch would typically be anything over 20 dollars depending on how many items are in the order, and how far one must drive.

Doordash drivers are also difficult to slap an hourly average on. In 2019, it was reported that drivers earn an average of $18.54 per hour. This is comparable to Instacart drivers for the reason that the volume of deliveries you can make in an hour is much higher. On average, you can take more Doordash deliveries in an hour than you can take Instacart batches.

Before tips, Uber drivers make around 17 dollars an hour before tips, and about 19 dollars an hour after tips. Most Uber riders don’t tip, and when they do, the average tip is only 3 dollars. On the other hand, most Instacart customers tip relatively generously.

This is partially due to the fact that Instacart drivers know how much a customer tips, as it is part of the total pay for a batch. If an Instacart customer gives a bad tip, or doesn’t tip, its unlikely that their batch will be taken by a shopper. Uber riders tip after the ride, meaning drivers don’t get to decide if who they work for will tip them.

In short, you will likely make the same money, if not more using Instacart instead of other services.

Great weekend job

Instacarts demand is highest during weekend days. You will make more money, and have access to the most batches on the weekend. If you are looking for a job to do all day during your weekend, Instacart is a great option.

This is not too much different from the other two apps. Weekends are almost always the busiest times for gig economy jobs.

Disadvantages of Instacart

Instacart is not without its frustrations. There are some limitations that will get in your way that you must know about.

5pm crash

Any Instacart driver will tell you that the best time to deliver is in the morning and early afternoon. At around 4-5 o’clock pm on most days, there is a sometimes dramatic drop-off in the number of available batches. Most driver’s days are done by 6 o’clock pm.

For Doordash, demand is peeking at the same time that Instacart’s demand is falling off. Uber is in demand all day in some respect. If you want a side hustle after your 9-5, and aren’t interested in working weekends, you should look elsewhere.

Store hour limitations

Similar to the last segment, the hours you can work are limited to the hours that Instacart-enabled stores are open. This means that you basically can never Instacart late at night, or early in the morning. Also, since some stores are closed on certain holidays, you must obey those restrictions as well.

Doordash is somewhat limited by the majority of restaurants having a closing time, but there are restaurants open 24 hours that people can order from whenever. Uber is 24/7 regardless of all factors. Its greatest advantage is that it is always needed, and always available. If you are looking for a true “nightshift” job, Instacart is definitely not for you.

You decide which grocery app is your favorite

As the gig economy continues expanding, people pursuing grocery delivery app jobs will become even more common. At the end of the day, it is up to you what to pursue as a side hustle. Instacart is a great option if you fit the necessary criteria.

Let’s run through the benefits one last time. Extremely flexible hours, high amounts of autonomy, very good and comparable pay, and excellent for a weekend hustler. The only issues with Instacart are the limitations associated with the hours of store operation compared to the lack of limitations other options provide.

We encourage you to do some more research on Instacart, and other Gig-based jobs, then make a decision for yourself. If shopping for and delivering groceries sounds like your speed than other more intense options, we assure you that you will not be worse off.

Living in the post-pandemic world: mask on, or mask off?

In a post-pandemic world that we have not yet reached but inch closer to every single day, will the social norm be to keep a mask on, or to take it off?

2021 is looking promising. The economy is making a steady return as the city reopens. The streets are crowded with people and traffic again. More and more people are comfortable with going back to shop in public spaces.

The comeback of tourists in the U.S., in addition, helps boost consumer spending in the country in general.

Even now before an official post-pandemic, is it mask on or mask off?

You might have already noticed the significantly decreased number of mask-wearing people in public areas.

While many states have lifted the mandatory mask covering order, some still follow the federal guidance to execute mask rules. At least in NYC, for example, people are still required to wear face coverings in public transportations, regardless of their vaccination statuses.

Living in the current post-pandemic world, people debate between keeping the mask on and forgoing the mask entirely and keeping it off. There are several factors that influence people’s opinions of mask wearing.

The increasing availability of vaccines to the public

At first, distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine was very limited and selective. The vaccine was only available to frontline workers during the time. However, as the production of the Covid-19 vaccine gradually catches up with the public demand, more people are able to get the vaccine.

People, generally, feel safer to be vaccinated; They consider the vaccine a barricade that protects them from being exposed to the virus. The vaccine, in this case, replaces the presence of a face mask.

The government relaxes the mask covering policy

Just not so long ago, CDC also announced that if a person is fully vaccinated, the person can accordingly take the mask off in public. Well, if they enter locations that still have specific face covering laws, rules, and regulations, they still have to obey the orders.

post-pandemic mask on
Image via Health Matters.

This is no doubt a thrilling announcement to people who have not been a fan of face covering. Nonetheless, the announcement is rather dubious and controversial.

The fact is nobody knows how many of those people who no longer wear masks have actually fulfilled their vaccinations. Besides, the stores don’t usually ask customers to show their vaccination cards to validate their vaccination statuses. People can honestly just lie about the fact.

The raging summer heat

Another reason to the rapidly declining mask covering practice is the summer heat.

The thick fabric of the mask traps sweats and causes regular skin irritation. It’s only predictable that people are reluctant to still wear them in the blazing sun.

That is why walking on the streets in Southern states like Florida, you barely see people wearing masks anymore. It’s not an exaggeration, the sun is really killing the skin. Nobody wants an awkward face mask tan.

Even as we approach a post-pandemic world, we must be smart and keep our masks on

The government seems to have the Coronavirus under control in the country for now. We haven’t heard as many cases as we did during the pandemic.

However, the question is, how much do we know about the actual Covid-19 infection rate at the moment? And since the virus is no longer the heated topic in media, people’s concern about public health seemingly contract over time.

new variants of covid-19
Image via Statista.

Recently, cases of new variants such as the Alpha variant (dominant in the UK) and the Delta variant (first detected in India) of Covid-19 virus have also spiked; they are becoming the dominant strain of coronavirus in the country.

These new variants are “stickier,” more contagious, and more life-threatening. The nasty part about the new variants is that people can still be contracted with them even they are fully vaccinated.

The problem is the public is not yet aware of the dangers of these variants. People get relaxed and think that the Coronavirus is finally going away for good

At present time, mask-on or mask-off is really a personal decision. However, for the good of public health and personal safety, maybe it is better to still maintain rationality at the time; we should all act cautiously and wisely choose the appropriate time and location to mask off if we really need to. After all, safety first.