The Daily Rail: Welcome to the American Ninja Warrior phenomenon

Why goes gin & tonic taste so good? Because science!

It’s not hard to find gin & tonic lovers who hate gin and tonic when consumed separately. But have you ever wonder why good ol’ G&T tastes great together, though? It’s all because of chemistry. When combined, the molecules in gin and tonic rearrange a little, creating aggregates that tastes different than the substances on their own.

Today's Specials

Under 60 Seconds: Where did the term “86” come from? [VIDEO]

Anyone who's worked in the restaurant industry has heard the slang term “86” used. But where did it originate from? We investigate some popular legends.


Why it’s important to you: Who doesn’t want real-time data of their BAC, ammiright?

Imagine going to the bar, looking down at your wrist and seeing how drunk you are.

Up until now if you did that, people would probably think you're drunk as hell... or off your rocker. But no longer. Breathalyzer company BACtrack have invented Skyn, a wristband that detects your blood alcohol level. It's like a Fitbit for your drinking life.


Why it’s important to you: How much accommodation is too much for guests with special needs?

If you were around in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, you will remember it cause a lot of hand wringing and consternation. The fear was that it would result in a flood of litigation, cost thousands to retrofit, and generally cripple small businesses. A lawsuit filed in Illinois reckons that McDonald’s was in violation of the ADA because it didn’t make accommodations for a blind man that wanted to order via the drive-thru after the lobby was closed.

While many of the fears surrounding the ADA never materialized, it still stands as a point of exposure to operators. When you renovate, build a second location or simply host guests with disabilities, it is incumbent on you to be aware of the dictates of the ADA. 

Does this lawsuit take that too far? It is McDonald’s policy that the drive thru is for vehicles only. There are no exceptions and frankly this sounds reasonable. Considering that this incident was at night and the plaintiff is blind — and therefore less able to protect himself from on-coming drive thru vehicles — McDonald’s had his (and all guests) safety in mind with that policy.


Why it’s important to you: Dress codes are tricky business

We live in a culture that values personal freedom and the expression of one’s unique personality. But are there limitations on that right? One woman learned that JetBlue last a limited dress code when she wasn’t allowed to board her flight because of her shorts. Her main beef with the airline was that she had just come from a prior JetBlue flight where nary a glance was made towards her outfit.

JetBlue backed up the captain, who made the ultimate choice to bar her from the flight, but eventually apologized to the passenger and gave her some monetary compensation. The lesson here is that if you want to enforce a dress code, you need to make it clear and public. To be honest, this outfit may have deserved barring because it was fairly tacky and not because it was inappropriate.


Why it’s important to you: Guests will be talking about it

You may recall, Donald Trump saying that he could shoot someone on Park Ave and it wouldn’t hurt him in the polls. That theory continues to be tested as elements of the "Playbook" for Trump University were unsealed. Trump has accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel of releasing 400 pages of documents from a civil suit in federal court as evidence of bias against him by the judge.

The highlights of the documents include direction on pressure sales tactics, including bullying prospective students into using their credit card or retirement savings to cover the cost of the educational program. Trump has claimed that the program was run by others, but the promotional materials show him asserting that he “handpicked” the instructors.

The presumptive Republican nominee for president has repeatedly accused Judge Curiel of bias, calling him a hater and questioning his ethnic background. However, it’s hard not to agree that the release of these papers isn’t some form of retribution against Trump’s public repudiation. The judge has said that many of these documents were already in the public sphere; still, releasing them is still inflammatory.


Why it’s important to you: New sports can mean new fans which can mean new guests

We have delivered the SportsTV Guide daily for 13 years and are fairly confident we know sports on TV. That notion was dispelled quickly when it became obvious we had almost entirely missed the American Ninja Warrior (ANW) phenomenon. It began in 2009 in LA and has traveled around the world and back. It’s about time we (and you) take notice.

The rise of ANW, as they premier Season 8 on NBC tonight, has been coincidental with the explosion of Tough Mudder and Spartan races across the country. What makes ANW so appealing is how well it televises. Each contestant becomes a character whose story is told prior to them competing. The producers can create a narrative about each athlete which creates a connection that viewers clearly enjoy.

It also doesn’t hurt that what they are doing is REALLY challenging. These courses are amazing spectacles and the athletes are really fun to watch. Sport has always been the ultimate reality TV because you can’t script the outcomes. ANW combines the outcome uncertainty with the insider views of reality TV. Is it the next big thing? Well, no one could have predicted that the UFC would be valued in the billions in 2001 when Dana White and company took over, so who really knows.