Allyn Farach

Amazon Just Opened Up A Physical Bookstore In Seattle, Confusing Pretty Much Everyone

Amazon, the massive online retailer has just recently opened their own brick and mortar book store in Seattle called Amazon Books according to The Seattle Times.

The physical store has roughly over 5000 books and 15 employees to run the place. But why would Amazon need such a thing? Especially considering that their entire business model is based on avoiding the overhead of an actual store.

From The Seattle Times:

“There is some irony in Amazon’s opening a physical store. For years, it could undercut physical retailers on price because it didn’t have brick-and-mortar locations. But those stores offered something Amazon couldn’t: the instant gratification of owning an item the second it was purchased, as well as the personal touch of a knowledgeable sales clerk.

Amazon is betting that the troves of data it generates from shopping patterns on its website will give it advantages in its retail location that other bookstores can’t match. It will use data to pick titles that will most appeal to Seattle shoppers.”

VICE reports that the store will also be trying something innovative in the way that it presents books.

From VICE:

“Every single copy it carries will face out, as opposed to being lined up spines-out on shelves as bookstores generally do. Each title bears a card with either a review or a rating from a customer, and the books cost just as much online as they do in-store.”

Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books says that the store will use data and technology to make the store different that most.

“It’s data with heart,” Cast told The Seattle Times. “We’re taking the data we have and we’re creating physical places with it.”

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected] 

Cover Photo Credit: Garrett/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
Correction: This story has been updated due to a grammatical error.

German City Elects Pro Syrian Migration Candidate Mayor One Day After Being Stabbed In The Neck

Henriette Reker, a supporter of increased migration from Syria, has been elected the mayor of Cologne, Germany on Sunday after a man stabbed her in the neck The Guardian.
Reker, an independent who is close to the Christian Democrats, the same party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had earned roughly 52.6% of the votes, with an anti immigration party earning 4% of the votes.
The attack occurred last Saturday morning on a street market. The attacker had said xenophobic statements to the police and claimed that Islam would take over Germany, thus leading the police to rule the attack as being racially motivated.
Over 630,000 people have immigrated from the Middle East and Africa to leave behind war and other situations. As a result, anti immigrant sentiment has been on the rise, and security has been heightened
Germany is seen by many across the region as the most desirable safe haven due to the government’s open door policies regarding migrants fleeing war-torn Syria.
Cover Photo Credit: Anja Pietsch/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

American Archaeologist Says That He Found The Biblical City Of Sodom In Jordan

An ancient city that matches the description of the biblical city of Sodom has been found in Jordan according to multiple media reports.

Dr. Steve Collins of Trinity Southwest University announced the discovery after wrapping up the tenth semester of excavation of a site he deduced must be where the legendary city was located after intensive study of biblical texts.

Even if it turns out to not be Sodom, the newly discovered city, known as the Tall el-Hammam site was very large and powerful for the time.

“Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the [Bible],” Collins told Popular Archaeology. “When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to ten times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region, even beyond the Kikkar of the Jordan.”

According to Collins, the discovered city has a large wall and a gateway area that dates back to the Bronze Age. There is also a smaller nearby site dating back to the same time that Collins speculates could be Gomorrah.

If the city turns out to be Sodom, this could be proof for Bible believers of the religious text’s veracity.

Watch: A short film from 2009 detailing Collins’ work

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected] 

Cover Photo Credit: Capture The Uncapturable/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This New Edible Water Bottle Might Be The Answer To Plastic Pollution

Design student Rodrigo García González is working on a concept of an edible water bottle, reports and the

Americans use roughly 50 billion plastic bottles yearly, but the edible seaweed extract casing around the Ohoo could solve that. The casing itself is similar to that of tapioca pearls for bubble tea. However, despite the approachable idea, there are still some kinks to work out of the plan. González said that not all of testers have warmed up to the idea yet, comparing the texture to jellyfish or breast implants.

Another issue is the fragility of the casing. “This is a problem we’re trying to address with a double container,” González said to Smithsonian. “The idea is that we can pack several individual edible Oohos into a bigger Ooho container [to make] a thicker and more resistant membrane.” However, despite the problems, González said that a few beverage and food companies have approached him on marketing.

#ShoutYourAbortion Co-creator Forced Into Hiding After Twitter Harassment

Amelia Bonow, co-creator of the #Shoutyourabortion hashtag on twitter, has now been forced to hide away from her apartment after her address was leaked. Since creating the hashtag, Bonow was harassed by people on Twitter, according to CNN and The New York Times.
Lindy West, a writer for Jezebel, took a screenshot of Bonow’s Facebook post talking about how she had an abortion last year, and posted it on Twitter with the #shoutyourabortion hashtag – written at the end of Bonow’s Facebook post. The tag is meant for women who have had abortions to share stories  and explain how their lives have been positively affected by the abortions.
 “A shout is not a celebration or a value judgment; it’s the opposite of a whisper, of silence,” Bonow told New York Times. “Even women who support abortion rights have been silent, and told they were supposed to feel bad about having an abortion.”

Abortion is currently at the forefront of political debates, as government is considering cutting Planned Parenthood from federal funding after an anti-abortion group accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue illegally. People who are against abortion have also provided a hashtag to counter #shareyourabortion called #shareyouradoption, where people share stories of adopting or being adopted and being against abortion.


No, Twitter Won’t Allow More Than 140 Characters

Twitter is making some big changes, according to Slate and Re/Code. While nothing has been confirmed at the time, the two tech sites have submitted their theories for what Twitter might be planning.

Will Oremus of Slate hypothesized “What Twitter probably has in mind….is a feature that will allow some users to publish full notes or articles directly on Twitter, rather than simply linking to them. In all likelihood, the text of tweets themselves will remain capped at 140 characters in most cases (albeit with some tweaks, as I’ll explain). As a result, your Twitter feed will continue to look much the same as it does today.

The difference will be that, for certain tweets, you’ll have the option to click or tap a button (“Expand,” perhaps) to view the full article or blog post without leaving your Twitter feed.” while Kurt Wagner and Jason Del Ray wrote “Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, according to multiple people familiar with the company’s plans. It’s unclear what the product will look like, but sources say it would enable Twitter users to publish long-form content to the service.”

Why would Twitter take on such a big undertaking, whatever it is? According to Twitter’s investor website, they have earned over $74 million in their first quarter. While nothing to sneeze at, this amount is still under what the company originally believed they would make back. The platform could be looking for something to shake up.

Cover Photo Credit: Andreas Eldh/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? Send it to us- [email protected] 

Are Millennials For Or Against The Death Penalty?

Last week, the Death Penalty Information Center Three released statistics saying that roughly 23 percent of practicing Christians born between 1980 and 2000 supported the death penalty, and only 32 percent of millennials total supported the death penalty. What was the cause for change? The United States spends millions on convicting and executing criminals on death row, but is that wisely spent? Does the death penalty take care of larger problems such as abuse, or do these problems get worse?

Mark Elliot, the director of Floridians for Alternatives To The Death Penalty, said about costs: “The best estimate is that the death penalty costs us taxpayers an extra fifty million dollars a year. That’s almost a million dollars a week.”

Indeed, a study done by Loyola Law School says that California has spent $4 million on the death penalty ever since reinstating it in 2011, and that costs expect to rise to $9 billion by 2030.

“The cost studies fail because they don’t provide an apples to apples comparison of the death penalty vs LWOP, which is required to make any rational judgement and/or they are very incomplete and/or they are very dishonest, as Nevada’s, wherein they left out 11 executions, which occurred within 4.5 years of appeals, on average, meaning, in reality, the death penalty must be less expensive than life without parole (LWOP) in Nevada,” said Dudley Sharp, former vice president of Justice for All and currently helping run

Alive prisoners do need shelter, food and healthcare. So how does money influence what 20-somethings think about the death penalty?

congenitaldisease posted on her tumblr: “It’s a waste of money. Literally hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted on a response to murder which is calculated to be carried out on a small amount of unlucky people per year and which has done nothing to stem the rise in murder, which is therefor (sp) ineffective.”

“We are only perpetuating endless cycles of violence upon violence.”

But morals remain one of the key factors determining stances for or against the death penalty. Is assigning death penalty charges to those who commit heinous crimes fix epidemics like abuse?

In the case of Lisa Ann Coleman, when she was granted the death penalty in 2006 for her role in the death of her partner’s nine-year-old, prosecutor Mitch Poe said in a report the day that Coleman was granted the death penalty: “The fact that a female has gotten the death penalty for killing a child, it’s a step forward for bringing child abuse out of the darkness of people’s homes and into the light of day.”

But was he right?

“Well, it doesn’t solve any problems. The only problem it definitely solves are a bunch of problems that local prosecutors and state attorneys may have with funding,” Elliot said.

Sharp has a different sentiment. “My theory, which I find has solid support, is that the root cause of murder is not enough respect for innocent lives. The root causes of crime, and solving those problems, has never been the purpose of sanction and, rationally, never should be….Sanction is based within justice, a proportional response to the crime, which also has the secondary benefits of safety for society, deterrence and reformation of some criminals,” Sharp said.

However, the death penalty is said to have two types of effects.

Nicholas Peterson, an assistant professor at the University of Miami who has written various articles on the death penalty, said in a phone interview: “It’s mainly supposed to be a deterrent in the sense that if you see somebody being executed for a particular crime, that’s supposed to deter you from wanting to make that same kind of crime. It can also be seen as a form of incapacitation, by actually killing somebody, you prevent that individual from committing a crime in the future…so, it’s a little bit of both in theory, but it’s supposed to be more of a deterrent.”

Essentially, seeing someone get killed for something should stop people from going out and doing the same thing. However, Peterson said that various factors such as the influence of drugs or alcohol have people go out and commit violent acts, despite punishment. Mental illness can be another factor, such as with Herbert Mullin, who felt that murdering people would stop earthquakes in California.

But some millennials think the death penalty is a deterrent from the actual problem.

“Violence is committed by those who are trapped in fear and in the most pain. When we add to their pain by committing violence against them, we are only perpetuating endless cycles of violence upon violence,” wrote a Jesse White to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty tumblr.

The way that society sees the death penalty in general could also affect how millennials see it. Pope Francis recently spoke out against the execution of a Georgia inmate named Kelly Renee Gissendaner last Tuesday, asking the Georgia board of pardons and paroles, “I nonetheless implore you, in consideration of the reasons that have been expressed to your board, to commute the sentence to one that would better express both justice and mercy.”

It’s obvious that the opinion of a world religious leader may affect the opinions of his followers.

“The main reason a majority of 20-somethings may be against the death penalty (if they are) is because 1) the media is, overwhelmingly, anti death penalty;  2) the majority in academia are anti death penalty;  3) the anti death penalty movement is highly organized and hugely funded; 4) there is no pro death penalty movement,” Dudley Sharp, a pro death penalty advocate wrote in an email to Rise News. “There’s a saying that the more you know about the death penalty, the less you like it, because people find out more about it, that’s the key. Then, if they have the information to make an informed decision. Most of the time, they’ll see that even if they agreed with, you know, the theory of the death penalty, an eye for an eye, but then practiced as a government program, it makes too many mistakes, it’s expensive, and it diverts their most valuable resources from where they could do so much good to protect the public and really improve criminal justice…”

Essentially, the way that a society utilizes the death penalty changes how people see it. Peterson spoke on Europe’s use of the death penalty.

“Just recently until the past couple of decades, they’ve had the death penalty, and because of changes in their laws and in public opinion, they no longer have the death penalty, so to them, it means the death penalty means something very different because it’s no longer an acceptable form of punishment in their society,” Peterson said.

Florida State University Professor Emeritus Gordon Waldo said in a phone interview that out of the 37 countries in the world that use the death penalty, some of them use it mostly for political reasons. “They sometimes just execute people to get rid of the complaints.”

Social context is applicable as well-Waldo also spoke of a period in the ‘70s in the United States where the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional because it was used in a discriminatory manner.

A variety of things can reflect how twenty somethings view the death penalty, from money to ethics to the world around them. Logic behind these stances for or against the death penalty differ from person to person. The most crucial takeaway to determine your stance is to research immensely, be informed and decide accordingly.

Cover Photo Credit: David Shankbone/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? Send it to us- [email protected] 

You Are Now More Likely To Die Of Selfies Than Shark Attacks

More people have died taking selfies than in shark attacks in the past year, according to  The Telegraph and Mashable.

A record number of twelve people have died from various selfie related activities this year, such as posing with dangerous animals or loaded guns, compared to the eight people who died by shark attacks.

It has gotten so bad in places such as Russia, that the government has taken to issuing warnings to not take selfies on ledges or near moving vehicles.

In the United States, park rangers at Yellowstone National Park have started warning tourists to not pose with animals after five people have been gored by buffalo.

Most of the people that met a gory end via selfie were between the ages of 18 to 22. These tragic deaths have included taking selfies with wild animals, taking selfies from a great height, taking selfies with weapons, or taking selfies near moving machinery.

Be safe while you selfie.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? Send it to us- [email protected] (We can keep your identity hidden.)

Cover Photo Credit: Koshy Koshy/Flick (CC By 2.0)

This College Paper Just Decided To Start Using Gender Neutral Terms

Back in 2010, the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, was approached by roughly 30 students with a petition containing over 430 signatures that demanded that the paper use gender neutral terms-  chairperson instead of chairman, first-year instead of freshman.

This week the paper decided to make the change to gender neutral terms.

“We don’t really believe in leaving things the same way just because it’s the way it’s always been, and now more than ever, we all see a pressing need to be inclusive in the way we write about people.” Paige Ladisic, editor of the paper said in a message explaining the decision.

These changes, like the Associated Press Stylebook, considered by many as the Bible of journalistic standards, seem to reflect society.

For example, Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, tracked news media’s use of “illegal alien” to convince outlets to use the term “undocumented immigrant” instead.

But was the Daily Tar Heel in the right to make the change?

“Gender neutral titles have slowly been making their way into everyday usage for decades. For instance we don’t call a female flight attendant a ‘stewardess’ anymore,” Jason Parsley, Executive Editor of South Florida Gay News said in an interview. “As for ‘chairperson’ there doesn’t need to be separate terms for men and woman because both positions are equal.  Men and women are equal. Period. And ultimately that’s what this gender neutral movement is all about.”

Marimar Toledo, a 20 year old freelance journalist also supports the use of gender neutral usage, because it was more respectful to people in the LGBT community.

“You’re just never gonna know- and just to be on the safe side, and be on the respectful side, you should use the gender neutral terms, rather than the ones that specify which sex you are.”

While people may be of different opinions, The Daily Tar Heel‘s decision seems here to stay.

Rise News reached out to DTH editor Paige Ladisic and will update this story when she responds. 

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? Send it to us- [email protected] (We can keep your identity hidden.)

Cover Photo Credit: William Yeung/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Scroll to top