Did You Fall For It Like I Did?

If you've recently found yourself in one of the cities inundated with TAP Project ads maybe they got you too. In the event these ads haven't yet sufficiently tempted your curiosity, I encourage you to try them out now and text T-A-P to U-N-I-C-E-F (864233)-just like they ask you to.I'll wait.Okay, done?Did it happen to you?Well, last night, after passing my umpteenth TAP Project ad here in Los Angeles, I finally succumbed to the clever copy and friendly images and decided I wanted to know what it was all about. In pursuit of such a general answer, I followed the ad's instructions and texted the word "Tap" to "UNICEF". (As I've now suggested you do.)A bit to my surprise (and perhaps now to yours), I was instantaneously countered with the following text message reply: "To confirm your $5 donation to UNICEF reply with the word YES."Wah?! I felt like they had tricked me into donating when I hadn't actually donated yet-and didn't necessarily mean to in the first place. Nevertheless, sitting there, confronted with such a simple, if presumptuous, retort to my innocent experiment with text message marketing, I sure as hell wasn't going to be the guy who didn't give UNICEF five bucks by simply responding with a "YES."So I did. (And perhaps you have too?) In a way, I thank them for tricking me-or I could say surprising me-into it. I feel good about having given the money, and I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have if the ask was more overt.And now I'm telling you about it. (And perhaps helped trick you into a small act of philanthropy as well.) I've got to hand it to that campaign-entertaining and effective all the way through.iphone image taken by the author on Melrose near LaBrea.
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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