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Being a server in a restaurant is hard work. You're on your feet all day, you have to deal with needy customers, and the pay can be downright terrible. In fact, most U.S. states permit employers to pay tipped workers less than the federal minimum wage. In 21 states, servers are paid only $2.13 an hour before tips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, “nearly 15% of the nation's 2.4 million waiters and waitresses live in poverty, compared with about 7% of all workers. They are more likely to need public assistance and less likely to receive paid sick leave or health benefits."

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Fine Dining Behind Bars

The Clink seems to be a winner as a training and rehab program, but are prison restaurants a form of exploitation?

Brixton Prison

Recently, BBC Travel covered the U.K.’s ongoing prison restaurant program with a look at The Clink, an open-to-the-public establishment that employs and trains convicts to work in fine dining. Operated by an organization called The Clink Charity, along with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (which sounds posh, but is just the British way of saying “hoosegow”), the project now runs three restaurants where curious law abiders can have their meal prepared and served by the cream of England’s non-violent criminal crop. The inside of The Clink might look like the interior of any other upscale eatery, and the a-la-carte menu includes entries like “pressed game terrine, ciabatta croute, fruit chutney and baby cress,” and “loin of venison, celeriac parmentier, sprout tops, girolles and juniper sauce.” But its location inside the forbidding, barb-wired walls of Brixton Prison makes booking a table a daunting affair, separating the casual lookie-loos from those truly determined to enjoy an exclusive penitentiary dining experience. The BBC reports:

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Who Can Change the World? Is it You, Sweet Potato Fries?

Something I think about a lot is the incredible act of changing consumer behavior through outstanding innovation or salesmanship.

This week, I've seen a few notes on the failure (and on the perhaps-too-early reportage of the failure) of mobile wallet apps. Why are they "failing?" A pretty reasonable guess is that they're not solving a problem that consumers have.

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Making It As a Yoga Teacher: Not As Zen As You Think

Think most yoga instructors are rich, serene deities with legions of followers? Think again.

Four years ago, I decided to become a yoga teacher. I was walking through the housing projects near my shitty Brooklyn apartment after another weekend spent making Bloody Marys for hungover strangers, and it occurred to me: You’ve been practicing yoga for seven years now. It’s the only thing you’ve ever stuck with. Teach it. So I applied for a scholarship for the $3,000-plus tuition and books for a 12-week teacher training program at a studio on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

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