July 14, 2014

Ah, the question that plagues caffeine addicts every summer: Why should I pay more for my cold coffee? It's just coffee with ice, right?

Well, Gothamist spoke to coffee shop owners and did a bit of digging into the subject, and it turns out there are a whole host of reasons why you're burning a hole in your wallet during iced coffee season.

First off, there's the cost of the ice. "[T]he reality is we go through tons of ice. We have a maker, but we buy ice to supplement. And our electric bills go up just to run the ice maker," Autumn Stanford of Brooklyn Kolache Co. told Gothamist. There are plenty of other costs on top of that, too: The plastic cups used for iced coffee are more expensive than their paper counterparts — since they're a petroleum product, their price depends on the (often rising) price of gas.

The coffee itself is also to blame. The process of cold-brewing coffee is more time-consuming and more costly, as it requires twice as many beans. And don't forget about the beans themselves: drought, flooding, and even a deadly fungus have negatively effected the coffee harvest, resulting in a price surge.

All of that together makes it pretty tough for coffee shops to keep the price of your favorite chilly brew down, lest they start losing money. So the next time you're sipping on a refreshing iced coffee, just know that you're not getting price gouged. And maybe tip the barista. Read Gothamist's in-depth story here.

April 1, 2015

Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of John Lennon and mother of their son, Julian, died of cancer on Wednesday at her home in Mallorca, Spain, at age 75. Cynthia Powell and John Lennon met in art school in Liverpool, and married in 1962 after she became pregnant but before the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do."

It was not a very happy marriage, according to her two memoirs and several interviews, and it ended after John started a relationship with his future second wife, Yoko Ono. After their divorce in 1968, Cynthia Lennon remarried three times, and her last husband died in 2013. She is survived only by Julian Lennon, who posted this video after her death. —Peter Weber

April Fools
April 1, 2015

If new Late Late Show host James Corden wasn't familiar with America's April Fools Day tradition before Wednesday's show, he was afterward. Katie Couric is the guest, and anything else would kind of ruin the punchline. Watch below. —Peter Weber

TV talk
April 1, 2015
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Any publicity is good publicity, right?

According to the Daily Mail, Barbara Walters, who created ABC's The View in 1997, believes that bringing on a controversial figure as co-host would boost the show's floundering ratings.

Walters sold the rights to The View to ABC last year. In an interview with David Letterman in 2014, Walters said that she didn't think that being on the show was what Lewinsky wanted at the time, but added, "I think it'd be great if she were on The View, but I wouldn't expect it tomorrow."

The "network source" quoted by the Mail said that Walters thinks Monica would attract a younger demographic interested in her story and what she has to say, though her presence would likely bar an appearance by Bill or Hillary Clinton.

Lewinsky has reportedly been asked to appear on the show as a guest to discuss her anti-bullying campaign, but a network executive said there are no plans to bring her on as a co-host.

A new Gooooal!
April 1, 2015
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Thirteen U.S. senators have signed a letter to the head of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in a bipartisan effort to allow for a vote on moving the 2018 World Cup to a different location.

Fox News reports that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are leading the charge to find a new host country for the competition. The senators cite "Russian aggression" and point to the fact that nearly half of the 2014 World Cup participants have joined international sanctions against Russia as reasons to consider "[denying] the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup."

April 1, 2015

When workers from Russia's Rosneft oil company set out on a land reclamation project, they had no idea they would stumble on an important discovery. The workers unearthed the tusks of a female woolly mammoth during the project, near the city of Nyagan in western Siberia.

When the first tusk emerged in an excavator bucket, the workers began digging with hand shovels. They found the second tusk as well as tibia, ribs, and teeth, and jaw fragments from the animal.

Rosneft called the Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Nature and Man to assess the find, and museum paleontologists confirmed the remains are at least 10,000 years old. They believe the mammoth was 30-40 years old when it died.

The museum will clean the tusk and bones, and experts will use radiocarbon dating to determine the remains' exact age. The experts also hope to determine whether the mammoth was part of the European or North American subspecies.

This just in
April 1, 2015
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A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on corruption charges over his alleged use of his office to secure business deals for a friend in exchange for gifts.

The product of a years-long investigation, the 14-count indictment alleges Menendez received free trips on a private plane and that he improperly lobbied on behalf of a top donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez has said he did nothing wrong.

It is the first indictment of a sitting senator since prosecutors charged the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska in 2008.

Iran and the bomb
April 1, 2015
Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

For the second time in as many days, negotiators on Wednesday extended diplomatic talks aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program after failing to reach a preliminary agreement.

"We continue to make progress but have not reached a political understanding," a State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said.

The U.S., Iran, and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany were originally supposed to reach a framework deal by the end of March. But snags concerning economic sanctions and the storage of Iran's nuclear fuel, among other things, forced the extensions.

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