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December 30, 2015

If you had the choice between paying $32, $39, or $68 for that $75 sweater you've been lusting after, which price would you choose? Online retailer Everlane — a company that prides itself on "radical transparency" — is putting that exact choice into buyers' hands.

With the click of a mouse, shoppers can choose between three price points for an item, each marked with the profit amount that will go to Everlane for that purchase. The lowest cost only covers production and shipping; the middle cost covers all of that plus overhead for the company's 70-person team; the highest price covers everything the middle cost covers, plus a profit margin that allows the company to "invest in growth."

The choice might seem obvious, but buyers beware: Science of Us reports that what looks good on the price tag doesn't always work well in practice:

People feel bad paying less than what they feel the item is "worth," but at the same time they feel conflicted about choosing to pay more than they have to. And so the promotion, according to the research, often ends up backfiring, and people end up buying nothing at all. [Science of Us]

Everlane has yet to reveal what price is getting picked the most. The sale ends Thursday. Becca Stanek

10:06 p.m.

If you watch Bravo or enjoy low-calorie cocktails, you know who Bethenny Frankel is.

Beloved by fans for her snarky commentary, Frankel was one of the original Real Housewives of New York and its biggest star, and used her time on the show to successfully advertise her brand, Skinnygirl, and score a spinoff, Bethenny Ever After. She left RHONY after season three in 2010 and returned in 2015, but announced on Wednesday she's exiting the franchise once again, telling Variety she wants to "explore my next chapter. It's time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy, and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women."

Frankel's first foray in reality television was on 2005's The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. In addition to starring on RHONY and Bethenny Ever After, Frankel briefly had her own talk show, Bethenny, and another Bravo spinoff, the real estate-themed Bethenny & Fredrik. She has also written several books and launched a charity, B Strong, which has assisted hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Houston, and North Carolina. Catherine Garcia

9:25 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced on Wednesday night he is quitting the 2020 presidential race.

Inslee broke the news on The Rachel Maddow Show, and said he is happy that his campaign raised the profile of climate change. "I've been fighting climate change for 25 years and I've never been so confident of the ability of Americans now to reach critical mass to move the ball," he said. "I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle, and I'm inspired by the people I've met across the country."

Inslee said he will support the eventual Democratic nominee, and hopes to help all of the candidates raise their ambition levels when it comes to climate change. He also told Maddow he will make a statement on Thursday regarding whether he will run for governor again. Catherine Garcia

8:57 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said 16 states have reported 153 cases of serious respiratory illnesses in people who vape.

Most of the patients said they had difficulty breathing and experienced chest pain before going to the hospital, and several also said they used products containing THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes a person high. Officials are trying to get to the bottom of what exactly is causing the illnesses, and are now trying to determine which products were used. Doctors say it will be difficult to track the illness, because it is not mandatory to report vaping-related lung disease.

The cases were reported from June 28 to August 20, with mostly teenagers and young adults affected. The CDC said it has not received any reports of death linked to the illness. Catherine Garcia

8:02 p.m.

A California state senator who authored a bill to restrict vaccine exemptions was assaulted in Sacramento on Wednesday by an anti-vaccine activist, police said.

State Sen. Richard Pan (D) was walking with a colleague when Kenneth Austin Bennett pushed him from behind, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bennett livestreamed the incident on Facebook, and is heard saying, "I probably shouldn't have done that." When he uploaded the video, he added the caption: "Yes, I pushed Richard Pan for lying, laughing at us, and for treason." Pan, he continued, "got what he deserved, he would be hanged for treason for assaulting children, for misrepresenting the truth."

Pan was not hurt in the incident. Bennet was cited for assault and has been released. In 2018, Bennett tried to challenge Pan in the primary, but did not qualify for the general election. Earlier this year, he filed a recall petition against Pan, accusing him of committing treason because he wants more kids in the state to be vaccinated.

Ever since Pan wrote his 2015 bill tightening vaccine requirements for kids in schools, he has been targeted by anti-vaxxers, his spokeswoman Shannan Velayas told the Times. "This is moving from a peculiar fringe curiosity to a violent extremist movement," she said. "Unfortunately, this is not a surprise when violent rhetoric is used." Catherine Garcia

7:02 p.m.

One day after saying the White House was considering new tax cuts to boost the economy, President Trump reversed course, telling reporters he isn't contemplating reducing capital gains and payroll taxes.

"I just don't see any reason to," he said Wednesday. "We don't need it. We have a strong economy." Trump and his aides have been pushing this narrative, saying there is no recession in sight and dismissing warning signs like an inverted yield curve last week and the growth in economic output dropping to a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, well below the 3.1 percent growth rate in the first three months of 2019.

Trump's announcement on Tuesday that he was interested in pay cuts came as a surprise to several White House staffers who told The Wall Street Journal they haven't been considering any of Trump's ideas. "The president threw it out ... but he was just throwing things out," one official said regarding payroll tax cuts.

Trump has been urging the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates quickly, which the Journal notes is usually done when the economy is struggling. He's bashed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on several occasions, accusing him of holding U.S. growth back, and on Wednesday, the president compared Powell to "a golfer who can't putt." Catherine Garcia

5:16 p.m.

A startup aiming to produce coffee sans coffee beans was awarded $2.6 million in funding from Horizon Ventures, which also funded Impossible Foods, the Observer reports.

Atomo, a Seattle-based company, calls their product "molecular coffee." It's made from naturally sustainable ingredients, which they keep secret, reports GeekWire. The company hopes to reduce the environmental impact of coffee production by eliminating the need for farming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that if the Earth continues to warm, areas suitable for coffee farming will face environmental obstacles that make cultivation more difficult, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports.

"Instead of coffee bean farming, we are sourcing as many ingredients from upcycled natural products to help reduce cost and waste within the supply chain," co-founder Jarret Stopforth told the Observer.

The coffee-free coffee grounds would join the likes of dairy-free milks and meatless meat, and could hit store shelves as soon as 2020.

But don't worry about your brew being replaced just yet. Atomo doesn't want to take over the coffee industry, but to become a "sustainable partner," says CEO Andy Kleitsch. Read more at the Observer. Taylor Watson

5:14 p.m.

The "double doink" continues to haunt Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy's dreams, and it led him to orchestrate what Sports Illustrated considers the "wildest kicker search ever held."

The Bears are coming off a successful 12-4 season that ended in heartbreak. Down 16-15 to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card game last January, Chicago had an opportunity to take the lead and advance to the Divisional round as the clock wound down. Their kicker at the time, Cody Parkey, lined up for a 43-yarder to send the Bears home victorious. But then this happened:

Parkey was later released because the Bears brass was concerned about him flubbing another kick in a big moment. But Parkey's departure left them with a hole at the position. Prior to the 2019 draft, Chicago did have three kickers on the roster, but they brought six more in for an open try-out — none of whom had ever actually played in an NFL game.

Most NFL kicker competitions reportedly max out at around four or five players; the fact the Bears brought in the equivalent of the Fellowship of the Ring was described as "ridiculous." The kickers described the whole experience as "a very weird deal," during which they were constantly reminded of Parkey's miss, repeatedly called upon to kick 43-yarders, and subject to unnecessary high-tech statistical analysis. Nagy defended the tryouts.

Eventually, none of the original nine kickers made it through the summer. The Bears also wound up trading for the Oakland Raiders' Eddy Piniero, who emerged as the last man standing, but even his future appears tenuous. For what it's worth, several sources within the kicking community reportedly said Parkey is clearly better than anyone the Bears brought in this offseason. Read more at Sports Illustrated. Tim O'Donnell

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