What are confounding factors (and how does it skew our opinions about stuff)

Many people try to warn us about our diets.

But:

In almost every case, they use confounding factors as a crutch to prove that they have a superior diet than ours. This “confounding factors logical fallacy” uses a loose association to confirm a diet’s benefits.

Confounding bias occurs when our results mislead us to think that one testing variable causes an outcome… but it was really a third test variable that caused a result…

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, correlation is not causation.

This is an excellent short video showing a confounding factors example. We see why drinking coffee might have nothing to do with developing lung cancer:

This video goes broader and more into the weeds of broader logical fallacy – selection bias:

Punchline: I am SUPER leery of epidemiological, statistical or association study results when choosing the right diet for me. Instead, I dig hard to find scientific, randomized controlled studies that skip any confounding factors or selection biases.

If you thought Starbucks was expensive – wait ’til you see this

Starbucks Reserve Roastery.jpeg

This weekend, I am taking my family to see the latest Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Manhattan (New York City).

Here is a sneak peek at it just before it officially opened:

There is a handful of these uber Starbucks around the world… people tell me we REALLY need to see the Roastery at Pike Place – this unofficial Starbucks Reserve Roastery website gives a visual tour.

Here are some fun facts about the Starbucks Reserve Roastery:

It is HUGE
The Roastery (which is located near Chelsea Market) employs over 300 people. The Roastery takes up 3 floors. It has 2 coffee bars. It takes up over 23,000 square feet (compared to Seattle’s original 15,000-square-foot location).

Two giant roasters stir coffee beans slowly in front of an enormous copper cask. Copper and glass tubes snake across the ceiling transferring coffee beans to glass silos at each coffee bar. It is like the ultimate Ruth Goldberg machine for cafe lovers.

And a joint venture with restaurateur Rocco Princi puts an Italian bakery within this space:

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Princi

It caters to the 1%
This place is not cheap. Prices are typically double of those at standard Starbucks’ cafes. And a flight of 3-siphon-brewed coffees costs an eye-popping $35.00. Ironically, mere peasants can walk across the street and visit a regular Starbucks for far less money. (It is located on the opposite corner of 9th Avenue and 15th Street.)

These are far away
As I write this, there are only 4 Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the globe. To see the list of locations, click here (and zoom to the bottom of the page).

They have waiter service
The Roastery’s 2 coffee bars have printed menus instead of hanging menu boards. We can either order at the counter or sit at a table for service.

There is an adult’s section
At the Arriviamo (Italian translation: “arrival”), cocktails and non-alcoholic mixed drinks feature coffee and tea. Specialty cocktails feature Nocino Notte (made with cold brew coffee), barrel-aged gin and black-truffle salt. Or, we can order the Triomphe, which is made with Darjeeling tea, gin, dry Riesling, aquavit, passionfruit sparkling water and orange saffron bitters.

UPDATE: I just return home from New York City… the Roastery is at least 10 times more mind-blowing than expected. This place is just AMAZING!

These genetically modified foods might frighten you

Why am I not surprised:

Everyday foods, fruit and veggies used to look totally different before we started cultivating them. But did you know they haven’t always looked like they currently do? Here are 10 fruits and veggies that looked very different before we started cultivating them!

In this video, we find out that corn, avocado, peach, eggplant, strawberry, tomato, carrot, cucumber, banana and watermelon have been RADICALLY genetically modified. Watch this:

I find the problem with genetically modified food is it almost always leads to allergies and health problems.

This is why I do not eat most fruits, grains or vegetables.

What in the world is a funicular?

My family is always on the lookout for new places to visit.

And I stumbled upon the St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. Holy wow – this place is almost $3,000 a night during peak season.

Anyhoo, the TripAdvisor description said this:

Located on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, The St. Regis Deer Valley combines understated elegance with mountain ambiance. As the only resort in North America with a funicular and true slope side ski access, The St. Regis Deer Valley experience is incomparable. With its award-winning Jean-Georges’ restaurant J&G Grill, a 14,000 square-foot spa, split-level infinity pool, ski valet service, and year-round family traditions and recreational activities, unique and memorable experiences are waiting at every turn at this Park City, Utah resort. We offer amazing event space for conferences, weddings, and meetings.

And then I saw the word funicular.

What in the world is a funicular? (I see it has the word “fun” in it).

This is what a funicular looks like:

funicular

According to Wikipedia:

A funicular is one of the modes of transportation, which uses cable traction for movement on steeply inclined slopes. A funicular railway employs a pair of passenger vehicles which are pulled on a slope by the same cable which loops over a pulley wheel at the upper end of a track.

Bonus tip: The cost of room plummets off season – I saw the same room for less than $400 during the month of May. And I hear this resort is just as gorgeous to visit off season, too.