Natalia

Since they came into my life a few years ago I have loved subscription boxes. But I wasn't really sure how they worked. Not at least on the business side so I set out to learn more.

How do subscription boxes work? And better yet how is this feasible from a business standpoint?

First I thought about it. And in the context of volume it makes sense. This is how I see it: They buy in volume, and therefore getting discounts. If something normally costs $5, but you buy 1000 for $4 and you sell em for $4.5, you still make a profit.

Depending a bit on the exact nature, but it can be.

Consider the example of a chinese-made toy. Import price is 5$. Both a big retailer (say, walmart?) and a subscription box company buy 10 000 pieces in two containers. Let's even suppose that both have their storage and logistics facilities next to each other in a Harbor city.

Now, the cost to get it to the US are exactly the same, for the sake of the argument we'll say that it costs an extra dollar to get it to the facilities, so each piece cost 6$ until now.

Walmart will have some workers unpack it and put it onto the delivery trucks bringing the toys into the region. This costs maybe another dollar, so they are at 7$. Shipment to the stores costs maybe 50 cents, so we are at 7.50. In the store, someone needs to set them up in the ailes, make space for them, do inventory and cash them, let's say this is another dollar. And finally, the retail space costs as well, we'll asume this is another 50 cents (keep in mind that the product will likely be in the ailes over some if not many weeks until all are sold). They might also want to add in risk that the product doesn't sell, which we'll assume is another dollar.

Walmart's costs so far are 10$, 5 more than the price from the Chinese factory, and that's before taxes and profit. So they might price it at, say, 15$? That's 5$ for taxes and profit.

Compare the subscription company. All they do is to put the toys into subscription boxes, which maybe is another dollar, so their product costs them 7$. They don't need to pay for supermarket space, they don't need as many worker's hours to do the sales, and they don't need delivery drivers since they can use the postal services. We can estimate that the product costs another 50 cents in administration costs, for subscriber services and ads, and postage. They also got minimal risk since they knew from the beginning that they will have about 10 000 subscribers they can deliver the two containers to, which Walmart didn't know.

So the subscription service by not relying on a local distribution network can cut down it's "internal price" to 7.50$, as compared to Walmart's 10$, which is 25% less.

Depending on their business model, they might even simply buy some product already in the states that Walmart couldn't sell, in which case their internal cost is probably even less - Walmart might be tempted to give it to them below their price to free up storage space.

Also, subscription models can take a different approach to profit. Walmart's profit is quite literally the selling price minus the "internal price" - the cost they had to pay for the product from the factory to the supermarket.

The subscription company can, however, say that form your monthly 50$ or so, they will keep 5$ for themselves, 5$ go to logistics and adminsitration, and the rest goes to products. Depending on how it all works out, they might even sell it at a better profit than Walmart.

Keep in mind that I invented the actual numbers, but that's how it would work.

It comes down to volume along with knowing they can sell 100% of what they order.

Natalia

Controlled burns are used ahead of a forest fire. The ground is burned in a line of small fires before the out of control fire arrives. This uses up all the fuel for the other fire, and will hopefully stop at this burn line.

The literal meaning of fighting fire with fire is when they use small, controlled fires to burn away leaves, sticks and other flammable things that accumulate on the forest floor. Once all of these things are gone there's less fuel for real forest fires and they don't get big enough to burn the trees themselves.

The colloquialism has come to mean any time you fight something with a similar thing. Someone is being a jerk, so you act like a jerk back to them, for example.

But if the wind is strong and it is a large fire, sometimes a spark or burning bit will jump the line.

This analogy is used for lots of other "fighting like with like" ideas.

Natalia

I like to work out, it moves the blood through my body and a healthy circulation is important.

When people do train with weights. Just putting weights on your ankles like Rock Lee just ends up hurting your ankles because it makes the distribution of weight on your legs wrong and messes up your joints.

It takes time for your body to recover from a work out. It takes something like 48-72 hours for your body to (almost) fully recover from a strenuous physical activity. This time frame varies depending on the person, the intensity of the physical activity and the kind of effort (ie : aerobic vs resistance). I forgot the details.

People tend to push this concept to this extreme though and underestimate the capacity of their body. It is possible to train everyday, even twice a day, without negative impacts (look at every pro level athletes). Olympic weightlifters train their legs every day and the results are insane. Endurance athlete have to train a lot (long and frequent trainings) to be competitive. It is hard to perform well with these conditions because of the accumulated fatigue, though. This kind of training regimen requires more experience and smart programming.

You could do arms everyday, if you want. However, you'll get diminished return on the time spent. Giving 2-3 days of rest between trainings is like an idiot-proof time frame to recover. Doing 1 or 2 arm's workout a week (or any other part) is like a sweet spot. You get the most bang for your buck. Doing more arm's work out through the week could lead to better gains, but not that much. It would also increases the risk of injury like tendinitis. So, is it really worth it ? The time spent doing extra arm's work out would be better invested doing something else.

So what I am saying is that when you lift weights you damage muscle fibers. In order for those muscles fibers to repair and become stronger they need time recover. If they don't have time to recover then you may do an injury. Muscles get stronger when they are rebuilt. What you are doing when you work out is destroying your muscle tissue. If you don't rest, they can't rebuild and actually become smaller via what is know as atrophy.

Natalia

Comas are a fascinating subject, for example, even a minor injury a century or two ago was a lot more likely to get infected and kill you.

Today that is not the case, and neither is it the case for comas. Why? Because a) they have brain activity, the absence of which is one of the ways we define death, and b) machines are undertaking essential activities and so they haven't died, i.e. stopped having brain activity. In short, they're considered alive because the conditions you specified are what we identify as being alive.

With a coma, you're basically unconscious, but your bodily functions are just fine. You can breathe, your heart is working, etc. You still need a feeding tube and probably something for the opposite end of that, but your body is performing the functions it should.

Comas themselves are not one size fits all. Some people recover in a relatively short time, some people do not recover for decades, if ever. Additionally, the injuries that caused the coma, and the resultant medical need, may vary.

A short coma with relatively little other adverse physical affects might have been survivable before modern machinery, but anything of extended duration or with severe effects such as compromised breathing would have been very difficult to make survivable.

Natalia

Good singers know the key of whatever they are singing to...and even if they don't have perfect pitch they are aware of the lowest or highest note they can sing in their range, and just get to the right key by the interval.

So the concept of hearing one's self is called "monitoring" and there are different types:

  • In-Ear Monitors (inside your ear, signal from the mic to the sound guy, transmitted it to your earpiece wirelessly).
  • Wedge / On-Stage Monitors (On the stage in front of the band. Signal from mic / instruments to sound guy, transmitted to speakers facing band)
  • Self-Monitoring (Sticking a finger in one ear while singing / humming makes a muffled version where you can hear your pitch. This will tell you whether you're in key or not).

Practice. The basics of singing will make you sing the notes and the intervals. C major notes are C D E F G A B. Level 1 practice: C D E F G A B. Lvl 2: C E D F E G F A G B... eventually harder and harder. As practice continues, the singer's will get more and more sentive to the pitch. Singing out of tune will get easier to spot overtime. Hitting the correct will also get easier overtime. Preparing for performance is just a lot of practice to the extent that it becomes a habit.

Practice makes perfect. Training helps a lot!

Natalia

The Coinage Act of 1792 specified that "The money of account of the United States dollars, etc. shall be expressed in dollars, or units, dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and the milles or thousandths, a disme being the tenth part of a dollar, a cent the hundredth part of a dollar, a mille the thousandth part of a dollar,"

The act also called for the following coins:

  1. **Eagles**, Half Eagles, and Quarter Eagles, which would be worth $10, $5, and $2.50 respectively
  2. **Dollars**, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars
  3. **Dismes**, Half Dismes
  4. **Cents**, Half-Cents

Eagles aren't used any more. Dollars and half dollars are still called that. It's easy to see how quarters and dimes go their names. Dismes, from which dime is derived, is an old word from French that means "tenth" and comes from the Latin decima.

Nickels didn't come about until 1866 during the Civil War. Half dimes were worth 5 cents, but used silver. Nickels replaced half dimes, used a more readily available alloy (copper-nickel), and were larger. They got their name from the fact that they contained nickel instead of silver.

Penny is the name for the British coin, Americans don't have a penny, we have a cent. It's just called a penny incorrectly. They were similar(ish) in value and we kinda picked it up. Even on the coin it says "1 cent" not "one penny" like the other coins say their names "dime, nickel" etc. The coins were also supposed to be minted with 11 pennyweights of copper, which is about 17.1g, so maybe that's where the name came from.