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By meethiflyer, ago


[responsivevoice_button] Poppies are herbaceous plants which are fabled for their colour appearance and as a symbol of sleep, peace and death. Ancient Myths have it that Poppies were used as offerings to the dead, while Read more…

By meethiflyer, ago



#1            Founded by 2 teachers and 1 writer


Starbucks was founded by Zev Siegl (History teacher), Gerald Baldwin (English teacher) and Gordon Bowker (writer). They met while they were studying at the University of San Francisco.

Siegel loved extraordinary spices and trying new things. Gerald Baldwin was more into business. And Gordon Bowker favoured literature and philosophy.

Inspired by a Dutch immigrant, Alfred Peet (who had his own coffee business), the trio opened the original Starbucks in 1971 on 2000 Western Avenue, Pike Place Market, Washington.


#2           The Name Starbucks


After considering Cargo House and Pequod (Ahab’s boat), Gordon Bowker settled for the name Starbucks.

He narrates that while he was looking at an old mining map, he saw a town named Starbo, which reminded him of a minor character in Moby Dick. Even though Starbo never drinks coffee in the story, they decided to go with it as they had heard that, “words beginning with St are more powerful”.


#3           The Siren Logo


Portraying a mermaid with twin tails, the Starbucks logo is one that makes the minds wonder.

It was inspired by the Greek Myth of the Siren – a story which speaks about mermaids singing so irresistibly, that they would lure sailors from afar, causing them to shipwreck off a coast in the South Pacific.

  [caption id="attachment_2363" align="aligncenter" width="365"]6a00d8341c51c053ef0147e14ca61a970b-450wi The logo underwent some changes over the years.[/caption]  

#4           More than 87, 000 Drink Combinations


A spokeswoman of Starbucks stated, “If you take all of our core beverages, multiply them by the modifiers and the customization options, you get more than 87,000 combinations.”

Given its four decades of existence, it seems to be quite believable.


However, what’s striking is the uniqueness of their names! The Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade, Iced Hazelnut Macchiato, and Pumpkin Spice Latte, to name a few. Some of Starbucks Frappuccinos are also inspired by mythical characters - the Mermaid Frappuccino, Starbucks Dragon, Unicorn Frappuccino (no longer served), and the Lucky Leprechaun.

Servings can be accompanied by secret menus, like the Banana Split Frappuccino including vanilla bean powder, java chips, a whole banana, and whipped cream!


#5           Spelling Cups


A fun cup-feature proffered by Starbucks is the personalization of cups with your misspelt name on it! Indeed, Starbucks is very famous for getting its customers’ names wrong.

Marketing pioneers state that these weird vowels and crazy consonants are a strategy to make customers have a laugh and share pictures of their Starbucks cups on social networks.



Cup sizes are tall (12), grande (16), venti (24), and trenta (31).

Surveys state that this classic way of serving drinks could be a reason why customers tend to be less calorie-conscious at Starbucks.


#6           Starbucks Digital Network


Unlike other stores, Starbucks uses attwifi (Google Starbucks).

Every participating Starbucks store has its own homepage that brings customers personalized content, such as the local news.

The free Wi-Fi service is known to so fast that every customer in the coffee shop can download and watch videos simultaneously.

#7           Starbucks Rewards




Having a Starbucks membership means earning stars for rewards!

Stars can be gathered on purchasing drinks at a Starbucks shop, packaged coffee in grocery stores and online. Members can occasionally earn bonus stars through member-exclusive offers.

The Green Level membership (0-299 stars) includes Member Events & Offers, Earn 2 stars per $1 spent, Pay by Phone, Free In-Store Refills, Order Ahead, and Free Birthday Reward.

The Gold Level membership (300+ stars) includes a Personalized Gold Card, Reward Every 125 Stars, and Monthly Double-Star Days.

Rewards can also be in the form of free pastries, sandwiches and drinks!


#8           Bluechip Starbucks


Starbucks has over 22, 000 stores wolrdwide.

Starbucks-money Business means anything, from selling its own drinkware to taking over companies. For Starbucks, teaming up with bluechip companies is just as natural as gulping down coffee.

Over the years, Starbucks has made alliances with companies like Ford, Amazon, Spotify, Pokemon Go, City Harvest, and Apple. Starbucks also owns some which are referred to as Starbucks Brands - Teavana, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, and Tazo Tea.

There’s no dearth of celebrity presence either. Starbucks and Lady Gaga have recently got together to create the Cups of Kindness collection.


#9           Starbucks Employees


Starbucks has so many happy workers that the rotations seem to blend!

It was the first privately owned US company to offer a stock option program that includes part-time workers.

In 2014, the Starbucks College Achievement Plan was developed to provide tuition-free college education to thousands of Starbucks employees across the US. Not only are they free to choose amongst 60 unique bachelor's degrees, but the graduates are also free to move on from Starbucks, no strings attached!


The Starbucks Foundation is committed to hiring and providing training skills to thousands of youth, as they are believed to be an untapped market for a productive workforce.

Other global investments include the Starbucks Work Placement Program (Canada), the Starbucks Apprenticeship (UK) and the Soong Ching Ling Foundation (China).

Refugee-recruitment is yet another unique quality at Starbucks. It has created partnerships with the International Rescue Committee, UN Refugee Agency and No One Left Behind to cater to job opportunities for refugees.


#10           Green is not only for the Logo


Starbucks is setting a lot of environmental goals lately.

Some of them are recycling, promoting reusable cups, reducing packaging, purchasing renewable energy credits and improving biodiversity conservation.

It is also conducting strategies to help farmers be greener on the coffee farms.

Since 2005, millions of dollars have been granted through the Ethos Water Fund to provide people around the world access to clean water.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 4.25.06 PM copy

Starbucks proudly recognizes that the planet is their most important business partner!


By meethiflyer, ago

Seasons of the Mascarenes

Solstices and Equinoxes

There are 2 solstices (June & December solstices / Summer & Winter solstices) and 2 equinoxes (March & September equinoxes) every year.


Solstices are the shortest and the longest days of the year. When it is the shortest day in the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day in the southern part of the world, and vice-versa. Solstices are possible when the north or south poles are completely tilted (tilted the most they can) towards and away from the sun.
Note: The Earth is farthest from the sun on the 3rd July (around 64, 555, 000 miles from the sun). This point is known as the Aphelion. And when it is closest to the sun on the 4th January (around 91, 445, 000 miles from the sun), it is called the Perihelion.
Let’s take a look at each solstice:
(i) The June Solstice (occurs on 20-21 June)
This solstice marks the start of summer in the northern hemisphere and that of the winter in the southern hemisphere. On this solstice, the northern hemisphere experiences the longest day of the year and the southern hemisphere experiences the shortest.
(ii) The December Solstice (occurs on 21-22 December)
This solstice marks the start of summer in the southern hemisphere and that of the winter in the northern hemisphere. Here, it is the southern hemisphere which experiences the longest day and the northern hemisphere experiences the shortest day.
Equinoxes, unlike solstices, equinoxes are either of the two occasions when day and night are of equal length. They are 6 months apart. During the equinoxes, there are 12 hours of day and 12 hours of darkness everywhere on the earth’s surface. The sun rises at 6 o’clock in the morning and sets at 6 o’clock in the evening in many parts of the planet.
Let’s take a look at each equinox:
(i) March Equinox (occurs on 20-21 March)
This equinox marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere and the start of autumn in the southern hemisphere.
(ii) September Equinox (occurs on 22-23 September)
This equinox marks the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere and that of spring in the southern hemisphere.
An overview of what happens during solstices and equinoxes at the following locations:
(i) At the North Pole & Arctic Circle
During the March equinox, the sun rises at noon. The north pole receives daylight till the September equinox. That is, the north pole experiences no night-time during 6 months! Just after the September equinox, the sun sets and the north pole then experiences 6 months of darkness till the March equinox occurs again. At the Arctic Circle, the sun appears at the horizon for a very brief moment on the December solstice, and then disappears. The Arctic Circle experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness during the March and September equinoxes.
(ii) At the South Pole & Antarctic Circle
During the March equinox, the sun sets at noon and the south pole remains in darkness till the September equinox. Just after that, the sun rises and the south pole receives daylight till the March equinox occurs again. At the Antarctic Circle, the sun briefly appears at the horizon on the June solstice, and then disappears, just like it happens during the December solstice at the Arctic Circle. The Antarctic Circle experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness during the March and September equinoxes too.
(iii) At the Tropic of Cancer
During the June solstice, the sun shines directly over the Tropic of Cancer at noon. During the December solstice it is low in the sky (at noon itself). And during both equinoxes, the sun is off the zenith and the Tropic of Cancer experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, similar to what happens at the poles.
(iv) At the Tropic of Capricorn
The same thing occurs at the Tropic of Capricorn, the only difference being the sun is low in the sky during the June solstice instead of the December’s, and it is shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn during the December solstice instead of the June’s. The Tropic of Capricorn receives 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness just like the poles and the Tropic of Cancer do.
(v) At the Equator
The equator always receives 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, whether there is a solstice or an equinox. This is because it is in the perfect middle of the Earth. Although the solstices mark the peak of summer and winter, with respect to the amount of sunlight we receive, it doesn’t mean the warmest and coldest days occur on solstices! The warmest and coldest days depend entirely on the temperature of the surroundings, which is in turn dependent on the amount of heat the atmosphere gets from the sun and the amount of heat the atmosphere loses to the land and ocean. In general, we experience the warmest days of summer and the coldest days of winter when the temperature of the atmosphere, land, and ocean are in equilibrium, that is; when they are all equal!

By meethiflyer, ago

Moonset & Sunrise

Painters draw a lot of inspiration from the moonset & sunrise. That's because the moonset & sunrise exhibits so many transitions in colours and temperature. The process lasts for just a few seconds, and it's very difficult to capture the exact midway-moment. Despite being a hobby-painter, I always strive to produce canvases that would make people stare and get lost in. And I must admit, that I felt so envious assisting to this grandiose moonset & sunrise that morning. I guess, every painter does have to go through this confused moment at some point ... It dawned upon me that, indeed, God is the greatest of artists. And the sky; one of his greatest canvas!   (more…)

By meethiflyer, ago

A Sleeping Book

The best way to be noticed is indeed, to be irrational ??? I believe, authors have been having a hard time ever since the saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover." got popular. However, some creative minds have found out that acting stupidly in countering a quote actually means winning it over! Whether it be a published blank book, one that'd make you trigger crazy emotions, or one that claims to magically transform your life. Likewise, this book which claims to be able to make you sleep does get a lot of hands reaching out for it on the shelves. How likely is it though, that one would be ready to spend some dollars on actually buying it ... Would you? (more…)

By meethiflyer, ago

My Funny Students #1

For all those bilinguals out there! We know what a pain 'false friends' can be ?

#1   Claire chats with Francis

Claire is a 30-year old woman living in France. She enjoys chatting, especially with people from abroad. She takes this as an opportunity to discover new cultures and to practise her spoken English skills.

In The Train

Claire: Hi!
Francis: Hi! My name is Francis.
Claire: Oh! Like the chanter!
Francis: Sorry?
Claire: No, my name is Claire.
Francis: Nice to meet you.
Claire: So where are you direct?
Francis: You mean where I’m going?
Claire: I’m going. I work in the half of France area. I use the common transport to go to work. You don’t have to pay the carburant when you travel like this.
Francis (not sure): Ok … I am here to attend a business conference in Versailles. I’m staying at a hotel in Paris. It’s a very tall building, I’m glad I got it. I so much wanted to see the whole of the city from my room.
Claire: I don’t like highs. I live in an establishment of 4 floors.
Francis: Did you establish … ?
Claire: No, I have to pay the location!
Francis: So how long have you been living in Paris?
Claire: About one hour twenteen minutes now, no?
Francis: No, I mean, you-stay-in-Paris? Time?
Claire: Oh! I live at seven o’clock.
Francis: Ok …
Francis: I live in Norfolk. I have been living there for years now.
Claire: I live in the campaign. Now I live in Paris for 4 years also.
Francis (getting used to the language barrier): So you take the train every day?
Claire: Yeessss … I don’t like. But I don’t have choice. I roll the car very slow, I will never arrive work on time.
Arriving - Destination: Versailles.
Francis: I have to get down at this station. It was a pleasure meeting you. What’s your name again?
Claire: Yes, again. Thank you very well.
Francis: Euhh … Francis.
Claire: Bye Francis!
Francis (compelled to smile): Bye.

By meethiflyer, ago