Starbucks Customers in China Are Fighting Over Adorable, Limited-Edition Cat Paw Cups

iStock.com/raisbeckfoto
iStock.com/raisbeckfoto

Whether they're scrawled with purposefully misspelled names or decorated with holiday-themed art, Starbucks cups have a history of causing controversy. But the latest drama tied to the brand has nothing to do with upsetting cup designs—rather, its new cat paw mug is so popular that people are fighting in the store to get one, The Daily Meal reports.

Starbucks in China released its limited-edition cat paw cup on Tuesday, February 26 for 199 yuan (or $30). The double-walled vessel features a clear, rounded exterior and a clear interior shaped like a cat's paw. When coffee is poured into the mug, it fills in the paw and makes it stand out.


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Chinese Starbucks stores have sold seasonal merchandise in the past, but few have attracted as much attention as this new product. Released as part of a special Cherry Blossom collection, the mugs were all sold in less than a day. When Starbucks later made an additional 3000 cups available online, it reportedly took less than a second for them to sell out. Scalpers buying the mugs to sell them at a higher price likely contributed to some of the sales. In the video below, two scalpers can be seen duking it out in a Chinese Starbucks over the novelty mug.

Cute special offerings at Starbucks have a tendency to go viral. In spring 2017, the brand released a limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino that sold out in multiple stores and exhausted baristas who struggled to keep up with the demand.

[h/t The Daily Meal]

The New iPhone 11 Is Triggering People With Trypophobia

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

People with trypophobia, or a fear of clusters of small holes, know which triggers to avoid. Soap bubbles, lotus seed pods, and the insides of cantaloupes can all induce panic and revulsion in people who are sensitive to the pattern. Now, they have a new item to add to their list. As Gizmodo points out, the new iPhone has a design feature that's turning off trypophobes.

Apple debuted the iPhone 11 at an event on September 10 ahead of its release on September 20. This latest model comes with many upgrades, including a super-powered processor and longer battery life, but the biggest change has been met with a mixed reception.

The iPhone 11 Pro has three camera lenses where there would normally be one. People who prefer Apple's sleek, minimalist style have criticized the design, while those with trypophobia have had even stronger reactions. Some scientists think the fear of clusters of holes originally developed as a survival mechanism to steer people away from infectious diseases. When someone gets nauseous at the sight of three cameras grouped on the back of a smart phone, it's because it reminds them of decaying flesh.

Presentation launching iPhone 11.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The iPhone likely looks the way it does today thanks to another highly specific fear that afflicted Steve Jobs. The Apple founder suffered from koumpounophobia, or a fear of buttons—an incredibly rare phobia that's only been documented once in all of psychiatric literature. His fear may have lead to the popularization of the smooth, buttonless touch screen. It also explains why the tech giant preferred black turtlenecks to button-down shirts.

Though similar to trypophobia, a fear of buttons and fear of clusters of circles aren't quite the same thing. So while triggering to many, the updated iPhone doesn't necessarily conflict with Jobs's original design aesthetic.

[h/t Gizmodo]

The Reason Why Ships Are Often Painted Red on the Bottom

75tiks/iStock via Getty Images
75tiks/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve ever salvaged a sea vessel, you might have noticed that ship hulls are often red. If you haven’t dealt with a shipwreck—and chances are you haven’t—you may have still seen a red hull in pictures or in partial view at a shipyard. Since that portion of the ship is below the waterline, it seems strange to opt for a specific color.

The reason is tradition. And worms.

In a piece for Jalopnik, Andrew P. Collins explains that early sailing ships protected themselves against barnacles and wood-eating worms by covering their hulls in a copper or copper oxide paint that acted as a biocide. The copper gave the paint a red tint. By reducing the muck that naturally collects on the hull, ships can maintain their structural integrity and avoid being weighed down by gunk like seaweed that would reduce drag.

These days, biocides can be mixed with virtually any color of paint. But the hulls are often painted red to maintain a nautical tradition. Collins also points out that the red may help observers gauge the load of a ship’s cargo. The more weight on board, the lower in the water it will be. That's why you often see numbers positioned vertically on the side of the hull.

No matter what’s covering the hull, it’s never going to completely eliminate growth. Often, ports will prohibit ship owners from scraping hulls while docked, since ships traveling in outside waters might have picked up a non-native species of weed that could prove problematic in a new environment.

[h/t Jalopnik]

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