Gym Business Models Depend On You Being Too Lazy To Work Out

Generally, there are two different kinds of gyms: the kind that actually expect their members to show up regularly and work out, and the kind that depend on most of their members to not show up on a regular basis. How do you get someone comfortable enough with a gym to pay up, even if they’re too busy or too lazy to show up? Sounds weird, but that’s their entire business model. [More]

Sony Pictures Entertainment Cancels Release Of ‘The Interview’

Empty theaters. (Scoboco)

Throughout today, more movie theater chains have announced that they would prefer not to screen the comedy “The Interview” in the wake of vague terrorist threats against theaters screening the film. Sony Pictures Entertainment, had already canceled the scheduled premiere in New York City tomorrow and told theater operators that they were welcome to not screen the movie if they don’t want to. All of the major theater chains took Sony up on this offer, and now the planned Christmas Day release has been canceled. [More]


Ting Mobile Buys ISP, Will Provide Gigabit Internet To Virginia College Town

Charlottesville, Virginia is home to the University of Virginia, and also to Blue Ridge InternetWorks, an independent Internet service provider that has been working to fiber up the college town with gigabit Internet access. Ting, a company that we know as a discount mobile carrier, announced this week that it will buy the small ISP to enter the gigabit-capable broadband biz. [More]

Not for feline use. (Mark Turnauckas)

This holiday season, give the people you care about a gift that combines portable consumer electronics with genuine concern for their well-being. Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports say that you can get a well-rated home blood pressure monitor for as little as $40. What’s a more thoughtful gift than wanting to make sure someone stays alive for longer? [Consumer Reports]


Gas Station Owners Aren’t Passing Their Savings On To Consumers

You may have noticed prices gradually falling at your neighborhood gas station over the last few months, what you may not know is that the price of oil has been falling even faster than that. Why aren’t station owners passing the savings on to drivers? They’re in a generally low-margin business, and we’re all still buying gas anyway. [More]

The Snuggie Is Back, Somehow Even Worse Than Before

The Snuggie Is Back, Somehow Even Worse Than Before

The Snuggie, a thin fleece blanket with sleeves, reached a special height of pop-culture relevance back in 2009, but they’ve never really gone away. (Though some may have dissolved into piles of Snuggie lint.) Sleeved blankets have remained on the market all this time, and now they’ve taken kind of a weird turn into costume territory. If you’ve dreamed of lounging on the couch while pretending to wear a tux, the new generation of Snuggies are for you. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds


Here are seven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last two weeks, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]


Who Invented Roadside Arm-Waving Air Dancers?

Where did the inflatable dancing man come from? You know what we mean: the tall fabric puppets that you attach to a fan and let loose to dance in the air, capturing the attention of people passing by. Where did the air dancer come from? They’ve been around for less than 18 years, and have an origin story involving three countries and the Olympic Games. [More]

Unexpected Ways To Save Money On Eyeglasses

Unexpected Ways To Save Money On Eyeglasses

Getting new glasses can be a stressful and expensive endeavor, but doesn’t have to be. You might be familiar with the optical shops at your local Walmart or Costco, but there are even more affordable options that you may not be aware of. If (like me) you’re fearful of having your lenses made and fitted through an online order, there are even options for you. [More]


Should Kid-Oriented Mobile Phone Games Serve Up Birth Control Ads?

Yes, many people love kittens, but the target customer for a kitten-themed cartoon mobile phone game is somewhat younger than the target customer for hormonal birth control devices. There are exceptions, and some overlap between the two categories, but those are generally different audiences. Why, then, did an ad pop up that led an 8-year-old girl to ask her mom some very understandable questions about NuvaRing? [More]

(Van Swearingen)

4 Holiday Gifts That Everyone Is Tired Of

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when people whine about how many people in our lives are important enough to us that we are obligated to give them gifts. Plenty of gift items seem like neutral gifts that just about anybody would like. They are not. Before you choose any of these default gifts, stop and think about what you’re doing, and whether the person will really like it. [More]

(me and the sysop)

Self-Storage Facilities Grow, Keep Our Useless Junk Out Of Sight

Americans own a lot of stuff, and we don’t like to get rid of it. While it’s admirable to keep your old things in place of replacing them with new things, that is not exactly what we’re doing. The growth of the self-storage industry tells us that what we’re actually doing is packing away the items we can’t bear to part with but don’t want to trip over on a daily basis. [More]

Homeowner Posts Surveillance Video To Facebook, Finds Alleged Package Thief

Homeowner Posts Surveillance Video To Facebook, Finds Alleged Package Thief

Stealing packages from someone’s doorstep is one of the easiest crimes there is, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong, or any more legal. One homeowner in Texas happened to check on his home security cameras around the time that a FedEx package was delivered, then noticed that the package had suddenly vanished. He posted images from the camera on a local “neighborhood watch” Facebook group, and his neighbor identified the culprit. [More]

Black Friday Mania Spreads To Animal Shelters, Adoption Events For Black Cats And Dogs

Black Friday Mania Spreads To Animal Shelters, Adoption Events For Black Cats And Dogs

Since we first learned about this idea two years ago, a really great Black Friday promotion has become even more popular nationwide. It’s a doorbuster that aims to bust thousands of doors: the doors of cages and kennels at animal shelters, that is. Shelters and rescue groups have pounced on the idea of the holiday, and offer discounts or free adoptions of animals with black fur, and often animals of other colors as well. [More]

Warm Up For Black Friday: Here’s A Pop Quiz On The Best Deals

You can’t depend on retailers to tell you whether you’re really getting a good deal or not. Is $89 the cheapest that you can find an Apple TV for? Is a $199 Dyson vacuum cleaner too good to pass up? You can make sure that your deal-finding senses are finely tuned and ready for Black Friday with an interactive deal quiz over at CNN. Some deals are exceptional, and others compare unfavorably to other recent sales, sometimes at the same retailer. [CNN]

’70s LEGO Flyer Reminds Everyone Toy Used To Be Gender-Neutral

’70s LEGO Flyer Reminds Everyone Toy Used To Be Gender-Neutral

LEGO is one toy that is, in theory, gender-neutral. They’re just blocks, decals, and figurines. Yet toys today tend to be highly gender-segregated, even when they’re items that don’t necessarily have to be. Usually, we don’t think of the past as more enlightened, but in the case of LEGO, it’s striking how different their marketing in the ’70s was compared to today. [More]

(Patrick Carlson)

Why You Should Rethink Buying Gift Cards This Year

Giving people gift cards has many advantages: you can take a loved one out to dinner from hundreds or thousands of miles away, or you can buy someone new clothes or shoes without guessing at their size. However, gift cards and prepaid debit cards aren’t always the one-size-fits-all gift option that they seem to be, since they can have some serious drawbacks. [More]

(Ron Kroetz)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]