The delicious-looking sweet addition to Starbucks' popular coffee drinks will launch on May 1, with the return of the annual "Happy Hour" promotion. Between May 1 and 10, "customers who visit participating Starbucks stores from 3-5 p.m. local time for Frappuccino Happy Hour may enjoy half-priced Frappuccino blended beverages," the company said in a press release.
As part of the promotion, Starbucks is also unveiling a S'mores Frappuccino -- which includes marshmallow-infused whipped cream, milk chocolate sauce, a creamy blend of graham, coffee, milk and ice, and a graham cracker crumble.
Mashable reports that the cookie straw is a "rolled sweet wafer biscuit lined with rich chocolate ganache," that will be available beginning May 1 for 95 cents.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s becoming more and more common to leave at least a 20-percent tip when dining out, but one man left his waitress a pretty unheard-of gratuity: nearly 7,000 percent.
Mike from New York City left his server $3,000 on a bill for $43.50 last week.
“This woman had been serving us for almost a year now. She’s a lovely individual, and she talked about how she was served an eviction notice last month,” Mike, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News. "I just had also been constantly thinking about for quite some time my teacher’s project and this foundation, and I thought it was an appropriate time.”
The foundation he is referring to is “ReesSpecht Life,” a pay-it-forward movement started by his eighth-grade science teacher Rich Specht after Specht’s 22-month-old son died in a tragic drowning accident.
In response to his death, Specht and his wife started a pay-it-forward foundation to thank everyone who helped them after their son Richard Edwin-Ehmer Specht’s (nicknamed Rees) funeral.
"We wanted to pay them back, and no one would take anything in return. We thought, ‘If no one will let us pay it back, we’ll pay it forward,’” Specht told ABC News.
He and his wife printed up business cards that encouraged others to pay it forward, initially ordering 5,000 cards. They’ve since distributed more than 100,000 cards worldwide.
"It keeps growing. People keep doing these things. We made our website and we get people to share their stories of what they’ve done,” he explained. “We unofficially call people who do things ‘Rees’ Pieces,’ and I get excited even when someone buys a coffee for someone else and shares it with us.”
Mike took his act a little further to honor his former teacher.
“I met Mr. Specht in eighth grade -- I was his science student – and he’s an incredible human being. To see something so horrible happen to him...it doesn’t surprise me that he would start a foundation out of something so horrible that would just continue to keep good around and to keep wonderful things going,” Mike said. “It was heartwrenching for me to see it happen. I had been trying to pay it forward and this was just a big opportunity for me to be able to honor someone that’s so wonderful.”
To help the waitress with her rent, Mike settled on $3,000 since Manhattan rents are so high.
“She really needed it and has been so happy since then, so I feel I did the right thing,” he said. “She said she was going to devote herself to the foundation and continue to pay it forward.”
It’s a scenario Specht and his wife never imagined when they started the foundation.
“All we ever want is to make a difference in the world. My son only had 22 months and didn’t really have a chance, and that’s all I wanted for him: to know he inspired someone he never met to do something,” Specht said. “I don’t know if there is a word that fits it because I can’t describe the feeling. It restores something that was missing."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street posted small losses on Monday just days ahead of another Federal Reserve meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day at 18,037.97, off 42.17 from its open.
The Nasdaq dipped 31.84 to 5,060.25, while the S&P 500 ended the session at 2,108.92, following losses of 8.77.
The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, with potential implications for interest rate hikes. The committee has previously preached patience in raising the interest rates, which have remained low for years.
Sharpe Suiting(NEW YORK) -- Feeling comfortable in one's own skin is hard enough. Feeling comfortable in one's clothing should be relatively easy, by comparison.
But for members of the LGBTQ community who don't identify with common notions of gender or appearance, what to wear can be a daily frustration. Fortunately, a new wave of fashion start-ups have recently launched to address -- and dress -- this oft-neglected segment of the population.
"There are specific concerns for us to consider when it comes to the trans and genderqueer communities, where underthings often explicitly tie in to gender expression," said Jeanna Kadlec, owner of Bluestockings Boutique, an online undergarment retailer in Boston that services an LGBTQ audience. "What would be called women’s underwear is, traditionally speaking, very feminine."
The owner told ABC News that the shop tries to present a more inclusive selection than other stores. It also seeks to boost other LGBTQ-focused businesses.
The nine-day-old Bluestockings Boutique supports queer-owned and -designed brands such as Play Out and FYI by Dani Read.
"Nubian Skin has been a huge hit," added Kadlec. "And I’m personally excited to stock independent designers like Karolina Laskowska, On the Inside and Origami Custom."
"Where we come in as a queer boutique isn’t in saying that lacy underwear isn’t queer or that sporty underwear is, but rather is in giving a person both options and saying, 'You do you!'" said Kadlec. "Limited choices only reinscribe dominant forces in our society, such as traditional gender norms, heteronormativity, sizeist beauty ideals and so on."
The same thinking applies at Sharpe Suiting, a year-old Los Angeles atelier for bespoke suits where no assumptions are made about gender or identity before measurements begin for custom dresswear.
"Most of the concerns we received during Sharpe’s crowd-funding campaign were actually rooted from our community’s past negative experience in, No. 1, trying to find clothes that fit them properly and, No. 2, the service they received while attempting to find a suit option that did fit," said Leon Wu, founder and CEO of Sharpe Suiting, who has also performed off and on for the last 15 years as a drag king (female-bodied, dressing as male) dubbed Trey Sharpe.
Using Andropometrics, a trademarked system for measuring a person based on their gender identity, Sharpe Suiting creates suits with the exact fit, shape or silhouette his customers desire by "straightening unwanted, or adding wanted, angles and curves."
Fueled by the success of its bespoke pieces, the company is currently preparing to launch a ready-to-wear line in June using a new sizing chart that it feels will better serve its customer base.
"Sharpe Suiting markets our clothing as 'a-gender' or 'gender-neutral.'” said Wu. "We pride ourselves in being able to dress those butch and masculine-of-center-identified in a way most companies can’t, or won’t."
But Wu was quick to note that he doesn't discriminate against customers who don't fit those descriptions, either.
"When gay men, queens, femmes and fashion-forward straight men showed up wanting high-quality clothing that expressed their identities, who were we to say they didn’t fit within our scope?" he said. "Fashion often is based on a concept of exclusivity. We want to change that by being a company that is always inclusive."
One of the more challenging times for a woman to find flattering clothing can be during pregnancy, and soon an LGBTQ-aimed startup will bring broadened options to that market as well.
Butchbaby & Co, a new line of "alternity wear for pregnant masculine, transgender, and queer individuals" and the brainchild of 20-year-old entrepreneur Vanessa Newman, is currently incubating in Washington, D.C.
"The vision of Butchbaby & Co. is to create a world where pregnant individuals' identities don’t have to change just because one’s body does," reads the company's vision statement on its website. "Alternity wear is the alternative to the hyperfeminine, heteronormative, eurocentric maternity wear that only exists today."
The eight-piece lifestyle collection includes a nursing t-shirt, Oxford button-up, jeans, pullover sweater, zip-up hoodie, sweatpants, boxer briefs and nursing sports bra. All pieces are created through collaboration between Newman and Michelle Janayea, chief design officer for Butchbaby.
Butchbaby & Co. did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment but is preparing to launch in late fall/early winter 2015.
That's the pricing model behind a new traveling pop-up shop called Less Than 100, which seeks to shine a light on wage inequality.
The inaugural Pittsburgh outpost, launched by artist Elana Schlenker, has been charging men full price all month. But women paid just 76 percent of the price for all items, a number that reflects what the American Association of University Women (AAUW) reports is the average gender wage gap in Pennsylvania, where it says women on average earn 76 percent of what men earn.
"Clearly, 76 is really oversimplified, and when you look at profession, age or race, it’s worse or better," said Schlenker of the shop's pricing system. "But this is something that we’re discussing a lot in the store. Depending upon who you talk to, there are a lot of different opinions on what the impact of the wage gap can be."
A Pennsylvania native who splits her time between Pittsburgh and her artist's studio in Brooklyn, New York, Schlenker's inspiration for the shop was to create a space where the gender wage gap was tangible and could spark dialogue.
"I was surprised by how many men who came in, who I thought might take issue with it, responded positively and by talking about the women in their lives who had supported them," Schlenker said. "[Their experiences] made them want to participate and support this project. So hearing those types of stories has been nice."
Items in the shop range in cost from $1 to $300, with a large number priced at less than $20. The stock includes original artworks and prints, ceramics, textiles, books and magazines, personal care products, packaged food and accessories.
But what all have in common is that they are produced by local female artists.
"It was really important that this be a positive space," said Schlenker, who added that the timing of the pop-up was meant to coincide with regional events that connected and empowered women. "We offered scale-building events, panels with small business owners, and I wanted to provide real tools and resources rather than just complaining that this is a problem and not really doing anything about it."
While the Less Than 100 Pittsburgh location will close its doors at the end of the month, a second installment is already in the works for New Orleans, expected to open in November.
The most recent report from AAUW analyzing U.S. Census Bureau statistics revealed a gap of 33 percent in the state of Louisiana, ranking it as the state with the second-widest wage gap in the nation. On average, women in Louisiana earn 66 cents to the dollar earned by male counterparts, according to the data.
"I'm very excited to be working with a partner in New Orleans, Tammy Mercure, a photographer based there," said Schlenker. "There’ve also been a lot of people reaching out to me to bring the shop to California next. But the state is actually one of the more progressive about wage equality. So most likely the next one after that will be in the Midwest or West."
While the national attention the shop has received thus far has inspired Schlenker to push forward with her project, it does have its detractors.
"No one has come into the shop and had an issue with paying 100 percent," said Schlenker. "But there’s been tons of negative online stuff, comments and e-mails, some more serious than others. I see a lot of people saying, 'There is no wage gap.' But for the most part we've received positive feedback. It's been an amazing month."
Chipotle(NEW YORK) -- The next time you go eat at Chipotle Mexican Grill, you can be assured that none of your food will contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
The Denver-based company announced on its website that it has changed its tortillas, making it the first national restaurant chain to cook with only non-GMO ingredients.
“This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells told The New York Times Sunday. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”
Two years ago, Chipotle became the first chain to voluntarily disclose which of its foods contained GMOs. Since then, the company has taken steps toward eliminating them, completing the transition with its new tortillas.
Pebble/Martian/Motorola(NEW YORK) -- Apple is making wearing a watch cool again -- and that's good news for competitors.
While the Apple Watch easily ascended to the top spot in the wearables market, according to analysts, its arrival is good news for competitors.
"It's a rising tide," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told ABC News. "If you can't afford the entry fee then there are lots of other alternatives that are available."
Whether its cost, compatibility or battery life that is keeping you from the Apple Watch, here are four alternatives that are worth trying:
This $129 wearable looks like an analog watch, but has smart features built in that are compatible with both iOS and Android phones. After downloading the Martian Notifier app, wearers can route notifications to their wrist, including calls, texts, Facebook alerts, Twitter, their calendar, fitness stats, sports scores and more.
The one line display on the watch face offers a basic smart watch experience with glanceable moments.
"I think they are kind of a more fun, more entry level smart watch alternative for people who don't want to make a big investment," Wood said.
Pebble Time Steel
Beginning as a Kickstarter project that raised $10 million in 2012, Pebble has become one of the top smart watch makers on the market, winning over users with its low price point and up to seven days of battery life. Their latest offering, the Pebble Time Steel, is a dressier offering from the original wearable and starts at $199. While the device doesn't run on Android Wear or iOS, Pebble has the benefit of having a strong developer following.
The result: Users can expect plenty of third party apps covering everything from fitness to weather.
A sleek look and a round face makes the Moto 360 one of the more fashionable wearables on the market, with a price point beginning at $249.99. (That's $100 less than the entry level Apple Watch Sport.)
Timely information such as flight delays is delivered to your wrist when you need to see it, while the wearable also boasts other features to compete with the Apple Watch, including voice control and fitness tracking.
While the looks and the price are both positives, the biggest downside for this Android device is battery life. Several reviews complain the battery doesn't always hold a full day's charge when it's heavily used.
LG's G Watch R
Like the Moto 360, the LG G Watch R is one of the many devices that run on the Android Wear platform. A sporty round watch face can turn from a classic analog display to a computer on your wrist when needed.
Starting around $300, the watch is a more expensive Android Wear offering, however its full functionality and style make it one of the most appealing.
Google(NEW YORK) — Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal, Google and Facebook are using their tremendous reach to help reunite people around the world with loved ones in the disaster zone.
Google's person finder tool, which was first launched after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, allows people to enter information about themselves or someone they're caring for in the disaster zone. On the other end, it allows people around the world to search the records for information about someone they are trying to locate in Nepal.
The tool has logged more than 5,700 records in the past two days and is also searchable via text message.
Facebook, meanwhile, activated its safety check tool that notifies people in the affected area that they can send an alert to friends to let them know they are safe.
"When disasters happen, people need to know their loved ones are safe. It's moments like this that being able to connect really matters," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a message on his Facebook wall after the feature went live Saturday.
Aside from leveraging the reach of the Internet, several other technology companies are offering help in getting phone calls and text messages in and out of Nepal.
T-Mobile announced all fees will be waved for customers who called and texted Nepal beginning on Saturday and extending through May 16.
Viber, an Internet calling company, announced on Twitter it was making all calls to and from Nepal free of charge during the aftermath.
Google Voice calls are also being made available for the reduced rate of 1 cent per minute. According to a post on Google's Asia Pacific blog, the small cost was chosen as a way "to prevent spammers from abusing our systems and possibly adding more load to the already stretched Nepalese telephone network."
Since the Saturday earthquake and aftershocks, the death toll has risen to more than 3,700, according to a Nepal police official.
About 3,000 U.S. citizens reside in Nepal, and 3,000 to 4,000 Americans usually visit Nepal during the current peak tourism season, according to Ineke Stoneham, press and information officer for the United States Embassy in Kathmandu.
Of those, Stoneham said 75 U.S. citizens are reported to be sheltering in the embassy, while about 150 others are sheltering at the Phora Durbar compound.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It's college graduation season and this year's crop of diploma-earners can expect a robust job market for their skills and services, according to a new CareerBuilder survey of 2,175 hiring managers and human resource professionals.
With the economy having emerged from the Great Recession, two-thirds of employers plan to hire college grads, up from 57 percent in 2014.
As for which degrees can expect the best reception, business was named their top choice by 38 percent of employers.
Here are the rest:
Computer and Information Sciences — 27 percent
Engineering — 18 percent
Math and Statistics — 14 percent
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences — 14 percent
Communications Technologies — 12 percent
Engineering Technologies — 12 percent
Communication and Journalism — 10 percent
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities — 9 percent
Science Technologies — 8 percent
Education — 7 percent
Meanwhile, a third of employers say the college grads they gives jobs to can expect starting salaries that are higher than were offered last year with only one in 10 cutting pay. The rest will offer no change in salaries from 2014.
Expected starting salaries for recent graduates break down as follows:
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you think people in the world of finance have got it made, a new survey by the executive search and consulting firm Options Group suggests otherwise.
Based on responses from 3,100 people who work in the field of finance, half said they were not happy with their job, the firm for which they worked, their pay and their prospects.
Only 20 percent of those polled reported being happy with all four factors.
And while plenty of people outside of business gripe about the high salaries earned by top executives, it turns out that only half of those who've risen to these positions are satisfied with their pay and bonuses.
The level of satisfaction is even worse going down the corporate ladder. Just under four in ten finance executives with six to eight years’ experience felt that their compensation was fair and was what they had expected.
Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DEARBORN, Mich.) -- The Ford Motor Company issued a safety recall on Friday for 390,000 cars over concerns that car doors may swing open.
The recall affects model year 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles, and model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles, which were built in Mexico.
The automaker said in a release the broken door latch in the affected vehicles may cause the door open while driving.
Ford said it was aware of two allegations of soreness resulting from an unlatched door bouncing back when the customer attempted to close it, and one accident allegation when a door swung open and struck an adjacent vehicle as the driver was pulling into a parking space.
There are affected 390,000 vehicles in North America including 336,873 in the United States, 30,198 in Canada and 22,514 in Mexico.
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic(KATHMANDU, Nepal) -- Google executive Daniel Fredinburg was among at least 17 people killed Saturday in an avalanche on Mt. Everest that was triggered by a massive earthquake near the Nepal capital of Kathmandu.
Google's Director of Privacy Lawrence You wrote in a statement: "Sadly, we lost one of our own in this tragedy. Dan Fredinburg a long-time member of the Privacy organization in Mountain View, was in Nepal with three other Googlers, hiking Mount Everest. He has passed away. The other three Googlers with him are safe and we are working to get them home quickly... Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal, and with Dan's family and friends during this terrible time."
The climbing group Jagged Globe wrote on its website, "It is with the greatest sorrow that we report the death of one of our Everest team members, Daniel Fredinburg... Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan's family and friends whilst we pray too for all those who have lost their lives in one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit this Himalayan nation."
Fredinburg worked at Google for eight years, and according to his LinkedIn page, he described his roles as: Head of Privacy for Google[x], Manage Product Management team for Google's Privacy team and Lead Google Adventure Team.
Fredinburg previously dated One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, the two broke up in August 2014.
Bush posted on Instagram Saturday, "Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends... I'm devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of "all the things" when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love... His energy is so big and so bright, and it's all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again."
Fredinburg's sister Megan wrote on his Instagram that the Google executive "suffered from a major head injury and didn't make it."
"We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us," she wrote. "All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us. Thank you."
On Friday, Fredinburg posted an update from Mt. Everest on Instagram, writing, "Day 22: Ice training with @micbattelli means frequent stops for morning cappuccino, regardless of danger."
Fredinburg was also apparently on Mt. Everest last year in April, when another big avalanche hit. In April 2014, Bush tweeted:
For all concerned, @danfredinburg & team are safe at Camp 1 on #Everest after the avalanche. Please keep the Sherpas in your prayers. ????
Saturday’s avalanche has killed at least 10 climbers and guides and injured many more. It was triggered by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu just before noon local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 1,457 people were killed, officials said.
According to the United Nations, nearly 5 million people have been impacted by the quake, which is believed to be the worst earthquake in Nepal in more than 80 years.
Tiql(LAS VEGAS) -- Tickets for the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match, called the "fight of the century," have creeped up on Super Bowl prices, but what you’ll pay for the worst seat in the house might surprise you.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather will face eight-division world champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao May 2, 3 p.m. ET, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a battle that has been in the works but stalled for the past several years.
Tickets finally went on sale to the public Thursday, after the two fighters' camps settled contract details and how tickets would be allotted. Tickets sold out in less than one minute, according to TiqIQ, an event ticket search engine.
Though the starting retail price was $1,500, there were only 500 tickets sold to the general public for boxing's richest fight ever, though the arena holds about 16,000 people.
Forty percent of the remaining tickets went to the MGM Grand and 25 percent to each of the fighters’ camps.
So, unless you know Mayweather and Pacquiao, the only way to get in now is through the resale market. Even the fighters have said they were inundated with requests from their circles when the match was announced in February.
The average ticket price sold so far on StubHub is $6,362, with a range of $5,000 to $12,000. The lowest-priced ticket sold so far on StubHub is around $4,500, the company told ABC news. Those are for seats in the Upper 202 section, a corner area that's arguably among the worst.
The average ticket price for this year's Super Bowl was $10,466.11, according to TiqIQ.
"The best way to describe these seats are like sitting in the last row for any basketball court but all the action happening at center court," said Chris Matcovich, vice president of data and communications of TiqIQ.
Matcovich said even the worst seats in the house are on sale for $5,000 on TiqIQ's website. There are 14 seats in section 205, row Q, that are the second to last row in that section. Their list price: $4,575. And ticket prices are likely to remain high leading up to the fight, given the few available on the resale market, according to Matcovich.
“I would imagine they aren’t that terrible, honestly,” StubHub spokesman Cameron Papp said about the cheapest tickets. “This is a small arena so I doubt there are many bad seats in the house. That’s what we’re seeing as far as sales on StubHub. Most of the tickets being bought are for the cheapest available – people just want to get in to this historic event.”
Apple Inc.(NEW YORK) -- The Apple Watch, on sale starting Friday, may be touted as the wearable tech that fans have been waiting for, but it's not quite the watch of our dreams yet.
There are more than 3,000 apps available, from adjusting your hearing aid volume with Beltone's app or controlling your PowerPoint presentation from your wrist. But here are some of the things that the Apple Watch can't do yet, based on these beloved movies and television shows.
1. Laser to break down vaults
Penny from Inspector Gadget could do some pretty rad things with her watch, including communicating with her uncle with a system similar to Apple's "FaceTime" and cutting through metal with a laser.
Back in September, Apple announced that the Apple Watch would have a Walkie-Talkie feature, much like the one Dick Tracy had, but that feature appears to have been pulled for some inexplicable reason, TheVerge.com reports.
An archived version of the Apple website described the Walkie-Talkie feature: "For a fun alternative to a phone call, use the built-in speaker and microphone to trade spur-of-the-moment sound bites with friends."
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers not only used their wrist communicators to talk to each other and Alpha at their Command Center. They could eventually use their communicators to teleport wherever they needed to go.
4. Control a giant, flying robot and its eye laser rays
Johnny Sokko in the 1960s series Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot had it all: a giant robot that flew and had finger missiles. Together, they could defeat weird aliens as long as Johnny had his trusty wristwatch transmitter.
5. Watch TV like on a normal TV
Sure, you can download a show on iTunes or stream it from somewhere. But when can we have a literal mini-television on your wrist?
In an episode of The Jetsons called "Elroy's Mob," Kenny Countdown tells Elroy that he's watching the "billionth rerun" of The Flintstones in class.
The robot teacher catches him and says, “How many times have I told you, no TV in the classroom! What do you have to say for yourself?” before giving the students "report tapes." Elroy gets all As, and (surprise, surprise) Kenny Countdown gets an H, which, presumably, is worse than an F.