Twitter user @HiddenCash
Twitter user @HiddenCash

A Twitter Scavenger Hunt for Cold Hard Cash

Twitter user @HiddenCash
Twitter user @HiddenCash

It all started last Friday with a tweet. An anonymous California man—in a CNN interview he identifies himself as a real estate investor between ages 35 and 45— began hiding envelopes of cash around the Bay Area and tweeting out clues under the handle @HiddenCash. "Drops" have grown to over $100 as his following has ballooned to more than 340,000 followers on Twitter and, in the course of a week, he has moved from San Francisco to San Jose to, most recently, Los Angeles.

The social media-driven scavenger hunt, which includes pictures and clues, has become a sensation. Most drops are found in mere minutes and the winner often poses not just with the cash but also broadcasters and news reporters who rush to the scene.

In a voice-only interview with KTVU, the wealthy benefactor clarified that he often donated money to charity in a more traditional way, but that @HiddenCash is intended to “put a smile on someone’s face” and hopefully encourage them to "pay it forward." The lucky Californians have been eager to follow his advice, tweeting their plans to share it with friends, family, and coworkers.

The account has become more interactive as it's grown, asking followers to weigh in on how the money should be divided up and what other prizes they want to scavenge for.

Earlier today, the account tweeted out a link to a longer message, which addressed some issues—like the flood of emails he has received since starting the project asking for direct financial assistance—and teased the upcoming "big announcement we've mentioned previously (don't worry, you'll like this)." The note also announced a "media blackout on all interviews in any form for the next couple weeks," but quickly responded to concerns to clarify that this does not mean the project itself will go on hiatus. He mentions the cynical response some people have had only in passing and concludes:

There really is no agenda here - not political, not business, not religious - other than bringing people together in a positive way and bringing a smile to people's faces. And, in some cases, happy tears, like the teenage girl tonight who is sending the money she found to her sick grandmother in Mexico. I am so happy that my money is going to help deserving people like this.

And if you're in LA, check Twitter—the next drop could be coming any minute now.

George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

"American Mall," Bloomberg
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]


More from mental floss studios