After analyzing five years of retail and ecommerce data, a hedgehog named Kylo Ren (no relation) has extrapolated a model that predicts record-breaking revenue for sellers in Q4.
”The holidays are always huge for retailers, but with the economy back in full swing, 2016 could be a banner year, according to Kylo,” says John Nickelbuck, a retail analyst at Forbes.
After accounting for inflation, energy markets and other factors, Ren predicts a total of $9.7 bajillion in revenue for online and brick-and-mortar stores.
”Bajillion may not seem like a real number,” says Nickelbuck. “But trust me. It is. And it’s a lot.”
Uber, the personal transportation startup now valued at over $50 billion, just can’t seem to avoid controversy. From alleged poor labor practices to surge pricing during emergencies to sabotaging competitors, Uber has been scrambling from one firestorm to the next seemingly since the day it launched.
Now you can add another issue to that long list: allowing a hedgehog to drive.
Reports started appearing on Twitter last week of a hedgehog Uber driver named Marty picking people up in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. By the weekend, #SpikeUber had becoming a trending topic in New York as thousands of people called for a boycott of the service over safety concerns.
Uber contends, however, that Marty has a stellar 4.6 star rating on the service, and that New York technically does not have any laws against hedgehog operation of motor vehicles.
“We have a very good peer review system that quickly weeds out the bad drivers,” said Uber spokesperson Erica Diossa. “By all accounts, Marty is one of the top drivers in our system.”
That’s only half true, according to Uber users who have ridden with the hedgehog.
“Did I think I was going to die the entire ride? Of course. It’s a damn hedgehog driving a Prius,” said Tony Mars, who caught a ride with Marty last week. “But on the other hand, it’s still way more convenient than a cab.”
Following his massively successful career as a video game star, Sonic the Hedgehog has largely managed to stay out of the limelight in his retirement. That’s surprising, according to Paul McKnight, his biographer.
Though “Sonic the Hedgehog”-brand games are still being released, the franchise has been fronted by a revolving door of young hedgehog actors since Sonic’s retirement in 2004.
McKnight’s new book, Golden Rings: The Inside Story of the Most Famous Hedgehog in the World, which is due out next month, reveals the sordid details of Sonic’s rise to fame.
“He actually auditioned for a Frogger remake in the late 80s before landing the Sonic gig in 1991,” said McKnight via telephone. “And it was an instant hit. He made a fortune literally overnight, and didn’t really know how to deal with it.”
In the book, McKnight details Sonic’s multi-year struggle with highly addictive “chaos emeralds,” as well as financial problems following his ill-advised purchase of the Mike Tyson estate in 1999. Yet since retirement, Sonic has mostly stayed out of the public eye.
“He lives on a farm in upstate New York,” said McKnight. “He grows carrots and has some goats. I didn’t think he could get it together, but it’s nice that he has. It’s a good life.”