Hidden History #643

This week at Groupon we traveled to Atlanta, where we unearthed evidence of a [secret feud between ancient rivals](http://www.groupon.com/atlanta/deals/atlanta-hawks-20#voice):

**Hawks vs. Wizards**

The feud between hawks and wizards dates back millennia. Recently unearthed cobalt tablets reveal the chronology of their bitter war of magics:

200 AD: Azamoth of the Firstwind and his trusty hawk, Bringer, lay eyes on the same scrumptious cherry blossom. But before Azamoth can pop it in his mouth, Bringer snatches it from his hand and gobbles it up himself. The war is begun.

1290: The seemingly indefatigable Thunderclaw Hawkfleet, as led by General Peregrine Skychild, guard the northern sky like an impenetrable web of knives, ready to reduce any opponent to tatters—that is, any opponent they can see. Abercrombie of the Sparkling Air sneaks past them under a Guise of Refractability, carrying in the Six Forbidden Charms of Resistance, unimpeded.

1774: An unstable continent to the west becomes a refuge for desperate, emigrating hawks, many of which do not survive the transatlantic flight, despite the aid of their amulets. A bloodthirsty faction of wizards, however, is quick to follow, and the ensuing battle in the new world becomes the perfect smokescreen for the birth of a young republic.

1958 The hawks battle the wizards for the first time in human form, winning in double overtime against a coven of Stonehenge-worshipping Druids who had cleverly renamed themselves the Boston Celtics.

This Week's Findings

Too bashful to talk to that cutie across the room? In Phoenix, we discovered [this](http://www.groupon.com/phoenix/deals/earleys-flowers#voice) Fill-In-the-Blanks Missed Connection Ad Generator to help track him/her down in the local paper for later connectioning:

You: [Gender]
Me: [Gender]

I saw you at the (_location_). You were wearing a (_color_) (_name of band_) (_clothing item_). I was the (_description of height_) (_gender_) (_verb_)-ing against a (_model of car from the mid-90s_). We made eye contact, but I was too (_synonym for scared_) to talk to you. I badly (_verb_)-ed myself on that samurai sword that someone hid in the (_unlikely place for a samurai sword_). (_Modal verb_) (_pronoun_) like to (_verb_) (_noun_) at (_non-threatening neutral location_) and (_verb_) (_our imagined mutual interest in name of band from clothing item_)?

Jason Fried Joins the Groupon Board of Directors

I’m excited to announce that Jason Fried has joined Groupon’s Board of Directors. Jason is the founder of [37signals](http://www.37signals.com), as well as the co-author of two books and the popular [Signal vs.Noise](http://37signals.com/svn) design blog.

Anyone who’s started a web business knows that you don’t get very far before running into Jason’s work. _[Getting Real](http://gettingreal.37signals.com/)_ — sort of _The Elements of Style_ for building websites — was the first book I read when starting [The Point](http://www.thepoint.com). And [Campfire](http://campfirenow.com/), 37signals’ group chat application, was among the first charges on the company credit card. Almost three years later, we still use it every day.

As Groupon continues to grow, we want to be surrounded by smart people of diverse backgrounds, with strong opinions that they aren’t shy about expressing. That’s why we asked Jason to join our board. Few have been as successful as Jason at creating tools that people love to use, or building a brand that stands for something greater than the utility of its products.

It’s been a tremendous year for Groupon, and Jason’s guidance helps assure that many more will follow.

Been there, done that!

If you’re like a lot of customers we’ve been hearing from (myself included), you’re finding that the only downside to buying a lot of Groupons is keeping track of them all.

We know that thousands of you have more than 10 Groupons, over a thousand have more than 20 Groupons and there’s even one person with over 100! Psssst… you know who you are, and we have a hotline you can call to get help with your addiction (312) 673-1515 Just sayin’

This is why we’ve added a much-requested feature to let you easily mark off which Groupons you’ve used.

Just go to mygroupons and click ‘mark as used’ to say ‘Been there, done that!’, and you’re done. Your used Groupons are tucked away in the ‘Used’ bin so you can focus on what’s still available.

Mark Used

Use the filters at the top of the page to see what’s Available, Used, Expired or, if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to take a trip down memory lane, you can click to see All the Groupons you’ve ever had.

My Groupons Filters

If you happen to click the wrong one by mistake, there’s a quick ‘undo’ available to get it right back. You can always click to ‘mark unused’ from the list of used Groupons. Nothing is ever removed, we’re just helping you tidy up.

We’ve also made printing a little easier when you have multiple vouchers for the same deal.
In the past, if you had 4 of a single deal, the print button would print all 4, every time. Now you can click to print a single voucher or print them all if you need to. Saves time, saves ink, saves paper.

We hope you like the new features. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think.

Groupon Fingernail Growing Contest: And the Winner Is…

Since the $100 Groupon Fingernail Growing Contest [was announced in early September](http://twitter.com/groupon/status/3106098347), hundreds, perhaps thousands of citizens have been silently focused on growing their fingernails.

We’re pleased to announce that by following a strict diet and the regular application of her generations-old recipe for fingernail topical treatment, [@GeeEmm](http://www.twitter.com/GeeEmm) outgrew her competitors and secured the $100 prize! Check out the specimens below.



September Photo Contest Results

Congratulations to Preston “Kip” Hufstedler, whose creative application of his Groupon for [Cowboy Cleaning](http://www.groupon.com/deals/cowboys-cleaning) near Dallas, TX is documented in an event too unnerving to be Photoshopped. We don’t know if it’s the enthusiastic look on his face, or picturing the goldenrod glob on the tip of that rag, but Kip definitely got our attention, plus a $100 Groupon gift card to use on his next questionable adventure. Submit your own pic of yourself redeeming your Groupon to [pictures@groupon.com](pictures@groupon.com) with the physical Groupon in the image, and next month it could be you!


New on Groupon: Referral Rewards

What’s more fun than buying the daily Groupon (and less fun than watching people fall down)? That’s right – **sharing** Groupons. Maybe you share because you’re looking for people to help you use a Groupon. Maybe it’s because you *need* to share in order to reach the minimum required for the deal. Or maybe you’re just a nice person and want to help friends get deals on stuff they love.

Today we added one more great reason to share – for every new customer you bring to Groupon, we’ll give you $10 in Groupon Bucks when they buy their first deal. It’s our way of saying “thanks” for your help spreading the word and increasing our collective buying power!

### How to Earn Groupon Bucks

Once you [create a Groupon account](https://www.groupon.com/users/new) (if you’ve already bought something, you have one), find your personal referral link by clicking [Refer Friends, Get $10](http://www.groupon.com/referrals) at the top of the page.


From here, you can post your link to Twitter, Facebook, or email, or just Cher (pun intended – intended with extreme prejudice) your personal link. Wrap that link around a [Groupon badge](http://www.groupon.com/pages/e-schwag), and put Groupon on your blog or social networking profile to keep Groupon Bucks flowing!


The “Share” links attached to each deal will also earn you Groupon Bucks. Whether a customer buys that deal immediately or subscribes to the daily email and doesn’t get their first Groupon for months, we won’t forget – you’ll still get your Groupon Bucks.

This was a frequently requested feature – we’re excited to see what you think!

This Week's Horrifying Revelations

Fear is the secret to happy marriages, lasting friendships, and the final ingredient in numerous madman-created serums. We learned this while fact checking the reported dreadful nature of the helix featured at [Chronicles of the Cursed: Hades Emerges](http://www.groupon.com/deals/chronicles-of-the-cursed-haunted-house), a haunted house in Chicago. While researching the nature of fear, we uncovered this information about this fall’s new movie releases:

Scary Movies Sure to Make You Jump

Scary movie season is filled with genuinely scary flicks, but there are also a number of less-terrifying stinkers:

  • President’s Day: All of the deceased presidents rise from their tombs and run for President again.
  • A Nightmare on Murder Street Part 6: To everyone’s surprise, undead dream-murderer Dale doesn’t go on a murder spree but does start committing mail fraud.
  • The Historical Haunting of Madeline: A bunch of ghosts don’t do all that much to secure a PG-13 rating.
  • The Wyoming Chainsaw Massacre: A chainsaw wielding maniac can’t find one person to murder in the least populous state.

Meanwhile in Tampa, we discovered terrifying brain teasers to enhance the mind-body experience of yoga. Specifically of the yoga practiced at Tampa’s [Namaste Yoga Studio](http://www.groupon.com/deals/namaste-yoga-studio).

Step Into The BrainTrap!

Yoga is well known as a unifier of mind and body, and just as muscles must stretch to strengthen, so must the gray matter upstairs. With that, Groupon dusted off our favorite childhood board game BrainTrap™: The Game of Unreasonable Mind-Teasers, and transcribed a few favorites for you to try at home:

  • You enter a room. A man who stands four feet high has hung himself. Below him is a puddle of warm water, and in the corner, a vase has fallen from the table but is not broken. What has happened?
  • It is the circus. The tightrope walker is blindfolded, but holds an umbrella for balance. On her shoulder sits a North African parrot. Why was the conductor of the orchestra arrested for the murder?
  • A boy and his father are in a minor car accident. The man is unharmed, but the boy will require a wrist brace. When they arrive at the hospital, a priest is waiting. “You have the same last name as my brother,” he tells them, “although we are not related. Who am I?” Before the priest can answer, the hands of a nearby clock come to rest on digits that, when subtracted from one another, form their own square root. A fire brigade is called, but they are unable to enter the building. “My son is in there,” says the childless woman. Why?

This Week's Fancy Facts

This week has provided us with a bonanza of facts. Here are two of the fanciest facts we could find.

**Fancy Fact #1:** Regarding [The Fourth Estate Restaurant](http://www.groupon.com/washington-dc/deals/the-fourth-estate-restaurant#voice) in Washington, DC, which is housed within the National Press Club.

Lounge around at The National Press Club for some great people watching and you’re likely to overhear entertaining gossip about today’s top journalists. Groupon investigative researchers recently picked up some notable gossip documenting the little rituals and superstitions that news anchors perform before going on-air each night. Here are just a few that have been divulged to us:

  • Edward R. Murrow: Consumed entire roast chicken in under one minute.
  • Walter Cronkite: Split wooden plank over face and screamed “Get some!” into camera.
  • Sam Donaldson: Does his own eyebrows.
  • Barbara Walters: Lies fully clothed in empty bathtub listening to MP3s of whale songs.
  • Dan Rather: Burns a doll made of own hair while whispering, “And so it begins.”

**Fancy Fact #2:** Discovered while researching [D’ames Day Spa](http://www.groupon.com/san-diego/deals/dames-day-spa#voice), a wonderful day spa in San Diego.

D’ames Day Spa offers a variety of soothing treatments—during the day. But many clients are turning to a whole new kind of spa experience: the night spa. The services it offers are similar, but with the mystery and intrigue that could only happen at night. Here are the key differences between a day spa and a night spa:

  • Day Spa: Relaxing massage treatments
  • Night Spa: Gosh darn vampires everywhere
  • Day Spa: Rejuvenating skin treatments
  • Night Spa: Reanimating skin experiments
  • Day Spa: Beautifying waxing services
  • Night Spa: The wind is driving everyone insane; a mysterious figure appears on a cloud of dust

This Week's Groupon Findings

They say you learn two new things every week, and this week they are right. First, we learned this about pilates:

###The Pilates Code

Pilates is an anagram for “Split Pea.” Here’s a list of anagrams for things you may find each day at Groupon.com.

* **Sporting Events**: Voting Serpents
* **Paintball Course**: Tropical Nebulas
* **Restaurant Deal**: Tarantula Deers
* **Spa Treatment**: Rap Testament
* **Boat Tour**: Boa Tutor

_After that, some research on art led us to our second fascinating find:_

###Peyton St. Claire, Art Throb Extraordinaire

Excerpted from a recent Soap Opera Weekly article:

> * Fans of the hit soap _Factory Town_ will be intrigued to know that actor/hunk Peyton St. Claire has recently found an after-work hobby as a distinguished art forger. St. Claire, who stars as Sheriff Cane Harmon, is consistently able to generate indistinguishable copies of classic paintings. _Factory Town_ producer Jane Olsen plans to introduce St. Claire’s real-life hobby into a future story line, in which Sheriff Harmon will be forced to “shirtlessly forge…something,” in order to “save or do something.”

Eagle-eyed fans may remember when Sheriff Harmon’s rival, Jericho Edgewater, purchased and then destroyed Picasso’s _Guernica_ in a recent story line. Well, we can report that the classic painting depicting the horrors of war is just fine, as the show used an expert forgery painted by St. Claire himself! Says St. Claire, “I love forging art and also helping people.” We couldn’t agree more!