Futurist Food, Blindness, Smoking, Metallica, Light, Oysters

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The Futurist Cookbook As Lifestyle Blog

Amanda Arnold | Literary Hub | 17th August 2016

“I hereby announce the imminent launch of Futurist Cooking to renew totally the Italian way of eating and fit it as quickly as possible to producing the new heroic and dynamic strengths required of the race”, Filippo Marinetti announced to his fascist friends in 1930. His Futurist Cookbook is dated now in its details, but strangely up-to-date in its method. It declares, in effect: “This is our lifestyle, this is what you have to eat to adopt our lifestyle and be one of us”. It is a pre-war, far-right, Goop (1,600 words)

Ending Blindness

David Dobbs | National Geographic | 18th August 2016

Most human blindness is treatable. Stem cells and electronic implants are making cures possible in what would once have been hopeless cases. But we could end half the blindness on Earth just by making simple cataract surgery available to all. “Get clinician and patient in the same room, spend 20 minutes replacing the cloudy natural lens with a clear artificial lens, do a post-op checkup. In developing countries, treatment usually costs $15 to $100. Yet it reaches few who need it” (5,100 words)

Consistency Through Adulteration

Rob Horning | New Inquiry | 15th August 2016

Governments try to deter smokers by making cigarette packets repulsive. But the psychology of addiction is equal to the challenge. “When governments mandate that cigarette packaging must be ugly, it may be that smokers’ ideas of beauty will change. There is no reference point for beauty that compulsion can’t shift, no absolute ugliness that can anchor a sense of repulsion where we once felt compelled. We’ll create a brand-shaped hole wherever we project our compulsions” (880 words)

The Greatest Thing Metallica Ever Did

Drew Millard | Hazlitt | 12th August 2016

(Rated PG-13 for language.) Metallica made four “punishing”, “violent”, and “unthinkably complex” records, the foundations of thrash metal. Harcore fans adored them. Then the band cut their hair and started making mainstream rock albums. Hardcore fans hated them. Which turned out to be a brilliant myth-building strategy. “Metallica fans wouldn’t view the band’s early material with such reverence if the band hadn’t started systematically alienating the people who got them to the top” (2,070 words)

Can You Trespass With Light?

Eugene Volokh | Volokh Conspiracy | 17th August 2016

If a stranger shines a beam of light on to your property, is that a trespass? A court in Nevada decides not, based on existing law, but adds an opinion arguing persuasively that the law makes little sense in terms of science. Trespass requires physical intrusion; which can be intrusion at the microscopic level, so a cloud of soot can be a trespass; but according to quantum physics light is both waves and particles at the same time; and the particles have no mass. So is light physical or not? (3,700 words)

The Momofuku Guide To Oysters

Dave Chang & Peter Meehan | Lucky Peach | 17th August 2016

How to shuck, serve, and garnish. First the shucking: “Gently but firmly wriggle the oyster knife into the hinge. Use the tiniest bit of pressure to jimmy the knife in, and gently rock the knife back and forth until you feel the ligament pop and the oyster give up on staying closed. Slide the knife into the oyster, keeping it absolutely flush with the flat inside of the top shell so you don’t puncture the oyster. The adductor muscle you’re looking to sever is near the bill and right-hand side of the oyster” (2,040 words)

Video of the day: Why Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?

What to expect:

Highly accessible discussion of cause-and-effect problems in medical research (5’27”)

Thought for the day

Every beginning ends something
Paul Valéry

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