Noma, Algiers, Obituaries, Height, Bread, MeToo

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Noma Reinvents Itself

Jonathan Gould | LA Times | 2nd March 2018

The world’s most admired restaurant critic reviews the world’s most admired restaurant. All goes well. “The first act of a meal at Noma passes as a dream; rich sea snail bouillon sipped from its herb-smeared shell fading into a field of empty cockleshells in which two or three contain the sweet meat; a mussel constructed from the chewy lips of half a dozen mussels woven into a single shell; a sea star painted on a rough earthen plate with the most delicate cured trout roe and a splash of eggy cream” (1,400 words)

Le Corbusier’s Algerian Fantasy

Brian Ackley | Bidoun | 4th March 2006

For eleven years Le Corbusier planned the razing and rebuilding of Algiers into a new capital for the African continent. Luckily, nothing came of it. “The plan was a modernist megastructure to be laid directly over the Casbah, with its elevated highway and bridges allowing high-speed travel over the prohibitively narrow and complex streets below. Plan Obus would have been one of the largest and most ambitious modernist projects ever, and one of its greatest failures” (1,125 words)

The Quiet Genius Of Margalit Fox’s Obituaries

Rebecca Onion | Slate | 1st March 2018

Salute to the retiring obituaries editor of the New York Times, who delighted in celebrating history’s backstage players. “There’s not very much pronouncement or analysis in a Fox obit. Paragraphs of cultural context are rare. This minimalist approach can be occasionally frustrating if you are, say, someone who writes about history for a living, but Fox’s measured dollops of it generally leave me tantalized. Sometimes, the bones are more telling than all that flesh” (1,570 words)

Notes On Being Very Tall

Nicholas Kulish | Topic | 2nd March 2018

On being six foot eight inches, to be precise. “Longevity gains reverse themselves starting at 6 foot 2 inches, earnings stop increasing at 6 foot 6 inches. I have been every height and can say with some confidence that 6 foot 3 inches is the best height for a man. From there, every inch takes you further from attractive and deeper into a realm of the freakish, toward human spectacle. Much of our time is spent trying to shrink, to alleviate the extreme conspicuousness that is our condition.” (3,900 words)

Against The Grain

Tove Danovich | Ringer | 28th February 2018

Portrait of an ex-prisoner who founded a bakery in Portland sold it for $275 million. Genius takes many forms. “Dave takes a Camel Wide out of his pocket and lights it. It has a strong flavor, which is exactly what he’s after. ‘As long as I’m going to fuck myself up, I might as well do it right’. Alcohol; dealing meth; robbing homes and convenience stores — he says all that is behind him. But smoking is the one habit he hasn’t broken. Dave goes to painstaking lengths to keep it self-contained” (6,150 words)

We Wear Black Every Day

Bethany McLean | Vanity Fair | 3rd March 2018

Given the sexism and alpha-male behaviour notorious among investment bankers, why hasn’t #MeToo made waves in the finance industry? It’s largely the money. If you have a bonus of millions waiting for you at the end of a good year, you don’t want to be cast as a troublemaker. “If someone calls me and says they have gone to HR, my advice is that your future with the company is imperiled. The idea that you are staying there and living happily ever after is now unlikely. You are a complainer” (5,800 words)

Video of the day The Price Tag Had To Be Invented

What to expect:

Shopkeepers always haggled. Big stores introduced fixed prices because employees were not so motivated (3’13”)

Thought for the day

One always feels better when one has made up one’s mind
C.S. Lewis

Podcast of the day A Mean Butterfly | No Such Thing As A Fish

QI researchers share recent discoveries: Topics include the Canadian maple syrup reserve, sausage wars, Greek gods

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