Smart Homes, Containment, Jackie Wilson, Menus, Agriculture


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Smart Homes And Vegetable Peelers

Benedict Evans | 4th February 2018

We will end up embracing the Internet Of Things, despite our current doubts, because it’s just easier — and if we don’t do it, our neighbours will, and we will get envious. “When I go into my bathroom, do I want the light turned on? The answer is always yes, so why do I have to press the light switch? When I walk up to my front door, do I want it to be locked? The answer is always no. When the kettle is boiling, do I want it to continue boiling until it’s dry? No, so turn off the heat” (4,400 words)

Who Is Containing Whom?

Graham Fuller | 5th February 2018

“Over the years containment has been a US political instrument to isolate regimes unwilling to accept the US-dominated world order. Today ‘containment’ characterizes the way many major powers in the world think about dealing with the US. These states don’t actually use the word ‘containment’, but the intent is still the same; they perceive the need to contain or constrain Washington, thereby limiting the damage that the US can inflict upon their national interests” (1,314 words)

The Search For Jackie Wallace

Ted Jackson | Nola | 3rd February 2018

When sporting greatness collides with addiction, and addiction wins. “He was covered in a sheet of thick, clear plastic. His head rested on a wadded yellow jacket. Alongside the bed lay two discarded automotive floor mats, a five-gallon bucket for bathing, a pair of sneakers, a clean set of clothes, a jug of water and a carefully folded copy of The Times-Picayune. He slept in the fetal position in his briefs and undershirt”. And this was a man who had played in three Super Bowls (6,090 words)

The Court Case That Killed The ‘Ladies Menu’

Natasha Frost | Atlas Obscura | 2nd February 2018

Do you remember when a woman eating with a man in a smart American restaurant might be given a menu without prices on the assumption that the man would pay? That ended in the early 1980s following the prosecution of a restaurant in Los Angeles. “Precisely what happened next remains in doubt. Eventually, the restaurant announced a change in policy. They would retain their priceless menus, but they would no longer assume that the guest being treated was the female diner” (1,500 words)

A Kingdom From Dust

Mark Arax | California Sunday | 31st January 2018

Profile of Stewart Resnick, the biggest farmer in California and perhaps the biggest water-user in the world. “Last time he checked, he owned 180,000 acres of California. This doesn’t count the 21,000 acres of grapefruits and limes he’s growing in Texas and Mexico. He uses more water than any other person in the West. His 15 million trees in the San Joaquin Valley consume more than 400,000 acre-feet of water a year. The city of Los Angeles, by comparison, consumes 587,000 acre-feet” (20,405 words)

Video of the day Strangers

What to expect:

Modern dance moves through illusory perspectives on an Escherian staircase, by Vallée Duhamel (3’16”)

Thought for the day

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive
William F. Buckley Jr.

Podcast of the day The Secret Life Of CEOs | Freakonomics Radio

If you took over PepsiCo just before a global financial meltdown, and just before the world decided that junk food was borderline toxic, what would you do? Indra Nooyi explains to Stephen Dubner
(47'57")

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