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In the News 26.04.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 26.04.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 26.04.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 26.04.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

How Facebook Plans to Take Over the World

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It’s late afternoon on a blustery spring day on the waterfront at San Francisco’s Fort Mason, a former military base that’s now hired out for corporate functions. Vast warehouses, once used to store army supplies, are awash with sleek signs, shimmering lights and endless snacks. Behind them is an Instagram-ready view of Alcatraz island. In front, a fleet of Uber and Lyft cars lines up in the car park, while inside one of the warehouses Scottish synthpop band Chvrches take the stage.

For the first few songs there’s only a small group of hardcore vocal fans at the front of the stage, flanked by a subdued mix of backpack-wearing dad types politely bobbing their heads, drinking cocktails out of plastic cups.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

The Raingod’s Green, Dark as Passion

Kevin-Barry

If cities are sexed, as Jan Morris believes, then Cork is a male place. Personified further, I would cast him as low-sized, disputatious and stoutly built, a hard-to-knock-over type. He has a haughty demeanour that’s perhaps not entirely earned but he can also, in a kinder light, seem princely. He is certainly melancholic. He is given to surreal flights and to an antic humour and he is blessed with pleasingly musical speech patterns. He is careful with money. He is in most leanings a liberal. He is fairly cool, usually quite relaxed, and head over heels in love with himself.

At the very least, the last of this is true: the city of Cork is besotted with itself, and it talks of little else. Quite right, too – it’s a gorgeous place, it’s enormous fun, and it has an operatic atmosphere. By operatic, I mean that its passions are fervently held and fervently debated, and there is a native tendency to melodrama: the hand gestures are near-Italianate. I lived in the city from my early twenties until my early thirties – it is in many ways responsible for the creature that I have become, and I hold no rancour against it for this. In fact, though it’s a decade and a half since I lived there, when I go back to visit now it still feels a bit like going home.

had maybe a dozen addresses in Cork. I can walk them in my mind, from attic flat to terrace house to glorified bedsit, and I see that they trace out a rough perimeter of the city centre. Cork is compact but a little confusing – it seems to circle back on itself around the quays of the Lee river. Much of the centre of town is built inside a loop of the river. You’re forever crossing little bridges over the river only to arrive at another little bridge over the same river. It would be rare to see the Lee in a mad rush to get anywhere. It seems happy enough to saunter slowly through the streets of the place in a Cork accent. Once I saw a woman try to drown herself in it. She walked down the steps of the river wall at George’s Quay. It was early in the evening and it was quiet around the streets – maybe it was a Sunday. It was the summertime. We were on Father Matthew Quay, across the river, and we called out to her but she didn’t seem to hear us. That it was in daylight the scene played out made it even more disturbing. She hesitated as the water lapped at her ankles – she lurched forward, but she relented again and caught herself. We ran across the bridge. We called to her again. Others who were passing by called to her, too. At last she visibly buckled, as though she’d been struck a blow; she sat down on the stone steps, and the river moved slowly past, regardless. After a short while an ambulance came and the medics fetched the woman tenderly up from the river wall and she was helped away. Maybe the river had spoken to her. Maybe it said – You’re kidding me. You’d leave Cork?

Read the rest of this article at Granta

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Shop the Le Marais Bucket Bag at Belgrave Crescent and This Is Glamorous – The Shop

The Shelter that Gives Wine to Alcoholics

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On a grey January morning at 9.15, residents of the Oaks shelter for the homeless started lining up, coffee mugs in hand, at a yellow linoleum counter. At half past the hour, the pour began. The Oaks’ residents are hard-core alcoholics. They line up to get what most people would consider the very last thing they need: an hourly mug of alcohol.

Dorothy Young, the Oaks’ activities coordinator – a stocky, always-smiling middle-aged woman who is part cheerleader, part event planner, part warden, part bartender – stood behind the counter at a tap that dispenses cold white wine. She poured a measured amount of wine into each cup: maximum seven ounces at 7.30am for the first pour of the day, and five ounces each hour after that. Last call is 9.30pm.

The pour is calculated for each resident to be just enough to stave off the shakes and sweats of detox, which for alcohol is particularly unpleasant – seizures from alcohol deprivation can be fatal. The pour is strictly regulated: Young cuts off anyone who comes in intoxicated. They won’t be given another drink until they sober up.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

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Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank. He had read an article about the radical proposal to unconditionally guarantee citizens an income and spent a few years casually researching the idea. Straub had heard Werner was a good speaker on the topic, and that night in 2009 he was indeed excellent at connecting with the audience, a sold-out house of 200. “It was a very intense evening; people were paying attention,” Straub recalled.

Werner posed a pair of simple questions to the crowd: What do you really want to do with your life? Are you doing what you really want to do? Whatever the answers, he suggested basic income was the means to achieve those goals. The idea is as simple as it is radical: Rather than concern itself with managing myriad social welfare and unemployment insurance programs, the government would instead regularly cut a no-strings-attached check to each citizen. No conditions. No questions. Everyone, rich or poor, employed or out of work would get the same amount of money. This arrangement would provide a path toward a new way of living: If people no longer had to worry about making ends meet, they could pursue the lives they want to live.

Read the rest of this article at FiveThirtyEight

Scam or subversion? How a DHL T-shirt became this year’s must-have

Vetements’ DHL T-shirt, first dispatched on to the Paris catwalk, sold out in weeks, despite costing £185. But what message does this surprise package deliver?

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On 1 October 2015, a man walked out on to the Vetements catwalk in Paris. He wore Dr Martens boots, shiny black trousers, an open black shirt and what was to become the It item of spring/summer 2016: a DHL T-shirt. The reaction fell into two camps: one, furiously snapping pictures to post on Instagram; the other, quizzical. Paris is traditionally the world of sequin gowns, champagne on trays and sets that cost millions, after all.

A T-shirt with such a prosaic logo really threw down the gauntlet. Vetements – a label known for wonky 90s-influenced streetwear, real-world models and oversized fits, designed by a collective headed by Demna Gvasalia – had arguably brought anti-fashion back to fashion.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.