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In the News 18.09.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 18.09.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 18.09.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 18.09.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer

Suddenly, everything is a computer. Phones, of course, and televisions. Also toasters and door locks, baby monitors and juicers, doorbells and gas grills. Even faucets. Even garden hoses. Even fidget spinners. Supposedly “smart” gadgets are everywhere, spreading the gospel of computation to everyday objects.

It’s enough to make the mundane seem new—for a time anyway. But quickly, doubts arise. Nobody really needs smartphone-operated bike locks or propane tanks. And they certainly don’t need gadgets that are less trustworthy than the “dumb” ones they replace, a sin many smart devices commit. But people do seem to want them—and in increasing numbers. There are now billions of connected devices, representing a market that might reach $250 billion in value by 2020.

Why? One answer is that consumers buy what is on offer, and manufacturers are eager to turn their dumb devices smart. Doing so allows them more revenue, more control, and more opportunity for planned obsolescence. It also creates a secondary market for data collected by means of these devices. Roomba, for example, hopes to deduce floor plans from the movement of its robotic home vacuums so that it can sell them as business intelligence.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

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Cottage Country Murder

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Police descended on the farm at dawn, speeding past the gate and down the long driveway. Through her car window, twenty-eight-year-old Ontario Provincial Police detective constable Erin Burke appraised the mountains of junk that came into view—old snowmobiles, water heaters, drywall. The sixty-eight-acre property, located in Huntsville, about 230 kilometres north of Toronto, was being used as a de facto landfill. And somewhere among the rusted ruins, Burke believed, was the body of seventy-seven-year-old Joan Lawrence.

It was December 17, 1998. The previous morning, Burke had submitted a request for a search warrant, otherwise known as an “information to obtain.” In it, she outlined the facts of her then-three-week-old investigation into Lawrence’s disappearance. These notes and others—totalling hundreds of pages—were recently unsealed by a judge at the request of The Walrus and the CBC’s The Fifth Estate. The details contained within, which are currently unproven in court, offer new insight into one of Canada’s most notorious cold cases.

Lawrence was born in Ottawa in 1921. Petite, with brown eyes and grammar-school-neat handwriting, she had once worked as a poet and a copywriter. Lawrence got married then divorced, and, around 1963, she moved to the Muskoka area. Sometime after that, she began caring for the community’s unwanted litters of kittens. Neighbours described Lawrence’s pets as her “babies” and “family,” and she soon became known around town as “the Cat Lady.”

In 1997, Lawrence was having money troubles. She had been living in a local family-run retirement home, and she complained that her rent was taking up all of her pension. By September, she was living on another property owned by the same family. This one was a farm located on North Lancelot Road that often housed three to four elderly residents in several small outbuildings. Lawrence was given an eighty-square-foot shed to call home. It had no running water, provided little to no insulation or heat, and cost her more than $700 a month in rent. It did, however, allow her to live with her cats.

Read the rest of this article at: The Walrus

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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Keyboard Warrior: The British Hacker Fighting For His Life

In October 2013, Lauri Love was drinking coffee in his dressing gown in his bedroom at his parents’ house in the village of Stradishall, Suffolk, when his mother called upstairs to say there was a deliveryman at the front door. Love, whose first name is pronounced “Lowry”, like the English painter, clomped downstairs. In the front doorway was a man dressed in a UPS uniform. “Are you Lauri Love?” the man asked. “Yes,” Love said. In a single motion, the man grabbed Love’s arm while presenting, not a package, but a pair of rattling handcuffs.

For the next five hours, while dusk turned to evening outside, Love, then 28, and his parents sat in the front room as a dozen or so men from the National CrimeAgency, which investigates organised crime and other serious offences, checked the computers in the house. In Love’s bedroom, they found two laptops, and a PC tower humming on his desk. Among the bewildering Rolodex of open tabs in Love’s internet browsers, the officers found accounts logged into several hacker forums and arcane internet chatrooms. Downstairs, Love, who knew that anything said in these limbo moments of investigation could be later used against him, kept the conversation to small talk about the weather and football.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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An Ode to Acts of Kindness on the New York City Subway

For many New Yorkers, their subway line is a second home. They see their neighbors on the same route; they know which car will be closest to their exit; and they have favorite spots for the ride. Mr. Wagner, who has been taking photographs in the subway since 2013 and whose book, “Here for the Ride,” will be published this week, likes to stand in front of the doors. “I can see everything in the car that way,” he said.

With a background in social work, he was interested in capturing acts of kindness, among other things, in the confined spaces. I wanted to witness those acts of humanity happening in this very public space,” he said. “People giving up their seats to a mother and child or helping hold the door for someone running to catch the train.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

The Japanese Origins of Modern Fine Dining

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At Manresa, in Los Gatos, California, a perfectly poached halibut arrives topped with an auburn, whisper-thin crisp of eggplant. At Eleven Madison Park in New York, a clambake is re-imagined as a pair of perfectly shucked clams adorned with tiny herbs and finely shaved vegetables, all served alongside earthenware teapots of veloute. At El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, a steak tartare studded with the surprise of mustard ice cream references its own long history. And at Noma in Copenhagen, an array of “green shoots” are artfully, yet seemingly casually, placed on a circular dish, evoking a precise season — the last abundance of fall.

Around the world, a single aesthetic dominates the uppermost echelons of fine dining: The courses will be small and many. The plates and vessels will be distinct, often rustic, and sometimes surprising. The elaborate plating demands precision, either to execute a clever visual joke, or to produce a heart-stopping evocation of terroir. And all of these bites tell a story — of an ingredient, a person, or a very specific place. Each of these stories is unique, but not so unique that Central in Lima cannot be compared to Gaggan in Bangkok. Where, exactly, did this intense, exacting, intellectual form of haute cuisine come from?

While no cuisine actually emerges from a point of cultural purity, the predominant narrative for the genealogy of contemporary international fine dining is that its paternity is exclusively French. The story starts something like this: In 19th-century France, the height of tableside luxury was a feast that was heavy, complex, meat-centric, and occasionally theatrical, all duck a la presse andmille feuille. This bechamel-coated hegemony prevailed until 1925 when, far from the Parisian dining capital, the chef Fernand Point opened La Pyramide in southeastern France. Breaking with tradition, Point began to explicitly build his menu around peak ingredients, seasonality, and playfulness. He pioneered the use of baby vegetables, while also keeping much of France’s emphasis on decadence: La Pyramide’s signature dish was the spectacular poularde en vessie, a foie gras-stuffed chicken cooked in a pig bladder and opened tableside.

But Point is just prologue: the story really kicks off a few decades later, when some of Point’s disciples — most notably, Paul Bocuse — create nouvelle cuisine. Propelled by the hunger for change in post-1968 France, not to mention its own trio of hype men in the form of André Gayot, Christian Millau, and Henri Gault, this new generation of French chefs exploded the remaining French culinary orthodoxies by introducing light sauces, minimal cooking times, and more artful presentation. The new movement fundamentally reshaped what it meant to cook and eat at the highest levels, especially when it came to aesthetics — though, thankfully, diners are free of its heedlessly experimental heyday of lobster dishes served with melon.

Read the rest of this article at: Eater

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: all via @dreamywhiteslifestyle

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