In the News 07.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 07.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 07.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 07.23.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Nutella Billionaires:
Inside The Ferrero Family’s Secret Empire

On the outskirts of Alba, a cobblestoned Italian city that dates to Roman times, stands a stark modern fortress. Behind 10-foot concrete walls, steel gates and uniformed guards lies not a nuclear facility or an army base but a chocolate factory. This is the hometown plant of Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, Tic Tac, Mon Chéri and Kinder.

Inside, khaki-clad workers monitor hundreds of robotic arms that craft sweets with military precision. Overhead, thousands of cream-filled Kinder bars zip down conveyor belts. Underneath, high-speed cameras scan for imperfections: A tiny flaw in the coating is enough to trigger a puff of air that shoots the offending chocolate off the line. “We do everything with seriousness and extreme competence,” says Giovanni Ferrero, the firm’s 53-year-old chairman, in his first-ever sit-down with the American press.
That discipline has built an empire. Ferrero sold $12.5 billion worth of sweets last year, and its namesake owners are worth an estimated $31 billion altogether, $21 billion of which belongs to Giovanni, who’s the 47th-richest person in the world. Their success took generations. Founded in 1946 in war-ravaged Italy by Giovanni’s grandfather Pietro, the business expanded through decades of careful growth, with little debt and no acquisitions.

Read the rest of this article at: Forbes

While We Sleep, Our Mind
Goes On An Amazing Journey


Nearly every night of our lives, we undergo a startling metamorphosis.

Our brain profoundly alters its behavior and purpose, dimming our consciousness. For a while, we become almost entirely paralyzed. We can’t even shiver. Our eyes, however, periodically dart about behind closed lids as if seeing, and the tiny muscles in our middle ear, even in silence, move as though hearing. We are sexually stimulated, men and women both, repeatedly. We sometimes believe we can fly. We approach the frontiers of death. We sleep.

Around 350 B.C., Aristotle wrote an essay, “On Sleep and Sleeplessness,” wondering just what we were doing and why. For the next 2,300 years no one had a good answer. In 1924 German psychiatrist Hans Berger invented the electroencephalograph, which records electrical activity in the brain, and the study of sleep shifted from philosophy to science. It’s only in the past few decades, though, as imaging machines have allowed ever deeper glimpses of the brain’s inner workings, that we’ve approached a convincing answer to Aristotle.

Everything we’ve learned about sleep has emphasized its importance to our mental and physical health. Our sleep-wake pattern is a central feature of human biology—an adaptation to life on a spinning planet, with its endless wheel of day and night. The 2017 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to three scientists who, in the 1980s and 1990s, identified the molecular clock inside our cells that aims to keep us in sync with the sun. When this circadian rhythm breaks down, recent research has shown, we are at increased risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.

Read the rest of this article at: National Geographic

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

The “Intellectual Dark Web”
Is Nothing New

THE FIRST DISTINCT intellectual movement to have emerged during the Trump presidency is not the alt-right, which rose to prominence during the 2016 campaign. Nor is it democratic socialism, the egalitarian platform that many young progressives have embraced since the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Instead, this movement may well be what some are calling the “intellectual dark web.” It is a heterogeneous group, bringing together neuroscientists, biologists, and psychologists with entrepreneurs, comedians, and sports commentators. Some claim to lean to the left, others to the right. There is nonetheless a common enemy that unites them. Despite their various differences, all members of the movement believe their ideas are being stifled by an epidemic of “political correctness.”

Unlike the actual “dark web” of hidden online networks, this one requires no specialized software to be made accessible. Its ideas can be found in best-selling books and media channels with millions of subscribers. Mathematician and financier Eric Weinstein coined the term intellectual dark web, and he meant to point out not that this group is obscure — it isn’t — but that its figures all pride themselves on upturning conventional beliefs.

Read the rest of this article at: Los Angeles Review Of Books


Terrence Howard’s Dangerous Mind

Terrence Howard is standing in front of a mirror inside his extra-deluxe, penthouse-level Chicago apartment, looking at himself looking back. You could say he sees himself as he is today, dressed in a silky long-sleeve loungewear top with a scarf circling his neck, like right out of the Hollywood handbook for dapper flamboyants. Or as what he has most recently become, a television-land megastar, for how convincingly he plays super-badass hip-hop-record mogul Lucious Lyon on Fox’s Empire, this year’s most unexpected hit show. Or even as certain others see him, including some ex-wives, as a man given to outbursts of stunning violence and domestic abuse, allegations of which are, in part, what led him to take the Empire role in the first place. “Since they see me as a bad guy,” he says his thinking went, “I’m gonna play a bad guy.”

So, he’s got any number of ways he can look at himself. And the mirror continues to reflect, as does Howard.

“Today, for me, has been about searching out who I am,” he says. “We’ve got all these different faces that want to come out — there’s at least four just in this moment, with a possible expansion to 432 — but which one do you let out? Is it the person who’s cool that you’ve mastered? Is it the excited little boy?”

For the moment, he’s leaning toward the youngster. In his head, he’s now six years old, standing in front of a different mirror, in Cleveland, in the ghetto, just a little light-skinned black kid with his daddy, Tyrone, right next to him. His daddy who three years ago spent 11 months in prison for stabbing a man to death while waiting in line to see a department-store Santa. Everyone had children there. Little Terrence’s coat was splattered with blood. But now his daddy was here and saying to him, “You see that curly motherfucker right there? That little redheaded motherfucker right there? You love him, because the only person that’s gonna be there no matter what happens in your life is that little motherfucker.”

Howard has never forgotten those words, and they’ve helped him through some pretty desperate moments. At one time, he was going to be a big movie star, having built his reputation on films like Crash (2005) and Hustle & Flow (2005) and his bank account with movies like Iron Man (2008), for which he was paid $3.5 million, more than any other member of the cast, including star Robert Downey Jr. But word started to leak out about Howard being difficult on set; as well, women began speaking up about his temper. He soon found himself reduced to $40,000 a movie. “When all that stuff went down about me, you’re not in any bargaining position,” he says. “You’re shunned. You’re persona non grata.”

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

What Will Los Angeles Do Without Jonathan Gold?


When I found out Jonathan Gold had died, I was in the midst of a Saturday night dinner with friends at 101 Noodle Express, my fingers greasy from devouring a gargantuan beef roll, layers of pastry wrapped around thin slices of meat that were dressed with a sweet sauce mixed with a bass note of umami, the crisp texture and rich flavor making each member of the table moan this is so good between second and third ravenous bites. 101 Noodle Express is located on Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, in a strip mall anchored by Golden Mile Bowling, and across the street from a fancifully Old West-themed shopping complex home to local chains like 168 Market and Lee’s Sandwiches. That night, it was packed with families, and our group of queer people dressed to go contra dancing in Pasadena a few miles and a whole world away was both slightly out of place and perfectly at home.

We weren’t here because of a Jonathan Gold review — some of our group knew Alhambra well, and were deeply devoted to the beef rolls and noodle soup — but I knew he must have written one, even before I spotted the LA Weekly plaques on the wall. My stomach settled in a state of profound satisfaction even as my chest tightened with grief, and the only thing my brain could do with the horrible dissonance was search out what he’d written about the place I was in.

In a 2009 review, Gold described these beef rolls as “steroidal,” a better word than I ever could have hoped to find, “big enough to feed a family of four but … also oddly delicate; it may taste of crisped pastry and clean oil but also projects the muscular minerality of the braised meat.” The precision and poetry of his writing — crisped pastry and muscular minerality — conjured the pleasure of a dish I had just enjoyed through the equal pleasure of language. The review identified beef rolls as having come from Shandong; around the table earlier that night, friends had discussed with pride and delight more recent articles identifying them as a Los Angeles invention — a beef roll discourse occupying a place in media cleared by Gold’s curiosity. The last line, “A meal at 101 Noodle without a beef roll is as unthinkable as a lunch at Langer’s without pastrami,” links two Los Angeles cuisines rarely seen as kindred, and knits together the city across lines of race, culture, geography, and time.

Jonathan Gold was a restaurant critic, one whose roving intellect uncovered a new story about food in America, one about everyday, often immigrant-run restaurants, not just fine dining. That alone made him revolutionary. But Los Angeles is not in mourning because of the loss of a food-writing pioneer. The second-largest city in America just lost a secular saint. It’s mourning a welcoming guide and a listening ear, a curious palate and an endless appetite, a man who saw the very best of the city, and told the rest of America that a place written off by the national media as vapid, soulless, and sun-dazed was actually the country’s beating heart.

Read the rest of this article at: Eater

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

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