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News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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The Future of the City Is Childless

A few years ago, I lived in a walkup apartment in the East Village of New York. Every so often descending the stairway, I would catch a glimpse of a particular family with young children in its Sisyphean attempts to reach the fourth floor. The mom would fold the stroller to the size of a boogie board, then drag it behind her with her right hand, while cradling the younger and typically crying child in the crook of her left arm. Meanwhile, she would shout hygiene instructions in the direction of the older child, who would slap both hands against every other grimy step to use her little arms as leverage, like an adult negotiating the bolder steps of Machu Picchu. It looked like hell—or, as I once suggested to a roommate, a carefully staged public service announcement against family formation.

Apparently, the public got the message. Last year, for the first time in four decades, something strange happened in New York City. In a non-recession year, it shrank.

Read the rest of this article at: City Lab

News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Dueling Superpowers, Rival Billionaires. Inside the New Race to the Moon

News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It’s easier to love Apollo 11 if you were around to see it happen. For those who didn’t camp along the Cape Kennedy causeway to watch the Saturn 5 liftoff on July 16, 1969, or huddle around a rabbit-ear TV to watch Neil Armstrong climb down the ladder and walk on the surface of the moon four days later, it’ll always have a whiff of cable-channel documentary. And yet it doesn’t for Elon Musk.

Musk was born in 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, two years after the Apollo 11 landing and half a world away from the country that achieved the great lunar feat. But somehow, he absorbed the primal power of the thing he was not there to see happen. “Apollo 11 was one of the most inspiring things in all of human history,” he said in a July 12 interview at the Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters of SpaceX, the rocket company he founded in 2002 that has since become its own icon of space exploration. “I’m not sure SpaceX would exist if not for Apollo 11.”

Today, SpaceX is one of a handful of powerful players—starry-eyed billionaires and the world’s two richest countries—competing in a race to set up shop on the moon. In the 1960s, it was a two-party sprint between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to be the first to get boots on the lunar surface, but this time around the U.S. finds itself in a bigger, multifront competition with private companies like SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and international powers, most critically China.

Read the rest of this article at: Time

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Collective Sweat

Nikolas and Brittany Loecher spent their anniversary in Napa Valley, where they drank wine, enjoyed the warm spring days away from their home in Colorado, and made a side trip into San Francisco to visit a Tonal showroom. After seeing ads for the internet-connected weight training machine with guided workouts on screen, they wanted to see it in person before making the $3,000, plus $50 a month, commitment.

The Tonal would be their third — technically fourth if you count the FightCamp interactive boxing bag they tried but didn’t love — addition to their connected home gym. It all started in 2017 when the Loechers bought their Peloton bike as a way to work off excess weight they’d gained over the years. When Brittany was pregnant with their first child, Nikolas had put on some extra pounds alongside her. “In solidarity,” he jokes.

Read the rest of this article at: The Verge

News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The (Mis)education of America’s Culinary Schools

News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When MJ Sanders was a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she looked forward to the “Cuisines of America” class. This was 2009, and the class focused on regional cooking in North and South America. One day of the course was dedicated to the American south, an ambitious task given the diversity and sheer expanse of the region. Sanders, a Georgia native, knew the lesson wouldn’t cover everything, but she hoped it would convey the breadth of ingredients and cooking techniques that define southern cuisine. That day, she suited up in her school-issued chef whites, ready to dive in.

“We made a plate of fried chicken and collard greens,” Sanders remembers. Instead of exploring the abundant seafood of the Gulf Coast, or the round, layered umami of Lowcountry cooking, her instructor compacted the lesson into one lumpish look at one of the region’s most enduring culinary stereotypes. The tasks for the day were divided among students so Sanders didn’t even get to participate in making each component on the plate. “We spent at least 12 weeks learning French food and technique,” she says. “This is supposed to be the premier American culinary school — so how is this the only southern food we’re learning?”

Today, Sanders is the director of operations for Brownsville Community Culinary Center, a culinary training program in a historically Black neighborhood in Brooklyn founded by Claus Meyer, the culinary entrepreneur behind Noma, and Lucas Denton, a former hospitality worker. Sanders creates content for Brownsville’s 40-week program, emphasizing Africa’s influence on the world’s food, where participants research African ingredients, learn about Black chefs who have impacted American cuisine, complete internships in top restaurants, and work in an on-site bakery and cafe. Brownsville prepares its mostly Black and Latinx participants to enter the industry and teaches them about their heritage cuisines. Sanders wants the young cooks to learn what she didn’t in culinary school. “I want them to be able to ask questions and find answers about their own stories.”

Read the rest of this article at: Eater

Understanding Craig Stecyk

News 07.22.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Decades ago, Craig R. Stecyk III tagged the walls near his seedy surf spot at Pacific Ocean Park, then a crumbling pier of abandoned rides and amusement parlors straddling the Venice and Santa Monica border. Among the graffiti were the terms POP and DOGTOWN running horizontally and vertically in a cross, a rat’s head in the skull’s position over crossbones, with the warning, “death to invaders.” At first, these markings were little more -than youthful insolence, meant to stake territorial claim for his band of surfers and skateboarders, many of whom were recently glorified in the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. In the ’70s and ’80s, though, through enterprises like Jeff Ho’s Zephyr Surf Shop, Dogtown Skates and Powell Peralta skateboarding company, these images would become among the first widely disseminated skateboarder graphic art; the first icons of a radical, street-savvy youth culture that reflected the attitudes of Stecyk and his Dogtown peers. Meanwhile, in magazines like Skateboarder and Thrasher, Stecyk’s photos and essays about the scofflaw Z-Boys skateboarding team created and spread the Dogtown myth to eager adolescents across the country.

For this, many people credit Stecyk with all but inventing, and at the very least codifying, the modern skateboard ethos. For this, also, he has been called an outlaw and a reprobate. But, to those in the surf and skate communities, he’s more often viewed as a groundbreaker, the original skateboard artist — even a god. Yet, in person, Craig Stecyk doesn’t look any of those parts. In person, he looks like a walking joke about the contrast between the physical and the metaphysical.

Metaphysically, it could be argued that he’s a big-bang theory incarnate, a major player in the decisive events of the past 25 years that have characterized the surf and skate cultures and, as a result, set the stage for how much of the world looks and feels to a large segment of the under-30 crowd.

Physically, Stecyk’s more demure. He’s rangy and bald, with a bearing that might be imposing if he didn’t droop like a shirt hung on a hook instead of a hanger. The droopiness may come from the time tumors were removed from his spine, or from when his knee had to be rebuilt, or his shoulder reconstructed. Then there’s that face, which suggests Clint Eastwood’s sidekick in those movies with the orangutan.

Instead of god or outlaw artist, he looks more like your average Joe. Except, maybe, for the smile. It’s a Mona Lisa one, inscrutable, slightly bemused. There’s something in that smile that says he’s a step ahead of you. It’s the smile of a guy who can read the ocean. A guy who knows days in advance when a swell is gonna break at the old Malibu Pit, where the spirit of Miklos Sandor “Da Cat” Dora III still hums in his ear like the sea breeze blowing across the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s the smile of a cat that didn’t get any milk, but instead drank your beer and smoked your cigarettes and left behind a quick sketch on a napkin for payment. The smile, like the man, confounds friends and strangers alike.

Robert Williams, the famed “lowbrow” artist who’s known Stecyk through many of his embodiments, had a typical reaction when he first met him. “I didn’t like the guy,” recalls Williams. “It took me a long time to understand him because he talks in abstract parables. Then, once he’s in the background of your life for long enough, you begin to understand him, and even like him.”

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

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