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News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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It is true but incomplete to say that the word of one woman was not enough to bring down the law on Harvey Weinstein. The full truth is uglier; in the spring of 2015, Weinstein’s own admissions of groping a woman without her consent, first overheard by officers and then caught on tape, weren’t enough for prosecutors to bring charges.

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez was 22 when she reported to the NYPD that, earlier that day at a business meeting, the superstar Hollywood producer had grabbed her breasts and put his hands up her skirt. As she sat with special-victims detectives, Weinstein called her and police heard him acknowledge touching her breasts. Gutierrez was distraught, but she agreed to wear a wire to meet Weinstein the next day in the lobby of the Tribeca Grand, where he asked her to come to his hotel room while he took a shower. He said he wanted her to watch him shower. Gutierrez repeatedly said she wanted to leave, then demanded to know why he had groped her breasts. Weinstein replied, “Oh please, I’m sorry, just come on in … I’m used to that.”

He was also used to what happened to him after he was hauled in for questioning, which was nothing. The producer assembled a team of well-connected advocates, from Rudy Giuliani to the former chief of the Manhattan district attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, Linda Fairstein. Tabloids battered Gutierrez’s reputation. “Page Six” referred to Weinstein as a “married dad of five” and quoted an anonymous source dismissing the case as extortion. Detectives later said prosecutors in Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance’s office grilled Gutierrez about whether she was a sex worker. Days later, they announced they would bring no charges.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

One early summer evening in 2018, the biologist Anthony James drove from his office at the University of California, Irvine, to the headquarters of the Creative Artists Agency, a sleek glass-and-steel high-rise in Los Angeles. There, roughly 200 writers, directors and producers — many of them involved in the making of science-and-technology thrillers — were gathered for an event called Science Speed Dating, where James and other scientists would explain their work. The sessions were organized, James told me, “in hopes of getting the facts at least somewhat straight.”

Attendees were assigned to different groups, so each scientist had just seven minutes to describe his or her work to one group before running to the next room and starting over. “There were a lot of stairs, so I would get really out of breath,” James recalled. “I would arrive panting.” He also felt a bit overwhelmed. There were executives in expensive suits, young men and women looking unaccountably dressy in ripped jeans and, according to James, a disconcerting number of people wearing hats. Few, if any, had a deep knowledge of genetics; one participant in particular kept referring to “the dark genome,” as though that were a thing. “I had to tell him, ‘Real geneticists don’t usually talk that way,’ ” James said.

James began his presentation with a brief overview of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and Zika. Then he turned cautiously to talking about his own area of scientific expertise: an obscure but powerful invention known as a gene drive. James began by noting that two brown-eyed human parents can sometimes produce a blue-eyed child, though only if both parents carry a copy of the recessive gene. A gene drive, he explained, was a tool that in some species could turn such events into a near certainty. For one thing, it guaranteed that a particular gene would be inherited, even if only one parent had it. And it would automatically insert the chosen gene into both copies of the offspring’s DNA, effectively turning a recessive trait into a dominant one. That alone, James explained, “lets you change the odds, so you get blue eyes 99 percent of the time.”

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

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While James, a critic, writer and television broadcaster who left his native Australia to find fame in the U.K., received encomiums for the catholicity of his taste, the splendor of his wit and his evangelical passion for the life of the mind, Simon, the Yugoslavian-born polymath who was long enthroned at New York Magazine as a theater and film critic, was remembered less for his razor-sharp prose than for his vitriolic glee, his attacks on actors’ physical flaws, his sometimes shocking political insensitivity and his penchant for acidulous put-downs and puns.

Twitter wasn’t exactly in a mournful mood when word of Simon’s death broke. Artists recollected the artillery sent their way with the bemusement of veteran soldiers recalling the circumstances of their battlefield medals. Jokes about Barbra Streisand’s nose, Elizabeth Taylor’s weight and Liza Minnelli’s everything were dredged from the archival swamp. Withering remarks about nontraditional casting and an unforgivably hateful comment spoken by Simon at the height of the AIDS epidemic resounded in a kind of purgatorial ceremony.

Those recounting this noxious history came not to punish Simon but to bury his mold of critic. If his death marked the end of an era, then good riddance. I wasn’t moved to take up his cause, to defend his expansive erudition, to pay homage to his exact use of language or to praise his beautifully manicured journalism.

Read the rest of this article at: Los Angeles Times

News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.08.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The kid is wearing a T-shirt reading “EAT MORE AVOCADO,” one of the designs for sale at this Venice Beach café at which he’s a server, along with “WE SELL DESIGNER KALE” and “BEET IT.” He’s waiting on me and Larry David, who is of course dressed precisely like Larry David—gray knit hoodie, dark long-sleeve T-shirt with a white shirt beneath that, beige jeans, and sneakers. David chooses or approves all the wardrobe for Curb Your Enthusiasm, and then he keeps all the clothes, from blazers to socks, creating a seamless visual loop between Larry and the character he calls TV Larry.

So Larry David is sitting there, using his very Larry David voice to discuss very Larry David things: breakfast preferences (today, scrambled egg whites, grilled onions, and sliced avocado), the relative pleasures of killing flies and ants (flies are more satisfying), and yes, clothes, about which, unsurprisingly, David has Thoughts. The son of a garment-district salesman, David has always approached clothing with something of a tailor’s eye. The very first Seinfeld gag was about shirt-button placement; the first Curb Your Enthusiasm centered on a crotch cut too big, thus simulating an erection. He has a code: One should wear only one “nice” piece of clothing at a time. “Otherwise it’s too much,” he says. “Too dressed. You have to be half-dressed. That’s my fashion theory, since you asked: Half Is More.”

In nearly two decades of interviewing people for this fashion magazine, I have rarely spent even this much time discussing fashion. But then I’ve seldom profiled a Fashion Icon. Is there a more recognizable, self-assured, incredibly specific wardrobe to be found anywhere in pop culture? The tear-shaped Oliver Peoples glasses alone have now approached a Groucho Marx or John Lennon level of personal identification. David has worn them since the early 1990s. He used to own only two pairs, until a suitably paranoid producer recently went on a worldwide hunt and came up with a few backups. They were the first thing he grabbed last October, when the Getty Fire forced him to evacuate his Pacific Palisades home.

“Jerry said I dressed like an Upper West Side communist,” David says, referring to the Jerry with whom he created Seinfeld, back in 1989. I think of the look as Alpha TV Writer: In a profession where status is measured by how casually and comfortably one can arrive at work, David’s wardrobe qualifies as a kind of normcore bling.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Companies are making plans to put droves of departed idols on tour — reanimating a live-music industry whose biggest earners will soon be dying off.

Buddy Holly revived as a hologram for a show in Los Angeles.Credit…Jeff Minton for The New York Times

In preparation for his first American tour in a decade, Ronnie James Dio spent months sequestered in a modest office suite in Marina del Rey, in Los Angeles. The office was on the second floor of a strip mall, above a vape shop and a massage parlor. I visited at the end of May, only a couple of days before the opening date of the tour, and among Dio’s team, there was a tangible air of anticipation. Dio never became a household name, but he is considered one of the great heavy-metal vocalists of all time, up there with Ozzy Osbourne (whom he replaced in Black Sabbath) and metal-adjacent rockers like Axl Rose and Robert Plant. Beginning in the 1970s, Dio took a lead role in codifying a number of his genre’s most ludicrous, yet utterly foundational, conventions. He sang of wolves and demons, toured with an animatronic dragon and supposedly introduced the splay-fingered “devil horns” headbanger’s salute, which he claimed his Italian grandmother used to flash as an old-world method of warding off the malocchio and other forms of bad luck.

Opinion among the Dio faithful, nonetheless, was divided on the subject of his “Dio Returns” comeback tour, largely because Dio has been dead for almost 10 years. The Marina del Rey office suite was the site of a visual-effects company creating a Dio hologram. The hologram would tour with a living backing group consisting, in large part, of former Dio bandmates.

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

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