News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@deborabrosa via @dana_chels
News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The coronavirus could be the crisis that finally propels the tech-averse real estate industry into the 21st century.

Location matters less, now that the office is the kitchen. Size matters more, now that everyone is at home. And the best way to justify exorbitant prices is no longer the building’s amenity package — it’s peace of mind walking from the lobby to the living room.

These are the touch points for a host of new or newly valuable technologies emerging in the post-Covid housing market, from rent-regulated apartments to luxury condos. They range from robotic furniture that reimagines itself inside our shrinking walls, to contactless apps designed to bring neighbors together. They are futuristic takes on prosaic features, like ultraviolet wands in air ducts, and “Ghostbusters”-inspired blasters to hose down Amazon boxes. Some may be passing fads.

Still, the ones that stick could have long-term implications for a stubbornly analog industry, even as some critics have raised concerns about data collection and privacy. And it remains unclear whether these improvements will reach the workaday housing market, or remain a luxury niche.

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

News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In the early two-thousands, Merlin Mann, a Web designer and avowed Macintosh enthusiast, was working as a freelance project manager for software companies. He had held similar roles for years, so he knew the ins and outs of the job; he was surprised, therefore, to find that he was overwhelmed—not by the intellectual aspects of his work but by the many small administrative tasks, such as scheduling conference calls, that bubbled up from a turbulent stream of e-mail messages. “I was in this batting cage, deluged with information,” he told me recently. “I went to college. I was smart. Why was I having such a hard time?”

Mann wasn’t alone in his frustration. In the nineteen-nineties, the spread of e-mail had transformed knowledge work. With nearly all friction removed from professional communication, anyone could bother anyone else at any time. Many e-mails brought obligations: to answer a question, look into a lead, arrange a meeting, or provide feedback. Work lives that had once been sequential—two or three blocks of work, broken up by meetings and phone calls—became frantic, improvisational, and impossibly overloaded. “E-mail is a ball of uncertainty that represents anxiety,” Mann said, reflecting on this period.

In 2003, he came across a book that seemed to address his frustrations. It was titled “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity,” and, for Mann, it changed everything. The time-management system it described, called G.T.D., had been developed by David Allen, a consultant turned entrepreneur who lived in the crunchy mountain town of Ojai, California. Allen combined ideas from Zen Buddhism with the strict organizational techniques he’d honed while advising corporate clients. He proposed a theory about how our minds work: when we try to keep track of obligations in our heads, we create “open loops” that make us anxious. That anxiety, in turn, reduces our ability to think effectively. If we could avoid worrying about what we were supposed to be doing, we could focus more fully on what we were actually doing, achieving what Allen called a “mind like water.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

Back in October, conceptual designer Nicole McLaughlin did what she does fairly frequently: she sent her Instagram followers into a frenzy.

But this time it wasn’t for stamp stilettos or a sandwich bag vest, two of her more experimental creations of the past few months. McLaughlin announced her first-ever footwear collaboration, with… Crocs. Her take on the Classic Clogs featured a weatherproof guard, compass, and flashing headlight — and they sold out in minutes when they dropped on October 27. McLaughlin’s Instagram page had all the excitement and fire emojis of a Yeezy drop, but with significantly more talk of Jibbitz (for the Croc virgins, Jibbitz are the customizable plastic charms that snap into the… Croc holes?).

So, how exactly did we get to a point where Crocs are a justifiable grail? The answer is a simple, slow-burning timeline: dadcore, a blur of pop culture, expertly-timed collaborations, irony, and nostalgia.

Read the rest of this article at: Input

News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

George Clooney had neck surgery this morning, and they gave him fentanyl. “I’m out of it now,” he says, not seeming out of it at all. Clooney shows me the neck brace they sent him home with. It’s the typical big white priest’s collar thing, which he has decided not to wear, except when he needs some sympathy. Then he’ll reach for the brace and put it on and grin like George Clooney. The neck surgery was relatively minor, for a disk problem, but when the doctors got in there, they found all kinds of other stuff too. “It looks like arthritis, unfortunately,” Clooney says cheerfully. “Which: Hey, isn’t it nice getting older?”

The disk problem was the result of a 2018 motorcycle accident Clooney had in Italy, or maybe it started before then. An interesting and perhaps surprising fact about Clooney, who projects comfort and ease like a lighthouse projects light, is that he’s actually been in a significant amount of daily discomfort for the past 15 years. While he was shooting a scene in 2005’s Syriana, someone kicked over the chair Clooney was sitting in, and he tore his dura mater, which is the wrap around the spine that holds in the spinal fluid. The spinal fluid was leaking out of his nose. Clooney has said before that he was in so much pain he contemplated suicide. He spent “three or four months really laying into painkillers,” he told me. Then he went to a pain guy.

The pain guy told him that the thing about pain is that it’s just the body registering a departure from what it regards as “normal.” If you can train yourself to think of pain as normal, then the pain will cease to exist. “Basically,” Clooney says, “the idea is, you try to reset your pain threshold. Because a lot of times what happens with pain is you’re constantly mourning for how it used to feel.” But Clooney is not the mourning type, and he’d sooner leak spinal fluid from his nose again than be maudlin or boring, so he tells this story about excruciating pain and the way he mindfucked himself out of it with a wry grin and a good deal of self-mockery, as he does most sad stories.

Clooney says it felt like “euphoria” when his brain finally tricked itself into feeling normal again. Then, a year and a half ago, while riding 75 miles an hour on his motorcycle to the set of Catch-22 in Sardinia, he hit a car. “He literally turned directly in front of me,” Clooney says. There is CCTV footage of the accident, and you can watch if you want. Clooney has. “I launched. I go head over heels. But I landed on my hands and knees. If you did it 100 times, maybe once you land on your hands and knees, and any other version you land, you’re toast. It knocked me out of my shoes.” Literally. He lost his shoes. He also crushed the guy’s windshield with his helmet. “When I hit the ground,” Clooney says, “my mouth—I thought all my teeth were broken out. But it was glass from the windshield.” He also knew, just from years of riding motorcycles, that any injury that involves ramming your neck into someone else’s car generally results in paralysis, so he lay there “waiting for the switch to turn off.” But it didn’t turn off. He was more or less fine, aside from whatever he did to his neck and his knees when he landed.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

News 11.18.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Megan Thee Stallion has been silent for about 30 seconds, hoping that the tears gathering in her eyes don’t give way to a full-on cry. Thirty seconds feels longer than 30 seconds when you’re watching a person hold it together—trying to hide a cry face that probably hasn’t changed much since childhood.

We’ve arrived at this moment earlier than expected, the moment when she addresses the more-than-well-publicized incident that she described as “the worst experience of [her] life”—the shooting that she endured in July and the weeks that followed. A few hours before Megan and I meet, the man who allegedly shot her tweeted his intent to address the situation in some mysterious way later that night. And a few hours after our interview, he would release a whole album seemingly dedicated to defending himself, to seizing a narrative, to calling Megan a liar.

It may seem jarring to lay all this out at the beginning of the story, to start with a sudden cold plunge into a life-fracturing subject. In a year marked by undeniable success of Megan’s own making—the viral moments and omnipresent bops and joyous social media antics—this lone and shitty incident (that she didn’t create) has loomed persistently. Instead of sinking into the muck of a bad situation, Megan has chosen a way forward—not only by continuing to live her Hot Girl life, but also by transforming the ugliness of it all into an urgent message about how Black women in this country should be treated.

She presses her finger to a spot above her left eyelid, as if there’s an emergency Off button for her tear ducts hidden somewhere within the socket. She slides lower in her chair, parked on the top floor of the penthouse hotel suite she’s rented for the week. She’s dressed like she’s about to attend a particularly luxurious sleepover party—makeup-free, she’s wearing a cute red Kangol bucket hat and dusty-pink cashmere leisurewear so formfitting it must feel like a constant hug.

It isn’t so much the incident itself that’s upsetting her, though to listen to her explain what happened that night in July is tough. In her honeyed alto voice, she delicately tells me how she left a pool party in the Hollywood Hills and jumped into an SUV with the rapper Tory Lanez and two others. She didn’t even put clothes on over her bathing suit. The night was over; she was just going home.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

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