News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

More than a year into the pandemic, many of the usual paths to happiness are blocked. We can’t always rely on the externals for their dependable highs: travel, going to pubs, bars and parties, socialising with large groups of friends, seeing live music, theatre and festivals.

We can’t control the pandemic, obviously, or many of the government restrictions and border and travel closures that make life difficult. But we can review our successful old approaches, and if they’re no longer accessible, pick new things instead.

But these things would need to be pandemic-proof and within our control.

I have been reading a lot of Hellenic philosophy and came across a concept that produced an “a ha” moment: ataraxia. This concept speaks to the acute pain caused by uncertainty and a lack of autonomy, and offers a way forward. Instead of harnessing experiences – like parties or big trips – for happiness, ataraxia proposes a much more modest view.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On a cold December day in Norwich, England, Cathie Martin met me at a laboratory inside the John Innes Centre, where she works. A plant biologist, Martin has spent almost two decades studying tomatoes, and I had traveled to see her because of a particular one she created: a lustrous, dark purple variety that is unusually high in antioxidants, with twice the amount found in blueberries.

At 66, Martin has silver-white hair, a strong chin and sharp eyes that give her a slightly elfin look. Her office, a tiny cubby just off the lab, is so packed with binders and piles of paper that Martin has to stand when typing on her computer keyboard, which sits surrounded by a heap of papers like a rock that has sunk to the bottom of a snowdrift. “It’s an absolute disaster,” Martin said, looking around fondly. “I’m told that the security guards bring people round on the tour.” On the desk, there’s a drinks coaster with a picture of an attractive 1950s housewife that reads, “You say tomato, I say [expletive] you.”

Martin has long been interested in how plants produce beneficial nutrients. The purple tomato is the first she designed to have more anthocyanin, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compound. “All higher plants have a mechanism for making anthocyanins,” Martin explained when we met. “A tomato plant makes them as well, in the leaves. We just put in a switch that turns on anthocyanin production in the fruit.” Martin noted that while there are other tomato varieties that look purple, they have anthocyanins only in the skin, so the health benefits are slight. “People say, Oh, there are purple tomatoes already,” Martin said. “But they don’t have these kind of levels.”

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

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The beauty industry—encompassing skin care, color cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, and personal care—had a beast of a year in 2020: sales of color cosmetics fell by 33 percent globally, while overall retail sales in the beauty category declined by 15 percent. But the industry has been resilient in the past, and experts are predicting a return to growth in 2022. In this episode of the McKinsey on Consumer and Retail podcast, McKinsey partners Sophie Marchessou and Emma Spagnuolo share their outlook for the industry. An edited transcript of their conversation with executive editor Monica Toriello follows. Subscribe to the podcast.

Monica Toriello: Hello, everyone. And I do mean everyone. I say that because often when people hear “beauty industry,” which is our topic for today, they think, “Oh, it’s going to be all about products for women.” So to our male listeners, I want to say to you, that is not true. On today’s episode, we’ll be discussing some important trends in the beauty industry, one of which is the growth in unisex products and men’s products.

Let’s meet our two beauty experts. Sophie Marchessou is a partner based in McKinsey’s Paris office. She’s been with McKinsey for over 12 years, and she lived in New Jersey for about eight of those years. She moved back to Paris in late 2019, and Sophie now leads McKinsey’s work with beauty companies globally. Emma Spagnuolo is a McKinsey partner who lives in New Jersey. Emma leads our work in the beauty industry in North America. She started her career at US-based retailers Abercrombie & Fitch and Bloomingdale’s, and she joined McKinsey about six years ago.

Let’s start with a very simple question. How have your own beauty routines changed this past year and a half?

Read the rest of this article at: Mckinsey & Company

News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The aerial search is already underway.

There are about 400 reporters, one for every 10 people in the whole town. The Salvation Army has brought a food truck from San Francisco. Pac-Bell has brought 60 press phones and operators. Parents keep an all-night vigil at the police station.

It is the largest kidnapping ever in the United States.

In a rarity for summer in the Central Valley, a thunderstorm is rolling in, and lightning streaks are firing across the sky. It is July 1976.

In recent years, California has become the national shorthand for sensationalism. Two years ago in Berkeley, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst. Whittier’s own President Richard Nixon has resigned and had to negotiate a pardon from his former vice president. Charles Manson has only been in prison for five years, and the Zodiac Killer is still at large. Fault lines are cracking all over the state, and Californians are bracing for “the big one.”

But all that is happening out in the cities, a million miles away from the inland farming town of Chowchilla, where our story takes place. The heartland, then as now, is almost a different state, with different fears.

Put 2 1/2 million dollars in each of the suitcases, total 5 million

Use old bills

Have ready at the Oakland Police station

Further instructions pending until 10:05 PM Sunday

We are Beelsabub [sic].

To hear the people of Chowchilla tell it, the reporters and newsmen who descended on their quiet town treated the kidnapping like a winning lottery ticket, and they’d have trampled over their own mothers for a piece of the horrific and eminently marketable tragedy: 26 children and one adult man, vanished into thin air.

If it bleeds, it leads. Months later, people could still remember the New York reporter who got off a plane in Los Angeles and took a cab to Chowchilla. It was a seven-hour drive that cost either $400 or $1,000, depending on who you heard it from.

The median annual family income there is just over $6,800.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

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News 21.07.23 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

We went to see Dances With Wolves in the theater as a family. I don’t know how many movies all of us went to together. That was maybe the only one. Native people playing Native people in a movie being shown in a movie theater? It was an event. This was 1990. I was eight. There’d been nothing close to that moment in my lifetime. We were used to Italian Americans playing crying Indians in anti-litter PSAs. Otherwise, I’d seen no Native people onscreen. After the movie, in the car, my dad, a Cheyenne man from Oklahoma who’d majored in Native American studies at Cal Berkeley, summed it up as “glamorized Indian history with white man hero.” But at the time I was hungry to see any Native actors at all. You can’t know what it’s like unless you know what it’s like, to want to see yourself in the world as badly as Native people do—we who, on top of being almost completely unrepresented, are misrepresented when we are represented. So what if Dances With Wolves made us the backdrop for the dominant culture’s bearded-nice-guy-white-hero mythology? At least we were there, living and breathing onscreen, even laughing, even making jokes at Kevin Costner’s expense, showing how we tease like we do. Make us villains, fine, but make us the toughest Pawnee anyone had ever seen. Enter Wes Studi.

The first Native person to appear in the film—some 30 minutes into what seems until then a sleepy Civil War story—Wes is shown debating with his fellow Pawnee about whether to attack a white man who’s built a distant campfire. “I would rather die than argue about a single line of smoke in my own country,” he proclaims. The way he said “my own country,” the way his face exuded a kind of effortless ferocity, scared me and made me proud all at once. Then watching him kill that guy as he begged them not to hurt his mules while one of the other Pawnee enjoyed some of his campfire food—that really did something to me. I felt changed leaving the theater. And a couple of years later, when Wes played Magua, the vengeful Huron warrior in The Last of the Mohicans, I found that I was rooting for the villain. If I had only two options as far as Native depiction in film went—to root for the villain or root against Native people—I’d choose the villain every time.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

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