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News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
Villa Monastero via @annbalakhnova
News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@inbedwith.me
News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@inbedwith.me

NEW YORK CITYThe monorail glides past outdoor exhibits displaying a red panda named Linus, a Malayan tiger named Suhana, and Penny the rhino (wearing sunscreen for her sensitive skin, our tour guide points out). Then we come to Happy, a 50-year-old Asian elephant.

As we watch her on this sunny spring day at the Bronx Zoo, in New York City, the chirpy guide cracks jokes and rattles off facts: Happy drinks up to 60 gallons of water every day, she enjoys digging in the sand, she gets frequent pedicures from zoo staff. The elephant lumbers over to the fence, swings her trunk, and lifts her massive right foot. “She came over to say hello!” a fellow zoogoer says to his daughter.Happy doesn’t know it, but she’s at the center of a nationwide debate that turns on one question: Is Happy happy?

According to the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), a Florida-based animal civil rights organization, the answer is no. On May 4, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed to hear the NhRP’s case for declaring Happy a legal person. A date hasn’t been set, but the NhRP expects it will be heard this fall.

Read the rest of this article at: National Geographic

News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Combs says Belafonte was a model for the kind of activism he envisions for this next stage of his public life. “I was like, we were in similar situations. You know what I’m saying? Coming from where we were having a position of power, being celebrities, and I was wondering, how did [Belafonte] get so dug into [social action]? And really dedicating his life.” He has always been dedicated to something. But whereas young Combs’s dedication was to family, friends, and making enough money to buy the kind of freedom he felt like the world was denying him, the elder Combs is dedicated to making that freedom possible for others. He says he looked through “history” and at his own biography during his journey to the Love era. In that excavation he saw the makings of someone destined to save his people. “The person that was able to go and do Bad Boy, if he’s in charge of bringing us together, it sounds like, ‘That’s the right motherfucker.’ ”

I believe Combs. I also believe the women in church who say God told them someone else’s man is their husband. If they like it, then I love it. Still, if I could ask the women in church one thing, it would be the same thing I tried to ask Combs with little success: I believe God told you that you have been chosen…but did he tell everyone else?

Sean “Love” Combs is a man standing at the crossroads of several sea changes. He is a not-so-young man whose legitimacy as a cultural icon hinges on his power to gate-keep youth culture. The influencer culture has taken the prototypes that Combs helped innovate and mixed commerce with social consciousness. It is no longer enough to look slick or create the newest dance. Today’s celebrity has to have a position on climate change, white supremacy, LGBTQ+ equality, and politics. Combs is also a girl dad. He has six children, three of whom are 14-year-old girls at the time we speak. He wants his daughters to inherit the keys to his kingdom in equal parts with his three sons. Raising a trio of girl bosses tunes a dad into the #MeToo movement. Combs is looking back at the international playboy of his youth and a near future where his daughters become young women. And above all, Combs is trying to do the brand iteration that made him successful in a climate that is openly hostile to what his brand represents. Combs’s “Black excellence” is, in practice, a celebration of Black capitalism. And, if you have not noticed, a lot of people have labeled capitalism as enemy number one. It is a cultural high wire perhaps too thin for a diddy bop.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

The Balmoral in Chestnut

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As you probably know, it’s summer. The temperatures are climbing, and you’re spending your days snow-globed by air-conditioning or huddled beside a fan, forearming sweat from your brow. On the rare occasions you exit your house, you navigate the streets wearing the idea of clothes instead of the actual thing.

Sometime soon, though, you’ll need a change of scenery. You’re already hot, so why not be hot close to something cooler, like water? Close to where land—boring, predictable land—ceases to be? Why not go someplace where style writers won’t tsk you in the paper of record for dressing as the season demands? On a Saturday in August, you’ll pack precious supplies into a billowy canvas bag: the towels, the blanket, the hulking umbrella, the children, the snacks, the lotion, the bottle of wine, and, obviously, that book that everyone’s reading.

If I was there with you, though, I would pull the book from your bag.

The beach is no place for a book.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Back in 2018, during those months before Canada legalized recreational cannabis, things were good for the pot industry. Companies were being hyped as pioneers in “the green frontier” and “proof that money grows on trees.” Cannabis stocks were going ballistic, and three of the largest companies’ share values had each increased by more than 200 percent over the course of 2017—according to media outlet MJBizDaily, the Canadian Marijuana Index had risen by 117 percent in December of that year alone. Investors were not just making money, they were making money fast.

Nowhere was the hype more obvious than Smiths Falls, Ontario, where a mundane press event one hot summer day in August 2018—the opening of cannabis producer Tweed’s visitors’ centre—offered a bizarre study of an industry primed for ascension. About a dozen TV cameras were present, plus photographers, reporters, dignitaries of the local business community, and politicians, all crowding through a routine facility tour. The event was a master class in buzz generation: it featured sample chocolates and an invitation to imagine them dosed with cannabis; production rooms that were still half empty and an invitation to imagine them finally full in a few short months; a gift shop and café and an invitation to imagine them packed with happy buyers. That all of it seemed somewhat half-finished could be glossed over—the promise of prosperity was obvious.

The town of Smiths Falls had come to see cannabis as a path to economic salvation. It had been hurting since 2008, when chocolatier Hershey closed shop. Tweed moving into the old chocolate plant in 2013 gave residents reasons both real and symbolic to be hopeful. As far as any of the company and government folks on the junket were concerned, Smiths Falls was ground zero for a new worldwide movement. The mayor called it the cannabis capital of the universe, and perhaps he was right. A few US states had piloted recreational cannabis, but this felt different—Canadian legalization would create a national industry with the sheen of a social revolution. Prohibition and the unequal criminalization of cannabis were, in principle, coming to an end. Global brands were in the making. Multinational corporations were on the rise. Countries across the world were going to look at Canada and be inspired—we were the future.

Read the rest of this article at: The Walrus

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News 11.08.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The fishing rods were already in the van when Mario Montoya and his father, Ramon, pulled out of the driveway. An elementary school in northern New Mexico, where the Montoyas lived in the late 1980s, had once used the vehicle, an old, powder-blue Ford Econoline, for deliveries, so there were no back seats. Mario often rode on the floor, leaning against a wall as the Econoline creaked around corners. But on fishing days like this, when father and son ventured to the lakes north of Santa Fe or along the Rio Grande, Mario sat up front, next to his dad.

Radio tuned to a local Spanish-language station, the van’s faded plaid orange curtains swaying as Ramon cranked the wheel, they reached this day’s spot: a bank near the river’s bend. The Black Mesa loomed nearby, rising from the desert shrubs.

Mario, 10, knew how to catch a fish. How to gut it and clean it. The Montoyas didn’t have a lot of money. Ramon cobbled together odd jobs, laying flagstone, building fences, fixing cars. He and Mario often spent entire days trying to catch their next meal. Dinner that night could be meager if they didn’t, so both were attuned to the familiar tug on the line when their prey had taken the bait. But this afternoon the tug at Ramon’s line didn’t come from a trout.

,Instead, an eel, slick and spectral, maybe two feet long, zagged just below the water’s surface. “Get the net,” Ramon yelled, “get the net.” The boy scooped the black, squirming creature out of the river only to watch it slide through a hole in the nylon net and writhe at his feet. Ramon quickly dropped his rod and grabbed the eel with two hands. But it escaped again, slipping from Ramon’s grip.

As the eel disappeared back into the water, Mario stood wide-eyed and, not for the first time, in awe of his father. Ramon Montoya was always quick to action. Yet he was a careful man, so slow to trust other people, watching strangers warily, listening quietly. He hated to draw attention to himself. Mario would eventually develop the sense that his dad was always looking over his shoulder.

What Mario didn’t know at the time, as they stood at the river’s edge, stalking their own quarry, was that, beyond the Black Mesa and the desert, up north in the Rockies, someone was hunting Ramon Montoya.

Read the rest of this article at: Desert News

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