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News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@masakazu.kawata
News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@thecarolinelin
News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@laura.fantacci

The hottest labor narrative right now is that everybody’s “quiet quitting.” Starting this summer, popular videos on TikTok with millions of views have used the term to refer to the art of having a job without letting it take over your life. The alliteration crawled out of that social-media petri dish into the mainstream-media landscape. Since August, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have published more than a dozen articles and podcasts about the phenomenon. In the past month, I’ve received countless PR pitches on quiet quitting, many of them referring to the same Gallup study alleging that quiet quitters make up “more than half” of the U.S. workforce. Quiet quitters are allegedly an “epidemic” that is allegedly changing the workplace and, allegedly, making bosses very mad.

I’ve repeated the word allegedly because I want to convey that statistically speaking, quiet quitting is not actually a thing. Or, at least, it is not a new thing.

Every year, Gallup asks thousands of American workers about their commitment to their job. From 2010 to 2020, engagement slowly increased. In 2022, it declined so slightly that it’s still higher than it was in any year from 2000 to 2014. Look at the chart below and tell me that this is anything more than two stable lines jostling within a margin of error. As a workplace phenomenon, workers’ mild disengagement is about as novel as cubicles, lunch breaks, and bleary-eyed colleagues stopping by your workstation to mutter, “Mondays, amirite?” What the kids are now calling “quiet quitting” was, in previous and simpler decades, simply known as “having a job.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It seems to me that the time has finally come for all of us to leave Marilyn Monroe alone. The Hollywood legend died 60 years ago and has been resurrected so much in the last year that, well, it’s just enough already.

In May, Christie’s sold Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn portrait of the actress for a staggering $195 million. It is the most expensive 20th-century artwork to ever sell at auction. In the summer, Madame Tussauds installed a wax sculpture of the film legend at the Lexington Hotel, a place Marilyn and her second husband, Joe DiMaggio, once called home. Of course, there’s the Kim Kardashian of it all: As the story goes, the reality star shed 16 pounds in three weeks to slip into Monroe’s iconic nude illusion dress for an infamous three-minute shuffle up the Met Gala steps. Even the recent Barbiecore fad can’t help but evoke the iconic blonde being carried down a flight of stairs while singing about her best friend, diamonds. And this week, Netflix will release Blonde, its long-awaited adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s 1999 fictional biography of Monroe, a film that features an NC-17 rating owing to its sexual content and stars Ana de Armas doing a Marilyn accent that took “nine months” to perfect and yet has already managed to piss off the masses.

This fixation on Monroe’s life and reexamining it ad nauseam is hardly anything new. In 2020, Forbes listed Monroe as the 13th-highest-paid dead celebrity, raking in $8 million, a little less than the $13 million her estate earned the year prior. The outlet reported that, at the time, her likeness was officially licensed by nearly 100 brands globally, including Dolce & Gabbana, Zales, and Lego Group. (Back in 1999, Christie’s, commissioned by the second wife of Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg, auctioned off the majority of Monroe’s personal effects and clothing for $13.5 million; these were items Monroe had requested go to friends and colleagues, including the custom Jean Louis gown that would ultimately wind up at Ripley’s Believe It or Not and on a Kardashian.) And in 2012, the CEO of CMG Worldwide, the company hired by Strasberg — who inherited 75 percent of her intellectual-property rights — to license Monroe’s image, confirmed to NPR, “We did hundreds and hundreds of programs with companies like Mercedes-Benz to Coca-Cola to fragrance, clothing, giftware, collectibles, paper products, things like that.” Strasberg eventually sold the remainder of Monroe’s estate to Authentic Brands Group for an estimated $20 million to $30 million.

As art historian Gail Levin told PBS’ American Masters about Monroe, “She could, arguably, be the most-photographed person of the 20th century.”

The very idea of Monroe has become little more than a lazy trope, a metaphor for a particular type of woman.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

Google Maps has a suite of features to make driving easier. The app gives users options to avoid tolls and highways and even recommends low-emission routes where available.

Bikers using the app, though, have far fewer options, particularly when it comes to determining how safe a route is. Fixing that could get more people on bikes and e-bikes, two of the most accessible forms of no-carbon transit available today. Given that the transportation sector is the biggest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging the use of alternatives to driving — especially driving gas-powered cars — is more urgent than ever.

With its abundant data and mapping resources, Google Maps is well-poised to create a powerful tool that keeps people safe while navigating their city by bike. Doing so could encourage the use of one of the most reliable zero-emissions transportation technologies, a benefit that dovetails nicely with Google’s ambitious emissions reduction goals.

That’s not to say it’s a cut-and-dried task, though. The puzzle of how to set up a mapping algorithm for driving is relatively simple compared to doing so for biking. Estimating roughly how long it will take to drive somewhere requires little more than knowing speed limits and whether or not intersections have stop signs or stop lights. For biking, though, finding the “right” route is a lot more qualitative.

Often, safety trumps speed. A quiet residential road with speed bumps but without a bike lane can feel more comfortable for bikers — especially new bikers — than a busy thoroughfare with a painted-on bike lane where delivery trucks tend to idle.

Read the rest of this article at: Protocol

News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

​​On Tuesday morning, in an LGBTQ-affirming Episcopal church in Greenwich Village, like most New York venues during this week, there was a fashion show. The brand Mirror Palais made its New York Fashion Week debut, in large part thanks to the steadfast determination of its founder Marcelo Gaia. But on a different stage — TikTok — Gaia’s work isn’t just popular: it’s the latest target of dupe culture.

Dupes, short for duplicates, is the gen-z term for knockoffs clothes — and they’re taking over the online fashion world. While the very nature of fashion has often involved reinventing popular themes or motifs, social media’s impact on fast-fashion brands has completely changed how younger generations think about clothing consumption. In previous decades, these brands would often target large fashion houses like Chanel, Prada, and Coach, using designer runway shows and critical responses to eventually inspire the clothes in low-cost stores and budget collections. (Remember when Miranda Priestly helpfully broke that down?) Even when fast fashion began to pick up steam at the start of the 2000s, it took brands like Zara several weeks for affordable iterations of runway looks to be available for a mainstream, ready-to-wear market. Now, fast fashion brands have stockpiles of possible trends ready to go before models have even left the runway.

Because people active in the online fashion community often follow multiple creators, influencers get more engagement when they are constantly working to dress in new and popular styles. This contributes to an ever-accelerating trend cycle, where clothes that were necessary four weeks ago could become cheugy today. Fast fashion brands like Shein, H&M, and Asos, who already redefined fashion in the e-commerce space, are now able to churn out dupes while clothes are still popular — marking a direct link between influencer-based marketing and the acceleration of mass clothing production.

One of the most well-known fast fashion companies, the Chinese brand Shein, has exploded in popularity due to its presence on TikTok and Instagram. Post featuring #sheinhauls — where creators buy massive pallets of clothes and try them on for the followers — rake in thousands of views and comments per video. Only 10 years since its $5 million valuation, Shein is now the third most powerful startup in the world and is worth close to $100 billion, according to Bloomberg. In 2021 alone, Shein received $16 billion in sales, seemingly in spite of constant criticism for the company’s negative impact on the environment and allegations of worker exploitation.

Seasonal trends on TikTok and Instagram, like cottagecore or indie sleaze, are often defined by heavily identifiable articles of clothing: think the Lirika Matoshi Strawberry dress, the House of Sunny green Hockney midi, or this season’s Birkenstock Bostons. When a particular brand or item goes viral, rather than a style, the most popular dupes are those that recreate a product as closely as possible for a fraction of the price. It’s no longer inspiration, it’s a carbon copy. And influencers have an incentive to post and promote popular dupes: through Amazon’s influencer program, creators get a small percentage of sales when people purchase items with their links.

As a designer whose brand was made popular by its young and internet-forward aesthetic, Gaia is no stranger to virality. In 2021, his Mirror Palais Fairy dress was a TikTok staple for months, spawning dozens of cheap iterations. “I have lost count of the amount of knockoffs there were of that dress,” Gaia tells Rolling Stone. With popular supporters, like Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa, Gaia’s brand was made to go viral. The Maria in Leite midi dress was next.

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

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News 16.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

AS THE WHALING ship Hope rounded Chile’s Cape Horn in September 1840, a tempest stirred. Winds drove the vessel toward a vast field of sea ice. As night fell, the Hope became surrounded by frozen castles rising out of the Southern Ocean, forming an inescapable labyrinth. Thick islands of ice collided with the hull, threatening to ensnare the ship in a wintry grip, crushing it like a boa constrictor around a mouse.

It wasn’t until dawn the next day, when the cruel winds had died down, that a full accounting of the night’s terrors could be made. Miraculously, the Hope had survived. The castles that once surrounded it had fallen, replaced by mere slabs of disintegrating ice.

As the ship made its way through the ice, a shout came from the crow’s nest: A sailor had spotted a schooner, laid up against an iceberg. Through the spyglass, it was as if the ice had invaded the ship. The Hope approached cautiously. To the crew, it seemed the derelict schooner had been abandoned. The captain of the Hope, a man named Brighton, lowered a boat and sailed toward the berg-bound ship with three sailors. As they rounded the aft, faded lettering came into view: Jenny. They climbed aboard, each step eliciting a wretched groan. The sailors shouted down into its bowels, hoping for signs of life, but received no response. Then they descended.

As they stepped into the cabin, they were startled by the sight of a corpse. A man, frozen stiff. He sat in a chair, at a table, with a pen still gripped by blackened fingers. In front of him lay a logbook recounting the tale of the Jenny’s final days. It revealed that the schooner had been beset by ice in November 1822 and become trapped — a fate the Hope had only narrowly avoided itself. The crew of the Jenny had drifted across the sea, desperately fighting to break free of the ice. A futile endeavor; as impossible as sailing a ship to the moon. The Jenny’s captain had kept the fire in the cabin burning for 72 days.

But, the logs showed, on day 73 the fire went out.

A FIRE IS raging.

In December 2019, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is blanketed by an ochre curtain of muck. Smoke from out-of-control bushfires burning tens of kilometers away has shrouded the city. It’s an unforgettable sight, but the smoke invades all the senses differently. I can, for the first time, taste climate change. It’s ash and soot and heat and illness. I can feel it settle in my lungs as I inhale. I feel it again when I cough up the ash into a balled fist on the train home.

I struggle to kick the image of the “This is fine” dog out of my head throughout the summer. The animated dog, star of countless internet memes, sits in a room engulfed by flames. The room fills with smoke. Everything begins to melt. It refuses to do anything about it. The dog merely chimes “This is fine,” sips on its coffee and sublimates. Its eyeballs begin to seep out of its head.

Two years later I’m reclining on a moss-free rock at the very edge of the end of the world, just a few kilometers east of Australia’s Casey Station in Antarctica. I can hear the distant squawking of Adelie penguins and, occasionally, the splash they make as they porpoise across the surface of the water. The faint smell of guano flitters in and out of my nostrils when the wind switches direction. I’ll take that over ash any day.

The sound of the Adelies eventually makes way for a steady, rhythmic dripping. From my rocky seat, just meters from the water’s edge in Newcomb Bay, I can hear the continent slowly disappearing into the ocean. Drip. This, I’m later told by a member of the station, is a routine sound during the Antarctic summer. Sit and listen long enough and you’ll hear the ice melting; hang around and you’ll see rock-strewn hills emerge from layers of snow as the sun beats down. This isn’t climate change you’re hearing and seeing. Drip. Isn’t it?

Deeper inland from Casey, the East Antarctic ice sheet rests mostly undisturbed, except for a few international installations. Drip. Locked up within the sheet is “tens of meters” of sea-level rise, according to Matt King, an ice sheet scientist at the University of Tasmania. If the whole thing were to melt, the results would be disastrous. Drip. Some of the world’s most famous cities would drown. Drip. There’s no danger of that happening anytime soon, but the East Antarctic ice sheet has received far less attention than the West. We’re only just beginning to find out how vulnerable it might be. There remain many “unknown unknowns,” King says. Drip.

As I listen to the steady melt, my mind wanders back to the “This is fine” dog, to the scorched air of a burning country. I pull my hood over my forehead, zip my jacket up over my chin and drift off.

Read the rest of this article at: CNET

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