Weekend Link Roundup

October 13, 2017

Free People Swim Too Deep Pullover (also here) in size S
▪ I recently purchased two of these oversized sweaters from Free People (I went up a size for the extra length) to wear over leggings. They are surprisingly soft (54% cotton, 43% acrylic, 2% nylon, 1% spandex) and are oversized but not overly boxy.

▪ (A must read) The Secrets of Google’s Moonshot Factory (The Atlantic): "When Teller took the helm of X ... he devised the three-part formula for an ideal moonshot project: an important question, a radical solution, and a feasible path to get there. The proposals could come from anywhere, including X employees, Google executives, and outside academics. But grand notions are cheap and abundant—especially in Silicon Valley, where world-saving claims are a debased currency—and actual breakthroughs are rare. So the first thing Teller needed to build was a way to kill all but the most promising ideas."  

▪ (Seriously horrible name choice--and new logo--for the LVMH/Kering wannabe.) Coach Inc. Is Dead. Long Live Tapestry. (The New York Times): "The search took two to three months and was conducted by the Carbone Smolan Agency. A list of thousands of names was winnowed to 'tens,' which were then tested for legality and cultural associations in the brands’ key global markets ... The one catch: a concern that tapestries could be seen as old-fashioned, and possibly even elitist, associated as they are with European history and palaces. Ultimately, though, the word’s suggestions of craft and handwork outweighed the negatives."

All sale styles at Forever 21 are an extra 40% off with code EXTRA40. My picks: Pointed Faux Suede Pumps, Faux Suede Pointed Toe Flats, Faux Leather Ballet Flats, Cat Lip Gloss Set, Lace-Up French Terry Sweatpants, Ribbed Dolman Mini Dress, Double-Sided Bath Brush, Cutout Wide-Leg Pants, Classic Peplum Dress, Faux Leather Crossbody, Mock Neck Swing Dress, Contemporary Sweater Dress, Stretch-Knit Pencil Skirt, and Mock Neck Sweater.

Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks (Eater): "I feel an intense affinity for Olive Garden, which — like the lack of olives on its menu — is by design. The restaurant was built for affinity, constructed from the foundations to the faux-finished rafters to create a sense of connection, of vague familiarity, to bring to mind some half-lost memory of old-world simplicity and ease. Even if you’ve never been to the Olive Garden before, you’re supposed to feel like you have. You know the next song that’s going to play. You know how the chairs roll against the carpet. You know where the bathrooms are. Its product is nominally pasta and wine, but what Olive Garden is actually selling is Olive Garden, a room of comfort and familiarity, a place to return to over and over.

Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America (Bloomberg): "The Decatur store is one of 1,000 Dollar Generals opening this year as part of the $22 billion chain’s plan to expand rapidly in poor, rural communities where it has come to represent not decline but economic resurgence, or at least survival. The company’s aggressively plain yellow-and-black logo is becoming the small-town corollary to Starbucks Corp.’s two-tailed green mermaid ... Already, there are 14,000 one-story cinder block Dollar Generals in the U.S.—outnumbering by a few hundred the coffee chain’s domestic footprint. Fold in the second-biggest dollar chain, Dollar Tree, and the number of stores, 27,465, exceeds the 22,375 outlets of CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens combined. And the little-box player is fully expecting to turn profits where even narrow-margin colossus Walmart failed."

▪ If you like podcasts produced by Chicago Public Media and WNYC, you will likely enjoy More Perfect, which launched in June of 2016 but only a few (like 10) episodes have aired so far and the format is episodic so you can start with any episode.

How the Supreme Court Could Limit Gerrymandering, Explained With a Simple Diagram (Vox): "We often use weird district shapes to illustrate gerrymandering because that’s usually how legislators draw partisan shapes around existing populations. But it’s not about the shapes in this methodology. Rather, it’s about preventing lawmakers from redrawing district borders to keep power until the next time redistricting happens."

▪ Take an extra 60% off sale style at Ann Taylor with code EBATES60. My picks: Pleated Full Skirt, Puff Sleeve Mock Neck Sweater, Tie Neck Shift Dress, Circle Lace Pencil Skirt, Marled Puff Sleeve Mock Neck Sweater, Mock Neck Flare Sleeve Top, Tie Back Tee, Striped Scarf, Flounce Sleeve Trenchcoat, Bold Blossoms Dress, and Tie Neck Halter Shell.

▪ If you like pictures of adorable Asian babies, I am currently obsessed with this Instagram account. No matter how frustrated or unhappy I feel, smiling babbling babies always put a smile on my face. (Some of my favorites from the account: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5.)  

Fashion’s Gossip Addiction (The New York Times): "Rumors were rampant on the front row and in the back rooms; during dinner parties and over cocktail canapés ... it’s all hearsay, all — or most of — the time."

After the Check Is Gone (The Washington Post): "Donna Jean wished she could, like she wished she could block out so many other things. Her parents had warned her that life wouldn’t be easy. There would be times she wouldn’t have enough money. But she hadn’t thought that would be her entire life, that she would be 51 and living like this still, some days fantasizing about an amount of money that would barely register with many people but would mean everything to her. Five hundred dollars. What would she do if she found some Virginia snakeroot — rare, fragile and worth $120 per pound — and made $500? What would she buy? There would be a bed. A real one. Not just a mattress on the floor. And a cabinet, too, something small. But instead, she slept where she slept, she had what she had, and that dog wouldn’t stop barking."

The West Is on Fire. Blame the Housing Crisis (Wired): "At a time when cities all over the country are experiencing housing crises ... the greatest expansion of houses is on previously unbuilt spaces at the edges of cities. In other words: sprawl. The “intermix” version of the WUI, with development cropping up amid nature—which is to say, sprawl's exurban edge—is even more fiery than interface WUI, with construction slammed right up against greenbelt."

▪ (Video Link) Finnish Fake News (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on YouTube)  

As Goes the Middle Class, So Goes TGI Fridays (Eater): "Casual dining chains are, I think, a holdover from a time and place where large swaths of Americans, from across the economic spectrum, could all pretty much find something to like at a Fridays or a Red Lobster. Though imperfect, they aspired to be democratic concepts, with cheeseburgers and beer and brownie sundaes that were just good enough — and yet cheap enough — to reach and please if not everyone, then most people. Today, we live in an increasingly economically polarized country, and that is mirrored in where we eat. For the haves, there are painstakingly curated farm-to-table bistros; for the have-nots, $4 tacos dusted with Doritos flavoring, or maybe, one day, Soylent."

▪ Take 30% off everything at Kate Spade during its Friends & Family sale with code FRIEND. My picks: Logan Street Large Eloisa, Bow Back Fit and Flare Dress, Cameron Street Arielle, Velvet Bow Sweater, Bow Beanie, and Leopard Tee.

I’m Done Debating Racism With the Devil (Slate): "As a concept, the devil’s advocate is incoherent. If a position is really as unpopular as the name indicates, there is no need to argue for it. Debating isn’t an ideology; it’s a methodology. We debate to get to a truth, not for its own sake. Most often, the devil’s advocate is really saying there is something at the core of the argument that they are (perhaps ashamedly) compelled by, and so they employ a rhetorical trick allowing themselves to argue a position without ever having to hold it. This allows exploration of deep-seated racism under the guise of putting forth someone else’s argument. The irony is that it could invite a deeper discussion of race than may otherwise happen, since it inherently reveals what white people really think and struggle with around race. But because of the charade, no one is able to benefit from it—the person being vulnerable is essentially able to call 'take back' and act as though the conversation never really happened. It creates an unfortunate paradox where some of the most reflective demonstrations of racial politics are being had under the condition they be immediately un-had."

Is Good Taste Teachable? (The New York Times): "... décor and art preferences aren’t entirely subjective. Sociologists tell us there’s a strong social component; notions of elegance have roots in class dynamics. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it can also reveal socioeconomic status. Our homes reflect, at least, as much about our peers as ourselves."

▪ Recently ordered: J. Crew Striped Turtleneck Sweater-Dress (shop early access here), LOFT Covered Shoulder Button Blouse, Express Drape Moto Jacket, Frame Voluminous Scarf Blouse, Topshop Puff Sleeve Ribbed Sweater, and Topshop Slider Utility Pant.  

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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