- On Tipping in Cuba
This writer waxes on about how memorable his trip into rural Cuba (i.e., outside of the resorts) is and how the insignificant amount of currency that he tips is embarrassing given the cultural value it is buying him. Of course, I’d imagine that the hard currency (even though it’s a small number) would buy the Cuban citizens a great deal.
He served us a variation on the mojito, using basil leaves instead of mint. He called it an alto del mar — “above the sea,” also the name of his paladar — and it was the best drink I had in Cuba. Dinner was whole fried fish garnished with the only red pepper we saw in Santiago, and a delicate creole sauce that was several steps above the licensed paladares’ offerings in its refinement. When I asked for the bill, he brought me a scrap of paper with “$14.00” written on it. I gave him CUC $20, under-tipping for one of the most memorable meals I’ve eaten anywhere.
- The Forty-Year Itch
This article posits that “retro” is a 40-year cycle by cherry picking some examples from the last century. I don’t buy the argument, because we’ve seen a 20-year “retro” cycle in the last few years (i.e., Transformers, GI Joe, etc).
- An American (working) in Paris
I’ve been reading this writer since he started writing on The Morning News. I like his writing as his style is interesting and fun to read and this article is a great example of his writing. Apparently he has now written a book about a period where he stayed and worked in Paris – it seems interesting, maybe I’ll read the book.
Honestly, I had no idea how it worked. There was one woman, an Italian down the hall, who visited us at ten-fifteen each morning, making loud smooching sounds even before she entered the room; then she’d deliver long-drawn, suction-fueled bises all around: on Julie’s cheeks, Françoise’s cheeks, Tomaso’s cheeks, Olivier’s cheeks. Even my cheeks, once we were introduced. But it wasn’t always done. Maybe four days out of five, but that fifth day . . .
September found me frequently biseing inappropriately. Male clients, IT support workers, freelance temps. Any female who came within ten feet. They’d return my weird kisses reluctantly, or else back away and attempt to ignore the gaffe. I asked Pierre how he knew whom to kiss, whom not. Pierre said there was no way of knowing this unless you’d grown up in France, then you just knew. He himself preferred to shake hands.
André overheard Pierre saying this and suggested, in that case, Pierre should move “the fuck” back to New York.
- The Man Who Hacked Hollywood
This article is the story of the guy who hacked into a bunch of celebrities emails and sold their photos off to the internet, and you know the rest of that story.
One night, he finally gave in to the temptation to talk. “I let my curiosity—and I think my marijuana—get the best of me,” he recalls. A well-known actor had sent a wish-you-were-here photo of a European mountainside to an actress. Stoned and feeling uninhibited, Chaney logged in to the actress’s e-mail against his better judgment and sent a reply saying how fantastic the view looked. He shuddered the moment he hit send. “I was like, ‘You’re a fucking idiot for doing this,’ ” he says.
- Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Reporter?
The article title promises the rise of the machines, but the reality is that the state of the art can only translate statistics into more interesting words. It will be quite a long time before AI can do the indepth reporting that a feature article contains.