That’s a big concern in San Francisco, where traditionally there’s always been a balance between the comfortable and the nonconformists, says former Mayor Art Agnos.
"The struggle to keep people who make between $60,000 and $150,000 a year is what we’re facing in San Francisco. That’s who the struggle is for today," Agnos says. "Frankly, it’s all but over for the poor in this city."
NPR, "As Rent Soars, Longtime San Francisco Tenants Fight to Stay" by Richard Gonzales, December 3, 2013.
Without technology, the human body is a pretty proscribed instrument. We cannot write without a pen or pencil, nor eat hot soup without a bowl and, perhaps, a spoon.
And yet, only certain technologies are labeled “assistive technologies”: hearing aids, prostheses, wheelchairs. But surely our pens and pencils, bowls and spoons assist us as well. The human body is not very able all on its own.
My curiosity about how we think about these camps of “normal” and “assistive” technologies brought me to Sara Hendren, a leading thinker and writer on adaptive technologies and prosthetics. Her wonderful site, Abler, was recently syndicated by Gizmodo. I talked to her about why crutches don’t look cool, where the idea of “normal” comes from, and whether the 21st century might bring greater understanding of human diversity.
"Contrary to its homespun image, the second-hand clothing industry is dominated by what Dr Andrew Brooks and Prof David Simon at the University of London have called “hidden professionalism.” The majority of donated clothing is sold to second-hand clothing merchants, who sort garments, then bundle them in bales for resale, usually outside the country in which the clothing was originally donated.
One key market is sub-Saharan Africa, where a third of all globally donated clothes are sold. In a paper entitled “Unravelling the Relationships between Used-Clothing Imports and the Decline of African Clothing Industries,” Brooks and Simon quote a representative of UK-based anti-poverty organisation Oxfam Wastesaver, who states that 300 bales of second-hand clothing can be sold in Africa for around £25,000 (about $40,000 at current exchange rates), while transport costs are just £2,000. Even taking into account the costs of things like collection and processing, these numbers suggest that the selling of second-hand clothing can be a lucrative affair, especially as the clothing being sold has often been charitably donated for free. While exact figures are scarce, in 2009, used clothing exports from OECD countries were worth $1.9 billion, according to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database.”
The Business of Fashion, "Op-Ed | The Trouble with Second-Hand Clothes" by Tansy E. Hoskins, November 10, 2013.
Listening to Kendrick Lamar is like “putting on the illest 3-D glasses in hip-hop,” Steven Marsh writes in a new GQ profile of the 26-year-old musician. Marsh is right: Lamar’s songs really do describe the world in such a way that it’s like you’re standing by his side, watching the struggles he’s rapping about happen in real time.
That’s a compliment, but on Saturday, Lamar’s label boss released a statement blasting Marsh’s article, which accompanied GQ naming Lamar one of its “Men of the Year.” What “should have been celebrated as a milestone,” Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith of TDE Records wrote, had been ruined by the “offensive” story’s “racial overtones” and focus on “drama.” GQ editor Jim Nelson has responded with bafflement, saying the magazine “gave him our highest honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue. I’m not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves.”
You can understand Nelson’s confusion at the story’s reception. Marsh indeed wrote “an incredibly positive article,” filled with smart observations that help explain what makes Lamar such a powerful artist. On first read, I didn’t quite understand the outrage either.
But that fact shows just how pervasive the problem here is. Even when praising rap, it’s easy to reinforce old, destructive stereotypes about it. It’s especially unfortunate in this case because Lamar’s whole act helps to remind his listeners that hip hop and the inner city aren’t just pop-culture motifs: They’re real places filled with real people who have real lives.
Read more. [Image: GQ]
The Riddler And The Penguin Charged With Conspiracy And Kidnapping; Duo Faces Long Prison Terms Thanks To Batkid
SAN FRANCISCO/GOTHAM – Edward “E.” Nigma, aka, “The Riddler,” and Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, aka, “The Penguin” were formally arrested today and charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and kidnapping for their all too familiar villainous ways in Gotham City, according to Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson. …
The Assistant U.S. Attorneys all want to prosecute this case, and are currently drawing straws to see who will have the honor. This will presumably be the easiest case in U.S. Attorney history thanks to Batkid, who pretty much was able to not only capture the humanity of this great city, but was also able to capture all of the Riddler’s and Penguin’s crimes on video. The prosecution is the result of a multi-agency investigation led from a cave in a location we cannot disclose.
Read more here. U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California
How to Help Philippines Typhoon Victims
As the full scale of the devastation wrought across the islands of the Philippines over the weekend by Typhoon Haiyan came into fuller view on Monday, governments around the world have pledged aid to the victims. The Pentagon has dispatched an advance team of 90 marines and sailors, and U.S.A.I.D. has pledged emergency shelter and hygiene materials and 55 tons of food. The American Embassy in Manila has donated $100,000 for water and sanitation assistance.
Below is a list of contact information for some organizations that plan to provide relief to victims of the typhoon, called Yolanda in the Philippines. The New York Times does not certify the charities’ fund allocations or administrative costs. More information about giving, for this and other causes, is available online from the GuideStar database on nonprofit agencies.
The New York Times, "How To Help Philippines Typhoon Victims" by Liam Stack and Robert Mackey, November 11, 2013.
Roy Choi ushered in a food truck “new wave” in Los Angeles, making street fare edgier, tastier. Five years ago, he and a partner launched Kogi — Korean for meat — with a small fleet of trucks offering up a Korean-Mexican fusion that inspired food entrepreneurs in cities across America where the trend caught fire. His signature creation? The short rib taco: warm tortillas, Korean barbecue beef, cilantro-onion-and lime, topped with a spicy-soy slaw.
NPR, “LA Food Truck King Tells His Story, One Recipe At A Time” by Renee Montagne, November 5, 2013.
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