One solitary April evening. As the sun prepared to dip down the elm and the streets remained eerily deserted, Fouzia Dastango rolled in on my Macbook. Dressed in white, her hair pulled in a loose coil, her eye lined with kohl, she was narrating an incident in the life of Hasan Jahan Begum - her gestures animated and her inflexions perfect in Begamati zuban, a dialect once specifically used by women in 19th century zenanas (women’s quarters) of Urdu-speaking cities. Accompanying Fouzia was Saneya, a professor of English literature who is writing her doctoral dissertation on Begamati. As the two storytellers dropped typical zenana proverbs and repeated anecdotes, viewers across five continents stayed glued to their flat screens to beat their quarantine blues through Rekhta Live —Unheard and Unplugged. … [Read more...] about Beat lockdown blues: Set 8 pm reminder for RekhtaLive music and poetry
The design didn’t evolve Another big problem is that the novelty of the Segway never wore off (as it has for other mobility devices such as bikes and scooters). Over time, that became a barrier to entry. “On the form factor, one thing is that inherently you notice that it’s still a very novel way of transportation. Some people like it . . . but we still have people the first time they get on a Segway PT they have to learn to balance,” says Tony Ho, VP of global business development at Segway. “Kick scooters are taking off, and retroactively. There’s a reason the kick scooter is the dominant form factor now, precisely because it’s simple and easy to learn. There’s no learning curve.”ed … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Segway, the most hyped invention since the Macintosh, ends production
The result, as you may know all too well from your neighborhood Starbucks, was kind of an interior design frappe, in which the distinct components that might cut through the monotony of a global retailer’s thousands of stores were blended into a single concoction by the whirring blades of corporate efficiency. In this way, Starbucks’s design ethos, such as it was, became a harbinger for other problems that were coming to light in the business in the mid-2000s. Starbucks’s identity, formulated as a simulacrum of the Italian cafe, was being lost to a relentless focus on growth and profitability rather than experience. Lines backed up as baristas made a growing list of complicated blended drinks, often incorrectly. The joy of a morning coffee with a smile was lost as automated machines took over for the humans. The air grew rank with the stink of egg sandwiches. And Starbucks stock took a tumble, too. … [Read more...] about Can Starbucks Make 23,000 Coffee Shops Feel Unique?
“It doesn’t just fall short with regard to representation. It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color,” Ridley wrote. He added that it continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more noble than it was: “a bloody insurrection to maintain the right to own, sell and buy human beings.” … [Read more...] about HBO Max pulls ‘Gone with the Wind’ for its romanticized depiction of slavery
Books Oxford: The Last Hurrah by Dafydd Jones, July 1 Pictures on the Radio: From the Frontlines of History with NPR News by David Gilkey, July 7 The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market by Nadya Bair, July 7 Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell, July 14 The Last Cruze by LaToya Ruby Frazier, July 15 I Can Make You Feel Good by Tyler Mitchell, July 28 Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey, July 28 [Photo Illustration: Samir Abady; The Old Guard: Aimee Spinks/Netflix; Stateless, Offering to the Storm: courtesy of Netflix; Brave New World: Steve Schofield/Peacock; Little Voice: courtesy of Apple TV+; The Capture: BBC/Heyday Films/Nick Wall] … [Read more...] about Tom Hanks, ‘Hamilton,’ The Muppets, and 101 other pop-culture musts for July