Lauren Ro, Lucky Peach
"I needed to know: Who was the proprietor behind these stores with sassy anthropomorphic fruits as their mascots?" writes Lauren Ro, of her investigation into the enigmatic fruitmasters of Brooklyn. "The Korean greengrocer—and its counterpart the Hispanic bodega—is something of a New York City institution," she continues, which is what led her on her journey to find out, "Who was the real Mr. CoCo, and what secrets would he reveal to me?" A delectably fruity detective story.
Dina Bass, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Forget apps—apparently bots are the future. Miss chatting with SmarterChild? Well, Microsoft is researching and producing many different kinds of bots with different personalities that serve different purposes. Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Amazon already have working bots in use that help with things like expenses, recipes, and ordering groceries and beer, and way more are on the way. The logic is that apps are too complicated, and A.I. bots trained to interact with humans will be simpler, smoother, and a more enjoyable experience. Clippy's back!!! Kind of exciting, no?
Related: Motherboard explains how not to make a racist bot.
Jia Tolentino, Jezebel
Jia Tolentino's sharp, thoughtful reporting on the accusations against poet and professor Thomas Sayers Ellis is required reading. Not only does she delve into the complications of accusing men of assault and rape, she lays out clearly what we need to be thinking about journalistically in order to really make change happen: "Our awareness of the prevalence and magnitude of sexual assault has outpaced the systems that expose and adjudicate it," she writes. "But for activism to carry the authority of journalism—or for journalism with an activist conclusion to work—there are basic practices that can’t be set aside."
Lux Alptraum, The Verge
This is the story of how vibrators went from sleazy to chic with the help of a Jay and Bey visit to Babeland, and also how upscale sex toy company Jimmyjane brought on a vibrating revolution, bringing so-called "marital aids" to the mainstream. Bzzzzt.
Anupa Mistry, The FADER
The FADER's Anupa Mistry spoke with visual artist and sculptor on how she is constructing a narrative about identity weighed down by the dark side of athletics. Mistry writes, "she is looking at ways of making black culture tangible, through the lens of economics, wealth, and power," and Mohamoud elaborates, “More specifically, I’m using the realm of athletics to speak to issues of black masculinity; how violence and athletics go hand-in-hand in black culture.”
Robin Schwartz, New York Times
This article is more important than any other article in the NYT this week because it is an article about an island in the Bahamas where pigs enjoy themselves on the beach. It's actually more of a photo essay by veteran animal photographer Robin Schwartz (who shot this piece for The FADER back in the day): "This is my very favorite photograph from the trip," Schwartz writes of one of her photographs. "This is my peaceable kingdom, my fantasy world where people are secondary players. This photograph plays out my fantasy of being one of the pigs, immersed in 'pig culture.'" 🐷