You forgot, didn’t you?
Everybody does. Recently, we were in the middle of a conversation about the Middle East and forgot the word for Egypt. (You know, the place with camels, pyramids, feluccas, military dictatorship … ) That’s when we reached out to our gadget columnist in London, Emma Freud, and asked her to try a new brain-enhancement device called Halo. She did. And she remembered to tell us about it.
We all want something that makes us smarter, taller, thinner, or, certainly at this time of year, less allergic. Or so we thought. Then we spoke to our brainy friend Walter Isaacson, who explained the monstrous social inequities that could arise from all those seemingly promising scientific breakthroughs in genetic engineering and the tool known as CRISPR.
We discovered that the perils of self-improvement are everywhere. Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest project, Goop for Men, turns out to be just another way to make the male sex even more fragile. Judith Newman bravely waded into the battle between vegan purists (call them Veganistas) and the makers of mock meat and discovered a mental illness that was new to us: orthorexia, the condition of people who are so intent on eating healthfully that they make themselves sick.
You should check out AIR, our searchable and indispensable calendar of cultural events in more than 125 cities, but also beware where you book: society is going haywire all over the world.
In China, a couple spent $525,000 for a single room (it doesn’t even have a bathroom) because it provides a legal residence near the elite school they want their child to attend. We were alarmed to hear that in France, rosé is passé and the fashionable drink of the summer, even at the bar at the Crillon, is a wine made of rhubarb. And in London, a shocking trial just concluded where pedophilia in the high ranks of the British establishment was the least of the charges.
So, this is a reminder: don’t forget to read on …