Links for September 6, 2016

Welcome to AirSpace

But over the past few years, something strange has happened. “Every coffee place looks the same,” Schwarzmann says. The new cafe resembles all the other coffee shops Foursquare suggests, whether in Odessa, Beijing, Los Angeles, or Seoul: the same raw wood tables, exposed brick, and hanging Edison bulbs. It’s not that these generic cafes are part of global chains like Starbucks or Costa Coffee, with designs that spring from the same corporate cookie cutter. Rather, they have all independently decided to adopt the same faux-artisanal aesthetic. Digital platforms like Foursquare are producing “a harmonization of tastes” across the world, Schwarzmann says. “It creates you going to the same place all over again.”

Why Are So Many Corpse Flowers Blooming at Once?

But let’s not stop at so-called “rational explanations.” Kew claims that in their greenhouses, “flowerings have become a remarkably common occurrence—we have seen more than three times as many titan arums flower at Kew in the last six years than in the previous 120 years!” Given our penchant for coming up with colorful ways to describe their stench—and the fact that Amorphophallus titanum means “giant misshapen penis,” which is kind of a cruel name for a plant, frankly—is it really that far-fetched to suggest that the titan arums of the world have decided, en masse, to teach humanity a very smelly lesson?

Massive Attack - The Spoils ft. Hope Sandoval – video starring Cate Blanchett