Remember the Great Airbnb Protests of 2014

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1. Somehow I don't think chanting 'sharing is caring' helps the Airbnb cause

"'We know that this proposal would make it nearly impossible for regular people to share their homes,' David Owen, an Airbnb spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to news organizations announcing its rally. 'The authors of this ballot measure are focused on outlawing it across San Francisco. It's critical that we all join together to tell everyone in San Francisco about how we make this city a better place to live, work and visit.' About 150 people attended the rally, many carrying signs such as 'Make it fair to share' and 'Airbnb: Let it be.' When a speaker concluded her remarks by saying 'Sharing is caring,' the group chanted in unison with her."


P. Belanger

2. Toronto's underground city within a city

"The underground system must be viewed as a specialized market. A place devoid of children and young families, the elderly, the lower income segments of our society and the underclass. In large part, the underground is a retailing subsystem that is directly linked to the corporate city of enterprise. It serves the residents of the white collar city of privilege. It has its own rhythm."


3. When your co-evolved species die, but you live on.

"Without mammoths, groundsloths, and other megafauna to transport its seeds uphill, the range of the species gradually shrank to the Red River region. In fact, fossils tell us that Osage-orange was much more widespread and diverse before the megafaunal extinctions. Back then, Osage-oranges could be found north up to Ontario, and there were seven, not just one, species in the Osage-orange genus, Maclura. Another anachronistic tree is the Kentucky coffeetree, so named because early Kentucky settlers used its beans as a coffee substitute. Coffeetrees have tough, leathery pods with large, toxic seeds surrounded by a sweet pulp. Water cannot penetrate the thick seed coat to begin germination unless it is abraded or cut. Sounds like mammoth food to me. The natural range of coffeetrees is concentrated in the Midwest, but without its megafauna disperser, it is generally rare and mostly limited to floodplains."


4. Poems for the medium of the tape.

"This is the first collection and the first 'publication' of works created specifically for stereophonic tape. The works exist completely in terms of aural phenomenon, rather than in terms of visual systems of signs, thus beginning a new art of the tape recorder that has in common with written literature the fact that it refers to real language. Some poets have already issued phonograph recordings of readings from their written works. TAPE POEMS, however, do not exist as printed works, Also there are many differences between phonograph recordings and tape recordings. Among other things, a tape recording can be easily erased, edited and re-recorded."


5. Finally, your iPhone case will be able to carry your cologne! A must for the club

"We carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go. However, we do not have the same convenience with either our favorite fragrance or hand sanitizer. While they might come in small travel sized bottles, we either forget to carry the travel size solution or simply loose them. So much for being handy! With your Atomyzer case, if you have your phone on you, you will always have your favorite fragrance or hand sanitizer on you."


Today's 1957 American English Tip

belles-lettres. Now usually used of literature 'for its own sake,' not for information, narration, &c.; esp. of certain types of essays. 

You know the type.


Also, greetings from Toronto. This city is amazing. I walked around the underground PATH for hours imagining I was in a spaceship. That the spaceship denizens of the future would have four primary businesses: pan-Asian takeaway food, dry cleaning, salons, and jewelry sales. That hand sanitizer would be everywhere. That spaces would be defined by the wavelengths of their artificial lights. That we'd all be from somewhere else.


Also! Lo siento! I had a busted link to the Serigrafia Chicano/a art exhibit article. This one should work


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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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