Twitter may be the president’s social-media platform of choice, but for users, it’s dizzying to follow.That was made acutely clear in a high-profile, 90-minute chat on the site between Jack Dorsey, the company’s enigmatic CEO, and the tech journalist Kara Swisher: The discussion was clunky and difficult to parse, degrading Twitter’s goal of connecting people and letting them follow conversations. That’s not the only flack Twitter has gotten of late—it has a festering harassment and abuse problem that it’s been exceedingly slow to address.
Selasi Gbormittah and Val Stones, two former contestants on the beloved show The Great British Bake Off, forged an unpredictable intergenerational friendship, which they’ve maintained since that season of the show stopped filming in 2016. In The Friendship Files, a newly launched weekly Q&A featuring a pair of unusual friends, Julie Beck talks with both of them about the relationship:
Beck: Do you remember your first impressions of each other?
Selasi: I was very late, so they're all thinking, Who's this guy who is late? He's gonna be a problem. I turned up really late on my motorbike. I was soaking wet and I just smiled. I don't think I even apologized. I just said, “Hey, I'm here for the baking show.” And everyone looked at me like, Who the hell is this?
Val: You walked in in your gear and I remember thinking, Ah, it's that young man that I saw. And I realized, Gosh, he's gonna be real trouble, that one. But I was so pleased to see you.
Thad Roberts was arrested in 2002 for stealing more than $20 million worth of moon rocks, and before that, as a college student, he showed a preternatural ability to get others to join him in occasionally risky pursuits:
“The professor boasted that the university’s own rising star, Thad Roberts, had just been accepted to NASA’s internship program. At 23, Roberts was a triple major in physics, geology, and geophysics, as well as the founder of the Utah Astronomical Society. He was determined to be the first person on Mars. He was also about to change the trajectory of my life.”