Rachel Maddow on How Russia’s ‘Resource Curse’ Drove Putin to Election Interference (Reader Jim)
The author writes, “In her new book, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Maddow concludes that Russia is a victim of a ‘resource curse’ — a paradox that resource-rich countries tend to be poorer, less democratic and more corrupt. Russia’s shaky economy, hampered by a reliance on oil and gas, helps explain the country’s weakness, and ‘some of Russia’s weakness explains why they attacked us in the way they did,’ Maddow argues.”
LA ‘Sterilized’ Its Streets for the ‘84 Olympics — How Will It Treat the Homeless in 2028? (Chris)
From Curbed: “Ten years from now, when Los Angeles shows itself off again on the world stage, authorities will have two options, says Jody Armour, a law professor at USC who studies crime and culture. ‘They could opt for a more cosmetic approach,’ he says. ‘Or they could do something concrete and substantive that addresses the lack of affordable housing and the lack of adequate jobs and mental health services.’”
California Wineries, Fearing Recession, Cut Grape Output. Farmers Are Worried. (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “Paul Johnson farms 450 acres of wine grapes in Monterey County for his family’s Johnson Vineyard Co. Normally, a range of local wineries, under multiyear contracts, buy his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. But after last year’s harvest, Johnson began to worry when no winery clients renewed their contracts. Now, the 2019 harvest season is well under way, and Johnson is facing a hard reality: As much as two-thirds of his crop may go unsold. ‘It’s as bad a market as we’ve ever seen,’ said Johnson, whose father started the company in 1973. ‘This is the first time in 45 years we have grapes that we just cannot find a home for.’”
Climate Change Is Changing the Flavor of French Wine (Mili)
The author writes, “Scientists and historians stitched together a record of grape harvest dates going back to 1354. They found that air temperatures have warmed so much — and especially in the last 30 years — that grapes are now harvested almost two weeks before their historical norm.”
Coming Soon: AI-Powered Personalized Restaurant Menus (Russ)
From Ozy: “A growing number of firms are promising personalized menus and restaurant experiences to customers, and major fast-food chains are turning to these services. Here’s how it works: You arrive at the drive-through restaurant, where you’re greeted by an AI-powered voice-ordering assistant and a personalized menu that could be different for you and the friends you’re with, based on any food allergies you might have, what you’ve ordered at the restaurant in the past, the temperature and the time of the day.”
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