I recently gained some weight, as a result of long(er than usual) work days and the related poor(er than usual) diet. It’s not an alarming amount of weight, but some of my work blouses (and the more tailored dresses) are starting to feel pretty tight in the torso.  To compensate for the discomfort I have to endure at work, I have been rewarding myself by buying forgiving (i.e., with stretch) lightweight dresses, like the Reformation Rou Midi Fit & Flare Dress (has pockets! And is available in four colors here), which requires no effort to style and the scoop neckline frames the somewhat deep décolletage becomingly. The limited sizing (XS-XL) probably does not favor those on the far ends of the size spectrum, but for everyone else, the fit is true to size.

Worshiping the False Idols of Wellness (The New York Times): “So what’s the harm of spending money on charcoal for nonexistent toxins or vitamins for expensive urine or grounding bedsheets to better connect you with the earth’s electrons? Here’s what: the placebo effect or ‘trying something natural’ can lead people with serious illnesses to postpone effective medical care. Every doctor I know has more than one story about a patient who died because they chose to try to alkalinize their blood or gambled on intravenous vitamins instead of getting cancer care.

 Sole Cycle (The New Yorker): “In recent years, the homely Birkenstock has become a curiously fashionable object … The brand’s resurgence was no mere trend … a larger cultural shift was under way. Women were recognizing that most footwear was unhealthy.

That Meme You’re Sharing Is Probably Bogus (The Atlantic): “Saying that the origin of tag is unknown is far less satisfying than coming up with a tidy explanation, especially one that seems to be hiding in plain sight. When that sense of discovery is distilled in meme form … the appeal becomes irresistible to many. And seeing the meme repeated again and again online, regardless of the trustworthiness of the source, may reinforce the sense that it must be true.

♥ As Memes Evolve, Apps Are Struggling to Keep Up (The Atlantic): “The most popular format for large meme pages is still one that looks like a tweet with an image attached: a photo or video on the bottom, Arial-font text on top, and a white background. But over the past several months, there’s been a sea change in the meme community, according to several top memers. Meme accounts that post more complex, artistic memes—including object-labeling memes, creative photo-editing memes, or memes with lots of text—have begun to gain popularity and online clout, and thousands of amateur meme accounts have sprung up, copying their style.

 How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions (The Daily Beast): “The Monopoly game had demonstrated the evils of chasing riches at the expense of others, but the saga also proved that strange things happen when people conspire to cheat fate. Gennaro Colombo won a car using a stolen prize ticket and died in a car wreck. And when lady luck regained control of the McDonald’s competitions, she handed winning tickets to a man wearing a full Pizza Hut uniform; a Taco Bell owner; and a former homeless man who was later charged with beating up his fiancée—a PR nightmare.

 How to Spend Your Privilege (The Cut): “Spending one’s privilege can carry consequences, but nothing important comes without risk and it’s worth taking one in the name of justice … Train yourself toward solidarity and not charity. You are no one’s savior. You are a mutual partner in the pursuit of freedom.

Walmart to Launch Everlane Rival (The Business of Fashion): “The yet-to-be named, direct-to-consumer apparel label will come out of the big box behemoth’s brand incubator … The new brand will be similar to San Francisco-based Everlane, which sells minimalist staples … However, Walmart’s range will be geared more pointedly toward Gen Z and boast even lower prices.

 Fishy Fish Pills (Slate): “A recent meta-analysis of 79 randomized controlled trials following more than 100,000 participants added to the growing corpus of non-findings. The study catalogued a litany of heart conditions for which omega-3s appear to have ‘little or no effect,’ challenging the oldest and most important claimed benefit of the supplement—that taking it promotes heart health … It’s not just that the pill may do nothing positive; it’s also possible that hauling millions of tons of fish from the ocean may have serious environmental consequences … Omega oil isn’t a byproduct of fish that are already being processed for human consumption … The oil filling my daily capsule was siphoned off from boiled-down schools of forage fish dragged out of the ocean for no other purpose.

♥ Cheer up, Deutschland (The Economist): “Pessimism comes easily to Germans. Gloom stalked their literature even before the traumas of the 20th century … This also expresses itself in perfectionism … The same habits undergird Germany’s industrial success. Its factories are staffed by conscientious workers who treat each blemish as an abomination, honing and re-honing production processes until everything is in Ordnung (order).

There Are Still a Lot of Men Without Jobs (Bloomberg): “… even with the unemployment rate dipping to levels last seen on a sustained basis in the 1960s, there are still a lot of prime-age men out there without jobs (8.6 million in total, according to the BLS) who could conceivably be put to work.

The Decline and Fall of Diet Coke and the Power Generation That Loved It (The New Yorker): “… the drink is struggling: its sales have declined yearly since 2006. There is no mystery why. During the late eighties and nineties, Diet Coke seemed less fussy, less patrician, less ‘Frasier’ than second-wave coffee. It helped define a novel archetype of masculinity—the bootstraps kid who’d made it big, who was cool and modern, in a suit—that would later be perverted to support crimes of the sort now finally being recognized. As an office drink and a leisure drink, a daylight beverage and an acceptable cocktail order, Diet Coke was suited to porous work-life boundaries and the leaders who learned to thrive in, and in some cases insidiously exploit, the gray areas of that new world.

The Problem With the Facebook Cafeteria and Free Food (The Ringer): “In 2014, the city of Mountain View added a provision to its approval for Facebook’s development stipulating that the company could not offer unlimited free food. The move by the city targets Facebook’s new building but is really a byproduct of Google’s effect on the Mountain View community. Local restaurants suffered at the hands of Google’s free food, unable to compete with the low, low price of ‘free’ … But the lure of free food, as the city of Mountain View found out, also creates an insular work environment where workers fail to engage with the city surrounding their campus. Some employees at tech companies have spoken out against free food, saying it encourages them to work longer hours, and that while campus cafeterias provide free and excellent meals, they foster a college-like environment that blurs the line between work and home.”

The Dirty Truth About San Francisco’s Sidewalks (CityLab): “The sense that homelessness itself is exploding in San Francisco is not reflected in the city’s numbers. According to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the city’s homeless population has remained essentially flat in recent years … Perhaps the most significant reason behind the spike in street feces cleanup requests is the city’s growth: San Francisco’s population has increased by an average of more than 10,000 people per year since 2011, as the city’s economy boomed … As more people (and especially more wealthy people) move into these areas, there’s a higher likelihood that street feces and other issues related to homelessness will get reported.

Is Compassion Fatigue Inevitable in an Age of 24 Hour News (The Guardian): “Most of the time, outrage itself feels largely useless. Stay mad, social media activists like to say. How hard is it to stay mad, I remember thinking last year – just watch 20 seconds of any news clip. But it did, in fact, get hard to stay mad. The news is still horrifying, at home and around the world; I know this intellectually, but the physical feeling of horror is gone.

How I Lost the Fiancé but Won the Honeymoon (The New York Times): “Here’s the lesson I was learning about winning: It is impermanent, unstable, transient. It isn’t a happy ending, just punctuation between sentences, a triumphant pause before life rolls onward in uncontrollable directions. If you win one race but lose 15 others, have you won at all? If you earn someone’s respect, attention and love, and then lose it again, what did you win? Winning can be lost. You can lose at winning.

‘If You’re a Pro-life Democrat … You Know You’re Standing Alone’ (Politico): “No, ‘Democrats for Life’ is not an oxymoron. And yes, the group would forgive you if you didn’t know they existed—they represent a dying breed in American politics … A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Democrats have become more accepting of abortion even in the past two years, with 68 percent of them saying this summer that they think the procedure should be legal, up from 60 percent in 2016. In general, voters give abortion lower priority compared with issues like the economy, terrorism, health care and immigration.

This Is the Way Paul Ryan’s Speakership Ends ( The New York Times): “Ryan’s defiance to Trump, such as it is, can carry an almost pro forma quality. He will avoid or claim ignorance if possible (‘I didn’t see the tweet’), chastise the president if he must (rarely by name), wait for the latest outrage to pass, rinse and repeat.

 Recently purchased: Reformation Eloise Linen Minidress, Boden Seam Detail Martha Dress, and Ted Baker Daizid Pleat Shoulder Peplum Dress.

Have a great week!