Weekly Link Roundup

I love the KFC Double Down (only available through the first week of April)… if only because so many people hate on it. Sure, it’s too greasy and too salty and too much of a good thing, but life’s too short to not indulge once in a while. Now bring back the donut chicken sandwich, KFC.

+ Is KFC’s Double Down Really the Fast Food Reboot We Need? (Bon Appétit): “Last released as a viral April Fool’s joke back in 2010 and last seen on KFC’s menu in 2014, the cult-favorite Double Down fried chicken sandwich is triumphantly returning on March 6 … The Double Down still looks pretty cursed: It consists of bacon, cheese, sauce, and two fried chicken strips instead of a bun.”

+ The American Diet Has a Sandwich Problem (The Wall Street Journal): “Sandwiches are the number one source of sodium and saturated fat in Americans’ diets, making up about one-fifth of our daily sodium intake and 19% of our daily saturated fat calories … Sandwiches contribute 7% of daily added sugars, the same percentage as breakfast cereals and bars.”

+ A Sandwich Shop, a Tent City and an American Crisis (The New York Times): “… an epidemic of unsheltered homelessness began to overwhelm Phoenix and many other major American downtowns. Cities across the West had been transformed by a housing crisis, a mental health crisis and an opioid epidemic, all of which landed at the doorsteps of small businesses already reaching a breaking point because of the pandemic … the homeless population in Phoenix continued to grow by hundreds each year, even as the city’s supply of shelter beds remained relatively flat, and a federal court ruling in 2018 required places with no shelter capacity to allow some camping in public spaces. The city’s average rent rose by more than 80 percent during the pandemic. A wave of evictions drove more people from their homes, until for the first time ever more than half of Phoenix’s homeless population was finding refuge not in traditional places, like shelters or temporary apartments, but in cars or tents.”

+ The Worst Boyfriend on the Upper East Side (The New Yorker): “It’s impossible to say how many people Nelson Counne scammed, and for how much money … Based on Nelson’s living situation, it seems safe to assume that he never got rich off his scams; he never even seemed to have a long-term endgame. The money he did have served as a smoke screen of luxury, until he next got caught. From the outside, it might seem strange that so many people could have fallen for Nelson’s falsehoods. But that is the con man’s true art: finding precisely the person who is inclined to believe him. The story has to be tantalizing to the mark, while remaining firmly in the realm of possibility. For many of us, that story is more elemental than we want to admit … the difficulty of finding a good partner—a person you’re attracted to, who shares your values, and whom you can trust … the victims are so ashamed at having been had that they decline to come forward.”

+ Your Pristine Hermès Bag, to Some, Looks Tacky (The New York Times): “… as a growing resale market has made Hermès bags available to more people — reality TV stars, say, or those whose wealth does not span generations — the image that the bags convey, according to some, depends on their condition. To that (small) group, the more pristine the bag, the more gauche its wearer seems … Ms. Birkin is said to have described the Birkin bag as a great rain hat. Ms. Koffsky added that Ms. Birkin would personalize her bags with stickers and key chains.”

+ Gwyneth Paltrow Describing What She Eats In A Day Has Been Called Out By Dieticians For How Intensely Restrictive It Is (Buzzfeed): “The gist of it is that Gwyneth will have an early paleo dinner, fast until midday (save for some coffee), exercise for an hour, then for lunch typically have some soup — which is often just bone broth.”

+ The Math Behind the New Super Commute (The Wall Street Journal): “A super commuter used to mean someone who trekked at least 90 minutes to work each way, often five days a week. But with more companies embracing hybrid work, the new super commuter is one of the many people who now live hundreds of miles or multiple states away from where they work. They commute fewer days but even longer distances … Before Covid-19, an estimated 4.6 million people, or 3.1% of the U.S. workforce, were super commuters … That number fell to 3.1 million, or 2.4%, while many workers were still working remotely in 2021.”

+ No, ‘Wokeness’ Did Not Cause Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse (The New York Times): “Among all banking institutions, Silicon Valley Bank actually ranked about average on E.S.G. issues … Silicon Valley Bank’s commitment to improving diversity among its leadership was fairly typical as well … The bank’s latest inclusion report noted that 38 percent of senior leadership and 42 percent of its board members were women, and that 30 percent of leadership and 8 percent of its board were nonwhite.”

+ Quarter-Zipper Becomes the New Status Symbol for Men of a Certain Position (The Guardian): “John Lewis, which acts as an unofficial British barometer of what the average person is buying, says it has sold 62% more quarter-zips than crewnecks since the start of the year. Among customers a £55 navy cotton version with a silver zip is proving most popular. At Gant, 10% of sales last December were quarter-zip jumpers. Demand for a ribbed version with two-tone collar continues to be high … the popularisation of quarter zippers is similar to how Crocs were once reviled but are now worn by stars a zip ‘can often feel and look stuffy and dated. The quarter zip feels modern and has more style credentials.’ “

+ What Do Women Want on Their Wrists? (The New York Times): “… what the brands have made for women in the past 50 years is not commercial for auctions — they’re not collectible. Anything with a quartz movement is very hard to sell at auction … Anything kind of small and gem-set hasn’t typically been the trend recently. So we actually don’t auction off that many of what have been called women’s watches.”

+ Hazing, Naked Skates and a ‘Mental-Health Hunger Games’: The Dark Side of Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey (The Athletic): “The high number of players who recently exited the team – nine over the last two seasons – should have sounded alarms within the athletic department. So, too, should the results of a 2019 survey the women’s hockey program ranked last in overall athlete culture and satisfaction. Yet no efforts to address those issues … were apparent to the people associated with those teams … The alumni community that made Harvard women’s hockey so appealing to recruits, that has contributed vast sums of money to the program year after year, is now a house divided. Some players desire a deep accounting of Stone’s tenure, others shout down even the mere suggestion of wrongdoing. Multiple women said they no longer feel welcome at gatherings of former players, and fear being cut off from the powerful Harvard alumni network if they speak honestly about their experiences.”

+ Why Are So Many People Rewatching ‘Girls’? (The New York Times): “A little over a decade after the show’s debut, people are rewatching — and sometimes reconsidering — ‘Girls,’ Lena Dunham’s series about four white women lurching through their 20s in New York City. The series’ viewership doubled between November and January compared with the previous three months … a primary reason we rewatch television is to appreciate how we have changed between viewings of a show that has remained the same. A series like ‘Girls,’ which is about lost 20-somethings, could be comforting to 30-somethings who have weathered the chaos of those years.”

+ Your Coworkers Are Less Ambitious; Bosses Adjust to the New Order (The Wall Street Journal): “Many white-collar workers say the events of the past three years have reordered their priorities and showed them what they were missing when they were spending so much time at the office. Now that normalcy is returning, even some of the workers who used to be always on and always striving say they find themselves eyeing the clock as the day winds down, saying no to overtime work or even taking pay cuts for better work-life balance.”

+ This Isn’t What Millennial Middle Age Was Supposed to Look Like (The New York Times): “Many people said they felt they couldn’t be having a midlife crisis because there was no bourgeois numbness to rebel against. Rather than longing for adventure and release, they craved a sense of safety and calmness, which they felt they had never known … When you’re not financially stable until your mid-30s and you don’t have children until your late 30s, you don’t have the time or the funds to have a meltdown. You’re in a brand-new life stage that hasn’t yet had time to grow stale … The stressors of midlife for so many Americans are not existential; they’re material — economic, familial and political. They’re about the seemingly decent paycheck that is spent almost entirely on child care, student loan repayment and medical debt, leaving nothing to build a nest egg or save for their children’s futures. They’re about the median home price increasing 50 percent since January 2020 and grocery prices that are 10 percent higher than they were in January 2022. They’re about a sandwich generation caring for boomers and babies, being squeezed until there’s nothing left.”

+ (Warning: graphic descriptions of a bear attack) The College Wrestlers Who Took on a Grizzly Bear (ESPN): “There is an old adage that if you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly. The quote’s origins are fuzzy … Its true meaning speaks to human admiration of the singular ferocity of the grizzly bear, which just might be the most dangerous creature on earth. It’s hard to say for sure how a grizzly would fare against a tiger or hippo, but wildlife experts say the grizzly might be the No. 1 seed in that bracket … there’s a reason most bear experts say the only way to survive a grizzly attack is to pretend you’re dead.”

+ GPT-4 Is Exciting and Scary (The New York Times): “You can sense the added intelligence in GPT-4, which responds more fluidly than the previous version, and seems more comfortable with a wider range of tasks. GPT-4 also seems to have slightly more guardrails in place than ChatGPT. It also appears to be significantly less unhinged than the original Bing, which we now know was running a version of GPT-4 under the hood, but which appears to have been far less carefully fine-tuned. Unlike Bing, GPT-4 usually flat-out refused to take the bait when I tried to get it to talk about consciousness, or get it to provide instructions for illegal or immoral activities, and it treated sensitive queries with kid gloves and nuance.”

+ Recently purchased: Aureta Studio x Anthropologie Corset Bubble Dress, Reformation Mason Wide Leg Pants, Madden Girl Haley Sandal, J.Crew Cashmere Boatneck Pullover Sweater in Stripe, Ann Taylor Tweed Tee Shift Dress, Abercrombie & Fitch Tweed Shift Mini Dress, J. Crew Cropped Crochet Tank Top in Silk-Cotton Blend, and Free People Lillia Pintuck Crop Linen Blend Top.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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