🥵 viral heat.

on the agenda this week: doordash's ipo, pringles and why breakfast is lauded as "the most important meal of the day."

📖 reading time: 5m 03s.

hi :) happy monday. stay safe and mask up .


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👂 earworm: listen to souls of mischief.


📚 word of the week:

ambit”.

a sphere of operation or influence; range; scope.

the epa’s ambit is too narrow, and climate change too sprawling, for inslee’s time and talents.
- the atlantic, 2019


🧠 brain candy:

🚚 this thread describes with amazing detail some of the foundational moments of doordash (an american food delivery company that went public last week).

🇨🇳 an internal huawei document shows that the company (in 2018) tested a "uyghur alarm" feature that could recognise uighur faces and automatically alert the police.

🦠 covid infections are low to nonexistent in several countries, where life looks practically normal. some people even occasionally forget there’s a pandemic going on. if you're in the u.s. or europe, this story is going to make you a little jealous.

🇺🇸 humans arrived in north america at least 15,000 years earlier than we thought, suggesting that they came by boat.

🥔 the saddle shape of a pringle is known mathematically as a hyperbolic paraboloid. this shape was specifically used so that they would not break while stacked together. and because it fits nicely in your mouth.


🤪 mildly humorous:

💡 longer reads:

🥵 viral heat.

how the design of radiators was shaped by a previous pandemic.

the coronavirus pandemic has revived interest in the role design has played fighting infectious diseases. most famously, the trailblazing modern architecture of the early 20th century — open to nature and filled with light and air, as practiced by designers such as alvar aalto and richard neutra — reflected au courant ideas about health and wellness, especially in combating the scourge of tuberculosis (which also influenced bathroom design).

the battle against pathogens reshaped the inner working of buildings, too. take that familiar annoyance for new yorkers: the clanky radiator that overheats apartments even on the coldest days of the year. it turns out that the prodigious output of steam-heated buildings is the direct result of theories of infection control that were enlisted in the battle against the great global pandemic of 1918 and 1919.

the spanish influenza, which caused just over 20,000 deaths in new york city alone, “changed heating once and for all.” that’s according to dan holohan, a retired writer, consultant, and researcher with extensive knowledge of heating systems and steam heating. (among his many tomes on the topic: the lost art of steam heating, from 1992.) most radiator systems appeared in major american cities like new york city in the first third of the 20th century. this golden age of steam heat didn’t merely coincide with that pandemic: beliefs about how to fight airborne illness influenced the design of heating systems, and created a persistent pain point for those who’ve cohabitated with a cranky old radiator.

health officials thought (correctly) that fresh air would ward off airborne diseases; then as now, cities rushed to move activities outdoors, from schools to courtrooms. when winter came, the need for fresh air didn’t abate. according to holohan’s research, the board of health in new york city ordered that windows should remain open to provide ventilation, even in cold weather. in response, engineers began devising heating systems with this extreme use case in mind. steam heating and radiators were designed to heat buildings on the coldest day of the year with all the windows open. anybody who’s thrown their windows open in january, when their apartment is stifling, is, in an odd way, replicating what engineers hoped would happen a century ago.

👉 read more via bloomberg.


🥣 the most important meal.

breakfast is often lauded as “the most important meal of the day.”
what is less commonly mentioned is the origin of this ode to breakfast: a 1944 marketing campaign launched by general foods, the manufacturer of grape nuts, to sell more cereal.
during the campaign, which marketers named “eat a good breakfast—do a better job,” grocery stores handed out pamphlets that promoted the importance of breakfast while radio advertisements announced that “nutrition experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

ads like these were key to the rise of cereal, a product launched by men like john harvey kellogg, a deeply religious doctor who believed that cereal would both improve americans’ health and keep them from masturbating and desiring sex. (only half of his message made it into the ads.)

before cereal, in mid-1800s america, breakfast was not all that different from other meals. middle- and upper-class americans ate eggs, pastries, and pancakes, but also oysters, boiled chickens, and beefsteaks. the rise of cereal established breakfast as a meal with distinct foods and created the model of processed, ready-to-eat breakfast that still largely reigns. and it all depended on advertising that suggests that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

before the invention of cereal, breakfast was not as standard or routine as it is now. "the romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal a day," food historian caroline yeldham has said. many native americans, abigail carroll writes in the invention of the american meal, ate bits of food throughout the day (rather than at set meals) and sometimes fasted for days at a time.

of medieval europe, historians alternatingly write that breakfast was only a luxury for the rich, only a necessity for laborers, or mostly skipped. and while many american colonists ate breakfast, it was a reputedly harried affair that took place after hours of morning work

👉 read more via the atlantic.


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👋 read one of my last 3 posts:

🎁 prime in six weeks.

💡 how to think for yourself.

🦀 vaccine supply chains.

or click to see them all.