The spectacular power of Big Lens

The lenses in my glasses – and yours too, most likely – are made by Essilor, a French multinational that controls almost half of the world’s prescription lens business and has acquired more than 250 other companies in the past 20 years.

I just don’t see how gobbling up 250 companies can be a good thing.

There is a good chance, meanwhile, that your frames are made by Luxottica, an Italian company with an unparalleled combination of factories, designer labels and retail outlets. Luxottica pioneered the use of luxury brands in the optical business, and one of the many powerful functions of names such as Ray-Ban (which is owned by Luxottica) or Vogue (which is owned by Luxottica) or Prada (whose glasses are made by Luxottica) or Oliver Peoples (which is owned by Luxottica) or high-street outlets such as LensCrafters, the largest optical retailer in the US (which is owned by Luxottica), or John Lewis Opticians in the UK (which is run by Luxottica), or Sunglass Hut (which is owned by Luxottica) is to make the marketplace feel more varied than it actually is.

At least Fabulous Fanny’s is not owned by them.

Is a University Honoring a Holocaust Denier? | Scott Jaschik | Inside Higher Ed 🔗

“Therein lies the problem,” Bowen wrote. “We don’t know. We don’t know if he intended to use the [Holocaust Denial] books as part of a conversation regarding how to evaluate the legitimacy of materials or whether his intent was not as noble. We simply don’t know.”

I wonder if he did other questionable scholarship?

Link offered reasons other than anti-Semitism to explain Hitler’s hatred for Jewish people….“Jews were prominent in banking, the press, the Socialist party and the Communist party,” Link wrote. He later references the “many Jewish bankers” in Germany at the time.

Really, who can say what was in his heart?

So You Want to Market a Product for Men | Madeleine Aggeler | The Cut 🔗

…the No. 1 criticism of water among male thirst-quenchers was: “Not violent enough.”

Ahhhhhh, Liquid Death really hits the spot.

We Americans will really try anything before even contemplating the right thing. 🔗

To teach the algorithm, a team from the company shows up on location and proceeds to stage mock attacks.

The San Diego zoo’s website calls cassowaries the world’s most dangerous bird with a 10cm dagger-like claw on each foot. 🔗

Maybe breeding the decedents of velociraptors as pets is not the best idea…

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged on Saturday to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank… 🔗

Well there goes even the pretense of not making the apartheid state permanent.

“Affectionate” is the word people keep using. | Anna North, Vox 🔗

I wonder if Biden has ever rubbed noses with a man he just met. Or inhaled a man’s hair and kissed him on the head from behind.

If not, maybe he should think about if there’s more than just “affection” going on.

Muslims and Jews face a common threat from white supremacists. We must fight it together | Jonathan Freedland and Mehdi Hasan, The Guardian 🔗

…both the Muslim who hates Jews and the Jew who hates Muslims forget that the white supremacist hates them both.

America may be fundamentally broken. 🔗

During active shooter drill, four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles—resulting in injuries to the extent that welts appeared, and blood was drawn.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… 🔗

Brexiters lobby for European veto of article 50 extension | Patrick Wintour, The Guardian 🔗

Is there any precedent for elected representatives trying to lobby foreign governments to oppose their own government? It’s like the House GOP inviting Netanyahu taken to the nth degree.

For the love of all that is holy, why? 🔗

Remember, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 are now called USB 3.2, with USB 3.0 being USB 3.2 Gen 1 (also formerly USB 3.1 Gen 1), USB 3.1 Gen 1 is now being called USB 3.2 Gen 2, and then there’s USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 for 20Gbps speeds.

Ministers hold emergency talks after they realise UK has shortage of the right pallets 🔗

I’m beginning to think the folks hoping for a no-deal Brexit haven’t really thought everything through.

Kamala Harris and the Coat of Many Colors | Kevin Drum, Mother Jones 🔗

I think I’ve made up my mind. I am going to vote for the candidate who generates the greatest amount of idiotic pushback from men on Twitter. The contest starts now.

This does feel like a good metric.

The Startup That Wants to Sell You a Subscription to Miami Beach Tap Water Explains Itself | Henry Graber, Slate 🔗

Nothing like “…purified, chilled, great-tasting water product…”

Against The White Canon At The Gardner, Helga Davis Reclaims Narratives | Ariana Lee, wbur 🔗

If you’re in Boston, go see something in this series. Helga is brilliant!

A rare example of elite accountability. | Zack Beauchamp, Vox 🔗

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush,” [Rep] Omar begins.

Young Tech Workers Organizing 🔗

…attendees stand together, fists raised, to take a photo in solidarity with the Los Angeles Unified School District teacher’s strike.

I’m still waiting for someone to start organizing an actual union for developers.

Ezra Klein Talks With Peter Beinart 🎙

Lots about how Israeli apartheid is driving my generation and younger American Jews to be anti-Israel, because of Jewish beliefs. Doesn’t go far enough—we ought to be anti-Zionist—and it isn’t happening fast enough. But here’s hoping that the liberal values of non-Orthodox Jews can change the orientation of our country.

The Zionists don’t really consider us completely Jewish anyway. They are not on the side of those of us who believe we are American.

It Isn’t Really Monday Until The Subway Is On Fire—Ben Yakas | Gothamist 🔗

So is this a sign New Yorkers are just cool customers or that we have Stockholm Syndrome and very low expectations of the MTA?

The Dems Should Get a Good Deal on Infrastructure 🔗

That means massive investments in clean energy generation and transmission, municipal broadband, a serious revival of airline competition, and competitive grants to states for carbon-cutting transportation programs.