Wait —: Wait — What Is a Hole?

“Wait —” is a weekly newsletter in which Caity Weaver investigates an unanswered question in the news and pop culture. Allow me to ruin your life real quick. A few days into the new year, someone asked me, as a kind of puzzle: “What is a hole?” Right now, your brain is protecting you; human…

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China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

BEIJING — The authorities called it a free health check. Tahir Imin had his doubts. They drew blood from the 38-year-old Muslim, scanned his face, recorded his voice and took his fingerprints. They didn’t bother to check his heart or kidneys, and they rebuffed his request to see the results. “They said, ‘You don’t have…

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Matter: DNA Gets a New — and Bigger — Genetic Alphabet

Animation by Millie Georgiadis/Indiana University School of MedicineCredit In 1985, the chemist Steven A. Benner sat down with some colleagues and a notebook and sketched out a way to expand the alphabet of DNA. He has been trying to make those sketches real ever since. On Thursday, Dr. Benner and a team of scientists reported…

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Gucci Puts on a Mask

On the heels of Gucci’s recent controversy over a balaclava sweater, one could say that hiding its models behind a mask may not have been the wisest idea for the brand. But these decisions are made months and months in advance (controversy or not) and in the notes for the brand’s fall 2019 show the…

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T Introduces: The Secret Ingredient for These Desserts: A 3-D Printer

The topology of a Dinara Kasko cake is difficult to explain without discursions into higher math. A Ukrainian architect, Kasko, 30, is drawn to surfaces that are resolutely unflat. Some bulge outward, morphing into a cluster of perfect spheres, like oversize bubbles skimmed off the top of a bath; some sink in concave dips, suggesting…

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Plague Water, Anyone? A Distillery Delves Into Medieval Mixology

Tattersall Distilling, near downtown Minneapolis, has earned a national reputation over the last few years for its award-winning gins, bitters and liqueurs. Soon, it may also be known for its plague water. An alcoholic concoction of angelica root, gentian and about a dozen other herbs, plague water was popular among medieval apothecaries as a tonic…

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Hungry City: Masa and Meats, on a Mission at City Tamale in the Bronx

Tamales are more than ready for their big moment in New York, and Israel Veliz knows it. He has known it since 2014, when he dropped out of college to start making traditional Mexican versions in his Bronx apartment, in part because he wanted to help other New Yorkers appreciate this staple of his childhood…

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A Tamale Evangelist Finds His Pulpit

At City Tamale, masa dough gets an extra-fluffy lift from the addition of baking soda; opening a freshly made tamale releases a soft whiff of steam that makes each one feel like a tiny gift. Israel Veliz began the business by making versions of his mother’s tamales in his Bronx apartment.

ELLE Editorial: Hang Ten

A quick trip from downtown Los Angeles, the laid-back surfers’ paradise of Playa Del Rey is an optimal testing ground for mixing graphic swimwear with retro-cool American classics. Tank, $590,wet suit, $1,950, harness, all, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC. Watch, Rolex TERENCE CONNORS Bikini, Sundek, $99. Totebag, Dior. Hoop earrings, Roberto Coin, $1,950. TERENCE CONNORS Bikini, Etro,…

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Made on the Inside, Worn on the Outside

In a lush valley surrounded by the Peruvian Andes — past two sets of security gates, high fences, barbed wire and a rigorous pat-down — 13 women stood hard at work. They were weaving and knitting luxurious alpaca wool sweaters, deep-pile roll-necks and silky-soft track pants, destined to be sold to wealthy shoppers with lives…

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