What Makes a ‘Narrative Violation’?

There’s an easy way to sound smart and edgy in the tech world: First, identify a broad idea that people seem to agree on. Then, cherry-pick a single piece of data that refutes it. Call it a “narrative violation.” And tweet it bumptiously. Venture capitalists, the tech world’s philosopher-kings, have embraced narrative violations. Earlier this…

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The Amazon Coat, One Year Later

A few weeks ago, during another unseasonably warm fall day, my husband, in a pensive tone, posed a question: “Will it be embarrassing for you, to put your coat on again this year?” This seemed like an odd query, but I understood immediately what he was saying because my winter coat has a capital “c”…

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University Reverses Its Decision to Stop Accepting Medicaid

Brigham Young University-Idaho will once again recognize Medicaid as health insurance, reversing a decision earlier this month that would have forced students enrolled in the free government program to buy private coverage or drop out. In an email message sent to students Monday night, the university apologized for “the turmoil caused by our earlier decision.”…

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Fresh-Food Vending Machines Will Be Graded Like Restaurants

On Oct. 30, an inspector from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was making her rounds when she came across a vending machine unlike any she seen before. Called Farmer’s Fridge, it was made of washed white wood, with a giant touch screen and a built-in recycling bin. Inside was not…

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Friendsgiving Has Become Just as Fraught as Thanksgiving

Having Friendsgiving at your place this year? Luckily, it’s easy to find advice on the internet. Well, not advice as much as rules. So many rules. For instance, Epicurious has “The 7 Golden Rules of Friendsgiving.” (Rule No. 3 is “Sit on the floor.”) Chowhound sets forth “9 Rules for Planning a Perfect Friendsgiving,” including…

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Birria-Landia, a Queens Food Truck, Has Changed the Taco Landscape

If you get off the No. 7 train at the 74th Street-Broadway station in Queens and walk east along Roosevelt Avenue, you’ll have an opportunity to eat a new taco every few yards. By the time you’ve gone a mile, if not sooner, you’ll have found every kind of taco that is consumed in New…

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In Praise of Lumpy Gravy From the Cosmic Kitchen

As Thanksgiving approaches, would-be chefs and hosts, including apparently my editors, are perfecting their techniques for making the all-important gravy for the turkey and potatoes. I have my moments as a cook — come over for my stardust waffles some Sunday morning — but I have never had the patience or skill to master gravy,…

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The Work Diary of Jackie Aina, Beauty Influencer

“You’ve got makeup brands that will launch 20 shades of beige,” the beauty influencer Jackie Aina said, in a video she posted to YouTube in 2018. “You’ve got eggshell, cream, ‘iPhone extension cord’ … but there’s only two dark shades.” The clip has picked up more than a million views. Twice a week on her…

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When Mom Slams a Brand on Instagram

As a mom with influence, Caitlin Houston felt the need to act. Ms. Houston, of Wallingford, Conn., read a post on Instagram this summer by Karen Feldman, the founder of the Striped Sheep, a mommy-and-me clothing company, claiming that one of her designs had been ripped off by Tuckernuck, a high-end women’s clothing retailer. So…

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Measles Cases Continue to Rise Around the World

There has been a rapid increase in the global measles outbreak, with reported cases jumping 300 percent in the first three months of 2019 compared with the same period last year, according to the World Health Organization. As reasons for the increase, the organization has cited a deep mistrust of vaccines, gaps in immunization coverage…

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