What We’re Devouring 02.16.17

HOW CHOCOLATE BECAME A SWEET (BUT NOT SO INNOCENT) CONSORT TO VALENTINE’S DAY

[NPR]

Roses are red, violets are blue, chocolate is sweet and an aphrodisiac too. We all love chocolate, but when did chocolate become an emblem for love? NPR breaks down the history of Valentine’s day and describes how chocolate became a symbol of affection. From the origin of the pagan holiday to big brands capitalizing on the connection of chocolate to romance, this article features appearances from Geoffrey Chaucer, Cadbury, Russell Stover and Saint Valentine himself. So for those of you wondering if your bouquet of flowers and gold ring were enough this week on Valentine’s day, check out this article to find out why the answer to that is “absolutely not.”


AT THE GRAMMYS BEYONCE PAID AN EPIC TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN DIASPORA SPIRITUALITY

[QUARTZ]

Nearly two decades in, 2016 has proved to be the peak of Beyonce’s career. She received critical acclaim for her latest album, Lemonade, went on a record breaking world tour, had high-profile TV performances, and announced that she’ll be adding two new additions to “The Carters.” If you’re one of people who doesn’t quite understand the Beyonce craze, this article helps to uncover layers of Beyonce’s artistry and decodes an empowering performance that tells a story from the perspective of a woman, mother, and African-American. This performance serves as a culmination of an era that has pushed Beyonce from a mere pop-star to a cultural icon.


BANKS LOOK TO CELL PHONES TO REPLACE ATM CARDS

[NY TIMES]

Isn’t it interesting how we misplace our driver’s licenses, cash, eyeglasses, children (just kidding), and credit cards, but hold on to our cell phones for dear life? The story where a guy walks into a bar, loses his wallet, Ubers home, and then calls customer service to put a freeze on his bank cards is becoming a tale that’s all too common. With the introduction of Apple Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, and other big players in the mobile money industry, banks have caught wind of the fact that phones will soon replace wallets and that that may, in fact, be a good idea. This article covers not only the benefits of innovation in this arena, but the risks you face as hackers and scammers become a constant threat to your financial and mental security.


THANKS FOR READING THIS- NOW LOG OFF OF FACEBOOK

[PACIFIC STANDARD]

Odds are, you have taken a break from work and scrolled your Facebook newsfeed to see a friend humbly boasting about a new job, a fancy trip to the islands, or the casual introduction of “bae” in a romantic selfie captioned “#relationshipgoals.” According to this article, there’s an even bigger chance that you either overtly or subliminally sulked at the fact that you’re working a job that has nothing to do with the degree you spent an arm and two legs on, that the iPhone front-camera makes you look like a foot, and that you’re in bed by 9 every night cuddling with a pizza (don’t worry we’ve all been there). Social media does have adverse effects on self-esteem and self-perception — maybe it’s time to reevaluate your obsession with scrolling your timelines.


IF YOU WANT TO LEARN FASTER, OVERCLOCK YOUR AUDIO AND VIDEO

[WIRED]

Ever wondered why “speed reading” classes are a thing or why some people prefer to play podcasts at 1.5X the original speed? Wired Magazine analyzes how digesting audio and visual cues at a faster rate has significant benefits. What we found interesting about this article are the implications that this trend has on a culture that seems pressed for time all the time. Where did the shift happen from taking hours to engage with a book, video, or podcast over coffee in a bookstore, to what the author calls “skimming” culture? Looking forward, will this mean that humans will be more likely to absorb larger amounts information in less time? Check out this article to see the pros and cons.


WE’LL NEVER SEE ANOTHER RAJON RONDO

[The Ringer]

Basketball season is here, and we always seem to pay homage to the Kobes and Lebrons, and at often times, we forget about the Rajon Rondos. Is there room in the NBA for supporting acts (and more importantly, can they maintain longevity) or is the game now solely a battle of the beasts? The Ringer suggests that Rajon Rondo is the last of a wave of players who get by on mediocrity and almost pokes fun at the fact that this guy was once the star of the Celtics. Was Rondo a star because of his unpredictability or was he just apart of a team that worked well together? This article is a hot barbershop debate waiting to happen, enjoy it!


BRIGHT SPOT FOR TWITTER: PUBLISHERS ARE SEEING VIDEO VIEWS JUMP

[DIGIDAY]

For years, Twitter has struggled to figure out ways to bring in revenue and increase engagement across its platforms. A new opportunity for the brand that has emerged over the past few months has been Twitter’s new video interface. Millennials not only tend to engage with content that requires a shorter attention span, but they’ve also become “the visual generation,” communicating through gifs, snaps, and Twitter videos. If you have a Twitter account, you’ve probably observed clips from TV shows, caught breaking news stories, or viewed a friend’s personal message from the video platform. This article examines the brand’s recent struggles while highlighting its biggest opportunity.


THE GRAMMYS PROVED THAT HIP-HOP IS STILL THE HEART OF MUSICAL INNOVATION

[COMPLEX]

Hip-hop has inspired the mainstream in several aspects: from fashion, to art, and now to technology. The subculture has proved to be one of the most powerful forces in entertainment. The Grammys reinforced this notion before the show even premiered this Sunday, as hip-hop artists leveraged trends like free mixtapes, streaming, and crowdfunding all while breaking barriers within their respective nomination categories. Beyond the swag and appeal of hip-hop, the Grammys demonstrated that at the root of hip-hop culture are the spirits of innovation, disruption, and originality.


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