The Baffler,  December 1, 2014

Daily Bafflements



• Well, welcome back, Bafflers, it’s Cyber Monday, which means it’s time to explore all of your gadget gift guides! This list of must-haves by the editors at Popular Science includes a $3,000 drone, a pair of mesh and carbon-fiber sneakers designed by Porsche, and a slow-motion video camera for $100,000.

• When governments no longer can or will invest in social programs, sometimes for-profit corporations step in to fill the gap. Next Billion reports on the potential “win-win-win” of social impact bonds: “Goldman Sachs recently made headlines by investing in Roca, a Massachusetts nonprofit that tries to keep young men out of jail. The investment was notable not just because Goldman was focusing on social impact, but because it also hopes to make a profit.” Oh, good. (Via David Rieff.)

• When Hillary Clinton gives a speech or a talk somewhere, her handlers demand “a computer, scanner, and a spread of hummus and crudité in the green room backstage,” and have a lot of opinions about the “style and color of the executive armchairs” (and the type and shape of those chairs’ pillows) that she and her moderator will sit on during the talk, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post. And the special university rate she charged for public universities in 2013 was $300,000.

• Quartz does a deep dive, so to speak, into the forty-four-page menu of water selections at Ray’s & Stark, a “restaurant” in Los Angeles that boasts the country’s only “water sommelier.” For the curious, “The water on Ray’s & Stark’s menu costs $12.64 per liter on average.”

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Further Reading

 May 7

Before its rumors of profitability and penchant for controversy captivated the startup world, Thinx, the conspicuously feminist manufacturer. . .