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24 July

In the headlines

Up to 10,000 British tourists are stranded on Rhodes as wildfires sweep across the Greek island. Repatriation flights have been sent to bring home holidaymakers sleeping in makeshift rescue centres and on the streets in 40C heat. Evacuations have also begun on blazee-hit Corfu. Spain’s conservatives won yesterday’s general election but failed to gain enough votes to form a government. Neither opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo nor the current socialist PM Pedro Sanchez has a clear path to brokering a coalition, raising the prospect of another round of voting. Elon Musk is relaunching Twitter as “X”. The billionaire CEO confirmed that the social media site would be losing Larry – the bird which has appeared in the app’s branding since 2006 – from its logo today.

The great escape

Thrillist has compiled a list of the world’s best suspended walkways. They include Switzerland’s First Cliff Walk, hanging off the side of an Alpine mountainside; the 3.3-mile Johnston Canyon in Canada, passing over picturesque waterfalls and cliffs; the Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica, which offer breathtaking views of the Arenal Volcano; and the Krkonoše Treetop Walkway in the Czech Republic, which reaches heights of 150 feet and has a massive spiral slide at the end to return to ground level. See more here.


On the money

A world-class chef who suddenly disappears from the restaurant scene may have been “snagged by a billionaire”, says Howard Chua-Eoan in Bloomberg. Increasingly, professionals at the top of their game – cooks, accountants, personal shoppers, and even vets – are being hired by the super-rich to be on hand full-time. Members of this “new servant class” don’t need to worry about the grind of running a small business. The problem is that they’re totally at the whim of their “super-rich masters” – or, in the case of a top chef I know who worked semi-exclusively for Richard Branson, stuck making shepherd’s pie.



Oppenheimer and Barbie are, in one sense, films about the exact same thing, says Tyler Austin Harper in The Washington Post. The Anthropocene, our present, human-influenced geological epoch, is “the age of nukes and plastic”. Radioactive isotopes released into the atmosphere during nuclear bomb tests have worked their way into every corner of the Earth, as have the non-degradable plastics used to create consumer goods like Barbie dolls. Fittingly, the US chemical giant DuPont, which produced the plutonium used for Oppenheimer’s bomb, turned its attention to plastics after the end of World War Two.

Eating in

Americans have developed a “newfound appreciation for a variety of pasta shapes”, says Jaya Saxena in Eater. Novelty designs help brands and restaurants gain traction on TikTok, so they’re replicating every silly object they can think of: hearts, dinosaurs, tennis racquets, even zebras. Top-end New York Italian restaurant Jupiter serves what looks like kids’ alphabetti spaghetti in broth; experimental chef Eric Rivera has been trying out “bat-shaped pasta”.


A team of US pilots has set up a hotline for anxious fliers. Callers to Dial A Pilot get a 15-minute chat with a professional aviator, who can answer common questions such as what causes turbulence and why jets are safe to fly even during bad weather. If you know an aviophobe who fancies trying out the service, which costs $50, find out more here.



It’s a “jouch” – a regular sofa, upholstered in the same denim as jeans. The quirky furniture style was previously seen as an eyesore, says Architectural Digest, but now upmarket brands are hopping on the trend as a method of upcycling materials. Soriana creates distressed denim armchairs; La Réunion makes patchwork poufs. Designer Elise McMahon makes chairs, ottomans and cushions in a range of denim shades, and now sells cushion inserts made of shredded denim as a soft, durable alternative to petroleum-based polyfill.


quoted 24.07.23

“Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile from them, and you’ll have their shoes.”

American humourist Jack Handey