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7 October

In the headlines

Britain is facing a “winter of disconnect”, says Metro, as the National Grid warns of rolling three-hour blackouts “if the gas supply crisis in Europe escalates”. Liz Truss has rejected a proposed £15m public information campaign to encourage people to save energy, says The Times, as she is “ideologically opposed” to telling people what to do. The world is facing its highest risk of nuclear “Armageddon” since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, according to Joe Biden. Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser yesterday, the US president said that Vladimir Putin was “not joking” about using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Two Russians have sailed 300 miles from their homeland to an Alaskan island to avoid the military draft. The pair charted a small boat across choppy waters to St Lawrence Island, between Russia and North America in the Bering Sea, to claim asylum.


New York’s newest “hot girl hangout” is the old-school Jewish deli, says Bon Appétit. The fashion elite’s love affair with “delicore” was sealed last month when “vampy prairie clothing designer” Batsheva Hey staged her New York Fashion Week Show at the 50-year-old Ben’s Kosher Deli. Before that, in August, world-famous DJ Diplo staged a not-so-secret rave (above) at Katz’s Delicatessen, founded in 1888, featuring “free-flowing Vodka Red Bulls and late-night pickle and latke snacks”. The best attire for these events? A hat and hoodie featuring the logo of your favourite neighbourhood deli, sales of which are up 30% this year.


Fred Astaire was once invited by fellow actor Anthony Perkins to see his new Broadway show, says Nigel Rees in the Quote Unquote newsletter, which he found “rather dire”. Ever the gentleman, Astaire felt he had to say something positive when he visited his friend backstage. In the end he simply shook his head in wonder and said: “Tony, I don’t know how you do it!”

Quirk of history

The 16th-century Danish king Christian IV had a novel way to tax ships passing his realm, says the QI Twitter account. To calculate what they owed, captains were free to declare their cargo at any value they chose, without it being audited – “but the king reserved the right to buy the cargo at that price”.

Eating out

If you have “gorgeous hands” and “a basic grasp of Greek and Latin”, then you’ve a chance at becoming “London’s first grape feeder”. That’s according to a recruitment ad (or PR move) from Richard Caring’s new venture Bacchanalia, where diners will be fed grapes by hand. Set to open in Mayfair later this year, the restaurant will serve Italian and Greek food among 2,000-year-old antiques, and sculptures by Damien Hirst.

The great escape

“Sleep tourism”, where people go on holiday with the sole purpose of getting some quality shut-eye, “has skyrocketed since the pandemic”, says CNN. Zedwell, London’s first sleep-centric hotel, provides window-free rooms with noise-reducing walls, floors and doors, ambient mood lighting, and a distinct lack of “anxiety-inducing distractions” like TVs and phones. The Hästens “sleep spa” in Coimbra, Portugal boasts custom-built beds, each one taking 200 hours to make, which use special linens to “eliminate static build-up from your body and help you create a more positive energy while you sleep”.


It’s a perfectly ordinary houseplant – a philodendron – that’s been connected to a robotic arm via special biosensors on its leaves, allowing it to “control” a machete. The movements of the blade are entirely determined by “biological pulses” from the plant, says artist David Bowen, who created the project. “Essentially the plant is the brain of the robot controlling the machete.”


quoted 7.10.22

“You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.”

Timothy Leary