What's in a name?
Hello readers, many of you would be looking forward to the mid-August back-to-back long weekends to have a short vacation. So are we. The Signal team has had its nose to the grindstone to keep you up to date every day. It is taking a breather next week. This does not mean you will not get your morning fix. You will. A shorter-than-usual newsletter will land in your inbox daily at the usual time. Independence Day and Janmashtami will be holidays and we will have no edition on the following days. The long-read in The Intersection on Saturdays will return on August 27.
In today’s edition, we have curated the best weekend reads for you.
What’s in a name? Inspired by the American films, bands and sportsters, Kevin became one of the most popular boy names in France in the 1990s. Girls were named Kevine. But as these ‘Kevins’ enter their 30s, the jokes, memes and social discrimination around the name has affected their professional and personal lives. Director and graphic designer Kevin Fafournoux, with the help of hundreds of other French Kevins, is making a film called Save the Kevins—an initiative to change the mindset of people.
Chatroom vigilance: The #metoo movement exploded on social media around five years ago. It became a rallying cry against sexual abuse and harassment of women. That’s when 20-year-old Ian began to frequent subreddits around feminism. He went on to discover a community named r/BanFemaleHateSubs—a 12,000-member group dedicated to policing Reddit’s misogynistic underbelly. This is a piece about how the group is assiduously working to bring down communities that are abusive or disrespectful toward women.
Saul order: There’s more to Emmy-nominated show Better Call Saul than its clownish protagonist who’d go on to become the Saul Goodman we loved in Breaking Bad. It involved a painstakingly-innovative (yes, that’s a thing) approach throughout the course of six seasons. These include the use of silhouettes, unconventional angles, split-screen montages, and even special camera lenses for filming… ants. A fitting tribute to the art and alchemy of one of the best shows ever.
Miyake’s turtleneck legacy: Issey Miyake, the great Japanese designer, passed away at the age of 84 last week. The pioneer of “fashion tech” had many admirers. One of them was Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Miyake had designed Sony’s uniform back in the early ‘80s, which Jobs had noticed while on a trip to Japan. Fast forward to Jobs wanting Miyake to design Apple uniforms (didn’t happen). Nevertheless, the duo’s bond did produce something iconic: Jobs’ iconic black turtleneck.
Look but don't touch: The sea lamprey doesn't have a lot of things going for it: its gaping mouth exposing a sea of teeth, or that it preys on fish for lunch. It's also been subjected to experiences: its infamous mouth has been studied; there have been attempts to edit its gene so as to tilt its population. In Michigan, United States, it is a menace. In the UK, it is a culinary delight, eaten as a pie. While one team wants it extinct, those on the other, are hoping it thrives. For one, they've outlived dinosaurs. This long-read in The Wired, highlights the relationship humans have had with the parasite.
Not your regular true crime pod: Sweet Bobby is an engrossing six-part series about the horrors of catfishing. Kirat Assi, a 30-year-old woman, is at the heart of the narrative. Without giving too much away, the plot revolves around Kirat falling in love with a cardiologist named Bobby, whom she met on Facebook. However, she was eventually duped and blackmailed by him for almost 10 years, leading her to lose friends and her career. What went wrong? The answer will blow your mind.
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