Consider this an aspirational share

This week: deepfaked voices, cake collabs, the Instagram Skymall, perpetual puppies and TikTok musicals

Goooood morning, everyone. Today is July 16, 2021.

It has been 17 years since Martha Stewart was sentenced to prison and six years since my all-time favorite reality-show whackos got cancelled. “Beggin,” as covered by the well-kohled, Eurovision-winning Måneskin, is the top song on TikTok. The world is crazy, but #FridayMorning is still reliably America’s current number-one Twitter topic. Most importantly, it is (“is”) National Corn Fritter Day — and I can highly recommend this Smitten Kitchen classic.

We’re all caught up from vacation. Let’s do the links!!

Share Links I Would Gchat You If We Were Friends

If you read anything this weekend

  1. The Sound of My Inbox,” by Molly Fischer in The Cut. I commend The Cut for commissioning a long and reference-filled essay on newsletters, thereby guaranteeing every newsletter-writer would share it for weeks. Sorry, we are as navel-gazey as Molly Fischer suspected! It’s a good digital audience strategy!!

  2. The Truth Behind the Amazon Mystery Seeds,” by Chris Heath in The Atlantic. Spoiler alert: “The Truth” is boring. Like, grimacingly so. Rarely has such an excellent mystery reached such a lame conclusion.

  3. AI voice actors sound more human than ever—and they’re ready to hire,” by Karen Hao in MIT Technology Review. This is one of those things I read and found interesting and expected to never think of again. Then Helen Rosner reported that a forthcoming documentary deepfakes Anthony Bourdain’s voice … at which point I began thinking a lot about its implications!

  4. ‘Cat Person’ and Me,” by Alexis Nowicki in Slate. An unexpected meditation on our personal narratives and who owns/controls them, particularly in the social media age.

  5. The Five-Day Workweek is Dead,” by Anna North in Vox. Consider this an aspirational share; I want to manifest this headline into existence. (See also this week’s New Yorker story on “results-only work environments.”)

The classifieds

This edition of Links is powered by the BBC series Strike (sufficiently removed from JK Rowling and her bullshit that it feels okay), the purportedly authentic mojito recipe an elderly bartender gave me in Miami (this is kinda similar), annnnd the following very wonderful sponsors:

  • With Love From Sweden — A warm and light newsletter from a cold country. Sign up here for a slice of Sweden in your inbox every week. Swedish “fika” (coffee and pastry break) guaranteed!

  • Modern Different — Join Modern Different, a curated newsletter helping you discover practical, beautiful, and unique products. In every issue, I share products that can improve your life and home.

  • Thinly Sliced — Tired of bad food journalism? Subscribe to “Thinly Sliced,” a free newsletter from The Counter. Nonprofit news and analysis on the politics, business, and culture of food. Independent and inclusive. Stories that stay with you for days. Sign up.

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Cake collabs. Perpetual puppies. Postmates but for break-ups. An appreciation of Cody Rigsby and a defense of gossip. How Lil Nas X growth-hacked music. How those “buy now, pay later” services work. How people kept cool before AC. (… might help that the world itself was cooler.)

It is only ever 68 or 70 degrees. It does not seem very useful to buy a FitBit for your dog. “YouTube voice” is taking over TikTok and Instagram is the new Skymall. Cuban Internet is… pretty wild. Ditto the Fast and Furious TikTok musical. Last but not least: I would buy this ice cream for a considerable mark-up!!, if any is still available.

That’s it for this week! Until the next one. Warmest virtual regards.

— Caitlin