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Look to your left. Look to your right. If you’re on the sidewalk, a subway, a train, or your dorm couch; at a WeWork, an airport, a construction site, or an open-plan office, there are almost certainly little white sticks nearby poking out of someone’s head. Apple’s AirPods have slowly and all at once taken over America’s ears.

At least, I swear that’s what’s happening. Apple doesn’t release numbers, but one industry analyst estimated last winter that up to 16 million AirPods were sold in 2018—and predicted that Apple could sell 55 million this year, and up to 110 million in 2020. The numbers seem to insinuate that AirPods might be Apple’s best-selling product. And that bit of educated guesswork was made before Apple announced its upgraded AirPods this week: longer battery life, faster connections, “Hey Siri” powers (no need to tap or press a button to summon the A.I. butler), and a wireless case that you can get included (for $199, $40 more than the cord-charged-only setup) or separately (for $79) to upgrade older AirPods. Try to order a pair right now and shipments will be delayed—already by more than a week, just two days after they went on sale.


Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere
Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere

If you have a pair (as I do), you probably swear by them (as I do). If you don’t, you’re probably wondering why everyone got the memo and you didn’t. Particularly because, back when AirPods launched two-plus years ago (with the iPhone 7—miss u home button), they were mildly polarizing, like Pepsi vs. Coke or Markle vs. Middleton.

I asked Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, why he thought the AirPods at first left everyone looking like a puppy staring at a butterfly.

“I think this was common on the initial reaction to the AirPods—it’s a reaction based on an academic understanding of them, rather than a practical daily understanding of them,” said Ive. “What we tend to focus on are those attributes that are easy to talk about, and just because we talk about them doesn’t mean that they’re the important attributes. All that means is they’re the ones that are easy to talk about.”

Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere

His point being, you can read about AirPods and see plenty of reasons not to drop $159 or more: They’re expensive. They’re one-size-fits all (which doesn’t fit all). They don’t sound any better than headphones that cost half the price or less. They look a little weird, or maybe just unexpected. We’ve had 17 years with white cords dangling from our ears, and AirPods look like someone’s run up and snipped ’em with scissors. I know I felt sheepish the first time I walked out the door, AirPods dangling from my lobes. I was A Dude Who Bought Those Apple Earbuds.

But AirPods have also altered the expectations of how increasingly complex headphones and intensely complex smartphones should work together, on your behalf. They’ve done what no other Bluetooth headphones ever had: make Bluetooth not suck (assuming you have an iPhone). They connect, immediately. They hiccup less. They require almost none of your attention for annoyances and instead deliver little moments that feel, to get a little Disney World here, delightful. They’re awkward and magical in equal measure.

You get it the first time you slip out the right ‘Pod to order a coffee, then pop it back in 30 seconds later to have the music automatically come back to life. Or when you discover, almost by accident, that you can set a series of taps to do your bidding; I tweaked mine so that gently double-tapping my right ear’s AirPod skips a track. It probably seems like I have swimmer’s ear when I’m walking to the subway, but that’s fine if it means I don’t have to pull off my winter gloves or dig out my phone to escape just how much Spotify’s Discovery algorithm thinks I want EDM remixes of Sam Smith tracks. And it’s fine because, let’s be honest, we’ve stopped caring how foolish we look when using tech in public.


Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere
Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere


Why Apple AirPods Came to Be Everywhere

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This is the most powerful road-legal car ever to come out of Italy. Thanks to a 120 kWh lithium ion battery pack and an electric motor on each wheel, the Pininfarina Battista has approximately 1900bhp and 1696lb ft of torque.

These are extraordinary numbers and give it acceleration to rival a Formula One car. Zero to 62mph apparently takes less than two seconds, 186mph is up in less than 12, and its top speed is around 250mph. The only thing stopping it going even faster is the capability of its tyres.

But as it’s also the first car to be designed, developed and manufactured by Italy’s most famous automotive design house – architect of virtually every Ferrari and many more of the world’s most desirable cars – it’s also staggeringly beautiful.

“We wanted to keep the form and proportion of a traditional supercar,” chief designer Luca Borgogno says. “We did a lot of research, thought about how much of a spaceship it could have been, but elected to create something in line with our history, true to Pininfarina’s values. The cabin pushing forward, the long tail balancing the visual weight – it’s still the best configuration you can find.

“It takes back some of the beauty of the Sixties, the sensuality. Look at the cars in our museum upstairs: what really strikes you is the purity and beauty.” Judge for yourself by watching the accompanying exclusive-to-GQ film, in which Luca talks us round the car.

Read more:

Peugeot e-Legend Concept: an autonomous, all-electric French muscle car

Inside James Dyson’s all-or-nothing quest for an electric car

We took the Tesla Model Y for a first drive

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I jeans della Levi's (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
I jeans della Levi’s (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Nell’affollato calendario delle quotazioni miliardarie che si preparano a Wall Street per il 2019 è previsto anche il ritorno dello storico marchio di jeans Levi’s, che il 21 marzo si quota con un valore di 6,6 miliardi di dollari. La compagnia, fondata nel 1853 negli Stati Uniti dall’imprenditore tessile Levi Strauss, mancava dalla Borsa ormai da 34 anni.

La compagnia era stata quotata per la prima volta nel 1971, ma la famiglia Haas, tutt’oggi proprietaria del gruppo per il 63%, l’aveva ritirata nel 1985 a seguito di alcune difficoltà relative alle vendite.

Oggi quei tempi sembrano completamente superati, dato che Levi Strauss ha chiuso il 2018 con ricavi per 5,8 miliardi di dollari, in aumento del 14% rispetto ai 4,9 miliardi dell’anno precedente. Inoltre, ha anche riportato un utile netto pari a 285,2 milioni di dollari, confermando che i suoi negozi in oltre 110 Paesi al mondo sono ancora capaci di attrarre clienti.

Con la nuova quotazione, il famoso brand sarà in grado di raccogliere circa 623 milioni di dollari, tenendosi nella parte bassa della forchetta delle stime, che si aggiravano tra i 600 e gli 800 milioni.

Inoltre, l’offerta pubblica di acquisto ha anche raggiunto un costo per azione di 17 dollari, al di sopra della forchetta indicata tra i 14 e i 16 dollari che erano stati previsti.

Nel complesso la compagnia ha dichiarato di aver venduto circa 36,7 milioni di azioni, esattamente ciò che aveva dichiarato alla Sec, equivalente della Consob italiana, al momento della consegna dei documenti per la sua offerta pubblica iniziale (ipo).

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E queste azioni sono ripartite in 27,2 milioni dagli azionisti e 9,47 milioni dal gruppo. Gli istituti che hanno sottoscritto l’acquisto di azioni, hanno ora 30 giorni per acquistare altre 5,5 milioni di azioni al prezzo di 17 dollari, pari a quello dell’ipo.

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Les gouvernements italien et chinois ont signé samedi matin un protocole d’accord «non contraignant» pour sceller l’entrée de l’Italie dans les «nouvelles routes de la soie», malgré l’inquiétude de Bruxelles et Washington. L’Italie est le premier pays membre du G7 à intégrer ce projet pharaonique d’infrastructures maritimes et terrestres lancé par Pékin en 2013. Devant le président chinois Xi Jinping et le chef du gouvernement italien Giuseppe Conte, le président de la commission nationale pour le développement, He Lifeng, et le ministre italien du Développement économique, Luigi Di Maio, ont solennellement signé le document.

Au cours de la même cérémonie, un total de 29 contrats ou protocoles d’accords ont été signés, pour les deux-tiers institutionnels et le dernier tiers concernant des entreprises.

Selon les médias italiens, les accords portent au total sur 5 à 7 milliards d’euros – voire sur un «potentiel» de 20 milliards d’euros selon le quotidien économique «Il Sole 24 Ore» – et prévoient des investissements chinois, pour l’instant limités, dans les ports stratégiques de Gênes et de Trieste.

Reportage :L’empire chinois sur les rails

Les contrats concernent le groupe Ansaldo, pour la fabrication de turbines et le groupe Danieli, qui décroche un contrat de 1,1 milliard d’euros pour la construction d’un site sidérurgique en Azerbaïdjan.

Les accords prévoient aussi l’ouverture du marché chinois aux oranges italiennes, un partenariat du géant chinois du tourisme Ctrip avec les aéroports de Rome, la compagnie de chemin de fer Trenitalia et le musée Ferrari à Modène (centre), des programme de jumelage ou encore une collaboration entre télévisions publiques et agences de presses chinoises et italiennes.

Pékin aurait aussi voulu accueillir en Chine des matches de Serie A, mais les règles de la Fifa l’interdisant, la fédération italienne prévoit de délocaliser des matches de l’équipe nationale et des matches de coupes d’Italie et de former des arbitres chinois à l’arbitrage vidéo, très décrié en Italie.

En revanche, compte tenu des réticences exprimées à Washington ou à Bruxelles, mais aussi au sein même du gouvernement populiste italien, face à une forme de rapprochement unilatéral entre l’Italie et la Chine, une vingtaine d’autres accords en discussion ces derniers mois ont été suspendus.

“Au-delà de l’opportunité, il y a aussi un risque”

«Avec ce protocole d’accord, nous sommes bien conscients qu’au-delà de l’opportunité, il y a aussi un risque», a assuré à la radio le secrétaire d’Etat italien à l’Economie Michele Geraci, fervent défenseur à Rome de la cause chinoise, qui a enseigné dix ans en Chine.

Les exportations italiennes vers l’Empire du milieu n’ont pas dépassé les 13 milliards d’euros l’an dernier, quand elles représentent sept fois plus pour l’Allemagne.

Reçu vendredi par son homologue italien Sergio Mattarella, M. Xi a assuré: «La partie chinoise souhaite des échanges commerciaux dans les deux sens et un flux d’investissements dans les deux sens».

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We are busy, busy people—but I’ll bet all of us can carve out seven minutes somewhere in our days, right?

The newest issue of American College of Sports Medicine’s Health Fitness Journal takes all the newest exercise research and boils it down into one seven-minute workout. The 12 high-intensity exercises require just your own body weight—plus a chair and a wall.

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Source: well.blogs.nytimes.com via Lexi on Pinterest

The intense intervals are based in recent research showing that even just a few minutes of training at a high intensity—really, getting as close as you can to your maximum capacity—can actually produce molecular changes within your muscles that are “comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.”

The experts behind this workout say that it’s important to have 10 seconds of rest between each exercise, and that the workout itself is super-intense and, er, “unpleasant.”

But hey—seven minutes and you’re done!

Wanna try it?

View the “Ab Workouts for Bikini Season” notebook on Springpad

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Rocketman, the forthcoming biopic about the life of queer icon Elton John, may censor a brief nude scene, according to The Guardian.

Apparently, the movie’s two filmmakers, Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn, are being told to cut a 40-second scene between John (played by Taron Egerton) and his manager and former lover John Reid (Richard Madden). The two are seen naked in bed with their butts showing. Despite no sex being shown, according to the report, Paramount Pictures is pressuring the filmmakers to trim the scene from the film’s final cut because the studio believes it would push the film’s rating from PG-13 to R.

Most people know that John is gay—he came out back in 1992—and he previously said that he didn’t want the film to hold back in telling his story, telling the makers to “go as R rated as need be.” Themes like gay sex (and the nudity that goes along with that) and even drug abuse are going to be predominant themes in any film about him because both are part of his story.

To be fair, maybe Paramount wants to receive the PG-13 rating so that the film can be accessed by a larger audience. And, honestly, if a bare butt is the tipping point into making the movie unsuitable for teens, maybe we should change the way we think about nudity in films as a whole. I’m pretty sure most teenagers have seen a butt before.

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I first came across the being known as Pissy Pussy (Pissy for short) on @SubwayCreatures, an Instagram account showcasing the oddities of public transportation that includes drunk pole lickers, talented buskers, and of course, the bizarrely dressed. Pissy sat on an empty subway bench in a semi-sheer royal blue bodysuit that covered the face; the neck was adorned with a studded choker. Pissy’s head was bald, sprouting with two sinister Pippi Longstocking pigtails of wig hair that hung like mean, foot-long shoulder dusters.

So who is Pissy Pussy of @Pisssy_Pusssy? Behind the mask is 24-year-old Robert Reed, who hails from the suburb Attleboro in Massachusetts but now works at a coffee shop in Brooklyn. Reed’s first foray into DIY started as a child when he began to make his own footwear. “I’d be nailing blocks of wood to my Vans slip-on shoes to make these insane platform shoes,” says Reed. “My mom would be like, ‘Why do your shoes have two-by-fours nailed into the bottom of them.’ She wouldn’t understand what I was doing, but I was always trying to create something.” Reed dropped out of high school and lived for a few years in the Boston neighborhood of Allston, known for its hardcore-music scene.

VogueWorld 100 Pissy Pussy Talks Being New Yorks Most Extreme Drag Star
Photographer: Bogdan Stanga

A year and a half ago, Reed moved to New York and took an interest in nightlife, first attending a party at the now-closed Webster Hall. To “make a good impression,” Reed took fleece fabric printed with the portrait of Mona Lisa and cut it into a dress. Since then, Reed’s looks have become more fine-tuned as he attends the parties thrown by famed host Susanne Bartsch. “I wear really extreme things, things that are really uncomfortable, things that for the normal person would be a full panic attack,” says Reed. “I never lower my standards. I either go out in an insane look or I don’t go out at all.” One standout look from December 2017 is a candy cane jumpsuit boasting flared trousers and a horned, heart-shaped headpiece that’s so tall that it almost touches the padded ceiling of the Standard. Another showstopper was a polka-dotted, color-blocked jumpsuit this past March, topped off with a massive disk-shaped hat that jauntily dips to the side.

VogueWorld 100 Pissy Pussy Talks Being New Yorks Most Extreme Drag Star
Photographer: Bogdan Stanga

Reed’s philosophy for creating his costumes is simple. He starts with a pared-back silhouette and builds up the head, a focal point where he puts in the most visual energy. “Sometimes, I am wearing foam or I am balancing cardboard covered in some crazy shit,” he says. “I have made wigs that are five feet tall and five feet wide and I had to balance my head all night.”

While Reed’s looks appear as if they are from the underworld, his inspirations are a bit sweet. Reed is a die-hard Barbra Streisand fan and cites her print-heavy clothes in the ’60s as influences, specifically from the film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. “The designer for that movie made matching bedspreads, pillow cases, and wallpaper—so everything matched. It was all one thing,” says Reed. “It was so brilliant and that was one of the first things that inspired me to do an allover printed thing.”

And as for that can’t-forget-it name? “[When I first went out], people were immediately asking my name, but I didn’t have a club name yet,” says Reed. “I remember my friend and I were drunk and we were talking about ‘Pissy Pussy,’ and it just came to me,” says Reed. “My mom is like, ‘Why did you have to choose that name? It is so dreadful.’ But it stuck, and it is memorable. They see it and they always remember that name.” Luckily, Reed has a memorable look to match.

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