Why Presidents Dress Like Flight Attendants
Simon Doonan is the bestselling author of Gay Men Don't Get Fat, Wacky Chicks and Confessions of a Window Dresser. In addition to his role as creative ambassador of Barney's New York, Simon writes the "Simon Says" column for The New York Observer and "Doonan" for Slate. He frequently contributes observations and opinions to myriad other publications and television shows. He is a regular commentator on VH1, the Trio network, and Full Frontal Fashion. He lives in New York City with his partner, Jonathan Adler, and his Norwich terrier, Liberace.
Simon Doonan: Every five minutes my phone rings and it’s a journalist asking me to comment on the fashion of the presidential race. And this always mystifies me because to me it seems very clear what’s going on here: these guys are dressing so as to be unremarkable; that’s their main goal. Politicians cannot present themselves as being ever, ever, ever vain, flamboyant, self-involved. They’re not allowed to be groovy because that would be in direct conflict with this idea of them being self-denying public servants.
Years ago, I interviewed this guy, a very famous guy called Sir Hardy Amies, and he created the iconic look for the Queen of England—that frumpy dress and coat with the matching hat. And I said to him, “How did you come up with that look?” And he said, “Anyone in public office, any woman especially, can never, ever, ever appear to be chic because there is an unkindness to chic, and politicians must appear to be kind and so must monarchs; they must appear to be kind.”
If you’re looking for style you’ve got to go to dictatorships—Kim Jong Il, Gaddafi, Bokassa, Idi Amin. They had fantastic style, they were absolute dreadful people, so that’s another reason why the Mitt Romneys, the Obamas, dress themselves so as to be unremarkable. But it doesn’t stop everyone wanting to comment on that. It’s very strange to me. I don’t know what to tell you. They look like flight attendants, but that’s what they’re supposed to look like.
That Delphic oracle of style, Simon Doonan, author of the outrageously funny Gay Men Dont Get Fat, says fashion and politics don't mix in a democracy.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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