Illustrations by Julia Dufosse for Elemental

The rise in food allergies has been weighing on the health system for a couple decades now — with little understanding of where it came from and where it’s headed

During a grocery run long before the Covid-19 pandemic, Michael Pistiner, MD, a second-year pediatric allergy fellow at Children’s Hospital Boston, was standing in a Boston Whole Foods aisle basking in the glow of how darn cute his son Scott was. His three-and-a-half-year-old had just tasted a chocolate bar with walnuts for the first time and said, “That’s delicious!” It was such a big word. A nice moment for father and son.

As an allergist in training, Pistiner knew he was doing everything right, exposing his totally healthy child to a walnut at the American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended age. But…


Illustrations: Timo Lenzen

It’s hard to imagine the internet without Wikipedia. Just like the air we breathe, the definitive digital encyclopedia is the default resource for everything and everyone — from Google’s search bar to undergrad students embarking on research papers. It has more than 6 million entries in English, it is visited hundreds of millions of times per day, and it reflects whatever the world has on its mind: Trending pages this week include Tanya Roberts (R.I.P.), the Netflix drama Bridgerton, and, oh yes, the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

It was also never meant to exist — at least…


“About 95% of the people who died in the World Trade Center were at the impact zones or above them. Most of those who were below the impact sites were able to get out. It appears that greeter Beatriz Genoves was the only Windows on the World employee to clock in for work who survived, because the express elevator was out of service, so she was greeting guests on the 78th floor, where they would transfer elevators to get to the top.”


Windows on the World was a paragon of New York splendor. And then it was gone.

Credit: Owen Franken — Corbis/Getty Images

“I don’t mean to break in on the fun, but this is a serious news story,” Howard Stern said on the radio. “A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center.” Glenn Vogt, Windows on the World’s general manager, was listening as he drove down the West Side Highway. He couldn’t believe it.

Unaware of the gravity of the situation, he parked near the World Trade Center and walked toward the North Tower lobby, glass crunching under his feet. He thought, It’s going to be months before we can clean up this mess.


Julie Smith, the Utah-based mother of four behind the popular Instagram account @ketomadesimple, neatly organized her plate and crafted her caption:

“Camping, day 1. Lunch. Pork rinds, snap peas with ranch, lettuce wrapped turkey, bacon, mayo, mustard, and cheese. Yes, snap peas are carby, but I’m okay with it! K, off to be with my cute family. Love you, bye.”

She added 30 relevant hashtags, including #ketogenicliving, #ketocommunity, and #ketofam, and hit share, uploading the photo to more than 380,000 followers.

If you shudder at this plate full of processed meat and high-fat foods, you can head over to #cleaneating…


In ‘Bitcoin Billionaires,’ Mezrich reinvents the Winklevoss twins as savvy tech investors

Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Money as a social network. That was how a stranger first pitched Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the 6’5” twins, on bitcoin at a lavish pool party in 2008. The sibling investors, who were depicted in The Social Network as uber-jocks who found themselves thwarted in their tech ambitions by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, had never heard of cryptocurrency. But they knew an opportunity when they saw one. They began buying bitcoin in 2012, when it was worth less than $10 a coin, in what proved to be an incredibly shrewd investment. When the value of a bitcoin reached more than…


Illustration: Shira Inbar

How the original DVR paved the way for Netflix and the cord-cutter movement

It’s hard to believe, but a scant 20 years have passed since viewers were unshackled from their televisions. For decades, NBC told us Thursday nights were “Must See TV” and ABC insisted it was “TGIF” Friday, so we did as we were told and stayed home to watch Friends, Seinfeld, and Full House.

Then, in 1999, two former employees of Hewlett-Packard and Silicon Graphics (SGI), Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay, introduced a revolutionary new product: a digital video recorder, or DVR. The product, named TiVo, seamlessly recorded shows, paused live television, and allowed users to fast-forward through the commercials. Sure…


The Monster Under the Bed

To My Fellow Commanders-in-Chief:

Pinch me.

So many of us must have thought that in some iteration when we woke up this morning. This can’t be happening. Wake me up so that this nightmare is over. But it is not. It is really happening. And it’s just beginning. For those of us who are parents, we are now living with those unthinkable threats that we normally keep at bay. That the roof may cave in. That lightning might strike. That there is a monster under the bed.

We woke up this morning knowing that it’s…


How “Montage of Heck” filmmaker Brett Morgen’s asymmetrical process helped Frances Bean discover the real Kurt

About a decade ago, Courtney Love holed herself up in a loft in New York City for three months, shutting out the world during one of the many high-lows of her struggles with drug abuse. In addition to whatever else she was doing in there, she had a computer and two DVDs, which she watched repeatedly, to entertain herself.

One of the DVDs was Prey for Rock and Roll, starring Gina Gershon and Drea de Matteo as members of an 80s all-girl punk band. The other was The Kid Stays in the Picture, Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen’s sly nonfiction…

Tom Roston

Culture writer; Author of THE MOST SPECTACULAR RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD [https://amzn.to/2YSavt0].

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