It’s a practical whole-access trail with a weird sort of semi-industrial beauty

Photo credit: Thomas Smith

The Weekend Wind-Down is a series from The Bold Italic highlighting ways to explore the Bay Area and wind down from your stressful week. If you have an idea or tip, email us, or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

The East Bay is famous for its trails, with a sprawling network of paved and off-road paths which connect many of the region’s bigger towns, as well as parks and other attractions. For sheer usefulness--as well as a weird kind of semi-industrial beauty--few of them beat the Contra Costa Canal Trail.

The trail is among the most-used thoroughfares in the…

Welcome to the strange world of pragmatic biohacking

Courtesy the author

As I drank a glass of pure lemon juice on a Wednesday afternoon, I could feel it lightly stinging my lips and face. But despite the juice’s intense sourness, my mouth was filled with the delightful, sweet taste of homemade lemonade as I gulped it down. Why? Because minutes earlier, I had ingested Synsepalum dulcificum, an African berry whose extract temporarily altered the function of my tastebuds, transforming sour flavors into sweet ones.

Welcome to the strange world of biohacking. Biohackers use modern technology and scientific breakthroughs to hack their own bodies. Some inject themselves with DNA via Crispr or…

The move could motivate unvaccinated San Franciscans to finally get a shot

Photo by Karam Alani on Unsplash

Bars and restaurants in San Francisco are considering whether to require proof of Covid-19 from customers prior to serving them, according to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle and sources interviewed by the The Bold Italic.

A report from the Chronicle published Wednesday shared that as the Covid-19 Delta variant surged in California, businesses and city officials in San Francisco are considering whether to “force people to show vaccine cards at businesses like bars, restaurants, and retailers.”

The Chronicle reports that Mayor Breed’s office isn’t ruling out a city mandate. But many business owners aren’t waiting for an edict…

Today’s outage was resolved quickly. A future cyberattack may not be.

Courtesy Gado Images.

If you tried to access any of several thousand large websites this morning, you likely noticed strange issues. Pages wouldn’t load, normally snappy screens took forever to access, and 404 errors abounded.

The issue may have thrown a wrench into your morning plans if you sought to book a flight, check your bank balance, track a package, or trounce an opponent in any of several popular videogames. …

It could provide a model for reigning in dangerous online speech, but challenges remain

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

A prospective new law working its way through California’s legislature would make doxing reproductive health doctors and patients (including those who perform or seek abortions at health centers including Planned Parenthood) into a crime. The prospective law, which is part of AB1356, was recently passed in the California Senate Judiciary Committee on the evening of July 13, 2021.

Doxing refers to harassment of a person through the public sharing of their personal information, often online. It is a tactic sometimes used to intimidate providers who offer abortions in California, according to lawmakers and advocates. The National Abortion Federation, an advocacy…

Not all fire-related news is bleak

Courtesy Cal Fire. Upscaled image via Twitter.

Normally, news from CAL FIRE — California’s division devoted to fighting wildfires — is mostly negative and bleak at this time of the season. Multiple wildfires continue to rage throughout the state, in a season which many expect to be among the worst on record.

Today, though, there’s some good news out of a Cal Fire station in Pescadero, California. Cal Fire CZU took to Twitter on Sunday to share that they had found a lost dog, who had been dropped off at their station.

The firefighters’ tweet read in part “Do you recognize this lost doggo? She was…

Lottie’s ice cream. Credit: the author

Tomorrow, July 18th is National Ice Cream Day! Honestly, I don’t need a dedicated day in order to remember to eat ice cream— I’m perfectly happy to do that on a near-daily basis all on my own.

That said, I’d never turn down an opportunity to seek the stuff out, and to shine a light on a few of my favorite Bay Area ice cream places.

The Bay Area does ice cream well. From the insanely large sundaes served up at Fenton’s in Oakland—which has been a Bay Area staple for 100-plus years— to the classic flavors on offer at…


Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Just when you thought it was safe to go out without a mask during the Covid-19 pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area, something major changed in the state’s pattern of Covid-19 infections. That something is the Delta Variant, a more transmissible version of the coronavirus which currently accounts for an increasing proportion of cases in the United States.

Largely as a result of the variant — which reportedly has an increased ability to “breakthrough” vaccine protection — case rates are once again on the rise in various parts of the United States. According to the California state government’s Covid-19…

And a chance to get your kids outdoors

Photo: Courtesy of author

Everyone in the Bay Area has heard of “farm-to-table” food, and most of us have tried it—either a handful of times, a handful of times every month, or perhaps last night for dinner. Still, even if you eat farm-to-table food all the time, it’s probably rare that you actually go to the farm to get it. Throughout the summer, multiple farms in Brentwood offer Bay Area residents the chance to do just that: bring farm-fresh food to your plate.

Brentwood is a rural town in the far East Bay, about an hour’s drive from downtown San Francisco without traffic. According…

Drink from a massive, spewing firehose of user engagement

A phone with the TikTok logo.
Photo by Olivier Bergeron on Unsplash

Some platforms make you work hard for views and followers. YouTube is a perfect example. It took me 5+ years and 700+ YouTube videos to reach the 1,000 subscribers required to monetize my own channel. And even then, when I post a new video, I’m lucky if it gets 100 views in the first month it’s online. Many of my videos take six to eight months to really rack up traffic.

Other platforms aren’t like that. They’re so hot — and are swimming with so many users — that they have no idea what to do with all their traffic…

Thomas Smith

Co-Founder & CEO of Gado Images. I write, speak & consult about tech, privacy, AI & photography. Dig Deeper: or

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