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Rosie the Riveting: The Stunning Success Story of Fanhouse Founder Rosie Nguyen

Hi, welcome to your Weekend! 

If you were one of those insatiably curious kids who liked to rip apart toasters or ham radios and figure out how to reassemble them (a pretty common hobby in Silicon Valley, I’d wager), you’re going to love Stephen’s story about Lumafield. The CT scanning startup, with offices in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, creates beautiful, high-definition 3D x-rays for product engineering teams. (You can check out more of their work at Scanofthemonth.com.)

Lumafield offered The Weekend the chance to have a few scans done of our favorite products, so I volunteered a Theragun mini-massager I got last Christmas. When it’s tenderizing your back tissue, the Theragun feels like it’s powered by about 14,000 miniature horses. So I wanted to see what was really making it tick—without actually taking it apart. Turns out, it’s every bit the technological marvel I’d imagined. (Though, I’m sorry to report, no tiny horses.)

The tech it took to create my handheld muscle pummeler is as impressive as the hardware and software that Lumafield used to scan it. Seeing both at work was a welcome reminder that jaw-dropping innovation is everywhere. And that we should indulge the little toaster-wreckers inside us more often.   


the big read

“She Has Always Played Life on Hard Mode”: A Female Founder on Battling Poverty, OnlyFans Harassers and Tim Cook

On Twitter, Rosie Nguyen speaks to her 156,000 followers as @Jasminericegirl, known for her graphic sex jokes and thirst trap photos. But in real life, the 24-year-old is serious business, a Wharton grad and co-founder of social media app Fanhouse, which has raised over $20 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Li Jin and others. She’s become a figurehead for the creator industry’s ongoing war against the App Store, while single-handedly creating a new model of tech founder—a young woman who doesn’t dampen her personality or shy from a fight. Margaux catches up with Nguyen about her startup, and her David vs. Goliath battle against Apple. 


the teardown

The Startup That Gives Product Manufacturers X-Ray Vision

Ever consider cracking open your Airpods or Bose speakers to peek inside? Now there’s a non-invasive way to see the internal workings of complex consumer gadgets. Lumafield, a startup just out of stealth mode, built a compact CT scanner for use by engineers who develop products from sneakers to shampoo bottles. To test the product, The Weekend brought a mini-massager and a pair of Beats headphones to Lumafield’s San Francisco office to get the full 3D x-ray treatment. 


scene and heard

Dining With Apes: A Field Trip to the World’s First NFT-Themed Restaurant

Those not entrenched in the crypto-sphere might be surprised to learn that there is now a pop-up restaurant based on Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, the two biggest NFT collections currently in circulation. They might be even more shocked to learn that the food there is actually pretty good! Brandon reports from Bored & Hungry, a burger joint in Long Beach, Calif. with a vision that’s much bigger than burgers.


10 questions

Nina Jankowicz Wishes She Didn’t Have to Write ‘How to Be a Woman Online’

She may be a former adviser to the Ukrainian government and a global fellow at the Wilson Center. But Jankowicz also apparently has bags under her eyes. At least that’s what one man emailed her after a recent appearance on the BBC. The author spoke to Jillian about her new book, the types of men she regularly meets on the internet (outlined in a delightful chapter dubbed “Troll Safari”), and how easy it is for online abuse to spill over into real life.


Listening: Other people’s drama on “Normal Gossip” 

If you’re going to lie to your family, don’t post photos of your secret life on Facebook. Such is the obvious, if not universally adopted, takeaway from the “Your Family Gossip” episode of “Normal Gossip,” a riotous Defector Media podcast hosted by Kelsey McKinney. This week’s bonus episode consists of listener-submitted stories about their crazy relatives. From grandparents’ affairs to secret weddings, the pod scratches an itch long unaddressed during two years of pandemic: the desire to sop up other people’s spilled tea.


Reading: A plane crash for #content 

Giving new meaning to the phrase “doing it for the ’Gram,” content creator Trevor Jacob posted a YouTube video last year showing him parachuting out of a single-engine plane. The problem: He was also the plane’s pilot. Though Jacob claimed he was responding to a legitimate malfunction, the Federal Aviation Administration disagreed, ruling, per the New York Times, that Jacob purposely crashed the plane in Southern California’s Los Padres National Forest. Aviation experts say Jacob likely orchestrated the crash strictly for the views and likes. Jacob refutes that claim, but the FAA is ordering him to surrender his pilot certificate anyway. Seems like a smart idea.


Noticing: An open house at the Winkleviis  

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss—of Facebook, Bitcoin and Armie Hammer-cloning fame—are listing their "crypto crib" for $17 million. In classic Winklevii style, the 40-year-old billionaire twins share a massive Soho apartment (three floors and multiple terraces) that checks design boxes you never knew existed. Multiple stacked cowhide rugs? Check. Thirty shades of brown? Check. An oversized photograph of bookshelves in a room with no actual books? Check. And, believe it or not, even more cowhide rugs. To be clear: we recommend stalking the StreetEasy listing, not making an offer.


Makes You Think

We leave you with the second stupid plane crash in this week’s newsletter. 


Until next Weekend, thanks for reading!

—Jon

Weekend Editor, The Information


Jon Steinberg is the Weekend Editor at The Information. He is a former editor-in-chief of San Francisco magazine and senior editor at New York magazine, where his work won many National Magazine Awards.
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