Jedemi QuickTake5: Edison, Visa, Bread, Stewart-Snoop, RH Napa…

QuickTake5 13 Aug

Sometimes stories bubble up that deserve sort of a quick “shout out” but not full-on NVC or AWSI or SCMF attention. So we are experimenting with what we’ve dubbed “Jedemi QuickTake5.” We worked on narrowing our “Takes” down to five items in an effort to make this an easy, snackable sort of read. Enjoy!

1 >> Lighting Up America – A New Novel
As seen in The Wall Street Journal’s Arena section.

Graham Moore’s book “The Last Days of Night,” is about the historic legal battle over the right to produce a billion-dollar technology: the lightbulb. Yup, it’s Thomas Edison vs. George Westinghouse through the eyes of protagonist, Paul Cravath, an untested 26-year-old Columbia Law School grad. That Cravath crosses paths with figures such as Alexander Graham Bell, J.P. Morgan, opera singer Agnes Huntington and Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla, makes it interesting and relevant to the Jedemi Chronicles. Plus, our Tommie is front and center.

Notable quotable:

“This seems to be a mode of storytelling I’ve been drawn to in my life, taking subject matter that at first blush seems like it should be painfully dry. The trick is to see the story from the eyes of its characters.

We plan on adding this to our “What We’re Reading” list. We are especially curious about the structure, which was described as 72 short chapters that often end on cliffhangers.

2 >> Rio Olympics Ads: The Most-Seen So Far…

AdAge ran a story with some interesting facts regarding how ads have done as of the Olympics halfway point. Apparently, 351 brands have run 667 unique TV ads a total of 7,867 times, 1,488 of them in primetime, according to data from That’s spanning NBC and its NBC Universal siblings NBC Sports, USA Network, BRAVO, MSNBC and CNBC.

Excluding show promos, no single ad has seen more action than this Visa Carpool ad, which has registered on TV screens 140.9 million times.

We like it. But honestly, we’re sticking with the 6-in-1 and 8-in-1 view of the games care of DIRECTV where ads are seen not heard.

3 >> SF Slice of Life: French Bread from a Vending Machine…

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story that sounded familiar to us — about Le Bread Xpress. It is a vending machine that dispenses one loaf of French bread at a time. The machine, which has been available to the public inside the Myriad food court at 2175 Market St. for about a month, isn’t getting much use yet, to the dismay of owner, Benoit Hervé.

The story noted a secret recipe from France is being used. The chilled loaves are prepared in a Burlingame bakery to the company’s specifications. Hervé won’t say what those are, but he did say that he considered 100 different varieties of flour before making his selection.

So far, it’s the only one in the U.S., Hervé said, although there are a few dozen in France. After it catches on, he plans to install more, all over the place. Assuming it catches on.

It will take a while.

Indeed, we mentioned the vending machine bread concept in a NVC post back in March.

AWSI, this idea would work better in areas where artisan bread is less prolific. There are so many options in the SF Bay Area that the concept seems as doomed here as the Fresh & Easy markets.

4 >> Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg Partner for VH1 Dinner-Party Series…

This story surprised us. Apparently, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are pairing up for a new unscripted VH1 show — a weekly “dinner party” featuring celebrity guests. The show is set to premiere in fall 2016.

AWSI, Martha interacting with guests is a good thing. Plus it will be fun to see how the interplay between her and Snoop goes.

Note: We recently wrote about Martha’s Facebook videos here.

5 >> Restoration Hardware CEO Lists Napa Valley Home for $10.5 Million…

The Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal had this tidbit that tickled our #SCMF mind.

The St. Helena, Calif. home of Restoration Hardware chief Gary Friedman, is on the market for $10.5 million. Reading further, we found out that he paid $5.9 million for the Napa Valley house in 2013 with the intent of turning it into a place to relax. After finding another house closer to where his company is building RH Yountville (a food, wine, art and design complex), he decided to do a “top-to-toe Restoration Hardware” remodel on the St. Helena place where all the furnishings are RH down to the linens and planters.

In Silicon Valley, this concept is called dogfooding.

You can read more about the St. Helena remodel here and here.

8 Palms from Gary Friedman on Vimeo.

That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading our QuickTake5! #SCMF!!

—The Gang

Oh yeah, one more thing. Even QuickTakes get the Enchanted Jukebox treatment.

Dave Brubeck – Take Five

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