Historic painting suggests denim’s true origins

Published about 7 hours ago • 8 min read

Daily Edition • April 23, 2024


When it comes to deciding whether or not a company is the right fit, job seekers can turn to resources like Glassdoor to read employee reviews and find information regarding salaries and benefits. And a recent ranking from LinkedIn will also be of use to those looking to make moves. The networking platform released its annual list of the 50 best large companies to grow a career in the U.S. Eligible businesses had at least 5,000 employees and were evaluated on eight factors, including the ability to advance, company stability, and gender diversity. Coming in at No.1 is JPMorgan Chase & Co., followed by Amazon and Wells Fargo. See the entire list, and check out LinkedIn’s inaugural ranking of the top 15 midsize companies here.

Must Reads


Denim Debate: “Mysterious” Painting Points to Material’s Origins in 17th Century Italy

The birth of blue jeans is often credited to Levi Strauss, a German immigrant who obtained a patent in 1873 for combining sturdy cotton denim with copper rivet reinforcements. But the origins of denim itself are up for debate. Some say the earliest use of the material occurred in 1850s France, but a “mysterious” painting might trace it as far back as the 17th century in Italy.

Per The Guardian, an anonymous painter who depicted lower-income Italians seemingly wearing denim over 300 years ago has been dubbed “Master of the Blue Jeans.” One of 10 works attributed to that artist is titled “Woman Begging With Two Children” and features a woman sporting what looks like a frayed denim skirt.

The painting will be part of a touring exhibition of major works sold by Galerie Canesso, which has showrooms across Europe and is run by Maurizio Canesso — a fine art dealer who believes the piece proves denim’s roots are in Lombardy, Italy.

Other locales also claim to be the home of blue jeans
, however, including Genoa. Six months ago, during an exhibition called Genova Jeans, its mayor declared that the garment’s origins are “inextricably linked” to the port city. One thing is certain, at least: Denim never seems to go out of style.

Together With Honeycomb

This New Toilet Paper Just Might Save the Planet

Every 24 hours, 27,000 trees are cut down to make toilet paper. To us, that feels like way too many — and Honeycomb is of the same mindset. That’s why this small, female-founded brand created luxury, three-ply toilet tissue made from bamboo. It feels just like regular high-end toilet paper, but doesn’t harm trees.

So why bamboo? It’s the fastest-growing plant in the world — growing 100 times faster than the average tree — which means thousands of rolls can be produced in the time it takes for a single tree to grow back. And since Earth Day was yesterday, code EDAY30 is still valid for 30% off your first order until midnight.

Please support our sponsors! They help us keep Nice News free. ♡


Chicago Man Accepted to Prestigious Law School 4 Months After Release From Prison

When Chicago-born Benard McKinley was 16, he was arrested for a gang-related homicide, and three years later, sentenced to 100 years in prison. On his way to the penitentiary, the then-teenager vowed to make a change.

“I promised myself before I got out of that bus that no matter what the outcome was that, you know, I was just going to try to do better for myself,” McKinley, who accepts full responsibility for his past actions, told ABC News. “I knew that I wanted to better myself, and I did that.”

While incarcerated, he enrolled in Northwestern University’s Prison Education Program, the only one in the country that grants bachelor’s degrees from a top 10 university to people in prison, and went on to take the LSAT. He began representing himself in court and helped other inmates with their cases as he worked toward his goals. His sentence was eventually reduced to 25 years, which he served in full.

Now, just four months after being released, McKinley, 39, has become the first person to be accepted into any law school following completion of the program: He’ll be joining the Northwestern Law School class of 2027 this fall. Learn more about his inspiring journey.


How a Book Publisher’s Redesign Saved Thousands of Trees

Eco-conscious bibliophiles can feel even better about reading HarperCollins books, thanks to designers at the world-leading publisher. Over the last three years, the company has been committed to using less paper by making imperceptible tweaks to fonts, inks, and layouts — and as a result has saved 245.6 million pages, the equivalent of 5,618 trees, according to Fast Company.

It all started with the Christian publishing division, Zondervan Bibles. The team realized that “good design” could cut back on the number of sheets in Bibles, which use upward of 2,500 pages. One of the design changes involved developing a new typeface called the NIV Comfort Print, saving more than 350 pages per copy.

Though that’s a major reduction, the average consumer likely can’t tell. “The goal is to make these changes without the reader even seeing the difference,” said Tracey Menzies, the VP of creative operations and production. HarperCollins has since applied the changes to different genres of books as well as “curated a list of 15 fonts they determined are the most eco-friendly, which will be the preferred fonts from now on,” per the outlet.

Check out a layout before and after.

In Other News

  1. NASA is set to launch next-generation solar sail technology today with the goal of advancing space exploration.
  2. Sentience extends to fish, reptiles, and even insects, according to “The New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness,” signed by nearly 40 researchers and presented Friday.
  3. This breakthrough cancer therapy has been found to boost the immune system without harmful side effects. Here’s how.
  4. “Incredible” underwater footage shows an octopus apparently “communicating” with a marine biologist.
  5. A medieval gargoyle was discovered by a very surprised British couple, who found the 14th century carving behind their toilet.

Something We Love

Zwilling Fresh and Save Storage Containers at Food52

Let’s be real — many (if not most) stackable storage systems are far from aesthetically pleasing. So when we see something functional that also acts as eye candy on a counter, we stop and take a second look. Designed for stashing dry ingredients like oats and sugar, these modular containers are airtight, dishwasher-safe, and made from a glass-like, BPA-free plastic. They come with colored sleeves, tags, and a chalk pen.

Recommendations are independently selected by our team but may result in a commission to Nice News which helps keep our content free.

Inspiring Story

“I’ve been very, very, very lucky in my lifetime”

When Vincent Dransfield moved into his house in Little Falls, New Jersey, back in 1945, he could hardly have predicted that he’d still be residing there six decades later, cruising around in his car and living independently at age 110. Born March 28, 1914, supercentenarian Dransfield is in mostly good health and needs no assistance with day-to-day tasks, but his grandchildren stop by weekly to check in. “I manage to do everything,” he said after his recent birthday. “I drive pretty good.”

Photo of the Day

In a global first and a historic move for equality in sports, Sunday’s London Marathon awarded the same prize money for athletes in wheelchairs as it did for non-disabled participants. And in another history-making moment out of the sporting event, a teenage runner named Lloyd Martin, who has Down syndrome, earned a Guinness World Record for being the youngest in his category to complete a marathon.

Luxury Toilet Paper Made From Bamboo

In the time it takes to read today’s edition, an estimated 93 trees will be cut down to meet toilet paper demand. Honeycomb is helping to change that with luxury, three-ply tissue made from sustainable bamboo. It’s biodegradable, plastic-free, and will be delivered straight to you. Use code EDAY30 by midnight for 30% off your first shipment.

Odds & Ends

🌕 What tonight’s full Pink Moon means for astrology fans

🏀 Check out The GIST, a free, one-stop shop for men’s and women’s sports coverage with over 900K readers*

👗We could all learn from this stylish couple in their 70s

🕺40 years later, Kevin Bacon got Footloose again

*Indicates a Nice News brand partnership or affiliate

Quote of the Day

“Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.”


Subscribe to Nice News

Share this page