Sunday 02.10.2013 New York Times Digest

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1. Relax! You’ll Be More Productive

“Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less.”

2. A Leg Rebuilt, a Life Renewed for Jay Williams

“Imagine the worst day of your life. Then imagine confronting that day every single day thereafter.”

3. Battling College Costs, a Paycheck at a Time

“You have two choices. You either work, or you acquire debt.”

4. When E-Mail Turns From Delight to Deluge

“E-mail was once a great tool for communication, one that was less intrusive than the telephone and faster than the Postal Service. Now, even when it works as designed, it’s a virtual nightmare — and, occasionally, an actual one. I’ve had many a stress dream about missing important notes from my boss.”

5. Dear Valentine, I Hate It When You …

“Married couples who are hostile when they fight, for instance, are more likely than gently scrapping spouses to have compromised immune functioning, elevated coronary calcium levels (an early risk factor for heart disease), and slow wound healing. The negative effects, in various studies, can be seen in both men and women, and frequently in both the aggressive partner and the recipient of hostility.”

6. Being Thom Browne: His Moment Is Now

“‘When people have too many choices, they make bad choices,’ said Mr. Browne, whose personal life seems edited to eliminate extraneous detail. He lives in a Greenwich Village apartment furnished so sparely that friends ‘joke that you could hose it down.’ In place of the lap lane yardage he logged as a competitive swimmer in high school and later at the University of Notre Dame, he religiously puts in daily treadmill miles. He is not a collector, he said, of furniture or books or art because ‘I’m not really into things.’”

7. Making a Child, Minus the Couple

“Neither Ms. Hope nor Mr. Williams is interested in a romantic liaison. But they both want a child, and they’re in serious discussions about having, and raising, one together. Never mind that Mr. Williams is gay and that the two did not know of each other’s existence until last October, when they met on Modamily.com, a Web site for people looking to share parenting arrangements.”

8. Not Always Fun and Games

“No one is saying that if you play with a toy gun, you’re going to grow up to be a violent killer. But the game is still the same: pretend to kill your friends, pretend to kill your classmates.”

9. Spread the Word

“Shields wants you to know that he is a writer for whom neither life nor art is a matter to be taken lightly.”

10. Attention, Shoppers

“The wastefulness encouraged by buying cheap and chasing the trends is obvious, but the hidden costs are even more galling. Cline contends that ‘disposable clothing’ is damaging the environment, the economy and even our souls, and she presents a dense and sobering skein of data to support her thesis.”

11. Money Changes Everything

“The U.S. is nearly three times as rich today as it was in 1973…. According to nearly every survey, though, Americans are not at all happier than we were back then. This is explained, in part, by the fact that many Americans have not shared in the increased wealth. With the disappearance of pensions and the increased volatility of labor markets, many workers face more uncertainty than ever before.”

12. Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart?

“Like any kind of human behavior, our response to competitive pressure is derived from a complex set of factors — how we were raised, our skills and experience, the hormones that we marinated in as fetuses. There is also a genetic component: One particular gene, referred to as the COMT gene, could to a large degree explain why one child is more prone to be a worrier, while another may be unflappable, or in the memorable phrasing of David Goldman, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, more of a warrior.”

13. Frank Ocean Can Fly

“I have no delusions about my likability, in every scenario. I know that in order to get things done the way you want them, oftentimes your position will be unpopular.”

14. Why Would You Ever Give Money Through Kickstarter?

“Kickstarter as a phenomenon is made much more comprehensible once you realize that it’s not following the logic of the free market; it’s following the logic of the gift.”

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