Sunday 10.12.2014 New York Times Digest


1. The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum

“There is no right way to experience a museum, of course. Some travelers enjoy touring at a clip or snapping photos of timeless masterpieces. But psychologists and philosophers such as Professor Pawelski say that if you do choose to slow down — to find a piece of art that speaks to you and observe it for minutes rather than seconds — you are more likely to connect with the art, the person with whom you’re touring the galleries, maybe even yourself, he said. Why, you just might emerge feeling refreshed and inspired rather than depleted.”

2. At Florida State, Football Clouds Justice

“Police on numerous occasions have soft-pedaled allegations of wrongdoing by Seminoles football players. From criminal mischief and motor-vehicle theft to domestic violence, arrests have been avoided, investigations have stalled and players have escaped serious consequences.”

3. At Forlorn Urban Churches, Mass Gets Crowded in a Flash

“Named after flash mobs — spontaneous gatherings of crowds, often in a public place, to make an artistic or political statement — Mass mobs are spreading around the nation and taking church leaders by surprise.”

4. Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?

“For years, child development experts have advised parents to read to their children early and often, citing studies showing its linguistic, verbal and social benefits. In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised doctors to remind parents at every visit that they should read to their children from birth, prescribing books as enthusiastically as vaccines and vegetables. On the other hand, the academy strongly recommends no screen time for children under 2, and less than two hours a day for older children. At a time when reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and app stores are bursting with reading programs and learning games aimed at infants and preschoolers, which bit of guidance should parents heed?”

5. Inside League of Legends, E-Sports’s Main Event

“If you are not a male between the ages of 15 and 25, a group that Riot says accounts for 90 percent of all LoL players, the odds are good that you have never heard of e-sports, a catchall term for games that resemble conventional sports insofar as they have superstars, playoffs, fans, uniforms, comebacks and upsets. But all the action in e-sports occurs online, and the contestants hardly move.”

6. The Concept Car That Became a Star

“The car’s huge size (19 feet long) and limited passenger space (accommodating only two people) were a flamboyant advertisement for America’s post-World War II affluence.”

7. Heavier Babies Do Better in School

“All else equal, a 10-pound baby will score an average of 80 points higher on the 1,600-point SAT than a six-pound baby.”

8. Why Germans Are Afraid of Google

“On one hand, we’d love to be more like that: more daring, more aggressive. On the other hand, the force of anarchy makes Germans (and many other Europeans) shudder, and rightfully so. It’s a challenge to our deeply ingrained faith in the state.”

9. Can Celiac Disease Affect the Brain?

“Treating an autoimmune disease of the gut (by avoiding gluten) resolved what looked like a debilitating disorder of the brain. The broader takeaway was that, in some subset of patients, apparent neurological symptoms could signal undiagnosed celiac disease.”

10. Lady Psychopaths Welcome

“The idea that every portrait of a woman should be an ideal woman, meant to stand for all of womanhood, is an enemy of art — not to mention wickedly delicious Joan Crawford and Bette Davis movies. Art is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals. It is not meant to provide uplift or confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions. Art says ‘Think,’ not ‘You’re right.’”

11. Gender Genre

“In 1988, at the age of 20, I stopped reading men and read only women for a period that lasted almost three years.”

12. The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson

“A path can be traced from slavery to the killing of Michael Brown. The sociologist Loïc Wacquant asserts that racialized slavery was only the first in a series of ‘peculiar institutions’ (as went the 19th-century euphemism gilding the nation’s founding contradiction) to enforce caste and class in the United States. The most recent is the ‘hyperghetto’ and ‘hyperincarceration’ that presides today, wherein there’s little hope of mobility and uniformly dire possibilities. Instead of being at the center of the national economy — as were 20-year-olds in slave traders’ value scale — those who are young and black have become a distortion of the ‘extra man’: They are now surplus labor, discarded in advance as uneducable, unredeemable criminals or potential criminals.”

13. What’s the N.F.L.’s Incentive to Change?

“Despite all its current problems, pro football is positioned to not only weather its current storm, but also to sail through it toward greater prosperity.”

14. Getting Your Kids to Eat (or at Least Try) Everything

“Parents should purge their cabinets and shopping lists of junk, and they should set and enforce rules on what their children are allowed to eat. I can be even more specific: Teach your kids to snack on carrots and celery and fruit and hummus and guacamole — things made from fruits and vegetables and beans and grains. Offer these things all the time. Make sure breakfast and lunch are made up of items you would eat when you’re feeling good about your diet. Make a real dinner from scratch as often as you can. Worry less about labels like ‘G.M.O.’ and ‘organic’ and ‘local’ and more about whether the food you’re giving your children is real.”

15. What if You Just Hate Making Dinner?

“Why is food such a big part of rearing children? Why me? And why can’t I just crack open a half-dozen Clif bars and keep playing with my children?”

16. What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course, $220 Tasting Meal

“One Saturday afternoon last month, six second graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn got a head start on the fine-dining life when they visited the acclaimed French restaurant Daniel. There, five waiters presented them with a seven-course tasting menu (after the trio of canapés and an amuse-bouche, naturellement).”


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