Sunday 8.2.2015 New York Times Digest

1. Protecting the Untamed Seas

“The waters farther than 200 nautical miles from shore are generally outside of national jurisdiction and largely beyond government control. More than 40 percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water that belongs to everyone and no one, and is relatively lawless and unregulated.”

2. Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later

“When police officers shoot people under questionable circumstances, Dr. Lewinski is often there to defend their actions. Among the most influential voices on the subject, he has testified in or consulted in nearly 200 cases over the last decade or so and has helped justify countless shootings around the country.”

3. Dry Days Bring Ferocious Start to Fire Season

“Between 2005 and 2014, the average number of fires that burned more than 100,000 acres — known as ‘megafires’ — increased to 9.8 per year, up from fewer than one a year before 1995…. One reason, ecologists and historians say, is the well-established link between big fires and the steady loss of moisture in forests from higher temperatures brought on by climate change.”

4. Enter Sound Man: An Insider’s Look at Baseball’s Walk-Up Music

“Song choices range from merengue to Macklemore. Matt Harvey consulted with a music editor to create his own Frank Sinatra-infused clip; on the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez used ‘Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey earlier this season. Some players change their song every two years; others change it every other homestand.”

5. A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared

“Any plan that has the potential, as Mr. Price has put it, to ‘set the world on fire,’ is bound to make some people squirm.”

6. Stolen Consumer Data Is a Smaller Problem Than It Seems

“Enormous numbers like these can make it feel as if we’re living through an epidemic of data breaches, in which no one’s bank account or credit card is safe. But the actual effect on consumers is quite different from what the headlines suggest. Only a tiny number of people exposed by leaks end up paying any costs, and for the rare victims who do, the average cost has actually been falling steadily.”

7. Converse Treads Carefully in Updating Well-Worn Chuck Taylor Brand

“Converse sells more than 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylors a day, 365 days a year.”

8. Download: Vahé Alaverdian

“I have been living off the land for the last 21 years. That is, I haven’t purchased any meat, poultry or fish. I archery hunt big game, fly fish for salmon and trout, and the falcons hunt all the fowl. Nothing goes to waste. I even tan the hides to make falconry equipment. If every human being had to kill and clean whatever they ate, waste management globally would be totally different. It’s not like buying a package of chicken thighs. If you have killed that animal, you look at it and you think, I owe that animal respect that I’ve taken its life.”

9. We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials

“They are faced with a slow economy, high unemployment, stagnant wages and student loans that constrict their ability both to maintain a reasonable lifestyle and to save for the future.”

10. Open the Music Industry’s Black Box

“Perhaps the biggest problem artists face today is that lack of transparency.”

11. Facing Death With a Shrug in Two Versions of The Killers

“The prose is terse and at times incantatory; the situation — a man known as the Swede anticipates without emotion the inevitable punishment for his unknown crime — is existential. Having occupied a near-empty diner to fulfill their contract on the Swede, two hit men for an unmentioned Chicago gang lord are scary, yet absurd, agents of death. ‘What’s the idea?’ the counterman demands. ‘There isn’t any idea,’ is the laconic response.”

12. My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required)

“This trim, tanned, 55-year-old guru of the golden years was geared up to show me that living a long time was not about subsisting on a thin gruel of, well, gruel.”

13. I’m Not Mad. That’s Just My RBF.

“When a man looks stern, or serious, or grumpy, it’s simply the default. We don’t inherently judge the moodiness of a male face. But as women, we are almost expected to put on a smile. So if we don’t, it’s deemed ‘bitchy.’”

14. This Hollywood House Sitter Makes His Own Rules

“You could call Mr. Farrell a professional house sitter.”

15. Wealth Secrets of the One Percent, by Sam Wilkin

“These are his major conclusions: First, many of the world’s richest people created their fortunes by changing the rules — more on this in a moment. Second, others did it by entering businesses with little or no regulation. Or by creating businesses in countries with little or no regulation. Third, and most important, they did it by creating monopolies for themselves, and by ruthlessly eliminating any and all possible competition.”

16. The Scholarship in Selfies

“Selfies raise important questions about identity, culture and technology.”

17. Liberal Arts, a Lost Cause?

“We are drifting toward turning college into a trade school. And that is ultimately harmful. The original ethos of education was that it prepared people for citizenship, for enlightened leadership, enhanced their creativity. There was a tradition going back to Jefferson, who founded the University of Virginia, that a liberal arts education was the core of our democracy. If we lose an educated populace, we’re open for demagogy. We need broadly educated people.”

18. How to Live Wisely

“The challenge is how to align your time commitments to reflect your personal convictions.”

19. Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection

“In 2003, Duke jolted academe with a report describing how its female students felt pressure to be ‘effortlessly perfect’: smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful and popular, all without visible effort. At Stanford, it’s called the Duck Syndrome. A duck appears to glide calmly across the water, while beneath the surface it frantically, relentlessly paddles.”

20. Affirmative Consent: Are Students Really Asking?

“It turns out that men and women are not great verbal communicators when it comes to sex.”

21. Finding a Career Track in LinkedIn Profiles

“The interrelated search engines allow anyone to essentially reverse-engineer career paths of LinkedIn members by navigating the connections between their majors, schools and careers. While only as accurate as the profiles, the results are nonetheless addictive if you’re interested in what people ended up doing with their English literature degree or where they worked before landing a great job at Google. Dive deep into profiles for details about members’ lives, their skill sets, and how they are connected to other companies and people.”

22. The Miracle of Preserves

“If cultivating soil was what let us settle, it was harnessing bacterial cultures and sugar, salt, acid, fat, sun and wind to paralyze microorganisms and save food from decay that let us unmoor, discovering all the world that was not visible from our cabbage patches. Basque cider allowed seamen to cross oceans. Dutch pickled herring fueled the exploration of the New World. Vikings spread cod in the riggings of their ships to dry and stiffen in the cold wind, then traded on it as they battled through Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Cheese was first a way of preserving milk; wine, of grape juice; sauerkraut, of cabbage; prosciutto, of pork. In this sense, all preserved things are additionally miraculous, in that they all are also ways of storing other things: part vessel, part content.”

23. A Dream Undone

“The fundamental promise of American democracy is that every citizen gets a vote, but delivering the franchise from on high and in the face of violent local opposition has always been a complicated legal proposition.”

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