Sunday 4.10.2016 New York Times Digest

Planet of the Apes

1. What I Learned From Tickling Apes

“In our haste to argue that animals are not people, we have forgotten that people are animals, too.”

2. Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists

“Coral reefs are the crucial incubators of the ocean’s ecosystem, providing food and shelter to a quarter of all marine species, and they support fish stocks that feed more than one billion people.”

3. Chicago State, a Lifeline for Poor Blacks, Is Under Threat Itself

“Since last July, when the fiscal year began, the university has received zero dollars from the state, though it relies on Illinois for 30 percent of its $105 million budget. If no one swoops in with a rescue plan, the school could shut down, stranding students mid-degree, eliminating hundreds of jobs and shuttering a path forward for a poor and underserved community.”

4. Virgins, Booze and American Elections

“Young people used to vote. And march, and speechify, and riot, in wild elections from the 1830s to 1900. Children, teenagers and young adults found personal meaning in public life. Politicians recruited ‘warm, fresh blood,’ as one organizer recalled, seeking new votes, as well as skills with brickbats and bowie knives (for when rallies turned rough). There was a time when young people were the most coveted demographic in politics.”

5. Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired

“Treating workers as if they are widgets to be used up and discarded is a central part of the revised relationship between employers and employees that techies proclaim is an innovation as important as chips and software. The model originated in Silicon Valley, but it’s spreading.”

6. Why Teachers on TV Have to Be Incompetent or Inspiring

“The persistence of these stock depictions of educators speaks to a widespread anxiety about what schools can or should accomplish, as well as ‘our cultural confusion about teachers.’”

7. Does My Family Own a Painting Looted by Nazis?

“Sometime in the years leading up to World War II, when Jewish art collections in Germany were already being pillaged, it was owned — if that’s the right word — by a Dutch Nazi collaborator and war profiteer, Dirk Menten. Did he steal it or buy it, and when? Did his brother, Pieter, a war criminal who murdered Jews and plundered their art collections, play a role?”

8. When a Feminist Pledges a Sorority

“One could argue, that as feminists, maybe we should push back, maybe we should be trying to tear down these systems of supposed oppression.”

9. Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger

“Airports have been drastically transformed since the 1970s, when you could smoke anywhere, stroll leisurely through security and hug your loved one at the gate before boarding the plane. Passing through security these days takes forever and sometimes borders on harassment. The lighting is brighter than a World Series night game. Almost all the chairs have armrests, preventing you from splaying out. And the ambient noise — the endless gate changes, the last calls for boarding, the CNN late-breaking news — makes it almost impossible to relax. It’s no wonder then that passengers often feel more like prisoners than clients.”

10. Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl

“So plant one tree this year, Jahren implores. ‘Becoming a tree is a long journey,’ she writes, a sometimes perilous one, as a great majority — 95 percent — will not live past their second year.”

11. Love in the Time of Monogamy

“In the United States, polygamy is technically a form of adultery, since it involves sexual relations between a married person and someone who is not his or her legal spouse. Adultery remains illegal in 21 states.”

12. Airbnb Becomes Dormbnb

“Students have been using Airbnb to offset the cost of college. The listings tend to omit one fact: that the bed is in student housing.”

13. Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest

“Tough-guy stereotypes die hard. As men continue to fall behind women in college, while outpacing them four to one in the suicide rate, some colleges are waking up to the fact that men may need to be taught to think beyond their own stereotypes.”

14. Will You Sprint, Stroll or Stumble Into a Career?

“In the 1980s, college graduates achieved financial independence, defined as reaching the median wage, by the time they turned 26, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. In 2014, they didn’t hit that mark until their 30th birthday.”

15. Job Hunting in the Digital Age

“Although the business of hiring is still largely a manual process, employers are experimenting with increasingly sophisticated technology. Some companies are setting loose automated recruiters that crawl the web for the perfect hire, based on an algorithm. Others are asking job candidates to answer their first round of interview questions via video — perhaps not a huge ask for members of the YouTube generation.”

16. Taking the Politics Out of American History (and Out of A.P.)

“The current framework is not perfect. Liberals and conservatives can agree on that. But how could it be, encompassing five centuries of American history and walking a balance beam of regional, political and pedagogical needs?”

17. The Unbearable Whiteness of Baseball

“Last year, black players made up just over 8 percent of big-league rosters, down more than 50 percent from 1981.”

18. Letter of Recommendation: Looking Out the Window

“Windows are, in this sense, a powerful existential tool: a patch of the world, arbitrarily framed, from which we are physically isolated. The only thing you can do is look.”

19. How to Make Money Collecting Bottles and Cans

“To make any money, you need to be in one of the 10 states where glass, aluminum and plastic containers are worth 2 to 15 cents each. You’ll also need a shopping cart.”

20. The C.E.O. of ‘Hamilton’ Inc.

“Broadway can be a very poor investment, but when shows hit, they really hit. The most successful of them dwarf the revenues of even the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. ‘Hamilton’ could easily run on Broadway for a decade or more. In September, the first road production will open in Chicago, and it will be a ‘sit down’ show, meaning it is intended to stay there for a year or more. Ultimately, there may be as many as seven ‘Hamilton’ companies, in addition to the one on Broadway, performing at the same time in multiple American and international cities. Ticket revenues, over time, could reach into the billions of dollars. If it hits sales of a mere $1 billion, which ‘Hamilton’ could surpass in New York alone, the show will have generated roughly $300 million in profit on the $12.5 million put up by investors. (There are many eye-­popping numbers to contemplate, but maybe the most striking one is this: The show is averaging more than $500,000 in profit every week.)”

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