Sunday 6.5.2016 New York Times Digest


1. Muhammad Ali Dies at 74: Titan of Boxing and the 20th Century

“Loved or hated, he remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable people on the planet.”

2. A Weekend in Chicago: Where Gunfire Is a Terrifying Norm

“The year, so far, has been steeped in blood. Shootings — 1,177 as of the Friday morning before Memorial Day — are up by 50 percent for the year. Two hundred and thirty-three people are dead.”

3. A Plan to Give Whales and Other Ocean Life Some Peace and Quiet

“Whales and dolphins have extraordinary hearing and the ability to communicate in widely varying voices. But sound produced by human activity can get in the way.”

4. America Is Hitting the Road Again

“It’s partly that gasoline this driving season is cheaper than it has been in 11 years, according to the AAA motor club, and that the reviving economy is making people more willing to part with their money. But there is more than that at play here. This may be a cultural shift, as Americans experiment with the notion that maybe money can, in fact, buy happiness, at least in the form of adventures and memories.”

5. More Time to Unwind, Unless You’re a Woman

“If people in all of these groups are working less, then someone must be working more. The answer, overwhelmingly, is women, who have taken on an Atlaslike role in supporting American economic growth.”

6. Educate Your Immune System

“These findings are very preliminary, but they support a decades-old (and unfortunately named) idea called the hygiene hypothesis. In order to develop properly, the hypothesis holds — to avoid the hyper-reactive tendencies that underlie autoimmune and allergic disease — the immune system needs a certain type of stimulation early in life. It needs an education.”

7. Peter Thiel’s Dropout Army

“We already have enough OKCupids. We don’t have enough of the desperately needed inventions — nuclear fusion energy or cancer cures — that emerge when credentialed scientists tinker away for years on expensive machines that have nothing to do with Snapchat. Of course, this sort of tinkering most often happens in the academic institutions that Mr. Thiel reviles, despite their role in the foundational breakthroughs — such as the internet — that enabled Mr. Thiel to build his $2.7 billion fortune.”

8. The Families That Can’t Afford Summer

“For most parents, summer, that beloved institution, is a financial and logistical nightmare.”

9. Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice.

“Nobody wants to see your true self.”

10. Sexploitation Films, Short on Good Taste, Still Have Devotees

“Sexploitation has been around since men (and yes, it’s mostly men) first learned how to turn on a camera and watch women (and yes, it’s mostly women) get naked and do something ridiculous (or violent). A genre rooted in nudie reels of the silent era, sexploitation had its golden age in the 1960s as the sexual revolution pushed the boundaries of cinematic depictions of nudity. Around 1970, the birth of hard-core pornography made sexploitation mainstream, prompting its demise.”

11. Ricky Jay’s Matthias Buchinger

“Matthias Buchinger (1674-1739) had no legs or feet, and only partial arms that terminated without hands, and yet he was internationally celebrated for his dexterity. He did magic tricks with cups and balls. He manipulated dice and cards. He loaded and fired guns. He played the flute, bagpipes, dulcimer and trumpet. He bowled trick shots with a skittle ball through a maze of candles and wine­glasses. He donned Highland dress and danced a hornpipe on his leather-clad stumps.”

12. Gardens: The Rooftop Growing Guide, and More

“Whatever your answer — for food, for beauty, for peace, for escape, for muscle tone — there are books aplenty to help you ponder root causes.”

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