Sunday 10.16.2016 New York Times Digest


1. How to Help an Injured Bird

“Keep the bird warm. The average body temperature of many migratory birds in flight is 105 degrees, but they can end up concussed on a cold cement sidewalk where the temperature can be 70 or 60 degrees.”

2. How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More

“What if paying workers more, training them better and offering better opportunities for advancement can actually make a company more profitable, rather than less?”

3. Corner Office: Jeff Goodby

“When I interview people, I look at their work ahead of time, but I don’t talk about their work. I try to find out who they are as people in the world. Do they do anything besides advertising? Do they have a life? Do they read? Do they have children? I’m listening for depth in terms of understanding of culture. Do they go to the movies and read books, or are they just reading trades and magazines and staying inside the echo chamber of advertising? Because the way you make yourself better is to get outside that echo chamber.”

4. What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism? Maybe the Economy

“Global economic weakness and a rise in inequality appear to be causing a disturbing growth in ethnic nationalism.”

5. Your Phone’s on Lockdown. Enjoy the Show.

“The pouch allows phone signals to get through, so someone can feel a phone vibrate when a message arrives. Anyone who needs access during a show may leave the room, have the device unlocked and use the phone in the lobby or outside — similar to the way smokers light up outside a nonsmoking theater.”

6. ‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’

“The closer you get to the border, the fewer people think that it might work — even among Trump supporters and law enforcement officials.

7. Is It Time to Desegregate the Sexes?

“In defining sex so expansively, the agencies may have walked themselves into a legal contradiction. Title IX has also been interpreted as saying that schools must not tolerate a ‘hostile environment’ that makes girls feel threatened and could impede their education. If the cisgender girl claims that the transgender girl is invading her privacy in a discomfiting way, that could also constitute a Title IX violation.”

8. What Do the Scary Clowns Want?

“Creepy clown sightings aren’t new. They date from at least May 1981, when the cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the term ‘phantom clowns’ to describe them. At the time, children in Brookline, Mass., were reporting clowns in vans who beckoned them with promises of candy. The police issued an all-points bulletin, established checkpoints and conducted searches, but no clowns were captured.”

9. How Cats Evolved to Win the Internet

“In many ways, their online dominance is an extension of their earthly conquests.”

10. Foreign Spouse, Happy Life

“Anyone who risks a life with someone outside of his in-group — not only across lines of nationality, but also those of religion, race and class — becomes a participant, whether he knows it or not, in a global experiment in developing empathy. The awareness and negotiation of small differences add up to a larger understanding about the complexities of the world.”

11. ‘Only White People,’ Said the Little Girl

“Why do I always have to make white people feel comfortable at the expense of who I am and my mood and my music and my thoughts?”

12. Why You Should Bet Against Your Candidate

“Despite the unease you might feel about betting against your own company, candidate or team, you ought to consider hedging — it can have significant benefits down the road.”

13. How The Birth of a Nation Silences Black Women

“In all these narratives, the rapes of women, black or white, are the prime motivation for Turner’s rebellion, while the women themselves are doubly marginalized. First, they are silenced by the violations against their bodies and then again when their victimization is cast as secondary to Turner’s heroism, their voices sidelined to the plot of Turner’s realization of his own manhood in the horror of slavery.”

14. In ‘Black Mirror,’ Sci-Fi That Feels Close to Home

“Its stories are grounded close to home, in the very near future. The result is a human drama (and sometimes, satire) that feels considerably more visceral, immediate and human than your old-fashioned dystopian nightmare.”

15. The Art of Making (and Not Making) Plans

“If technology has made bailing on commitments too easy, how about a radically different approach? Make fewer to begin with.”

16. A New Biography of Hitler Separates the Man From the Myths

“When Adolf Hitler turned 30, in 1919, his life was more than half over, yet he had made not the slightest mark on the world. He had no close friends and was probably still a virgin. As a young man, he had dreamed of being a painter or an architect, but he was rejected twice from Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts. He had never held a job; during his years in the Austrian capital before World War I, he survived by peddling his paintings and postcards, and was sometimes homeless. When war broke out in 1914, he entered the German Army as a private, and when the war ended four years later, he was still a private. He was never promoted, the regimental adjutant explained, because he ‘lacked leadership qualities.'”

17. Messy Proposes a Flexible Approach to Life

“It’s not that disruption is inherently good, or that we should strive actually to be messy — unconstrained by desks or real work spaces, free to roam and think, surrounded by playful towers of stuff in stubborn defiance of Kondo-ization. It’s that rigid rules are bad, whether they err on the side of too much mess or too little. Rigidity disempowers people. In telling us to be messy, Harford urges us to recapture our autonomy.”

18. The Quiet Menace of Kelly Reichardt’s Feminist Westerns

“Whether set on a cooperative farm (Night Moves, a 2013 eco-terrorism thriller) or in a desolate parking lot (Wendy and Lucy, a recession-era character study), her films are all, in their own strange way, westerns. The shots are rife with the genre’s archetypal motifs — horses, trains, buttes — and the quiet stories she tells, of lonesome, seminomadic searchers struggling to maintain dignity in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, fill the screen as forcefully as any film that John Wayne was ever in. Reichardt’s protagonists tend not to be men, however, but emotionally inarticulate women, whose problems the supposedly civilizing force of frontier justice never proves strong enough to fix.”

19. The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job

“True solidarity, Hawkins was coming to believe, involves physical risk and sustained labor. It also involves recognizing that structural inequality is a kind of violence, with physical effects on its victims. She referred to a passage in the book of Luke in which Jesus’ followers fail to recognize him after his resurrection.”

20. Generation Adderall

“We know very little about what Adderall does over years of use, in and out of college, throughout all the experiences that constitute early adulthood. To date, there is almost no research on the long-term effects on humans of using Adderall. In a sense, then, we are the walking experiment, those of us around my age who first got involved with this drug in high school or college when it was suddenly everywhere and then did not manage to get off it for years afterward — if we got off it at all. We are living out what it might mean, both psychologically and neurologically, to take a powerful drug we do not need over long stretches of time. Sometimes I think of us as Generation Adderall.”

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