Sunday 10.21.2018 New York Times Digest


1. Let’s Agree Not to Kill One Another

“What does it say about a society when people just routinely call for the killing of those they disagree with?”

2. Four Thousand Miles for the W

“Sending an N.F.L. team overseas is a herculean venture. Players need passports, the equipment staff sends supplies months in advance, the travel director has to navigate an unfamiliar airport and hotel, and the trainers will often modify the players’ diet and sleep regimens. Then there is the equipment, some 21,000 pounds of it, that must be transported.”

3. Congratulations, You’re a Certified N.B.A. Agent. Good Luck Finding a Client.

“Just nine agents represent a quarter of the league, and 27 represent half.”

4. Where the Streets Have No Names

“Street names and house numbers weren’t inevitable; they were invented. Almost 250 years ago, for example, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria began to number the homes across her vast realm to enable mass conscription of men to fight her wars.”

5. Doctors Should Tell Their Patients to Vote

“Political decisions that affect insurance coverage, access to medical care, housing, minimum wage, immigration law, water sources — just to name a few examples — exert medical effects that are comparable with those of major diseases.”

6. No, A.I. Won’t Solve the Fake News Problem

“Existing A.I. systems that have been built to comprehend news accounts are extremely limited.”

7. Before Arguing About DNA Tests, Learn the Science Behind Them

“Look back far enough in your family tree, and you’ll encounter ancestors from whom you inherit no DNA at all.”

8. Fear of a Black Continent

“In the late 1990s Europe and Africa had about the same population; a hundred years later there could be seven Africans for every European.”

9. The Sound of ‘Housewives’

“Nearly every day of the year, somewhere on earth, at least one episode of ‘The Real Housewives’ is being filmed. They all sound like this: doot doot doot da da tsa tsa pleenk.”

10. At the Library

“Even in the age of the internet, the public library remains the place people come to for answers to their most pressing questions. The search has not been entirely replaced by the search engine.”

11. 12 Authors Write About the Libraries They Love

“We asked several authors to tell us about their local public library or to share a memory of a library from their past.”

12. Were the Founders Against Slavery All Along?

“Slavery is at the heart of the nation’s origin story. The core of our democratic institutions — from the presidency to the Congress to the courts — was shaped immeasurably by it. And yet it is one of the least understood and distorted subjects in American history.”

13. The Man Who Pioneered Food Safety

“The origins of today’s food safety laws, drug safety laws, labeling requirements and environmental regulations can be found in the arguments of the Progressive movement at the turn of the last century.”

14. Books for Better Sex and Better Relationships

“Republicans are publicly more conservative in their tastes, but in their private lives are more likely than Democrats to crave taboo situations like exhibitionism, voyeurism and fetishism.”

15. Does This Moment in History Call for More ‘Nuance,’ or Less?

“Often we obey the vague format of a deliberative conversation, putting forth arguments and evidence only to be shocked when we learn that we are not in a deliberation at all: We are in a raw struggle for power.”

16. Letter of Recommendation: Bandannas

“Unlike hats, bandannas are malleable. They can be relatively useless — mere decorative headwear — or relatively functional, as they were for a variety of laborers: cowboys, mine workers, maids, women with rivet guns in World War II factories. They can keep dust out of mouths, sweat out of eyes, hair out of the way. They’re ubiquitous among the Harley-Davidson crowd and old-school bank robbers. They can double as wraps and tignons, necklaces and tissues.”

17. How to Navigate a Maze

“Draw on all your senses.”

18. This Melissa McCarthy Story Just Might (Maybe? Possibly?) Cheer You Up

“She worries about comedy. She worries about the gloom and fatigue that flows beneath the streets, waiting to suck away her will to laugh and to make laughter.”

19. In Literature, Who Decides When Homage Becomes Theft?

“Now cultural appropriation is wielded as a pejorative against writers and artists who draw material from the trauma of those less privileged than themselves.”

20. Frogs Are Disappearing. What Does That Mean?

“One study estimates that since the 1970s, around 200 frog species have disappeared, with a projected loss of hundreds more in the next century. Frogs are under threat on nearly every continent: from the French Pyrenees to the Central American rain forests to the Sierra Nevada in California. Some species, like the dusky gopher frog, have been depleted by human encroachment on their habitats. But the decimation that started 50 years ago was largely the work of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which thickens a frog’s skin, hindering the animal’s ability to absorb water and oxygen and to maintain a balanced flow of electrolytes, leading to heart failure. Once infected, entire populations can collapse in a single season.”

21. Solange, the Polymathic Cultural Force

“Limitation leads her to discovery.”

22. Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man

“He is Hollywood’s most appealing man probably because he is Hollywood’s least threatening man. He is paternal but not patronizing; he possesses strength without aggression. Even in his most violent scenes, the tension builds but Mortensen rarely acts on it until necessary — like a judo master, he seems able to take another’s energy and flip it to his advantage. You desire him, but he doesn’t set out to seduce. He is one of the few actors for whom the female gaze has been possible (the shock of seeing a naked man on the screen only exists because it is still so rare). The women in his movies are drawn to him as if there’s a hidden stillness that they need to reach, like finding a pond in the middle of a forest. So much of masculinity on film feels like watching a gift you don’t want being unwrapped. But Mortensen’s operates on another plane.”



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