Sunday 12.30.2018 New York Times Digest

1. How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

“Another good place to check is your local zoo or animal sanctuary, which might want trees for animal enrichment or food. One Michigan petting zoo, for instance, wants to turn your Christmas tree into a nutritious snack for its twin goats, Bubba and Gump.”

2. New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out

“This coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status — a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control. But it will also be a boon for readers, who will have more editions to choose from, and for writers and other artists who can create new works based on classic stories without getting hit with an intellectual property lawsuit.”

3. How Deepak Chopra, Wellness Expert, Spends His Sundays

“Everyday reality is a lucid dream, and I reflect on that. Then I detach from it and let it go. Experience is ungraspable. It’s all snapshots.”

4. A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job

“For-profit schools dominate the cosmetology training world and reap money from taxpayers, students and salon customers. They have beaten back attempts to create cheaper alternatives, even while miring their students in debt. In Iowa in particular, the companies charge steep prices — nearly $20,000 on average for a cosmetology certificate, equivalent to the cost of a two-year community-college degree twice over — and they have fought to keep the required number of school hours higher than anywhere else in the country.”

5. Sears Is Dying, but Workers’ Loyalty Lives On

“Today, there are dozens of Sears alumni groups, from Bangor, Me., to Sioux Falls, S.D., forming one of the largest and most active retiree networks in the nation.”

6. Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement

“A 30-to-40-year retirement is very different than a 10- or 20-year retirement.”

7. The President’s Field Trip to the Forever War

“This president embodies our republic’s earnest yet shallow understanding of military service, all the while acting as a reminder of the limited mass appeal of service itself.”

8. The Return of Sergio Corbucci

“He was a politically committed artist working in a popular form.”

9. Pop in the Era of Distraction

“Technology and distribution mechanisms — the guitar, the microphone, the LP, radio — have always shaped music. Now, social media and streaming are rewarding a rapidly changing skill set. It’s a different kind of career that makes music just one part of a pool of cultural content: aural, visual, textual, entrepreneurial.”

10. Where Have All the Vowels Gone?

“The planet is getting warmer and the alphabet is getting shorter.”

11. What the Fall of the Roman Republic Can Teach Us About America

“In Watts’s telling of the Roman Republic’s agonizing death, slow-moving structural transformations gradually sowed the seeds of demise. As the population exploded and the economy became ever more sophisticated, the growing share of poor citizens started to demand redress. But since the institutions of the republic were dominated by patricians who had much to lose from measures like land reform, they never fully addressed the grievances of ordinary Romans. With popular rage against increasingly dysfunctional institutions swelling, ambitious patricians, determined to outflank their competitors, began to build a fervent base of support by making outsize promises. It was these populares — populists like Tiberius Gracchus and his younger brother Gaius — who, in their bid for power, first broke some of the republic’s most longstanding norms.”

12. The Lives They Lived 2018

“Remembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.”

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