Sunday 3.31.2019 New York Times Digest

1. What Better Muse than James Harden’s Beard?

“The rut he had found himself in career-wise, it seemed, had created an opportunity.”

2. How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow

“She realized a U.F.O. gathering was an unusual venue for debt-relief advice.”

3. The Lost History of One of the World’s Strangest Science Experiments

“The hummingbirds and honeybees died, leaving the crops unpollinated. Nematode worms and broad mites attacked the crops. Cockroaches reigned. Ten months into the mission, the project’s advisory board of experts delivered a blistering report criticizing its ill-defined goals and the crew’s lack of scientific expertise. Things got so fractious that the board quit en masse. And then Steve Bannon showed up.”

4. High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

“As we spent more time in schools, however, we noticed that powerful learning was happening most often at the periphery — in electives, clubs and extracurriculars.”

5. It’s Dangerous to Be a Boy

“Boyhood immerses boys in violence and the bullying that leads to it.”

6. Are You ‘Virtue Signaling’?

“If an individual is motivated by a desire to signal her virtue, that does not necessarily mean she is faking her outrage.”

7. Jordan Peele Crosses Over to ‘The Twilight Zone’

“Evolution has brought us to a place where we want to be good, for the most part. But we’ll never be all good.”

8. Keeping Up With the Kardashian Cash Flow

“Family turmoil feeds the celebrity news cycle, which drives interest in the TV show, which then helps to publicize an ever-increasing number of sponsorships and branded products.”

9. By the Book: Richard Powers

“I love novels that are obsessed with the ‘erotics of knowledge,’ books that understand how ideas are not the opposite of feelings but rather their intense distillation.”

10. Electric Blue

“Although innovative tools can help solve crimes, police departments often embrace new technologies without adequate testing or input from affected communities. The result is that ‘fixes’ can aggravate the very problems they were designed to remedy.”

11. Class Act

“If an elite school is a branding exercise, that brand is perhaps more valuable to rich parents than to rich kids. An underperforming, school-averse teenager is often content to attend a low-pressure state school with good parties; it’s his parents who are desperate to prevent this. More than faking their kids’ athletic or test-taking prowess, these parents have faked their own parenting.”

12. How to Talk to Dogs

“Research shows that even wolves are attuned to the attention of human faces and that dogs are particularly receptive to your gaze and pointing gestures.”

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