Sunday 5.5.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now

“In book after book, if you do push on through one chapter break, and then on through the chapter break after that, something amazing happens. Subplots that would once have been murky to the point of incomprehensibility (what was the deal with that dead sea captain again?) step into the light. Little jokes and echoes, separated by dozens or even hundreds of pages, come rustling out of the text forest. A writer’s voice — Grace Paley at her slangy best, Nicholson Baker at his hypomanic craziest — starts to seep into and color the voice of your innermost thoughts.”

2. Nearly Half of College Students Surveyed in a New Report Are Going Hungry

“Stories about college hunger have been largely anecdotal, cemented by ramen and macaroni and cheese jokes. But recent data indicate the problem is more serious and widespread, affecting almost half of the student population at community and public colleges.”

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo Is the Pride of a Greece That Shunned Him

“When Antetokounmpo was still an ordinary mortal, he was seen as just another migrant in Greece illegally. Now that he is a basketball star, ‘he has become the ambassador for Greece.’”

4. To Combat Climate Change, Start From the Ground Up (With Dirt)

“Dirt is dead, soil is alive.”

5. A Century Ago, America Built Another Kind of Wall

“Race-based nativism comes with an exalted pedigree…. The scientific arguments Coolidge invoked were advanced by men bearing imposing credentials. Some were highly regarded scholars from Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford. One ran the nation’s foremost genetics laboratory. Another was America’s leading environmentalist at the time. Yet another was the director of the country’s most respected natural history museum.”

6. What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With

“At the current rate of change, MenCare, a group that promotes equal involvement in caregiving, estimates that it will be about 75 more years before men worldwide assume half of the unpaid work that domesticity requires.”

7. Why the Rich Don’t Get Audited

“Today, the wealthy and corporations have the I.R.S. outgunned. The ultra-affluent — with the help of legions of tax professionals — make domestic income disappear overseas or hide it in a pyramid of partnerships. It’s like trying to take on a modern army while armed with spears and clubs.”

8. The End Is Nigh: Time to Talk It Over

“The United States has been at war how many years now? And we’ve had these long-running movies that are just war movies, again and again. Yes, they are overtly depoliticized, but they certainly are political in another way. Each movie’s a justification of war.”

9. Riot Grrrl United Feminism and Punk. Here’s an Essential Listening Guide.

“This is a list of essential riot grrrl music, one song per artist — a starting point, not a totality. If you don’t like our list, make your own. That’s the point, really. Do it yourself.”

10. A Manifesto for Opting Out of an Internet-Dominated World

“She argues that because the internet strips us of our sense of place and time, we can counter its force by resituating ourselves within our physical environment, by becoming closer to the natural world.”

11. Why Are There So Many Books About Dogs?

“After at least 14,000 years of living with dogs, why are we only now getting around to considering what goes on inside their heads?”

12. Almost All the Colleges I Wanted to Go to Rejected Me. Now What?

“If your self-worth is tied to being better than others, then, you’re headed for trouble.”

13. Letter of Recommendation: Jury Duty

“It’s one thing to know, abstractly, how our legal system works and quite another to sit in the rusty conflict-resolution machine itself and understand that it really does fall to rooms like this and people like you to say whether someone died wrongly, and whether someone else should receive millions of dollars because of that. Life is mostly an accumulation of habits, slight turns, chance occurrences, but here we were tasked with making a decision that would instantly and probably irrevocably alter the course of our fellow citizens’ lives.”

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