Sunday 5.12.2019 New York Times Digest

1. Life as We Know It

“‘Biodiversity’ — a word encompassing all living flora and fauna — ‘is declining faster than at any time in human history,’ it says, estimating that ‘around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades,’ unless the world takes transformative action to save natural systems. The at-risk population includes a half-million land-based species and one-third of marine mammals and corals.”

2. The End of the Warriors as We Know Them

“No place tries like California, a mind-set as much as a place. California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else. Nothing feels permanent, even without earthquakes and fires.”

3. They Got Rich Off Uber and Lyft. Then They Moved

“Once their wealth was assured, these tech workers quit the companies and fled California, which has the nation’s highest state income tax, at more than 13 percent, to reside in lower-tax states like Texas and Florida, where there is no personal state income tax.”

4. Grappling With a Style Legacy

“For better or worse, the expectations set by our parents creep into the homes we build as adults, influencing how we decorate and maintain our space, and setting a standard that we either strain to meet or try to flee.”

5. It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

“Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.”

6. Breaking Up Facebook Is Not the Answer

“Success should not be penalized.”

7. Welcome to the World of Subprime Children

“What’s the appeal of an I.S.A. over a regular student loan? From a capitalist’s perspective, the federal government has a weakness: It treats all borrowers the same. Borrowers face the same interest rates whether they are mediocre art students or valedictorians studying quantum computing at a top engineering school. But private I.S.A. lenders can skim the cream of students off the top.”

8. Can You Trust Generic Drugs?

“Nearly forty percent of all our generic drugs are made in India. Eighty percent of active ingredients for both our brand and generic drugs come from abroad, the majority from India and China. America makes almost none of its own antibiotics anymore.”

9. Why We Still Care About America’s Founders

“If the central figures in our creation story have frequently been embalmed in reverence, they nonetheless remain beguiling, worthy of perpetual scrutiny and, often, of emulation.”

10. Math Teachers Should Be More Like Football Coaches

“A growing body of research shows that students are affected by more than just the quality of a lesson plan. They also respond to the passion of their teachers and the engagement of their peers, and they seek a sense of purpose. They benefit from specific instructions, constant feedback and a culture of learning that encourages resilience in the face of failure — not unlike a football practice.”

11. Grizzlies in the Backyard

“Can people share landscapes and their properties with bears that can top 1,000 pounds and have four-inch claws?”

12. Money, Ethics, Art: Can Museums Police Themselves?

“In the space of barely a year, the very foundations of museums — the money that sustains them, the art that fills them, the decision makers that run them — have been called into question. And there’s no end to questioning in sight.”

13. Drone Shots Here, There, Everywhere

“Over the past few years, shots taken by drone — steadily gliding images looking down at houses and cities and fields below — have become epidemic in documentary, no matter the subject.”

14. Howard Stern Says He Has Changed. How Much?

“I meet people and they go, ‘I have a radio show,’ and I want to strangle them. I’m like, ‘No, you don’t. You’re doing a podcast.’ People just talk and talk and there’s nothing exciting going on. To do a good interview, there’s a certain knowledge you must bring to it, a certain intelligence, a certain empathy. You have to not only do research but also have a sense of what keeps people interested, when to cut them off, when to help them out. It’s a whole process, and you have to labor over it.”

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