Sunday 7.28.2019 New York Times Digest

1. The Mosquitoes Are Coming for Us

“Mosquitoes are our apex predator, the deadliest hunter of human beings on the planet. A swarming army of 100 trillion or more mosquitoes patrols nearly every inch of the globe, killing about 700,000 people annually.”

2. Is Peak TV Really a Bonanza for Female Comics?

“The economics of streaming are starting to resemble traditional broadcast television more than most highbrow viewers realize.”

3. To Fight ‘McMansions,’ One Protester Spoils the View (With Himself)

“Seven days a week, Jim Halbrook stands outside a 12-home development on Bainbridge Island, Wash., holding sign decrying the environmental impact of big homes, or ‘McMansions.’”

4. Who Owns Theodore Roosevelt?

“Like a handful of other figures in American history — Washington, Lincoln, King — Roosevelt inspires admiration across the political spectrum, in part because his own politics are so hard to place. Through his career and his voluminous writings, he can appear as a reformer, a nativist, an imperialist, a trustbuster, a conservative and a progressive — often at the same time.”

5. It’s Not Just a Chemical Imbalance

“Black-and-white narratives of psychopathology neglect the tremendous psychological impacts of social and material circumstance: access to the basics of survival; the burdens of intergenerational trauma and insufficient social support systems; the existential gut punch of pervasive injustice.”

6. Can This Ancient Greek Medicine Cure Humanity?

“Many indispensable medicines can be traced back to the earth’s forests and fields: another reason to protect and nurture them a whole lot better than we do.”

7. In Politics, Apologies Are for Losers

“An apology tended to decrease rather than to increase overall support for those who said or did things that many people consider offensive.”

8. Why We Call Things ‘Porn’

“Food porn is images of food, used for immediate pleasure, without your having to go out and buy the food, cook it or worry about the calories. Real estate porn is pictures of real estate, used for instant gratification, without your having to buy the house, clean it or take care of all that furniture. And so on.”

9. Has Robert Mapplethorpe’s Moment Passed?

“His sexually explicit images, once shocking, now look like clinical illustrations in a textbook on fetishes, while his glorifications of black men feed into old, odious stereotypes.”

10. Blue Note Records at 80 + A History of Blue Note Records in 15 Albums

“The name Blue Note Records calls to mind a once-regnant sound in jazz: the hard-bop of the 1950s and ’60s, with its springy four-beat swing rhythm, its spare-but-lush horn harmonies, its flinty, percussive piano playing. Imagine a smoky room with a horn player blowing fiercely over a strolling standup bass, and you’re hearing the Blue Note sound. Think of a modernist, cobalt-hued album cover, with blocky title text and a photo of a studious young musician hunkered over an instrument, and you’re envisioning the Blue Note look.”

11. Why Pop Culture Still Can’t Get Enough of Charles Manson + The Manson Murders: What to Read, Watch and Listen To

“At least one prestigious university offers a semester-long seminar on the murders.”

12. Why Do Women Love True Crime?

“Men, the statistics tell us, are involved in violent crime — as perpetrators and victims alike — in much larger numbers than women. When women are connected to crime, we’re much more likely to be victims or survivors. Perhaps our fascination with these stories stems in part from wanting to learn from them. If a woman escaped her attacker in this particular way, we think, perhaps I could too.”

13. What’s Meat Got to Do With It?

“Ultimately, these semantic squabbles are about marketing. They’re not being fought by consumers.”

14. Stage Right

“Trump and his proxies are constantly hitching the White House agenda to popular culture using the language of action movies.”

15. When You Wear Sunscreen, You’re Taking Part in a Safety Study

“All of us are taking part in toxicology studies, whether we like it — or know it — or not.”

16. The $60 Gadget That’s Changing Electronic Music

“Making something cheaper alters a tool’s potential. It makes it available to more people, and it changes the idea of the instrument, what it’s used for and who uses it. In other words: How an instrument is made — its means of production — influences the music it might be used to create.”

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