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In the News 08.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 08.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 08.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 08.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity

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DO some people have a special talent for serendipity? And if so, why?

In 2008, an inventor named Steve Hollinger lobbed a digital camera across his studio toward a pile of pillows. “I wasn’t trying to make an invention,” he said. “I was just playing.” As his camera flew, it recorded what most of us would call a bad photo. But when Mr. Hollinger peered at that blurry image, he saw new possibilities. Soon, he was building a throwable videocamera in the shape of a baseball, equipped with gyroscopes and sensors. The Squito (as he named it) could be rolled into a crawlspace or thrown across a river — providing a record of the world from all kinds of “nonhuman” perspectives. Today, Mr. Hollinger holds six patents related to throwable cameras.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

Exclusive: Jennifer Garner’s Frank Talk About Kids, Men, and Ben Affleck

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In an unassuming Italian restaurant in Santa Monica, I wait for Jennifer Garner. You’ve seen thousands of photographs of her: jeans, sweater, thick chestnut locks swept up in a ponytail—the definition of what it is to be California casual. This native West Virginian’s relaxed, unpretentious style has made her arguably one of the most respected public mothers in America and still a draw at the box office.

Her walk is brisk and to the point as she joins me at a table in the back. She lives up to expectations—flawless skin, no makeup, big smile. This is one of her favorite places; the busboy even asks how the children are. The reason she was a few minutes late: “I didn’t think I was nervous, but then I realized I was at the wrong restaurant.”

It’s been a “year of wine,” as the 43-year-old actress describes it, laughing. Late last June, after their children (Violet, 10, Seraphina, 7, and Sam, 4) were finished with the school year, Garner and her husband, Ben Affleck, announced their plan to divorce one day after their 10th anniversary—an eternity for most Hollywood marriages. A month later, plastered over the tabloids and gossip sites, came reports that Affleck was having an affair with the family nanny, 28-year-old Christine Ouzounian, something his camp adamantly denies. It’s a mother and wife’s nightmare. (After a few inappropriate Instagram moments, the nanny has since dissolved into the background.)

Read the rest of this article at Vanity Fair

SHOP

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Shop the Tuscany Tote at Belgrave Crescent and This Is Glamorous – The Shop

Everything Is Crumbling

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Nearly 20 years ago, psychologists Roy Baumeister and Dianne Tice, a married couple at Case Western Reserve University, devised a foundational experiment on self-control. “Chocolate chip cookies were baked in the room in a small oven,” they wrote in a paper that has been cited more than 3,000 times. “As a result, the laboratory was filled with the delicious aroma of fresh chocolate and baking.”

Read the rest of this article at Slate

Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy

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It’s never a happy moment when you’re shopping for a tombstone. When death comes, it’s the loss that transcends everything else and most tombstones are purchased in a fog of grief. Death is a threshold for the relatives and friends who live on as well, changing lives in both intense and subtle ways. It’s the most dramatic and yet the most mundane event of a life, something we all do, no exceptions, no passes.

Given the predictability of death it seems strange that Germany has a tombstone shortage. It’s not because they don’t know that people are going to die; it’s more a product of the complete control the government exerts over death and funerals. Everyone who dies must be embalmed before burial, for example, and the cremated can be buried only in approved cemeteries, never scattered in gardens or the sea. Rules abound about funerals and tombstones—even the size, quality, and form of coffins and crypts are officially regulated. All this leads to a darkly humorous yet common saying: “If you feel unwell, take a vacation—you can’t afford to die in Germany.”

Read the rest of this article at Longreads

The Weight of James Arthur Baldwin

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah travels to James Baldwin’s home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, and examines the impact of a writer whose legacy cannot be erased.

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It was an acquaintance’s idea to go there, to James Baldwin’s house. He knew from living in Paris that Baldwin’s old place, the house where he died, was near an elegant, renowned hotel in the Cote D’Azur region of France. He said both places were situated in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a medieval-era walled village that was scenic enough to warrant the visit. He said we could go to Baldwin’s house and then walk up the road for drinks at the hotel bar where the writer used to drink in the evening. He said we would make a day of it, that I wouldn’t regret it.

For the first time in my life I was earning a bit of money from my writing, and since I was in London anyway for work and family obligations I decided to take the train over to Nice to meet him. But I remained apprehensive. Having even a tiny bit of disposable cash was very new and bizarre to me. It had been years since I had I bought myself truly new clothes, years since going to a cash machine to check my balance hadn’t warranted a sense of impending doom, and years since I hadn’t on occasion regretted even going to college, because it was increasingly evident that I would never be able to pay back my loans. There were many nights where I lay awake turning over in my mind the inevitable — that soon Sallie Mae or some faceless, cruel moneylender with a blues song–type name would take my mother’s home (she had co-signed for me) and thus render my family homeless. In my mind, three generations of progress would be undone by my vain commitment to tell stories about black people in a country where the black narrative was a quixotic notion at best. If I knew anything about being black in America it was that nothing was guaranteed, you couldn’t count on anything, and all that was certain for most of us was a black death. In my mind, a black death was a slow death, the accumulation of insults, injuries, neglect, second-rate health care, high blood pressure, and stress, no time for self-care, no time to sigh, and, in the end, the inevitable, the erasing of memory. I wanted to write against this, and so I was writing a history of the people I did not want to forget. And I loved it; nothing else mattered, because I was remembering, I was staving off death.

Read the rest of this article at Buzzfeed

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.