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In the News 24.11.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 24.11.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 24.11.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 24.11.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Living with an Open Heart Creates Hope

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When I read James Doty’s New York Times bestseller, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain, I was thoroughly enchanted. His story inspired me to believe that my future could be brighter than I can currently imagine.

Doty is a medical doctor and a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University, and also the founder and director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). His work and accomplishments in this field put him squarely in the company of spiritual and religious leaders, such as the Dalai Lama, who is also a founding patron of the center.

It was a bright Monday morning when I went to visit Doty in his Stanford hospital office. After walking through a short, nondescript hallway, I arrived at a sparse waiting room. Doty was punctual; before I could finish reviewing my notes, I heard soft, jingling chimes approaching. A young and lanky golden retriever with a collar of bells bounced through the door, and then Doty himself stepped through. He is a bear of a man, imposingly tall with a shock of thick white hair. His wide face glows with a quiet kindness, softening the initial impression of his intimidating size.

Read the rest of this article at Quartz

The Hygge Conspiracy

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Inescapably and suddenly, Britain has been invaded by hygge. The Danish word, previously unknown to all but the most hardcore Scandophiles, is now the subject of an avalanche of books, hundreds of Identikit newspaper features, and endless department-store winter displays. Every story on the subject explains that the word defies literal translation, before offering “cosiness” as a workable approximation – it’s not exactly that, but rather, a feeling of calm togetherness and the enjoyment of simple pleasures, perhaps illuminated by the gentle flicker of candlelight.

Not the least of the paradoxes of this craze, which you might also call a wildly overhyped trend, is that simply pronouncing it is almost impossible for British tongues. The first mention of hygge in any text – where it sits so invitingly on the page, with its row of curvaceous descenders – usually comes with a phonetic guide. This is in order to prevent readers from committing the faux-pas of uttering “higgy” or “huggy” – or, worse, “hig”. “Hue-gah”, “hoo-gah”, “heurgh” and “hhyooguh” are among the approximations offered in the (at least) nine books on hygge published this autumn. (The Sun, helpfully, suggests it should rhyme with “cougar”.)

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

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Why Many Young Russians See a Hero in Putin

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He doesn’t know where to take me when I meet him at the hotel by the train station, so we just start to walk down the dusty summer streets of Nizhniy Tagil, a sputtering industrial city on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains. His name is Sasha Makarevich, a 24-year-old cement worker, a blond ponytail falling down his back, a Confederate flag stitched onto his cutoff denim vest. “I thought it just meant independence,” he explains when I ask about it.

We walk past a small, one-story cube of a building covered with images of red Soviet stars and the orange-and-black St. George’s ribbon that holds imperial, Soviet, and Russian military medals. “We could go in here,” Sasha shrugs. “But it’s full of people who survived the Nineties.”

Read the rest of this article at National Geographic

Is He With Them

Donald Trump supporters clash with anti-Trump demonstrators outside a private event in Aston, PA, where the candidate announced his policy on child care with daugther Ivanka at his side on Sept. 13th, 2016.

Jeff Blehar had no idea he was about to become a conduit for a virulent political awakening. It was July 2015, and the conservative writer and outspoken critic of freshly minted presidential candidate Donald Trump was being pummeled on Twitter with a profane-sounding political dis: “cuckservative.” The term, which had recently begun appearing on fringe internet forums, was meant to denigrate mainstream Republicans as impotent traitors, in part by evoking a genre of porn that features white men watching their wives have sex with black men.

“I want to congratulate [the] guy who keeps calling me a ‘cuckservative’—you win, dude,” Blehar tweeted sarcastically. “You’re right, and I’m deleting my account out of shame.”

Conservative pundit and Trump critic Erick Erickson soon weighed in, tweeting that he had read about cuckservatism in the white nationalist Radix Journal. Now it was game on for the trolls. A user named “dindu refugee” called Erickson “a cuckservative if I’ve ever seen one.” Paul Kersey, creator of the racist blog Stuff That Black People Don’t Like, taunted Erickson about previously living in Macon, Georgia: “Now it’s a black hellhole which you won’t dare mention. #Cuckservative.”

Read the rest of this article at Mother Jones

Obama Reckons With a Trump Presidency

Inside a stunned White House, the President considers his legacy and America’s future.

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e morning after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Barack Obama summoned staff members to the Oval Office. Some were fairly junior and had never been in the room before. They were sombre, hollowed out, some fighting tears, humiliated by the defeat, fearful of autocracy’s moving vans pulling up to the door. Although Obama and his people admit that the election results caught them completely by surprise—“We had no plan for this,” one told me—the President sought to be reassuring.

“This is not the apocalypse,” Obama said. History does not move in straight lines; sometimes it goes sideways, sometimes it goes backward. A couple of days later, when I asked the President about that consolation, he offered this: “I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world.”

Obama’s insistence on hope felt more willed than audacious. It spoke to the civic duty he felt to prevent despair not only among the young people in the West Wing but also among countless Americans across the country. At the White House, as elsewhere, dread and dejection were compounded by shock. Administration officials recalled the collective sense of confidence about the election that had persisted for many months, the sense of balloons and confetti waiting to be released. Last January, on the eve of his final State of the Union address, Obama submitted to a breezy walk-and-talk interview in the White House with the “Today” show. Wry and self-possessed, he told Matt Lauer that no matter what happened in the election he was sure that “the overwhelming majority” of Americans would never submit to Donald Trump’s appeals to their fears, that they would see through his “simplistic solutions and scapegoating.”

“So when you stand and deliver that State of the Union address,” Lauer said, “in no part of your mind and brain can you imagine Donald Trump standing up one day and delivering the State of the Union address?”

Obama chuckled. “Well,” he said, “I can imagine it in a ‘Saturday Night’ skit.”

Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @aquazzura, @blackittenclub, @kristinabazan