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In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@dana_chels
In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@_holl
In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@ch.phr8ph

There Be Ice Dragons Here

I hope our World Cup opponents aren’t reading this, because I’m gonna tell you exactly what has made our tiny country so successful.

But first, I need to explain a little bit about Iceland. Because I’ve noticed that now, whenever I meet people, they’ll say, “Oh, you’re from Iceland? That’s so cool. Northern Lights! Yeah, man!”

After the Euros put our country in the spotlight, it seemed like everybody started going to Reykjavik on vacation.

But I’m not from the vacation part of Iceland.

I’m from the north of Iceland.

If you try to find my town on old maps, it just says: There Be Ice Dragons Here.

My hometown is a place called Akureyri, with about 18,000 people. There wasn’t really much else to do there except play sports, so I began playing football. Of course, I dreamed of becoming a pro. But there were two problems.

Read the rest of this article at: The Players’ Tribune

Inside The Crypto World’s Biggest Scandal

In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

ONE DAY IN the spring of 2010, Kathleen McCaffrey, a sophomore at New York University, received an invitation from a stranger named Arthur Breitman. On the basis of what Breitman had been told about her political persuasion by a mutual acquaintance, he thought she might want to join his monthly luncheon for classical liberals. (­Breitman had also seen a photograph of McCaffrey and thought she was pretty.) McCaffrey, the curious type, accepted.

BREITMAN WAS NOT typically one to overextend himself socially, but he made a “beeline” for McCaffrey, she recalls, when she walked in the door. The luncheon, it turned out, was actually for anarcho-capitalists—people who believe that an absolutely free, self-regulating market will allow individuals, bound to one another by contract alone, to flourish in radical harmony. But by the time McCaffrey discovered she’d been misled, they’d already hit it off. She told Breitman she admired Milton Friedman. Breitman was pleased to report that he was friends with Friedman’s grandson, Patri, and offered to lend her a book about freedom by Patri’s father.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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How To Spot A Perfect Fake: The World’s Top Art Forgery Detective

The unravelling of a string of shocking old master forgeries began in the winter of 2015, when French police appeared at a gallery in Aix-en-Provence and seized a painting from display. Venus, by the German Renaissance master Lucas Cranach the Elder, to describe the work more fully: oil on oak, 38cm by 25cm, and dated to 1531. Purchased in 2013 by the Prince of Liechtenstein for about £6m, Venus was the inescapable star of the exhibition of works from his collection; she glowed on the cover of the catalogue. But an anonymous tip to the police suggested she was, in fact, a modern fake – so they scooped her up and took her away.

The painting had been placed in the market by Giuliano Ruffini, a French collector, and its seizure hoisted the first flag of concern about a wave of impeccable fakes. Ruffini has sold at least 25 works, their sale values totalling about £179m, and doubts now shadow every one of these paintings. The authenticity of four, in particular, including the Cranach, has been contested; the art historian Bendor Grosvenor said they may turn out to be “the best old master fakes the world has ever seen.” Ruffini, who remains the subject of a French police investigation, has denied presenting these paintings as old masters at all. To the Art Newspaper, he protested: “I am a collector, not an expert.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

This Is What A Nuclear Bomb Looks Like

In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In his efforts to Make America Great Again, Donald Trump has succeeded in reviving at least one aspect of America’s past: the fear of nuclear war. Since taking office, the president has boasted about the size of his “Nuclear Button,” jettisoned the nuclear deal with Iran, and threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea. His national-security adviser, John Bolton, openly advocates a first-strike policy against nuclear-armed enemies, and the Pentagon, after decades of careful disarmament, wants to spend $1.2 trillion to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. If you’ve felt a new shiver of nuclear fear over the past year, you’re not alone: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its “Doomsday Clock” to within two minutes of midnight — closer than it has been since the height of the Cold War. In January, when a state employee in Hawaii mistakenly triggered an emergency alert, warning that a ballistic missile was inbound, many islanders raced to take shelter and unite with their loved ones, believing they were only minutes away from utter devastation.

What made the false alarm all the more frightening is just how plausible the prospect of a nuclear strike has become. The U.S. and Russia, both of which maintain massive nuclear arsenals, are increasingly at odds. Iran has announced plans to ramp up its production of enriched uranium. North Korea may already have nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the U.S., and there is no way to know whether Trump’s negotiations with Kim Jong-un will wind up increasing or decreasing the prospect of nuclear war. But the current state of dread, while entirely understandable, has overshadowed two crucial realities about the threat of a nuclear calamity. First, a nuclear attack on the United States could well come not from the skies but from the streets. Experts warn that it would be relatively easy for terrorists to build an “improvised nuclear bomb” and smuggle it into America. Building a ten-kiloton bomb nearly as destructive as the one dropped on Hiroshima would require little more than some technical expertise and 46 kilograms of highly enriched uranium — a quantity about the size of a bowling ball.

The second reality we have failed to understand is what a nuclear detonation and its aftermath would actually look like. In our imaginations, fueled by apocalyptic fictions like The Road and The Day After, the scale and speed of nuclear annihilation seem too vast and horrific to contemplate. If nuclear war is considered “unthinkable,” that is in no small part because of our refusal to think about it with any clarity or specificity. In the long run, the best deterrent to nuclear war may be to understand what a single nuclear bomb is capable of doing to, say, a city like New York — and to accept that the reality would be even worse than our fears.

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

The Cold War And Its Fallout

In the News 06.20.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I was born into Cold War America, 1963: Brezhnev, the Kremlin, the KGB, ICBMs, the Warsaw Pact. My father was a hard-line Republican, a Rough Rider looking for his Roosevelt. Reentry vehicles, NATO, first-strike capability, limited strike, and hardened silos were all part of my vocabulary by the time I was 12. He dismissed with contempt liberals who wanted to cut the defense budget and showed me bar graphs comparing U.S. and Soviet military hardware. The red bars representing Soviet numbers always towered alarmingly over the blue ones, except when it came to helicopters; the United States had a lot of those.

The stalemate between the superpowers has been over for a long time, but every now and then I still catch some of the fallout. While making a furniture run, for example, with a friend — Danny had mothballed a bedroom set at his mother’s house and needed a hand getting it into his truck. We went to the front porch in jeans, construction boots, jackets. It was a chilly March afternoon. He rang the bell.

Danny’s mother, a small Korean woman, opened the door. She gasped when she saw me, then covered her mouth. I almost stepped back, wondering what I’d done wrong.

Mrs. Lo Cascio lowered her hands. “You look just like your father!”

From his early 20s on, my father had had a mustache, and this was the first time Mrs. Lo Cascio had seen me with a beard. Her reaction was a rerun of an incident at my father’s wake in June 1983, a couple of weeks before I turned 20. Uncle Eddy, an adopted member of the family, put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “You’re the ghost of your father when he was 17.” As often happens at funerals, his face performed a high-wire act between smiling and crying.

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

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

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