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In the News 16.07.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 16.07.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@chloecleroux
In the News 16.07.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 16.07.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@o929leo

The Full Story Of Thailand’s Extraordinary Cave Rescue

On 23 June, 12 boys went exploring in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province with their football coach – and ended up trapped deep inside a cave underneath a mountain. The BBC’s Helier Cheung and Tessa Wong were at the scene as a dramatic rescue bid gripped the world.

What happened over those two weeks is a remarkable story of friendship, human endurance – and the lengths some people will go to save someone else’s child.

Here our reporters tell the full story of the Wild Boars.

The birthday party that went wrong
It all began with a birthday.

On Saturday 23 June, Peerapat “Night” Sompiangjai turned 17 – a milestone most young people around the world would want to celebrate in style.

His family had prepared a bright yellow SpongeBob SquarePants birthday cake and several colourfully wrapped presents at their home in a rural village in Mae Sai district.

Read the rest of this article at: BBC

The Extraordinary Life Of Martha Gellhorn, The Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried To Erase

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A maverick war correspondent, Hemingway’s third wife was the only woman at D-Day and saw the liberation of Dachau. Her husband wanted her home in his bed.

One sultry morning last June, I hired a car to take me from beautifully ruinous Old Havana, through ravaged parts of the city most tourists never see, to the nearby village of San Francisco de Paula, a dusty speck of a place that was once home to Cuba’s most famous American expat, Ernest Hemingway.

Having painted him into two historical novels and become an accidental aficionado of his life, I have made it a point to visit all of Hemingway’s residences—from Oak Park to Paris, from Key West to Ketchum—but this time I actually came looking for someone else: his third wife, Martha Gellhorn. It was she who found the 19th-century estate Finca Vigía (Watchtower Farm) in the want ads of a local paper in 1939, and she who undertook extensive renovations, at her own expense.

The couple had just come from Spain, where they had lived side by side as international correspondents and clandestine lovers in Madrid’s Hotel Florida, a mile’s walk from one of the fronts in the Spanish Civil War and the target of frequent shell attacks by Franco’s artillery. This, her first war, took every ounce of Gellhorn’s courage, and it changed her in innumerable ways. And yet somehow house hunting in Cuba took even more bravery.

Franco had gutted Spain, Hitler was on the loose in Europe, and nations were tumbling ever faster toward world war. Nearer by, her lover was legally bound to another: wife number two, Pauline Pfeiffer, mother of two of his sons. Cuba, for him, was the perfect bolt-hole. But for Gellhorn, seeking happiness under these circumstances was a dangerous, even radical, act.

Read the rest of this article at: Town & Country

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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Oakland In Their Bones, And In Their Films

OAKLAND, Calif. — Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal stood squinting in the June sun, unsure what to make of the graffiti-covered walls of a Boys & Girls Club here. The bright blue building in front of them had been spotless just a few months earlier, when Mr. Casal and Mr. Diggs, both Oakland born and bred, had last seen it.

More jarring was the new Ford GoBike docking station that a Lyft-owned company had installed next to the clubhouse. A trendy bike-sharing service in West Oakland? “All I know is that it was clean and blue when we scouted it, and it was clean and blue when we shot in front of it,” said Mr. Diggs, who stars with Mr. Casal in “Blindspotting,” an Oakland-set comic drama that arrives in theaters on July 20. “And then the shiny bikes came and now there’s graffiti. That means something.”

Mr. Casal had a guess. “I see a neighborhood screaming, ‘You can’t erase me,’” he said. “The rebellion of graffiti sometimes is to shout, ‘I’m here. Don’t forget that I’m here.’ It’s putting your name on things when you’re being swept over.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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Bourdain Confidential

Anthony Bourdain had started smoking again, was the first thing I noticed as he sat down with me last February. He was a bit hung over from a recent working trip to south Louisiana for Cajun Mardi Gras; “Harder partying than I’m used to, I gotta say,” he said, laughing. Despite his great height his leonine head seemed just huge, and a little fleshier than I’d imagined; there was this slight dissipation to him.

But no—who could be troubled about the wellbeing of Anthony Bourdain? Just look at him, so debonair, so completely at ease. A veritable prince of savoir vivre. Sixty-one, and still very elegant in his looks; the word sexy came to mind. Almost an old-fashioned word now. The sort of person who seems to think with his hips, his hands. He was in love, he would later admit; he and his new girlfriend, Asia Argento, had started smoking again together. He was a little rueful about the smoking, had the air of someone who meant to quit soon.

As he started to talk, everything about him became familiar at once; he slipped so effortlessly into the sleek carapace of his fame. The very air of vulnerability he projected, along with the rough candor, was part of this persona. But in fact he was a very private person, as his assistant, Laurie Woolever, reminded me after his death. Something I’d already known, from reading his books; he’d liked the piece I’d written about him and sent me an unbelievably kind note about it, which was what had emboldened me to ask for an interview. That, and he was famously generous to writers in general.

Read the rest of this article at: Popula

What Ancient DNA Says About Us

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The study of prehistory – roughly everything before 5,000 years ago – began by grubbing in the earth for the remains of settlements and goods and bones and fossils. Before that, there was the geological record with a time frame crudely assessed by comparing strata and estimating sedimentation rates. All this changed with radioactive dating, invented by the great physicist Ernest Rutherford in 1905. First, it impacted geology, giving us an accurate time frame for the history of the earth, and then for the fossil record of early Homo sapiens, now dated to around 300,000 years ago. In 1949 came radiocarbon dating, which gives us a date for when living things died. Although it is effective for only up to 50,000 years, it revolutionised the study of the more recent past. Archaeologists had dates for their settlements, pots and ancient human samples.

Now, scientists can analyse ancient DNA – which is where David Reich comes in. A Harvard geneticist, Reich’s pioneering work is rewriting human prehistory. His book Who We Are and How We Got Here (Oxford University Press) contains startling new findings across the whole period of human evolution, heralding a new era of human understanding of our own place in the world. Reich is an urbane and affable 45-year-old, the model of the modern professor. History was his first passion; he started with social studies at Harvard, switched to physics, then began but didn’t finish a PhD in biochemistry at Oxford. He was clearly searching for something. All these disciplines suddenly added up when he began to work in medical genetics and then in ancient genetics.

Ancient DNA studies began around 20 years ago, but the field was small. Sequencing was slow and expensive, the samples – from small quantities found in well-preserved specimens – were few, and they were hard to purify after thousands of years of contamination by bacteria. After an “apprenticeship” with ancient DNA pioneer Svante Pääbo at Leipzig in 2007, Reich set up his own lab at Harvard in 2013, where he created a “genomics factory”, industrialising the analysing process and sequencing hundreds of samples in a single study. Reich works with large collaborative teams across global universities but he is the acknowledged leader. In 2015 he was named by Nature magazine as one of 10 scientists of the year.

It is the industrial scale of Reich’s work that enables startlingly precise conclusions to be drawn about prehistory. By the end of 2015, more than half the world’s ancient DNA sequences came from his lab. That’s the quantity – but what are the implications for understanding both the world before history began and our current position?

Read the rest of this article at: New Humanist

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

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