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In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@deareverest

The Great Mortality

One day several months ago, I filled a glass with tap water from our sink and noticed that it tasted unusually good — a bit creamy somehow, and a bit savory in the manner of club soda, which is superior to seltzer because of the sodium. It seemed especially thirst-quenching, yet so tasty I kept drinking more of it. A brewer I know told me Colorado water has more mineral content in the spring months due to mountain runoff, which might explain the change in flavor. I loved that idea.

But the explanation didn’t hold up. My husband, John, thought our water tasted the same as ever. More strikingly, every liquid I drank started to taste better to me. Wines tasted richer and more buttery; cheap wines tasted like they’d been aged for years in oak. Bourbon tasted sweeter and creamier too, almost like coconut. Canned seltzer tasted especially great, like an indulgence instead of a substitute. This went on for weeks. The internet told me I might be pregnant or diabetic. I was quite sure neither was true. Instead I grew increasingly suspicious that I might have a brain tumor.

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Man Behind The Scooter Revolution

In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Like so many inventions, the scooter was a child of necessity: Specifically, the need to get a bratwurst without looking like an idiot.

One night in 1990, Wim Ouboter, a Dutch-Swiss banker and amateur craftsman, was “in the mood for a St. Gallen bratwurst at the Sternengrill in Zurich,” or so the story goes. He wanted to get from his house to the brat place and then to a bar, stat, but the stops seemed too far apart to walk, and too close to drive. What he really needed, Ouboter decided, was a mode of transportation that would let him swiftly cover that micro-distance. A bike seemed like too much trouble to take out of the garage. What he wanted was a kick scooter.

Ouboter was a big fan of the mode—he came from a self-described family of “scooter freaks,” and he and his siblings had enjoyed hurtling down hills on clunky wooden kickboards as kids. For a brat-to-beer trip, though, he needed a grown-up upgrade—something durable enough to handle an adult rider, but also small and inconspicuous. “The problem is, if you’re a big guy and you’re riding such a small scooter, people will look at you weird,” he told me. “So you have to make it collapsible in order to bring it into a bar afterwards.”

No such machine existed, as far as he could tell. So he decided to make it himself.

“What was this ridiculous obsession with toy scooters?” his friends asked as Ouboter tinkered away. And yet he persisted, coming up with a low-slung, collapsible prototype with tiny polyurethane wheels, made of polished aluminum and outfitted with foam handlebars—a sleek machine that, he says, had “more sex appeal” than the clunky kids’ toys of yesterday.

Read the rest of this article at: Citylab

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Bradley Cooper Is Not

Really Into This Profile

Bradley Cooper is not not happy to be on the press tour for “A Star Is Born,” the movie he specifically, exactingly, meticulously, perfectionistically, obsessively directed, co-wrote and stars in. In fact, he’s very not not happy! He worked so hard on this movie. Every detail of it comes from a true thing — something he’s learned, something he’s seen, something he knows for sure. It’s such hard work to try for something true and to get it right, and maybe he’s succeeded.

What a huge bet this was; what a long haul it’s been; what a full-on occupation of the last four years — years in which he, after an Oscar nomination for “American Sniper,” had his pick of just about any role he wanted. Years in which his heart was consumed by little else. How could he not be excited for people to see it?

“This is the joyous period,” he told me.

This is the third remake of the movie, the story of the big male star who plucks the little woman from obscurity and watches her celebrity and relevance rise above his, to tragic consequences. Each one is slightly different, a reflection of the filmmaker himself — the way different chefs can make a roast chicken at different levels of transcendence. Mr. Cooper liked that. He liked that there was an opportunity to reflect himself in there: his romantic view of creativity, his despair of what commerce can do to art. He liked that it was a love story above all those things.

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

In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Same Difference

In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

As an aspirational ideal, “creativity” has a uniquely insidious siren song: It promises escape from the system that defines it. To be creative is to transcend or recombine the established order, but there’s always the danger of cooptation and appropriation. As Dr. Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park puts it to the park’s CEO, “You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunch box and you’re selling it, and you’re selling it!” But of course they are — why bother with scientific breakthroughs if you are not going to commodify them? Figuring out how to sequence DNA is one thing, but turning that idea into a theme park? That is true creativity.

In Against Creativity, Oli Mould, a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of London, explores this phenomenon of how radical and revolutionary ideas become mere fodder for lunch boxes. Creativity, Mould claims, is often invoked to describe not how ideas break free of capitalism but are made compatible with it. It recasts kinds of labor that may have seemed outside capitalist exploitation — care, emotion, art, design — as the most exploitable form of production. The way creativity is used today, Mould writes, “feeds the notion that the world and everything in it can be monetized.” Accordingly, creativity has become a means to rent, sell, or offer subscriptions to something that was once free or otherwise disconnected from the profit motive. Graffiti artists are hired by real estate firms to bring a safe level of grittiness to a neighborhood. Ebay asks us to choose between passing on a valuable collectable to a relative or finding the highest bidder.

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

Man-Eaters

In the News 09.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Of the twelve tigers I saw in India, one might have been a ghost; two were in water, eight were on land, and one was sleeping in a tree. One stepped out of high grass, crossed the road in front of me, and disappeared into grass on the other side. One walked along a low ridge on the edge of a different road, oblivious or indifferent to the tourists taking her photograph. One looked out from a cover of branches and red leaves, so perfectly concealed that from thirty feet away he kept stereoscoping in and out of sight. Three were cubs, just four or five months old. Three were juveniles, aged around one year. The rest were fully grown. All were tired, because the days were hot, and because the days were dry they moved and breathed and slept in a film of clay-colored dust.

Every morning we left before dawn, to have the best chance of seeing a tiger. At that hour the lodges didn’t serve breakfast, but at four forty-five or five o’clock or five fifteen they put out tea and ginger cookies, and sometimes porridge or fruits. Shadowed safarigoers in camouflage pants and intricately pocketed wrinkled vests gathered in hushed groups around the piles of their camera gear, sipping Darjeeling from china cups. Later, after we had driven for three or four hours, we would stop and the guides would spread a white tablecloth on the jeep’s hood and on this they would lay out a full breakfast: hard-boiled eggs in metal tins and green apples and basmati rice and triangular sections of cheese sandwich and salt in fluted glass shakers. Tea was steeped in boiling water, from kettles that drew power from the jeep’s battery. If we had stopped at a forest rest area there would be stalls where you could buy hot chai for twenty rupees and Coca-Cola for fifty rupees and also T-shirts, and books of wildlife photography still wrapped in cellophane. Tourists browsed among the tables or threw bits of egg to the stray dogs lying in the dust between the jeeps. I bought a Coke from a boy selling them from a dirty Styrofoam cooler, then looked out at the field of black bushes behind the rest area and wondered how close the tigers came.

As it happened, I never saw a tiger near a rest area. As it happened, the only wild animals I saw near rest areas were langurs, big coal-faced monkeys that congregated in troops along the sides of forest roads, infants clinging to their mothers’ necks and staring out with calmly startled eyes. Families of gray langurs would sometimes go leaping through the bushes, and I liked watching them because I liked the front-sprung, bucking gait with which they ran, tipping from hind limbs to fore. I liked the langurs, too, because their unbothered presence near a rest area seemed to suggest that there was nothing, after all, so strange about the scene, that the act of shopping for baseball caps and art books in the middle of a jungle preserve contained no insurmountable irony, that the Coca-Cola and the banyan trees and the cheese sandwiches and the monkeys were merely pieces in a puzzle whose edges were by necessity somewhat blurred. Eventually, my experience in the jungles of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh made me mistrust the convenience of this reasoning; it was comforting while it lasted.

I had no trouble imagining a tiger creeping up behind the T-shirt stand, in any case, because in the presence of a tiger what most astonishes is not its size or its power or even its beauty but its capacity to disappear. I’m sure you’ve heard about the stealth of tigers on nature shows. It’s no preparation for the reality. You will not see a tiger that does not choose to be seen. Maybe a professional guide can spot one, or one of the forest villagers who live around the reserves; for a regular human with untrained, human senses, there’s no chance. The way a tiger arrives is, there is nothing there. Then a tiger is there. Outside one of the exits from Bandhavgarh, the densely forested jungle reserve in central India, there is a sun-faded sign. It shows a picture of a tiger, and next to the tiger the sign reads: PERHAPS YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN ME, BUT PLEASE DON’T BE DISAPPOINTED. I HAVE SEEN YOU.

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

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