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In the News 04.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 04.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.08.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

‘I Have No Choice
but to Keep Looking’


Yuko Takamatsu was somewhere in the sea off the coast of Japan. Two and a half years had passed since the tsunami, and no one had found her; but no one was really looking, either, except her husband, Yasuo Takamatsu, who loved her very much. Takamatsu first searched on land, at the bank where she vanished, and along the beaches of Onagawa, and in the forests in the mountains. After two and half years, in September 2013, when he still hadn’t found her, he turned to the sea.

He contacted the local dive shop, High Bridge, to ask about lessons. The dive instructor, Masayoshi Takahashi, led volunteers on dives to clean up tsunami debris along the coastline. Takahashi and his team had encountered bodies locked inside cars or drifting through the water. Takamatsu felt sure Takahashi would be the one to help him find Yuko. On the phone, he said, “Let’s just meet and talk about it.” At the shop, he confessed his plan. “At the age of 56,” he said, “the reason I’m actually interested in learning to dive is that I’m trying to find my wife in the sea.”

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

For The Love of Stuff


A cartoon from The New Yorker haunts me. Drawn with an economy of line that complements its subject matter, it depicts a Japanese couple wearing traditional dress standing in the doorway of their home. Before them is a rug with one of its corners flipped over. On it lies a toppled rice bowl, with chopsticks askew on the floor. ‘Oh no,’ exclaim the couple. ‘We’ve been ransacked!’

The joke was always on me. Much as I admire a clean surface, I have never been a minimalist. But arriving at middle age on the brink of my very own economic meltdown, I’m having to question my relationship to things, asking: why are they so important? What do they signify? Could I live without them, or make do with a cyber version – a clutch of Pinterest boards and a library of ebooks?

In some ways, it was an attachment to things that undid me. If I had been quicker to accept that my marriage was doomed, perhaps I would not have used a modest inheritance to buy our second-hand Mini, or to pony up the down payment on our flat. And perhaps I’d have hired a better divorce lawyer. As it was, I paid my ex to give up his claim on our home. I didn’t move, because having weighed the options I realised I could only go down the property ladder. Besides, having already left my country, I wasn’t prepared to give up the home I’d invested so much in: I thought I was sensibly securing my future, not imperilling it by tying myself to an obligation.

Read the rest of this article at aeon




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How One Colorado Man Disappeared While Hunting For Hidden Treasure


One night early this year, Randy Bilyeu was on the phone with his best friend. He wanted to share some good news: After more than two years of searching Colorado and New Mexico for a hidden treasure chest filled with gold and jewels, he thought he’d finally discovered its location. It wasn’t too far from Santa Fe. Now he just needed to go get it.

Bilyeu was looking for the celebrated Fenn treasure—a 12th-century Romanesque chest hidden by an eccentric arts and antiquities collector that’s said to be packed with 42 pounds of gold coins, rubies, diamonds, sapphires, ancient jade carvings, pre-Columbian bracelets, and gold nuggets. Between 2014 and 2015, Bilyeu made nearly a dozen trips from his Broomfield apartment to Santa Fe in search of the chest. During his hunts, Bilyeu, who was 54 years old and twice divorced, had sent photos to his two adult daughters and to a dwindling number of close confidants, most of whom worried about his safety during his excursions and had become skeptical of the fortune’s existence.

Read the rest of this article at 5280

Journalism’s Lack of Diversity Threatens Its Long-Term Future


At least the public agree on one thing in such divisive times: journalists, or the supposedly homogeneous “media”, are to blame for just about everything. These bleak, post-Brexit weeks have underlined the glaring disconnect between downtrodden public and “metropolitan elite” media in startling clarity.

Yet while many of those in the media increasingly realise how disconnected it is from the reality experienced by much of the UK, the barriers stopping those from poorer backgrounds or minorities making it into the country’s newsrooms remain dauntingly high, and may be getting higher.

According to the 2012 Milburn report on social mobility, “journalism has shifted to a greater degree of social exclusivity than any other profession” and it’s little surprise that this year the Sutton Trust found that 51% of Britain’s top 100 journalists went to private school – more than seven times the UK average.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

‘There Isn’t Really Anything Magical About It’: Why More Millennials Are Avoiding Sex

Sam Wei, a 26-year-old financial analyst in Chicago, has not had sex since her last relationship ended 18 months ago. She makes out with guys sometimes, and she likes to cuddle.

“To me, there’s more intimacy with having someone there next to you that you can rely on without having to have sex,” she said. “I don’t want to do anything that would harm the relationship and be something that we can’t come back from.”

It’s a less sexy time to be young than it used to be, despite millennials’ reputation as bed-hoppers frolicking like the characters on “Girls.” A study published Tuesday in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior finds that younger millennials — born in the 1990s — are more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s as the previous generation was. Even older millennials are more sexually active than this younger group is.

Recent research also shows that, overall, millennials — people born between the early 1980s and 2000 — have fewer sexual partners than baby boomers and those in Generation X, the group immediately preceding them.

Granted, the vast majority of young adults are still having sex, but an increasing number of them appear to be standing on the sidelines.

Delaying sex is not necessarily bad, experts say: Being intentional about when to have sex can lead to stronger relationships in the long run. The trend may also reflect that women feel more empowered to say no, said Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families.

“As people have gotten much more accepting of all sorts of forms of consensual sex, they’ve also gotten more picky about what constitutes consent,” Coontz said. “We are far less accepting of pressured sex.”

But some experts are concerned that the drop-off reflects the difficulty some young people are having in forming deep romantic connections. They cite other reasons for putting off sex, including pressure to succeed, social lives increasingly conducted on-screen, unrealistic expectations of physical perfection encouraged by dating apps and wariness over date rape.

Noah Patterson, 18, likes to sit in front of several screens simultaneously: a work project, a YouTube clip, a video game. To shut it all down for a date or even a one-night stand seems like a waste. “For an average date, you’re going to spend at least two hours, and in that two hours I won’t be doing something I enjoy,” he said.

It’s not that he doesn’t like women. “I enjoy their companionship, but it’s not a significant part of life,” said Patterson, a Web designer in Bellingham, Wash.

He has never had sex, although he likes porn. “I’d rather be watching YouTube videos and making money.” Sex, he said, is “not going to be something people ask you for on your résumé.”

That attitude does not surprise Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and chief scientific adviser to the dating site

Read the rest of this article at Washington Post

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @thetrendique, @ohhcouture, @postcardsfromcate