In the News 03.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 03.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 03.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 03.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Life and Adventures of Oregon’s Original Alpha Wolf

It’s the nature of the wolf to travel. By age two, wolves of both sexes usually leave their birth packs and strike out on their own, sometimes covering hundreds of miles as they search for mates and new territory. Whatever the reason, when wolves move, they do it with intent—and quickly. Humans don’t know how they decide which way to go, but the choice is as important as any they’ll ever make.

One day in 2005 or 2006, a young, black-furred wolf in Idaho decided to head west. He swam across the Snake River to Oregon, which at the time was beyond the gray wolf’s established range. By entering the state, he walked out of anonymity and into a form of local celebrity, becoming notorious over the next few years for his bold raids on livestock and his enduring competence as a hunter, father, and survivor.

In Oregon, that male met another long-distance traveler from Idaho, a silver-gray female. This wolf had been collared by Idaho state biologists, who knew her as B300. She was born to the Timberline Pack, north of Idaho City, and it’s possible to trace her ancestry back to the state’s formal wolf reintroduction in 1996. Her great-grandmother was B23, a black wolf who was born in northern British Columbia and who dined as a pup on moose and caribou in the boreal forest. B23 was captured and moved in January of 1996 to Dagger Falls, in Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. She would give birth to almost 30 pups before she was killed by federal wildlife officials in 2001 for killing a calf.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside


The Suicide Catcher

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The reason Mr. Chen was in the business of saving lives now was that, as a boy, he’d always gone unanswered. There is a saying in Chinese he used, that he never possessed “mother’s shoes.” With those words, he threw back an oversize shot of a potent grain alcohol. “Getting drunk loosens the tongue,” he declared empirically, then refilled our teacups as we sat together in a tight, crowded restaurant near the bridge. He clinked them in a toast and tossed another mini-bucketful into the back of his throat, where, according to my simultaneous research, everything caught fire and napalmed down the gullet to the stomach, where, in turn, it flickered and tasered a while, like rotgut lava. We had left the bridge for lunch, and he had insisted that I drink with him. Sensing we might be in the midst of a transitional relationship moment, I joined him in the first few rounds but then thought better of it—there was no doubt this guy was going to drink me under the table—and eased off. He laughed when I did, a disparaging laugh, wondering aloud at what kind of American I was.

Our party now included my translator, ­Susan—who was born in Nanjing but raised in the U.S.—and a wordless man who had suddenly appeared, ostensibly a close friend of Mr. Chen’s, called Mr. Shi. We’d arrived at this “family restaurant” sometime after noon, after we’d all left the bridge together, Mr. Chen on his moped and the three of us on foot, taking endless flights of stairs down through the South Tower to the ground, where Mr. Chen was waiting to ferry us, one by one, on the back of his moped to the restaurant. I didn’t know where to put my hands, so I grabbed the bulk of his shoulders.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

When Artists Turn to Craigslist, the Results Are Intimate, Disquieting, and Surprisingly Profound

What happens, though, when Craigslist becomes a form of relationship-building? Tam, like most people, had his first experiences with the site for more mundane, non-artistic reasons: looking for cheap, used goods. “I was using it all the time,” he recalls. Picking up an item at a stranger’s house was like entering “a weird portal that deposited me into really interesting social environments.”

The artist realized that these sort of interactions could be leveraged into something that was choreographed—and documented. That led to a series of early Craigslist videos, including I no longer worry about shoes being worn inside the house (2010), in which Tam engages in odd, dance-like movements with a man named Jeffrey, who also swaps clothing with the artist, and teaches him to do a headstand. (“He was someone who made a living doing odd jobs on Craigslist,” Tam says, “and my post seemed like just another gig for him.”)

For Cathy (2009), Tam posted a Craigslist ad offering cash to a couple who would let him observe, and film, an ordinary dinner in their home. “It became an odd, uncomfortable evening for me,” he admits, “though Cathy seemed totally fine with it. It was such a strange, strange encounter.”

Read the rest of this article at: Artsy

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Eugenics 2.0: We’re at the Dawn of Choosing Embryos by Health, Height, and More

Nathan Treff was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 24. It’s a disease that runs in families, but it has complex causes. More than one gene is involved. And the environment plays a role too.

So you don’t know who will get it. Treff’s grandfather had it, and lost a leg. But Treff’s three young kids are fine, so far. He’s crossing his fingers they won’t develop it later.

Now Treff, an in vitro fertilization specialist, is working on a radical way to change the odds. Using a combination of computer models and DNA tests, the startup company he’s working with, Genomic Prediction, thinks it has a way of predicting which IVF embryos in a laboratory dish would be most likely to develop type 1 diabetes or other complex diseases. Armed with such statistical scorecards, doctors and parents could huddle and choose to avoid embryos with failing grades.

IVF clinics already test the DNA of embryos to spot rare diseases, like cystic fibrosis, caused by defects in a single gene. But these “preimplantation” tests are poised for a dramatic leap forward as it becomes possible to peer more deeply at an embryo’s genome and create broad statistical forecasts about the person it would become.

The advance is occurring, say scientists, thanks to a growing flood of genetic data collected from large population studies. As statistical models known as predictors gobble up DNA and health information about hundreds of thousands of people, they’re getting more accurate at spotting the genetic patterns that foreshadow disease risk. But they have a controversial side, since the same techniques can be used to project the eventual height, weight, skin tone, and even intelligence of an IVF embryo.

In addition to Treff, who is the company’s chief scientific officer, the founders of Genomic Prediction are Stephen Hsu, a physicist who is vice president for research at Michigan State University, and Laurent Tellier, a Danish bioinformatician who is CEO. Both Hsu and Tellier have been closely involved with a project in China that aims to sequence the genomes of mathematical geniuses, hoping to shed light on the genetic basis of IQ.

Read the rest of this article at: MIT Technology Review

Who’s Sitting Next to You on the Subway?
On an R Train in September, We Asked.


1. Gus Goldfein
14, Boerum Hill, ninth grader

Where are you going?
To the doctor’s office.

What’s your biggest fear? 
I’m afraid I’ll die before I can upload my brain to the cloud and live forever in a video game.

2. John Wilson
60, Bay Ridge, drummer

Where are you going?
To Central Park. My mom lives on 50th Street, and my son is there with her.

How old is your son?
Thirteen. I got a picture if you want to see. [Pulls out phone.] So that’s Alex. And this is my beautiful wife, but she passed away. She was a model, and used to work for Elite and Ford all that. I got a 27-year-old boy with her. Her sister’s married to my brother, believe it or not. Now I’m just with a Russian friend — we had Alex together. And then this other girl was in the Michael Jackson video when she was 17. You know the song “The Way You Make Me Feel”? That’s her, Tatiana, she was my girlfriend. Now she’s 50-something. My brother tracked her down online.

3. Susanna Wang
23, Hell’s Kitchen, NYU dental student

Where are you going?
I’m coming from NYU and going home.

Any recurring dreams?
I used to dream that my teeth would fall out and crumble, and I always thought it was just because I’m interested in dentistry, but then I asked someone about it, and they said that means that you have a lot of anxiety.

4. Martin John Butler
61, Upper West Side, musician

Where are you coming from?
The Reflections Center for Conscious Living — my wife is a yoga teacher there.

What kind of musician are you?
I had a band when I was 16 called Pandora. About 20 years ago, some people found our demo, they didn’t know who the band was, but they loved it so much that they put out a record. Rolling Stone actually wrote about it, not knowing who we were, and basically said, “Come out, whoever you are.” I only found out about this a few years ago. I wished that I’d been more known as a singer-songwriter, so it’s kind of neat.

5. Heinz Becker
83, Astoria, retired exporter of pharmaceutical chemicals

Where are you coming from?
From Germany.

No, I mean, before you got on the train.
Oh, I was at Bowling Green. Eating there. There’s a Chinese restaurant, very good. Yip’s.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in New York City?
It was in 2001, when the planes flew into the towers — I was having breakfast, and I saw it from the window in Astoria. But the problem was my wife and daughter, they worked in tower No. 1. On their way to work, they missed the regular bus, then when they got to Canal Street, the train didn’t work. So they walked, but when they arrived at World Trade Center, my daughter said, “Oh, my feet hurt,” because she had worn new shoes. So instead of going up, they were sitting downstairs on a bench. And so they escaped. They were maybe 20 minutes too late.

Your biggest regret?
That I didn’t buy these small houses in Queens for $25,000, $50,000. And now you see they cost millions of dollars. I always say, “Why was I so stupid?”

6. Tatyana Sealy
18, Bay Ridge, SUNY–Albany college student

Where are you coming from?
Bay Ridge. I live with my mom and my stepdad. I’m going to meet my best friend at my old job — I was the hostess at a restaurant in Tribeca called Sazon.

What were you doing when I stopped you?
Just going through my apps, looking through my social media, you know, boring train ride.

7. Eylem Yildirim
34, Harlem, aerial performer–artist

Where are you going?
I’m coming from an immigration building. I had to get a stamp on my passport showing that I’m still allowed to be working here. I’m from Istanbul.
I’m going to visit a friend in Park Slope. I’m gonna do a voice-over for her, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing. She was just like, “Yeah, can you do voice-over?” I didn’t ask too many questions. I’m a yes-person.

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @the.geographer; @notyourstandard; @notyourstandard

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