In the News 27.12.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 27.12.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 27.12.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 27.12.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

What Is It Like to Be a Bee?

You’re a honeybee. Despite being around 700,000 times smaller than the average human, you’ve got more of almost everything. Instead of four articulated limbs, you have six, each with six segments. (Your bee’s knees, sadly, don’t exist.) You’re exceptionally hairy. A shock of bristly setae covers your body and face to help you keep warm, collect pollen, and even detect movement. Your straw-like tongue stretches far beyond the end of your jaw, but has no taste buds on it. Instead, you “taste” with other, specialized hairs, called sensillae, that you use to sense the chemicals that brush against particular parts of your body.

You’ve got five eyes. Two of them, called compound eyes and made up of 6,900 tiny lenses, take up about half your face. Each lens sends you a different “pixel,” which you use to see the world around you. The colors you see are different. Red looks like black to you and your three “primary” colors are blue, green, and ultraviolet. You detect motion insanely well, but outlines are fuzzy and images blocky, like a stained-glass window. (Your three other eyes detect only changes in light to tell you quickly if something dangerous is swooping your way.)

Read the rest of this article at: Atlas Obscura

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The Newlyweds

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On the night of November 27, 2016, Dawinder Singh dropped a bottle of sleeping pills outside his neighbor’s door. He had a soft, cheerful face, a head of woolly curls, and a tendency to laugh at the wrong times. Everyone in Kakheri, his village in the northern Indian state of Haryana, believed him to be gone, perhaps abroad. But here he was, a handkerchief tied over his mouth as if he were a bandit, fleeing to the bus stop.

Inside the house, Neetu Rani, the birdlike beauty he’d grown up adoring, was waiting for her parents to finish their soap opera. Neetu was trim and stylish, and talked about Bollywood actors as though they were her next of kin. When her mother and father went to bed, she went outside to retrieve the pills.

Two nights later, Dawinder returned in a car with a couple of his cousins, whom he’d recruited by making them watch romantic movies. When they reached Kakheri, they parked on an empty road and waited. At one in the morning, his phone rang. It was Neetu, scolding him in whispers: “What kind of sleeping pills are these?” Her parents had finished bowls of laced beans and rice but were still shuffling around the house. Dawinder asked her to be patient.

After an hour, she called again, reporting that she had shaken her mother, pretending to be scared of the dark, and there had been no response. Dawinder got out of the car and hurried to her house. She had told him not to come barefoot, but knowing that he would anyway, earlier in the day she had cleared the yard of branches and razor-rimmed leaves from the babul tree. Dawinder helped her haul her four suitcases over a low wall, and after the last one, she hoisted herself to the other side. Then they ran: through the narrow lane where they first saw each other, past the cowshed where she used to hide to take his calls, past their school and her father’s firewood shop. Finally, they reached the car.

Read the rest of this article at: Harpers Magazine

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
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They Lost Their Homes. Now A Reality TV Star Is Selling Them.

Ryan Serhant, New York City’s self-described “#1 Broker,” is on a roll. Since we left him at the end of last year’s season, the star of the hit reality TV show Million Dollar Listing New York got married on a Greek island. He landed a new show, Sell It Like Serhant, in which Bravo promises he will transform floundering brokers into selling sharks. And he opened a new Nest Seekers office in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, planting his flag in one of the hottest housing markets in the country. He announced his arrival on social media with a photo of himself alongside Bed-Stuy–born rapper Biggie Smalls. Thanking his Brooklyn team and the “rich kids and their parents” that helped get him here, he cribbed a line from “Juicy,” Biggie’s ode to his own meteoric rise: “When I was dead broke, MAN I couldn’t picture this.”

Over the last decade, Serhant has ridden the real estate market from its nadir to its peak. In 2006, he arrived in New York, an aspiring actor. He made it one season as a homicidal biochemist on As The World Turns before he was killed off with a syringe to the heart. Serhant says he never wanted to become a broker. But after a short stint as a hand model, he caved and applied for his license. He started on Sept. 15, 2008, the day that Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. It was the start of a global economic crisis. He had nowhere to go but up, and up he went.

Read the rest of this article at: BuzzFeed

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A Chef Opens a Restaurant. His Training? Decades in a Prison Kitchen.

JERSEY CITY — Candido Ortiz claims he can cook anything: mashed potatoes and gravy, pernil guisado, chicken cacciatore. At his new restaurant here, El Sabor del Cafe, he will honor any request.

Mr. Ortiz honed his cooking skills in an unusual setting — a federal prison, where he was incarcerated for 26 years 10 months 17 days, and where he was a chef for 24 of those years.

His time behind bars was actually much shorter than it was supposed to be. Mr. Ortiz was sentenced to 49 years and six months for his role in a cocaine trafficking network, a sentence that was imposed at the height of the nation’s war on drugs.

“When I went to jail, in the beginning, with my sentence, I think that I’m never going to be out,” Mr. Ortiz, 57, said, his chef’s uniform and hat still a fresh white on his first day at the restaurant.

Last year, Mr. Ortiz walked out of the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, in New Jersey, his sentence reduced after President Obama granted him clemency. He left prison with no money, no relatives who could help him financially, no official identification and no career experience.

But with help from the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, a nonprofit run by James E. McGreevey, the former New Jersey governor, Mr. Ortiz was back in a kitchen five days later, as a chef at The Light Rail Café in Jersey City.

Mr. McGreevey ticked off all the steps needed to get Mr. Ortiz back to work: contact the office of the secretary of state for Puerto Rico to get a copy of Mr. Ortiz’s original birth certificate; put together job applications; scroll employment opportunities; make sure he passed drug tests, and establish a mailing address. All the tasks, Mr. McGreevey noted, are next to impossible for a recently released, long-term inmate, particularly at this moment in time.

“This climate has only exacerbated the tension and the need to have documentation immediately available,” Mr. McGreevey said, adding that he has a list of 70 lawyers statewide who help his organization.

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

Instagram Is Now a Dating Platform, Too.
Here’s How It Works.

Last April, Roberto Forgione noticed that someone who had ghosted him was looking at his Instagram Stories — the brief, casual updates that hang around for 24 hours at the top of the app’s screen and include lists of the people who have seen them.

“After a couple, I was like, ‘He’s back,’” Mr. Forgione, 31, a photo producer in Brooklyn, said. He decided to take a chance and reach out in his direct messages. “I asked him if he wanted to hang out, and he said yes,” Mr. Forgione said. The two have continued seeing each other since, spending Thanksgiving together and attending a wedding as each other’s dates.

Anthea Fisher, 22, a project manager in finance, began a relationship on Instagram with someone she had known peripherally. “We liked each other’s stuff from time to time,” she said. “After my ex-boyfriend and I broke up, he started liking a lot of my stuff and watching all of my Stories. He would DM me, he would send me memes. And I sort of knew he was trying to get my attention.”

As of September, Instagram has more than 800 million users worldwide who engage with the app at least once a month. Of those, 300 million use Instagram Stories every day, according to a spokesperson for the company. Some of them use Instagram for their businesses; some for sharing photos of their kids; and some for distributing memes about hungover mornings and overeating. And then there are those who use Instagram as a supplemental match-making tool. “It’s basically a portfolio for your dating life,” said Halen Yau, 31, a public relations manager from Toronto.

Not only does Instagram provide a visually driven collage of your life, it also offers a subtle way of expressing interest through likes and comments, and connecting in the form of a private chat. Meanwhile, the lists of users who have looked at each of your Story cards mean that you now have data — rudimentary and inconclusive, but still, data! — on who exactly is obsessing over you today, tomorrow and yesterday.

“The theory is that whoever are your biggest stalkers on Instagram are at the top,” Ms. Fisher said, referring to the lists of users who have looked at your Story. But that is just a theory. According to a spokesperson, the order is “based on a number of signals including people who recently viewed your story, accounts you interact with the most on Instagram, and more.”

The mystery has spawned endless ideas about the ranking of handles. In a thread on Reddit, users have documented experiments in which they altered various factors like how often they looked at a friend’s profile, or how often they liked photos on a profile, to see which ones had an effect on the order and which ones did not. The goal for many was to figure out that all-consuming question: Does my crush like me as much as I like them?

Their experiments yielded mixed results, and Instagram will likely keep the algorithm under lock and key until the end of time. So, if you want to gauge interest anytime soon, we recommend a tried-and-true thermometer: the thirst trap.

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

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