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In the News 02.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 02.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 02.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 02.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Monica Lewinsky: Emerging from “the House of Gaslight” in the Age of #MeToo

How do I know him? Where have I seen him? The Man in the Hat looked familiar, I thought, as I peered over at him a second time.

It was Christmas Eve 2017. My family and I were about to be seated at a quaint restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village. We had just come from Gramercy Park—on the one night each year when the exclusive park (accessible only to nearby residents with special keys) opens its gates to outsiders. There had been carols. People had sung with abandon. In short, it was a magical night. I was happy.

Amid the glow of candles and soft lighting, I strained to look again at the Man in the Hat. He was part of a small group that had just exited the main dining room. They were now gathering their belongings, likely vacating what was to be our table. And then it clicked. He looks just like . . . no, couldn’t be. Could it?

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair


The ‘Black Panther’ Revolution


Two years ago, Chadwick Boseman was in a movie called Gods of Egypt. It was not a very good movie. But in addition to its not-goodness, it also became infamous for whitewashing – casting, as ancient African deities, a white guy from Scotland, a white guy from Denmark and at least seven white people from Australia. Boseman, the sole black lead, played Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom and inventor of mathematics. Before the movie came out, an interviewer asked him about the criticism, and Boseman said that not only did he agree with it, it was why he took the part – so audiences would see at least one god of African descent. “But, yeah,” he added dryly. “People don’t make $140 million movies starring black and brown people.”

What a difference two years makes. Because now we have Black Panther – not just a $140 million movie starring black and brown people, but a $200 million one. It’s very overdue. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created Panther, the first black superhero, way back in 1966, but he didn’t show up on the big screen until 50 years later, when Boseman stole Captain America: Civil War. Now, after a decade of Marvel Universe films starring a demographically disproportionate number of white Chrises, the world finally has its first African superhero movie.

“It’s a sea-change moment,” Boseman says. “I still remember the excitement people had seeing Malcolm X. And this is greater, because it includes other people, too. Everybody comes to see the Marvel movie.”

He’s not exaggerating. The film broke a ticket-presales record for superhero movies, and at press time it was tracking toward a $165 million opening – better than every Marvel nonsequel except The Avengers and possibly enough to crack the top 10 movie opening weekends of all time.

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

The Pain of Loving Old Dogs

NASHVILLE — It’s 2 in the morning, and it has just started to rain. It’s a gentle rain, with no threat of high winds or lightning. I know this without having to get up to peer into the dark night or put on my glasses to check the weather app on my phone. I know the facts of this meteorological reality without even opening my eyes because there is a large dog with halitosis now standing beside my bed, panting.

I’m grateful it’s only a rain shower. If this were a thunderstorm, Clark would be pacing the house, climbing into bathtubs and struggling to get out again, hunching under desks and overturning the chairs pushed up to them, knocking guitars from their stands — seeking shelter. He’s afraid of the rain, but he’s driven mad by thunderstorms.

On stormy nights, my husband gets up to force a tablet of dog-strength Xanax down Clark’s throat, and for an hour we will both lie in the dark, sleepless, while the dog staggers around the house in a state of now-drunken anxiety. Eventually the human tranquilizer will override the canine despair, and we’ll all go back to sleep.

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


10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018

Every year since 2001 we’ve picked what we call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. People often ask, what exactly do you mean by “breakthrough”? It’s a reasonable question—some of our picks haven’t yet reached widespread use, while others may be on the cusp of becoming commercially available. What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.

For this year, a new technique in artificial intelligence called GANs is giving machines imagination; artificial embryos, despite some thorny ethical constraints, are redefining how life can be created and are opening a research window into the early moments of a human life; and a pilot plant in the heart of Texas’s petrochemical industry is attempting to create completely clean power from natural gas—probably a major energy source for the foreseeable future. These and the rest of our list will be worth keeping an eye on. —The Editors

Read the rest of this article at: MIT Technology Review

‘This Route Doesn’t Exist on the Map’

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By 7 p.m., the sun had set and groups of young men had begun to gather inside a small, nameless restaurant on a narrow street in Tapachula, Mexico. Anywhere else in the city, a hub of transit and commerce about ten miles north of the Guatemalan border, there would be no mistaking that you were in Latin America: The open colonial plaza, with its splaying palms and marimba players, men with megaphones announcing Jesus, and women hawking woven trinkets and small bags of cut fruit suggested as much. But inside the restaurant, the atmosphere was markedly different. The patrons hailed not from Mexico or points due south but from other far-flung and unexpected corners of the globe—India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Congo. Men, and all of the diners were men, gathered around tables, eating not Mexican or Central American fare but steaming plates of beef curry, yellow lentils, and blistered rounds of chapati. The restaurant’s proprietor, a stern, stocky Bangladeshi man in his thirties named Sadek, circulated among the diners. He stopped at one table of South Asian men and spoke to them in Hindi about how much they owed him for the items he’d collected on their tab. The waitress, patiently taking orders and maneuvering among the crowds of men, was the only Spanish speaker in the room.

Outside, dozens of other such men, travelers from around the world, mingled on the avenue. They reclined against the walls of restaurants and smoked cigarettes on the street-side balconies of cheap hotels. They’d all recently crossed into the country from Guatemala, and most had, until recently, been held in Tapachula’s migrant detention center, Siglo XXI. Just released, they had congregated in this packed migrants’ quarter as they prepared to continue their journeys out of Mexico and into the United States. They had traveled a great distance already: a transatlantic journey by airplane or ship to Brazil; by car, bus, or on foot to Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia; through Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua; on to Honduras, Guatemala, and into Mexico. Again and again, I heard their itinerary repeated in an almost metronomic cadence, each country a link in a daunting, dangerous chain. They’d crossed oceans and continents; slogged through jungles and city slums; braved detention centers and robberies; and they were now, after many months, or even longer, tantalizingly close to their final goal of the United States and refugee status.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Republic

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

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