In the News 04.27.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 04.27.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.27.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.27.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Nobody Tells You How Long a Marriage Is

I loved you. But I couldn’t stay.

I wanted to live in a city, with access to hiking trails, and coffee shops and bookstores that I could walk to. Not our Florida suburb full of palm trees and shopping plazas, a place I had never wanted, but settled in because you were already there, establishing roots. If I left, it would have freed you to live the suburban family life that belonged there, the one I assumed you wanted, the one I could never give you.

We went to Seattle for a wedding, and spent a day climbing the hills and touring the gardens in and around the city. “I love it here,” I said. “This is what I want.”

But it was 2009, and our house in Florida was worth $150,000 less than what you had paid for it. We were stuck.

My legs went numb. I saw a doctor, an acupuncturist, a therapist. The doctor said nothing was wrong. The acupuncturist listened to me cry during our pre-treatment consultation, and the therapist asked me if I felt stuck.

“I don’t feel stuck,” I said. “I feel trapped.”

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

Janelle Monáe Frees Herself

She rose to fame as an endlessly inventive pop android. Now, she’s finally revealing the real person inside

Janelle Monáe is crying in her spacesuit. It’s early April in Atlanta, and she’s in one of the basement studios of her Wondaland Records headquarters, surrounded by computer monitors and TV screens, one of them running a screensaver that displays images of her heroes: Prince, Martin Luther King Jr., Pam Grier, Tina Turner, Lupita Nyong’o, David Bowie. She’s about to reveal, for the first time, something the world has long guessed, something her closest friends and family already know, something she’s long been loath to say in public. As she sings on a song from her new album, Dirty Computer,“Let the rumors be true.” Janelle Monáe is not, she finally admits, the immaculate android, the “alien from outer space/The cybergirl without a face” she’s claimed to be over a decade’s worth of albums, videos, concerts and even interviews – she is, instead, a flawed, messy, flesh-and-blood 32-year-old human being.

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone


Shop the new collection of Wicker & Rattan

Chasing Drinks With Lies, And Lies With Drinks

They found me outside my cubicle, flat on the ground, wearing my winter coat, with my purse slung over my shoulder. I had worked there less than two months. I took the position because, six months after graduating college, I still didn’t have a “real” job, no matter how much I tried to convince myself that sporadic babysitting gigs amounted to what was listed on my resume as “professional nanny.”

The job was in Chicago; before I took it, I was living with my parents in my childhood home in California. I was sleeping in my childhood bedroom, working essentially the same job as I had in high school. My entire existence felt like glaring proof of my failure to become an adult, as if I were trapped in a kind of pre-adulthood purgatory — one I would have done anything to escape. So I took a job I didn’t want, in a city that was cold and unfamiliar and where I knew exactly one person, my sister. With lofty and wildly inaccurate ideas about how fun having me around might be, my sister invited me to live with her until I found a place of my own.

Two months into my time in Chicago, when they found me passed out in front of my cubicle, it wasn’t hard for them to figure out who to call on the way to the hospital. There was still only one number with a Chicago area code in my phone.

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads


Yanis Varoufakis: Marx Predicted Our Present Crisis – And Points The Way Out

For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past. Lastly, it needs to have the power of a Beethoven symphony, urging us to become agents of a future that ends unnecessary mass suffering and to inspire humanity to realise its potential for authentic freedom.

No manifesto has better succeeded in doing all this than the one published in February 1848 at 46 Liverpool Street, London. Commissioned by English revolutionaries, The Communist Manifesto (or the Manifesto of the Communist Party, as it was first published) was authored by two young Germans – Karl Marx, a 29-year-old philosopher with a taste for epicurean hedonism and Hegelian rationality, and Friedrich Engels, a 28-year-old heir to a Manchester mill.

As a work of political literature, the manifesto remains unsurpassed. Its most infamous lines, including the opening one (“A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism”), have a Shakespearean quality. Like Hamlet confronted by the ghost of his slain father, the reader is compelled to wonder: “Should I conform to the prevailing order, suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune bestowed upon me by history’s irresistible forces? Or should I join these forces, taking up arms against the status quo and, by opposing it, usher in a brave new world?”

For Marx and Engels’ immediate readership, this was not an academic dilemma, debated in the salons of Europe. Their manifesto was a call to action, and heeding this spectre’s invocation often meant persecution, or, in some cases, lengthy imprisonment. Today, a similar dilemma faces young people: conform to an established order that is crumbling and incapable of reproducing itself, or oppose it, at considerable personal cost, in search of new ways of working, playing and living together? Even though communist parties have disappeared almost entirely from the political scene, the spirit of communism driving the manifesto is proving hard to silence.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

The Quest For The Next Billion-Dollar Color


Subramanian is 64 and short, with a slight paunch and a dark mustache that curls down the sides of his mouth. Raised in Chennai, on the southeastern coast of India, he developed a fascination with the makeup of objects by examining beautiful seashells that had washed ashore. “How does nature make these things?” he would ask himself. It wasn’t until much later that he began asking how the shells got their colors.

Technically speaking, colors are the visual sensates of light as it’s bent or scattered or reflected off the atomic makeup of an object. Modern computers can display about 16.8 million of them, far more than people can see or printers can reproduce. To transform a digital or imagined color into something tangible requires a pigment. “Yes, you have this fabulous blue,” says Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, which assists companies with color strategies for branding or products. “But wait, can I actually create the blue in velvet, silk, cotton, rayon, or coated paper stock?

“It’s not just the color,” she adds. “It’s the chemical composition of the color. And can that composition actually be realized in the material I’m going to apply it to?”

Out of the oven came a blue so radiant, so fantastic, it appeared almost extraterrestrial

This limitation restricts the pool of pigments available to the garment, construction, tech, and other industries. A single one, titanium dioxide, accounts for almost two-thirds of the pigments produced globally; valued at about $13.2 billion, it’s responsible for the crisp whiteness of traffic lines, toothpaste, and powdered doughnuts. Getting other colors has historically meant incorporating dangerous inorganic elements or compounds, such as lead, cobalt, or even cyanide. In recent years, health and environmental regulations have created a heavy push toward more benign organic pigments, leading researchers to discover plenty of blacks, yellows, greens. Blue is a different story.

Subramanian entered the annals of pigment lore even though he wasn’t looking for a pigment or even mixing ingredients thought capable of making a distinctive color. He and his co-investigators were after electronics—specifically a multiferroic, a material that’s both electrically and magnetically polarized, which is useful for computing. The yttrium began as pale white, the indium oxide black, and the manganese a bilious yellow. One of Subramanian’s postdoctoral students, Andrew Smith, ground them to gray, placed the blend in a small dish, and stuck it in a furnace heated to 2,200F. Twelve hours later, out of the oven came a deep, vibrant, intoxicating blue. It was so radiant, so fantastic, it appeared almost extraterrestrial—the ripest Venusian blueberry, cleaned, polished, and glowing from within.

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

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

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