In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Aretha Franklin Dies At 76: Detroit Star Transformed American Music

Aretha Franklin, whose impassioned, riveting voice made her a titan of American music, has died, her niece, Sabrina Owens, confirmed to the Free Press. She was 76.

She died at 9:50 a.m. surrounded by family at her home in Detroit.

A family statement released by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillip of Karmanos Cancer Institute” in Detroit.

The family added: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”

Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th Century. Raised on an eclectic musical diet of gospel, R&B, classical and jazz, she blossomed out of her father’s Detroit church to become the most distinguished black female artist of all time, breaking boundaries while placing nearly 100 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart — 20 of them reaching No. 1.

The Queen of Soul, as she was coronated in the 1960s, leaves a sprawling legacy of classic songs that includes “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Baby I Love You,” “Angel,” “Think,” “Rock Steady,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Freeway of Love,” along with a bestselling gospel catalog.

Her death follows several years of painstakingly concealed medical issues, which led to regular show cancellations and extended absences from the public eye.

Visibly feeble but still summoning magic from her voice, Franklin played her final Detroit show in June 2017, an emotion-packed concert for thousands at an outdoor festival downtown.

She ended the performance with a then-cryptic appeal to the hometown crowd: “Please keep me in your prayers.”

Read the rest of this article at: Detroit Free Press

In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Hume The Humane

In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Socrates died by drinking hemlock, condemned to death by the people of Athens. Albert Camus met his end in a car that wrapped itself around a tree at high speed. Nietzsche collapsed into insanity after weeping over a beaten horse. Posterity loves a tragic end, which is one reason why the cult of David Hume, arguably the greatest philosopher the West has ever produced, never took off.

While Hume was lying aged 65 on his deathbed at the end of a happy, successful and (for the times) long life, he told his doctor: ‘I am dying as fast as my enemies, if I have any, could wish, and as easily and cheerfully as my best friends could desire.’ Three days before he died, on 25 August 1776, probably of abdominal cancer, his doctor could still report that he was ‘quite free from anxiety, impatience, or low spirits, and passes his time very well with the assistance of amusing books’.

When the end came, Dr Black reported that Hume ‘continued to the last perfectly sensible, and free from much pain or feelings of distress. He never dropped the smallest expression of impatience; but when he had occasion to speak to the people about him, always did it with affection and tenderness … He died in such a happy composure of mind, that nothing could exceed it.’

In his own lifetime Hume’s reputation was mainly as a historian. His career as a philosopher started rather inauspiciously. His first precocious attempt at setting out his comprehensive new system of philosophy, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), published when he was 26, ‘fell dead-born from the press, without reaching such distinction as even to excite a murmur among the zealots’, as he later recalled, with self-deprecating exaggeration.

Over time, however, his standing has grown to the highest level. A few years ago, thousands of academic philosophers were asked which non-living philosopher they most identified with. Hume came a clear first, ahead of Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein. Scientists, who often have little time for philosophy, often make an exception for Hume. Even the biologist Lewis Wolpert, who says philosophers are ‘very clever but have nothing useful to say whatsoever’ makes an exception for Hume, admitting that at one stage he ‘fell in love’ with him.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

How TripAdvisor Changed Travel

Should one be so unlucky as to find oneself, as I did, lying awake in bed in the early hours of the morning in a hostel in La Paz, Bolivia, listening anxiously to the sound of someone trying to force their way into one’s room, one could do worse than to throw a chair under the doorknob as a first line of defence. But this is not what I did. Instead, I held my breath and waited until the intruder, ever so mercifully, abandoned his project and sauntered down the hall. The next morning, when I raised the incident with the hostel employee at the front desk, he said the attempted intrusion had just been an innocent mistake, a misdirected early-morning wake-up call gone wrong, and what was the big deal, anyway? Fuming, I turned to the highest authority in the world of international travel, the only entity to which every hotel, restaurant, museum and attraction in the world is beholden: I left the hostel a bad review on TripAdvisor.

TripAdvisor is where we go to praise, criticise and purchase our way through the inhabited world. It is, at its core, a guestbook, a place where people record the highs and lows of their holiday experiences for the benefit of hotel proprietors and future guests. But this guestbook lives on the internet, where its contributors continue swapping advice, memories and complaints about their journeys long after their vacations have come to an end.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

In the News 08.10.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 08.17.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

As Stephen Olshansky hiked south through alpine Colorado in the crackling beauty of autumn 2015, he knew he was playing chicken with the arrival of winter. He was almost past the highest peaks along the Continental Divide Trail as fall storms laid down the first sheets of snow—not enough to stop him in his tracks, but plenty to slow him. “I was postholing a lot, shin to knee deep above 9,000 [feet]” in southern Colorado’s San Juan Range, he wrote on his blog.

Olshansky, a veteran thru-hiker who went by the trail name Otter, knew snow. He’d often been a southbounder—a sobo, as hikers say—starting at the northern end of a long-distance trail in the spring, before the snow had completely melted, and covering the entire distance of the trail, rather than picking it off section by section. “He was a master, a top expert,” says Art Rohr, one of Otter’s thru-hiking friends. But what Otter had encountered in previous years was spring snow—compacted enough for him to cruise along on top of it.

By late October, fall was already sliding toward winter, but Otter was in no hurry. He rested with friends for days at a time. First he scarfed potato chips and watched the World Series with Dustin Partridge (trail name: the Pro from Dover) in Mancos, in the southwest corner of the state. Then he moved 80 miles east to Pagosa Springs to hang with Namie Bacile (trail name: LetItBe), his peer as one of the few hikers to complete three trips along each of the Triple Crown trails: the Appalachian (2,190 miles), the Pacific Crest (2,650 miles), and the Continental Divide (3,100 miles).

Before he set out on the CDT again, Otter called me. He and I were friends; we’d met in 2000, when I helped him navigate the deepening snows of late fall in the Sierra Nevada, and we’d stayed in occasional touch ever since. On the phone, Otter said that he was anticipating cooler weather and asked me to ship him a tent I had that was equipped with a woodstove crafted from titanium. The stove weighed 1.6 pounds and folded flat when you unrolled the stovepipe. I sent it along, and he tested out his new winter gear while camping in the snowy backyard of a couple of trail angels, Ben and Jill Witting, in Chama, New Mexico. He spent his nights studying the Wittings’s maps of his route south and watching the weather forecast—snowstorms, maybe a few big ones. “That’s pretty much all we talked about,” Ben Witting told me.

The land ahead was the rimrock country of New Mexico, the red sandstone of the Pueblo people, who a thousand years before had hiked hundreds of miles to knit together their far-flung empire of cliff dwellings. That part of the Divide is still high, beginning at 10,022-foot Cumbres Pass and topping out at more than 11,000 feet in places. The region is deceptively flat looking, sometimes heavily wooded and sometimes open, or rolling gently before suddenly dropping over a ledge. Otter had been through that landscape before, however, and was anxious to get moving, weather or not—once he was done hiking, he had a much-needed gig lined up, working as a golf pro. He refused Witting’s offer of a map.

On November 14, Witting dropped Otter at Cumbres Pass. It was a clear 50-degree day, and he asked Otter to call when he reached Ghost Ranch, 75 miles south. Otter was carrying a hefty two-week load of food—strictly grocery store, nothing freeze-dried. Witting’s young son, Wells, waved shyly goodbye as Otter disappeared down the snowy trail. Two weeks later, Witting was still waiting for that phone call.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside

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