News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Catching Desires

Most of what we know, we know from someone else. I believe that Moroni is the capital of the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean because a friend of mine just told me this five minutes ago, and I have no reason to think that she is trying to trick me. But she hasn’t been there either – she also knows this only because she read it somewhere.

We acquire most of what we know about the world this way – by testimony. Testimony is a good thing. If we could rely only on our own senses, our knowledge would be very limited. When you watch the news, listen to the weather forecast or gossip about a colleague at the water fountain, you are relying on other people’s testimony. This healthy distribution of tasks expands our cognitive horizon.

So most of our beliefs are based on other people’s beliefs. How about desires? What are our desires based on? Well, at least partly on other people’s desires.

Imagine that your friend, a great gourmet cook, loves this one restaurant and goes on and on about wanting to go there. It is difficult not to find yourself wanting to go there too. Or imagine that, although you really don’t feel like dancing, you go along to a nightclub with your friends. But with everyone around you dancing, you find yourself wanting to dance.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Will the Movies

(As We Know Them)

Survive the Next

10 Years?

Big studios are gobbling each other up as smaller movies struggle and even name-brand titles tank at the box office. Netflix is revolutionizing the way people watch films, while major new streaming services from Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. and other deep-pocketed studios are coming soon. And every aspect of the movie industry — from the diversity of its storytellers to the spoils of Oscar season — is being called into question.

“This is the biggest shift in the content business in the history of Hollywood,” the producer Jason Blum recently told me. But what will it all look like when the dust settles? To find out, I convened a virtual think tank of key Hollywood figures, and their message to the movie industry was clear: Adapt or die.

24 major Hollywood figures peer into the future, including: Ava DuVernay (on audiences), Jason Blum (on producing), Octavia Spencer (on acting), Kumail Nanjiani (on comedy), Lena Waithe (on black filmmakers), J.J. Abrams (on blockbusters), Jon M. Chu (on diversity), Jessica Chastain (on dramas), Elizabeth Banks (on female filmmakers), Barry Jenkins (on the Oscars) and Joe and Anthony Russo (on two-hour narratives).

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

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Fifty Years Ago We Landed on the Moon. Why Should We Care Now?

The footprints are still there, the striped tread of Neil Armstrong’s boots, caked into dust. There’s no atmosphere on the moon, no wind and no water. Footprints don’t blow away and they don’t wash away and there’s no one up there to trample them. Superfast micrometeorites, miniature particles traveling at 33,000 miles per hour, are bombarding the surface of the moon all the time, but they’re so infinitesimal that they erode things only at the more or less unobservable rate of 0.04 inches every million years. So unless those footprints are hit by a meteor and blasted into a crater, they’ll last for tens of millions of years.

This summer marks half a century since Armstrong first walked on the moon, though cosmologically, that was a mere snap of the fingers ago. “Man on the moon!” cried Walter Cronkite on CBS television news, gasping, while the world watched, rapt. Kids away at summer camp were marched from their tents deep in the woods to mess halls to plop down in front of a little screen, while camp counselors tinkered with rabbit-ear antennas. “That’s one small step for man,” Armstrong said, immortally, as he stepped off the ladder of the Lunar Module on July 20, 1969, “one giant leap for mankind.” And then Armstrong pressed his gray-and-white boot into the dust, and left that first trace.

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

News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Unsolved Mystery of the Malibu Creek Murder

News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Part One: Before
On June 22, 2018, at 4:44 a.m., in a campground below the Santa Monica Mountains, a man asleep in a tent he’s sharing with his two young daughters is shot. Most of the other guests at the Malibu Creek State Park campsite don’t wake up; those that do later report hearing three to four loud bangs, which they don’t reliably identify at first as gunshots. They by and large go back to sleep and wake up only when deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unzip the doors of their tents, some hours later, to ask precisely when and how they arrived, and whether they have any weapons with them. The father in the tent is pronounced dead at the scene.

One camper, a youth pastor, gathers his wife and several young-adult charges and joins the exodus of others trying to leave the campground. He ends up in a traffic jam, his car next to what has become a crime scene, and so he spends 20 long minutes looking over the top of his steering wheel at the two little chairs that remain upright outside the victim’s tent. The victim’s daughters, who are unharmed, are collected by the victim’s wife’s brother-in-law, who was camping at an adjacent site with his own two young children, and taken to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. The man in the tent’s wife arrives at the station several hours later to claim her daughters. “There is no additional information available at this time,” reads the press release from the LASD issued that afternoon.

Not long after, LASD homicide detectives issue a second release, adding that they are “aware” that there have been “other shootings near the location in the past, however, there is no evidence that suggests this incident is related to any prior shootings near the location.” Nevertheless, stories begin to trickle out: A man trained as a wildlife biologist was camping in the area in early November 2016 when he was awoken in his hammock by a stinging pain in his right arm. He thought he’d been bitten by a rodent or a bat, perhaps, while he slept. The hospital gave him a shot for rabies and sent him home. It was only as his arm began to heal that he noticed that metal pellets, similar to bird shot, were trickling out of the wound.

Another woman reported that one night in early January 2017, she and her partner had parked their car at Malibu Creek State Park and were sleeping in the vehicle when they heard a loud bang and an echo of burning metal—like a dream. They treated it as such. But when they awoke in the morning, they found a sizable hole in the back of the car and then, wedged down by the spare tire, what appeared to be a shotgun slug.

So maybe there was a dangerous man with a gun on the loose? That’s what some residents in the area begin to theorize. People who had lived in Malibu for a while remember that this isn’t the first time something terrible and inexplicable has happened out in the remote hills that loom beside their city. In 2009 a 24-year-old woman named Mitrice Richardson went missing after being detained—for acting erratically at a restaurant and possessing marijuana—and then released by deputies of the same Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station that had briefly sheltered the man in the tent’s daughters. Eleven months later, Richardson’s remains were found within a few miles of the station. In 2017 another woman, 20-year-old Elaine Park, was last seen in Calabasas before vanishing as well; a few days later, her car was found on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, abandoned, with all her possessions inside. A month before the death of the man in the tent, a mutilated body was discovered across the street from Malibu Creek State Park, followed by a second body in July, also showing signs of violence. The area, homicide investigators say, was known to be a dumping ground for bodies—gang-related killings, mostly, with no other connection to the region.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Judge Judy Is Still Judging You

News 06.21.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

At least five days a week for the last 23 years, Judith Sheindlin’s head, neck and shoulders have appeared on TV. This means you know Sheindlin the moment you see her, even if you’ve never really watched her show. Her eyes, dark brown and wildly expressive, seem to grow three times their size when confronted with, say, the lies of an untrustworthy landlord or an unrepentant teenage troublemaker. Her eyebrows do a cartoonish slant from left to right, like an emoji meant to signal anger; her cheekbones, ordinarily sharp, soften whenever she purses her lips in disapproval, which is often. She wears a plain black robe with an ornate lace collar and occasionally slides on a pair of unrimmed glasses to look over legal documents. But all of it — the eyes, the brows, the lips, the face — has always been framed by a round pixie bob, virtually unchanged since the Clinton administration. So imagine my surprise when I walked into a ritzy hotel restaurant in Beverly Hills for my second meeting with Sheindlin — better known as Judge Judy — and found her wearing, for the first time, a clip-on ponytail.

I was among the first people to see it, on a February afternoon the day before that week’s taping began. The Judge is direct; a macherwho doesn’t like to waste time. When she arrived, she asked me a series of questions that seemed open-ended but actually had right answers. The first was “Where are you staying?” The second was “How’ve you been?” The third: “Do you like my hair?”

There it was: a chestnut-brown hairpiece the size of a large man’s fist, unremarkable save for its sudden, unexplained existence. Sheindlin, 76, told me her hair was getting older as she was getting older, so she wanted to give it a rest from the constant styling. She called a few places and told them she was looking for a ponytail. It was so easy, she said, to just pop on the new hair in the morning. All she needed was a hair doughnut and a rubber band to make the ponytail; then she secured it with a bobby pin, and voilà, she was done. In fact, Sheindlin told me, her eyes widening in that familiar way, once we were done with lunch, she was going to go buy three more identical ponytails!

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

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

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