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News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@idasjunnassen
News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@idasjunnassen
News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@fannymork

The Drive curves quietly through the green of Maresfield Park, past mature trees, grass verges and tall, polite hedges that offer glimmers of the homes beyond: slate roofs, mullion windows, block-paving, gravel.

Once part of a local manor house estate, the land here was requisitioned during the first world war and afterwards parcelled up and sold as separate plots. In the decades since, those plots have become architectural playgrounds of a sort, adventures in Georgian, Regency and Tudorbethan styles, updated and remodelled, with conservatories, annexes and bifold doors.

It would be easy to miss Bella and Nick Honness Roe’s house. Set back from the road, it is a low-lying brick building with a carport. Built in 1963, it was designed by local architects for a sea captain who retired to this landlocked corner of East Sussex. Save for its gull-wing roof, it has few of the frills of its neighbours.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

At least two children per woman—that’s what’s needed to ensure a stable population from generation to generation.  In the 1960s, the fertility rate was five live births per woman. By 2017 it had fallen to 2.43, close to that critical threshold.

Population growth is vital for the world economy. It means more workers to build homes and produce goods, more consumers to buy things and spark innovation, and more citizens to pay taxes and attract trade. While the world is expected to add more than 3 billion people by 2100, according to the United Nations, that’ll likely be the high point. Falling fertility rates and aging populations will mean serious challenges that will be felt more acutely in some places than others.

While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—in 2017, about half of all countries had already fallen below it, up from 1 in 20 just half a century ago. For places such as the U.S. and parts of Western Europe, which historically are attractive to migrants, loosening immigration policies could make up for low birthrates. In other places, more drastic policy interventions may be called for. Most of the available options place a high burden on women, who’ll be relied upon not only to bear children but also to help fill widening gaps in the workforce.

Each of the following indicators tells a part of the global fertility story: not just how many babies women have on average, but also how well women are integrated into the workforce, what slice of the income pie they receive, and their level of educational attainment. Overall:

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

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One of the stranger things about the history of moviemaking is that women have been there all along, periodically exercising real power behind the camera, yet their names and contributions keep disappearing, as though security had been called, again and again, to escort them from the set. In the early years of the twentieth century, women worked in virtually every aspect of silent-film-making, as directors, writers, producers, editors, and even camera operators. The industry—new, ad hoc, making up its own rules as it went along—had not yet locked in a strict division of labor by gender. Women came to Los Angeles from all over the country, impelled not so much by dreams of stardom as by the prospect of interesting work in a freewheeling enterprise that valued them. “Of all the different industries that have offered opportunities to women,” the screenwriter Clara Beranger told an interviewer in 1919, “none have given them the chance that motion pictures have.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 11.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The first time Ganave Fairley got busted for stealing a neighbor’s Amazon package, she was just another porch thief unlucky to be caught on tape. In August 2016, a 30-something product marketing manager at Google, expecting some deliveries, got an iPhone ping from his porch surveillance camera as it recorded a black woman in a neon hoodie plucking some bundles off his San Francisco stoop. After arriving home that afternoon, the Googler got in his Subaru Impreza to hunt for any remnants strewn around the streets of his Potrero Hill neighborhood. Instead, he spotted Fairley herself, boarding a city bus, which he trailed while dialing 911. Minutes later, he watched responding police officers pull their cruiser in front of the bus and escort her off. The Googler, sitting nearby in his car, played the Nest Cam tape for them—Yep, it’s her—and the police pulled a $107.66 Apple Magic Keyboard from Fairley’s purse and black tar heroin from her coin pocket. The officers wrote Fairley a ticket with a court date a month later. “I thought it was just a ticket, and that was it,” Fairley said.

The first time Ganave Fairley got busted for stealing a neighbor’s Amazon package, she was just another porch thief unlucky to be caught on tape. In August 2016, a 30-something product marketing manager at Google, expecting some deliveries, got an iPhone ping from his porch surveillance camera as it recorded a black woman in a neon hoodie plucking some bundles off his San Francisco stoop. After arriving home that afternoon, the Googler got in his Subaru Impreza to hunt for any remnants strewn around the streets of his Potrero Hill neighborhood. Instead, he spotted Fairley herself, boarding a city bus, which he trailed while dialing 911. Minutes later, he watched responding police officers pull their cruiser in front of the bus and escort her off. The Googler, sitting nearby in his car, played the Nest Cam tape for them—Yep, it’s her—and the police pulled a $107.66 Apple Magic Keyboard from Fairley’s purse and black tar heroin from her coin pocket. The officers wrote Fairley a ticket with a court date a month later. “I thought it was just a ticket, and that was it,” Fairley said.

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

IN 1940, FOUR TEENAGE BOYS stumbled, almost literally, from German-occupied France into the Paleolithic Age. As the story goes, and there are many versions of it, they had been taking a walk in the woods near the town of Montignac when the dog accompanying them suddenly disappeared. A quick search revealed that their animal companion had fallen into a hole in the ground, so—in the spirit of Tintin, with whom they were probably familiar—the boys made the perilous fifty-foot descent down to find it. They found the dog and much more, especially on return visits illuminated with paraffin lamps. The hole led to a cave, the walls and ceilings of which were covered with brightly colored paintings of animals unknown to the twentieth-century Dordogne—bison, aurochs, and lions. One of the boys, an apprentice mechanic, later reported that, stunned and elated, they began to dart around the cave like “a band of savages doing a war dance.” Another recalled that the painted animals in the flickering light of the boys’ lamps also seemed to be moving. “We were completely crazy,” yet another said, although the build-up of carbon dioxide in a poorly ventilated cave may have had something to do with that.

This was the famous and touristically magnetic Lascaux cave, which eventually had to be closed to visitors lest their exhalations spoil the artwork. Today, almost a century later, we know that Lascaux is part of a global phenomenon, originally referred to as “decorated caves.” They have been found on every continent except Antarctica—at least 350 of them in Europe alone, thanks to the cave-rich Pyrenees—with the most recent discoveries in Borneo (2018) and the Balkans (April 2019). Uncannily, given the distances that separate them, all these caves are adorned with similar “decorations”: handprints or stencils of human hands, abstract designs containing dots and crosshatched lines, and large animals, both carnivores and herbivores, most of them now extinct. Not all of these images appear in each of the decorated caves—some feature only handprints or megafauna. Scholars of paleoarcheology infer that the paintings were made by our distant ancestors, although the caves contain no depictions of humans doing any kind of painting.

There are human-like creatures, though, or what some archeologists cautiously call “humanoids,” referring to the bipedal stick figures that can sometimes be found on the margins of the panels containing animal shapes. The nonhuman animals are painted with almost supernatural attention to facial and muscular detail, but, no doubt to the disappointment of tourists, the humanoids painted on cave walls have no faces.

This struck me with unexpected force, no doubt because of my own particular historical situation almost twenty thousand years after the creation of the cave art in question. In about 2002 we had entered the age of “selfies,” in which everyone seemed fascinated by their electronic self-portraits—clothed or unclothed, made-up or natural, partying or pensive—and determined to propagate them as widely as possible. Then in 2016 America acquired a president of whom the kindest thing that can be said is that he is a narcissist. This is a sloppily defined psychological condition, I admit, but fitting for a man so infatuated with his own image that he decorated his golf clubs with fake Time magazine covers featuring himself. On top of all this, we have been served an eviction notice from our own planet: the polar regions are turning into melt-water. The residents of the southern hemisphere are pouring northward toward climates more hospitable to crops. In July, the temperature in Paris reached a record-breaking 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read the rest of this article at: The Baffler

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

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