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News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
Emily Yates

Last week, Vanity Fair Italy’s cover star was not a supermodel lounging on a yacht in an Etro caftan, or a movie star in Gucci, but rather a lung specialist in a starched white lab coat.

In Britain, front line workers from the National Health Service graced four special edition covers of Grazia magazine. The April issue of Russian Glamour featured a pop star in pigtails, a yellow puffer jacket and a white respirator mask.

Vogue Portugal opted for a monochrome image of two models kissing through face masks under the words “Freedom on Hold.”

Fashion magazines are vehicles for luxury fantasies. They sell readers on consumerist dreams, sandwiching glossy images of supermodels and stars between advertisements for $50,000 watches and $250 moisturizers.

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

News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Does an event have to be true in order to be accepted as true, or does belief in the truth of an event already make it true, even if the thing that supposedly happened did not happen? And what if, in spite of your efforts to find out whether the event took place or not, you arrive at an impasse of uncertainty and cannot be sure if the story someone told you on the terrace of a café in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk was derived from a little known but verifiable historical event or was a legend or a boast or a groundless rumor passed on from a father to a son? Even more to the point: If the story turns out to be so astounding and so powerful that your mouth drops open in wonder and you feel that it has changed or enhanced or deepened your understanding of the world, does it matter if the story is true or not?

Circumstances led me to Ukraine in September 2017. My business was in Lviv, but I took advantage of an off-day to travel two hours to the south and spend the afternoon in Ivano-Frankivsk, where my paternal grandfather had been born sometime in the early 1880s. There was no reason to go there except curiosity, or else what I would call the lure of a counterfeit nostalgia, for the fact was that I had never known my grandfather and still know next to nothing about him. He died 28 years before I was born, a shadow-man from the unwritten, unremembered past, and even as I traveled to the city he had left in the late 19th or early 20th century, I understood that the place where he had spent his boyhood and adolescence was no longer the place where I would be spending the afternoon.

Still, I wanted to go there, and as I look back and ponder the reasons why I wanted to go, perhaps it comes down to a single verifiable fact: The journey would be taking me through the bloodlands of Eastern Europe, the central horror-zone of 20th-century slaughter, and if the shadow-man responsible for giving me my name had not left that part of the world when he did, I never would have been born.

Read the rest of this article at: Lit Hub

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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In Lyon, an ancient but benevolent law compels bakers to take one day off a week, and so most don’t work Sundays. An exception was the one in the quartier where I lived with my family for five years, until 2013. On Sundays, the baker, Bob, worked without sleep. Late-night carousers started appearing at three in the morning to ask for a hot baguette, swaying on tiptoe at a high ventilation window by the oven room, a hand outstretched with a euro coin. By nine, a line extended down the street, and the shop, when you finally got inside, was loud from people and from music being played at high volume. Everyone shouted to be heard—the cacophonous hustle, oven doors banging, people waving and trying to get noticed, too-hot-to-touch baguettes arriving in baskets, money changing hands. Everyone left with an armful and with the same look, suspended between appetite and the prospect of an appetite satisfied. It was a lesson in the appeal of good bread—handmade, aromatically yeasty, with a just-out-of-the-oven texture of crunchy air. This was their breakfast. It completed the week. This was Sunday in Lyon.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

As one of the millions of people currently trapped inside their homes thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, wondering if the virus will still get them, I need an escape, not only from the trying monotony of indoor life in cramped quarters parenting a toddler who seems increasingly aware that something is wrong, but from the anxiety as well.

I worry constantly: about my 2-year old daughter; about my wife; my health; my job; my aged parents; the effect that broken social bonds will have on children’s development. I also worry about what medical professionals like my wife call “the surge.” We Americans hunker indoors waiting for the virus to decimate our communities like it has Italy’s, and for the bodies to fill graves that few people would want to dig. The tension of anticipation gnaws at you, leaving a pit in your stomach that no amount of gardening or strong cocktails can fill.

There is no actual escape from reality. What I crave is a brief psychological break at the end of these long days, which spring keeps making longer and longer. Sleep is the only real break; yet sleep is something anxiety is allowing me less and less of. So at night, after my wife Rebekah and I bathe and put Vivian to bed at 7:30, we want some quiet time. Sometimes I skate the vacant streets for 30 minutes. Sometimes I listen to music on headphones the way I did as a teen. Then Rebekah and I slouch on our living room couch doing work, replying to emails, and reading news. If there’s time left, we watch TV in our basement.

Wi-Fi provides the homebound masses instant COVID information. Zoom allows us to work remotely. Now a popular, hypnotic Japanese YouTube series provides me the chance for international travel and a reliable psychological escape during this time of limited mobility. In each episode, an unidentified man films the streets as he walks through Japanese cities for hours at a time. He calls himself Rambalac. He calls his episodes videowalks. He uses a high-definition handheld camera mounted on a stabilizer, and captures ambient noise with his Audio-Technica AT9946CM microphone. Filmed both day and night, his walking series started in Tokyo in 2017 but expanded to other cities, the suburbs, and countryside. His videowalks have very literal titles like “Walking in rainy Mizuho city by Clannad trail” and “Walking without reason in rainy Omuta, Kyushu.” His videos state: “Not a vlog, no intrusive faces or talking, pure Japan only.”

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

News 04.10.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The phone rang, piercing the lonely quiet of Joy Fishman’s Manhattan apartment. It was October 2003, and Joy was watching TV and waiting for her husband to come home. She glanced at the caller ID. 305. Miami-Dade County. Her heart raced. At this hour, after 9 p.m. on a Tuesday, it had to be about her son, Jonathan.

Jonathan was 32 and had struggled to quit using heroin for nearly a decade. He had been arrested some two dozen times and gone to rehab more often than Joy could count. She had tried everything she could think of to help her son. She had issued stern warnings, staged interventions, accompanied him to detox, paid for inpatient care, and searched for experimental therapies. She had received so many calls about Jonathan that they’d become a way of marking time, like tracking a child’s height with pencil marks on the frame of the kitchen door.

Still, in the months leading up to this particular call, Joy had allowed herself to feel hope. Jonathan had moved in with his girlfriend, Ashley, and even introduced her to Joy. He had a job at a treatment facility helping other people stay sober. In the past, Jonathan’s drug-free stretches lasted only days or weeks, but now he hadn’t used in roughly two years—his longest stint without heroin since his early twenties. Joy had let a sliver of optimism into her life, a faint belief that this time Jonathan’s sobriety would last.

But when the phone echoed through the apartment, Joy knew it meant bad news. She always knew. She picked up the receiver. Her daughter, Julie, was on the line. A suburban Miami hospital had called her. The doctor had spoken tersely, with an urgency reserved for news of the dead and dying: Jonathan’s family should hurry.

The next morning, Joy and her husband, Jack, arrived in Miami on an early flight and raced to the Hialeah Hospital intensive care unit. Joy greeted Julie with a hug, a long one, like those Jonathan often gave the people he loved. She glanced at her son on the bed. His hefty frame—six foot two and 250 pounds—was a commanding presence even in stillness. She kissed his forehead, leaning around the breathing tube that obscured most of his face, and placed a hand on his tattooed arm. It seemed cool to the touch. “I knew this was going to happen one day,” Joy said. “I knew.”

The day before, Jonathan had been dumped outside the hospital, unconscious and weakly gasping for air. A nurse rushed outside and observed the pinpoint size of his pupils—a telltale sign of an overdose. Hospital personnel hoisted him onto a stretcher and raced him inside. A doctor ordered a drip of naloxone, a clear, odorless drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose. But the drug didn’t work—its efficacy depended on being administered as soon as possible after an overdose, and that narrow window had closed as Jonathan lay sprawled alone outside Hialeah’s doors.

Moments after receiving the naloxone drip, Jonathan stopped breathing, and his heart went into overdrive. A doctor ripped open his shirt, slapped two pads onto his chest, and powered up a defibrillator. “Clear!” they shouted. And again. “Clear!” The electrical shocks jolted through Jonathan’s body, resetting his heart to a steady rhythm. Hialeah’s doctors called his next of kin to tell them that Jonathan was in critical condition.

After Joy’s arrival, at the family’s request, the doctors agreed to send Jonathan to Jackson Memorial Hospital, one of America’s best-resourced medical facilities, located in the heart of Miami. Joy had been there before with Jonathan and knew it had more specialists, more advanced treatment options, and more hope to offer. Paramedics loaded Jonathan into an ambulance for the seven-mile trip. As the ambulance neared Jackson, seizures violently shook Jonathan’s body, and he had to be sedated. Jonathan went into a coma. For the next two days, doctors ran a battery of tests looking for any sign that he would recover. They found none.

Read the rest of this article at: the Atavist Magazine

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