News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Every workday at Lenovo’s tablet and phone factory on the outskirts of Wuhan, arriving employees report to a supervisor for the first of at least four temperature checks. The results are fed into a data collection system designed by staff. Anyone above 37.3C (99.1F) is automatically flagged, triggering an investigation by an in-house “anti-virus task force.”

Daily routines at the facility, which reopened on March 28 after stopping for over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic that began in this central Chinese city, have been entirely reengineered to minimize the risk of infection. Before returning to the site, staff members had to be tested both for the virus and for antibodies that indicate past illness, and they had to wait for their results in isolation at a dedicated dormitory. Once cleared, they returned to work to find the capacity of meeting rooms built for six reduced to three and the formerly communal cafeteria tables partitioned off by vertical barriers covered in reminders to avoid conversation. Signs everywhere indicate when areas were last disinfected, and robots are deployed wherever possible to transport supplies, so as to reduce the number of people moving from place to place. Elevators, too, are an artifact of the Before Times; everyone now has to take the stairs, keeping their distance from others all the way.

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

One night in 1969, an anxious New Yorker named Irv Teibel discovered the perfect ocean. He couldn’t see it, couldn’t smell it, couldn’t dip his toes in it. But he could hear it, and the sound was all he needed.

Like a lot of searches, Teibel’s had started accidentally, when, earlier that year, a friend asked him to help record waves for a film project out on Coney Island. It was winter, freezing. The men rushed toward the shore and back with the tide, Teibel with a microphone in his hand and a tape player on his back. Even in the off-season, he found the beach loud, sleazy, nothing like the postcards promised.

Later, looping the tape in the editing room to sync with the film’s images, he noticed something: Normally while working with loops, he’d have to turn the volume down to stop the sound from driving him crazy, but this one didn’t bother him at all. In fact, the longer the loop played, the more relaxed Teibel felt. It was like finding a funny little rock on the side of the road, he said, only to take it out of your pocket later and realize it’s a diamond.

Teibel took his microphone back to the ocean in March, but the ocean didn’t comply. He walked 100 feet in either direction of where he first stood. He drove to Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, eventually making his way down the Atlantic coast to Virginia, recording dozens of tapes along the way but never matching the sound rattling around his head.

Still, he persevered—perseverance was his way. He once said he drove Cadillacs because the NYPD didn’t have trucks big enough to tow them. When they did, he bought a bus.

Read the rest of this article at: CNN

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When Valicia Anderson starts to count the people she knows in Las Vegas who have lost their jobs, she runs out of fingers fast.

Her husband, the breadwinner of her family and a restaurant worker in the Rio casino. All 25 of his co-workers. Her grown son, in a temp agency. The technician who does her nails. The barber who cuts her husband’s hair. Her best friend, a waitress. The three servers and a manager at the TGI Friday’s that is her family’s favorite treat.

She has to think hard to come up with a single person who is still being paid. So when the events of the past month start to overwhelm her, Mrs. Anderson walks into her bathroom, closes the door, sits at her vanity and takes deep breaths.

“You are pushing people up against a corner,” said Mrs. Anderson. Referring to those in charge of the pandemic response, she added, “They want you to stay home, and you’re doing that, but they’re not helping you financially to keep you afloat while you’re at home.”

She added: “It doesn’t make sense.”

As the bottom fell out of the American economy, few places were hit harder than Las Vegas, where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country. Most of those jobs cannot be done from home.

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

News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Richard Phillips is a tall man with broad shoulders and a habit of singing to himself, usually without words, a deep and joyful sound that seems to rise from his soul. He began singing when he was a boy, and kept singing in prison, and now sings in the car, and at the dinner table, sustaining that one long note, as if nothing in the world could stop the music.

Two days after he was sentenced to life in prison in 1972, Phillips wrote a poem. It may have been the first poem he ever wrote. He was 26 years old, and had left high school in tenth grade, and now, with plenty of time to wonder, he took a pencil and set his wondering down on the page. He wondered about the color of raindrops, the color of the sky, the color of his heart, the color of his words when he sang aloud, and the color of his need for someone to hold. He missed holding his children, missed lacing their shoes and wiping away their tears, and he knew the only way he’d ever return to them was to somehow prove his innocence.

One appeal failed in 1974, another in 1975. Phillips thought he might win with a better lawyer, so he took a job at the prison’s license-plate factory, in the inking department, catching freshly inked plates as they came out of the chute and sending them by conveyor belt to the drying oven. The wages were bad by civilian standards but good by prison standards, maybe $100 a month plus bonuses, and Phillips opened a bank account and watched the money accumulate.

About four years later he had enough to pay one of the best appellate lawyers in Michigan, so he sent in the money and waited for freedom. All the while he thought of his children, and remembered the taste of homemade ice cream, and wrote love poems to women, both real and imaginary, featuring beds made of violets and warm baths made of tears.

He waited, and waited. On January 1, 1979, a date confirmed by his journal, Phillips was in his room when another inmate walked in with some news. He’d just seen Fred Mitchell in the chow hall. It was a cold gray Monday at the Jackson prison, and Phillips had not seen his children in 2,677 days. Fred Mitchell? Phillips knew what to do.

On his way he stopped to tell a friend.

I’m coming with you, the friend said.

The prison was home to several factories. This meant easy access to raw materials, including scrap metal, which also meant an abundance of homemade knives. Phillips and his friend each held one under a sleeve as they stood outside the chow hall, waiting for Mitchell to emerge. Here he was, walking across the yard, unaware of the two men walking behind him.

Read the rest of this article at: CNN

News 04.27.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

For all the attention to the science and politics of the coronavirus, another factor may be just as important in shaping life under the pandemic: the ways that people will change in response to it.

Changes in how we think, behave and relate to one another — some deliberate but many made unconsciously, some temporary but others potentially permanent — are already coming to define our new normal.

This crisis may have little precedent, but there are certain patterns in how people and communities behave when thrust into long periods of isolation and danger.

“It was the first winter that you realized that this is going to last, this is your life,” Velibor Bozovic recalls of the 1990s siege of Sarajevo, which brought life to a halt in that Bosnian city. “And somehow you live. Just like people are adapting to the situation now.”

During the nearly four-year siege, people’s sense of community, memory and even time all transformed, he said. Now, Mr. Bozovic and other survivors are already sensing echoes of that time in the slow-rolling pandemic, which is anticipated to last, barring a miracle, perhaps one to two years.

Research on the effects of epidemics and sieges, along with the emerging body of knowledge about the coronavirus, hint at what the coming months may look like.

Our ability to focus, to feel comfortable around others, even to think more than a few days into the future, may diminish — with lasting consequences. But we may also feel the tug of a survival instinct that can activate during periods of widespread peril: a desire to cope by looking out for one’s neighbors.

“We are incredibly capable to adapt to any kind of situation,” Mr. Bozovic, now a professor of photography in Montreal, said. “No matter how bad it is, you adapt. You live your life as best you can.”

A World of Half-Closures and Intermittent Lockdowns

Until the virus is subdued either by a vaccine or by a global campaign of strategically coordinated lockdowns — which one Harvard study estimated would take two years to work — daily life is likely to be defined by efforts to manage the pandemic.

There is no master formula. But suggestions from public health experts tend to follow a pattern.

Large gatherings may remain rare. A report led by Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said gatherings should be limited to 50 people or fewer.

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

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

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