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News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@livia_auer
News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@livia_auer
News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@honeynsilk

As the fall semester begins, many college students will be attending classes from the relative safety of their family homes. Others have arrived to live on university campuses, with varying amounts of success; even schools that enforce strict social distancing guidelines are seeing outbreaks of the coronavirus.

But some students are pursuing a third option: Renting giant houses with friends — sometimes in far-flung locales — and doing school remotely, together. Call it the rise of the college “collab house.”

Two groups of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, have rented large houses in Hawaii for the fall semester. Six rising seniors at Columbia University will be living in a house in Portland, Ore. Several rising seniors at Harvard are renting property in Montana. There are at least seven large houses that have been rented in the greater Salt Lake City area alone, filled with students from different colleges.

These houses range in scale from lavish and pricey productions to smart, budget-friendly solutions for first generation, low-income students.

“The reason people my age are really gravitating toward doing this is we all want new experiences, but that’s been hard to come by,” said Erik Boesen, 19, a rising sophomore at Yale who is living in a house in Durango, Colo., with other Yale students.

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

News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Mohammad Hallak found the key to unlock the mysteries of his new homeland when he realised you could switch the subtitles on your Netflix account to German. The 21-year-old Syrian from Aleppo jotted down words he didn’t know, increased his vocabulary and quickly became fluent. Last year, he passed his end of high school exams with a grade of 1.5, the top mark in his year group.

Five years to the month after arriving in Germany as an unaccompanied minor, Hallak is now in his third term studying computer science at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences and harbours an aspiration to become an IT entrepreneur. “Germany was always my goal”, he says, in the mumbled sing-song of the Ruhr valley dialect. “I’ve always had a funny feeling that I belong here.”

Hallak, an exceptionally motivated student with high social aptitude, is not representative of all the 1.7 million people who applied for asylum in Germany between 2015 and 2019, making it the country with the fifth highest population of refugees in the world. Some of those with whom he trekked through Turkey and across the Mediterranean, he says, haven’t picked up more than a few words and “just chill”.

But Hallak is not a complete outlier either. More than 10,000 people who arrived in Germany as refugees since 2015 have mastered the language sufficiently to enrol at a German university. More than half of those who came are in work and pay taxes. Among refugee children and teenagers, more than 80% say they have a strong sense of belonging to their German schools and feel liked by their peers.

Success stories like Hallak’s partially redeem the optimism expressed by Angela Merkel in a sentence she spoke five years ago this week, at the peak of one of the most tumultuous years in recent European history – a sentence that nearly cost her her job and that she herself has partially retreated from.

“I put it simply, Germany is a strong country,” the German chancellor told the media at a press conference in central Berlin on 31 August 2015, trying to address concerns about the steeply rising number of people – mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – applying for asylum in Germany that summer.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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In 1953, Marilyn Monroe asked her longtime makeup artist Allan Snyder to sneak into the hospital where she was briefly admitted after filming “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” so that he could powder her nose. According to Snyder, Monroe also asked that he do the same after her death, and gave him an engraved money clip to remind him to get to her while she was “still warm.” In 1962, Snyder touched up Monroe’s visage for her funeral, and served as one of her pallbearers. Not long ago, Mario Dedivanovic, who has spent twelve years painting the face of the reality-TV mogul Kim Kardashian West, and who considers Snyder a spiritual mentor, texted me an article from a women’s magazine revealing Snyder’s “eight beauty secrets.” He noted that Snyder had used Vaseline as a highlighter—Dedivanovic does, too, though he prefers another emollient jelly, Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, which is the color and consistency of linden honey. Snyder was known to dust the tip of Monroe’s nose with blush in order to give it the impression of being more snubbed; Dedivanovic often engineers a similar trompe l’oeil on West’s nose, applying dark powder onto either side—part of the process known as contouring—to make it appear narrower. “Omg the similarities are uncanny,” Dedivanovic wrote. “I often wonder what it was like. I can imagine actually what it was like.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

American flags lined the parade route, and more than 200 men in shined boots stepped into formation. The date was November 11, 1919—a proud occasion, the first Armistice Day. It had been exactly one year since Germany signed a pledge to stop fighting Great Britain, France, the United States, and other allies, thereby ending World War I. If ever there was a moment for solemn patriotism, this was it. And if ever there was a town suited to express rock-ribbed, God-fearing devotion to America, then Centralia, Washington, was the place.

Centralia was a tidy and prosperous logging town of 7,300 set amid the primeval forests of the Pacific Northwest. Its municipal fathers had taken special pains to ensure that their town stood head and shoulders above other, less civilized western outposts, with their dingy saloons and whorehouses. Centralia had concrete sidewalks. It had streetlights and streetcars and a sewer system. It had a volunteer fire department and a newspaper that dutifully championed the decency and civility of the town’s leaders as they shaped Centralia into a bona fide municipality.

The morning of the parade, that paper, The Centralia Daily Chronicle, reminded readers that Armistice Day was not a party. It was, rather, a holiday “warning against any efforts to interrupt the natural development of Christian Civilization.” The largest perceived impediment to “Christian Civilization” in 1919 was Bolshevism, which had reached full flower two years earlier during the Russian Revolution and found a foothold in America by way of a growing labor movement. A Red Scare was in full swing, and the Chronicle’s editorial homed in on that newfound American obsession. “We can sing and shout and march to the tuneful music of the fife and drums and the martial bands,” it read, “but in all we must not forget the battle is not all won until the disease spots have been eradicated.”

Read the rest of this article at: the Atavist Magazine

News 09.02.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Our national reckoning on race has brought to the fore a loose but committed assemblage of people given to the idea that social justice must be pursued via attempts to banish from the public sphere, as much as possible, all opinions that they interpret as insufficiently opposed to power differentials. Valid intellectual and artistic endeavor must hold the battle against white supremacy front and center, white people are to identify and expunge their complicity in this white supremacy with the assumption that this task can never be completed, and statements questioning this program constitute a form of “violence” that merits shaming and expulsion.

Skeptics have labeled this undertaking “cancel culture,” which of late has occasioned a pushback from its representatives. The goal, they suggest, is less to eliminate all signs of a person’s existence—which tends to be impractical anyway— than to supplement critique with punishment of some kind. Thus a group of linguists in July submitted to the Linguistic Society of America a petition not only to criticize the linguist and psychologist Steven Pinker for views they considered racist and sexist, but to have him stripped of his Linguistic Society of America fellow status and removed from the organization’s website listing linguist consultants available to the media. An indication of how deeply this frame of mind has penetrated many of our movers and shakers is that they tend to see this punishment clause as self-evidently just, as opposed to the novel, censorious addendum that it is.

Another defense of sorts has been to claim that even this cancel-culture lite is not dangerous, because it has no real effect. When, for instance, 153 intellectuals signed an open letter in Harper’s arguing for the value of free speech (I was one of them), we were told that we were comfortable bigwigs chafing at mere criticism, as if all that has been happening is certain people being taken to task, as opposed to being shamed and stripped of honors.

To the extent that the new progressives acknowledge that some prominent people have been unfairly tarred—including the food columnist Alison Roman, the data analyst David Shor, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art senior curator Gary Garrels—they often insist that these are mere one-off detours rather than symptoms of a general cultural sea change.

For example, in July I tweeted that I (as well as my Bloggingheads sparring partner Glenn Loury) have been receiving missives since May almost daily from professors living in constant fear for their career because their opinions are incompatible with the current woke playbook. Then various people insisted that I was, essentially, lying; they simply do not believe that anyone remotely reasonable has anything to worry about.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

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