News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The immense and forbidding Southern Ocean is famous for howling gales and devilish swells that have tested mariners for centuries. But its true strength lies beneath the waves.

The ocean’s dominant feature, extending up to two miles deep and as much as 1,200 miles wide, is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, by far the largest current in the world. It is the world’s climate engine, and it has kept the world from warming even more by drawing deep water from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, much of which has been submerged for hundreds of years, and pulling it to the surface. There, it exchanges heat and carbon dioxide with the atmosphere before being dispatched again on its eternal round trip.

Without this action, which scientists call upwelling, the world would be even hotter than it has become as a result of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

“From no perspective is there any place more important than the Southern Ocean,” said Joellen L. Russell, an oceanographer at the University of Arizona. “There’s nothing like it on Planet Earth.”

For centuries this ocean was largely unknown, its conditions so extreme that only a relative handful of sailors plied its iceberg-infested waters. What fragmentary scientific knowledge was available came from measurements taken by explorers, naval ships, the occasional research expeditions or whaling vessels.

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

News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Pedro Almodóvar was having a rough afternoon. The filmmaker sat at a kitchen table, chin in hand, looking tired and frustrated, a pink face mask covering his nose and mouth. For two months, he had been shooting “Parallel Mothers,” his 21st feature-length film, in and around Madrid, once a hot spot of the global Covid-19 pandemic, without any significant problems. His production company had hired nurses, conducted thousands of Covid tests and made cast and crew use two FFP2 masks every day, all in an effort to keep the movie on schedule. But now, on a Monday near the end of May, in the final days of shooting, when dozens of crew members had gathered an hour north of Madrid to film the final interior scene, Almodóvar faced an insurmountable obstacle. One of his lead actors refused to work.

Milena Smit, the 25-year-old newcomer Almodóvar’s team found through casting calls, sat across the table from him in a gray hoodie and short wig. Penélope Cruz, who earned her first Academy Award nomination for her lead role in his 2006 film “Volver,” stood nearby in a striped sweater dress. In her arms, Cruz cradled a 14-month-old girl named Luna Auria Contreras. For weeks, Auria had performed like a pro: babbling on cue, never minding the camera. But now, when it was impossible to replace her, she would not follow the script.

Almodóvar needed Auria to sit quietly in a highchair between Smit and Cruz, or at the very least in Smit’s lap, while the women had an important conversation. But every time they brought Auria to the table, she began to wail. The crew tried desperately to cheer her. They offered her a fresh bottle, walked her around the kitchen with her father, brought in Cruz’s adorable black dog. Nothing worked.

“Look, cariño, do you know we have only three days left, preciosa?” Cruz coaxed in sugary Spanish. In Cruz’s arms, Auria went quiet, as if mesmerized by the star’s smoky voice and large eyes. Placed in Smit’s lap facing the camera, however, she began to scream.

“I think that girl is tired,” Cruz said to Almodóvar. His mass of spiky white hair was haloed by the sun slipping through a shuttered window.

“I think that girl isn’t going to work today,” Almodóvar replied. His voice was flat, calm. But everyone knew he described a logistical nightmare. It was already midafternoon. They still needed to travel to another location to shoot an exterior scene before the sun set around 10.

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

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In 2018, she joined the Times as a food columnist. (“Alison Roman! Alison Roman!” read the headline on a piece announcing her appointment.) At the Times, she specialized in visually enticing recipes that brought a sense of youthful glamour to the staid domain of weeknight cooking. If you wanted to bake some salmon, you went to Mark Bittman; if you went to Alison Roman, you wanted to bake some salmon. She developed a robust following on social media. “Alison has a very strong visual sense and is a quick wit—a combination that made her a trailblazer on Instagram,” Lam told me. Home cooks made her recipes and posted pictures; Roman laboriously reposted their handiwork to her account, showing her fans love while making the agnostics wonder if they were missing out on something.

Roman’s interview with Dan Frommer of the New Consumer was intended as a business move. She and David Cho had been tossing around the idea of adding some merchandise to her Web site. “He was, like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna introduce you to my friend Dan. He does this newsletter that’s for people in the tech world and business, and not really your demographic, and I think it’d be really good for you,’ ” Roman told me. “Normally I would have passed and just been, like, ‘What the fuck is the New Consumer?’ ”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I open the email at 9:30 a.m. in my retrofitted, windowless office on the second floor of a high school in St. Paul. The fluorescent lights are so bright and the walls so white that sometimes I look up from my computer screen and feel as if I’m in a dream. Everything blurs and bends. Here, I shield myself from my students’ bodies, from their breath, in between teaching classes. I remove my mask, just briefly, to eat lunch while refreshing a COVID Tracking Map. November 3, 2020: 1,040 people died in the U.S. from COVID-19.

I read the email’s subject line: “The results of your request are now available in a paperless inbox,” before noticing the sender is American Education Services, a private student loan servicer. The body of the email informs me that AES has added a message to the inbox: something about new loan terms that will require me to begin payments in December. I minimize the screen and scan the room quickly as if the desk lamp and the growing stack of compostable knives can see the message. I pull the screen up and read the email again, willing the language to be different this time, but it’s not. My AES account, along with accounts from a handful of other private loan servicers, was settled in 2018 after protracted and painful negotiations that had begun years earlier. What remains, or what I thought remained, is $2,000 in federal student loan debt. But now there appears to be a new loan, something left unsettled. I close the computer screen. Elbows on white table. Head in hands. I cry.

The email from AES is the first I have received from them in over six years, part of a halted but lengthy correspondence that began, unbeknownst to me, on July 29, 2004, when I was 18 and my mother took out the first of many private student loans in my name. That July day was cold in southwest Michigan, a detail I researched years later when I wondered: What went on in her world that day? It rained. There was little sun. In the morning, my father drove to his corporate office to design washing machine parts, I drove to a golf club where I worked in their food shack, and sometime that day, my mother contacted Bank One, a student lending arm of Chase Bank, and requested $15,000 in my name using my birthdate and Social Security number. I’ve never been able to ask her how the fraud was committed — if she told the bank that she was applying on my behalf and would get my approval later, or if, pretending to be me, she filled out an application online. It’s unclear if Bank One, who partnered with AES for loan management and collection, asked her the questions they should have, the questions that might reveal that she did not have my approval or that she was not me. I’m unsure if the bank account she funneled the money to was one she opened in my name or hers. I do know that on the loan application she forged my signature, which I’ll see years later — the swoop of the cursive “K” larger and fuller than mine.

Over the course of the next three years, as my mother’s gambling addiction escalated, she took out another student loan, and then another, and then so many others that the amounts and institutions from which she borrowed knotted together into something big and impossible to disentangle, but the accumulation of which was about $125,000. It seems that none of the private lenders were alarmed by the rapid acquisition of increasingly large amounts of money — more than I would ever need for my state-school tuition — a record of lending they would have seen when they pulled my credit. It might be that they noticed and didn’t care.

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

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News 15.12.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Heidi Guilford rode shotgun in her boyfriend’s white Dodge Charger. Her stepsister and a couple friends sat in the back, with the windows rolled down for the smokers. It was a cool night in June—sweatshirt weather—an unremarkable Sunday on an island off the coast of Maine. They could have been in any small town, just about anyplace. A loud engine, blaring music, laughing shouts from the front seat to the back. And all around them:


Heidi knew every inch of these roads. They all did. They’d grown up on this island, Vinalhaven, fifteen miles out to sea by ferry, a rock in the ocean that the glaciers hadn’t quite smoothed over. Seven miles by five, population 1,200, give or take, and triple that when the summer people showed up.

They took a left off Heidi’s road out by State Beach and swung through town, cruising slowly through the downtown stretch, past the bar and the grocery store and the bank, then out to Old Harbor Road and over to the Basin. Most years by mid-June, there are enough tourists in town that you wouldn’t recognize everyone, but 2020 was different. This June felt more like the wintertime, when you can pretty much tell who’s driving every car on the road, often just by the headlights.

They were headed back toward Heidi’s place when they saw a Chevy Equinox they knew belonged to Jennie Candage racing past them. But Jennie would never drive that fast, so they figured it had to be her boyfriend, Roger Feltis. Roger was a local lobsterman, fairly new to the island, twenty-eight years old and husky—big enough that he could seem intimidating, but with a sweet, goofy smile.

They started to follow him, but he sped out of sight, so they looped back down through town and out toward the high school. That’s when Roger appeared in their rearview mirror, then pulled up alongside and told them to meet him in the school parking lot.

It was just around 9:30 p.m. Roger—wearing a T-shirt, a pair of Jennie’s old basketball shorts, and Crocs on a night when the temperature was cooler than usual, in the low fifties—got out of his car and came over to talk to his friend Isles Blackington, Heidi’s boyfriend, through the driver’s-side window. He seemed upset, bordering on frantic, going on about Dorian and Briannah Ames, a married couple who lived down on Roberts Cemetery Road, about a half mile out of town. He said Dorian had cut his brake lines and taken a hatchet to Jennie’s taillight. He said the Ameses had been harassing him, that he was sick of it, and that nothing was being done about it.

Read the rest of this article at: Esquire

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