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In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Truth or Consequences

Last year, Kanye West’s “Famous,” from The Life of Pablo, caused immediate controversy for its lines, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous, a reference to his interruption of Swift at the VMAs in 2009. At the 2016 Grammys, Swift seemed to respond obliquely when she clutched her Album of the Year award and said: “I want to say to all the young women out there — there are going to be people along the way who are going to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”

Back-and-forth followed between both celebrities’ camps about whether or not Swift consented to the lyrics. Then, around 8 p.m. on July 17th, 2016, Kim Kardashian picked up her iPhone and broadcasted the “receipts” on America’s pop princess, Snapchatting behind-the-scenes footage from the recording of her husband’s album. Taylor Swift is heard on speakerphone with West, seemingly agreeing to the lines and acting like she is in on the joke. The message, edited and spliced together with Kardashian’s iPhone, was that Swift had deceived the public into believing she was a victim of West’s wrath. West comes off as charming, Swift seems manipulative and two-faced. Kardashian was lauded for “having the receipts.”

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets




Erasing Herself From The Narrative: Taylor Swift and the Absence of Intimacy in the Launch of Reputation

In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Beginning in 2010 with Speak Now, Taylor Swift album releases have been an “event”: in an age where prominent artists often struggle to clear 200,000 units in their opening weeks, Swift’s last three albums have all sold over one million copies in their first week. When Red released in 2012, it came with Papa John’s tie-ins and intense cross-branding with Target, the latter of which continued with the launch of 1989 two years later. Although Swift’s sound would change over the course of these records, gradually phasing out her country roots, the calculus of the album launches largely remained the same.

However, while these albums have undoubtedly been major music industry events supported by robust and organized marketing campaigns, they’ve never actually been positioned as such by Swift herself when they were first announced. Instead, they were debuted with a conscious effort to frame these albums as gifts to her fans as opposed to gifts to music retailers, utilizing the power of the internet to create intimacy between artists and their audience.

And so it was striking that when Swift’s most recent album cycle—delayed by a year—started this week, it began with the erasure of her social media history, a symbolic act reflective of the focus implied by the album’s title—Reputation—but also fundamentally at odds with the way she has launched three mega-successful albums in the past. And so even before she releases her first single, she’s announcing a marked departure over the way she understands her mediated presence, giving up the form of control she had previously but replacing it with another type of control that may mark a fundamental shift in the way she connects to her audience.

Read the rest of this article at: Cultural Learnings

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Why Freud Survives

Sigmund Freud almost didn’t make it out of Vienna in 1938. He left on June 4th, on the Orient Express, three months after the German Army entered the city. Even though the persecution of Viennese Jews had begun immediately—Edward R. Murrow, in Vienna for CBS radio when the Germans arrived, was an eyewitness to the ransacking of Jewish homes—Freud had resisted pleas from friends that he flee. He changed his mind after his daughter Anna was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo. He was able to get some of his family out, but he left four sisters behind. All of them died in the camps, one, of starvation, at Theresienstadt; the others, probably by gas, at Auschwitz and Treblinka.

London was Freud’s refuge, and friends set him up in Hampstead, in a big house that is now the Freud Museum. On January 28, 1939, Virginia and Leonard Woolf came for tea. The Woolfs, the founders and owners of the Hogarth Press, had been Freud’s British publishers since 1924; Hogarth later published the twenty-four-volume translation of Freud’s works, under the editorship of Anna Freud and James Strachey, that is known as the Standard Edition. This was the Woolfs’ only meeting with Freud.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Living in a Void: Life in Damascus After The Exodus

In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

My sister, whom I haven’t seen for more than two years, told me she was going to cross the sea in a rubber dinghy. She hung up, not wanting to hear what I thought. She merely said something profound and sentimental and entrusted her three children to my care in the event that she drowned. A few minutes later I tried to call the unfamiliar Turkish number back, but the phone had been turned off. Hundreds of images from our childhood flooded my memory. It’s not easy to say goodbye to half a century of your life and wait for someone you love to drown. My fingers and toes felt cold and my head empty, and I didn’t feel able to argue anyway. What can one offer a woman who has lost her home and everything she owns and, not wanting to lose her children too, carried them off into exile to seek a safe haven in Turkey? Things are not easy for a woman like her there. She looks like millions of other Syrian women and does not have any special skills. All that’s left is the hope of asylum, even if it requires crossing the sea in a rubber dinghy. It’s as if she’s trying to tell me something I know already – that the sea is Syrians’ only hope.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

Alaska’s Permafrost Is Thawing

In the News 25.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

YUKON DELTA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Alaska — The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as other parts of the planet, and even here in sub-Arctic Alaska the rate of warming is high. Sea ice and wildlife habitat are disappearing; higher sea levels threaten coastal native villages.

But to the scientists from Woods Hole Research Center who have come here to study the effects of climate change, the most urgent is the fate of permafrost, the always-frozen ground that underlies much of the state.

Starting just a few feet below the surface and extending tens or even hundreds of feet down, it contains vast amounts of carbon in organic matter — plants that took carbon dioxide from the atmosphere centuries ago, died and froze before they could decompose. Worldwide, permafrost is thought to contain about twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere.

Once this ancient organic material thaws, microbes convert some of it to carbon dioxide and methane, which can flow into the atmosphere and cause even more warming. Scientists have estimated that the process of permafrost thawing could contribute as much as 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit to global warming over the next several centuries, independent of what society does to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels and other activities.

In Alaska, nowhere is permafrost more vulnerable than here, 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle, in a vast, largely treeless landscape formed from sediment brought down by two of the state’s biggest rivers, the Yukon and the Kuskokwim. Temperatures three feet down into the frozen ground are less than half a degree below freezing. This area could lose much of its permafrost by midcentury.

That, said Max Holmes, senior scientist and deputy director of the research center, “has all kinds of consequences both locally for this region, for the animals and the people who live here, as well as globally.”

“It’s sobering to think of this magnificent landscape and how fundamentally it can change over a relatively short time period,” he added.

But on this wide, flat tundra, it takes a practiced eye to see how Alaska is thawing from below.

At one of the countless small lakes that pepper the region, chunks of shoreline that include what had been permafrost have calved off toward the water.

Nearby, across a spongy bed of mosses and lichens, a small boggy depression most likely formed when the ice in the top layers of the permafrost below it melted to water.

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

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @thelusttlist; @bygloriagonzalez; @thelusttlist