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In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
Giuseppe Bavuso
In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@mariyazakir
In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Manhattan Became
A Rich Ghost Town

There are at least three interlinked causes. First, the rent, as you may have heard, is too damn high. It’s no coincidence that retail vacancies are highest in some of the most expensive parts of the city, like the West Village and near Times Square. From 2010 to 2014, commercial rents in the most-trafficked Manhattan shopping corridors soared by 89 percent, according to ­CBRE Group, a large real-estate and investment firm. But retail sales rose by just 32 percent. In other words, commercial rents have ascended to an altitude where small businesses cannot breathe. Some of the city’s richest zip codes have become victims of their own affluence.

Second, the pain of soaring rents is exacerbated by the growth of online shopping. It’s typically simplistic to point at a problem in the U.S. and say, “Well, because Amazon.” But it is no coincidence that New York storefront vacancy is climbing just as warehousing vacancy in the U.S. has officially reached an all-century low: A lot of goods are moving from storefronts to warehouses, where they are placed in little brown boxes rather than big brown bags.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Life’s Little Luxury

In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When a few years ago I decided to write a book about charm, I began asking friends and acquaintances if they could name five people in contemporary public life—in show business, television journalism, politics, sports—they thought charming. None could do it. Some couldn’t name one. Many of the names that did come up seemed easily disqualified. Someone mentioned Tom Hanks. Nice enough as far as one knows, but charming, no. Another mentioned Oprah. Immensely famous, perhaps the most famous person in the country, but charming—I didn’t think so. The same few names came sputtering out: Steve Martin, Lady Gaga, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Paul McCartney, talented people all but scarcely charming.

If I had asked this same question 50 or 60 years ago, the names would have come cascading out: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Ronald Colman, Myrna Loy, Jack Benny, William Powell, Barbara Stanwyck, Yogi Berra, and on and on into the night, all people about whose charm one could be assured to get an immediate consensus. What, during the intervening years, has happened to in effect all but put charm out of business in our time?

When I batted down some of these candidates for the golden circle, a discussion of the definition of charm often followed. A surprising number of the people I talked with conflated charm with “charisma,” though their definitions of that vogue word generally turned out to be far from clear. Charisma is one of those words that most people use to mean whatever they want it to mean. (“When I use a word,” says Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-Glass, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”) For the people at Avon, Charisma is the name of a perfume. It is the first name of an actress in a television series about vampires. What charisma really means, as set out by the German social scientist Max Weber, is authority “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual” that shows up not in pleasing conversation but on the world stage. Jesus had charisma; so, too, did Napoleon, Gandhi, and a very few others, not including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or Laurel and Hardy, who, each in his own way, had great charm, but no charisma whatsoever.

Read the rest of this article at: The Weekly Standard

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The Lost Art Of Concentration: Being Distracted In A Digital World

It is difficult to imagine life before our personal and professional worlds were so dominated and “switched on” via smartphones and the other devices that make us accessible and, crucially, so easily distractible and interruptible every second of the day. This constant fragmentation of our time and concentration has become the new normal, to which we have adapted with ease, but there is a downside: more and more experts are telling us that these interruptions and distractions have eroded our ability to concentrate.

We have known for a long time that repeated interruptions affect concentration. In 2005, research carried out by Dr Glenn Wilson at London’s Institute of Psychiatry found that persistent interruptions and distractions at work had a profound effect. Those distracted by emails and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ, twice that found in studies on the impact of smoking marijuana. More than half of the 1,100 participants said they always responded to an email immediately or as soon as possible, while 21% admitted they would interrupt a meeting to do so. Constant interruptions can have the same effect as the loss of a night’s sleep.

Nicholas Carr picked up on this again in an article in the Atlantic in 2008, before going on to publish his book The Shallows two years later. “Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy,” he wrote. “My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case any more. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

In the News 10.15.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Unprotected

In the same week the girls came forward, Ebola claimed its first victims in Monrovia. By August 2014, the graph of cases was rising exponentially. West Point became a hot zone with a strict military quarantine.

Meyler flew in with a pile of suitcases filled with medical supplies.

While glacial international organizations were limited by bureaucracy, MTM could jump in and do what seemed necessary. Soap? Rain boots? Funding for hundreds of community workers? Within two weeks of Meyler’s arrival, the school was a coordination hub, and West Point had a working ambulance.

Meyler shared each step of her Ebola journey on Instagram, posting graphic pictures of the dead and the dying, and of herself bearing witness. In an Ebola holding center filled with listless patients, she sang gospel songs, handed out toy guns and promised a dying boy a bicycle.

“I won’t get sick,” she messaged her sister. “If I did, though, it would be worth it. No one else here is doing this. Showing love n dignity in death.”

Warren, now on an MTM contract, followed her with his video camera.

They found a 3-year-old girl in a pink dress crying alone in an ambulance. She had just watched her mother die, seen the corpse slung into a body bag. Meyler took the “sweet pumpkin,” who she believed was called Pearlina, to stay at MTM’s empty guesthouse.

The girl’s image and story soon appeared on MTM’s website and Meyler’s social media. Then Warren sold footage to CBS, but according to an email exchange, the nature of the planned story upset Meyler and her board.

“They are making it a story about the girl Not Mtm,” Warren wrote.

“I think Katie is very upset at how this has been managed,” wrote Skip Borghese. It was a “must” that they include MTM. It was, he wrote, “an MTM act of kindness, and on MTM premises.”

The homepage tab leading to the press release on Johnson’s arrest was replaced by another: “Meet Pearlina.”

Meyler took a handful of other children into MTM’s care. She courted journalists who arrived to cover the epidemic, saying MTM had opened an interim care facility called Hope 21. Meyler and her charity began to appear in stories across the world: Vice, the Independent, Marie Claire, Time, The Washington Post, France 24, CBS, NBC, Vogue, NPR, BBC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, International Business Times, The New York Times, CNN. Meyler became a face of the outbreak, the crusading American who ran toward danger to save the children.

Read the rest of this article at: Propublica

A Working Class Death

Your dad is dying. You’ve known it for months but the nurse is serious tonight when she calls and asks you to come sit with him in his narrow room at the veterans’ home. He’s in the later stages of congestive heart failure, complicated by diabetes, obesity, gout, prostate problems, and whatever other trouble years of poor diet, little exercise, long work hours, and minimal health care will get you. That he held out until age seventy is a little medical miracle and not much credit to the VA, which can’t keep track of his records.

You keep track of his records.

He’s propped up in pajamas on rough white sheets, working for each breath. You swab his mouth as it hangs open, showing discolored and misplaced teeth he never could afford to fix. His skin is mottled both from age and the cystic acne that’s plagued him all his life. An oxygen tube would help but he’s asked for no interventions, no heroics. That’s the Dad you remember, the long-suffering Marine who was proud to serve when his number came up. He finished basic at the head of his platoon. Now he takes chronic pain as another heavy pack to carry, mile after mile.

Your brother would like to be here but he’s at work on the West Coast and can’t afford time off. It’s a theme in your family, not having money for things that are important. Your parents divorced fifteen years ago when Dad lost his job as a grocery buyer and took one in another state with worse hours, conditions, and pay—managing a convenience store, a humiliation he carried in his posture, soldier straight until then. Enough, your mother said. She’d followed him on a trail of nowhere cities and inadequate employment that would end with her solitary stand in a cold, dusty Northern Plains town you couldn’t get out of fast enough.

Your dad barely opens his eyes but reaches to grasp your hand. Although you’re a grown woman and a lawyer with an urgent case file to read at midnight by his bedside, you’re still his little girl, the proof that he did something right. He didn’t drink like his dad. He didn’t hit you more than the occasional spanking. He didn’t leave. His greatest parenting accomplishments are acts of omission, but there are also affirmative acts of love. He stopped smoking when you were born. He taught you to ride your bike, drive, fish, salute, hit hard from an unexpected angle, and fight back against anyone who looked down on you.

Read the rest of this article at: true

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