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News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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What Driving Can Teach Us About Living

Where I live, there is always someone driving slowly on the road ahead. This is by the sea in the English countryside, and the roads are narrow and burrow-like, with high hedges on either side to protect the fields from the coastal winds. The roads are digressive in character, rarely traveling directly to a specific location. They branch across the flat fields like veins. It is hard to see what’s coming, and because there aren’t many vantage points, it’s easy to get lost. Still, it’s nothing that requires excessive caution. There’s no particular reason for alarm, in fact quite the reverse. Yet people drive at 15, 20, 30 miles an hour. No matter how many of them you get past, there’s always another one around the next bend.

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

News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Watcher

News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

One night in June 2014, Derek Broaddus had just finished an evening of painting at his new home in Westfield, New Jersey, when he went outside to check the mail. Derek and his wife, Maria, had closed on the six-bedroom house at 657 Boulevard three days earlier and were doing some renovations before they moved in, so there wasn’t much in the mail except a few bills and a white, card-shaped envelope. It was addressed in thick, clunky handwriting to “The New Owner,” and the typed note inside began warmly:

Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard,

Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood.

For the Broadduses, buying 657 Boulevard had fulfilled a dream. Maria was raised in Westfield, and the house was a few blocks from her childhood home. Derek grew up working class in Maine, then moved his way up the ladder at an insurance company in Manhattan to become a senior vice-president with a salary large enough to afford the $1.3 million house. The Broadduses had bought 657 Boulevard just after Derek celebrated his 40th birthday, and their three kids were already debating which of the house’s fireplaces Santa Claus would use.

But as Derek kept reading the letter from his new neighbor, it took a turn. “How did you end up here?” the writer asked. “Did 657 Boulevard call to you with its force within?” The letter went on:

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

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The Painful Price Of Becoming Jackie Chan

There are many ways to tell the story of Jackie Chan. He is the heir to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the comic grace of his movements leaving audiences in laughing wonder. He’s also the heir to Bruce Lee: If Lee broke old stereotypes about the Asian man being frail and craven, then Chan reinvented him once more, offering across dozens of movies a consistent character who was almost childlike in his cheerfulness, known as much for his winking smile as for the fury of his fists. Before 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx made him a household name in America, he was a filmmaker’s filmmaker, his elaborate fight sequences and death-enticing stunts the objects of devoted study by Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. And he helped bring martial arts into the Hollywood mainstream, so that nearly every American action hero, from Jason Bourne to the Black Panther, now boasts elements of karate or jujitsu in their repertoire of ass-kicking skills. The transfer was symbolically completed in 1999’s The Matrix, when Keanu Reeves, having downloaded a fighting program to his brain, opens his eyes and reverently whispers, “I know kung fu.”

Read the rest of this article at: New Republic

News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Egg Thief

A few minutes later, a pair of plainclothes counterterrorism agents accosted the passenger, led him to a private room, and searched him. Beneath his shirt, they discovered ribbons of surgical tape wound around his abdomen. The tape encased three woolen socks containing a total of 14 smallish eggs ranging in color from brick red to marbled brown. The man claimed they were duck eggs, and he offered the police a curious explanation: his physiotherapist had recommended that he wear the eggs pressed against his belly to force him to keep his muscles taut and strengthen his lower back.

At that point the police phoned Andy McWilliam, a veteran investigator with the National Wildlife Crime Unit, a branch of the British police established in 2006 to combat offenses ranging from badger baiting to ivory trading. From the officer’s description, McWilliam felt all but certain that the eggs were those of the peregrine falcon, the fastest animal alive, a bird of prey that nests, in the UK, in cliffs along the west coast from Wales to Scotland. Peregrines suffered a dramatic decline in population during the fifties and sixties, largely because of the widespread use of the pesticide DDT; by the early seventies, only about 350 breeding pairs were left in Great Britain. The pesticide was banned throughout the world beginning in the early seventies, and since then the population has climbed back to about 1,500 pairs. But the birds are still protected in the UK, and the theft of their eggs in the wild can be punishable by jail time.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside

Losing It In The Anti-Dieting Age

News 01.09.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

James Chambers was watching membership sign-ups on Jan. 4, 2015, like a stock ticker — it was that first Sunday of the year, the day we all decide that this is it, we’re not going to stay fat for one more day. At the time, he was Weight Watchers’ chief executive, and he sat watching, waiting for the line on the graph to begin its skyward trajectory. Chambers knew consumer sentiment had been changing — the company was in its fourth year of member-recruitment decline. But they also had a new marketing campaign to help reverse the generally dismal trend. But the weekend came and went, and the people never showed up. More than two-thirds of Americans were what public-health officials called overweight or obese, and this was the oldest and most trusted diet company in the world. Where were the people? Weight Watchers was at a loss.

Chambers called Deb Benovitz, the company’s senior vice president and global head of consumer insights. ‘‘We’re having one of the worst Januaries that anyone could have imagined,’’ she remembers him telling her. In the dieting business, January will tell you everything you need to know about the rest of the year. ‘‘Nothing like we had anticipated.’’ Chambers and Benovitz knew that people had developed a kind of diet fatigue. Weight Watchers had recently tried the new marketing campaign, called ‘‘Help With the Hard Part,’’ an attempt at radical honesty. No one wanted radical honesty. Chambers told Benovitz that they needed to figure out what was going on and how to fix it before the February board meeting.

Benovitz got to work. She traveled the country, interviewing members, former members and people they thought should be members about their attitudes toward dieting. She heard that they no longer wanted to talk about ‘‘dieting’’ and ‘‘weight loss.’’ They wanted to become ‘‘healthy’’ so they could be ‘‘fit.’’ They wanted to ‘‘eat clean’’ so they could be ‘‘strong.’’

If you had been watching closely, you could see that the change had come slowly. ‘‘Dieting’’ was now considered tacky. It was anti-feminist. It was arcane. In the new millennium, all bodies should be accepted, and any inclination to change a body was proof of a lack of acceptance of it. ‘‘Weight loss’’ was a pursuit that had, somehow, landed on the wrong side of political correctness. People wanted nothing to do with it. Except that many of them did: They wanted to be thinner. They wanted to be not quite so fat. Not that there was anything wrong with being fat! They just wanted to call dieting something else entirely.

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

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