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News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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On a Wednesday afternoon, in a darkened room on the ground floor of the vast PricewaterhouseCoopers building on the bank of the Thames, sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows took to the stage and set about giving the crowd nightmares. He started, in fairness, with a joke.

“If you are feeling tired today,” said Meadows to the hundred or so PwC employees, “this is probably the one talk where it’s perfectly OK to have a good nap.”

The crowd chortled. Sleep experts don’t have too many jokes in their locker, but this was a hardy perennial and Meadows – a slight man with the forced bonhomie of a stage hypnotist – explained he was the cofounder of The Sleep School. It had programmes for schools and parents, he said, but today was its increasingly popular “professional” programme – for businesses.

The past decade, he said, had seen a “tidal wave” of new research all showing the multifaceted importance of sleep to human performance and so he set about explaining how they could use it to – quite literally – sleep their way to the top.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

‘The Era of People Like You Is Over’: How Turkey Purged Its Intellectuals

News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Above: Former members of the Ankara University faculty of political science, also known as Mulkiye, including Canberk Gurer, Ilhan Uzgel, Elcin Aktoprak and Kerem Altiparmak. Photographs by Emin Ozmen/Magnum, for The New York Times.

For more than a century, one school of political science dominated the education of Turkey’s governing class — until the Erdogan regime set about destroying it.

Ilhan Uzgel learned he had been fired while driving his Honda Civic from the village of Ayas to Ankara, after a visit to his ailing, elderly father. A little after midnight, one of his former research assistants called his cellphone. “Ilhan hocam,” the student said, using a Turkish honorific (“my teacher”) bestowed on educators. “Your name was on the list.”

When Uzgel returned to his Ankara apartment, his 4-year-old son was sleeping, but his wife, Elcin Aktoprak, was up waiting. She hadn’t wanted to call him herself with the news while he was driving. Now she comforted her husband — and then Uzgel comforted her, because Aktoprak, also a professor, told him that she had lost her job, too. They had been professors at Ankara University, on the faculty of its storied school of political science, widely known as Mulkiye.

Uzgel attended a provincial university in his home city, Bursa, before enrolling in Mulkiye to get a master’s degree and eventually his doctorate — an accomplishment for someone of his modest origins. In Turkey, to be a part of Mulkiye was to have a special status: to be both of the country and, in a way, superior to it. The joke went that for Mulkiyeliler, or Mulkiye alumni, it was “First Mulkiye, then Turkiye.” Uzgel, one of Turkey’s leading specialists in American-Turkish relations and the author or editor of books with grand titles like “National Interest and Foreign Policy,” proudly remained at Mulkiye for 30 years until Feb. 7, 2017, when he was fired. Some 6,000 of Turkey’s 150,000 academics would ultimately share his fate.

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

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On a hot morning in Bloom, a time period that those who don’t work with tree fruit might call early May, the subject of this profile was in the midst of a busy couple of weeks, bursting into fuzzy green being somewhere on the order of tens of millions of times over.

The leap from flower to fruit is a subtle one: By the time the bees have stopped by and the corolla of petals and pollen has dropped away, the ovary beneath the flower begins to swell into appledom. Bloom wore on, and the long rows of trees that march endlessly across the hillsides and river valleys of central Washington slowly lost their blanket of blossoms. The great hope of the state’s apple industry was born, and born, and born.

Read the rest of this article at: The California Sunday Magazine

News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge

It was just supposed to have been a quick Saturday-morning errand to buy picture hooks. On March 7, 2015, Harvard Law professor Bruce Hay, then 52, was in Tags Hardware in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near his home, when a young woman with long reddish-brown hair approached him to ask where she could find batteries. It was still very much winter, and, once the woman got his attention, he saw that underneath her dark woolen coat and perfectly tied scarf she was wearing a dress and a chic pair of boots — hardly typical weekend-errand attire in the New England college town. When he directed her to another part of the store, she changed the subject. “By the way, you’re very attractive,” he remembers her saying.

“Sorry, I’m married,” he responded impulsively. It wasn’t exactly true — Hay has been legally divorced since 1999, but he lives with his ex-wife, Jennifer Zacks, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, and their two young children. The woman quickly apologized, Hay recalls. “I didn’t mean to bother you,” she said. “I’m just here on business for a few days. I don’t really know anybody.”

Hay, a Francophile, noticed the woman had a French-sounding accent, and he asked if she spoke the language. She told him her name was Maria-Pia Shuman, that she was born in France but her father was the American songwriter Mort Shuman, and that she was in town from Paris, en route to New York.

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

The Murderer, the Writer, the Reckoning

News 07.29.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On February 10, 2002, in a New York State prison cell, the bestselling author and twice-convicted killer Jack Abbott hanged himself with an improvised noose. That same day, the body of the man I murdered washed ashore on a Brooklyn beach in a nylon laundry bag. My reason for connecting these two events is to try to account for my crime, to understand better why I did it, and to describe what Abbott’s legacy, as a prison writer of an earlier generation, has meant for me as a prison writer in this generation.

Jack Abbott was one of America’s best-known prison writers of the twentieth century, though it can be hard to tell how much this was due to the merits of his work, to the high profile of some of his supporters, who included Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, and Norman Mailer, or to the public’s fascination with his propensity for violence. Writing gave Abbott a second chance in life, and in 1981, after serving eighteen years, he was released on parole. Shortly thereafter, he killed again. He never came back from that. His supporters, and even his will to write, deserted him. He died, much as he had lived, alone and angry.

When I started my stretch behind bars in 2002, I had never heard of Abbott. After I read his work, I came to identify with parts of his conflicted character, and I have at times taken inspiration from his writing. But I also resented how Abbott’s actions after he was paroled cemented a mistrust of prison writers and prison writing programs at a time when public opinion was swinging away from the prevailing liberal consensus in favor of rehabilitation.

Jack Henry Abbott was born in Michigan on January 21, 1944, to an Irish-American military man, who was a drunk, and a pretty Chinese-American woman who used to work as a prostitute around the base. After the war, his father abandoned him and his older half-sister—and that was the beginning of what made Abbott, in his words, a “state-raised convict.” By four, he and his sister were in foster care; at twelve, he landed in Utah’s State Industrial School for Boys. By nineteen, he was in the State Penitentiary for robbing a shoe store and making out stolen checks to himself.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Review of Books

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