Anita Hill Is Not Waiting for an Apology
“I’m sure somewhere in me there’s anger,” Hill admitted from her home in Waltham, Massachusetts (she’s been teaching at nearby Brandeis University since 1998). “But I try to channel anger, whatever is left, into resolve, and especially resolve that this does not happen to other women.” Already the first tenured black professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law at the time of the hearings, she’d go on to write two acclaimed books and inspire a multitude of women to speak out about workplace harassment.
“For scientists like Seidenberg, the problem with teaching just a little bit of phonics is that according to all the research, phonics is crucial when it comes to learning how to read. Surrounding kids with good books is a great idea, but it's not the same as teaching children to read.
Experts say that in a whole-language classroom, some kids will learn to read despite the lack of effective instruction. But without explicit and systematic phonics instruction, many children won't ever learn to read very well.”
“It is commonly believed that humans have a poor sense of smell compared to other mammalian species. However, this idea derives not from empirical studies of human olfaction but from a famous nineteenth century anatomist’s hypothesis that the evolution of human free will required a reduction in the proportional size of the brain’s olfactory bulb. The human olfactory bulb is actually quite large in absolute terms and contains a similar number of neurons to other mammals.”
“Supreme Court nominations have become increasingly rare. One recent analysis estimated that only 25 justices will be appointed in the coming 100 years, compared with 47 appointed in the last 100 years. That means the consequences of each nomination are growing larger and the political battles more heated. A justice experiencing mental decline may be more likely to stay on and retire during a presidential term in which a successor could carry on his or her legacy.”
“Abandoned as a child, Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja survived alone in the wild for 15 years. But living with people proved to be even more difficult.”
“The community meeting is part of an effort by Bernardo León, a professor and writer turned police commander, to transform Morelia’s police officers into a qualified force that is welcomed by local residents. Three years into the effort, the program has shown results.”
“Although there is good evidence that aspirin can help people who have already had heart attacks or strokes, or who have a high risk that they will occur, the drug’s value is actually not so clear for people with less risk, especially older ones.”
“The word nausea comes from the Greek word naus, which means ship. And indeed, ever since humans figured out how to traverse the earth by boat—and then train, car, and plane—they’ve also had to contend with the nausea, vomiting, and queasiness that tends to afflict us when our bodies are in constant, jostling motion.
But just because it’s been around forever doesn’t mean we understand why it happens. Indeed despite years of research, nobody has definitively explained why being shaken around on a ship or while strapped into a car or airplane seat causes such digestive system distress.”
"Think of a dangerous cargo and toxic waste or explosives might come to mind. But granular cargoes such as crushed ore and mineral sands are responsible for the loss of numerous ships every year. On average, ten “solid bulk cargo” carriers have been lost at sea each year for the last decade.
Solid bulk cargoes – defined as granular materials loaded directly into a ship’s hold – can suddenly turn from a solid state into a liquid state, a process known as liquefaction. And this can be disastrous for any ship carrying them – and their crew."
“Five of the seven founders came from the Securities and Exchange Commission, where they built artificial intelligence software to detect fraud and trade violations, before starting Standard Cognition in 2017. Now these fraud experts are working to discern something equally complicated: whether I am stealing a snack.”
“All these pluses notwithstanding, the main reason why companies use tape is usually simple economics. Tape storage costs one-sixth the amount you’d have to pay to keep the same amount of data on disks, which is why you find tape systems almost anyplace where massive amounts of data are being stored. But because tape has now disappeared completely from consumer-level products, most people are unaware of its existence, let alone of the tremendous advances that tape recording technology has made in recent years and will continue to make for the foreseeable future.”
“They are among the tens of thousands of Iraqi children who lost their parents under the brutality of the Islamic State and the prolonged battles to wrest Iraqi territory from its rule.
But unlike the government soldiers who fought those battles, who are honored with memorials in almost every town, these children are at risk of being forgotten casualties of the war. The Iraqi state has few resources for these victims, and the country’s ravaged communities, still scrambling to rebuild basic services like health care and electricity, are too overwhelmed to handle the orphans’ needs.”
“Moreover, many of those who recover do it through professional treatment with medications like methadone or buprenorphine, not through abstinence. Studies, including one of all patients in Britain treated for opioid addiction between 2005 and 2009, show that these two medications are the only treatments that reduce mortality by half or more when used long-term — and they cut relapse rates more than an abstinence approach.”
“The first circle on that map was College Station, home to Texas A&M University. The Evans Library there housed a world-class collection of 19th-century prints—but not for very much longer. Kindred and his partner Richard Green spent half a day and a handful of razors there, destroying one publication after another for the sake of their illustrations. In one afternoon they destroyed what had taken decades to gather and a century to create. The only thing left behind were the ghostly impressions on the pieces of tissue paper put between pages to preserve the illustrations—and the razors the two men dropped on the floor, dulled from use.”
“But as charismatic as salmon are, bodies of traditional ecological knowledge dating back thousands of years reveal that herring are just as, if not more, important to the Pacific coast marine ecosystem and to tribes ranging from Alaska through British Columbia to Washington State.”
“Black Reconstruction reflected that radicalization. Written in lyrical, often soaring prose, Du Bois described how black and white workers in the South possessed, for a brief moment, a common economic and political project before it was undone by white Democratic regimes in the South and a federal government reluctant to further intervene in the South’s violent politics. Du Bois believed, as more American radicals during the Depression came around to see, that forging a unity across the color line was the only way to build a genuinely free American society.”
“But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened.”
“Branch and Barkai soon realized they were looking at strong evidence for alternative stable states—the somewhat controversial idea that an ecosystem can exist in very different yet completely stable configurations.”
“focus on the Hindu Succession Act amendments that equalised women’s inheritance rights to those of men in several Indian states between 1976 and 2005. By granting women the right to inherit their natal family property, these reforms strengthened their bargaining power in their marital families. Using data from the National Family Health Survey and the NSS Morbidity and Health Care Survey, I show that women’s exposure to these reforms improves their nutritional outcomes (measured by body mass index and anaemia), reduces their likelihood to suffer from a variety of ailments, and lowers their risk of death.”
“Reformers also worry that the law allows judges to impose onerous requirements for release, like electronic monitoring, weekly check-ins, home detention or drug testing. These restrict the lives of people who have not been convicted of crimes, and can make it hard for defendants to keep their jobs or care for their children. They can also be difficult to comply with — meaning defendants could easily end up back in jail.”
"The tradition is still alive in contemporary China. In Shanghai, most delicatessens sell rolled-tofu “chicken” and roast “duck” made from layered tofu skin. Restaurants offer stir-fried “crabmeat”, a strikingly convincing simulacrum of the original made from mashed carrot and potato flavoured with rice vinegar and ginger. Elsewhere, Chinese food manufacturers produce a range of imitation meat and seafood products, including slithery “chicken’s feet” concocted from konnyaku yam and “shark’s fin” made from translucent strands of bean-thread noodle."
“Environmental auditors are typically not incentivised to report pollution emissions accurately. A randomised experiment in Gujarat2 sought to change the incentive structure for environmental auditors, who are typically chosen and paid by the firms they audit – a potential conflict of interest. Results show that the existing auditing system was corrupted: auditors reported only 7% of plants violated the regulatory standard, while the actual proportion was 59% of plants were emitting above the standard.”
“The decline of vernacular architecture in the face of global urbanization is, of course, hardly new, though traditional Korean hanok are a particularly stark contrast to modern city living. Sit inside one and you immediately notice how sound and light travel differently as they’re absorbed into pine wood beams and diffused through pale mulberry-paper windows. When newly built, hanok are redolent with the bright scent of a coniferous forest; as they age, the fragrance softens toward pu-erh tea and damp bark. Their center of gravity is lower than other homes, creating a cocoon-like sensation; their radiant heating system — the ondol — means that residents sit, work and sleep on the floor.”
“In the mid-nineteen-fifties, psychochemical warfare was formally added to Edgewood’s clinical research, and approval was granted to recruit soldiers from around the country for the experiments, in a systematic effort called the Medical Research Volunteer Program. The Army assured Congress that the chemicals were “perfectly safe” and offered “a new vista of controlling people without any deaths”—even though early efforts to make weapons from mescaline and LSD were dropped, because the drugs were too unsafe or too unpredictable. Congressional overseers, terrified of Soviet military superiority, were ready to lend support. The Red Army had an extensive chemical-warfare program, and evidence suggested that it had an interest in “psychic poisons,” used to trigger mental illness. “Some foreign enemy could already be subjecting us in the United States to such things,” one panicky legislator proclaimed during a hearing. “Are we the ones receiving it now? Are we the rabbits and guinea pigs?””
"The issue being exposed with SIM swaps is that if you control the phone number you can take over the authenticator," Grant says. "A lot of it gets to the same issue we run into with Social Security numbers, which is leveraging the same number as both an identifier and authenticator. If it’s not a secret, then you can’t use it as an authenticator."
“Nearly a century later, Indigenous sign languages such as PISL that once thrived as the diplomatic language from northern Saskatchewan to northern Mexico, have been subsumed by colonial sign languages. Some have gone underground and most are in danger of disappearing forever.”
“It was a monumental loss for Brazilian historians, archaeologists and scientists. But the destruction of indigenous artifacts and research documents — including relics of tribes that are considered extinct — represented a far more personal blow for the descendants of Brazil’s oldest inhabitants, who have spent decades fighting to preserve their heritage and ancestral lands.”
“And so the Chagossians were forced into exile. To get residents off the island, authorities began restricting supplies. In 1971, they rounded up pet dogs and gassed them to death, as detailed in David Vine’s “Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.” In 1973, the remaining Chagossians were finally boarded onto ships and dropped off in Mauritius or the Seychelles.”
“Most people killed by police were white. In 2014 and 2015, white people made up about 62 percent of the U.S. population and are underrepresented in this group. Meanwhile, blacks made up 17.9 percent of the country and are dramatically overrepresented. In other words, African Americans are disproportionately more likely to be killed by police than white people. Latinos also are overrepresented in data on killings by police, making up 17.6 percent of the population but 19.3 percent of these deaths.”
“A handful of summers ago, when Richmond was a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, she was doing historical research on public green spaces and she kept seeing the word “parking.” This was surprising, because the documents were created well before cars existed.
Confused, Richmond decided to look the word up. She asked a Harvard librarian for an old dictionary from the mid-1800s.
“It actually said: To enclose in a park or to create a park on the side of a street,” recalls Richmond. “I was like, ‘Wow, that is not at all what I think of as parking today.’””
“More so than in some other countries, Japanese culture and public life are suffused with visual symbolism. Comic books, or manga, are read avidly and universally, and many of them make use of common visual tropes that express concepts or states of being. An oversized drop of sweat on a character’s face represents anxiety or confusion; a lightbulb above their head is a moment of enlightenment. As the first host country in the modern Olympic era to use a non-alphabetic script, the Tokyo games of 1964 pioneered the use of symbols (🚴︎, 🚻︎, ⛵︎) rather than text to help foreign visitors find their way.10 And that same non-alphabetic script itself provided inspiration: in kanji, the ideographic script that Japan inherited from China, Kurita saw how powerful it was to be able to express complex ideas like “love” in a single character.11”
“Over the next four years, fifteen more of Buck’s calves would die. Investigators with the sheriff’s office, a Texas game warden, and even a special ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association have worked the case, but so far, none have been able to identify any leads. The cause of death, however, is clear: the same toxic grain has been found inside each dead calf. Someone, it seems, is intentionally killing Buck Birdsong’s calves.”
“What would we keep from the current canon? The older the book, the better the case. We’re not dropping Shakespeare, which is still essential for understanding most English literature that follows. Plus it passes an important test: it’s plenty interesting even when you miss the bottom layer or three of meaning.”
“Sgt. Greg Halstead of the Sacramento Police Department recounted a recent homicide in which the shell casing of an expensive type of bullet was left at the crime scene. With few leads in the case, the police turned to the bullet logs, which have been kept since 2008, to draft a short list of people in the city who had purchased that unusual caliber of ammunition.”
“There have been political tensions in Assam around the subject of Muslim immigration from Bangladesh for decades. And now, the fate of the excluded 4 million people from the Orwellian National Register of Citizens depends on a long-drawn-out bureaucratic process of verifying documents, pending hearings at 100 so-called “foreigners tribunals” established in 2015 for the task of determining illegal immigrants. These could have terrifying consequences, including eliminating women because their documents are worthless. The Indian state also does not care that documents may have been lost in destructive cyclones and floods.”
“What happened? Over the past hundred years the clearest cause is this: Transit providers in the U.S. have continually cut basic local service in a vain effort to improve their finances. But they only succeeded in driving riders and revenue away. When the transit service that cities provide is not attractive, the demand from passengers that might “justify” its improvement will never materialize.”
“Others are also exploring the technology. China wants to build 20 floating nuclear plants, the first of which will start within two years. A French company has designed a reactor called Flexblue that would not float but rather be submerged on the ocean floor.”
“Some travelers follow their hearts, others their heads, but few follow their underpants like New Zealand-based writer Joe Bennett.
Bennett’s purchase of a five pack of China-made underpants took him on an eye-opening quest from the checkout in a New Zealand store to the economic powerhouse to unravel the mysterious workings of global capitalism.”
“Compelling theories, as critics of broken-windows policing know all too well, are often betrayed by evidence. That’s why Branas was so surprised by the findings from their first study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, which showed a thirty-nine-per-cent reduction in gun violence in and around remediated abandoned buildings and a smaller—but still meaningful—five-per-cent reduction in gun violence in and around remediated lots. These are extraordinary numbers, at a level of impact one rarely sees in a social-science experiment.”
“Harassment is not new for women in politics, or anywhere else — and men face it too, especially if they are African-American or Jewish. But for women, the harassment is ubiquitous and frequently sexualized, and it has come to the fore this election cycle, partly because so many women are running and partly because more of them are discussing their experiences.”
“In a recent paper we are able to examine the dynamics of working class migration into Paris between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries (Kelly and Ó Gráda 2018). To do this we use information on two groups: female prostitutes and male holders of identity cards during the French Revolution. We supplement this with records of everyone buried in Paris in 1833. We find that migration at that time is strongly explained by a gravity model in which distance deterred women more than men, and that the impact of distance diminished as transportation networks improved.”
“In 21st-century America, it is difficult to conjure the possibility of the federal government taking an eraser to the map and scrubbing away an entire ethnic group. I had arrived in Columbus at the suggestion of a Cleveland-based lawyer named David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Leopold has kept in touch with an old client who attends the Mauritanian mosque. When he mentioned the community’s plight to me, he called it “ethnic cleansing”—which initially sounded like wild hyperbole. But on each of my trips back to Columbus, I heard new stories of departures to Canada—and about others who had left for New York, where hiding from ice is easier in the shadows of the big city. The refugees were fleeing Refugee Road.”
“It is part of an unorthodox approach to dementia treatment that doctors and caregivers across the Netherlands have been pioneering: harnessing the power of relaxation, childhood memories, sensory aids, soothing music, family structure and other tools to heal, calm and nurture the residents, rather than relying on the old prescription of bed rest, medication and, in some cases, physical restraints.”
“Sahlberg described how Finnish education had evolved, in the postwar period, from a steeply hierarchical one, rather like our own, made up of private, selective and less-well regarded “local” schools, to become a system in which every child attends the “common school””
“Before he laid down even a dot of paint, Vermeer would have weighed, ground, burned, sifted, heated, cooled, kneaded, washed, filtered, dried and oiled his colours. Some pigments – the rare ultramarine blue made from lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, for example – had to be plunged into cold vinegar. Others – such as lead white – needed to be kept in a hut filled with horse manure. The fumes caused the lead to corrode, creating flakes of white carbonate that were scraped off by hand.”
“In its leisure time, a cow aboard the floating farm might plod around on the 1,200-square-foot platform, graze on locally sourced fodder, or feast its beady bovine eyes upon the harbor. “This cow will have a beautiful view of the port of Rotterdam,” says Minke. “The farm has three layers … and the cow is standing on top.” However, she points out, a heifer who’s tired of watching the waves can always trot down a ramp to access a small pasture on solid ground.”
“As a result, many teachers bury their fear and anger and guilt, until it changes into something else entirely. The question of where to erect a memorial, or when to take one down, can create fierce divisions. So might similar questions about how long to allow comfort dogs on campus, or what to do with the mountain of gifts and condolences that pile up. Students may come close to blows over whether to discuss the shooting during class time. Teachers may feel close to doing the same. “It’s not all ‘Kumbaya,’ ” Clements says. “When the system is cracked by a trauma of this magnitude, a lot of stuff leaks out. It gets messy. And it can change relationships.””
“The chamber has also shown that while some people have a “slow metabolism” relative to others their size and age, this isn’t a major cause of obesity. And despite the focus on “metabolism boosting” for weight loss, there’s nothing money can buy that will speed your metabolism up in way that will lead to substantial slimming.”
“For days to come, one of the world’s most complex and interconnected distributed machines, underpinning the circulatory system of the global economy itself, would remain broken. “It was clear this problem was of a magnitude never seen before in global transport,” one Maersk customer remembers. “In the history of shipping IT, no one has ever gone through such a monumental crisis.””