Summary of “How to start conversations at your holiday party”

What to say to the CEO. You might worry most about speaking with your CEO-or with any high-ranking executive.
If you’re in sales, you might say, “I’m Aesha Patel, and I’ve helped corporate banking have its best year ever.” Or you might state, “I oversee our expanding relationship with NBR Bank.”.
You might appreciate that he mentors you and others.
Here are some possibilities: “I want to thank you believing in all of us on the communications team and being such an excellent mentor.” Or, “You know, one thing I’ve noticed this year is how devoted a dad you are. You’ve shown us by your example how to make the work-life balance successful.”
There will no doubt be people at the holiday party that you don’t know.
If it’s a client who’s been invited to the event, tell them, “We love working with your team.” If the person is a new employee, ask how they like their job.
Offer to have a lunch with them in the near future to discuss any questions they might have.
Contribute to everyone’s joy by preparing what you’ll say, whom you want to talk to, and how you’ll reach out to those you don’t know.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Connected Lighting Helped This Couple’s Relationship”

David had access to her connected lights, and this was a message from him.
To enable this remote control of lights, David had linked his phone to Elana’s lights during a previous visit when they’d set up the lights.
When David wanted to adjust Elana’s lights from afar, he signed into her account and selected colors for specific lights.
Sometimes Elana couldn’t reestablish control over her lights from within the app and had to either text David to turn them off or physically unplug the lights when she wanted to sleep.
The light exchanges became an important part of their long-distance relationship.
How could turning on lights come to mean so much? In part it is because we have a long history with light.
As Lisa Heschong writes in Thermal Delight in Architecture, “Are the colors reds and browns? Then maybe it will be warm like a room lit by the red-gold light of a fire.”1 We associate fire with interpersonal as well as physical warmth.
4,5,6,7 Recent work on “Ghosting” took this a step further, synchronizing the lights and sounds in two homes.

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Summary of “The Tail End”

Most of the things I just mentioned happen with a similar frequency during each year of my life, which spreads them out somewhat evenly through time.
I’ve been thinking about my parents, who are in their mid-60s. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days.
Since heading off to college and then later moving out of Boston, I’ve probably seen them an average of only five times a year each, for an average of maybe two days each time.
If the ten days a year thing holds, that’s 300 days left to hang with mom and dad. Less time than I spent with them in any one of my 18 childhood years.
When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.
After living in a house with them for 10 and 13 years respectively, I now live across the country from both of them and spend maybe 15 days with each of them a year.
Now, scattered around the country with totally different lives and schedules, the five of us are in the same room at the same time probably 10 days each decade.
If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Electric scooters like Bird and Lime keep getting dumped in lakes and rivers.”

Just in October, cleanup crews fished out of the lake more than 60 electric scooters, made by Bird and its competitor Lime as well as lesser-known comers like Scoot and Wind, according to James Robinson, executive director of the Lake Merritt Institute.
In Portland, Oregon, so many scooters have ended up in the Willamette River that some disgruntled Portlanders made a website, scootersintheriverpdx.com, that documents just what its URL promises: How many scooters have been thrown into the Willamette River? Portland police have responded to several reports of people throwing the scooters into the river.
In Spokane, Washington, two Lime scooters were found in the Spokane River in October, and Lime has fished its scooters out of the Trinity River in Dallas, too.
In Indianapolis, council member Zach Adamson found one in the Broad Ripple Canal and lamented, “It’s not OK to throw scooters in our waterways.” In San Francisco, it’s become routine to see a Bird or Lime scooter washed up along the rocky shores of the Bay.
“While the companies did not directly address the problem of scooters dumped in the lake, they said that they would retrieve scooters within 24 hours when notified,” read the September Lake Merritt Institute newsletter following a meeting with Oakland’s Shared Mobility Committee.
One Bay Area-based charger I interviewed, Nicholas Abouzeid-who has been collecting and charging scooters for Lime, Bird, and Scoot-says that he hasn’t seen scooters on the map “That are blatantly in the ocean because the GPS itself sucks, placing the scooter at random places and because companies clear out the ‘ghost’ scooters after the GPS goes offline.” Ghost scooters may show up on the map but aren’t actually there or aren’t retrievable-perhaps because they are already in a lake.
Lime is also planning to implement a “No parking zone” around the lake to prevent passersby from throwing the scooters in the water-meaning the scooters won’t be able to end their rental session in the lake’s immediate vicinity.
One company, Scoot, which was permitted to operate scooters in San Francisco in October, told the Wall Street Journal that within two weeks of launching, more than 200 of the 650 scooters they introduced had been stolen or irreparably destroyed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reed Hastings and Netflix Upended Hollywood. But Is His Model Built to Stay on Top?”

Reed Hastings is the kind of folksy, soft-spoken guy who would rather wear a Stranger Things-themed Christmas sweater than a suit and tie on a call with Netflix investors.
Netflix has ascended to cruising altitude, leaving Hollywood incumbents struggling to reach its heights.
The paranoia Hastings views as a strategic asset contributes to what one Netflix executive called a “Culture of fear.”
Wall Street has accepted Netflix’s premise that it can take over television if it spends like mad, which provides Netflix the financial security to take over television by spending like mad. The creative freedom on offer to creators, combined with the fat checks-$100 million for Kenya Barris, $150 million for Shonda Rhimes, and $300 million for Ryan Murphy-make Netflix the ideal landing place of stars.
For less prominent Hollywood talent the infusion of Netflix cash hasn’t always been a boon.
All of these changes to the ways television is produced, Netflix says, are in service to the customer as long as that customer’s aspiration is to watch more Netflix.
“Because Netflix is a data company, they know exactly how their viewers watch things,” Cary Fukunaga, director of the Netflix show Maniac, told GQ in August.
Losing people is the one thing Netflix can’t afford to do: Its entire business model is built on indefinite breakneck growth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world’s biggest investors”

Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning.
The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date.
“The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many,” said Chris Newton, of IFM Investors which manages $80bn and is one of the 415 groups that has signed the Global Investor Statement.
“The low-carbon economy presents numerous opportunities and investors who ignore the changing world do so at their own peril.”
A key demand of the Global Investor Statement is to phase out coal-fired power stations across the world.
Peter Damgaard Jensen, the CEO of Danish pension fund PKA, said: “Investors, including PKA, are moving out of coal in their droves given its devastating effects on the climate and public health, compounded by its poor financial performance.”
The investors said current national pledges to cut carbon would lead to a catastrophic 3C of global warming and that plans must be dramatically increased by 2020.
UN climate summits are frequently dogged by disputes over the $100bn a year that rich nations have promised to poorer ones by 2020 to tackle climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jim Copp, the Forgotten Virtuoso of Children’s Storytelling”

When my wife was a kid, in the early nineteen-sixties, she and her siblings listened, over and over, to records by Jim Copp.
Copp may be the reason that my wife and her siblings and both our children have always had good vocabularies: destitute, vituperative, locality, inauspicious, gauche, megalomaniac, union suit.
The guitarist Henry Kaiser, who first listened to Copp’s records at around the time my wife and her siblings did, once saw Copp’s master tapes and said that they consisted of “Thousands and thousands of tiny fragments of tape carefully spliced together.” He called Copp an “Unsung genius” who “Achieved miraculous results with minimal equipment.”
At first, Copp insisted on doing all the voices himself, but after they’d made one record Brown said that he wouldn’t work on others if he couldn’t perform, too.
Copp wrote parts for him-including “Mr. Brown,” an impish and slightly credulous Irish sidekick for “Mr. Copp.” Brown also helped with the recording, most of which they did in the house that Copp had grown up in, and in which he now lived with his father.
Among Brown’s contributions were the inventive LP covers, all of which he designed, and the marketing of the records, which Copp hated doing.
In 1971, Copp had told all the stores that carried their records that he and Brown were now out of business, although he continued to sell down his inventory of LPs, by mail.
He persuaded Copp to allow him to make a documentary about him-“Skylarking: The Life and Times of Jim Copp”-and to let him rerelease all the old records on cassette and, later, on CD. When Copp died, in 1999, of emphysema, Leyhe and his wife, Laura, became the proprietors of Copp and Brown’s old label, Playhouse Records.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Hardest Effect I Ever Pulled Off”

As part of Vulture’s weeklong series of stories about the wonder of special effects, we spoke to 35 filmmakers – directors, cinematographers, effects artists – about the toughest effect they’ve ever pulled off.
The hardest visual effect would probably be at the end of the movie – the whole showdown with Emily [Blunt] and Millie [Simmonds], when Emily is pointing the gun.
Mimi Leder, director: The hardest visual effect I’ve ever encountered was when I was making Deep Impact with ILM, creating the water coming across New York City.
Even though it may not be the flashiest effect, or the most Emmy-winning effect we’ve ever done, I learned the most.
When you’re grounded, when you’re taking input from all of these other pieces of the filmmaking process, and you’re using visual effects to integrate – to play jazz off of all of the different artists and people who are making this image on film – it becomes something that’s more than just a visual effect.
Kevin Kolsch, director: What really made the effect hard wasn’t the actual play of the effect, but the aftermath.
Tom Woodruff Jr., director and effects artist: The hardest effect I’ve ever done always goes back to Mortal Kombat with Goro, the four-armed creature.
Susanne Bier, director: The hardest special effect was the rapids with the kids and Sandy [Bullock], because it’s such a combination of Sandy and the two kids, stunts, effects.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Leo Tolstoy on Love and Its Paradoxical Demands – Brain Pickings”

In one of the most poignant chapters of the book, Tolstoy examines our gravest misconceptions about love – what he bemoans as “The confused knowledge of men that in love there is the remedy for all the miseries of life,” which stems from our insufficient curiosity about the true meaning of our lives.
Tolstoy turns to the central paradox of reconciling our inherent solipsism with the ethos of universal love.
Nevertheless the conditions of the welfare which he desires for the different beings loved, in virtue of his love, are so intimately connected, that every activity of love for one of the beings loved not only hinders his activity for the others but is detrimental to them.
In the name of which love should I act and how should I act? In the name of which love should I sacrifice another love? Whom shall I love the most and to whom do the most good – to my wife, or to my children – to my wife and children, or to my friends? How shall I serve a beloved country without doing injury to the love for my wife, children, and friends?
The demands of love are so many, and they are all so closely interwoven, that the satisfaction of the demands of some deprives man of the possibility of satisfying others.
If a man decides that it is better for him to resist the demands of a present feeble love, in the name of another, of a future manifestation, he deceives either himself or other people, and loves no one but himself.
The man who does not manifest love in the present has not love.
Complement it with Tolstoy on personal growth, human nature, how to find meaning when life seems meaningless, what separates good art from bad, and his reading list of essential books for every stage of life, then revisit the great humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm on what is keeping us from mastering the art of loving and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s timeless experiment in love.

The orginal article.

Summary of “John Chau’s Death on North Sentinel Island Roils the Missionary World”

John Chau, a twenty-six-year-old American missionary, was killed last month on North Sentinel Island, seven hundred miles off the coast of mainland India.
Chau was part of a community of people who do extreme, sometimes undercover missionary work among the five billion people who live within the “10/40 window”-a term coined by a Christian missionary strategist named Luis Bush to describe a rectangular region of Africa and Asia that lies between ten and forty degrees north of the equator and is home to the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
When Chau was in high school, he learned about North Sentinel Island through the Joshua Project, an evangelical organization that focusses on reaching the world’s last “Unreached” people; he spent most of the next decade preparing to carry the gospel there.
Chau’s death has raised difficult questions for missionaries who work in remote places.
Around 8:30 A.M. on November 15th, local fishermen-who, Chau wrote, were fellow-Christians-took him close to North Sentinel by boat.
Indian government officials have reportedly attempted to approach the island by helicopter and boat, but they haven’t been able to retrieve Chau’s body or speak to the North Sentinelese about what happened.
Five fishermen who helped Chau travel to North Sentinel, along with another person involved in his travel, have now been arrested.
It’s clear what Chau thought: in his journal, he asks God to forgive “Any of the people on this island who try to kill me, and especially forgive them if they succeed.”

The orginal article.