Summary of “The coffees you’ve never heard of which face extinction”

The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction.
Scientists say the figure is “Worrying”, as wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop.
“Because if you look at the history of coffee cultivation, we have used wild species to make the coffee crop sustainable.”
Many coffee drinkers are unaware that we only use the coffee beans from two species – Coffea Arabica and Coffea robusta – in the thousands of different blends of coffee on sale.
Many of these wild coffees do not taste good to drink, but may contain genes that can be harnessed to help coffee plants survive in the future, amid climate change and emerging diseases that attack coffee trees.
How does coffee compare to other plants in terms of extinction risks?
Coffee trees, like many tropical plants, have seeds that do not survive the freeze-drying process used in conventional seed banks – 45% of coffee species have not been “Backed up” outside the wild.
Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha of Kew said this is the first time an IUCN Red List assessment has been carried out to find the extinction risk of the world’s coffee, and the figure of 60% is “Extremely high”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Oscars’ ‘Green Book’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Controversy”

A musical love letter to classic Hollywood, a dark comedy about a woman’s rage, a civil-rights road movie, and a VH1-style rock biopic are not four films that you would immediately lump together – unless you follow the Oscars, in which case you know that La La Land, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Green Book, and Bohemian Rhapsody all hold the dubious distinction of becoming their respective seasons’ official villains to a certain segment of the awards-watching public.
Obviously, we won’t know if Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody will follow in those same footsteps for a few more weeks.
With First Man floundering, Green Book became Universal’s lead horse in the Oscars race, and Variety and The Hollywood Reporter in particular have given plenty of column inches over to its defense.
Team Green Book has been working hard to combat allegations that it’s a film for white people: Producer Octavia Spencer introduced the film at the Globes, and icons like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Quincy Jones, and Harry Belafonte have publicly co-signed Vallelonga’s efforts.
At the Golden Globes, the movie’s team, all of whom were perfectly fine making a movie with Bryan Singer as recently as a year-and-a-half ago, embraced the polite fiction that the movie was directed by no one.
All they want to do is enjoy a movie about an interracial friendship, or the band they loved as a teenager, and now people are saying that, as good-hearted progressives, they aren’t supposed to like them? It’s not as if Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are the works of Richard Wagner; these are big mainstream movies about how being gay is okay, and how lifelong friendships can result if we throw away our biases.
As with the president, all this controversy may have the unintended effect of pulling the movies’ fans in closer.
What the two disparate reactions to Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are really about is a dispute over the utility of pop-culture comfort food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Will The Shutdown Hurt Trump’s Re-election Chances?”

The partial government shutdown is beginning to drag on President Trump’s approval rating, which is at its lowest point in months.
Trump’s disapproval rating was 54.8 percent, up from 52.7 percent before the shutdown.
Trump’s approval ratings had been steady at about 42 percent for several months before the shutdown.
Trump’s increasingly negative ratings match polling showing Americans growing concerned about the shutdown and disliking Trump’s handling of it.
There are some reasons for Trump and Republicans to worry that the shutdown could have both short- and long-term downsides.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Majority Whip John Cornyn originally thought they’d talked Trump out of shutting down the government – “I don’t know anybody on the Hill that wants a shutdown, and I think all the president’s advisers are telling him this would not be good,” Cornyn told Politico on Dec. 18 – before Trump shifted strategies in response to right-wing pressure.
The shutdown has prompted Trump to double down on his all-base, all-the-time strategy.
Trump may mythologize 2016 as an election in which he was brought into the White House on the strength of his base, but that isn’t necessarily why he won.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is Existential Therapy?”

“Part of the existential is just acknowledging That ship has sailed,” she said.
Existential therapy has slowly been gaining recognition; in 2016, there were 136 existential-therapy institutions in 43 countries across six continents, and existential practitioners in at least 48 countries worldwide.
Recent studies have supported the use of existential therapy for patients with advanced cancer, incarcerated individuals, and elderly people residing in nursing homes, among others; a number of meta-analyses have gathered data on its effectiveness.
When I spoke directly to existential therapists, they reported a significant rise in clients in recent years-and a notable increase in existential distress among them.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl described a similar kind of culture-wide existential hunger.
He called it the “Existential vacuum”: “a widespread phenomenon of the twentieth century,” he wrote, resulting from the technological developments of modern society.
“Such widespread phenomena as depression, aggression, and addiction,” he wrote, “Are not understandable unless we recognize the existential vacuum underlying them.”
Too, is on the rise; a recent survey of 20,000 American adults found that “Most Americans are considered lonely,” and that two-fifths feel they are “Isolated from others.” A new poll from the American Psychiatric Association found that nearly four in 10 U.S. adults are more anxious now than they were at the same time last year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who Killed the Weekend?”

What my son was mourning wasn’t the end of a great weekend, but the fact that those two days hadn’t seemed like a weekend at all; they were barely distinguishable from the five days before it.
How did my son end up as unfamiliar with the concept of the weekend as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey? The weekend was an early-20th-century victory of organised labour.
If the weekend doesn’t exist, neither does the time to forge face-to-face connections or participate in our communities.
Hobbies are declining, but a hobby is exactly the kind of activity that adds value to the weekend.
The side hustle is a weekend thief, but in a time of stagnant incomes, many must choose income over time.
Reclaiming unoccupied time at the weekend may be the most successful parenting strategy of all.
Since my son’s bemoaning of the weekend, our family has become better at declaring certain weekend days “Off”.
The goal is that every weekend includes at least a little unoccupied time, devoid of economic compulsion, to see what might happen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here, here: the Swedish online love army who take on the trolls”

Every day, the group aims to do what government and social media companies have failed to do: defend people being attacked online by trolls and push back against the spread of misinformation.
Jagärhär mobilises members to add positive notes on comment sections where hatred and misinformation is being spread. This, they believe, rebalances the discussion online and disrupts Facebook’s algorithm.
The morning after Donald Trump was elected, Dennert was overwhelmed with requests from thousands of people to join her group.
In the months that followed, #jagärhär would change its approach, espousing neutrality in how its members reacted, and in most cases, simply mobilising support for people who were being harassed online.
The Swedish rock group, Kent, even donated the proceeds of a photo auction to the group.
Roger Wiklander, one of 18 group administrators for #jagärhär, says that for him the group is about speaking up against hate and misinformation in a united way and giving others the courage to do the same.
Since 2016, the Swedish online love army has spread to other countries in Europe.
Sister groups have been created and are now active across the continent, most notably in Germany and Slovakia, whose groups have 45,000 and 6,000 members respectively.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A high-carb diet may explain why Okinawans live so long”

One of the most exciting factors to have recently caught the scientists’ attention is the peculiarly high ratio of carbohydrates to protein in the Okinawan diet – with a particular abundance of sweet potato as the source of most of their calories.
So could the “Okinawan Ratio” – 10:1 carbohydrate to protein – instead be the secret to a long and healthy life? Although it would still be far too early to suggest any lifestyle changes based on these observations, the very latest evidence – from human longitudinal studies and animal trials – suggest the hypothesis is worth serious attention.
According to these findings, a low protein, high carbohydrate diet sets off various physiological responses that protect us from various age-related illnesses – including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The OCS has found that Okinawans are less likely to smoke than most populations, and since they worked predominantly in agriculture and fishing, they were also physically active.
The traditional Okinawan diet is therefore dense in the essential vitamins and minerals – including anti-oxidants – but also low in calories.
For this reason, some scientists believe that Okinawans offer more evidence for the life-enhancing virtues of a “Calorie restricted” diet.
The benefits of the Okinawan Diet may not end with its calorie restriction.
So the Okinawans may be living longer due to the fact that they are eating fruit and vegetables, rather than its high carb, low protein content.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Parenting Books Aren’t Much Help for Actual Parenting”

I had struggled with milk production, but the books had been adamant: Breast is best.
I was only weeks into being a parent, but according to the books, I had managed to fail at the three most important things so far-childbirth, breastfeeding, and soothing.
Research shows that parenting books can be damaging to new parents, adding to mothers’ stress and heightening their chances of developing postpartum depression.
Missed breastfeeding your newborns in the “Golden” first hour of their life? Too late, your bond is irreparably harmed.
Allowed your toddler to play with your phone? Not potty-trained by 3? Yelled at your kid? Too late, too late, too late.
Parenting is as high stakes as it gets-another person’s life is in your hands.
After almost a decade of raising a kid and talking to parents for my podcast, The Longest Shortest Time, I’ve realized something: We’re all winging it.
For breastfeeding, I sat her upright and facing me, as if seated in an invisible chair-a position that nobody mentions in breastfeeding books.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Jared Kushner Tried to Stop Me From Running the Trump Transition”

Jared was trying – and not so subtly – to derail my appointment as transition chairman.
“He tried to destroy my father,” Jared said.
“There was a dispute inside the family,” Jared reminded Donald, severely underplaying the sordid details of the felony indictment of Charles Kushner and subsequent guilty plea and imprisonment.
Jared glanced at me, then fixed his gaze on his father-in-law, Donald.
Is Trump going to defend me and do the right thing? Or is he going to side with Jared and his ancient grudge?
“You’re burdened with a love for your father that I can’t possibly understand, because he’s not my father. And I’m burdened with facts about your father that even you don’t know, that I can never tell you, because if I did, I would break the law.” Then I turned away from Jared and looked back at Donald.
“Trump Asks Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner, to Plan for Transition Team,” the headline read. Really? Jared is planning the transition? Where the hell did that come from? Hadn’t Donald just decreed precisely the opposite, handing that assignment to me?
“Donald J. Trump has asked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to begin quietly working to put together a blueprint for a transition team should he win the White House in November,” the Times reported.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How black women were whitewashed by art”

As according to British art historian Elizabeth McGrath’s 1992 article The Black Andromeda, Andromeda was originally depicted as a black princess from Ethiopia.
Books such as Pacheco’s were used as reference guides for painters on how to paint who and what – so it’s easy to see how his views could have spread. Black Andromedas were few and far between – and images like Bernard Picart’s print of Perseus and Andromeda by Abraham van Diepenbeeck appear to show a woman with stereotypical white features and hair, but with dark skin.
Michael Ohajuru, an art historian who leads tours around London’s galleries examining the representations of black people in art came to study Renaissance art history through his fascination with the black magus.
McGrath writes in The Black Andromeda about how, in the original Hebrew and then Greek, the Queen of Sheba declares in the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament; “I am black and beautiful.” By the time this makes it into the 405 AD translation into Latin Vulgate, ‘and’ becomes ‘but’; “I am black but beautiful.” In England, the 1611 publication of the King James Bible changed it even further: “I am black but comely.” The racist attitudes that diminished and hypersexualised black women are obvious.
Without the wisdom of the Queen of Sheba or the beauty of Andromeda, images of black beauty in art are rare; there are, of course, plenty of sketches and paintings of black people, but from the 18th Century onwards they largely focus on studies of fieldworkers, servants and slaves.
“There was an interest in painting black people in Antwerp, partly because of the conversion of black people, partly because people actually saw black people in the streets,” says McGrath.
It’s a complex story – of European racism as well as how useful black biblical figures were to those who wanted to teach religion through art – that helps to explain the absence of black figures in art history.
For Michael Ohajuru on his art tours, that’s why it’s all the more important to try and locate the few representations of the black Queen of Sheba and the black Andromeda – and to find out why they disappeared.

The orginal article.