Summary of “National parks want you to stop picking them clean”

The thing about national parks is that they belong to everyone – but that doesn’t mean they’re yours or mine to raid.
For some reason, people feel compelled to grab something from our nation’s parks and national monuments, whether it’s prehistoric petrified wood, arrowheads, archaeological artifacts, wild ginseng roots or, as mentioned, cacti.
It’s why national parks across the country have been devising ways to protect their unique resources.
Here’s a look at what Saguaro National Park, Petrified National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are doing to keep their natural and historic treasures safe for new generations – and out of car trunks.
“It’s a prized landscape item, and they’re expensive so it becomes a target for unscrupulous people,” Kevin Dahl, senior program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association, tells me over the phone when I ask why someone would steal a cactus.
Next up is a four-and-a-half-hour drive to the second stop on my tour of Parks People Steal From: Petrified Forest National Park, in northeastern Arizona.
Say you put up a trail camera – a fairly common tool for national parks – and catch someone looting an archaeological site.
Up near California’s border with Oregon, rangers at Redwood National and State Parks are trying to stop poachers from carving out the trees’ valuable burls – essentially the outgrowth of a single bud that failed to develop into a branch, which then divides and redivides until it forms a bulge.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news?”

News, the thing that helped people understand their world, that oiled the wheels of society, that pollinated communities, that kept the powerful honest – news was broken.
Some believed we had too much free news; others, that paid-for news was leaving behind it a long caravan of ignorance.
There might soon be entire communities without news, or without news they could trust.
Loads of reporters were at it: it was how the News of the World had won so many awards.
The News of the World, rattled by this new legal action, had offered to pay Taylor an enormous sum – £400,000 plus £300,000 costs – to drop the action.
The Daily Mail employed many outstanding reporters, but the relentless, bruising, sometimes brutalising editorial ethos of that paper had little in common with the BBC or the Financial Times, any more than Fox News had much in common with the New York Times or Washington Post.
We trust a public service broadcaster above all private news providers – but regularly revile it.
After two decades of disruption, it may be possible that none of the old conventional business models can still support serious news in the public interest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is Why Understanding Time Is So Hard”

In April, in the famous Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution in London, Carlo Rovelli gave an hour-long lecture on the nature of time.
Unlike general relativity, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, thermodynamics embeds a direction of time.
Its second law states that the total entropy, or disorder, in an isolated system never decreases over time.
Second, since a clock, like every object, is quantum, it can be in a superposition of time readings.
“You cannot say between this event and this event is a certain amount of time, because, as always in quantum mechanics, there could be a probability distribution of time passing.” Which means that, third, in quantum gravity, you can have “a local notion of a sequence of events, which is a minimal notion of time, and that’s the only thing that remains,” Rovelli said.
Events aren’t ordered in a line “But are confused and connected” to each other without “a preferred time variable-anything can work as a variable.”
Listening to Rovelli’s description, I was reminded of a phrase from his new book, The Order of Time: Studying time “Is like holding a snowflake in your hands: gradually, as you study it, it melts between your fingers and vanishes.”
WATCH: Why the nature of time is such a central issue for theoretical physics.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why the Future of Data Storage is Magnetic Tape”

To begin with, tape storage is more energy efficient: Once all the data has been recorded, a tape cartridge simply sits quietly in a slot in a robotic library and doesn’t consume any power at all.
More recently, Microsoft let it be known that its Azure Archive Storage uses IBM tape storage equipment.
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.
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.
To understand why tape still has so much potential relative to hard drives, consider the way tape and hard drives evolved.
More recently, in collaboration with Sony Storage Media Solutions, we demonstrated the possibility of recording data at an areal density that is about 20 times the current figure for state-of-the-art tape drives.
In 2015, the Information Storage Industry Consortium, an organization that includes HP Enterprise, IBM, Oracle, and Quantum, along with a slew of academic research groups, released what it called the “International Magnetic Tape Storage Roadmap.” That forecast predicted that the areal density of tape storage would reach 91 Gb per square inch by 2025.
The authors of that road map each had an interest in the future of tape storage.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Terms of Service Violation”

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Summary of “The Atavist Magazine”

Monden arrived at the hospital desperate for word of Scout’s condition.
Scout’s parents were en route from Lilburn, Georgia, a 30-minute drive from Atlanta.
Scout even brought Punja home to Lilburn, where Punja greeted Scout’s mom with fake yellow flowers because, she said, they would never die.
Scout stands in the back of the group wearing a tie-dyed shirt, shoulder-length hair parted to one side, and a slight, inscrutable smile above a dimpled chin.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had been tasked with investigating the shooting, and in a much quoted statement released on Sunday, September 17, the day after the incident, it described Scout as “Armed with a knife.” The phrase echoed through local news broadcasts, and in a headline The Chicago Tribune described Scout as a “Knife-wielding” student.
One of Scout’s roommates couldn’t bear to stay in her campus apartment, where everything from the posters on the wall to an alarm clock on a table reminded her of Scout.
Second, campus police carried guns and pepper spray but not Tasers, which the Schultzes’ lawyer described as “Insane.” Third, Tyler Beck, the officer who’d killed Scout, hadn’t received training to navigate situations involving people in psychiatric crisis.
People who believed Scout’s death was unjustified were infuriated and galvanized by what they saw as a perfect storm of institutional failures: Members of the GTPD were insufficiently trained and had used excessive force against a queer student suffering because of the campus’s deficient mental-health resources.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Treasures from the Color Archive”

At the heart of the Forbes Collection are the natural pigments that were the staples of painters’ inventories before chemically synthesized paints replaced the impossibly esoteric, the dangerously toxic, the prohibitively expensive, and the perilously fugitive.
Even in the early fifteenth century, the Italian painter Cennino Cennini warned in his practical manual, “Il Libro dell’Arte,” that artists beguiled by the pigment’s reputation should “Leave it alone, and do not have too much respect for it; for it is not of a constitution to do you much credit.” Better to stick to madder root, red ochre, or the red-lead minium that had been in use since classical antiquity.
At the middle of the nineteenth century, Laughton Osborn advised, in his “Handbook of Young Artists and Amateurs in Oil Painting,” “There is nothing to be gained by smearing our canvas with a part perhaps of the wife of Potiphar.” When the painter of historical scenes Lawrence Alma Tadema told the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones that he was going to see pieces of mummy before they were turned into pigment, Burne-Jones, according to his wife, Georgina, snorted that the name of the pigment was just a childish fancy.
For Edward Waldo Forbes, pigment hunting and gathering was not just a matter of creating an archive of lost or languishing color.
In addition to collecting pigments, Forbes planted madder in his garden at Gerry’s Landing, on the Charles River, and taught the lab section of his courses at home, where students could brush gesso and lime on an assigned patch of wall or, using pigments ground at M.I.T., take a stab at Boston fresco.
In 2007, Khandekar and his colleagues analyzed the paint in three works previously thought to have been by the Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock, who died in 1956, revealing a yellow pigment, PY 151, that was developed in 1969, as well as a red pigment mixed in a brown paint that was not developed until 1974, and also other media and binding not available until the nineteen-sixties and seventies.
At a time when conceptual art ruled, it took guts to claim that color is concept, and perhaps the irreducible core of painting.
The colorman George Field, who opened the first of many factories of artists’ materials in 1808, near Bristol, England, considered his vocation to be the redemption of color from the murk of industrial obscurity-what he called “Foul air.” He thought of himself as a reformer-manufacturing fresh reds, greens, and yellows to replace older, toxic pigments like cinnabar and orpiment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Harder-To-Measure Benefits of Getting Older”

What age is someone most likely to achieve their peak performance?
“You don’t need to be 25 years old to have your greatest performance,” says seven-time mountain bike world champion Rebecca Rusch, who, at age 47, was part of the third party ever to summit Mount Kilimanjaro via bike.
Alpine climber Jimmy Chin has said that perhaps his best ever performance was a first ascent up Mount Meru, which he accomplished at age 37 on an expedition with Conrad Anker, who was 48 at the time.
“I’ve had conversations with other climbers about surviving 28. At that age you may think you have enough experience to really go for it, but in reality, you still haven’t seen that much and whatever experience you do have can be easily outweighed by brashness and impatience.”
Chin, now 44, told me he’s realized that with age comes wisdom.
“The older you get the more experiences, successes, and failures you have. You have more information to draw from. The more information you have, the more patterns you recognize. The more patterns you recognize, the better you are at making tough decisions and assessing risk,” he says.
Maybe the best way to conceptualize age and athletic performance is to imagine two curves: one for physiological fitness, which peaks relatively young and then slowly declines; and another for wisdom, which starts off low and gradually rises over time.
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the median age for a first-time ultra runner is 37 and the median age of all ultramarathon finishers is 43-seven years older than the median age of all marathon finishers in the same year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Romantic comedies are having a moment. Can it last?”

All three hew to romantic comedy conventions but with a twist, and suddenly it feels like rom-coms may be back after all.
A lot of the very perfunctory romantic subplots in superhero movies feel ripped directly from the rom-com playbook.
The rom-com and its stars are in a symbiotic relationship: The right stars will make a romantic comedy sing, and the right romantic comedy can jump-start its stars’ careers.
There’s every indication that the audience will be there – for instance, look how successful K-dramas, with their shameless embrace of rom-com tropes and their tendency to retell well-known storylines, have been, both overseas and in the US. I also want to mention Love, Simon and perhaps even Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name here, because while those latter two aren’t rom-coms, and Love, Simon might be arguably more of a teen comedy than a rom-com, they collectively indicate an emerging positive space for queer romance.
It pains me endlessly to realize that the last queer rom-com I can remember making a mainstream splash is 2005’s Imagine Me & You – which is also one of the few really pure, trope-a-licious queer rom-coms.
Genevieve: I’m going to table that question for just a moment, Todd, because this is probably a good place to acknowledge that the past 20 years or so have seen their fair share of black romantic comedies, very few of which have been able to break out of that unfortunately niche distinction but have collectively established a roster of black actors with a proven history of carrying a rom-com.
Part of what killed the romantic comedy in the mid-’00s was that the biggest studio rom-coms, your How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or your Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, were getting increasingly slick and smarmy and cynical.
They followed the formula of a rom-com on a surface level – aspirational jobs, fancy clothes, beautiful people – but they were made with a palpable contempt for both their characters and the people who enjoy watching romantic comedies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Russian Intelligence Is Co-opting Angry Young Men”

Russian fight clubs provide another example of how largely innocuous groups that exist independently of the Kremlin can be instrumentalized by Russia’s intelligence services.
One particular type of martial-arts club, based on the systema combat style, which has its origins in medieval Russia, is popular with Russian special forces.
Aside from the hard-core nature of its enthusiasts, systema clubs operate just as normal judo or karate clubs do, holding classes and training sessions in Russia and many other countries, including the United States.
According to an investigation by the EU Observer, a number of systema fight clubs in Europe and North America prominently display their links to Russia’s special forces and even use GRU or FSB insignia in their promotional materials.
Boris Reitschuster, a German expert who has written extensively on systema fight clubs in Europe, alleges that even if the vast majority of members are ordinary fight-club enthusiasts, these groups are actively being used by Russia’s intelligence services to recruit agents.
Reitschuster cites the estimate of a Western intelligence agency that in Germany alone, systema clubs have been used to recruit between 250 and 300 agents.
While systema clubs may include Russian intelligence agents in the traditional sense of the term, many others are likely “Agents of influence” who do not necessarily serve in the GRU with a rank or formal affiliation.
If some Russian fight clubs in Europe and North America harbor a small fraction of GRU-affiliated agents instrumentally tapping into the street-fighting milieu to drive home an anti-Western message, then their activity is not much different from the trolls who work for Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

The orginal article.