Summary of “Instagram Food Is a Sad, Sparkly Lie”

That’s not only because Instagram is a widely used and intensely visual medium, but also because its emergent aesthetic tropes are as essential to the zeitgeist as baby tees and brown lipstick were to the 90s. Food thrives on social networks because of its easy, graphic appeal and pan-demographic interest – we all have to eat, right? But while Facebook has become a repository of time-lapse recipe videos for quick weeknight dinners that often prominently feature, for some reason, canned biscuit in dough, and Pinterest traffics largely in mason jars, do-it-yourself projects and the protein-packed simplicity of an egg baked inside half an avocado, Instagram has thrown its lot in with spectacle.
Over-the-top, intensely trend-driven, and visually arresting, Instagram food is almost always something to be obtained, rather than cooked or created.
In the most successful of Instagram food operations, the posting of a particular item signals both affluence and leisure.
Instagram food has almost nothing to do with consumption as a gastronomic endeavor; instead, consuming Instagram food means acquiring it, and sharing proof of your acquisition.
As far as I can tell, it’s nearly impossible be popular in the world of Instagram food maximalism if you actually look like a person who eats the things you post; otherwise, your probably fat hand might appear in a photo of an ice cream cone held out in front of a brick wall.
The easiest way to create context for an over-the-top food purchase is to show it next to a body that has not succumbed to fatness, the prospect of which is regarded with as much horror on influencer Instagram as it is in the rest of celebrity culture.
Iturregui told me she’s seen plenty of food thrown away at influencer-focused food events, a claim backed up by my friend Eric Mersmann, who has made the rounds as an ice cream Instagrammer in New York.
For the others, watching their timelines fill up with food feels more transparently performative, like a present-day version of Paris Hilton in the early 2000s, remaining impossibly thin and toned while regularly being photographed acquiring fast food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Uncomfortable Things You Should Do if You Want to Be Happy and Successful”

The reality is, you’ll only succeed once you force yourself to do things that you don’t necessarily want to.
“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”- Jules RenardToo often, people don’t achieve the success they want simply because they are not willing to ask for it.
Unless you’re just naturally a morning person, setting the alarm clock for earlier than usual is a sure shot way to take you out of your comfort zone.
When you learn to say no when necessary, you’ll free up your time and energy for the things that matter most in your life.
If you work hard on something, why dismiss any positive feedback that deservingly comes your way? When you learn to accept compliments you’ll gain the chance to see yourself as your peers do, and odds are you’re confidence will soar.
To really master small talk, learn to become fascinated by it and the person wielding it.
Write out the things you’re “Going to do tomorrow”, create a schedule for these tasks, keep yourself accountable and imagine how great you’ll feel once they’re accomplished.
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”- T.S. EliotAs we start to invest in ourselves and grow, we become more aware of the people and things that were previously holding us back.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to be a World-Class Negotiator”

A few nights ago, I attended a talk given by Christopher Voss, former international FBI hostage negotiator for 24 years, in which he described several of his kidnapping stories and how his entire mission in life was to help people and save lives.
Right off the bat, he had an air about him that just showed his gravitas and how he could keep his cool during intense high-stakes situations.
Understanding how people work is just the beginning.
In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman talks about how we think and how there are profound cognitive biases that influence our decision making on a moment to moment basis.
Interestingly he touched on how if people concentrate on money instead of focusing on where their time goes and what they’re doing with their time, then they’ll ultimately be less successful in both their personal and professional lives, let alone a high-stakes negotiation.
You call on the phone to help and the first thing he says to you is:You’re in Washington DC? How are YOU going to help me?The challenge here is to figure out what you’re going to say because he just challenged you on the phone.
During the entire course of that kidnapping, he never asked me how long I’d been a FBI agent, how long I’d been a hostage negotiator, how many kidnappers I’d done, how many times I’d been to Haiti, how many languages I’d spoke.
It’s incredible how crucial a role our skills in the art of negotiation can play.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 things the iPhone savagely destroyed in my life”

For years after the iPhone was released in 2007, I was a hermit who believed that I didn’t need material, worldly possessions.
Finally, in 2015, I converted and got my first iPhone, making me behind the trend by more than eight years.
Mixed up in the mess of things, are a bunch of old flashlights, newspapers, and numerous other objects that the iPhone has killed.
With GPS on my iPhone and GPS in my car, I can never really get lost anymore well, okay, I still manage to find ways.
Flashlights Since the iPhone got a flashlight mode, accessible in just a swipe and a tap, the world has had no more use for flashlights that require you to change the batteries.
Voice recorders Some old-school newsrooms still use recorders, of course, but why carry a separate device that still requires batteries and another set of earbuds when you can hit record on any number of free iPhone apps? No more accidentally deleting the recordings on your old voice recorder and trying to replay blurry sounds to make out the words.
Calculator Unless you’re in business school or taking some strenuous calculus courses, the iPhone replaces all your calculator needs.
Boombox Going back to extremely old school, this once-perfect summertime accessory has been replaced by connecting Bluetooth speakers to an iPhone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem With Writing About Florida”

Florida is no place for those who want to view it from a safe distance.
WE DON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHAT WE ARE, BUT SOMETIMES WE DO. Florida isn’t like other states, but you’ve heard that before.
THERE LIES ORLANDO. Central Florida has the special significance of being just far enough away from either end of the state that we’re neither Northern nor Southern, but an amalgam of everything.
Florida, home of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, suddenly dusted in a classy veneer of purest white.
Do you need Florida Man so you’re able to listen to a Florida woman talk about home?
My grandma tells me that she’s lived in Florida her whole life and can’t recall the restaurant that used to sit two blocks over from her home.
My problem is with the way you talk about Florida, but it’s also in my reaction.
There’s a gif people like to use whenever they find a particularly vicious Florida headline: Bugs Bunny uses a saw to cut off the peninsula from the rest of the United States.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The age of banter”

It’s long been somewhat about the banter, but over the last few years, it has come to seem that it’s all about the banter – an unabashedly bumptious attitude that took up a position on the outskirts of the culture in the early 90s and has been larging its way towards the centre ever since.
There are hundreds of banter groups on Facebook, from Banter Britain to Wanker Banter 18+ to the Premier League Banter Page.
Someone has created a banter map of London using a keyword search on the flatshare website SpareRoom, showing exactly where people are looking for a roommate with good banter.
The mainstream, in summary, is now drunk and asleep on the sofa, and banter is delightedly drawing a penis on its forehead. As banter has risen, it has expanded.
“Banter him, banter him, Toby,” a character called Zechiel urges, which may be the first time that someone called Toby was so instructed, but certainly wasn’t the last.
In June 1992, a Guardian story headlined “Police fire ‘sex banter’ officer”, about the dismissal of a sergeant for sexual harassment, recorded an early skirmish in the modern banter wars, and an important new layer to its meaning in the wild: “The move is seen as part of the Metropolitan police’s desire to reassure women officers that what has previously been tolerated as ‘banter’ is no longer acceptable.” Two years later, the lads’ mags arrived.
The gentler form of banter is still knocking around, she suggested, but now it exists alongside something darker: “I found The Inbetweeners’ adolescent banter hilarious, because it was equal and unthreatening. But there is obviously a world of difference between a group of teenage boys benignly taking the piss out of each other, and a bigot being racist or misogynist and trying to pass it off as a joke.”
“If you were meeting someone new, saying they had good banter, that was a pretty high compliment. Whereas if you don’t go along with that stuff, it’s seen as, you can’t take the chat, you can’t take the banter. And it’s not seen as having a stance against it. It’s seen as not being able to keep up.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Paramore’s Hayley Williams Still Gets You”

I’m driving over with Paramore’s publicist, who had offered me a ride, and right before we pull up to Zac’s, she makes it clear that Hayley is not pleased with some of my lines of questioning during that afternoon’s interview.
When I ask which questions bothered Hayley, I am offered few specifics.
When we walk in to hang out with Hayley and the guys, I feel the cold shoulder pretty quickly.
A little disoriented, I ask her publicist if Hayley and I can talk about whatever went wrong, and I go perch on the front stoop of Zac’s house to collect my thoughts and wait for an answer.
Hayley pops out with a noticeably sunnier burst of good energy, and we sit on the stoop as the sky turns bright gray and then, later, a deep black.
Zac buys a pitcher of beer and Hayley goes out of her way to be sweet to me, encouraging me even when I miss the pins entirely.
Recognizing the band, puts a series of Paramore songs on the stereo, and Hayley jumps up and down, picks up a pink ball that matches her sunglasses – still on her face even at 9:30 p.m. – and sends it flying straight down the gutter, where it gets weirdly jammed.
I send a purple ball after it to try to dislodge it, but that only compounds the problem: while Hayley’s pink ball is successfully ousted, now mine is stuck.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 ways the iPhone has made life worse”

While singles are busy swiping on Tinder, they’re missing out on the people sitting next to them on the subway.
As MIT professor Sherry Turkle notes in her book “Alone Together,” because we’re so conditioned to check our phones all the time, many people can no longer appreciate a lake, beach or hike.
Today, Turkle observes, “We ask less of people and more of technology.” Look around you at the playground, the shopping center, the multiplex, on the train platform, and at the Olive Garden: kids are missing out on the attention they need from parents, who are now constantly distracted on their phones.
Social media relationships also tend to be superficial, fueled by likes and quick comments rather than the kinds of private, detailed conversations you’d have over coffee with a close friend.
Since the overwhelming majority of Facebook users access the social network on their mobile devices, it’s safe to say that here, too, the iPhone is a culprit.
One study found that people with a higher proportion of online interactions were lonelier than those with more in-person interactions.
Of course, our social media profiles make our lives look better than they really are.
It’s easy for people to feel left out and unhappy when measuring the sparkly shots of their friends’ best moments against the mundaneness of their own lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Once a Model City, Hong Kong Is in Trouble”

As the political wrangling in Hong Kong is drawn out, some people are leaving.
One popular destination is Taiwan, a flourishing Chinese democracy with more affordable real estate and news outlets that have not been cowed by Beijing, as many of those in Hong Kong have.
In Hong Kong, with its relentless business competition and darkening political climate, Ms. Yeung said, “The pressure is too, too much.”
Three years ago, Beijing presented Hong Kong with a proposal to allow residents to elect the chief executive, but only from a slate of candidates approved by a nomination committee under its control.
The pro-democracy forces rejected the offer, holding out for free elections without such a limit, and Beijing’s refusal to budge prompted the Umbrella Movement protests.
It was a pivotal moment for Hong Kong, with all sides letting a chance at compromise slip by and digging in for what has been a prolonged stalemate.
Martin Lee, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party, said that he harbored such hopes because he had met Mr. Xi’s father, a senior Communist leader considered more open-minded than most of Mao’s generals.
Others noted Mr. Xi’s record as a leader in the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang, where he adopted a moderate tone while trying to attract Hong Kong investors, said Joseph Cheng, another longtime democracy advocate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pay attention: Practice can make your brain better at focusing”

Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says.
“The brain is still figuring out ways to make itself better.” There’s a long-standing debate about how exactly paying attention helps us learn.
The question is: which part of this attention equation is more important for learning, and how is it affected by practice? To find out, researchers led by Sirawaj Itthipuripat at the University of California, San Diego, subjected 12 research participants to the least entertaining computer game in the world, while measuring their brain activity.
The researchers suspect that this more automatic phase is the result of the brain fine-tuning what exactly it needs to pay attention to, basically switching over to a process that’s more like muting the volume on the rest of the orchestra.
For some of the sessions, the students were told where the contrast-boosted circle might appear, and to pay attention to that spot.
Turns out, the students got much better at picking out the correct, contrast-boosted circle after two or three days of training when they knew which part of the screen to pay attention to.
Then as the task becomes more natural, another mechanism takes over that refines the pattern of brain activity that drives the task, cutting down on the neural background noise.
“The brain is still figuring out ways to make itself better.”

The orginal article.