Summary of “How the World’s Most Interesting Man Befriended the World’s Most Powerful Man”

I could hear President Obama as he walked up the path behind me and spied the multiple arrows I had placed, undetected, in the bull’s-eye.
Would I like to be part of a special surprise for the president’s 50th birthday celebration at Camp David? Ten of Obama’s best friends-most of them people he had known as far back as high school-were on the list.
“And Fidel heard about me So he challenged me to a duel. He wants to get the pistols. I told him, ‘Fidel, we can get the pistols if you want, but no sense in hurting ourselves. How about we play chess? It’s painless.’ He agreed. I let him win. He gets very upset. He wants to beat me fair, he says. And that’s how I arm-wrestled Fidel Castro.”
The first time I met President Obama, I was part of a welcoming committee in the state of Vermont, where I now live.
The president of the United States is interested in me, the imaginary most interesting man in the world.
The Secret Service picked me up at Reagan National Airport, and a few hours later I was at Camp David, the president’s private retreat.
I met the president’s dog Bo. I saw the very chairs on which Stalin and Roosevelt sat and the table where the Camp David Peace Accords were negotiated between Israel and Egypt.
I went back to the shooting position and stood with a bow and a single notched shaft, admiring my “Work.” Soon, I could hear the president coming with an aide.
By the time I got to the small dinner party I noticed there were only two seats left, one by the door and one next to the president.
Somehow calling him Mr. President didn’t seem right.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Theresa May wants to ban crypto: here’s what that would cost, and here’s why it won’t work anyway / Boing Boing”

If you want to secure your sensitive data either at rest – on your hard drive, in the cloud, on that phone you left on the train last week and never saw again – or on the wire, when you’re sending it to your doctor or your bank or to your work colleagues, you have to use good cryptography.
What Theresa May thinks she’s saying is, “We will command all the software creators we can reach to introduce back-doors into their tools for us.” There are enormous problems with this: there’s no back door that only lets good guys go through it.
For Theresa May’s proposal to work, she will need to stop Britons from installing software that comes from software creators who are out of her jurisdiction.
Even there, you’d have to contend with the fact that other EU states and countries like the USA are unlikely to follow suit, and that means that anyone who bought her Iphone in Paris or New York could come to the UK with all their secure software intact and send messages “We cannot read.”.
The commercial operators – Apple and Microsoft – might conceivably be compelled by Parliament to change their operating systems to block secure software in the future, but that doesn’t do anything to stop people from using all the PCs now in existence to run code that the PM wants to ban.
Any firms within reach of the UK government must be banned from producing secure software.
Virtually all academic security work in the UK must cease – security research must only take place in proprietary research environments where there is no onus to publish one’s findings, such as industry R&D and the security services.
All packets in and out of the country, and within the country, must be subject to Chinese-style deep-packet inspection and any packets that appear to originate from secure software must be dropped.
Existing walled gardens must be ordered to ban their users from installing secure software.
Proprietary operating system vendors must be ordered to redesign their operating systems as walled gardens that only allow users to run software from an app store, which will not sell or give secure software to Britons.

The orginal article.

Summary of “First Private Moon Landing Gears Up for Launch by Year’s End”

Three years later, it launched Ātea-1, a small 20-foot demonstrator rocket and the first private launch to space from the Southern Hemisphere.
“My advice to anybody who thinks they might want to build a launch pad is: just don’t,” says Beck.
Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand’s North Island was completed in September 2016 after about a year of construction.
“I know more about gravel compaction and aggregate size than I ever wanted to know in my life,” says Beck.Now Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1-the first private pad to host an orbital rocket launch-puts the spaceflight company in an advantageous position.
Beck echoed what many in the space industry have been saying of late, that increasing launch frequency is the key to driving down costs and expanding access to space.
Now Rocket Lab has something that no one else has: a personal launch complex approved for a rocket launch every 72 hours for the next 30 years.
Its eventual plan is a launch per week, providing about 50 launches every year.
The MoonEx launch will be business as usual-if everything goes according to plan.
One of the instruments on the first launch is a small experimental telescope from the International Lunar Observatory Association.
After taking a minute to look around, the MX-1E will fire up its rocket engines again and fly to a new location.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition”

Courtesy of the documentary skipping stones for fudge.
Two-foot waves were rolling across the lake, a taste of what lay ahead: We were going to the Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition-the oldest, most prestigious rock-skipping tournament in the United States, if not the world.
I looked down, saw a decent skipping stone, and picked it up.
I’d been skipping stones my whole life, ever since I was around my daughters’ ages, always getting better and better.
These were my people-the ones who could spend hours on a beach looking for just the right stone, who would fill bags and boxes with skippers from secret locations, who would throw until their arm gave way, lost in the simple sorcery of stone skipping.
Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner practices skipping stones.
Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner sorting his skipping stones.
As the stone spins, these points will push the stone up off the water, keeping it airborne and preventing it from sticking.
“If you spin it fast enough, the stone will essentially walk on those spokes,” Steiner told me, when I had called him for skipping advice.
Windermere Pointe Beach at the Iroquois Hotel, site of the Mackinac island stone skipping competition.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Millennial Obsession With Self-Care”

There is one generation that has been consistently defined by its obsessions: avocado toast, memes, Harry Potter … and self-care.
Today, self-care, as it’s defined by Gracy Obuchowicz, a facilitator and self-care mentor and coach in Washington, D.C., “Assumes that we’re OK as we are and we just need to take care of ourselves … Self-care alone is not enough. You need to have self-awareness too. Self-care plus self-awareness equals self-love.”
While self-care has been around for centuries, it has only recently been co-opted by stars such as Solange and consumerized into self-care kits.
They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being.
It found that students reported using the Web to identify self-care strategies, alternative therapies and other information related to nutrition and fitness.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find hundreds of articles about self-care, occasionally accompanied with lists of advice such as “Go to a farmers market” or “Buy a new candle” or “Drive with the windows down.” So it comes as no surprise that the generation that takes advantage of the Internet the most is also the generation that devotes the most time and money to the $10 billion self-care industry.
Im said we might find ourselves comparing our lives to the perfection we see on the Internet, which leads us to utilizing online tools for self-care – and the cycle continues.
Im said the introduction of social media throughout the millennial generation has increased understanding of mental illnesses and decreased the stigma.
Beyond social media, Obuchowicz said she has noticed an uptick in the interest in self-care lately, particularly since the election.
Obuchowicz says it’s more than just social media that has pushed millennials to the forefront of the self-care discussion.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Leftovers’ Examination of Life, Death, Einstein and Time Travel”

We all know that’s part of the package deal of being human, and if we don’t know that, we’re taught that by time, the slowest and most exacting teacher.
What if, for the briefest span of time, an observer could pause the hurtling energy of the universe and pin down every single place and time in which we exist? Everything seen, mapped, understood.
The gravity well of a black hole had hovered nearby, for such a long time.
Einstein was right: The passage of time depends on your perspective.
Slooowww motion: There was enough time to wish, from the bottom of my soul, for a different velocity, an alternate life.
These variations were there the whole time, or they are new.
Every single heartbreak I endured while going to the pharmacy, buying groceries, watching “Judge Judy” with mom, watching my father make coffee for the last time, his bones brittle and wrong – yes, Johnny Cash, I remember everything.
I thought the everyday aches I had to put to one side during a time of sheer survival had been dropped, had slunk away, had eroded over time.
Bearing witness is an act of love and a rebellion against that eternal asshole, time.
She wants to know that someone understands the magnitude of her loss, but who could? And at the same time, she doesn’t want to be defined by the unique conditions of her suffering.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Amazon’s Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores Are Not Built for People Who Actually Read”

The books in the Amazon bookstore-assembled according to algorithm-feel like that, too.
They exist far less to serve the desires of the reader than to serve the needs of Amazon, a company whose twenty-year campaign to “Disrupt” bookstores has now killed off much of the competition, usurped nearly half of the U.S. book market, and brought it back, full circle, to books on shelves.
Greeting customers, front and center, is a “Highly Rated” table, featuring books that have received 4.8 stars or above on Amazon.com, among them Trevor Noah’s memoir, Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, a book by the couple on the TV show “Fixer Upper,” and a book about kombucha.
The store, in other words, is designed to further popularize, on Amazon, that which is already popular on Amazon.
Some sections in the bookstore seem organized like an ill-advised dinner party: in nonfiction, James Baldwin sits next to David Brooks, who’s above Ta-Nehisi Coates, who’s next to a book called “Pantsuit Nation,” which is based on a pro-Hillary Clinton Facebook group.
There are a few types of books that are served well by the Amazon bookstore.
There are Amazon reviews underneath almost every title-Internet comments intruding on your book purchase by design.
A snippet underneath Rachel Dolezal’s memoir urges readers to check out its “Poignant depth.” In the children’s section, there is sometimes more text in the review blurbs than in the books themselves.
I saw “The Princess Diarist,” by Carrie Fisher, and remembered that I’d been wanting to read her previous book “Wishful Drinking,” but of course the store didn’t have it.
Finally, I found something I wanted to read: Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel “The Book of Joan.” I scanned its bar code: $17.70 with my Prime membership.

The orginal article.

Summary of “35 Things You Need to Give Up to Be Successful”

If you want the things happy people have, you must be happy to get those things.
If you want things wealthy people have, you must be and live wealthy to have those things.
As a result, I can’t spend 12 or 15 hours a day working like some people.
Most people aren’t moving toward their goals because they prioritize shallow work.
If you don’t enjoy the product of your work, how can you expect other people to?23.
There are people you already know who have information you need.
There are people you already know who can connect you with people you should know.
It’s easy to want other people to do it for you.
You’ll continue copying other people’s work.
Thus, the system was designed only for those who were really in need, not to create a culture of people being supported by others’ labor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Gmail Shortcuts Everybody Ought to Know”

What if there was a way to make sifting through that inbox easier? Enter Gmail shortcuts.
Here are 10 essential shortcuts everyone should know.
Need to send a quick email? Instead of scrolling around for that “New” option, press “c” while you’re in your inbox view instead. A new message will pop right up, ready and waiting to be mailed out to your chosen recipient.
Need to find a specific message, stat? Skip straight to the search bar by hitting the “/” key and watch your curser magically appear right where you need it.
Is a clean-slate inbox your daily dream? Once you’ve selected all your unread messages, click a quick “e” and archive them all in the process.
Whether you have one message selected or several, it’s easy to flag them all as important.
Looking to respond to more than just one email recipient at once? Instead of hitting the “r” key on your keyboard, tap the “a” key instead. Your response will automatically include everyone on the original message.
Pass the email you’re currently reading on to someone who needs to know what it entails with, you guessed it, just one key.
Click “f” to get started passing the message on stat.
A quick “Command” and “Enter” will get your message to its intended recipient in no time at all.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tech is distracting and addictive, but it doesn’t have to be”

There’s a way to put technology back in its place, says Nir Eyal.
In his talk in Amsterdam he showed how we could turn these methods around to make technology work for us, instead of us working for it.
Many people tell me that they want to use technology less, but that their workplace doesn’t let them disconnect.
It’s not necessarily an addiction, because if they won the lottery they’d stop using those technologies, because they wouldn’t need to go back to work.
People constantly look to company leadership for the appropriate amount of technology to use.
Is a great example of that, despite being the product that most people associate with being constantly tethered to technology.
Eyal’s message is that it’s not technology that’s the problem, it’s the work culture around technology.
It’s not only social norms that we need to change we also need to fix how we use technology by ourselves.
There’s nothing inherently wrong or distracting about technology, we just need to adjust it to fit our needs.
We can’t go back to when things were simpler, but we sure can put technology back in its place.

The orginal article.