Summary of “Looking for a cheap flight? The secret to getting airfare deals is all in the timing”

“If we’re looking at a summer trip, we start looking the summer before and book tickets in September,” says McCurry, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his family.
McCurry’s early-bird approach might sound extreme, but it probably ensures he has the most flight options, largely because he is booking his tickets primarily with accumulated credit card and frequent flier points.
According to an analysis of airfare prices by Yapta, the day of the week also makes a big difference: The average ticket price was cheapest on Wednesday, with Thursday and Tuesday close runners-up.
Weekend ticket prices tend to be significantly higher.
At American Airlines, for example, there is a $75 fee for award tickets booked or mileage upgrade requests within 21 days of travel.
Airlines vary in how early they allow travelers to purchase tickets, with some like Southwest offering tickets for sale four to six months out and others offering tickets for sale almost a year early.
“We got really good ticket prices and used miles to pay for them,” he says.
That’s for tickets you’re buying with money; if you’re using points, you might find award travel seats open up shortly before the departure date, depending on supply and demand and other factors.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Brief Timeline of George R.R. Martin Focusing on ‘The Winds of Winter'”

So in honor of Martin’s epic procrastinating, here’s a timeline of The Winds of Winter’s many postponements, and other assorted non-Winds of Winter ventures.
July 2011: “I’ve Repeatedly Been Guilty of an Excess of Optimism” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published in July, Martin says that he’d get back to writing The Winds of Winter at the start of 2012 once the publicity cycle for A Dance With Dragons winds down.
October 2012: Martin Admits He Sucks at Making Predictions Martin has an interview with Adria’s News, which, to the best of my knowledge, is a Spanish blog.
The good news is Martin plans to use this time to wrap up the rest of The Winds of Winter.
“Here’s the update. You won’t like it.” Martin concedes that The Winds of Winter is not finished, and that by the time Thrones’ sixth season airs in April, it still won’t be completed.
January 2017: OK, for Real This Time, 2017 Is the Year A fan asks Martin on his blog for a Winds of Winter update, and while Martin’s a bit peeved to be asked about it again, he offers a glimmer of hope: “I think it will be out this year.”
April 2018: Yeah, It’s the Targaryen Book Martin confirms that the first volume of his Targaryen tome, Fire and Blood, is coming before The Winds of Winter and will be published in November 2018.
Martin has obviously anticipated more reader backlash-because, you know, The Winds of Winter isn’t finished years after he was optimistic he was getting very close-so he writes in the comments about all the famous authors who were never able to finish some of their books, for, uh, “The sake of argument.” “Many many people invest their time into works without endings. F. Scott Fitzgerald never finished The Last Tycoon, Charles Dickens never finished Edwin Drood, Mervyn Peake never finished Titus Alone, yet those works are still read.”.

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Summary of “Is Theoretical Physics Wasting Our Best Living Minds On Nonsense?”

The history of physics is filled with great ideas that you’ve heard of, like the Standard Model, the Big Bang, General Relativity, and so on.
Because of the way the field is structured, mired in a sycophancy of ideas, careers in theoretical high-energy physics that focus on these topics are often successful.
The idea of “Beauty” or “Naturalness” has been a guiding principle in physics for a long time, and has led us to this point.
Most of the over 2,200 billionaires in the world are worth less than $2 billion, and there are hundreds worth between $1 billion and $1.2 billion.
A number of great ideas came out of this reasoning, particularly in the field of particle physics.
The entire Standard Model was built on these types of symmetries and naturalness arguments, and nature happened to agree with our best theories.
In my favorite exchange, she interviews Steven Weinberg, who draws on his vast experience in physics to explain why naturalness arguments are good guides for theoretical physicists.
If you are a true believer in naturalness as the guiding light of theoretical physics, this book will irritate you tremendously.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Six Books We Could and Should All Write”

The spirit in which he wrote was like he was a mad bibliographer with a vast collection of rare and oddball books of no use to anybody but him, but which he was cataloguing just for the pleasure of having all that information in one place.
Just to refresh: I’m saying one should compose a book about oneself, a book about others, an anthology of favorites, a book about words, and now I’m adding a book of lists.
The Pillow Book is not all lists, but it’s the lists that always make the biggest impression.
Again, your book of lists won’t be as good as hers.
It can never be repeated too often: These books I’m telling you to write are not for the world.
Have you given any thought to 120 Days of Sodom lately? My philosophy professor at Penn State told us that Sade’s idea was to write a book one glance into which would entail eternal damnation for the reader.
I keep saying I want us all to write these books with no thought for publication, not even posthumous, but here, the goal would be to write a book that you dare not publish.
So there are the six books we should all write, and only the last is an idea book.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Environmental collapse makes for terrifying nightmares, and compelling art”

Over the last few months, three of our most feted artists – two National Book Award winners, Richard Powers and William T. Vollmann, and one Hollywood legend, Paul Schrader – have taken on the subject, and considering their work as a whole, it’s hard not to feel that we’re entering another stage in the evolution of environmental narratives.
In the first volume, No Immediate Danger, of Vollmann’s two-part non-fiction investigation Carbon Ideologies; Powers’ new novel, The Overstory; and Schrader’s film First Reformed, global warming, environmental collapse, and the grim reaper of climate change are not coming attractions.
The major differences in the works of Vollmann, Powers, and Schrader come from their choice of narrator.
By addressing future inhabitants of a planet ruined by us, Vollmann makes his book into a confession: how we did it, and why.
Schrader straddles the gap between the work of Vollmann and Powers.
Where Vollmann renders nature a casualty of human greed, and Powers turns it into a protagonist, Schrader makes the case that nature, like every other facet of human experience, is a fundamental expression of the divine.
What Vollmann, Powers, and Schrader all demonstrate in tandem is one of humanity’s most powerful gifts, and one that seems to hold the key to any potential salvation: the ability to reach outside itself.
Vollmann extends his hand toward the future; Powers, toward the trees that surround us; Schrader, toward God.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script on Hollywood”

When Reese Witherspoon was 17, she had already appeared in four films.
There are many female-focused production companies, and several successful digital brands that produce social content directed at women, but no entity has yet tried to do what Witherspoon is attempting: to build a premium independent film and TV studio within a direct-to-consumer, female-led brand that operates on multiple platforms.
If Witherspoon is the soul of Hello Sunshine, then CEO Sarah Harden, a fast-talking Australian, is the heart of the place, pumping life into the operation daily.
Harden and Witherspoon met through Peter Chernin, who was head of 20th Century Fox when the studio produced 2005’s Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, for which Witherspoon won a Best Actress Oscar.
Witherspoon first brought her idea for Hello Sunshine to Chernin in the summer of 2016.
Witherspoon is world-famous, deep-pocketed, and married to a top agent at a leading Hollywood agency.
HBO’s chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler, says that when Witherspoon learned that Nicole Kidman was also interested in optioning Big Little Lies, Witherspoon and Papandrea got in touch with Kidman and suggested that they join forces.
Witherspoon was dismayed by the comment, Neustadter says, and on the way back to the office Witherspoon asked her assistant to find current photos of the boards of various big corporations, as well as members of Congress.

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Summary of “The ultimate Bill Gates book recommendation list”

Bill Gates has become a powerful influence on publishing.
So just what does Gates read? Quartz manually compiled all 186 of the books mentioned on his blog, which dates back to January 2010, and organized them by topic.
As the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is wont to recommend books on development, poverty, disease, and education on his blog.
Many of the books Gates endorses, especially those that focus on the long arc of human civilization, both its past and future, argue for an optimistic outlook.
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World-and Why Things Are Better than You Think, a book by the late Hans Rosling, his son, and his daughter-in-law, does both: It argues for an optimism about the world through principles of sound scientific thinking, and it got a strong endorsement from Gates this year.
Vaclav Smil is the author Gates has mentioned the most on his blog.
Over the years Gates has recommended so many books by Smil that they warrant their own category.
In the scheme of things, Gates surprisingly does not frequently recommend books about business success or digital technology.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These are the books Bill Gates says to read this summer”

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates may spend heavily on vaccines and aid programs, but he seems to recognize that the one of the things that money can’t buy is more knowledge.
So each summer Gates shares a reading list, which typically introduces some mind-expanding concepts in the guise of beach books.
That’s not exactly a secret, even if Gates always acts a little surprised by it.
As Gates explains in a review, Christian tends to focus on “Threshold” moments for change, like explaining the physics and chemistry of the big bang, or biology and anthropology of our rise from single cell organisms into something imminently more recognizable.
For teachers, parents, or lifelong learners who become inspired, Gates supported Christian’s creation of a free online course.
“The bulk of the book is devoted to 10 instincts that keep us from seeing the world factfully,” Gates added at the time.
The classically Gates point: Life really is improving for many around the globe.
Read this next: Bill Gates has some scary anecdotes about Donald Trump.

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Summary of “Here are the winners of the 2018 Nebula Awards”

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is currently holding its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this weekend, and last night, the organization announced the winners of its prestigious Nebula Awards.
N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky won the award for best novel.
It’s the final installment of her Broken Earth trilogy, about a far-future Earth that experiences periodic, devastating apocalyptic events, and it’s a work that establishes Jemisin as one of fantasy’s best writers working right now.
He joins other well-known authors such as Joe Haldeman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, and others.
In his introductory remarks, he spoke about his own love of science fiction, and noted that while many creatures make tools, “Your tools are dreams, and words, and ideas, and the places you take us all are marvelous, and so necessary in today’s world to have dreamers and visionaries.”
The Nebula Awards are awarded annually by SFWA, whose members nominate their favorite works from the past year.
This year’s nominees represent a diverse body of work from 2017, and a number of the books made their way onto our best of 2017 book list last December.

The orginal article.

Summary of “HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 turns a warning about media into a tirade against tech trends”

That backstory is also isolated to a small section of the book, which people often ignore when they talk about Fahrenheit 451 – perhaps because Bradbury’s takedown of mass media is so much more vivid.
Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 isn’t just aiming at clearly vapid forms of media.
Bahrani wrote in a New York Times essay that Bradbury’s concerns about headline-scanning and hyper-condensation make Fahrenheit 451 “The book for our social media age.” Readers can certainly use the book as a cudgel against Wikipedia and Twitter, if they’re so inclined.
His version of Fahrenheit 451 is a more straightforward depiction of suburban malaise, where people are not just distracted, but miserably numb.
Behind a striking near-future aesthetic, Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 outlines an extremely 20th-century problem: bourgeois men who chafe at their meaningless jobs and shallow wives, and can only be saved by leaving respectable society with the help of a beautiful young woman.
This might make Bahrani’s Fahrenheit 451 sound unduly interesting or pointed, because its main social commentary is that every hyped-up tech trend from the past several years is awful.
Algorithms? I’m still piecing the reasoning together, but you’d better believe they’re bad. “Technology is horrible” is hardly an unusual premise, but Bahrani’s Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t even stay consistently technophobic.
In the 1960s, Fahrenheit 451 reflected a barren world of complacent suburbanites, longing to feel anything at all.

The orginal article.