Summary of “Are the super-rich ruining Burning Man?”

For many, Burning Man conjures up images of dust-covered attendees, known as “Burners”, dancing in the desert cut off from society.
Some see these camps as fundamentally opposed to the basic tenets of Burning Man.
Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell has taken the unprecedented step of withdrawing invitations to one turnkey camp – “Humano the Tribe” – and warning dozens of others.
In a blog post, Ms Goodell wrote that she was “Stunned” by the growing “Commodification and exploitation of Black Rock City and Burning Man culture”.
“Part of what makes Burning Man unique and powerful is that everyone has to work hard to be there.”
Greg Reynoso, 29, has been attending Burning Man for almost a decade.
Reflecting on the statement made by Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell, Greg describes his response as “Measured positivity”.
Greg says an important part of Burning Man is the level of preparation it takes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “[Report] Without a Trace”

When a year passed without further news of his brother’s whereabouts, Javed’s friends began to gently suggest that he move on.
At the police station, to Javed’s surprise, he was directed to a polite, baby-faced detective wearing sweatpants and a skateboarding T-shirt who shook his hand and called him “Sir.” Behind the detective’s desk hung a poster with a photo of a frightened woman, whose mouth was clamped shut by a fleshy, distinctly masculine hand; the text read, “One phone call could free her.” The detective listened attentively as Javed explained how Masood had abruptly fallen out of contact after reaching Greece.
Back at the police station, Javed was interrogated by two plainclothes detectives.
While in custody, Javed was not, he would tell me later, scared-he had committed no crime-but he was acutely aware of the precariousness of his situation.
Once, during the exile, a teenage Javed had snuck back to Kabul on an errand.
Returning home after the American invasion, Javed had enlisted in an elite anti-­narcotics squad. Remnants of the Taliban had transformed into an insurgency, primarily financed by heroin sales.
Javed had dreamed that Masood had shown up at his family’s village in Afghanistan, bringing everyone chocolates.
An officer informed Javed that only one unidentified male body, which appeared to be that of a man in his early twenties, had been discovered on Samos, on January 16.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bite-sized: 50 great short stories, chosen by Hilary Mantel, George Saunders and more”

It is a much deeper and more biblical story than that and, like any great work of art, resists reduction.
A wonderful sampling of her stories is available in Women in Their Beds: New & Selected Stories.
Among the handful of short stories closest to my heart, I’ve chosen “The Love of a Good Woman” by Canadian writer Munro, from her 1998 collection of that name.
William Trevor has influenced me more than any other writer, and it’s impossible for me to name one story by him that is an absolute favourite.
Key to a great short story is the tension and torsion created within each sentence.
Before her wedding day, as Machado expertly builds the atmosphere of foreboding, the narrator notes that, “Brides never fare well in stories. Stories can sense happiness and snuff it out like a candle”.
Maupassant, probably the only short-story writer as influential as Chekhov, wrote in two modes: short, impressively constructed but one-dimensional stories with trick endings, and longer, more interesting work.
Narayan, who wrote more than 200 short stories, called them “Concentrated miniatures of human experience in all its opulence”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Leo Tolstoy on Love and Its Paradoxical Demands – Brain Pickings”

In one of the most poignant chapters of the book, Tolstoy examines our gravest misconceptions about love – what he bemoans as “The confused knowledge of men that in love there is the remedy for all the miseries of life,” which stems from our insufficient curiosity about the true meaning of our lives.
Tolstoy turns to the central paradox of reconciling our inherent solipsism with the ethos of universal love.
Nevertheless the conditions of the welfare which he desires for the different beings loved, in virtue of his love, are so intimately connected, that every activity of love for one of the beings loved not only hinders his activity for the others but is detrimental to them.
In the name of which love should I act and how should I act? In the name of which love should I sacrifice another love? Whom shall I love the most and to whom do the most good – to my wife, or to my children – to my wife and children, or to my friends? How shall I serve a beloved country without doing injury to the love for my wife, children, and friends?
The demands of love are so many, and they are all so closely interwoven, that the satisfaction of the demands of some deprives man of the possibility of satisfying others.
If a man decides that it is better for him to resist the demands of a present feeble love, in the name of another, of a future manifestation, he deceives either himself or other people, and loves no one but himself.
The man who does not manifest love in the present has not love.
Complement it with Tolstoy on personal growth, human nature, how to find meaning when life seems meaningless, what separates good art from bad, and his reading list of essential books for every stage of life, then revisit the great humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm on what is keeping us from mastering the art of loving and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s timeless experiment in love.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Former Chief of Disguise of the CIA Explains How Spies Use Disguises”

In this video, Jonna Mendez, the former Chief of Disguise of the CIA, explains how disgu – Wait, wait, waitChief of Disguise!! That is an actual job title!?! WHAT! Ok, back to the post – explains how disguises are used in the CIA. With women, you have a broader range of what you can do.
You also have one extra step: you can turn a woman into a man.
I would mention that it’s almost impossible to turn a man into a woman.
What we do is always additive – we can make you taller, we can make you heavier, we can make you older – we can’t go the other direction.
You want to be the person that gets on the elevator and then gets off and nobody even remembers that you were really there.
That is a design goal at the disguise labs at CIA. Interesting throughout.
As a fan of the disguises on The Americans and as someone who got to wear some bitchin’ makeup for a short extra appearance on Halt and Catch Fire, I really enjoyed this video, but now I’m wondering what my “Dead giveaway” mannerisms are.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Proposal’s Jasmine Guillory on How to Write Consent”

Guillory is particularly skilled at writing the men who woo her novels’ female protagonists with compassion and empathy.
After a health crisis made her pause a different project-and left her with lots of time to read-Guillory found herself drawn to the comfort provided by the predictability of romance’s hallmark: the happy ending.
“You know, going in, everything’s going to be okay at the end of this book. And that’s exactly what I needed at that time.”
While many romance novels woo readers with the guarantee of a happy ending, the genre has a fraught relationship with how exactly its characters end up there.
The most infamous subcategory of romance, so-called bodice-rippers, first gained massive popularity during the 1970s with stories of helpless women saved from the tedium of their lives by the love-and overpowering libido-of lustful, virile men.
Read: Beyond bodice-rippers: How romance novels came to embrace feminism.
Kathleen Woodiwiss’s 1972 novel, The Flame and the Flower, is one of the earliest and most influential books of the trend, which continued through the ’80s. Set in 1799, the book follows 17-year-old Heather Simmons, who is nearly raped by one man in London, only to later be serially raped by another because he confuses her for a sex worker.
This second man is the novel’s male lead, 35-year-old Captain Brandon Birmingham.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: A Prayer American Jewry”

I felt like an invader when I approached the brick fence of the Dutch synagogue.
Many years later, I stood outside my own synagogue in Washington, D.C. It was a shirtsleeves spring day with a breeze so perfect that it felt set by thermostat.
Perhaps America was another Zion.The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has been reported as a source of the anti-Semitic rage of Robert D. Bowers, the man allegedly responsible for killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The organization was an expression of the achievement of American Jewry.
Perhaps this impulse toward generosity motivated Bowers to murder.
I felt pride that so much of the organized Jewish community resisted the impulse to elevate its own problems above those of the more vulnerable.
Of course, this was not every corner of the Jewish community.
In response to this massacre, every synagogue will protect itself with great security, with more cameras and more guards.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Nigerian Musicians Changing Pop”

Tuface was born Innocent Idibia, and his musical education was influenced by his father’s record collection, which included albums by such Nigerian heroes as Fela Kuti, the funk-obsessed firebrand, and Bongos Ikwue, a singer-songwriter who specialized in an easeful sort of dance music.
Like many pioneers, Idibia is less a virtuoso than a brilliant synthesist, with a knack for drawing together far-flung influences to create songs that seem plainspoken and homegrown.
In 2004, recording under the name 2Face Idibia, he released a single called “Nfana Ibaga,” which pointed toward the future of Nigerian pop.
Never give another man yawa o.So the reason why I say “Nfana ibaga”.
The titular phrase is an expression from the Efik language that means, essentially, “No problem.” Yawa is a Nigerian Pidgin term for “Problem.” The song became not just a local hit but a global export; Beenie Man, the Jamaican star, appeared on the remix, trying and failing to upstage his host.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Only Story in the World: John Steinbeck on Kindness, Good and Evil, the Wellspring of Good Writing – Brain Pickings”

“All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up,” John Steinbeck wrote as he contemplated good, evil, and the necessary contradiction of human nature at the peak of WWII. “It isn’t that the evil thing wins – it never will – but that it doesn’t die.”
A decade later, and a decade before he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Steinbeck turned this abiding tug of war between good and evil into a literary inquiry in East of Eden – the 1952 novel that gave us his beautiful wisdom on creativity and the meaning of life, eventually adapted into the 1955 film of the same title starring James Dean.
A child may ask, “What is the world’s story about?” And a grown man or woman may wonder, “What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?”.
Humans are caught – in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too – in a net of good and evil.
A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?
At the most fundamental level, the triumph of good over evil presupposes an openhearted curiosity about what is other than ourselves and a certain willingness for understanding – the moral choice of fathoming and honoring the reality, experience, and needs of persons and entities existing beyond our own consciousness.
There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme.
Complement with Hannah Arendt on our mightiest antidote to evil, James Baldwin on the terror within and the evil without, Mary McCarthy on human nature and how we determine if evil is forgivable, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky on why there are no bad people, then revisit Steinbeck on being vs. becoming, the difficult art of the fried breakup, and his remarkable advice on falling in love in a letter to his teenage son.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Good Man, and Thorough: The Genius of ‘The Big Lebowski'”

In the published screenplay for The Big Lebowski, a character named “The Dude” is introduced in the stage directions as “a man in whom casualness runs deep.” Of all the Coens’ movies, The Big Lebowski is, at least on the surface, the most ambling and aimless.
The Big Lebowski was released in 1998, after the success of Fargo had rerouted the Coens’ career.
The claim made by The Stranger that Jeffrey Lebowski is “Possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County … which would place him high in the running for laziest worldwide” is backed up by Bridges’s soporific comportment, which suggests a character hypnotized by his own passivity-a waking trance state that leads him to subconsciously absorb information from the world around him.
After being roughed up at his squalid pit of an apartment by thugs who’ve mistaken him for a different, considerably more prosperous man with the same name-who pee on his rug to make the humiliation complete-The Dude goes to the other Jeffrey Lebowski for compensation and, after being rebuffed, tells him that “This aggression will not stand.” In lieu of any strongly held beliefs, The Dude is wide open to suggestion, and hearing saber-rattling Republican platitudes being parroted by an aged hippie is the pivot point of The Big Lebowski’s 360-degree sociological satire.
Then there’s the Big Lebowski himself, acted by the late David Huddleston as a physical and ideological double for Dick Cheney, who proudly displays photos of himself with a host of Republican power brokers.
By rejecting The Dude’s request for a new rug to replace the soiled one, the Big Lebowski claims to be standing for conservative notions of self-reliance.
It’s a ridiculous oversimplification to call The Big Lebowski a movie about a man who wants to replace his rug.
The Big Lebowski is a film dominated by circular, reiterative dialogue, and The Dude isn’t the only one who absorbs and parrots key phrases from the people around him.

The orginal article.