Summary of “The Problem with ‘Hack’ Culture”

Venture down the self-help aisle of any bookstore and you’ll see it littered with titles about hacks, quick fixes, burning fat, and accessing mystical sounding theta brainwaves.
We can now use data to hack our way to a better, more productive life.
The cost is that we so often throw out common sense and age-old wisdom to pursue the latest and greatest hack to a better life.
The Buddhist motto “Chop wood, carry water” has been replaced with “Hack your life.”
Sometimes this belief is so powerful that the founding hacker actual deludes himself into thinking his respective hack actually works.
The more desperate you are for an answer, the more plausible in your head do the hacks become.
As one of my favorite thinkers Ryan Holiday has so perfectly said, “There are no shortcuts besides HACKING IT every single day.”
It’s time to move on from the hack culture and just do the stuff that actually works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Forgotten History of New York’s Bagel Famines”

A bagel served with lox and cream cheese at Kutsher’s restaurant in New York, 1977.
As hundreds of thousands of Jews swept into New York ahead of the First World War, dozens of Jewish bakeries opened on the Lower East Side, mostly staffed by young Jewish men providing their friends and families with challah, rye bread, and bagels.
At first, bagel truck drivers did not strike with them-but the ire of the bagel bakers was considerable.
Now, New York City, the paper decreed, was “The bagel center of the free world, and will doubtless be kept that way by the hundreds of thousands of residents who find that a bagel makes breakfast almost worth getting up for.”
With near-unlimited control over the bagel market, they struck for 29 days in 1962, resisting state attempts at mediation and reducing the city’s bagel supply by 85 percent.
The bagel makers vowed to picket the machines “Round the clock” if they made it into New York, but their machismo was no match for automation.
Some opened their own stores outside New York and introduced bagels across the country.
In the space of less than a century, New York’s bagel bakers had gone from making a niche product and being exploited for it, to being one of the city’s strongest unions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Accept The Awkwardness: How To Make Friends”

Accept The Awkwardness: How To Make Friends Friendship is hard, but the best way to tackle it is to talk about it.
In this episode, you’ll learn from the experts about how to make new friends and deepen your existing relationships.
What does being a friend mean in a world where hackers are trying to be your “Friend” on Facebook?
Accept the awkwardness and assume that other people need new friends, too.
You have to accept that awkwardness and the vulnerability it stems from, because guess what? You can’t have friends without getting vulnerable.
Ask anyone about how to make friends and they will most likely tell you to try a new hobby.
Having friends is one of the most nourishing parts of being alive, so it’s not weird or bad or wrong to prioritize it.
Journalist Rachel Wilkerson Miller gives great advice about being honest when people ask how you’re doing, plus a detailed guide to how to show up for people in small and large ways.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How personal letters built the possibility of a modern public”

The ‘print public sphere’ made its debut as a series of letters.
At the time, the reliance of the print public sphere on personal handwritten letters would not have seemed paradoxical.
Writers knew letters were part-public and part-private, and it shaped how they were written.
In short, at any stage in its composition, transmission and reception, a letter might travel beyond the bounds of the one-to-one relationship that moderns imagine when we read a letter beginning ‘Dear X’, and ending ‘Signed, Y’. The fact that writers knew letters were part-public and part-private shaped how they were written.
As the historian Lindsay O’Neill writes in The Opened Letter: ‘networking was often the purpose of a letter An examination of networks blurs the borders between the modern and the premodern worlds, between public and private spheres.
Newspapers’ reliance on readers’ understanding of how to read and write letters could help to deflect some of the accusations against print.
Letters enabled a new scale of public communication by suggesting that print rested upon a manuscript foundation.
Letters helped everyday readers understand how they could or should interact with print.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”

Gretchen knew how to suck out mosquito and bee venom with a syringe.
Gretchen knew how to escape from a mugger, if the situation ever arose.
For some reason, despite the fact that I was weird and definitely talked too much, Gretchen wanted to be my friend.
“I’ve liked them since ‘Please Don’t Go Girl’.” Like I said: Gretchen knew everything.
What’cha Gonna Do. The noxious combination of mainstream backlash, an aging fanbase in search of a new transitional object, and a rapidly changing musical landscape – my 1993 anthem with Gretchen was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – finally caught up with NKOTB in 1994.
It’s nearing 11:00 by the time Gretchen and I sneak onto the MAX along with approximately 400 other ladies of a certain age wearing similar garb.
As the train drops off more passengers and approaches Gretchen’s stop, I’m no longer thinking about Joey McIntyre’s stage presence or Jordan Knight’s unfortunate politics.
Most of the snaps Gretchen takes are kid-only, but I’m in a few of them, still wearing my NKOTB shirt.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New Canaan’s Missing Lunch Money”

Headed by Bruce Gluck, a classically trained chef, the kitchens of the New Canaan public schools served farm-to-table fare before such a label existed.
Gluck had his cheerleaders, moms and dads who advocated for the new offerings.
According to a federal lawsuit filed by one of the cafeteria workers, Gluck ran his kitchens with a petty tyranny that verged on caricature.
With her office next to Gluck’s, Wilson endured his storming in and yelling loud enough for workers on the meat slicer to hear him.
Torcasio also filed a federal lawsuit against Gluck, the town of New Canaan, and the school board alleging that Gluck had created a hostile work environment and discriminated against female workers.
If Gluck had been taking $100, that still left money unaccounted for.
Was it possible that Gluck had taken $100 a day, and she and Pascarelli also had each taken $100? Wilson remained adamant: Gluck took the money.
In May, Gluck’s lawyer emailed detectives to say that Gluck would not consent to an interview about the missing money.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Charming College Towns to Visit”

There’s only one thing more fun than a college town and that’s a college town without any homework in sight.
Take newly launched Gild Brewing, an operation that took over the 1972 Crystal Theater, where you’ll find a basement arcade and housemade beers with toast-able names.
Ask for a guest room overlooking the Flatirons at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa, where Boulder visitors bunk for access to its indoor lap pool and 10,000-square-foot spa.
Aesthetes will get a creative jolt wandering Sundays-only Whiteaker Community Market, where the vendors are all local startups like White Squirrel Soaps with scented bars, including “Squirrel Fir” blended with French green clay.
Save time to browse the stacks at Smith Family Bookstore, where clerks-not computers-help you find what you’re looking for from the roughly one bazillion used books on hand.
The hotel provides a homey stay after a night of revelry at Eugene’s many new watering holes, such as Civic Winery & Wines-where biodynamic wines are fermented in terra-cotta amphoras-and Viking Braggot Company, where Nordic tipples include Battle Axe, a dry-hopped IPA made with wildflower honey.
Check in at the new Foundry Hotel, housed in a former steel foundry and now so glamorized that guests can whirl around town in a chauffeured Tesla Model X. Not a bad perk, especially for a food crawl-required in this town, where you’re encouraged to come hungry.
Take former Chez Panisse staffer Tom McNary’s new locavore restaurant, Soif Wine Bar & Merchants, where the chef designed the menu to showcase regional delights.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s Personal: Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives”

Now, Gerace is a professor of science education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, after a 30-year career as a professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, during which time he made the transition from theoretical nuclear physicist to leader in science education and co-founder of the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Keller describes the outcome of her illness as having “Plunged me into the unconsciousness of a new-born baby,” and then recounts how this new state became normal: “I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been different.” The next two chapters describe the five-and-a-half years that Keller struggled to understand the world she was living in and communicate with those around her, without the benefit of a common language.
Most people are familiar with the moment when Anne Sullivan helped the 7-year-old Keller make a tactile connection between the concept of running water and the motion of hands spelling out its English name, “W-A-T-E-R.” Keller herself described that moment as “My soul’s sudden awakening.” But Keller’s writing makes it clear that her soul-as well as intellect-was actually wide awake well before that particular epiphany.
In the short two-and-a-half chapters of her autobiography that relates the years between infancy and before the arrival of Sullivan, Keller does an extraordinary job of describing how an experimental scientist’s subconscious mind works.
In the complete absence of sight and sound, Keller navigated the world for years using exclusively smell, touch, and taste.
The people who were stuck working for the Keller family bore the worst of Helen’s anger: She describes how she repeatedly kicked her nurse, locked her mother in a pantry, and bullied the cook’s daughter.
Only much later, after Anne Sullivan had taught to her to sign using English, had Keller “Realized what I had done, and for the first time I felt repentance and sorrow.” Unsatisfied with the world she knew, Keller was tormented by her inkling that there was much more to know, and she extended this torment to the people around her.
Virchow almost single-handedly invented the notion that good science can be a weapon in the service of social justice, at a time when there was damn little good science or social justice.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lessons From a ‘Local Food’ Scam Artist”

My instructions were to claim that all the produce was local, although nothing was or could be local: It was early June in northwestern New Jersey’s Kittatinny Mountains, and the produce had been shipped from warmer parts of the world to the distributor who’d sold it to my boss.
“The tomatoes aren’t from around here, but they did arrive this morning. Local tomatoes won’t be ripe until July.” “The corn’s not local, but it was fresh-picked this morning. Local corn won’t be available until July.”.
I said, “The stand down the road is lying. Local Silver Queen won’t ripen till August.”
He had hired me – an Asian-American who didn’t look the part of the rustic local – and a bunch of other kids for the summer.
One New Yorker opined, “I’ve been summering here since I was a kid, but people like you keep coming here and buying up the local businesses.” They wanted to know where I came from, originally, and how selling them melons fulfilled my American Dreams.
It started when an old man in dungarees and a baseball cap parked his pickup truck and asked me, “How local are these local red peppers of yours?”.
I sized up the way he was sizing me up and said, “They’re local to Mexico.”
The New York locavores taught me that “Local” didn’t mean a quasi-mystical authenticity, or, for that matter, only a special kind of deliciousness, but also a relationship with the people who’ve produced the food, in a sustainable, equitable, regional network of labor and land stewardship.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Inside Story of How McDonald’s Innovated the Quarter Pounder”

“McDonald’s new fresh-beef Quarter Pounder is hotter and juicier. It’ll leave you speech-less. I can almost feel that juice sizzling…. Oh baby, the melted cheese is hugging every corner of that grilled patty…. That cheese is so hot, so melty.”
It was timed to the arrival-at every one of the restaurant chain’s 14,000 U.S. outposts-of fresh, never-frozen beef patties in its signature Quarter Pounder burgers, a change that execs say has been as seismic for the company as the introduction of all-day breakfast, in 2015, or even the drive-through window, which McDonald’s began experimenting with in 1975.
Menu chief Linda VanGosen, who joined McDonald’s from Starbucks last year, works closely with chefs and food scientists at McDonald’s suppliers and keeps a close eye on food trends, which have to reach a certain level of mass appeal to make sense for McDonald’s.
McDonald’s began testing fresh-beef Quarter Pounders a few years ago at restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Dallas, markets selected because they are serious burger country.
On a late-spring Tuesday, not long after the new patty began being served nationwide, Christa Small, one of the company’s top operations executives and the person whose team was responsible for coming up with the procedures that make fresh beef possible, visits a McDonald’s near the old campus in Oak Brook.
In crafting the new Quarter Pounder, McDonald’s has made subtle improvements to the entire sandwich, adjusting grill time and the bun-toasting process, for example.
McDonald’s switched from batch cooking to preparing each Quarter Pounder when ordered.
To demonstrate, Small takes me to the other side of a McDonald’s counter and asks an associate for a Quarter Pounder.

The orginal article.