Summary of “How to Avoid Burnout in the Middle of a Pandemic”

Notice your wordsWords have a way of becoming reality.
Allow yourself to vent, allow yourself to release all your fears and worries, but then find a way to pivot and channel your fears and worries into something productive.
A side hustle can help you feel in controlIf you are worried about your job security-or if you have been laid off-developing a side hustle can be a productive way to pick up new skills while also giving you a way to regain control over your situation.
If nothing else, this will help you regain a sense of purpose, which is key to weathering periods of potential burnout.
Instead of bottling up them all up, Ziegler suggests listing them all out and then-and this is the key part-coming up with strategies for how you would cope if the worst happened.
“Give yourself your moment,” Ziegler says.
Just the act of thinking through them will help your regain a sense of perspective and control.
Even in the middle of all these worries and anxieties, there are still actions we can take to help mitigate the worst effects.

The orginal article.

Summary of “There’s No Way To Prepare For Grief”

Time is of the essence, he said in September of 2004 as he sat with his siblings in my aunt’s condo in Connecticut, trying to understand why my mother’s body had been giving way.
Time is of the essence, my uncle told me, when just a week and half later, my mother unexpectedly fell into cardiac and respiratory arrest, and was intubated and put on a ventilator in the ICU. I wasn’t sure what my uncle meant then – was he still hopeful? But I understood that this was his way of preparing for his sister’s inevitable death.
My extended family could not speak to one another in our grief.
Without my mother, we fell into our own pockets of Connecticut, where there were no neighbors who looked like us; no restaurants in which we could convene that served the Cantonese food my parents grew up eating in Hong Kong and Guangzhou; no places where we could dependably hear Chinese dialects.
How could we attempt to steel ourselves for all the ways these American systems have failed us – were never meant for some of us – and have left our loved ones and the most vulnerable to die? It’s the time it takes to learn the answers to questions like this that feel so excruciating; it’s seeing tragedies unfold in slow motion; it’s the plodding approach of an inevitable grief.
Despite his timing, my uncle’s mantra was ultimately one of hope, which is a useful emotion to channel in times of uncertainty.
You can’t prepare for everything; you can’t ready yourself for the way loss shocks and stuns and debilitates.
Look after all of us, okay? I hoped that now, in death, wherever he was, that he no longer felt so pressed for time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Los Espookys’ Shows There’s Nothing Weirder Than the Gig Economy”

“I don’t necessarily have a big passion for horror movies or anything,” Ana Fabrega told me, as we sat with her Los Espookys co-star and co-creator, Julio Torres, just ahead of the launch of their HBO series, which premiered in 2019.
While it might initially seem surprising that two of the people behind something called Los Espookys aren’t all that into horror, the truth is that, while the show might traffic in the visceral, what it invokes in viewers doesn’t include terror, but rather a sense of the surreal and the uncanny-as well as a familiar kind of angst, one that speaks to fears that are more existential than they are explicit.
Los Espookys takes place in a fictional, unnamed Latin American country and centers around a group of friends who join together to form a “Horror group,” through which they stage grotesque events as a way of pursuing their creative fantasies.
Torres plays Andrés, the blue-haired, adopted scion of a chocolate magnate; Fabrega plays Tati, who is seen performing a series of odd jobs in one of the best representations of the gig economy I’ve seen on-screen; Cassandra Ciangherotti plays Úrsula, stuck in the drudgery of her job as a dental assistant; and Bernardo Velasco is Renaldo, whose passion for all things gory served as the true inspiration for the formation of Los Espookys.
While Los Espookys isn’t really part of the horror genre, what it shares with films that are, is the way in which it reflects so much of the troubling things happening in the real world, only it does so using a kind of fun-house mirror.
All art, of course, is a reflection of the time and place in which it’s created, and it’s no coincidence that Los Espookys would grapple with issues of immigration and identity, even if the Latin American country in which it’s set is imaginary.
There’s an aspect to watching Los Espookys that feels dreamlike; this is not only because it’s set in an impossible place, but rather because of how immersive of an experience it is to watch it.
This is because, at least for me, a non-Spanish speaker, unlike those TV shows that I watch with one eye on the screen and the other on my phone, I had to pay a different kind of attention to Los Espookys; since the show is almost totally in Spanish, my eyes were glued to the subtitles, within which tons of jokes live.

The orginal article.

Summary of “1918 flu cultural memory: Elizabeth Outka finds the pandemic in literature.”

Last year, I wrote an anniversary piece about the “Forgotten” 1918-19 flu pandemic, relying on the work of historians who’ve asked why such a huge event had so little effect on culture, policy, and public memory in the decades after that deadly flu strain burned itself out, leaving between 50 million and 100 million people dead. This year, as SARS-CoV-2 has forced the entire world into a terrifying and depressing alternate reality, I find this historical phenomenon even harder to understand.
Enter Elizabeth Outka, a literary scholar whose fortuitously timed late-2019 book Viral Modernism: The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature explains quite a bit.
The book looks at the small group of authors who addressed the pandemic head-on in their work but also argues that the work of some of the greats-T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats-was deeply affected by the flu in ways that aren’t so immediately obvious.
Combining literary analysis with flu history and writing by flu survivors, Outka makes it clear that the pandemic wasn’t “Forgotten”-it just went underground.
We spoke recently about the narrative impossibility of viruses, the mental health struggles of flu survivors, and the pervasive presence of something Outka calls “Contagion guilt.” Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
I want to ask about the overlapping nature of the flu pandemic and World War I. I think this is one of the common answers to the question of why the flu pandemic was “Forgotten”: “We were at war.” But your book makes clear that people experienced these two tragedies as intertwined catastrophes.
The William Maxwell book They Came Like Swallows, which is a straightforward, realist, completely heartbreaking depiction of what happens to a family when the flu kills the mother, brings up another aspect of the pandemic experience that you call “Contagion guilt.” In that book, each surviving family member blames himself, in one way or another, for the mother’s death.
Reading letters from survivors of the flu pandemic, one of the things that strikes me over and over again, that’s so moving, is that almost every one of them says, “I never forgot; I never forgot; I never forgot.” , I interviewed one 105-year-old woman who had the flu in Richmond, when she was 8.

The orginal article.

Summary of “1918 flu pandemic: a letter from a relatable past.”

Lutiant Van Wert’s letter was the sixth item in an online exhibit at the National Archives about the 1918 pandemic I was absent-mindedly browsing, and what stood out to me then was how resolute and irreverent it was.
Lutiant’s letter to her pal Louise, who was still a student at the school, opens with a naughty bang: “So everybody has the ‘Flu’ at Haskell? I wish to goodness Miss Keck and Mrs. McK. would get it and die with it. Really, it would be such a good riddance, and not much lost either!” It was a startling joke to make about a deadly disease-uncomfortable, bold, queasily hilarious in a very teenage way.
The once-forgotten 1918 flu is a Twitter hashtag, we’re sheltering in place in a pandemic, and I now see the way Lutiant engages with mortality and living among disease in a different light.
Lutiant is jackknifing through the pandemic in a way that’s by turns funny and dissociative and largely consistent with responses people seem to be having now.
Rereading the letter amid COVID-19 made me want to look Lutiant up.
Lutiant graduated in June 1918, shortly after the first spate of the flu.
There’s more: Lutiant turned out to have had a far more personal connection to the flu than I’d realized.
Lutiant graduated from the Haskell Institute in June, four months before she wrote this letter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Michael Jordan the Story Versus Michael Jordan the Man”

The first thing to say about The Last Dance, ESPN’s much-hyped new 10-part Jordan docuseries, is that-like every other Jordan documentary before it, and indeed all other Jordan coverage to date-it fails to explore in any substantive way the role played by my teenage sibling in constructing the greatest NBA career of all time.
What The Last Dance does do even in its early episodes, is resurrect a time when tens of millions of people experienced “a kind of connection” to Michael Jordan.
Be like Mike! It was a resonant slogan, not because anyone particularly wanted to imitate Michael Jordan on a personal level-what would that even have meant?-but because, when we watched him play, we were him.
LeBron might or might not be able to beat MJ one on one, but his story will always be a muddle, relatively speaking: Jordan never went to Miami, never lost in the Finals, never tried to be a movie producer.
More than that, Jordan’s story was so simple and charismatic that there are great athletes whose stories are literally “The struggle to recreate Michael Jordan’s story”: Kobe Bryant was every bit as monomaniacally driven and ambitious as Jordan, but he was humanized by Jordan’s shadow, made approachable by the fact that he was chasing an ideal rather than simply existing as one.
Shaquille O’Neal can go on illuminating his Shaqness for us in venues outside basketball, but when Michael Jordan shows his personality, it’s inconvenient.
That’s why Crying Jordan meme was funny, and also jarring, in a way a Crying Iverson or Crying Kareem meme wouldn’t have been.
Michael Jordan showed us what it felt like to fly, but he landed where we moved him with our minds.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Meaning of Life”

Today we still don’t have a complete, agreed upon, picture of how life is initiated; how living systems might originate in an environment.
We can say with some certainty that life is when a system successfully propagates versions of itself into the future, by whatever means work in the face of a complex and variable environment.
Which brings us to what I think are some of the most critical unanswered questions in our efforts to characterize places in the cosmos where life might be.
In other words, the capacity of a planet to sustain life is potentially a very different issue to that of the capacity to initiate life.
Maybe a good run for life on an average planet is only a few million years, or even less.
I’m not sure there’s a reason to imagine that the history of life plays out in any very consistent way across the cosmos.
If things don’t work well enough life simply goes away.
Nor will we know how many worlds have had or will have life sprawling across them – if we’re lucky we will simply see the worlds that are at present ‘good enough’.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Reviewer’s Fallacy”

According to Rotten Tomatoes, 92 percent of critics liked the movie.
Viewers gave Daddy’s Home 2 a 59 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the critics an 18.
The discrepancy between their estimation and the critics’ is an example of a persistent phenomenon.
As a friend of mine suggests, critics fall prey to a sort of hermeneutic Stockholm syndrome.
Inside Llewyn Davis got 93 from the critics and 74 from the public on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s the heart of the problem: The set of critics’ and audiences’ interests do not perfectly overlap but rather form a Venn diagram.
In the audience circle, the pressing question is, “Should I spend some number of the dollars I have to my name and the hours I have left on Earth on this thing?” Critics get in for free and by definition have to read or watch or listen to whatever’s next up.
Take last year’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight, which has a 98 critics’ and 79 audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and which I haven’t seen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Connect With Your Kids By Speaking Their ‘Love Language'”

Where we get tripped up and disconnected, particularly from a romantic partner, is when we give love through our language but they receive love in a different way.
Although identifying and learning about the love languages of you and your partner is a good idea, Brit Cowgill of Lucie’s List writes that it can also be incredibly helpful to know your child’s love language.
When you fill your child’s proverbial “Emotional tank,” which you do by speaking her love language-not your own-you’re setting her up for success: “a child with a full love tank can respond to parental guidance without resentment.”
If you’re not sure which love language your child is most fluent in-and they’re over age 9-you can have them take a quiz online to find out.
If it seems like slow going, then you may want to secretly explore the subject of love with your child for a week or so until you can deduce what he or she perceives as love.
You may find yourself reading books or watching programs with your child and asking the question, “How do you know that mommy or daddy loves that little boy or little girl?” Or you may intentionally experiment by expressing love in each of the 5 ways over a week’s period of time.
This will be a subjective measure, but the combination of all these suggestions-studying your child’s answers or drawings, listening to their answers about other parents and children, and “Measuring” their response to your expression of each of the five love languages-should be enough to help you accurately assess your child’s primary love language.
If they’re under five years old, they probably haven’t developed a fluency in one particular love language yet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Video Games Satisfy Basic Human Needs”

For these researchers, incredibly, enjoyment is not the primary reason why we play video games.
For the British artificial intelligence researcher and computer game designer Richard Bartle, the kaleidoscopic variety of human personality and interest is reflected in the video game arena.
In a 2012 study, titled “The Ideal Self at Play: The Appeal of Video Games That Let You Be All You Can Be,” a team of five psychologists more closely examined the way in which players experiment with “Type” in video games.
“Humans are drawn to video and computer games because such games provide players with access to ideal aspects of themselves,” the authors concluded.
Video games are at their most alluring, in other words, when they allow a person to close the distance between how they are, and how they wish to be.
There is no option in many video games to eat, to love, to touch, to comfort, or any of the other critical verbs with which we live life.
The authors of a 2014 paper examining the role of self-determination in virtual worlds concluded that video games offer us a trio of motivational draws: the chance to “Self-organize experiences and behavior and act in accordance with one’s own sense of self”; the ability to “Challenge and to experience one’s own effectiveness”; and the opportunity to “Experience community and be connected to other individuals and collectives.”
Enjoyment is not the primary motivation-“It is rather,” they wrote, “The result of satisfaction of basic needs.” Video game worlds provide us with places where we can act with impunity within the game’s reality.

The orginal article.