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How to Get Rich Playing Video Games on Twitch

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The most followed players on the platform Twitch earn well into seven figures. Illustration by Andy Rementer One humid morning this past summer, Omeed Dari... Read More
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Why Governor Jerry Brown Was Booed at the Bonn Climate Summit

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For all their tough-on-carbon rhetoric, Governor Jerry Brown, of California, and other leaders are ignoring a key component of the fight against global warming. Photograph by Lukas Schulze / Getty Spare a little pity for Jerry Brown. The California gover... Read More
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Can a Robot Join the Faith?

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As an apparent coup d’etat ripples through Saudi Arabia, the rising ruling faction is trying to keep things upbeat by sending bullish signals to the world’s mega-rich. Exhibit A is Neom, part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative, a proposed utopian city whose modest slogan is “the world’s most ambitious project.” Neom imagines itself a swinging, sort-of-liberal international trade center, built from scratch, at a cost of five hundred billion dollars, on the shores of the Red Sea. According to its ... Read More
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Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, and the Joy of Killing Virtual Nazis

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Such is the hold that Adolf Hitler exerts on the Western imagination that, more than four decades after the end of the Second World War, my British schoolmates and I were still singing rhymes about his testicles. Where I grew up, in South London, our preferred version of the popular wartime ditty “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball” placed the Führer’s absent gonad in the opulent Royal Albert Hall. (“His mother, the dirty bugger / Cut it off when he was small.”) Our fascination with Nazism went well beyond the playground; it also extended to our computer screens at home. My tumble into puberty was marked by the release, in 1992, of ... Read More
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Why Ageism Never Gets Old

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Early in his career, Paul Newman personified a young man in a hurry forced to wait his turn. His go-getter characters infiltrated the old-boy network, wore the gray flannel suit, and toiled away before finally, in midlife, grabbing the brass ring and coasting for home. In “The Young Philadelphians” (1959), for instance, Newman played Tony Lawrence, whose mother, over his cradle, gloats, “Someday, he’ll take the place in this city that belongs to him.” Young Philadelphians, it’s clear, are merely old Philadelphians in the making. While Tony is at Princeton, a silver-haired Philadelphia lawyer so venerable he has a British accent tells him, “I’m confident that in due time you... Read More
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Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

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Carbon Engineering, a company owned in part by Bill Gates, has its headquarters on a spit of land that juts into Howe Sound, an hour north of Vancouver. Until recently, the land was a toxic-waste site, and the company’s equipment occupies a long, barnlike building that, for many years, was used to process contaminated water. The offices, inherited from the business that poisoned the site, provide a spectacular view of Mt. Garibaldi, which rises to a snow-covered point, and of the Chief, a granite monolith that’s British Columbia’s answer to El Capitan. To protect the spit against rising sea levels, the local government is planning to cover it with a layer of fill six feet deep. When ... Read More
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The Tech Industry’s Gender-Discrimination Problem

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One day in 2013, AJ Vandermeyden drove to Tesla’s corporate headquarters, in Palo Alto, California, sat down on a bench outside the main entrance, and waited, in the hope of spotting someone who looked like a company employee. Vandermeyden, who was thirty years old, had been working as a pharmaceutical sales representative since shortly after college, but she wanted a different kind of job, in what seemed to her the center of the world—Silicon Valley. She knew that Tesla’s ambitious, eccentric co-founder Elon Musk was managing companies devoted to space flight and solar energy, in addition to running Tesla, which was producing electric cars, and she was inspired by his mission. Tesla... Read More
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What’s Missing from the National Discussion About the Opioid Epidemic

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Last Wednesday, less than a week after Donald Trump declared America’s opioid epidemic a national public-health emergency, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final set of policy recommendations. The panel called on Congress and the White House to consider fifty-six proposals, among them streamlining federal funding for addiction treatment, instituting stricter prison s... Read More
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Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On

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Orange City, the county seat of Sioux County, Iowa, is a square mile and a half of town, more or less, population six thousand, surrounded by fields in every direction. Sioux County is in the northwest corner of the state, and Orange City is isolated from the world outside—an hour over slow roads to the interstate, more than two hours to the airport in Omaha, nearly four to Des Moines. Hawarden, another town, twenty miles away, is on the Big Sioux River, and was founded as a stop on the Northwestern Railroad in the eighteen-seventies; it had a constant stream of strangers coming through, with hotels to service them and drinking and gambling going on. But Orange City never had a river or ... Read More
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New York’s Majestic Passage in the Sky

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The Bayonne Bridge is an arch of steel that swoops up from Staten Island and alights, about seventeen hundred feet later, on Bergen Point, at the southwestern tip of Bayonne, New Jersey. The arch supports a roadway that goes through it like the slash through a cent sign. Of all the city’s bridges, the Bayonne Bridge is the most powerful and intimate work of modernist-era art. Nothing half as tall stands near it. Sky fills the girders’ interstices and geometries, and above the arch the clouds rise dramatically. The bridge spans the Kill Van Kull, a body of water about two thousand feet across at its widest and about eight hundred fe... Read More
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Remembering Laika, Space Dog and Soviet Hero

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On the evening of November 3, 1957, barely a month after the Soviet Union sent humanity’s first artificial satellite into orbit, a rocket lifted off from a secret site in Kazakhstan, carrying its second. The launch of Sputnik 2 was timed to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the October Revolution, and the craft itself was an appropriately showy statement of Communist know-how—six times heavier than Sputnik 1, designed to fly nearly twice as high, and, most impressive of all, containing a live passenger. A week before the mission began, Moscow Radi... Read More
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Janet Yellen Was a Master of Thinking in Public. What About Jay Powell?

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Jay Powell, Trump’s nominee for Federal Reserve chair, is praised as a safe, consensus choice, but no one can be entirely sure what he is thinking. Photograph by T.J. Kirkpatrick / Bloomberg via Getty Much of the time, the Federal Reserve operates a bi... Read More
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Dark Matter Gets Its Day

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Not long ago, the actor Tilda Swinton—cosmic muse to cinéastes, fashion designers, and physicists—took on another shape-shifting role as the voice of a new a planetarium film, “Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter.” “As we look out into the night sky, we are both dazzled and comforted by the patches of light we find there,” her narration begins. In time, Swinton continues, astronomers started to suspect that there was something more out there than these brilliant moons, stars, and galaxies—“something hiding in the dark spaces.” The film premièred in Mexico City, on Sunday, and today has special ... Read More
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The Fifth Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

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A man walks the flooded streets of Hoboken, New Jersey, on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Superstorm Sandy made landfall five years ago this Sunday. Photograph by Emile Wamsteker / Bloomberg via Getty... Read More
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The Ignorance of Trump’s Vague Tax Plan

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The Trump Administration’s tax-reform proposal flouts the best practices embraced by economists. Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite / AP Frank Ramsey lived as if he knew he would die young—and he did, just shy of twenty-seven. Born in 1903, he spent his shortened twenties in something of a fury, hurtling around Europe and engaging with the most exciting in... Read More
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A Ground-Level View of the Fires in Northern California

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Californians have grown accustomed to praying for rain. Only a year ago, nearly two-thirds of the state was in the grip of a severe long-term drought: the mountains were starved of snow, the aquifers and reservoirs were depleted, and more than a hundred million trees had withered and died. But then, in January, the winter rains came, delivering a quarter as much water in eleven days as California usually receives all year. In the Central Valley, in Gold Country, and in other parched areas of the state, thirty million people breathed a sigh of relief. Two weekends ago, when ... Read More
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Profiting from Puerto Rico’s Pain

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In 2012, Cate Long was working at the news service Reuters, where she wrote a daily column on the municipal-bond market. Municipal bonds are typically a sleepy corner of investing. They are forms of debt issued by states, counties, or cities, usually to fund infrastructure projects, such as airports and highways, and they are generally considered a safe investment, paying relatively low levels of interest. Finding a compelling story about the municipal-bond market is not an easy task, so when Long came across a document related to an eight-hundred-million-dollar bond sale that Puerto Rico would be undertaking that spring, she decided to look at the numbers more closely. What she found was startling. “I sat down and read it for a couple... Read More
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A Pill to Make Exercise Obsolete

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It was late summer, and the gray towers of the Salk Institute, in San Diego, shaded seamlessly into ocean fog. The austere, marble-paved central courtyard was silent and deserted. The south lawn, a peaceful retreat often used for Tai Chi and yoga classes, was likewise devoid of life, but through vents built into its concrete border one could detect a slight ammoniac whiff from more than two thousand cages of laboratory rodents below. In a teak-lined office overlooking the ocean, the biologist Ron Evans introduced me to two specimens: Couch Potato Mouse and Lance Armstrong Mouse. Couch Potato Mouse had been raised to serve as a proxy for the average American. Its daily exercise was l... Read More
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Chinatown’s Ghost Scam

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Wang Jing was so ashamed of what had happened to her that, for the first hour of our conversation, in June, at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, she made no eye contact, as if doing so would break some spell and prevent her from finishing her story. She spoke haltingly in Mandarin, the only language we shared; she’d have been more comfortable in Cantonese or Taishanese, the dialect of the small city in Guangdong Province on whose rural outskirts she was born. But, more than that, she seemed unused to being listened to in any language. She asked me not to use her real name and had brought along her son, who is in his late twenties. He sat impassive but watchful, accustomed, like ... Read More
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The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

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The north wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a vast, airy enclosure featuring a banked wall of glass and the Temple of Dendur, a sandstone monument that was constructed beside the Nile two millennia ago and transported to the Met, brick by brick, as a gift from the Egyptian government. The space, which opened in 1978 and is known as the Sackler Wing, is also itself a monument, to one of America’s great philanthropic dynasties. The Brooklyn-born brothers Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond Sackler, all physicians, donated lavishly during their lifetimes to an astounding range of institutions, many of which today bear the family name: the Sackler Gallery, in Washington; the Sackler Museum... Read More
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There’s a Dangerous Bubble in the Fossil-Fuel Economy, and the Trump Administration Is Making It Worse

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Last year, shortly after the election, the coal baron Robert Murray received a phone call from President-elect Donald Trump. “He said, ‘Tell your coal miners I got their backs,’ ” Murray later reported to Fox News. “Then he said, ‘I love you, man.’ ” Murray, who is the chairman and C.E.O. of Murray Energy, the largest private coal company in the country, was one of the first fossil-fuel executives to support Trump’s candidacy. Prior to the Republican National Convention, he hosted a fund-raiser for Trump in Charleston, West Virginia, attracting nearly five hundred thousand dollars in donations and contributing hundreds of thousands more from his own pocket. “It was eigh... Read More
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Where the Fires in Northern California Came From, and What Lies Ahead

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Since the fires in Northern California began, on a dry and windy night two weekends ago, they have charred nearly a quarter of a million acres of land, destroyed an estimated fifty-seven hundred structures, and killed more than forty people. Most of the immediate damage has been limited to wine country, especially Napa and Sonoma Counties, but the effects of the fires have been felt all over. Last week, the smoke and ash blew south, spreading over much of the San Francisco Bay Area, and stubbornly remaining there. Some school districts in the region hav... Read More
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Hard Up in New York

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My girlfriend, V, and I were finishing college, with a summer to burn before the next thing, and New York beckoned. V went to the city and signed a three-month lease on the apartment of a Columbia student, Bobby Atkins, who may have been the son of the creator of the Atkins Diet, or maybe we just enjoyed imagining that he was. His place, on the southwest corner of 110th Street and Amsterdam, had two small bedrooms and was irremediably filthy. We arrived in June with a fifth of Tanqueray, a carton of Marlboro Lights, and Marcella Hazan’s ... Read More
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A Washing Machine That Tells the Future

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The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 is perhaps the single most frequently mocked act of Congress in history. It sparked a trade war in the early days of the Great Depression, and has become shorthand for self-destructive protectionism. So it’s surprising that, while the law’s tariffs have been largely eliminated, some of its absurd provisions still hold. The other week, the American appliance-maker Whirlpool successfully employed a 1974 amendment to the act to persuade the United States government to ... Read More
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Scared of the City

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My girlfriend, V, and I were finishing college, with a summer to burn before the next thing, and New York beckoned. V went to the city and signed a three-month lease on the apartment of a Columbia student, Bobby Atkins, who may have been the son of the creator of the Atkins Diet, or maybe we just enjoyed imagining that he was. His place, on the southwest corner of 110th Street and Amsterdam, had two small bedrooms and was irremediably filthy. We arrived in June with a fifth of Tanqueray, a carton of Marlboro Lights, and Marcella Hazan’s Italian cookbook. Someone had left behind a spineless black plush-toy panther, manufactured in Korea, which we liberated and made ours. We were li... Read More
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The Danger of President Pence

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On September 14th, the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who last year published a book titled “In Trump We Trust,” expressed what a growing number of Americans, including conservatives, have been feeling since the 2016 election. The previous day, President Trump had dined with Democratic leaders at the White House, and had impetuously agreed to a major policy reversal, granting provisional residency to undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Republican legislators were blindsided. Within hours, Trump disavowed the deal, then reaffirmed it. Coulter tweeted, “At this point, who doesn’t want Trump impeached?” She soon added, “If we’re not ge... Read More
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Welcoming Our New Robot Overlords

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When David Stinson finished high school, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1977, the first thing he did was get a job building houses. After a few years, though, the business slowed. Stinson was then twenty-four, with two children to support. He needed something stable. As he explained over lunch recently, that meant finding a job at one of the two companies in the area that offered secure, blue-collar work. “Either I’ll be working at General Motors or I’ll be working at Steelcase by the end of the year,” he vowed in 1984. A few months later, he got a job at Steelcase, the world’s largest manufacturer of office furniture, and he’s been working at its Grand Rapids metal plant ever s... Read More
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The Fate of Earth

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Yesterday evening, at Manhattan’s New School, the New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert delivered the second annual Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth, an event established by the Nation Institute in honor of the late Jonathan Schell, a longtime New Yorker staff writer, and named for “The Fate of the Earth,” a series of articles that Schell wrote for the magazine in 1982 and later published as a book. Kolbert’s remarks have been edited for length. When I was asked to deliver this lecture, the prompt I was given was to address the fate of Earth. At first, I thought of... Read More
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The New Normal

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Is hateful speech in the wake of Donald Trump’s election a sign of a new “normal”? Photograph by Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty On November 18, 2016, ten days after Donald Trump won the Presidential election, ... Read More
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O.K., Computer, Tell Me What This Smells Like

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Can machine learning help unravel the bewildering relationship between scent and chemistry? Illustration by Vanessa Mckeown Our sense of smell is gloriously specific. The mellow aroma of butter and flour rising from warm pie crust, the synthetic bite of fresh paint, the familiar odor of a new car—when we get a whiff of something, we know immediately what it... Read More
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Is America Facing Another Sputnik Moment?

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Sixty years ago today, on a drab steppe in southern Kazakhstan, the Soviet Union launched humanity’s first artificial satellite into Earth’s orbit. It was a shiny sphere of aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, twenty-three inches in diameter and weighing about as much as an adult man, and it was equipped with the barest essentials of spaceflight: a radio transmitter, a battery, and a fan to keep it cool. With its four elongated antennae, the satellite resembled a B-movie insectoid, an impression strengthened by the high-frequency screeches it emitted every three-tenths of a second. (Perhaps ... Read More
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The Winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics Helped Us See the Universe Anew

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Scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) spotted gravitational waves in September of 2015. Now they have won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Photograph by Xinhua / LIGO Lab via Alamy... Read More
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Seeing the Invisible World with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

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Chemistry sits halfway between physics and biology; it’s the middle child in the scientific family, as dependable as it is overshadowed. On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three researchers who helped elucidate the mechanics of circadian rhythms, the gene-based clocks within our cells; on Tuesday, the physics... Read More
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A Field Farmed Only by Drones

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Across the United Kingdom, the last of the spring barley has been brought in from the fields, the culmination of an agricultural calendar whose rhythm has remained unchanged for millennia. But when the nineteenth-century poet John Clare wrote, in his month-by-month description of the rural year, that in September “harvest’s busy hum declines,” it seems unlikely that he was imagining the particular buzz—akin to an amplified mosquito—of a drone. “The drone barley snatch was actually the thing that made it for me,” Jonathan Gill, a robotics engineer at Harper Adams University, told me recently. Gill is one of three self-described “lads” behind a small, underfunded initiative called ... Read More
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Why Aren’t Mothers Worth Anything to Venture Capitalists?

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The struggles of a breast-pump startup underscore V.C.’s blind spot when it comes to women and babies. Photograph by Peter Marlow / Magnum ... Read More
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How Science Saved Me from Pretending to Love Wine

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I was in my late forties when I finally admitted to myself that I would never love wine. As other women fake orgasms, I have faked hundreds of satisfied responses to hundreds of glasses—not a difficult feat, since my father schooled my brother and me in the vocabulary of wine from an early age. Confronted with another Bordeaux or Burgundy, I could toss around the terms I had learned at the dinner table (Pétillant! Phylloxera! Jeroboam!), then painstakingly direct the wine straight down the center of my tongue, a route that limited my palate’s exposure to what it perceived as discomfiting intensity. That admission was a sad one, because my father, the writer Clifton Fad... Read More
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Toys R Us and the Trump Voter

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On a recent afternoon, the Toys R Us big-box store in Coney Island, Brooklyn, was lively. The entrance was crowded with racks of Halloween costumes. There were aisles of Lego sets, bats and balls, Minions and Minecraft, Nerf guns, baby dolls, and fairy wands. Families were dragging their children through the store. The reassuringly typical scene belied the fact that the toy retailer had been in financial distress for months, and that many of its suppliers weren’t shipping their products to the stores, for fear that they wouldn’t be paid. On September 18th, a few days before my visit, Toys R Us, five billion dollars in debt, had filed for bankruptcy protection. Some of the early postmortems in the press blamed the chain’s sor... Read More

Is Health Care a Right?

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Is health care a right? The United States remains the only developed country in the world unable to come to agreement on an answer. Earlier this year, I was visiting Athens, Ohio, the town in the Appalachian foothills where I grew up. The battle over whether to repeal, replace, or repair the Affordable Care Act raged then, as it continues to rage now. So I began asking people whether they thought that health care was a right. The responses were always interesting. A friend had put me in touch with a forty-seven-year-old woman I’ll call Maria Dutton. She lived with her husband, Joe, down a long gravel drivew... Read More
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The Strange Tectonic Coincidence of Mexico’s September Earthquakes

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In 1325, the Aztecs, until then a nomadic people, chose the site of their capital, Tenochtitlan, based on a prophecy that the location would be marked by an eagle eating a snake while perched on a cactus. That the cactus in question happened to sit on an island in a mucky lake did not, apparently, deter them from seeing it as a divine revelation; they went ahead and built a great city with grand temples and market squares on a tiny patch of land in a swamp. That metropolis is now Mexico City. The cruel coincidence of there being a large earthquake in Mexico City... Read More
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Why the Last Snow on Earth May Be Red

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Every spring, in alpine regions around the world, one of Earth’s tiniest migrations takes place. The migrants are single-celled green algae; they are kin to seaweed, but instead of living in the sea they live in snow. (Snow weed, maybe?) They spend the winter deep in the snowpack, atop last summer’s snow, as dormant cysts. In the spring, they wake and swim up through the trickle of snowmelt to the surface, dividing and photosynthesizing as they go. Then, at the top, they turn red. This creates what scientists call pink snow or watermelon snow—drifts and glaciers that look like Slush Puppies and eventually reduce to rivulets of crimson. The color comes from astaxanthin, a molecular cousin... Read More
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How Toys R Us Succumbed to Its Nasty Debt Problem

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In 1948, a young and ambitious man named Charles Lazarus took over his father’s Washington, D.C., bicycle shop. Lazarus tried selling children’s furniture, but he soon changed to toys, as he later told the New York Times, “after realizing that toys broke and had to be replaced.” In 1957, he opened the first of his stores using the Toys R Us name. Less than a decade later, Lazarus sold his four toy stores to Interstate Department Stores, which had aspirations to become one of the largest toy merchants in the United States; Lazarus stayed on to r... Read More
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Remembering Lotfi Zadeh, the Inventor of Fuzzy Logic

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One night in July, 1964, the logician Lotfi Zadeh found himself alone in his parents’ New York apartment, his dinner plans cancelled. At the time, Zadeh later wrote, he was doing “a lot of thinking about basic issues in systems analysis, especially the issue of unsharpness of class boundaries”—that is, the failure of things in the physical world to conform to classical Boolean logic, the true-or-false, black-or-white, zero-or-one mathematics that underpins much of computer science. “It was at that point that the simple concept of a fuzzy set occurred to me,” Zadeh recalled. ... Read More
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The World’s Greenest Sports Team Is a Century-Old Football Club in a Tiny English Town

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When Dale Vince became the chairman of Forest Green Rovers, a hundred-and-twenty-eight-year-old club in English soccer’s fourth tier, in the autumn of 2010, one of the first problems that he set out to fix was on the menu. The club was serving meat lasagna to the players, a practice that, Vince says, conflicted with the team’s values. “I saw that and realized that made us part of the meat trade,” he told me. He added, “We agreed on the spot that we’d take red meat off the menu. Then we began to express our values into the club in all respects. That began the journey.” Soon, the front office did away with white meat and fish for players, staff, and fans alike. Eventually, Vince, who is fifty-six, and can f... Read More
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Money, Power, and Deer Urine

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Elam Lapp, Jr., like many Amish people, always wanted to be a farmer, but he knew it was a difficult way to make money. Before the nineteen-seventies, most Amish made their living farming; today, fewer than ten per cent do. Lapp has twelve siblings, none of whom went into the business. But Lapp—a friend of mine, and a man with an easy, self-deprecating sense of humor and the short beard of a newly married Amishman—came across a solution: he would farm deer. Deer farming doesn’t require as much acreage as cows or crops, and there’s little need for technology. All you have to do is throw up some fences, get pregnant does, and buy feed (the deer like beans and corn). There are roughly ten thousand deer farms in North America, and so... Read More
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Saying Goodbye to Cassini, the NASA Mission That Transformed Our Understanding of the Solar System

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Spacecraft do not rust. Some merely fade away, like Voyagers 1 and 2, which, four decades after their launch, have departed the solar system and are now drifting into the wider cosmos, quite possibly for eternity. Many others, though, end their journeys abruptly and, often enough, intentionally. In 2003, NASA steered its Galileo probe, which had faithfully surveyed the Jovian system for years, into Jupiter’... Read More
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The A.I. “Gaydar” Study and the Real Dangers of Big Data

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Every face does not tell a story; it tells thousands of them. Over evolutionary time, the human brain has become an exceptional reader of the human face—computerlike, we like to think. A viewer instinctively knows the difference between a real smile and a fake one. In July, a Canadian study reported that college students can reliably tell if people are richer or poorer than average simply by looking at their expressionless faces. Scotland Yard employs a team of “... Read More
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The Nightmare Faces of Apple Engineering and Cindy Sherman’s Instagram

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Philip Schiller announcing the Apple iPhone X’s “Face I.D.” feature against a backdrop of human visages on Tuesday, in Cupertino, California. Photograph by Justin Sullivan / Getty On Tuesday, in Cupertino, California, Apple announced its ... Read More
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Washington State’s Great Salmon Spill and the Environmental Perils of Fish Farming

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Just after the thrill of the total solar eclipse, a troubling nature story emerged from northwestern Washington State. On August 22nd, Cooke Aquaculture, a multibillion-dollar seafood company, reported that, three days earlier, extreme tides coinciding with the eclipse had torn apart its enormous salmon farm off Cypress Island, a teal idyll near the college town of Bellingham. More than three hundred thousand non-native Atlantic salmon, housed in a steel underwater pen, were at risk of escape. Tens of thousands of the fish had already spilled into Puget Sound, and some had begun to instinctively swim upstream, t... Read More
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Our Weather-Prediction Models Keep Getting Better, and Hurricane Irma Is the Proof

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By Wednesday of last week, even as Tropical Storm Harvey continued to rain devastation on the Gulf Coast, a new storm, Irma, was taking shape in the eastern Atlantic. Within thirty-six hours, it had morphed into a Category 3 hurricane. Then it seemed to hesitate momentarily, as if to gather itself. “Irma has begun a cycle of reorganization called an eye-wall replacement,” the Weather Channel reported on Friday. This brought to mind something like a home-renovation project, but in practice the replacement cycle is more like mounting a Formula One engine in a Corvette. The eye of a hurrican... Read More
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The iPhone X and Apple’s Mundane Vision of the Future

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“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Steve Jobs said a decade ago. “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” Standing onstage at the 2007 MacWorld Expo, in San Francisco, arrayed in his usual vestments—bluejeans, black turtleneck, gray New Balances—Jobs was proclaiming a modern gospel. Provided you had five hundred bucks lying around, you could proclaim it, too. By 2008, the company formerly known as Apple Computer, now just as Apple, had attracted millions of new adherents. At the Worldwide Developers Conference that June, Jobs introduced the iPhone 3G. The 3GS followed, in 2009, and soon the good news was coming more than once a year—iPad, iPad 2, iP... Read More
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Is Zika Gone for Good?

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While spraying to eradicate mosquito-breeding sites may have contributed to Zika’s demise, it likely wasn’t sufficient to account for the precipitous decline in cases this year. Photograph by Scott McIntyre / NYT / Redux... Read More
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Hurricane Harvey and the Storms to Come

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On August 29, 2005, at six-ten in the morning, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, just east of New Orleans. Katrina had spent days wobbling over the Gulf of Mexico, and by the time it reached the coast it was classified as a strong Category 3 storm. As it pressed inland, its winds, which were clocked at up to a hundred and twenty-five miles an hour, pushed water from the Gulf westward into Lake Pontchartrain, and north, up a mostly abandoned shipping canal. The levees that were supposed to protect New Orleans failed, and low-lying neighborhoods were inundated. That day in Louisiana, at least six hundred and fifty people died. Katrina was widely describe... Read More
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Cancer’s Invasion Equation

In Education, Emerging Technology, Events, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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Over the summer of 2011, the water in Lake Michigan turned crystal clear. Shafts of angled light lit the lake bed, like searchlights from a U.F.O.; later, old sunken ships came into view from above. Pleasure was soon replaced by panic: lakes are not supposed to look like swimming pools. When biologists investigated, they found that the turbid swirls of plankton that typically grow in the lake by the million had nearly vanished—consumed gradually, they could only guess, by some ravenous organism. The likely culprits were mollusks: the zebra mussel and its cousin the quagga mussel. The two species—Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena bugensis—are thought to have ... Read More
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New York City’s Secret World of Exotic Pets

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11 Mowgli, a ball python. Exotic reptiles a... Read More
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How the Dollar Stays Dominant

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The factory that makes the paper for U.S. currency smells like a clean barn just supplied with fresh hay. Built in the eighteen-seventies, in Dalton, Massachusetts, it runs today, as it did then, on the power of the adjacent Housatonic River. The scent emanates from the centerpiece of the mill, a giant, elevated iron sphere larger than a house. Tons of raw cotton and linen are poured in at the top, along with water, and the sphere is heated and spun like a washing machine to break up the fibres, which are run through the paper-making machinery at another, slightly younger plant down the road. It’s in that plant that this nineteenth-century product is outfitted with the latest technology. The hundred-dollar bill, for example, is ... Read More
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What Will Be Preet Bharara’s Legacy?

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Legal by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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When the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the conviction of Mathew Martoma yesterday, Preet Bharara might have breathed a sigh of relief. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 until this past March, when President Trump fired him, Bharara led a crackdown on insider trading. Martoma, a former S.A.C. Capital portfolio manager, represents one of Bharara’s standout successes: one of the largest insider-trading cases the government has ever brought, involving an alleged two hundred and seventy-five million dollars i... Read More
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St. Louis’s First Total Solar Eclipse Since 1442

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By 10:30 A.M., the heat index had already crept above ninety degrees. Somehow, though, the Abraham Lincoln impersonator was barely glowing in his three-piece suit and top hat as he mingled with the crowd at Jefferson Barracks Park, in south St. Louis. According to Steve Stenger, the county executive, more than four thousand people had gathered for this, the official Great American Total Solar Eclipse viewing party for St. Louis County, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the path of totality. “This will be my first total solar eclipse,” Lincoln told me, bemoaning the fact that he had been in the wrong place to see both the annular eclipse of 1831, on his twenty-second birthday, and the dramati... Read More
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Watch Our Live Stream of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

In Gaming by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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This live stream will run from 11:30 A.M. to 4:15 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, August 21st, tracking the total solar eclipse from coast to coast. It is provided by Slooh, a service that allows users to patch into and personally control online telescopes around the world. The live stream will be hosted from the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch by Gerard Monteux, a former s... Read More
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Who Owns the Internet?

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On the night of November 7, 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes’s wife, Lucy, took to her bed with a headache. The returns from the Presidential election were trickling in, and the Hayeses, who had been spending the evening in their parlor, in Columbus, Ohio, were dismayed. Hayes himself remained up until midnight; then he, too, retired, convinced that his Democratic opponent, Samuel J. Tilden, would become the next President. Hayes had indeed lost the popular vote, by more than two hundred and fifty thousand ballots. And he might have lost the Electoral College as well had it not been for the machinations of journalists working in the shady corners of what’s been called “the Victorian ... Read More
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The Total Solar Eclipse We Deserve

In Business, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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When Monday’s total solar eclipse gets under way, tracing an arc of temporary night across the nation, it will come as a profound relief. “Mr. Trump Makes a Spectacle of Himself,” ran the headline on a Times editorial earlier this week; only a greater spectacle, generated by some larger and far more marvellous force, might allow us to briefly look away. The eclipse fits our historical moment disconcertingly well. It will be American from beginning to end. It starts over the Pacific Ocean at around dawn; becomes visible in Oregon at around nine ... Read More
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Piercing the Veil of Secrecy Shrouding the Trump Deal in the Republic of Georgia

In Business, Education, Government, Legal by New Yorker

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There is no single global repository listing every company and its owners, though it’s usually not hard to find out where a company is based and legally registered. But that wasn’t the case with the Silk Road Group, a mysterious holding company that set out, several years ago, to build a Trump Tower in the Republic of Georgia. I stopped thinking of it as a single firm but, rather, as a diffuse container holding at least several dozen corporate entities who, legally, at least, were registered in different countries around the world and had uncertain r... Read More
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For New York’s Teen Ecologists, Even the Cemetery Is a Laboratory

In Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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On a recent Friday morning, a few feet from Abby C. Bradbury’s tombstone in Green-Wood Cemetery, two young women struggled to attach a hand-size black box to an Eastern redbud. They aimed the device—a motion-sensitive digital camera with a fifty-metre range, set inside a waterproof casing—at a field lined with privet hedges. Grackles called in the intermittent rain as irritable drivers pounded their horns along Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue. The box kept slipping down the slight tree’s trunk. A cemetery patrol car pulled up. “Can I be nosy? What is that?” the guard asked. “A camera trap,” Nzinga Stewart, an undergraduate at Fordham University, replied. “For what?” “For tracking small mammals,... Read More
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What the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Will Feel Like, for Humans and Animals

In Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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A week from today, in a roughly seventy-mile-wide arc stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, the sun will disappear from the sky. It will be the first total solar eclipse to cross the United States in ninety-nine years, and the first to be visible only in this country since before it was a country. Millions of eclipse chasers will soon set up camp—in Chilly, Idaho; and Hazard, Nebraska; and Sweetwater, Tennessee—to await the moment that astronomers call totality. As they gaze through telescopes and pinhole cameras and ... Read More
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Trump’s Business of Corruption

In Business, Education, Finance, Gaming, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology, Security by New Yorker

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President Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow recently told me that the investigation being led by Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, should focus on one question: whether there was “coördination between the Russian government and people on the Trump campaign.” Sekulow went on, “I want to be really specific. A real-estate deal would be outside the scope of legitimate inquiry.” If he senses “drift” in Mueller’s investigation, he said, he will warn the special counsel’s office that it is exceeding its mandate. The issue will first be raised “informally,” he noted. But if Mueller and his team persist, Sekulow said, he might lodge a ... Read More
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How Silicon Valley’s Workplace Culture Produced James Damore’s Google Memo

In Business, Government, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by New Yorker

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Last week, a software engineer at Google, James Damore, posted a ten-page memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” to an internal company network. Citing a range of psychological studies, Wikipedia entries, and media articles on “our culture of shaming and misrepresentation,” Damore argued that women are underrepresented in the tech industry largely because of their innate biological differences from men—their “stronger interest in people rather than things,” their propensity for “neuroticism,” their “higher levels of anxiety.” Damore critic... Read More
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A Tiny Parasite Could Save Darwin’s Finches from Extinction

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Five years ago, George Heimpel, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, travelled to Trinidad in search of insect larvae. He was after several kinds in particular—Philornis downsi, a fly whose parasitic young feed on the hatchlings of tropical birds, and various minuscule wasp species whose own offspring feed on those of the fly. Heimpel hoped that the wasps might solve a problem on the Galápagos Islands, where Philornis has taken a severe toll on native fowl. Those hurt most by the fly, which was likely brought to the archipelago by people, are the Galápagos finches, the songbirds that provided Charles Darwin with some of the earliest evidence of evolution. Currently, eleven of the fourteen finch species ar... Read More
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The Difficult Voyage of Martin Shkreli, the Pharma Bro, Comes to an End

In Business, Government, Legal, Start Up by New Yorker

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As the deliberations in the Martin Shkreli trial dragged into their fifth day, the possibility that he could end up facing a deadlocked jury, or even an acquittal, started to seem increasingly real. So did the potential for yet another embarrassing setback for the government when it comes to prosecuting white-collar crime. Instead, on Friday afternoon, in Brooklyn, the jury delivered a victory, of sorts, to the government, finding Shkreli guilty on three of the eight counts with which he’d been charged—including the two most serious ones, of securities fraud. After the verdict was read, Shkre... Read More
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An Ancient Lunchbox Emerges from the Ice

In Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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In the past century, the glaciers and ice fields of the European Alps have lost half their volume to global warming, and their continued retreat, like that of glaciers everywhere in the world, is accelerating. By 2100, many scientists predict, they will have all but disappeared. The meltdown has already disrupted the region’s sensitive mountain ecosystems and tourist resorts—some local communities have taken to laying protective white blankets over the snow and ice—but it has also opened up new avenues of scientific inquiry. As the glaciers recede, they are releasing some of the human artifacts that they have absorbed through the ages, including humans themselves. ... Read More
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D.I.Y. Artificial Intelligence Comes to a Japanese Family Farm

In Business, Events, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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Not much about Makoto Koike’s adult life suggests that he would be a farmer. Trained as an engineer, he spent most of his career in a busy urban section of Aichi Prefecture, Japan, near the headquarters of the Toyota Motor Corporation, writing software to control cars. Koike’s longtime hobby is tinkering with electronic kits and machines; he is not naturally an outdoorsy type. Yet, in 2014, at the age of thirty-three, he left his job and city life to move to his parents’ cucumber farm, in the greener prefecture of Shizuoka. “I thought I was getting old,” Koike told me. “I wanted to be close to my home and my family.” The Koikes have been growing cucumbers in Kosai, a town wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the brac... Read More
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A Summer School for Mathematicians Fed Up with Gerrymandering

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Legal by New Yorker

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On a late-spring evening in Boston, just as the sun was beginning to set, a group of mathematicians lingered over the remains of the dinner they had just shared. While some cleared plates from the table, others started transforming skewers and hunks of raw potato into wobbly geodesic forms. Justin Solomon, an assistant professor at M.I.T., lunged forward to keep his structure from collapsing. “That’s five years of Pixar right there,” he joked. (Solomon worked at the animation studio before moving to academia.) He and his collaborators were unwinding after a long day making preparations for a new program at Tufts University—a summer school at which mathematicians, along with data analysts, legal scholars, school... Read More
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The Trump Administration Rolls Back Anti-Corruption Efforts in the Oil Industry

In Business, Energy, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal by New Yorker

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In February, in one of its first acts of lawmaking, the Trump Administration, with the Republican-controlled Congress, rescinded a pending Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would have required oil companies to disclose details of their payments to international governments in connection with oil and gas production. The rule, which was mandated by a law co-sponsored by former Republican Senator Richard Lugar, of Indiana, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, of Maryland, was designed to combat bribery and corruption, especially in poor countries governed by kleptocrats. Thirty other countries, including Canada and the members of the European Union, had already adopted similar requirements. Yet the American Petroleum Institu... Read More
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The Lost Art of Stealing Fruit

In Education, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology by New Yorker

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My Hungarian-Czech grandmother, an otherwise goodhearted and generous woman, had a notoriously lax attitude toward property rules: bank pens, ashtrays, and hospital slippers all were fair for the taking. One minute, she’d be giving a bus driver brooches “for his vife”; the next, she’d be stomping down a stranger’s front path to help herself to an enormous bough of blossom while my sister and I, technically her accomplices, hid behind parked cars, pretending not to know her. I’ve tried to lead an honest life, in accordance with the 1968 Theft Act; also, I’m a conscientious elder child and easily embarrassed. But one’s fate is difficult to dodge; ask Oedipus. My own weakness, unlike Grandma’s, is limited to fruit. ... Read More
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Better Business Through Sci-Fi

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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About five years ago, Ari Popper enrolled in a course on science-fiction writing at the University of California, Los Angeles, hoping to distract himself from the boredom of his day job as the president of a market-research company. “It was, like, the best ten weeks of my life,” Popper told me recently. “But I knew I wasn’t going to pay the bills as a science-fiction writer.” Still, the course gave him an idea: since businesses often spend money trying to predict how the world will change, and since speculative fiction already traffics in such predictions, perhaps one could be put in service of the other—corporate consulting through sci-fi narratives. Soon, Popper quit his job, sold his house, and launched his own firm, SciFu... Read More
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The Garden’s Tiny Culinary Transformations

In Business by New Yorker

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If you want home-reared beets, move to the country. What we owners of yards and balconies can grow is tiny bursts of flavor, which will enhance everything: our salads, our lunches, our lives. Illustration by Cari Vander Yacht... Read More
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What’s Missing from “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Al Gore’s New Climate-Change Documentary

In Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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In one of the most memorable moments of Al Gore’s new climate-change documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Gore refers to a sequence from the film’s 2006 predecessor, the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth.” The most criticized scene in that movie, he tells an audience of climate-change activists, was an animation showing how a combination of sea-level rise and storm surges could flood the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, then under construction in lower Manhattan. “People said, ‘That’s ridiculous. What a terrible exaggeration,’ ” Gore recalls. A moment later, on the screen behind him, the animated flood is replaced by news footage of Hurricane Sandy, which in late 2012 flooded the main floor of the u... Read More
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Why We Despise Cable Providers

In Business, Education, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Security by New Yorker

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Last spring, a resident of Lexington, Kentucky, named Jessica Abney logged on to her computer and noticed something odd: her monthly cable bill, which had for years been around ninety dollars, had suddenly risen to a hundred and thirty-one dollars. Abney, who is seventy-three, is retired and living alone on disability; she was treated for colon cancer last fall and has regular blood infusions to address two autoimmune diseases. Even a small rise in expenses creates stress on her budget. Abney said that, when she called her cable company, Spectrum, to complain, a customer-service representative told her the bill would go up again soon, by another fifty dollars. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there, and I’ve had fi... Read More
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Hypnotized by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Events, Government, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by New Yorker

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In March, 1934, Modern Mechanix reported on an unusually ambitious plan to solve Manhattan’s traffic and housing woes. Norman Sper, a “noted publicist and engineering scholar,” proposed to “plug up” the Hudson River with a pair of dams at either end of the island. This would reroute the water around Harlem and the East Side, exposing the riverbed between New York and New Jersey. The resulting dry land, once filled in, would nearly double the city’s size and create a gold mine in future real estate. Sper called his vision “the world’s eighth wonder.” But, like m... Read More
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One Man’s Two-Year Quest Not to Finish Final Fantasy VII

In Business, Gaming, Government by New Yorker

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In 2012, David Curry, a thirty-four-year-old cashier from Southern California, came across a post on an online forum by someone who went by the handle Dick Tree. It contained a herculean proposal: Tree planned to play the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII for as many hours as it took to raise the characters to their maximum potential, without ever leaving the opening scene, which unfolds in a nuclear reactor. Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing game, a form popularized in the nineteen-seventies by Dungeons & Dragons, in which players’ feats—beasts felled, maidens wooed—are quantified with “experience points.” Accrue enough of these points, and your character ascends a level, at which point it confronts stronger opponents wo... Read More
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What the Layoffs Look Like at the Carrier Plant Trump Said He’d Save

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Security by New Yorker

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“Trump came in there to the factory last December and blew smoke up our asses,” Brenda Darlene Battle, a twenty-five-year Carrier employee, said. “He wasn’t gonna save those jobs.” Photograph by Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty On February 10, 2016, the Carrier Corporation, an H.V.A.C. company founded in 1915, announced that it would be closing plants in Indianapolis and Hunt... Read More
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Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail

In Business, Education, Events, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal by New Yorker

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In the summer of 2012, a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate released a report so brimming with international intrigue that it read like an airport paperback. Senate investigators had spent a year looking into the London-based banking group HSBC, and discovered that it was awash in skulduggery. According to the three-hundred-and-thirty-four-page report, the bank had laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels, and violated sanctions by covertly doing business with pariah states. HSBC had helped a Saudi bank with links to Al Qaeda transfer money into the United States. Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, which is responsible for tens of thousands of murders, deposited so much drug money in th... Read More
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Science, Politics, and the Ugliness Premium

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Security by New Yorker

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The first nineteen times that Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, ran for Congress, he won his seat with more than sixty per cent of the popular vote. That remarkable streak came to an end in 2012, the final election of his career, when he defeated his main rival, the independent Bill Bloomfield, by a comparatively small margin—fifty-four per cent to forty-six per cent. After serving nearly four decades in the House, during which he sponsored some six hundred pieces of legislation and chaired two powerful committees, Waxman came the closest he ever had to losing. But, according to a recent study in... Read More
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The Senate Health-Care Bill Would Be a Giant Step Backward

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Security by New Yorker

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The draft of the Senate G.O.P. health-care bill that Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, released on Thursday is, in one way, an improvement on the previous version of the bill. The latest draft dropped a proposal to repeal two tax increases on very high earners, which were part of the Affordable Care Act. The revenue from those tax increases was used to help fund some of the A.C.A.’s most progressive features, including the expansion of Medicaid and the subsidies offered to families of modest means for the purchase of private insurance plans. ... Read More
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Stephen Feinberg, the Private Military Contractor Who Has Trump’s Ear

In Business, Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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In the last week of the 2016 Presidential campaign, Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire Manhattan financier, made the largest political donation of his life. On November 3rd, just five days before the election, he gave nearly a million dollars to Rebuild America Now, the Trump-supporting super PAC known for its blistering attacks on Hillary Clinton. That Sunday, the PAC spent eight hundred thousand dollars on an eleventh-hour blitz of negative TV spots, including one that aired repeatedly during N.... Read More
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How to Plant a Tree in the Desert

In Business, Education, Government, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by New Yorker

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President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord was perplexing to Europeans for many reasons, not least of which was their determination that climate change represents a for-profit opportunity. In particular, the Dutch, who more or less invented water management in Europe, a millennium or so ago, have developed a specialty in climate-change-related innovation. Four years ago, Jurriaan Ruys was a partner at McKinsey, focussing on global sustainability issues. The Dutchman had been an environmentalist since the age of eight, when he went door to door handing out stickers to save the sea turtles, but he became frustrated by the abstract nature of his work—flying around the world, advising gove... Read More
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The C.E.O. of Girls Who Code Wants You to Know That It’s O.K. to Fail

In Business, Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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There’s an unofficial rule in the tech world: every C.E.O. must have a formative anecdote of failure. Reshma Saujani has an imposing résumé—she has delivered speeches at the White House and on Richard Branson’s private island; she knows Sheryl Sandberg’s personal phone number; her nonprofit, Girls Who Code, has given free computer-science instruction to forty thousand young women—and yet she often leads with her failure story. In 2010, Saujani ran for Congress, in New York’s Twelfth District, against a popular incumbent. “Every pollster told me, ‘You can’t possibly win this race,’ ” she said. “I ran anyway. I raised money from everyone from John Legend to Jack Dorsey.” Saujani, who is now forty-one, has a gap-... Read More
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What the Enron E-mails Say About Us

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Events, Government, Legal, Security by New Yorker

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A measure of industrial progress is the speed with which inventions grow insufferable. The elevator, once a marvel of efficiency, has become a social purgatory from which most of us cannot escape too quickly. The builders of the first commercial airplane couldn’t have foreseen the crushed knees and the splattered salad dressings that their machine would visit on the world. “Hitherto it is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being,” John Stuart Mill wrote in the “Principles of Political Economy” (1848), and the precept holds for recent innovations, too. Think of e-mail. Or, rather, try not to think of e-mail,... Read More
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The Accidental Urban Gardener

In Business, Government, Legal by New Yorker

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An occasional column about the pleasures and pains of cultivating a (tiny) patch of soil. Once upon a time, like most sane people, I was utterly uninterested in gardening. I wasted my time and money on reasonable things: secondhand books, dramatic spices, jackets that I hoped might transform me into the well-groomed and self-possessed novelist I still intend, one day, to become. Like opera, gardening was for the old people, posh, English. And I, youngish, the proud descendent of Mitteleuropean immigrants who had lived, like me, in dark London flats, had far better things to do t... Read More
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Detroit’s Urgent Embrace of Self-Driving Cars

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature, Start Up by New Yorker

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At last count, G.M. had already built nearly two hundred Chevrolet Bolt electric self-driving vehicles, the most of any automaker. Photograph by Jeffrey Sauger / General Motors Last Friday, Tesla’s Model 3, the upstart automaker’s first mid-priced, mass-market electric vehicle, began rolling off the assembly line. The Model 3’s price (around thirty-five thousand dollars), its range befo... Read More
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A Memoir of Chronic Fatigue Illustrates the Failures of Medical Resear

In Business, Education, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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Fifteen years ago, Julie Rehmeyer was a science journalist leading an active, outdoorsy life in New Mexico. She ran marathons, biked regularly, and taught mathematics and classics at St. John’s College. Just outside Santa Fe, on a parcel of streamside land, she had even built her own house—a straw-bale construction shaded by ponderosas, meant for the family she hoped to have one day. Then, over a period of a few years, Rehmeyer lost most of her strength, endurance, and confidence, along with the ability to live a normal life. A bike ride left her bedridden. A trip to the grocery store found her using the shopping cart as a walker. At home, she could make it to her bedroom only by climbing the stairs backwards, scooting herself up a s... Read More
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Agnes Gund’s Art for Social Justice’s Sake

In Business, Education, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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Agnes Gund, the president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, sometimes runs out of ready cash for her liberal philanthropy. “This is why I have to sell so much art, because I promise things that I can’t really pay for,” she told Andrew Goldstein, the editor of Artnet, last month. Hence Gund’s sale of “Masterpiece” (1962), by Roy Lichtenstein, a painting that for years had hung above the mantel in her Park Avenue apartment. She has given a hundred million dollars, from the sale price of a hundred and sixty-five million, to establish the Art for Justice Fund, dedicated to ... Read More
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Uber’s Opportunistic Ouster 

In Business, Education, Government, Legal, Start Up by New Yorker

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On February 23rd, two venture capitalists, both early investors in the ride-sharing company Uber, circulated an open letter in response to a female engineer’s published account of sexual harassment at the company. “Silicon Valley prides itself on pattern recognition,” Freada Kapor Klein and Mitchell Kapor wrote. “Here are a couple of toxic patterns we have observed.” Despite several scandals, they went on, Uber had failed to reform its culture, and investors “in high growth, financially successful companies rarely, if ever, call out inexcusable behavior from founders or C-suite executives.” They argued that both of these patterns needed to change. Four months later, wh... Read More
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How to Travel Like a Millionaire? Ask the Points Guy

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by New Yorker

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On a Wednesday afternoon in June, Brian Kelly, better known as the travel guru the Points Guy, left his office, on Park Avenue, and boarded a helicopter on East 34th Street. Six minutes after takeoff, he touched down at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and approximately seven minutes after that, with the help of his T.S.A. Pre status, he was through security and perched at the bar of a lounge inside Terminal 5. When I arrived, twenty minutes later, still flustered from maneuvering a rolling suitcase around a packed A train for the better part of an hour, he was sipping a complimentary glass of Sancerre and chatting up a male model he had ushered into the lounge with a guest pass. Kelly has made a career out of flying first c... Read More
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The E.P.A.’s Dangerous Anti-Regulatory Policies

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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This week, while attention was focussed on the Senate’s health-care bill, the Trump Administration continued to quietly do the one thing it does well: wreak havoc on the environment. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan to rescind the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS. WOTUS essentially represents the Obama Administration’s attempt to clarify which waterways are governed by the Clean Water Act. A memo that the E.P.A. issued when the rule was put in place, in 2015, notes that it protects streams that roughly one in three Americans depend on for drinking water. (This memo is not currently available on the E.P.A.’s W... Read More
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Teddy Roosevelt Would Not Understand the E.U.’s Antitrust Fine Against

In Business, Education, Government, Legal by New Yorker

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Back in 1980, Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist, starred in a public-television series called “Free to Choose,” in which he presented his free-market ideas and, famously, told a young man that everything he knew about monopoly power was wrong. In the United States, “monopoly” was synonymous with “evil,” an idea going back to Teddy Roosevelt and the original trustbusters, who saw oil cartels and rail syndicates as enemies run by sneering men with bulbous noses. But Friedman’s surprising assertion was that monopolies were not the result of greedy people amassing and abusing power but, rather, of stupid government rules. “I believe if you examine the sources of monopoly you will find that almost all those ... Read More
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After Travis Kalanick’s Resignation, Will Uber Really Change?

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Legal, Start Up by New Yorker

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On Tuesday evening, Travis Kalanick, a co-founder of Uber, resigned from his post as chief executive, apparently under intense pressure from the company’s major shareholders. Kalanick, whose public persona has been variously characterized as aggressive, juvenile, and brash, is both reviled and beloved in Silicon Valley. Depending on whom you ask, he’s either the tech industry’s best representative––a successful, visionary entrepreneur––or its very worst. On Wednesday morning, Bill Gurley, one of the board members who pushed for Kalanick’s ouster, tweeted that there would be “many pages in the history books” dedicated to Kalanick, adding that “very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world.” (Ub... Read More
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The Dubious Counting at the Center of the G.O.P.’s Health-Care Reform

In Business, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal by New Yorker

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After Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, released a draft of the Senate health-care bill, on Thursday morning, the media finally began focussing on the essence of what Republicans are proposing: an enormous redistribution of wealth into the pockets of the already-wealthy. The bill would modify the health-insurance subsidies introduced under the Affordable Care Act and dramatically cut Medicaid, all to deliver a big tax cut to the nation’s richest households. But there’s another aspect of the legislation that has received less attention, and that’s the way it staggers its various provisions, and claims billions of dollars in savings that are far from guaranteed. If McConnell’s proposal were signed into law, the ta... Read More
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What Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Really Means

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature by New Yorker

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Last week, two days before announcing that it would be acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon released a short promotional video for a new product called the Dash Wand. The Wand is a candy-bar-size gizmo that costs twenty dollars. It sticks to your refrigerator with magnets and lets you order products by talking—it features Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa—or by scanning barcodes. In the video, an affluent, middle-aged couple drift through their spotless kitchen, preparing for a dinner party. The woman peers into the fridge, where she discovers a bag of pre-peeled shrimp. She asks the Wand for a simple shrimp-pasta recip... Read More
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The Future of Coal Country

In Business, Education, Energy, Gaming, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Security by New Yorker

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One Sunday morning, just after deer-hunting season ended, Veronica Coptis, a community organizer in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania, climbed onto her father’s four-wheeler. She set off for a ridge a quarter of a mile from her parents’ small farmhouse, where she was brought up with her brother and two sisters. “Those are coyote tracks,” she called over the engine noise, pointing down at a set of fresh paw prints. At the crest of the ridge, she stopped along a dirt track and scanned in both directions for security guards. Around her stretched a three-mile wasteland of valleys. Once an untouched landscape of white oak and shagbark hickory, it now belonged to Consol Energy and... Read More
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What the Republicans’ Senate Health-Care Bill Means for America

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Legal by New Yorker

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On Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Below, New Yorker writers offer some initial reactions to the news. The Senate bill is really three separate proposals. In the private-insurance market, it amounts to what Larry Levitt, a health-care expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, calls “Obamacare-lite.” As for Medicaid—the federal program that provides health services to roughly seventy-five million Americans, most of whom are poor or elderly or are children—the bill involves much bigger, and more harmful, changes. Finally, the legislation would deliver a hefty tax cut to some of the wealthiest households in the country. In the individual market, the bill offer... Read More