On ‘The Magazine: The Book (Year Two)’

My friends at The Magazine are Kickstarting another book. To wit:

This anthology covers researchers “crying wolf,” learning to emulate animal sounds; DIY medical gear, making prosthetics and other tools available more cheaply and to the developing world; a fever in Japan that leads to a new friendship; saving seeds to save the past; a hidden library at MIT that contains one of the most extensive troves of science fiction and fantasy novels and magazines in the world; and far, far more.

I backed the Year One book and will do so again this time.

‘How One Boy With Autism Became BFF’s With Apple’s Siri’

Judith Newman for the NYT, “To Siri, With Love”:

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

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‘Say Thank You to Nurses. They Deserve It.’

Sarah Kliff, writing for Vox:

The next time you have the chance, say thank you to a nurse. He or she near certainly deserves it.

In the American health care system (any health system, really) it’s nurses who are on the front lines. We are seeing that right now in the Ebola outbreak. From Liberia to the United States, the brunt of the disease has fallen hardest on nurses.

[...]

It’s not especially hard to understand why: nurses provide much of the world’s hands on care. They’re the ones who are checking in with patients, taking their temperature, administering medications and delivering lots of the hands-on care that makes the health care system works.

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Treating the ‘Super Bowl of Infectious Diseases’

Dr. Angela L. Hewlett writes about her experience for The Washington Post:

Three weeks after he was admitted, Rick tested negative for the virus. Interacting with him for the first time without our protective gear was a poignant moment. Through the computer screens, glass windows and layers of plastic protective gear, we had formed a bond as tight as an patient and medical team. Together, we had beaten Ebola — a ravenous virus that, just a month earlier, had never existed in our country. Discharge day was emotional for everyone, with plenty of tears and hugs. All involved showed extraordinary bravery, dedication, tirelessness and compassion.

On Portland, Oregon

Claire Cain Miller for the NYT, “Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young”:

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On ‘The Simpsons’ Marathon

Bill Carter, writing for the New York Times:

The 12-day, round-the-clock marathon, which also included the two-hour 2007 theatrical movie, produced ratings about three times as high as executives at the channel expected. It enabled FXX to finish as the highest-rated network in all of cable television among the audience most desired by advertisers — viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 — three nights out of 12. For its full run, the audience for the marathon had a median age of 28, one of the youngest in the television business.

[...]

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‘Loving Kids Like That Is a Waste’

Sarah Terzo for LifeNews.com, on pregnant couples aborting babies with Down syndrome:

Rayna Rapp, a former abortion clinic worker who aborted a baby with Down syndrome herself, conducted a survey of women and couples who sought amniocentesis to screen for Down syndrome and other problems with their babies. All of the interviewees intended to abort if the baby was found to have Down syndrome. Some of the things that these parents say about Down syndrome children are deeply troubling to anyone who values life.

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On Driving and Parenting

Ben Brooks, “So That’s It Then”:

You get in your car and you turn right onto James.

And you mutter: “So that’s it?”

And that really is it.

It is more strenuous to get a driver’s license than to be given the responsibility of raising a human life. And that’s both terrifying, and at the same time, the way it should be.

Even after two kids, I still cannot believe, that this is it.

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On Christopher Thomas Knight

Michael Finkel for GQ, “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit”:

When, said Perkins-Vance, was the last time he’d had contact with another person?

Sometime in the 1990s, answered Knight, he passed a hiker while walking in the woods.

“What did you say?” asked Perkins-Vance.

“I said, ‘Hi,’ ” Knight replied. Other than that single syllable, he insisted, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this night, for twenty-seven years.

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On #Ferguson

David Carr, writing for the New York Times:

For people in the news business, Twitter was initially viewed as one more way to promote and distribute content. But as the world has become an ever more complicated place — a collision of Ebola, war in Iraq, crisis in Ukraine and more — Twitter has become an early warning service for news organizations, a way to see into stories even when they don’t have significant reporting assets on the ground. And in a situation hostile to traditional reporting, the crowdsourced, phone-enabled network of information that Twitter provides has proved invaluable.

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