‘Thank You, Tim Cook’

Casey Newton for The Verge, on the significance of Tim Cook’s public acknowledgment of his sexuality:

And that’s the thing. It is one thing for the media to whisper to one another, or to post on their blogs, that the CEO of America’s most valuable company is a gay man. And it is a quite another for the man himself to step up to the microphone, with confidence and grace, and tell us himself. We knew Cook was gay; what we didn’t know is how he felt about it. Or, at a time when being gay is still very much a political act, what he planned to do with it.

‘I’m So Proud to Be Gay’

Tim Cook for Bloomberg Businessweek, “Tim Cook Speaks Up”:

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

[...]

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

Read more...

‘Rehearsing for Death’

Launa Hall, in an op-ed for The Washington Post on doing lockdown drills with preschoolers:

When you’re guiding 4- and 5-year-olds through a drill, your choice of words can mean everything. “Activity,” not “game,” because we laugh during games, and I can’t risk introducing laughter. I don’t say “police,” because some little kids find police officers scary, and I can’t risk introducing tears. Instead, even though our principal isn’t there this day, I want them to picture his kind but purposeful face when they hear the police officers and administrators hustling down the hallway, testing the doorknob of each room. I don’t say “quiet,” because I can’t risk them shushing one another while they are crammed together, practically sitting in each other’s laps. And because it’s not quiet that’s required for this drill, but rather complete silence. As silent as children who aren’t there at all.

Read more...

‘It’s One of the Few Prison Publications By and For the Prisoners’

Jessica Pishko for the Columbia Journalism Review, on the publication of the San Quentin Times:

The San Quentin News is one of the very few inmate-run publications in the country. Operating within the walls of San Quentin State Penitentiary in Marin County, CA, the approximately 20-page monthly newspaper is staffed entirely by inmates. The newsroom recently moved to a new building just off of the prison’s main yard, where inmates with privileges play basketball and sit outside to chat. Inside the room, a television plays the news, and inmates sit around the few computers, working to make their deadlines. They produce the paper without internet access, depending on non-inmate reporters for research. Because I am a member of the so-called “free world,” many staffers ask me about recent changes in prison policy, such as the California district court’s recent moratorium on the death penalty.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

‘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.

Read more...

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”:

Read more...

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.

[...]

Read more...