What can the reign of the 7th U.S. President tell us about the 45th’s?
A real-estate-rich, thin-skinned, temperamental, yet charismatic celebrity who runs a tell-it-like-it-is political campaign attacking corrupt elites and promising a better life for the common man is accused of being unfit to serve, but after slogging through a mud-slinging campaign, complicated by sex scandals and an electoral college kerfuffle, he shocks the establishment and thrills his supporters by thrashing his more-experienced opponent and winning the ultimate prize—the highest office in the land.
Many of us non-Trump voters now feel like victims—underdogs, isolated, helpless, hopeless, anxious and angry, afraid for tomorrow. Our political power seems to have shrunken to the size of a confetti flake never deployed from the rafters of the glass ceiling at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on election night.
So, now that “the mean girl” is heading for the White House, and we’re heading for…we don’t know where—who can we turn to show us a way forward?
From the mouth of an active volcano to a desertous plain that one explorer called, ‘the sort of place one gets into in bad dreams,’ intrepid photographers show us what it’s like to be on the road around the globe.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there,” wrote Lewis Carroll.
Six New York Times photographers, some of whom I interviewed for The New York Times Magazine, were given the opportunity to get on the road in any destination of their choice.
One biologist, two prairie voles, some hormones and an explanation. Why we love and hate and what we can do about it.
Why do we always see the world as Us versus Them when it only leads to cronyism and prejudice and, at its worst, bigotry, war and genocide?
This may sound strange, but it starts with love.
But what is love?
Biologists have some theories. You can read plenty of articles about the neuropeptide oxytocin dubbed with some super-cute nicknames, including “the love molecule” and “the cuddle chemical.” These simplistic, feel-good labels do a disservice to oxytocin, which along with its partner peptide, vasopressin, serve as the hormonal glue that keeps humans and other animals sticking together in couples, families, packs and even nation states.
In the wake of a mass murder, the images of the victims flicker and fade while the images of the killer fix, as if in some chemical bath, leaving a permanent stain on society. We watch helplessly as the killer’s self-propaganda videos and fire-arm poses outpace and eventually obscure the images of the victims in gentler moments of beauty, joy and love.
Sometimes winning can be as dangerous as losing. Take James Altucher, blogger, podcaster, provocateur and occasional Observer contributor. Rewind to 1998 when Altucher had just sold Reset, his web-design business, for $10 million. With his windfall he set out on a mission to teach the stock market a lesson. His first trade? As he told us, he “poured all of his money” into a software company, the name of which he no longer remembers. But he does remember this: In one hour he made a cool million. That jackpot was proof of Altucher’s genius. And he was primed to keep at it, going mano a mano against the market to make another million dollars every day for the rest of his life.
What do high-rise construction workers, laboring on the vertical frontier, tell themselves about their work, the risk and the reward?
At last count, in a single year, over 800 workers died on U.S. job sites according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What does it mean to be part of a highly ambitious man-made endeavor that rises tall enough to kiss the clouds? Recently, we had the opportunity to find out, interviewing dozens of high-rise construction workers (whose jobs include battling shredding winds, freezing cold and the scorching hot summer sun) on two of the tallest new construction buildings in New York City—3 World Trade Center and 10 Hudson Yards. We asked them about their work, the risk and the reward. And alongside the images of highly talented young photographer, Jack Davison, who captures the grit and the glory of these highest of high-rise workers, a collection of their thought-provoking responses are in an article for The New York Times Magazine called
Sticking to a dream can be as hard as founding a country, but someone’s gotta do it. Find out how 3 fifth graders are working to make their dream come true. And consider joining them!
The Broadway show Hamilton began to seep into our lives through our ten-year-old daughter, one staccato rap couplet at a time. Pretty soon she had a whole song. Then another and another. She was Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Lafayette and George Washington, famous sisters Angelica and Eliza Schuyler, Hamilton’s wife. Choreography followed and then of course, the pulsing red desire to PLEEEEEEEASE SEE THE SHOW.
When Amazon drops off a package at your home, it’s as if you are at one end of a wormhole in the space-time continuum. Amazon has mastered the art and science of moving packages from point A to point B. Like Amazon, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry owes his success to his ability to move an object from point A to point B with great speed, accuracy and frequency. Continue reading “What Stephen Curry, Amazon and Wormholes Have in Common”