January 19, 2019

Culture

"Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish?"

"A book about the semiotics of sleep and its absence, rather than the reality of insomnia itself... It is clear that Benjamin set out not to investigate or even comprehensively describe insomnia, but to make art about it."

"Today, 36 states and the federal government do not require corroborating evidence for a conviction of sexual assault. Neither does the Military Code of Justice or Guam or Puerto Rico."

"The open-office plan—a design which attempts to incorporate the creative fluidity of a tech start-up with the stability of the “traditional” office—is only the most recent example of conflicting motivations inhabiting the workplace..."

"From generation to generation, brothers and sisters and cousins in game families have shared in-jokes, swapped anecdotes, and passed down the legend of that time Grandma accidentally drew something kind of racy in Pictionary."

"If you’ve ever doubted your achievements and were convinced it’s only a matter of time until people figure out you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re in good company."

"The toy company Hasbro has released a new take on its classic board game, and Monopoly for Millennials is fun for the whole socialist family this holiday season."

"Identity politics represents the latest assault to emanate from our colleges and universities on the principles and practices of liberal democracy."

"Though hating on vegans is almost a cliche, there’s not much actual data about it. But a new survey from Lifesum, a weight loss app, of UK and US-based vegans found that eight out of 10 respondents had experienced “vegaphobia.""

"Some women successfully free themselves from emotional labor, but I don’t want to give up the work of caring. I just want others to care as well."

"At an inaugural desert festival of yogis and spirit guides like Russell Brand, an exclusive industry grapples with consumerism, addiction, and the actual meaning of wellness."

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."

"Podcasting is a peculiarly intimate medium. Usually transmitted through headphones to a solitary listener, or played over the car stereo during a commute, an audio narrative can be immersive..."

"That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media."

"Should the acquired item prove absolutely useless, as its original owner clearly felt it to be, there is always something else to do with it, provided one has ingenuity, a high tolerance for clutter, and, ideally, a range of demented enthusiasms."

"The unconscious can perform astonishing feats of memory, but it can also play a remarkable role in creativity: sudden insights, solutions and life-enhancing ideas sometimes surface unbidden when the mind is adrift in unconscious reverie."

"Yoga and meditation, two ancient practices, are now officially the most popular alternative health approaches in the United States, each used by around 35 million adults."

"In ‘The Ethics of Belief’ (1877), Clifford gives three arguments as to why we have a moral obligation to believe responsibly, that is, to believe only what we have sufficient evidence for, and what we have diligently investigated."

"How people draw those borders effects how we even define "us" and "them" - how, or even if, "they" can become "us." But it hasn't always been that way. In fact, throughout the period known as the European Middle Ages, there were no borders at all"

"Over the past decade, white millennials have embraced witchcraft in droves. Now a parallel phenomenon is emerging among black millennials."

"In Tacitus’s description of the tall, blond, rather savage northern tribes, Himmler saw the superior Aryan stock whose preservation and dominance motivated the Nazis. “We will return to being what we were,” he wrote in his diary..."

"What has truly fueled the Boomers’ transition from “means well, but sometimes frustrating” to Trumpian insanity is Facebook... There all of their worst impulses are collectively reinforced, constantly rewarded, and ceaselessly amplified."

"Traditionally, monsters came from elsewhere: at the unknown edges of maps, from distant times and places. But as the bounds of the known Universe have expanded, the habitats of monsters shrunk back."

"More women than men suffer pain from their footwear, according to podiatric surveys, and similarly, more women than men say they’ll suffer for the sake of their shoes."

"...many contemporary newspapers and politicians openly doubted the truth about the Klan’s purported mission, its crimes, even its very existence. The various motivations for this campaign of denialism are all too familiar today..."

"“I didn’t necessarily feel anything,” was often said. Sometimes, “No, there was definitely something watching us.” Or even, “The kids said they saw a shadow.”"

"Drive from coast to coast and everybody seems to be getting along fine — as long as you don’t listen to talk radio in the car or turn on cable TV news at the hotel."

"'Autonomies,' an acclaimed dystopian drama about the formation of two entities – the Haredi Autonomy in Jerusalem and a secular State of Israel in Tel Aviv – shows how Israel’s various cultures could live better with each other separately."

"Bad opinions aren’t going anywhere, and we all have them. Through conversations with our peers and the media, we subject our ideas to scrutiny and proceed accordingly."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"