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“Most of us have had moments when we’ve fantasized about having different parents, people we imagine are closer to our true nature. But few of us have a name for our fantasy parent.
My father did, though: Kale Binder.
That’s the name his mother gave him in 1983, when my father was 50. After decades of whispered rumors, my English grandmother, Diane, finally admitted that Kale Binder, an American medical student she had met at a party, got her pregnant shortly before she met her husband.
This mystery sperm donor could have been the perfect wish fulfillment for my father, Rex, a once-sensitive boy who came of age in London during World War II with a father — or the man he believed was his father — who was cruel and critical, who mocked his son for being too smart, too soft.
By contrast, Rex imagined that his real father would have talked with him about Russian literature or taken him hitchhiking across Europe. He might have occasionally given him a hug.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."