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theatlantic:

Why Do Men Assume They’re So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month’s Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 

Source: The Atlantic
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newmuseum:

Since the opening of “The Neighbors” in February, Paweł Althamer has worked in partnership with a range of artists, friends, and collaborators to create sixteen new sculptures. During this period, Althamer also ran sculpture and film workshops with a group of residents from The Bowery Mission. Together, they will present a one-day exhibition of the new works on Thursday April 17, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the New Museum’s storefront space at 231 Bowery. The exhibition will be free and open to the publichttp://bit.ly/1hfHejs

Source: newmuseum
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theatlantic:

Sex Workers Are Excited for the World Cup Because They Think It Will Make Them Rich

Women have high hopes for the deep pockets of visiting gringos, but advocacy groups caution that their expectations might be dashed.

Read more. [Image: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]

Source: The Atlantic
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globalpost:

CAIRO, Egypt — Essam Bashary no longer goes to demonstrations. A liberal, he’s too disappointed by the way the Arab Spring has degenerated into a fight between military and Islamists in Egypt.

But the 26-year-old Tahrir Square veteran has found a new cause to occupy his time — fighting sexual harassment.

Egyptian women have been complaining about high levels of harassment for years, and a recent UN survey concluded that 99 percent of women in the country have either experienced unwanted physical advances or been verbally harassed. Despite this, convictions of perpetrators are rare.

A number of activist groups and NGOs are working to combat the problem, encouraging women to report incidents and calling for an end to the practice’s social acceptability.

Bashary has taken a different approach: Along with a group of friends — like him, former revolutionaries who previously supported Mohamed ElBaradei and his Constitution Party — he founded a social media initiative called “Tie up the Harasser.”

You see sexual harassment: Do you call the police, or tie up the perpetrator yourself?

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Source: globalpost.com
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reuters:

This 500,000-pound rig for the oil and natural gas industry can walk, rotate 360 degrees, be operated with a remote control, and load pipe automatically. Read the story here: http://reut.rs/1kWt48T

Source: reuters
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theatlantic:

The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science-Fiction

When I’m introduced to someone as a writer, a now familiar pattern of events often follows.

“Oh, really! How interesting!” the someone—let’s call her Jane—says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “What do you write?”

“Science fiction,” I say.

Jane instantly glazes over. “I’m afraid I never read science fiction.”

In other instances, people who know me have read a book of mine out of curiosity and then told me, in some surprise, that they liked it—“even though I don’t normally like science fiction.” Indeed, when a short story collection of mine won a non-genre prize, it was apparently a surprise to the judges themselves: According to the chair of the judging panel, “none of [them] knew they were science-fiction fans beforehand.”

The assumption seems to be that a book that comes with a genre label like “science fiction” must necessarily be lightweight stuff—not really comparable with “non-genre” works.

This may partly be due to the fact that the word “genre” has two different meanings which are often muddled up. The basic meaning of “genre” is simply kind or category or form of fiction, and in that sense, any work of fiction can be assigned to some genre or another. But “genre” is also used in a different way to make a distinction between “genre” and “non-genre” fiction. “Non-genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed on the “general fiction” or “fiction and literature” shelves in Barnes and Noble. “Genre” fiction is the stuff that is placed in its own designated corners: Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction.

Read more. [Image: Phil Whitehouse / Flickr]

Source: The Atlantic
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theatlantic:

India’s Briefcase-Sized Voting Machines

They’re portable, economical, and helping more than 800 million Indians cast ballots in this year’s election.

Read more. [Image: Sivaram V/Reuters]

Source: The Atlantic
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theatlantic:

FX Brings Fargo (Back) To Life

“This is a true story,” announces the onscreen text. We see a snow-swept road and the headlights of a distant car. As it approaches, once-mournful strings rise to a crashing crescendo, punctuated by… sleigh bells.

I refer, of course, to Fargo. But not to Fargo, the 1996 Coen brothers film. No, I refer to Fargo, the new FX series making its debut tonight. The familiar elements are all there: the sad-sack salesman and female cop and murderous drifter; the car crash and ill-fated traffic stop and grisly murders; the semi-arctic setting and “Minnesota nice” accents offering up yahs and you betchas and fer Pete’s sakeses. But they’re scrambled into unexpected sequences and patterns. This is not a remake. It’s a remix.

The idea of making Fargo into a TV show has been around almost since the movie itself hit theaters, and it’s always seemed to me a terrible one given the idiosyncratic nature of the source material. In 1997 a pilot was even shot, though never picked up, featuring a pre-Sopranos Edie Falco in the role of Marge Gunderson, the iconic police chief played by Frances McDormand in the film. But the FX show takes a different approach from such would-be sequels, bringing back not the original characters but instead merely their types. And the result is, to my considerable surprise, very, very good.

Read more. [Image: FX]

Source: The Atlantic
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theatlantic:

Why Every Writer Needs Two Educations

Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven and a former college athlete, learned from Carter G. Woodson that teaching yourself is just as important as being taught in the classroom.

Read more.

Source: The Atlantic
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globalpost:

CUERNAVACA, Mexico — Once the plutocrats’ plague, kidnapping for ransom in Mexico has gone decidedly mass market.

Shopkeepers and family physicians, carpenters and taxi drivers: All have been targeted in recent years as minions of young criminals enter a trade long run by guerrillas and gangland bosses. That puts Mexico, along with Colombia andVenezuela, among the world’s most kidnap-prone countries.

President Enrique Peña Nieto, 16 months into a six-year term, has struggled to meet his promises to dramatically lessen the crime. Both abductions and extortion continue to soar even as his government’s campaign against crime syndicates impacts drug profits and gang discipline weakens as kingpins are killed or captured.

Many wealthy Mexicans have long hired bodyguards and taken other security precautions, making them harder to get. The typical profile of kidnappers, meanwhile, is becoming younger and less sophisticated — more willing to favor quick paydays over substantial ones.

That’s making Mexico’s middle class, and even the working poor, the criminals’ targets of choice.

Even the 99 percent get kidnapped in Mexico

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Source: globalpost.com