Imagine that you are a member of the expert class — the kind of person invited to pontificate on television news programs. Under normal circumstances, your expertise might be signaled to the public by a gaudy photograph of skyscrapers superimposed behind your head. But now the formalities of the broadcast studio are a distant memory, and the only tools to convey that you truly belong on television are the objects within your own home. There’s only one move: You talk in front of a bookcase. As the broadcast industry shelters in place, the bookcase has become the background of choice for television hosts, executives, politicians and anyone else keen on applying a patina of authority to their amateurish video feeds. In March, when the coronavirus put the handshaking and baby-kissing mode of presidential campaigning on pause, Joe Biden conspicuously retreated from public view for several long days as his team scrambled to project an air of competence from within Biden’s basement. When … [Read more...] about The ‘Credibility Bookcase’ Is the Quarantine’s Hottest Accessory
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Update: A panel of judges ruled on Sunday that Australia’s immigration minister was within his rights to cancel the tennis champion Novak Djokovic’s visa. The judges’ ruling is final; the Australian Open begins Monday. MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic has had his visa to stay in Australia revoked — not once but twice. After a successful appeal of his apprehension at the border by authorities, our immigration minister has affirmed the initial refusal. The world’s No. 1 men’s singles tennis player is out of the Australian Open (at least for now). It’s a move that the local papers have claimed will “ undoubtedly prove popular with the Australian public.” So, Novak. Mate. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, hey? Australians may well be exhausted from two years of the pandemic and sick and weakened by a current mass infection of Covid-19, and yet many of us retain enough energy to be thrilled by this news. The hashtag #DjokovicOut has been a trending … [Read more...] about Novak Djokovic Got the Boot. Australians Are Thrilled.
WASHINGTON - A surging omicron variant has sent ailing transit agencies into a heightened sense of crisis, prompting a fresh round of service cuts that have left passengers unsure whether they have a ride to work or school. Throughout the pandemic, bus operators have transported essential workers to jobs and riders who lack other alternatives to their destinations. But in recent weeks, the fast-spreading virus has proliferated throughout transit agencies across the country, sickening more drivers than at any other point in the pandemic as frustrated riders wonder whether their bus will arrive. Many transit agencies are paying higher wages while paring back schedules, reducing service for a second time after substantial cuts early in the pandemic. This time, transit officials say there's likely no path to normal levels until omicron subsides and workers are healthy enough to get behind the wheel. Scott Bogren, executive director of the D.C.-based Community Transportation … [Read more...] about Omicron deepens bus driver shortage, frustrating passengers as transit agencies pare back service
THE NIX By the 2020 election season we will doubtless be inundated with thinly veiled romans à clef revolving around a billionaire bully with an Oedipus complex and a predisposition to manic gesticulations running for president on a vulgar platform of xenophobia and bigotry. The authors of these novels will very likely assign the blame for his ascendancy to the conservative establishment that has espoused similar, if more camera-ready, values for decades and to the reality-TV-and-Twitter-obsessed culture that gives him endless attention. They would be right, but that’s not the whole story. “The Nix,” Nathan Hill’s ambitiously panoramic and humane debut novel, oscillates between the poles of the 1968 Chicago protests and 2011. Its backdrop includes Occupy Wall Street, insipid pop singers and a reactionary, revolver-carrying Wyoming governor ready to run for president. Hill zeros in on the failures and discarded idealism of the boomers, a generation that pivoted, in less than … [Read more...] about ‘The Nix’ Is the Love Child of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace
As soon as students poured back into classrooms early this month, Palo Alto schools Superintendent Don Austin knew the pandemic had shifted gears and schools were about to be hit with rising case counts. He wasn’t wrong. Within days, the number of students reporting positive for COVID-19 spiked to unprecedented levels. Those kids had traveled through crowded halls and eaten lunch with friends, and older students had attended up to six different classes a day. Austin quickly understood it would be nearly impossible to determine where students or staff got the virus or who they might have exposed — and then send letters home to those who were close contacts. The number of parents getting letters could be in the hundreds at any given school every day. He decided the district would no longer track cases or send anxiety-inducing exposure notifications home. Instead, given the highly contagious omicron variant raging across California, he told students and staff to assume they were … [Read more...] about Is omicron leading to in-school transmission? Bay Area districts say there’s no way to know
Click here to read the full article. In awards season, the word “snub” gets overused in a major way. A snub, in life, is a deliberate dis. The essence of it is that it’s personal. When an actor fails to make the cut of nominees for a movie award, to call that a snub is to make it sound like a conspiracy — an omission with a hint of design, rather than what it is, which is an accident or, really, a preference. It’s an insult to those who did get nominated, as if they were mere placeholders for the hallowed star who got “snubbed.” But Kristen Stewart ’s omission from the list of nominees for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role in the Screen Actors Guild awards , announced on Jan. 12, did feel like a snub. I’m not just saying that because Stewart (to put my bias out there) happens to be my own choice for best actress in a movie this year. She’d been anointed as a contender for the Academy Awards from the moment “ Spencer ” premiered at the Venice … [Read more...] about Why SAG’s Best Actress Snub May Have Done Kristen Stewart a Favor (Column)
1 Pets Multiple coyotes are believed to have taken on a pair of pit bulls and a bulldog in a fenced-in backyard Wednesday afternoon. Jonah Meadows , Patch Staff Posted | Updated Reply DEERFIELD, IL — A group of coyotes is suspected of attacking three dogs in a North Shore backyard, killing one pit bull and wounding another around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Deerfield pet owner Kathy Crann believes the coyotes entered through a small hole in an otherwise fully fenced-in backyard and targeted her 17-pound French bulldog, Louie, who survived the attack with minor bites to his ears. The two pit bulls, 4-year-old Clover and 5-year-old Maggie, each weighing close to 40 pounds, managed to save him, she believes. But only Clover, with injures to her face, was able to make it back inside. Maggie was found fatally mauled. In 11 years of living at the … [Read more...] about Coyotes Kill Pit Bull In Attack On 3 Dogs In Deerfield Backyard