All posts tagged living

Readers stuck at home need books – and community. Here’s how to access them. #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 23, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Readers stuck at home need books – and community. Here’s how to access them.

Mar 22. 2020
By Special To The Washington Post · Angela Haupt

If there’s a silver lining to the sudden need to hunker down as the novel coronavirus upends normal life, it’s that maybe – finally – you’ll have time to read. Provided you have enough books.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to access new reading material without leaving the house, and to stay engaged with the bookish community even as libraries and bookstores shutter their doors. Here’s a guide.

– Take advantage of free library resources like OverDrive.

Many libraries are closed until further notice, but you can still tap into their tools – even if you don’t have a library card. OverDrive, a company that works with thousands of libraries around the country, offers an “instant digital card.” Sign up and start browsing an impressive collection of e-books and audiobooks.

OverDrive’s Libby app makes it easy to download your picks to whatever device you prefer: Stream an audiobook on your Google Home, for example, or send a book to your tablet or Kindle. Beware that there aren’t unlimited digital copies, so there’s often a waitlist for popular titles. Once your request comes in, you’ll typically have access for seven to 21 days.

Ramiro Salazar, president of the Public Library Association and director of the San Antonio Public Library, says libraries have a “history of rising to the occasion, and that’s what we’re doing right now.” He asked his staff to look into expanding their books-by-mail program, for example, a longtime service that provides books to those who are homebound. And he said libraries nationwide are working to shorten wait times by increasing the number of digital books available to patrons.

– Order from your favorite indie bookstore.

On Monday, Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported that in the previous few days, customers had placed more than 800 online orders – compared to a typical five to 10 a day. Like many independent bookstores, it had turned exclusively to online sales. The small staff was working to process web orders as quickly as possible and thanked customers for giving them a “fighting chance” to weather the unexpected circumstances.

Around the country, many indies are offering local shipping free or for a nominal fee in hopes of luring extra business.

Another option is, a recently launched website that shares proceeds with independent bookstores.

– Trade physical books for audiobooks.

Even if you don’t prefer listening to reading, you’re probably familiar with Audible: The Amazon-owned audiobook company has a catalogue of nearly 500,000 easy-to-download options, from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks to classics. You can listen on a wide array of devices, or even in a web browser. A $14.95 monthly membership includes any title, plus two Audible Originals. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Another option is, which offers more than 150,000 digital audiobooks of all genres. Membership costs about $15 a month. When you sign up, you’ll select the independent bookstore you want your purchases to support, and typically, the company splits the profits with that shop. Right now, all proceeds are going to the bookstores.

Both Audible and supply ample instructions, and getting started requires little more than a working device and an eager reader.

– Click over to websites that provide free books.

For decades, Project Gutenberg has made copyright-free e-books available on the Internet. Don’t expect to find any current bestsellers, but there’s a rich selection of more than 60,000 older titles that you can download to your device or read in your web browser. The site’s “top 100” list includes “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Library of Congress also offers a selection of free classics you can read online. Many of the choices are kid- and adventure-oriented, like “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Treasure Island.” After Cambridge University Press made more than 700 textbooks free through the end of May, demand was too high for their website to withstand. There may still be a chance to cozy up with a copy of “Psychopathology” or “Nietzsche,” however. The press is working to “reinstate free access as soon as possible.”

– Attend a virtual book talk.

In-person events are on hold, but bookstores are still finding creative ways for authors to engage with readers. Hilary Leichter was scheduled to talk about her new novel “Temporary” at Brooklyn-based Books Are Magic the same day the shop canceled all March events, for example, so staffers pivoted to a virtual version. The shop uploaded a fun, chatty conversation with Leichter (and her ukulele) to its Instagram page. Upcoming virtual talks will feature Paul Lisicky and Joseph Fink, among others.

Similarly, Washington bookstore Politics and Prose announced it was launching P&P Live, a series of author events streamed online. Those who tune in can submit questions for the speakers, including Emily St. John Mandel and Bess Kalb.

Another example of making the best of disrupted plans: Anne Bogel, the popular blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy, had to cancel her tour to promote her latest book. So she’s launching the Stay at Home Book Tour, which kicks off March 23 and will include talks by authors such as Kimmery Martin and Ariel Lawhon. No selfies or signing, she says, but the events will be free and open to the first 500 people who log on via the video conferencing platform Zoom.

– Participate in an online book club.

What to do if half the fun of reading a book is talking about it? Talk from afar. The Washington,Public Library is putting a virtual spin on its book club: Elizabeth Acevedo’s “With the Fire on High” is up first, and for a few Saturdays, the library will host Twitter chats focusing on different sections of the book.

Of course, no commute is too long in virtual book-club land. Aside from checking what your local library and bookstores are offering, consider more global options. The Quarantine Book Club, for example, popped up to host online discussions with authors. And the writer Yiyun Li is hosting a virtual club to discuss Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” – follow along at

– Live-stream story time.

There are many options for children, too. Penguin Kids is hosting authors and illustrators who will read their stories on Instagram each weekday at 11 a.m., and the Brooklyn Public Library is live-streaming their story time in the afternoon and again before bedtime. Join on the library’s Facebook page or website.

In Ohio, the superintendent of Medina City Schools is live-streaming story time from his YouTube channel. The books – like Ferida Wolff’s “Is a Worry Worrying You?” – are selected to provide kids with support during such unusual times.

It’s also a chance for A-listers to read you a story: Actresses Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner launched #SaveWithStories, a charity-driven initiative in which celebrities read children’s books on Instagram. Brie Larson, for example, read “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” while Reese Witherspoon delivered a spirited rendition of “Uni the Unicorn.” Donations will help the nonprofits Save the Children and No Kid Hungry ensure that kids have access to meals during school closures.

12 productive things you can do to feel better about being stuck at home #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

12 productive things you can do to feel better about being stuck at home

Mar 20. 2020
File photo by Syndication Washington Post

File photo by Syndication Washington Post
By Special To The Washington Post · Nicole Anzia · FEATURES, HOMEGARDEN

Now that the coronavirus has sent workers and students home, closed businesses and canceled events, it’s going to be important to create new routines and find meaningful ways to spend our long days at home. The following organizing tasks are simple and will help you structure your day and create a small sense of control.

– Order picture frames and albums: Do you have a stack of photos you have been meaning to put in frames or photo albums? If so, take a few minutes online to find options that will work for you, and place the order. Depending on how long social distancing lasts, you may even have time to put those photos into the frames and albums.

– Send notes: Write those thank-you cards that you have had on your to-do list for the past few months. If you don’t have any thank-you notes to send, just send a few written notes or cards to friends. It will make you feel good to keep up some connection offline, and the recipient will be thrilled to open some real mail.

– Organize and minimize your inbox: Spend 15 minutes deleting and filing emails. You’ll be amazed at how much you can lighten your inbox in a small amount of time. For bonus points, do this every day for a full week.

– Wash and store winter items: Wash winter coats, hats and gloves that are launderable. Set aside for donation those items that your family members have outgrown, and properly store the rest.

– Meal planning: The upside to not sending kids to school and not going into an office is that you don’t have to pack lunches. On the other hand, with everyone at home, you will have to make three meals a day. Spend 20 minutes one day a week thinking through lunches and dinners. This will make mealtimes feel less stressful and rushed, and you can make sure you have everything you need in advance. With stores having uneven inventory, ensuring you can prepare what you want is important.

– Wash backpacks and reusable bags: When is the last time you washed your kids’ backpacks and any of the reusable tote bags you bring to the grocery store or on errands? For most people, the answer is never, but now you have time to get them cleaned up and germ-free. Will this change your life? No. But it will feel good for both you and your kids to start fresh when normal life resumes.

– Clean your car: If you have a car, this is the perfect time to clean it. This activity has the extra bonus of getting you outside for a portion of your day. Start by taking everything out, and then wipe down the surfaces and vacuum the floors and seats. Finish by cleaning the windows inside and out. This is something kids can help with.

– Deep-clean your kitchen cabinets: This is an activity that you don’t have to do all at once, but it will keep you busy for 30 minutes each day for a couple of days. Take things out of your drawers and cabinets and wipe down the insides. Put items that you no longer want or use in a bag for donation, and toss expired food. Put things back neatly. Wipe down both the inside and outside of your cabinet doors and all of the pulls, too.

– Move furniture in one room and clean: Get some help from other family members to move your family room or living room furniture and clean underneath, either with a vacuum or Swiffer. While you’re at it, take the cushions off the couch and chairs and vacuum them, too.

– Refresh your bookcases: Take all the books and items off one bookshelf in the house. Put books that you no longer want in a bag to donate, wipe down the shelves and put everything back in a new configuration.

– Write down goals for the rest of 2020: Some of us made a list of goals at the beginning of the year, but if you didn’t, now is a good time to make one. It will help you visualize life after the coronavirus and help you prioritize in the coming months. If you already have a list, take a look and revise as necessary. If you’re making a new list, be sure to include larger home projects you would like to complete, ideas for things you want to do with your kids and professional goals.

– Streamline your bill-paying: If you’re still a holdout to online bill-paying, this is the perfect time to get set up. If you’re just getting started, entering the information for all of your payees does take a while, but you don’t have to do it all at once, and the time you spend now will save you countless hours later. If you already have online bill-pay, take a look at your recipients to make sure they’re current, and add any new vendors. Alternatively, call the companies you pay each month and set up automatic bill-pay through them.

Many of us have wished for more time at home to get things done, and, well, now we have it. Using this opportunity to do some cleaning and organizing will not only make you feel more in control and save you time later, but it will also give you a sense of renewal and accomplishment.

– – –

Anzia is a freelance writer and owner of Neatnik.

Whose bedroom becomes the infirmary? Group-house living just got a whole lot trickier #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Whose bedroom becomes the infirmary? Group-house living just got a whole lot trickier

Mar 18. 2020
From left, housemates Sam Lane, Zack Johnson, Dutch Seitz and Zach Lane have stocked up on extra food and toilet paper. Seitz is prepared to cede his bedroom to anyone who gets sick. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein

From left, housemates Sam Lane, Zack Johnson, Dutch Seitz and Zach Lane have stocked up on extra food and toilet paper. Seitz is prepared to cede his bedroom to anyone who gets sick. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein
By The Washington Post · Maura Judkis · FEATURES, HOMEGARDEN, RELATIONSHIPS 

WASHINGTON – The best room in the four-dude D.C. group house is also the most isolated – up on the third floor, with pine-tree wall art, big windows and its own bathroom and shower. It belongs to Dutch Seitz. But if our current national nightmare infiltrates their home, the 26-year-old is prepared to move a few of his possessions to a small, spare room with an air mattress, allowing his coveted third-floor spot to become the infirmary.

That’s the deal he and his housemates made as Washington, along with much of the nation, girds itself for an outbreak: If one of them gets covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, Seitz’s room is where the sick will go: sealed into the navy-and-white-clad annex without hesitation, with only a mounted stag for company. It’s like “The Cask of Amontillado,” but with Netflix.

Sam Lane and Dutch Seitz clean the spare bedroom in their Washington, D.C., group house. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein

Sam Lane and Dutch Seitz clean the spare bedroom in their Washington, D.C., group house. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein

“It’s a necessary sacrifice for the greater good,” says Seitz. Late last week, even though his housemates were in good health, he packed a bag of about 10 days’ worth of clothing to stash in the spare room so he could be ready to move there at a moment’s notice.

The designated sick room has its own climate control, so the sick person’s air wouldn’t recirculate back through the house’s HVAC. Between that and the private bathroom, it would be possible, in theory, to cut off contact between the infected housemate and his roommates, who would deliver food and medication outside his door.

Zach Lane has stocked up on nonperishable food and toilet paper. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein

Zach Lane has stocked up on nonperishable food and toilet paper. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Evelyn Hockstein

It’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends in its guide to caring for a stricken member of your household: “Stay in a specific room” with its own bathroom, “avoid sharing personal household items” and “clean all ‘high-touch’ surfaces every day.”

“The only avenue we haven’t addressed is, once that person has healed, how we’d disinfect that room afterward,” he says. “It would be the responsibility of the person who was sick,” he supposes.”I would be following through with a secondary disinfectant after that.” (It’s all moot if more than one of them gets sick, of course.)

In communal houses across Washington right now, there are group texts and house meetings where discussions of who is responsible for scrubbing the toilet have given way to planning for what will happen if – when, really – the virus strikes. Few of these 20-somethings are worried about the actual symptoms – their demographic has among the best survival rates – but rather, the disruption to their lives and the possibility of transmission. Some of those housemates are longtime friends looking for an extension of college fun, while others are in the unnerving position of having to wait out a deadly global pandemic with a near-stranger from Craigslist. Maybe they are lucky to have each other. Or maybe they should have sprung for the tiny studio apartment instead. Maybe they’ll soon find out one way or the other.

“It’s easy to feel kind of powerless when you’re living with multiple people in a small space,” says Magen Eissenstat, a 25-year-old nonprofit worker who lives in a share house. “Your friends kind of become your family, and this has kind of driven that home. It’s made it a much bigger deal when you realize that you might be stuck in the house with people.”

People living in group houses can socially distance from the world, but not from one another.

“We all live so closely together and we share bathrooms,” says Jason Johnson, a 25-year-old Capitol Hill staffer who lives in a group house with three other roommates he found via Craigslist. If one were to get sick, “it’s almost inevitable that each of us is going to get the virus.”

They haven’t done much to prepare for that “inevitable” possibility, either. In Johnson’s house, as in many group houses, everyone buys their own groceries, and they take turns buying shared items, like cleaning supplies. And toilet paper. Which, as Johnson just realized, is about to become a big problem.

“We have one six-pack left. I was planning to get some after work,” he says. “I guess I need to check Amazon.” Good luck, pal. (Yes, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, but we’re scrambling for toilet paper just like the rest of you.)

“One of our house members bought a lot of food for himself, but that’s one out of four of us,” says Zach Lane, 24, who lives in the house with Seitz. “We all cook our own food. There’s no sharing.”

They wouldn’t let each other go hungry, of course. Still, an alert went out on the house group text last week: Go to Costco. ASAP.

“I bought food on Sunday for the whole entire week, because I might be working from home, but I don’t have weeks or months of food,” says Lane. “I’ll probably have to go to the store in five days.”

Five days. That’s a long time to be together, especially for houses with members that – as some note proudly in their Craigslist ads for open rooms – tend to spend almost no time at home. But emergency telework policies have turned housemates into officemates. Officemates who never part ways.

“It might start out kind of as a party, but I feel like we will quickly go into a cabin fever feeling,” says Don Masse, 27, who lives in the same house as Johnson. “We’re a fairly social and outgoing house.”

In Thomas Carpenter’s five-person group house, there will be plenty of video-game sessions in the living room. Over at another group house, Shannon McDermott and her housemates are doing group yoga and watching “Cheer,” a Netflix series shot in the before times when crowds were benign and colleges had students. At the share house nicknamed “Dolphin House” – it came with three large dolphin emblems surrounding its front door – American University student Ben Davis, 23, plans to hold big group dinners with his housemates, all recent grads except for one new guy who arrived to Dolphin House just as the coronavirus was arriving to most U.S. states.

“We brought in a random person who is a Vanderbilt guy,” says Davis. “We’ve only known him about two weeks now.” Based on early observations, he seems like a reliable hand-washer.

Things are a little more tense over at Blaine Smith’s group house. The 23-year-old public health researcher has three roommates, but one of them just lost a paid internship thanks to coronavirus shutdowns and can’t afford to stay. So they’ll need to find a subletter. That means inviting a bunch of strangers over to see the place.

“It is definitely nerve-racking that there are going to be people coming through our house to tour it, and movers,” says Smith. The standard D.C. group house interview questions – Are you messy? Do you work long hours? Do you have people over? – may be replaced with more pressing ones, such as: How frequently do you wipe down your doorknobs?

“We just had our March house meeting, where we talked about what we would be doing to keep surfaces a little more clean,” says Smith. “We are all adults that are living very different and separate lives,” which makes those check-ins more important. “If I lived with my parents … it would be a bit easier to navigate, because our lives would be a bit more connected.”

Cleaning is all anyone can talk about at McDermott’s house. Last week, one of the housemates returned from visiting a friend in Spain, which has the fifth-highest total of confirmed coronavirus infections in the world and the second-highest in Europe.

“I personally am kind of spooked by it,” says McDermott. At first, the housemates thought they would try to stay six feet away from one another, but they realized doing so probably wouldn’t work due to the shared kitchen and bathrooms.

So they’re all going to self-quarantine together for two weeks. McDermott canceled her birthday party. The housemates pulled together a good supply of Lysol, hand soap and medicine, and McDermott ordered thermometer probe covers. No one will leave the house, except to go on the porch.

They’re not holding it against the housemate, who had left for the trip to Spain before things got bad.

“I’m happy that I live with people,” says housemate Amanda Riddle, 24. “I know that it’s a little bit scary because you could have multiple exposure points, but I personally am quite extroverted and I like to be around my friends.”

But not all of her friends live in her house, so just before her housemate returned, Riddle went on a farewell tour, of sorts: She spent the evening visiting friends at their homes, knowing that she wouldn’t be seeing them for two weeks. Then, she made one last trip to the grocery store for essentials: coffee and oat milk, frozen vegetables, pizza dough, cans of tomato soup, sour cream and onion chips, more cheese (“of course”), mint chocolate chip ice cream. And few other items:

“Four bottles of wine,” added McDermott. “That’s the big one.”

No gatherings over 50 people, the CDC says. Here’s what couples are doing with their wedding plans. #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

No gatherings over 50 people, the CDC says. Here’s what couples are doing with their wedding plans.

Mar 17. 2020
By The Washington Post · Lisa Bonos · FEATURES, RELATIONSHIPS 

Days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to postpone or cancel gatherings of more than 50 people, Robyn Macy, 29, and her fiance, Andrew, were already downsizing their March 21 wedding.

The original plan: 180 people a venue in Tarrytown, New York, black-tie dress, with a wedding band coaxing people out onto the dance floor. The new plan: 25 people in Andrew’s parents’ living room, twinkle lights strewn about, dinner and a homemade cake, no dancing. The guest list is capped at the couple, their immediate families, the rabbi who’s officiating, bridal party and best friends. Everyone will still wear their tuxes and gowns.

Like many other couples around the country, Robyn and Andrew are postponing their larger celebration, which will now take place in August.

But they didn’t want to wait six months to tie the knot.

“Even this feels a bit Prohibition-y,” Macy said in a phone interview Monday, “because Trump just said no gatherings of more than 10 people.”

Planning a wedding is stressful on its own. Replanning it while a pandemic is unfolding is a whole new level of stress. To help couples cope, the Knot and Wedding Wire launched a 24/7 hotline staffed with wedding planners and experts. Callers are asking things like: “I have a wedding in June. Should I postpone?” says Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of the Knot. “Or: I need to postpone because it’s in 3 weeks. How do I start?”

Some people just want to be heard, Maxwell Cooper says. “Couples understand that there are bigger things at play, but it’s still a disappointing thing. Sometimes they just want someone to tell them they’re allowed to feel disappointed and upset.”

To Macy, the chaos of this moment has been clarifying. Her mantra to her fiance has been: “As long as I get to marry you, I don’t care.”

“The whole point of this is to marry your person,” Macy adds. “At the end of the day, if you get to do that, you’re winning.”

Here’s what couples are doing, and professionals are suggesting, to amend wedding plans.

– Find alternatives

Weddings are all about bringing people together, which becomes tricky during a period of social distancing. Susan Cordogan, founder of the Chicago-based event planning company Big City Bride, suggested using technology to help include those who can’t attend in person.

“We’ve had the best man read the father’s toast, and had the toast live-streamed,” Cordogan said of past clients. Virtual guest books and prerecorded speeches can help, too.

When it comes to food and drinks, she advised skipping communal and self-service options like buffets, though the recommended alternatives of individually plated options are more expensive.

Obviously those who were planning weddings of more than 50 people will have to postpone or cancel. But even those beyond the next eight weeks should come up with a Plan B, suggests Maxwell Cooper, so talk to your vendors. “You may not have to execute a plan B, but come up with one,” she says, starting with brainstorming a backup date and then letting your guests and vendors know.

Vendors have been extremely accommodating, Maxwell Cooper notes, and couples will need to be flexible as well. That might mean rescheduling what would have been a Saturday wedding for a Thursday, Friday or Sunday wedding.

– Make it smaller (or private)

Bree Ryback, a day-of wedding coordinator in Washington, reminds couples that they can always go to courthouse and get married. A wedding reception is “a party; you can move parties,” she said, adding that the District even allows for self-uniting marriages in which one partner acts as the officiant. So even if you and your partner are self-quarantined, you could still get married – and celebrate later.

Sarah Yates, 25, and her fiance Byron, 26, had been planning a 130-person wedding for March 28 in Laguna Beach, California. They recently decided to postpone the big celebration until July. But in the meantime, they’re planning a wedding with nine people (themselves included). On March 28, Sarah and Byron, along with their moms and best friends, plan to drive from Laguna Beach four hours north to Morro Bay, where Sarah and Bryon got engaged 15 months ago.

“This whole process of not being able to have the wedding that you planned for 15 months is the best reminder of why you’re getting married in the first place,” Yates said in a phone interview Monday, adding that she and Byron have become so much closer in having to be flexible and make these big decisions around their nuptials. “Getting married has such a bigger and deeper meaning than one day. . . . I could get married in a laundromat; I don’t really care,” she added.

In the event that they can’t drive up to Morro Bay, the couple said they would just take some cool pictures around the house and gather a few core folks in their backyard. “We have plan A thru Z and backwards,” Yates said. “The big thing right now is: We’re still healthy; we’re OK. There are bigger things in the world.”

– Postponing

Adam Ezring and Heather Foster, who live in Washington, had planned a May 3 wedding in Italy but are postponing until August. “We had some friends propose that we just get married in D.C. and do a one-year anniversary trip to Italy. But we’re not ready to give up on our dream wedding yet,” Ezring said.

Adam Sontag and his fiance are in the process of rescheduling their April 4 wedding in New Jersey. They don’t have a new date yet, but Sontag reports that their venue and photographer have already offered to be flexible. “We want to feel good about everyone attending doing so when they also will feel good about it,” Sontag wrote in an email, adding that postponing the wedding “relieves some of the incredible stress of this moment, as we can now go back to just being worried about this moment, rather than how it will affect our wedding.”

– While postponing, you can still mark that special day

While shifting to a later date, Maxwell Cooper still encourages couples to find a way to celebrate the day they had intended to get married. That could be by making a favorite dish and opening a bottle of wine you’d been saving for your honeymoon. Or watching a favorite movie or show together.

– Insurance

When Ezring and Foster were planning their wedding in Italy, they didn’t even know wedding insurance existed. They found just two providers that covered Italy: One had an update on its website saying it doesn’t cover cancellations because of the coronavirus, and the other didn’t respond to a request for comment. “Even if we had bought it, it would be debatable about whether it would be covered,” Foster said.

Borales notes that most wedding venues in Washington require the hosts to take out liability insurance. “We always suggest to get insurance,” Borales said, which typically runs $300 to $600. However, it’s unclear whether wedding insurers will cover the costs of events canceled due to the coronavirus. “This is not something any of us have really had an opportunity to work through,” she said.

Seward Johnson, Johnson & Johnson heir who sculpted real-life images in bronze, dies at 89 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Seward Johnson, Johnson & Johnson heir who sculpted real-life images in bronze, dies at 89

Mar 15. 2020

Seward Johnson, a sculptor whose lifelike works have become familiar sights on street corners and in public spaces throughout the country and whose personal wealth, as an heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune, enabled him to create a sculpture park and foundry in New Jersey, died March 10 at his home in Key West, Florida. He was 89.

The cause was cancer, said Rhoades Alderson, a family spokesperson.

Johnson came from one of the country’s richest families but struggled for years to find his niche in life. He tried working in his family’s business, which makes Band-Aids, Tylenol and countless other products, before discovering his vocation through art.

“It all started when my uncle fired me,” Johnson told the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark in 2000. “I’m dyslexic, you know, and there I was, with no university degree, as they say, no where, no way. I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.”

In the late 1960s, he began to focus his energies on sculpture, making hyper-realistic bronze statues, often of enormous scale, that invited people to interact with them. Taxi drivers have been known to stop outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, the site of one of Johnson’s sculptures of a man hailing a taxi.

Others portray people reading or talking on park benches or are three-dimensional representations of famous works of art, including scenes from impressionist paintings and the photograph of Marilyn Monroe’s white dress being blown above her knees.

“No one knows his name, but everyone knows his sculptures,” David Levy, the onetime director of Washington’s old Corcoran Gallery of Art, told the Chicago Tribune in 2003.

Several of Johnson’s works, including portrayals of a skateboarder, a police officer and a woman sketching, have been installed in Washington. One of his best-known pieces, “The Awakening,” is now at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County. It consists of a gigantic head, arm, hand, knee and foot emerging from the earth. Children often climb on the colossal work.

“Public art has to be accessible,” Johnson said in a video made for a 2019 exhibition of his work in Nantucket, Massachusetts. “It also civilizes an area – it ‘peoplizes’ it, it makes it inviting to the human being . . . It’s all interaction, it’s ‘please touch.’ ”

Johnson created hundreds of sculptures, yet for many years he was considered a dabbler, a purveyor of kitsch, a rich dilettante who was scorned by critics and the art establishment. He did not have an exhibition in a museum until 2003, when the Corcoran Gallery presented “Beyond the Frame,” Johnson’s sculptural tableaus based on paintings by Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh and other impressionist masters.

“Let’s not mince words: This show is really, really bad,” Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik wrote. “I can assert with a fair degree of certainty: This is the worst museum exhibition I’ve ever seen.”

Other artists, such as George Segal, Duane Hanson and Jeff Koons, had earned critical praise for their realistic, life-size sculptures, but Johnson was lambasted for being derivative and unoriginal, for having poor technique and “no imaginative component that I can see,” as Time magazine critic Robert Hughes put it.

Johnson took the critical brickbats in stride and kept on working. Near his studio in New Jersey, he established the Seward Johnson Atelier, consisting of a school for sculptors and one of the world’s leading foundries for casting large-scale works in bronze.

He converted the onetime site of the state fair in Hamilton, New Jersey, into the Grounds for Sculpture, now consisting of 42 acres of outdoor artworks. He exhibited his own sculptures along with those of such acclaimed artists as Segal, Beverly Pepper and Red Grooms.

“Seward is the artist that everybody loves to hate,” Corcoran director David Levy told the New York Times in 2002. “But quietly and selflessly, he is an enormously important citizen of art. He’s above and beyond patronage. The atelier and Grounds for Sculpture are grand contributions.”

Some of Johnson’s work has acquired a deeper and more lasting meaning than even he could have imagined. In 1982, he created a sculpture, “Double Check,” depicting a businessman looking in his briefcase, which was installed near the World Trade Center in New York.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an estimated $100 million worth of art near the World Trade Center was destroyed. Johnson’s “Double Check” survived intact. Firefighters arriving at the scene tried to rescue the seated businessman, covered in debris, before realizing he was made of bronze.

The sculpture became an impromptu memorial, adorned with flowers, balloons and personal notes. It was a symbol not only of the workers who lost their lives that day, but also of a spirit of determination to keep forging ahead through the sorrow.

“Double Check” was reinstalled near the site of the World Trade Center in 2006, still bearing the gouges and scars of 9/11.

“I thought of him as a businessman Everyman – with his briefcase – getting ready for his next appointment,” Johnson told the Times in 2005, “and people identified with him. So when he survived, it was as if he was one of them – surviving as well.”

John Seward Johnson Jr. was born April 16, 1930, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. His father was on the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson, which was founded in 1886 by three brothers. His mother, a homemaker, was from Bermuda.

In 1932, not long after the young son of aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped and killed, someone tried to break into the Johnson family mansion, presumably in an attempt to kidnap the 2-year-old Johnson or his younger sister.

“My father shot the man in the leg, and he fell off his ladder,” Johnson told the Times in 2002. “He was arrested later. But my father became obsessed about security.”

Johnson grew up mostly in New Jersey and attended a private school in Connecticut and the University of Maine before serving in the Navy during and after the Korean War. He spent several years working for Johnson & Johnson before being fired in 1962 by his uncle.

After a tumultuous early marriage to Barbara Kline ended in divorce, Johnson married writer Cecelia Joyce Horton in 1964. They began painting together, and she suggested that he take up sculpture because of his mechanical aptitude. His first effort, a nude in a fetal position, won an international award.

“I haven’t won a prize since, but I knew what I wanted to do,” Johnson told the Star-Ledger in 2000. He went on to sell tens of millions of dollars worth of sculptures, with individual works going for as much as $500,000. In time, some critics were even won over, and his work can be found in private collections and museums all over the world.

“In the corporate world, I wasn’t having fun,” he said in 2010. “In the world I chose for these last many decades, I am. And what’s life without fun?”

In 1971, Johnson’s 76-year-old father married his former maid, a 34-year-old Polish immigrant named Barbara “Basia” Piasecka. Weeks before the elder Johnson’s death in 1983, he revised his will to leave his entire fortune, worth an estimated $400 million to $600 million, to his wife. His six children were omitted.

As the eldest child, Johnson led a long court fight to contest the inheritance.

“When Basia was asked to come and clean house,” he said in 1985, “she took it idiomatically instead of literally.”

After three years and $25 million in legal fees, each of the six Johnson children was awarded $6 million, with millions more going to a family-founded oceanographic institute in Florida, which had also been excluded from the will.

Basia Johnson ended up as one of the richest women in the world. She died in Poland in 2013.

In a separate court case resolved in 2001, Johnson’s daughter from his first marriage, Jenny Anne “Cookie” Johnson, successfully sued to receive a portion of a multimillion-dollar family trust.

Johnson’s survivors include his wife of 55 years, Cecelia Joyce Johnson; their two children, John Seward Johnson III, a founder of the BuzzFeed media website, and India Blake, a poet and photographer; two sisters; a half sister and half brother; and five grandchildren.

Johnson, whose primary home was in Hopewell, New Jersey, continued to make artworks until shortly before his death. The Grounds for Sculpture has become a pilgrimage site for art lovers, and Johnson often led singalongs at a nearby restaurant.

One of his more playful works, which he created near his studio, was a three-dimensional replica of van Gogh’s 1889 painting “The Bedroom.” It came outfitted with a bed and a drawer that contained Johnson’s tap-dancing shoes.

“I take naps in here sometimes,” he told the Times in 2002. “Once, when I woke up, I had so much energy I put on my shoes and danced. I’m living in my own dream, you see.”

I’ve been working from home for eight days. The Netflix-and-quarantine life is not that chill. #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

I’ve been working from home for eight days. The Netflix-and-quarantine life is not that chill.

Mar 11. 2020
For columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler, tech has been a blessing and a curse while working from home. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler.

For columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler, tech has been a blessing and a curse while working from home. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler.
By  The Washington Post · Geoffrey A. Fowler · BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, CAREER-WORKPLACE

It’s been eight days since I last stepped into the office. Like thousands of other workers in California, I’ve been doing my job (and staying put) at home to avoid spreading or catching the coronavirus contagion called covid-19

This isn’t my first outbreak: Seventeen years ago, I self-quarantined in my Hong Kong apartment for three weeks to avoid the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

My work-from-home beard is the same. But this time, the Internet has changed everything else.

The work-from-home beard is the same. But since SARS in 2003, the Internet has changed everything else about the experience of self-quarantine. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler.

The work-from-home beard is the same. But since SARS in 2003, the Internet has changed everything else about the experience of self-quarantine. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Geoffrey A. Fowler.

From my couch, I can have a face-to-face with my boss, who commented on the beard. Just using my phone, I can brainstorm with co-workers. Or get lunch delivered. Or have groceries dropped at my door. Or check out a book from the library. Or join a (virtual) happy hour. Or watch pretty much any movie.

It’s a Netflix-and-quarantine life. But it’s not particularly chill.

My San Francisco self-quarantine is an experiment to see how far an app-operated life can stretch. The experience is easy, but it hasn’t put me at ease. Video conferencing fails 50 percent of the time. The online tools I’m using – Slack, Microsoft Office, Dropbox – treat work as paramount, so it never really goes away. I’m paying double for food delivered by apps. My Apple Watch, which tracks physical activity, beeped with a message: Geoff, you can do better. I turn on my Apple TV, and the outbreak is there, too, pitching “Contagion,” the trending movie about dying from a disease spread in part by touching your face. (I indulged the paranoia.)

Then there was the morning my broadband went out.

Quarantine might not seem like a big sacrifice, but my experience shows it’s no snow day. It lays bare the vulnerabilities – and the vulnerable – in our online-everything economy.

My online cloister is nowhere close to the nightmare facing the people under medical orders to quarantine or isolate in hotels, nursing homes and cruise ships. To limit the spread of the disease, Microsoft, Twitter and other companies told their employees in early March to start working from home. I followed their lead and self-quarantined to see how it might feel different with all of today’s tech. On Tuesday, The Washington Post encouraged employees all over the United States to start working from home if they could.

Even before the coronavirus, there was a name for the Internet’s on-demand economy: hermit tech. Or sometimes, assisted living for millennials. “You already live in quarantine,” wrote Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ian Bogost last week about apps ranging from Netflix and Instagram to DoorDash and Amazon Prime Now that help people practice the “social distancing” being recommended by some health authorities. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

There’s not a huge difference between living in a millennial bubble and being cloistered. Over the past week, growth in the use of grocery-delivery service Instacart has surged by 10 times in California and Washington and by 20 times in New York, says spokeswoman Natalia Montalvo. On Instacart, searches for hand sanitizer increased by 23 times.

Now this tech has a more urgent purpose than the luxury of convenience. It makes staying at home possible (and much more palatable) to people who can afford it. For the fortunate, work, shopping and even school can be rerouted through the Internet. But it also bakes in tech-industry assumptions about work happening behind a keyboard, not to mention access to resources and how we interact with others. These apps were designed by engineers with efficiency as the No. 1 goal.

My hermit-tech lifestyle is extreme for the United States because I’m also avoiding leaving my house. But it’s not that far off from the new reality elsewhere, now including parts of New York state. In some Chinese cities, people have been in quarantine for over a month and online services are even more advanced. My favorite example: In locked-down Wuhan, teachers use an app called DingTalk to remotely assign homework. So thousands of kids gave it one-star reviews in hopes it would get booted from the App Store.

Depending on the speed covid-19 spreads here, I could be on the leading edge of a great American self-quarantine. That would test many aspects of our government, economy and – closer at hand – personal technology. So it’s time to ask: Is the home WiFi ready? And just how much power are we handing over to Silicon Valley’s values?

During SARS, when I also worked as a newspaper reporter, I had Internet access in my apartment. But in 2003, working meant going into the office. Texting still required repeatedly tapping on my phone’s numerical keypad.

Most of my remote work got done over email. In the month of April 2003 alone, I sent and received over 1,100 emails that contained the word SARS. (I kept the archives.) Going through my inbox required logging into a secure PC.

This time, working from home felt pretty unremarkable . . . at first. I often take calls from home at odd hours, or stay home for a day jamming on a project. Some 43 percent of Americans work from home at least some, according to a 2017 Gallup poll.

I knew my WiFi would hold. I’d previously invested in a mesh router (I recommend Eero). And I was already plugged into work with cloud-connected office tech that I can access on my office laptop, personal iMac, smartphone and tablet, too. I signed up for more Slack messaging channels, so I could better track what everyone was doing.

Not all of it worked as advertised. I know video conferencing has major devotees, but in my experience it has worked about half of the time. My smart Post colleagues dig up amazing scoops but are continually befuddled by Cisco Webex. For some meetings with far-flung people, I’m the only one on video because nobody else could make it work.

Then, at 8:45 a.m. on my third day at home, I had a real jolt: My Internet went down. My heart raced as I ran around the house trying to figure out what happened. I blame my Internet service provider Comcast, though it tells me there were no major outages in my area. The problem fixed itself, but uh-oh: What’s going to happen when networks designed for home use suddenly get stressed by millions? Even when you pay extra for faster downloads, with many residential broadband services you are still sharing a limited resource with all your neighbors.

As the days tick by, I’ve noticed a bigger problem. Without any boundaries between work and life, I just keep working. No screen is an escape. Why, oh why, did I sign up for all those Slack channels? The software just keeps sending me a mountain of information; it doesn’t care if I’m actually processing it. I’m part of the problem. I feel guilty WFH, and sending Slack messages at all hours lets me show what a good colleague I am!

There is no technology to replace the intel you get in an office: that someone is on a call, having a bad day, or at home taking care of a sick kid. I can only imagine how these frustrations multiply if you also have kids on coronavirus leave from school bouncing around the house.

Friends and colleagues who work remotely on a regular basis advise a few things no office app is going to do for you: Use a separate, dedicated work device. Have a dedicated work wardrobe – at least different WFH pajamas and sleep pajamas, as Vice noted. And most of all, have clear remote work hours that end with a daily ritual like working out. Or a stiff cocktail.

During my 2003 confinement, I ate canned soup, frozen dumplings and peanut butter. So much peanut butter.

That’s what I had in my supplies, which I didn’t venture out to replenish very often, both to respect my boss’s marching orders and, to be honest, because I was terrified. During those weeks when the mechanics of SARS remained a mystery, the safe bet was not to trust anyone. There was no Prime, no same-day delivery. If you wanted something, you had to wait a week or put on a mask and go find a store selling it.

Fast forward and my coronavirus self-quarantine has been delicious. I can choose from thousands of restaurants from delivery apps that bring the food right to my door.

But it hasn’t been cheap. On my first day at home, a $10.78 Impossible Whopper meal from Burger King ran me a whopping $24.46 through Uber Eats.

One time, I asked the DoorDash driver bringing me Thai takeout if he worried about being out interacting with so many people. His was a tale of two Silicon Valleys: He’s doing on-demand work for apps, while his girlfriend, who works for a tech company, has been ordered to work from home indefinitely. “I’ve got cars and stuff I’ve got to pay for. So I have to go out and get it,” said the driver, who asked not to be named.

“Maybe I’m a little less afraid of it than other people are,” he said. “But I know that my immune system is like every other person.”

As my colleague Nitasha Tiku has written, the on-demand economy conditions us to not think about why these services are affordable. Gig workers typically don’t get paid sick leave or masks and sanitizer as they run around town, though on Monday Instacart and DoorDash announced new sick pay policies for in-store shoppers.

Both DoorDash and Instacart also began promoting “contactless” deliveries – an option for people who order online to say “leave it at my door.” To borrow a favorite techie phrase, it’s social distancing “as a service.”

I lost it around day three during SARS. That’s when I emailed my work friend Karen: “I’m getting worried that this is messing with me psychologically. I tried to go to the grocery store about an hour ago, but couldn’t make it out the door. I sat down and ate peanut butter instead.”

My entertainment options included a small collection of DVDs, terrestrial TV, books and telephone calls. Some friends passed the hours with the help of an Xbox, but I didn’t have one.

This time around, I lost it around day five. There’s certainly a lot more to keep me entertained: I eat lunch with Twitter, tracking the infected cruise ship docking a few miles away in Oakland. There’s a growing list of streaming services that each want $8 to $35 per month to keep me entertained: Apple TV Plus, CBS, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Sling TV and Netflix. By my rough estimate, I’ve streamed at least 30 hours of TV over eight days.

I checked out an e-book from the library for my book club but can’t seem to find the focus to finish it. I’ve also become a sloth: Normally, I walk 3.9 miles per day, according to my Apple Watch. In the past week, I’ve averaged less than one mile per day.

A group of tech workers and journalists working at home experimented with a form of virtual socializing on Monday: A 5:00 #WFHHappyHour streamed over Zoom video. Sadly, when I joined few participants seemed to actually have cocktails.

I hit peak anxiety on Saturday night when I sat on my couch with a plate of cookies and streamed the 2011 thriller “Contagion.” The Apple TV movie store recommended it to me and, apparently, lots and lots of other Americans, because it’s currently the second most popular film in the Warner Bros. catalog, up from 270th last year.

Well, if I wasn’t freaked out before, I sure am now. In the film, a disease spreads much like the coronavirus, with health officials reminding people to wash their hands and not touch their faces . . . until it kills off millions and millions of people.

Shortly after I finished the movie, there was a knock at the door. It was my groceries from Instacart. I brought them inside and felt compelled to wipe them all down with antiseptic wipes.

Perhaps I need to try meditating. There are apps for that, too.

Six kids, $17 billion and a billionaire’s plan to keep his Russian wealth stable #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Six kids, $17 billion and a billionaire’s plan to keep his Russian wealth stable

Mar 08. 2020
Alexey Mordashov, poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 24, 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Chris Ratcliffe.

Alexey Mordashov, poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 24, 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Chris Ratcliffe.
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Yuliya Fedorinova, Alex Sazonov · BUSINESS, WORLD, EUROPE

Alexey Mordashov has faced plenty of challenges building an empire spanning gold, power, steel and tourism. Now he has to work out how to pass a $17 billion fortune to his children in a country with no precedent for wealth transfer on this scale, and without destabilizing the massive business.

“As many as 140,000 people work for my companies, and I am responsible for them. I need to think about how to make the system stable when inherited,” Mordashov, a father of six and Russia’s fifth-richest person, said in an interview near Moscow.

Mordashov, 54, said he’s developing a plan for the wealth transfer, while helping his children prepare for the responsibility. He’s one of dozens of tycoons including Vladimir Potanin, Suleiman Kerimov and Leonid Fedun who got enormously rich in post-Soviet Russia now intensifying efforts to figure out what to do with their fortunes.

Their children, frequently entering adulthood, are among the first to gain power and money by inheritance after the communist regime’s collapse. It’s a process that will have profound ramifications for the country’s economy and politics.

Some businesses employ hundreds of thousands of people, their leaders are frequently close allies of President Vladimir Putin and there’s more than $270 billion at stake for just 23 people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“Russia is practically the only country in the world where there have been no precedents for the transfer of large fortunes by inheritance for almost a hundred years,” said Andrey Shpak, head of research at the Wealth Transformation Center at Skolkovo Moscow School of Management.

Mordashov made his fortune through investments in steelmaker Severstal PJSC. He later diversified to gold, power equipment and now has stakes in media assets, a mobile carrier, tourist companies and a supermarket chain.

Mordashov said he is considering a fund “with a certain model of management, that will allow my children to participate,” he said, without elaborating.

Last year, he started transferring holdings to his sons Kirill, 20, and Nikita, 19. They got a 65% stake in gold producer Nordgold valued at $780 million and two-thirds of the stake in TUI worth about $730 million.

The brothers haven’t started managing the assets as they are still students in Moscow, according to Mordashov. He said they probably won’t start their careers working within his companies. They need to experience real life working for others as nepotism creates business challenges, Mordashov added.

There is no ideal form of wealth structure, said Shpak, whose center consults with wealthy families. How assets are transferred will depend partly on where they’re held and relations within a family.

Interest in international trusts has declined, in part because of stricter regulatory requirements in foreign jurisdictions, he said.

Some tycoons are taking a radically different approach.

Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest person and a father of five, signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge initiative in 2013, promising at least half of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

“I do not think that to give such a huge fortune to children would be the right decision,” Potanin said in an interview near Moscow. “This will just ruin their life.”

Billionaire Mikhail Fridman also plans to give his wealth to charity, he said in an interview. His son Alexander rents a two-room flat on the outskirts of Moscow for $500 a month and started his own business after finishing studying in the U.K. last year.

Regardless of what they do, Shpak urges the tycoons to make their decisions quickly.

“The lack of a clear succession plan and targeted training of the heirs increases the risk that a considerable part of Russian fortunes may be actually lost over time,” he said. That may be because of hereditary disputes, corporate conflicts or a lack of capital management skills from heirs, he added.

If they don’t pay attention, Russia may see some “drama in the richest families.”

Women thrive in Northeast U.S., languish across the South #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Women thrive in Northeast U.S., languish across the South

Mar 07. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Jeff Green, Wei Lu · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, PERSONAL-FINANCE

Vermont is the best state for basic gender equality and Maryland for female leadership, according to a Bloomberg analysis of pay and power nationwide. Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama were among the worst for American women.

The annual Bloomberg analysis has measured factors such as labor-force participation, education, political representation, health care and corporate leadership since 2016. Even with gains, only a handful of states scored better than 80 points on the 0 to 100 scale, the data showed. Democrat-controlled states were best for women, and Republican states were the worst.

“Looking at states that are doing well across the board, women are doing better,” said Nicole Mason, CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “They have higher earnings, there are more women represented in the state legislature, and there are more women in positions of power.”

The latest index was released ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

At the recent rate of gains, however, gender parity would take many more decades. The institute released data on Thursday estimating that at current rates of improvement, women won’t gain parity in Congress until 2108. Women, who make up about half the workforce and half the population, hold about a quarter of management jobs and only about 5% of CEO jobs. The pay gap has been steady for more than a decade, with women earning about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.

“‘Glacial’ is the right word to use when we think about women’s progress in the U.S,” Mason said.

In aggregate, many factors measured in the survey are improving. Only about 14% of women lived in poverty in the U.S. in the 2020 index compared with 17% in 2016. Women held 29% of state legislature seats in 2019, compared to 24% in 2015. A third of women 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree versus 30% in the 2016 ranking.

Vermont, the home state of Sen. Bernie Sanders who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a bright spot for most of those measures.

The state ranked No. 1 for the fourth straight year in the basic equality measure comprising gender pay ratio, labor-force participation and college-degree attainment by women, as well as share of women in poverty and lacking health coverage.

More than 80% of female Vermonters — among those ages 20-64 — are working and typically earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by male counterparts. Only 3% are without health coverage, among three best states for coverage. In the U.S. overall, 8% of women lack health care, the data showed.

The states with the biggest improvement in their rankings during the last five years were New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. South Dakota slipped 11 spots in that time frame, the biggest decline.

In Massachusetts, only 2% of women still lacked health insurance, compared with 17% in Texas, the state with the least amount of coverage for women. New Hampshire, with 8.4% of women in poverty, was the best by that measure. Missouri, Louisiana and New Mexico trailed the nation with at least one in five women in poverty.

Maryland led the U.S. for the fifth straight year for female leadership, factoring in business ownership, graduate-degree attainment by women, share of highly-compensated females, and percentage of state legislative bodies and board rooms of sizable public firms represented by women.

With poorest and least educated Americans the least able to move, the reality of where you are born can have a dramatic effect on your opportunities.

Almost 45% of women in Hawaii are business owners, compared with less than 30% in North Dakota. About a third of the total full-time workers earning six-figure compensation are female in Maryland and New York, according to a Bloomberg analysis of 2018 Census data. That contrasts with just 18% women in North and South Dakota, the lowest U.S. rate.

Women in Hawaii improved to 31% from 28% in share of those making six-figures paychecks — the biggest one-year gain.

“There’s not enough public will for us to really think through what’s causing these gaps and these disparities,” Mason said. “In a recent poll, 82% of people surveyed said that they believe in women’s equality and that a woman can be president and women should earn the same as men. There’s a real gap between what people philosophically believe in, at a high level, and what’s actually happening on the ground.”

Lagarde still the exception in male-dominated central banks #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Lagarde still the exception in male-dominated central banks

Mar 06. 2020
Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank. speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 24, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Simon Dawson.

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank. speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 24, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Simon Dawson.
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Jill Ward · BUSINESS, CAREER-WORKPLACE

 Christine Lagarde’s appointment to lead the European Central Bank was a landmark event in improving gender diversity in economic policy making, but global central banks still have a long way to go.

Lagarde’s leadership contrasts with the all-male eurosystem of national central bank governors, a report from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum said Thursday.

While Europe is the best-performing region when it comes to diversity of central banks, only 14 institutions are female-led across the globe, representing less than a third of the global economy.

Some recent efforts to appointment women to senior central banking positions have fallen flat. While the U.K. government worked with diversity specialists to replace Governor Mark Carney, only two women applied and the role went to Andrew Bailey.

In Ireland, deputy governor Sharon Donnery was “overlooked” for promotion to the top post upon Philip Lane’s move to the ECB, the report said. The role went to Gabriel Makhlouf instead.

“Perhaps the selection process needs to change,” said Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist and director of research at OMFIF. “It is legitimate to remind recruiters that a central bank is a team, and that they are not just picking the best individuals, taken one by one in isolation, but the best combination of minds.”

Overall, OMFIF’s gender balance index improved to 28% in 2020 from 25% a year earlier, the think-tank said, with a score of 100% representing perfect balance between women and men. The improvement reflects progression within senior positions, as well as the appointment of more women to deputy governor positions.

Spain topped the index, followed by Aruba, Iceland and Malaysia, the think-tank said. The Asia Pacific score improved the most. Canada may soon be joining the ranks of a central bank with a female chief, with Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins one of the favorites to take the top job later this year.

The inclusion of previously underrepresented groups in leadership can encourage competition and help ensure a range of views inform policy making. That’s important for central banks “in light of their social duty to resemble the society they serve,” the report said.

One-fifth of central banks have no women in senior positions or on monetary policy committees, and more than half of those are in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

“Action is needed to correct opportunity asymmetries and level the playing field, and create more inclusive and supportive work environments,” the report said. “Things will not change without modern, progressive policies.”

Mom raises $1 million for daughter’s rare genetic disorder after skiing 125 miles across Norway #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Mom raises $1 million for daughter’s rare genetic disorder after skiing 125 miles across Norway

Mar 05. 2020
Alison Reynolds skied for nine days in the backcountry of Norway to raise awareness for a rare genetic disorder her 17-year-old daughter has had since birth. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alison Reynolds

Alison Reynolds skied for nine days in the backcountry of Norway to raise awareness for a rare genetic disorder her 17-year-old daughter has had since birth. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alison Reynolds
By The Washington Post · Dana Hedgpeth · NATIONAL, WORLD, FEATURES, HEALTH, PARENTING

WASHINGTON – A District of Columbia woman who skied 125 miles across Norway to raise awareness for her daughter’s rare genetic disorder returned to the comforts of home this week.

Alison Reynolds, 46, raised about $1 million – more than twice her original goal – from businesses, friends, family, and other supporters to fund research for phenylketonuria, often referred to as PKU, a metabolic condition afflicting her 17-year-old daughter. She started her ski adventure Feb. 21 and returned home to Washington on Monday.

After training for more than a year, Alison Reynolds skied 125 miles over nine days in Norway. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alison Reynolds

After training for more than a year, Alison Reynolds skied 125 miles over nine days in Norway. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Alison Reynolds

She and a Norwegian ski guide skied almost 15 miles each day near the border with Sweden. They each pulled an 80-pound sled containing water, food and equipment, sleeping in a tent most nights. Reynolds said her guide told her she was in good shape for the adventure.

Reynolds, a mother of four who trained for more than a year, said the adventure was “amazing” but admitted she was tired. She said dozens of letters and cards were waiting when she got home, while many well-wishers said their church or school had prayed for her or lit a candle each day she skied.

Alison Reynolds and her daughter, Tia, in Washington. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson.

Alison Reynolds and her daughter, Tia, in Washington. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson.

“I was thrilled that so many people were touched by our story,” she said. “I owe a huge amount of gratitude to friends and perfect strangers. People are fundamentally good.”

Reynolds’ daughter Tia has had PKU since birth. A person with the condition has a damaged enzyme that breaks down an amino acid called phenylalanine, or Phe, which is found in protein and many foods.

Without that enzyme to process Phe, PKU patients can have a dangerous buildup in the bloodstream if they eat foods with high levels of protein, such as milk, nuts, pasta and cheese. Typically, a PKU patient can consume six to seven grams of protein a day, compared with other adults, who can consume at least 50 to 60 grams daily. High Phe levels in a person with PKU can lead to brain damage.

Tia has used a drug called Palynziq since last fall to treat her PKU, injecting it daily into her stomach. It lowers her Phe levels and has led Tia to a less restrictive diet.

Reynolds decided to ski across Norway to raise awareness for the disorder after years of raising money through more traditional fundraisers and galas. She chose Norway to pay tribute to the Norwegian biochemist who discovered and named PKU.

Reynolds said the trip didn’t always go as she expected. Her journey to the backcountry was delayed after an avalanche hit the tracks in front of her train, causing a 17-hour delay with little food and water. The pair then battled heavier-than-expected snow, wind gusts of 40 mph and shivering cold.

It took two hours for the pair to set up their camp each night after a day on skis. They ate oatmeal and freeze-dried food. She slept in three wool shirts, two pairs of pants, a hat, gloves and multiple jackets.

“It required intense focus, and staying warm was the biggest challenge,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes you were just kicking your legs together to stay warm.”

Reynolds said she didn’t have as much time to reflect on her family’s dealings with PKU as she had hoped, as her surroundings while skiing commanded constant attention.

For two nights, because of the heavy snow and high winds, they stayed in a cabin that had no heat. After one of her jackets blew away in the first few days, she used a special jacket she brought along – the same one her mother wore when she skied to the North Pole 20 years earlier.

“My lowest points were early on,” Reynolds said. “I thought the weather was going to make it not doable. But I knew we had to get through it.”

Reynolds and her guide skied as many miles as they had planned but sometimes at a slower rate because of the weather, leaving no days for rest.

The two chatted while skiing or in the tent about food, American culture and politics, and the warm places Reynolds wanted to visit after leaving Norway. Tia was among her family members and friends who met her as the trek ended. Reynolds said her daughter became emotional as her mother crossed the finish line.

There are no cold-weather trips in her future, Reynolds said. She plans to focus on her family and visit someplace warm with them in the spring.

On the final day of her journey, she wrote on her blog that she had crossed the finish line, but “the real winners are everyone with PKU.”

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