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Bob Dylan Has a Lot on His Mind

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A few years ago, sitting beneath shade trees in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., I had a two-hour discussion with Bob Dylan that touched on Malcolm X, the French Revolution, Franklin Roosevelt and World War II. At one juncture, he asked me what I knew about the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. When I answered, “Not enough,” he got up from his folding chair, climbed into his tour bus, and came back five minutes later with photocopies describing how U.S. troops had butchered hundreds of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe in southeastern Colorado.

Given the nature of our relationship, I felt comfortable reaching out to him in April after, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he unexpectedly released his epic, 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul,” about the Kennedy assassination. Even though he hadn’t done a major interview outside of his own website since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, he agreed to a phone chat from his Malibu home, which turned out to be his only interview before next Friday’s release of “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” his first album of original songs since “Tempest” in 2012.

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Bob Dylan’s “Rough and Rowdy Ways” is his first album of original songs since 2012.Credit…Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well

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I recently saw a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson in the first year of his presidency. He looked like a classic old guy—wrinkled, mature, in the late season of life. It was a shock to learn that he was only 55 at the time, roughly the same age as Chris Rock is now. He left the presidency, broken, and beaten, at 60, the same age as, say, Colin Firth is now.

Something has happened to aging. Whether because of better diet or health care or something else, a 73-year-old in 2020 looks like a 53-year-old in 1935. The speaker of the House is 80 and going strong. The presidential candidates are 77 and 74. Even our rock stars are getting up there. Bob Dylan produced a remarkable album this year at 79. Bruce Springsteen released an album today at 71. “Active aging” is now a decades-long phase of life. As the nation becomes a gerontocracy, it’s worth pondering: What do people gain when they age, and what do they lose? What does successful aging look like?

President Donald Trump is a prime example of an unsuccessful older person—one who still lusts for external validation, who doesn’t know who he is, who knows no peace. Nearly two millennia ago, the Roman statesman Cicero offered a more robust vision of what elders should do and be: “It’s not by strength or speed or swiftness of body that great deeds are done,” he wrote, “but by wisdom, character and sober judgment. These qualities are not lacking in old age but in fact grow as time passes.”

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Bruce Springsteen
Bryan Derballa / The New York Ti​mes / Redux

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/bruce-springsteen-and-art-aging-well/616826/

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Spring Dawn At Pian Di Cultura, Veneto, Italy

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Spring Dawn At Pian Di Cultura, Veneto, Italy

The Venetian Prealps are a mountain range in the south-eastern part of the Alps. They are located in Triveneto, in the north-eastern part of Italy ranging from 1000 to 1500 meters of altitude, with vast grassy open spaces on the summits. The gentle slopes are adorned with beautiful blooms in spring. The Pian di Cultura is one of these mountains, and is situated close to the town of Feltre, overlooking the Belluno valley.

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An image of the Saturnia hot springs

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How to get good at chess

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The first thing to say about chess is that we are not all natural geniuses like Beth Harmon, the star of The Queen’s Gambit, who is taught the game by grumpy but lovable janitor Mr. Shaibel at the age of nine and is very soon beating him.

The daughter of a maths Ph.D., she sees the patterns and movement in chess immediately, can visualize effortlessly – being able to memorize moves and play without a board is the sign of chess mastery – and sees whole games on the ceiling of her orphanage dormitory. She is a prodigy, just like world champion Bobby Fischer, on whom Walter Tevis based the novel from which the TV series is drawn. We are mere mortals. So how do we get good?

  • First, by loving chess. “You can only get good at chess if you love the game,” Fischer said. You need to be endlessly fascinated by it and see its infinite potential. Be willing to embrace the complexity; enjoy the adventure. Every game should be an education and teach us something. Losing doesn’t matter. Garry Kasparov, another former world champion, likes to say you learn far more from your defeats than your victories. Eventually, you will start winning, but there will be a lot of losses on the way. Play people who are better than you, and be prepared to lose. Then you will learn.
  • If you are a beginner, don’t feel the need to set out all the pieces at once. Start with the pawns, and then add the pieces. Understand the potential of each piece – the way a pair of bishops can dominate the board, how the rooks can sweep up pawns in an endgame, why the queen and a knight can work together so harmoniously. Find a good teacher – your own Mr. Shaibel, but without the communication issues.

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Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny, in the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. Photograph: Netflix

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/nov/14/how-to-get-good-at-chess-the-queens-gambit

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Lesser Flamingo Flying

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The lesser flamingo is a species of flamingo occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and northwestern India. Birds are occasionally reported from further north, but these are generally considered vagrants.

The lesser flamingo is the smallest species of flamingo, though it is a tall and large bird by most standards. The species can weigh from 1.2 to 2.7 kg (2.6 to 6.0 lb). The standing height is around 80 to 90 cm (31 to 35 in). The total length (from beak to tail) and wingspan are in the same range of measurements, from 90 to 105 cm (35 to 41 in). Most of the plumage is pinkish white. The clearest difference between this species and the greater flamingo, the only other Old World species of flamingo, is the much more extensive black on the bill. Size is less helpful unless the species are together since the sexes of each species also differ in height.

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The United States of Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton is loved for many reasons—the songwriting, the singing, the industry smarts, the cheeky cracks, the homey manner, the beauty, the verve, the hits. She is also loved for being loved and loved transcendentally. During a red-hot summer marked in part by toppled monuments to slavery and genocide, a petition arose, directed at Tennessee lawmakers, calling for Parton to be pedestalled instead. “Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together,” the petition proposed, soon gaining some twenty-three thousand signatories.

The country-music establishment can be about as partisan as they come, a rope line of old-school apple-pie values and unquestioning patriotism. But Parton is a true diplomat. A word like “crossover” scarcely encompasses a singer admired by Vanna White (who says Parton is her role model because she “hasn’t been affected by show business”), Björk (who has called Parton’s twanged crystal timbre “immaculate”), and Nicki Minaj (who nods Parton’s way in a guest verse on Drake’s “Make Me Proud”). A Dolly Parton concert is like a local census, bringing together peoples across lines of race, gender, sexuality, and, miraculously, political affiliation.

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Dolly Parton smiling.

In the partisan world of country music, Parton’s persona defies categorization, at once down to earth and soaring high. Photograph by Irving Penn / © Condé Nast

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/10/19/the-united-states-of-dolly-parton

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Willamette National Forest, Oregon​

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The Willamette National Forest is a National Forest located in the central portion of the Cascade Range of the U.S. state of Oregon. It comprises 1,678,031 acres (6,790.75 km2). Over 380,000 acres (694 mi2, 1,540 km2) are designated wilderness which include seven major mountain peaks. There are also several National Wild and Scenic Rivers within the forest. The forest is named for the Willamette River, which has its headwaters in the forest. The forest headquarters are located in the city of Springfield. There are local ranger district offices in McKenzie Bridge, Detroit, Sweet Home, and Westfir.

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An image from Willamette National Forest, Oregon​

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Trump’s 29th Trip To Mar-a-Lago Brings Golf Tab To 334 Years Of Presidential Salary

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President Donald Trump returned to Mar-a-Lago on Friday evening for the 29th golf-related trip of his presidency to his for-profit Palm Beach, Florida, resort, raising his total taxpayer golf tab to $133.8 million.

That figure translates to 334 years of the presidential salary that Trump and his supporters frequently boast he is not taking.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, Trump frequently claimed he was playing golf too much and at too great an expense to taxpayers.

“I play golf to relax. My company is in great shape. @BarackObama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain,” Trump tweeted in December 2011.

“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter,” he wrote three years later.

As he began his own run for the White House, candidate Trump repeatedly promised that golf would never make it onto a President Trump’s schedule. “I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don’t think I’d ever see Turnberry again. I don’t think I’d ever see Doral again,” he told a rally audience in February 2016, referring to his courses in Scotland and Miami. “I don’t ever think I’d see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.”

Yet after three years in office, Trump has spent two-and-a-half times as many days on a golf course as Obama had done at the same point in his first term. If Trump plays golf both Saturday and Sunday, he will have played 248 times. Obama by his 1,123rd day in office had played 92 times.

And because Trump insists on playing at courses he owns, the cost to taxpayers has been nearly four times as high as it was for Obama. More than two-thirds of Trump’s golf outings involve seven-figure trips aboard Air Force One, mainly to Florida and New Jersey, but also to Los Angeles, Ireland and Scotland. Obama, in contrast, played most of his golf on courses at military bases within a short drive of the White House.

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-golf-mar-a-lago-taxpayers_n_5e4712b9c5b64d860fcab86c

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10 French Movies Set in Paris to Transport You There – The New York Times

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“America is my country, and Paris is my hometown,” wrote Gertrude Stein. Me too; or, well, almost. For the last few years I was shuttling between New York and the French capital, where my now-husband worked, and in that time Paris came to feel like a city where I had history, whose streets I could navigate by muscle memory. Now that trans-Atlantic travel is all but suspended, the closest I can get to Paris is onscreen — but, luckily, the view is fantastic.

Paris was the site of the first movie screening, back in 1895 (though the Lumière Brothers shot those first pictures in Lyon). It remains the home of Europe’s largest, most vibrant film industry — France exports more movies than any country, bar the United States.

Here I’ve picked 10 movies that transport me back to Paris, from the early days of sound cinema to the age of streaming. I’ve omitted many French movies made in English, some shot on soundstages (“An American in Paris,” “Moulin Rouge!”) and others on location (“Funny Face,” “Midnight in Paris”). Instead I’ve selected films I rely on when I want to escape America for Paris … which is quite often these days.

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The celebrated film, “Breathless", is one of the author’s 10 picks for movies set in Paris. Jean Seberg, left, and Jean-Paul Belmondo in a scene from the 1960 film.Credit…Films Around The World

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Missed News 472

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Trade Ties Hit New Low As Australia Refers China To The World Trade Organisation | The Project

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