All posts tagged: Diversions

The wisdom of the teen

The wisdom of the teen

[ad_1] Their stage of life defies clear categorization. Brian Finke / Gallery Stock March 23, 2024, 9:40 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. Teens exist in the murky space between youth and maturity—and in decades past, when the teen babysitter was a staple of American life, adults seemed to understand that. They recognized, my colleague Faith Hill writes in a new essay, that the teen babysitter “was grown-up enough to be an extra eye in the home—but childlike enough to go looking for snacks.” Faith reports that, today, the teen babysitter has all but disappeared: Many parents now believe that kids who are 12 or 13, once a standard babysitting age, shouldn’t even be left alone at home. “People seem to worry less about adolescents and more for them, and for their future prospects,” she writes. As Faith traces the decline of …

Can Anyone Learn to Sing?

Can Anyone Learn to Sing?

[ad_1] This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. “There is nothing quite so vulnerable as a person caught up in a lyric impulse,” Roy Blount Jr. wrote in our February 1982 issue. What makes the situation even more vulnerable is to be among the group that Blount calls “the singing-impaired.” Some research suggests that it’s easier to improve a singing voice than you might think. But even for those whose prognosis is hopeless, there’s joy to be found in the act of singing. Today’s newsletter explores how the singing voice actually works, and what humans can create when we sing together. On Singing Why the Best Singers Can’t Always Sing Their Own Songs By Marc Hogan Performing pop songs live offers a thrilling reward—if your voice doesn’t betray you, that is. Read the article. What Babies Hear When You Sing to Them By Kathryn Hymes …

How to disagree better – The Atlantic

How to disagree better – The Atlantic

[ad_1] Our writers’ perspectives on arguing and communicating in healthier ways Damir Sagolj / Reuters February 17, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. In the 1887 essay “Silent People as Misjudged by the Noisy,” an Atlantic contributor proposed an economical approach to talking: “As we get on in life past the period of obstreperous youth, we incline to talk less and write less, especially on the topics which we have most at heart,” the writer noted. “We are beginning to realize the uselessness of perpetually talking … If there is a thing to be said, we prefer to wait and say it only when and where it will hit something or somebody.” Many of us wish we were better at waiting to speak until we knew our words would “hit something or somebody” exactly how we want them to. But …

How Relationships Grow, and How They Break

How Relationships Grow, and How They Break

[ad_1] Reading about others’ experiences can help us navigate the complexities of love and care. David Gregg / Getty February 3, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. “The reason my marriage fell apart seems absurd when I describe it: My wife left me because sometimes I leave dishes by the sink,” Matthew Fray wrote in 2022. “It makes her seem ridiculous and makes me seem like a victim of unfair expectations. But it wasn’t the dishes, not really—it was what they represented … It was about consideration. About the pervasive sense that she was married to someone who did not respect or appreciate her.” “She knew that something was wrong,” Fray explained. “I insisted that everything was fine. This is how my marriage ended. It could be how yours ends too.” His essay is a heartbreaking but helpful example of …

Why “adulthood” is impossible to define

Why “adulthood” is impossible to define

[ad_1] The markers of “growing up” are constantly evolving. Adam Maida / The Atlantic / Getty January 27, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. What does it really mean to “grow up”? As my colleague Julie Beck noted in 2016, markers of adulthood are always evolving, and a set definition is impossible to come by. (When I was a young child, I was convinced that turning 11 would signal adulthood in a significant way—something about the double one felt impossibly mature—but that didn’t really prove to be a helpful framework.) Each possible meaning of “adulthood”—financial independence, living alone, having kids—brings with it an assumption about what should matter, both to an individual and to society. Today’s newsletter explores some of these assumptions, and how the concept of “growing up” has changed. Americans Can’t Decide What It Means to Grow Up …

How winter wear has changed

How winter wear has changed

[ad_1] In some ways, dressing for inclement weather is harder than it used to be. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty January 20, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. In 1938, the writer Margaret Dana began an Atlantic essay by describing an everyday indignity: A man went into a large city store not long ago and bought a raincoat. He wore it that afternoon, walking several blocks through a hard storm, and arrived at his destination soaked through to the skin, raincoat and all. He was, of course, very angry, and returned at once to the store, demanding satisfaction. The store refunded his money politely … but explained just as politely that it was not actually or legally culpable—rather that the rain itself was to blame. For, the store reminded him, he had bought a showerproof coat, while the rain that …

Suez Canal Diversions Pile Pressure on Egypt’s Distressed Economy

Suez Canal Diversions Pile Pressure on Egypt’s Distressed Economy

[ad_1] CAIRO (Reuters) – A sharp downturn in revenue after sea attacks by Yemen’s Houthis diverted away shipping away from the Suez Canal has struck a painful new blow to Egypt’s already deteriorating economy, adding urgency to the need for reforms and help from abroad. Nearly all Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency – natural gas exports, tourism, worker remittances from abroad, and now Suez Canal revenue – have all come under recent and severe pressure. Egypt needs foreign currency not only to import essential commodities to feed its people, but also to repay $189.7 billion in foreign debt, most of it racked up over the last ten years. At least $42.26 billion in debt repayments is due this year, although analysts expect that some of that to be rolled over. “Putting all of that together, it does feel as though Egypt’s crisis is nearing a fork-in-the-road moment,” said James Swanston of Capital Economics. The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority said last week that canal revenue had fallen by 40% in the first 11 …

Boredom is good for you

Boredom is good for you

[ad_1] The virtues and frustrations of being bored Hulton Deutsch / Getty January 13, 2024, 9:53 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. In 1933, the writer James Norman Hall had a bone to pick with the concise nature of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. It defined boredom as “being bored; ennui.” “To define [boredom] merely as ‘being bored,’ appallingly true though this may be, is only to aggravate the misery of the sufferer who, as a last desperate resource, has gone to the dictionary for enlightenment as to the nature of his complaint,” Hall wrote in The Atlantic. Hall proceeds to explain that a dictionary can’t help those suffering from boredom; exercise can’t do much either, in his view (“I have climbed mountains, and boredom has climbed with me”). All a person can do, he argues, is hold on until the moment …

How We Talk – The Atlantic

How We Talk – The Atlantic

[ad_1] Texting, calling, voice notes, group chats: Humans’ relationship to the phone is constantly evolving. Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock / The Atlantic January 6, 2024, 9:41 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. Gathering with family can be a chance to observe up close how multiple generations live their lives. One fascinating instance I’ve been thinking about lately: the way people interact with their phones. Home for the holidays, one might’ve encountered the avid texters, the old-fashioned phone talkers (those can exist across generations), the group-chat fiends, the brave (or perhaps annoying) voice-note senders. Each person’s relationship with their phone is different, of course—a murky combination of age, preference, and environment, among other things. Today’s newsletter rounds up some of our writers’ analysis on ever-evolving modes of phone communication, from those that grate on us to those that connect us. On Talking Maybe …

A better way to make New Year’s resolutions

A better way to make New Year’s resolutions

[ad_1] In the quest for personal change, the method matters. Ken Harding / BIPs / Getty December 30, 2023, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. Early in 2023, my colleague Caroline Mimbs Nyce chatted with the writer Oliver Burkeman about New Year’s resolutions. Burkeman is an expert on productivity, but he’s arguably also an expert on getting real about the time human beings have on Earth. Burkeman is the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mere Mortals (4,000 weeks is approximately the length of an average American’s life span). In it, he writes: “The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short.” With this in mind, Caroline asked Burkeman: “Do you think New Year’s resolutions are worth making, considering we’re all going to die, as your book posits so bluntly?” Burkeman has hope for the concept of the resolution. …