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The cast of “Moonlight” are Calvin Klein’s newest underwear models

Underwear and provocative ads selling it are two of the pillars that hold up the Calvin Klein brand. In recent years, the semi-nude celebrities filling both have usually been of the Instagram-famous variety—people such as model and reality-TV starKendall Jenner and singerJustin Bieber, whose …

Fashion

Donald Trump’s budget plan is built on political tropes and bad math

This week, we’ll see Donald Trump’s plan for US government spending in the next fiscal year. We’ve already been leaked a preview suggesting the major themes: Bulk up defense spending, don’t touch Social Security or Medicare, and cut the rest of government spending enough to make up the …

Economics

There’s one big reason that I’ve never had a cellphone and I’m never going to get one

It is mildly subversive and perhaps a little quaint when someone clings to their flip phone and refuses a smartphone. Refusing both kinds of phones is viewed as downright lunacy, especially if the person refusing was born after the mid-1970s. But I’ve never had a cellphone and I’m not going to get …

Distracted Driving

“This movie came damn close to killing me”: How the unlikely, Oscar-winning “Moonlight” was made

“There was a time when I thought this movie was impossible,” recalled director Barry Jenkins, while accepting the Oscar for Best Picture for his film <i>Moonlight</i> at the Academy Awards. “I couldn’t bring it to fruition. I couldn’t bring myself to tell another story.”<p>The movie—about identity, sexuality, …

Entertainment

Jay Z is right: Radio is the worst place to listen to music

Is radio dead? Data show it isn’t as a whole—yet as a music platform, it’s a whole different story.<p>In a candid interview between Frank Ocean and Jay Z that aired on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station Feb. 24, the latter spent a good portion mourning the golden days of radio, where he got his own …

Jay Z

Silicon Valley has designed algorithms to reflect your biases, not disrupt them

Silicon Valley dominates the internet—and that prevents us from learning more deeply about other people, cultures, and places. To support richer understandings of one another across our differences, we need to redesign social media networks and search systems to better represent diverse cultural …

Silicon Valley

The key to winning in life is to trick yourself into forgetting your own success

Spain appointed a special commissioner to convince citizens to have more babies

Europeans might be getting used to politicians suggesting they have more sex.<p>The bloc is increasingly experiencing a developed-world malaise: Birth rates are dramatically falling as more women work and choose to have fewer children, and to have them later. Europeans across the continent are having …

Europe

At Mobile World Congress, industry leaders try to work out what comes after the smartphone

Barcelona, Spain<p>As smartphones have proliferated, so have the kinds of people obsessed with them, from car-makers to media chieftains. Every year, they gather at Mobile World Congress, an annual extravaganza that brings together telecom companies, internet giants, handset makers and everyone in …

Mobile World Congress

Stanford’s dean of medicine says restricting immigration to the US is bad for our health

A few weeks ago, I was moderating a panel discussion with some of my Stanford Medicine colleagues. I asked what we needed to do to make sure that 30 years from now, people would look back on this time as one of remarkable medical breakthroughs. Biologist Andrew Fire—a Nobel Prize laureate—answered …

Women in Science

Africa still lags behind in using innovation to connect refugees

When refugees and immigrants arrive on the shores of Europe, there’s a website that instructs them on where and how to claim asylum. There’s Gee Cycle, which helps them access smartphones donated by people who have upgraded their devices. The Refugee Info Bus gives them access to Wi-Fi, and …

Refugees

Nigeria is relaxing visa rules to make it easier for foreigners to do business in the country

The process of obtaining a Nigerian visa has been likened to a “camel passing through the eye of a needle.” To visit, foreigners need to successfully navigate a maze of paperwork both before and after they get into the country. But that’s set to change, eventually.<p>As part of a 60-day plan to …

Nigeria

Uber is designed so that for one employee to get ahead, another must fail

Corporate values were always an afterthought for Uber.<p>The company was founded in March 2009 but didn’t formalize its values until September 2015 at a lavish, four-day staff retreat in Las Vegas. It’s easy enough to see how that happened. In the intervening six years, Uber was busy dismantling the …

Uber

Alphabet’s hate-fighting AI doesn’t understand hate yet

Yesterday, Google and its sister Alphabet company Jigsaw announced Perspective, a tool that uses machine learning to police the internet against hate speech. The company heralded the tech as a nascent but powerful weapon in combatting online vitriol, and opened the software so websites could use it …

Machine Learning

China’s Twitter clone will soon have more users than Twitter

Sina Weibo started as China’s Twitter clone in 2009. Like other internet services in China, it filled the vacuum left by foreign offerings being driven out by government censorship. There’s basically no rivalry between the counterparts. They tap user bases that have zero overlap. The red-eyed …

China

What exactly happened with the Best Picture win at the Oscars?

The 2017 Academy Awards, a night that honored Hollywood’s best films and brightest stars, is likely to be remembered for delivering one of the most bizarre moments in live TV history—a mixup over the biggest award.<p>Much of the evening unfolded as a fairly ordinary and uneventful Oscars ceremony. As …

The Oscars

The infuriating silence of Donald Trump over an Indian engineer’s murder in Kansas

Donald Trump is anything but a man of few words.<p>Especially on Twitter, the US president scarcely restrains himself from reacting to a range of events. In the last few days, for instance, his official Twitter handle @POTUS and personal handle @realDonaldTrump have produced the usual flurry of …

Donald Trump

An Iranian director protesting Trump’s travel ban sent a space traveller to pick up his award

The Iranian director Asghar Farhadi didn’t attend the Academy Awards tonight to accept the Oscar for his film <i>The Salesman,</i> which won in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. He canceled his plans to travel for the ceremony, he has said, because of “the unjust circumstances” created by US …

Asghar Farhadi

Why Jackie Chan was carrying two stuffed pandas on the red carpet of the Oscars

Martial arts superstar Jackie Chan walked down the red carpet with two cute companions at the Oscars.<p>Chan, who was awarded an honorary Oscar last year for his “extraordinary achievements,” attended tonight’s (Feb. 26) 89th Academy Awards ceremony holding two panda toys.<p>“I am the ambassador of …

Jackie Chan

China is making life hard for South Korea because of an antimissile system in over 40 petty ways

Relations between China and South Korea have been icy of late, to say the least.<p>Problems began last July, when Korea agreed to let the US deploy an antimissile defense system within its borders. The planned Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) shield will counter the growing military threat …

China

Nokia’s new 3310 disappoints, but its smartphone lineup brings high design at low prices

Barcelona, Spain<p>Executives at HMD Global, the startup that licenses the Nokia brand for its phones, were worried that no one would show up to their event ahead of Mobile World Congress today. The crew of earnest Finns—many of them career Nokia executives and lifelong fans—were being modest. The …

Phones

A new scientific paper argues the moon is totally a planet—and Pluto is too

Every now and then a scientific paper makes a real splash. We had one recently, to judge from recent headlines. “Moon rises to claim its place as a planet” said The Sunday Times on February 19, while the Mail Online asked “Is this lunarcy?”. The articles were among many responding to the humble …

Space

A UK company is offering new jobs to employees who admit they could be replaced by robots

Could your job be done better by a robot? That’s the question posed to 16,000 employees by British insurance company Aviva. If you think anyone would be crazy to tell their employer “yes, I’m obsolete,” consider this: According to the Sunday Times (paywall), Aviva is offering to train employees for …

Robots

On bowls of coffee and wooden canoes: The necessity of cultural exchange

Here’s the problem with getting ready for school when you’re an American teenager living in France: nothing makes sense. You drink coffee in bowls instead of mugs, eat a breakfast of baguettes with jam instead of fried eggs and bacon. Maybe you can take the train to school, but only if the SNCF …

LaSalle

“Not Your Negro:” Why James Baldwin would not have been surprised by Donald Trump

Towards the beginning of Raoul Peck’s excellent documentary <i>I Am Not Your Negro</i>, Dick Cavett asks James Baldwin, “Why aren’t black people more optimistic?” Black people, Cavett says in the 1968 interview, have made great strides. They’re on films—they’re even, he notes, on television commercials. …

Black History

The simple reason “La La Land” will win Best Picture, even though “Moonlight” is a better film

Adele’s upset win over Beyonce at the 2017 Grammy Awards shocked many music lovers, who saw the outcome as a reflection of the racism endemic to the industry. The Academy Awards are unlikely to be much different—at least where Best Picture is concerned.<p>Adele’s surprise Album of the Year win sparked …

The Oscars

Don’t fall for Silicon Valley’s hubris—our technological future is more fragile than we think

Lompico is the rough jewel of Santa Cruz, California—high in the mountains and deep in the redwood forest, population 1,140. Weather providing, it takes less than an hour to get here from Silicon Valley, where technologists are hard at work designing our brave new world.<p>But heavy rains have made …

Silicon Valley

Neil Gorsuch’s philosophical mentor cites “natural law” to reject same-sex marriage and abortion

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is a gift to conservatives: Neil Gorsuch has a history of defending religious liberties and has written extensively on the value of human life with regards to euthanasia. But, while Gorsuch’s judicial history has been extensively discussed, it’s also …

Law

How to watch the 2017 Oscars around the world

Sunday night is Hollywood’s biggest night of year—the 89th annual Academy Awards. The ceremony will air Feb. 26 on ABC in the US, beginning at 8:30pm eastern time.<p>Last year, 34 million people in the US watched the live event, which marked an 8-year low for the awards show. But it was still the …

The Oscars

The US Democratic National Committee has a new chair

US Democrats took the first major step toward rebuilding the Democratic party today. Former president Barack Obama’s onetime labor secretary Tom Perez was elected party chair at a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on Feb. 25.<p>His election follows a tumultous DNC leadership change that upended the party …

Bernie Sanders