What Climate Change Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus

“Alarming levels of inaction.” That is what the World Health Organization said Wednesday about the global response to coronavirus. It is a familiar refrain to anyone who works on climate change, and it is why global efforts to slow down warming offer a cautionary tale for the effort to slow down the pandemic. “Both demand…

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When You Turn on the Lights, Linger a Little

This article is part of our latest special report on Design, which is about getting personal with customization. My light-switch plates, which had long been banal, now make me feel empowered. In the last few weeks, I have commissioned half a dozen of them in custom shapes, colors and patterns. It turns out that nearly…

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Learn to Pair Wine With Food

This month we’re going to try something different. Ordinarily for Wine School, I select a particular sort of wine and recommend a few bottles to drink. Instead, I’m going to assign a food, roast chicken. Your job is pick the wines to drink with it. More specifically, choose one, two or three different wines to…

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When Thin and Bitter Are Welcome Wine Words

The first question many people will ask about a wine is, “What does it taste like?” Rarely does anybody ask, “How does it feel?” Yet body, density, weight and texture, often combined in the inelegant term ”mouthfeel,” are essential parts of the wine-drinking experience, though often ignored in discussions about it. I have long been…

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These Books Move Heaven and Earth

This article is part of our latest special report on Design, which is about getting personal with customization. A little respite from geopolitical and health crises can perhaps be found in five new design books, which demonstrate our ability to transform humble materials into enduring refuges. ImageCredit… In “The Art of Earth Architecture: Past, Present,…

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European Coronavirus Travel Ban Leads to Chaos in Paris Airport

When your phone rings at 2:15 a.m., it’s a safe bet the news isn’t good. Turns out the odds are even better when you’re an American traveling overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic. The voice on the other end was our daughter, wanting to make sure my wife and I had heard that “President Trump just…

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How an Ecuadorean Soup Inspired a Restaurant

Rossy Alarcón hadn’t planned on turning her encebollado recipe into a restaurant, but it was too good not to. The soup can be found all over coastal Ecuador, where she and her husband, Ruben González, grew up. It’s sold from trucks and carts on the street, beloved in part as a hangover cure. Her broth…

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Now Is When We All Learn to Darn Our Socks Again

Only a few generations ago, socks were routinely darned, sweaters mended and pants patched. You could buy a sewing kit at any drugstore. Knowing how to use it was a mark of good housekeeping. Kate Sekules, 58, remembers that world, in which the act of repairing clothes was integral to wearing them. “My mother was…

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Can You Be Forced Into Quarantine? Your Questions, Answered

Government-imposed quarantines were fairly common in ancient times, before medicine stemmed the ferocity with which contagious diseases spread. The very word quarantine is rooted in the Italian words quarantenara and quaranta giorni, or 40 days, the period of time that the city of Venice forced ship passengers and cargo to wait before landing in the…

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Living With Freaky Furniture

This article is part of our latest special report on Design, which is about getting personal with customization. The tumultuous period remembered as the ’60s (although it extended well into the 1970s) was half a century ago, as far removed from 2020 as World War I was from Woodstock. Nonetheless that era’s cultural awakening —…

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