The Atlantic Daily: Is It Still Worth It?

Bill Gates on his Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Plus what this new caravan of migrants bound for the U.S. are fleeing, good food that’s accessible and beautiful, and more

Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., in Guatemala on October 16, 2018 (Edgard Garrido / Reuters)

What We’re Following

To the Border: A group of around 2,000 migrants are heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras, fleeing gangs, death threats, rape, and domestic violence. The U.S. government has tried deterrence policies—from family detention under President Barack Obama to recent family separations under President Donald Trump—before. How effective are policies that don’t consider the conditions from which these migrant groups are fleeing?

Conflict and Conflicted: Close ties between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia—a relationship that started under President Franklin D. Roosevelt—are under fierce criticism again, over a worsening humanitarian crisis in neighboring Yemen and the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Certain shared interests have kept the relationship afloat through other crises over the past few decades—is it still worth it?

Billions: “I met Paul when I was in 7th grade, and it changed my life,” Bill Gates writes in this tribute to his Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died Monday. Allen was among an initial group of the ultra-wealthy in 2010 who’d pledged at least half their fortunes to philanthropy—but when he died, he was still worth $20 billion, 48 percent more than when he first made the pledge. How the American financial system is structured can keep even the most giving of billionaires unimaginably wealthy.


Samin Nosrat
For the chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, cooking is both exceptional and accessible, and ultimately a medium for human connection, writes Hannah Giorgis, who cooked—and ate—with Nosrat for this story. Nosrat’s newly launched Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a docuseries based on her cookbook of the same title, is no Chef’s Table, another popular Netflix series centered around chefs: “You're like, Ooh, maybe one day, I can save up and go eat at this $1,000 dinner or something,” she said. “Why can't there be a show that doesn't intimidate you, but also is so gorgeous that it inspires you to want to get up and do the stuff?” Just this simple, gentle, and loving process of homemade pesto will make you want to get cooking. (Illustration above by Heather Sten)

Evening Read

Have scientific models of how the world is warming failed to properly consider the impact of trees and other greenery?

“For decades, we’ve been looking to see: How well can we do in climate modeling without needing to evoke the influences of vegetation?” said Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University. “Vegetation has kind of been left on the back burner.”

Studies of individual leaves have shown that when plants are bathed in carbon dioxide, they don’t need to make as many stomata per leaf, and they close the ones they do make more of the time. These changes help forest plants conserve water to survive, but they reduce the water vapor available to fall as rain on the surrounding continent. Moreover, when plants transpire, they cool Earth’s surface and warm the air, just as the evaporation of sweat cools your body on a hot day. Leaf-level changes, scaled up across continents, could rob the atmosphere of moisture and warm the planet’s surface.

What else are we missing?

What Do You Know … About Family?

1. An estimated ___________ percent of U.S. children live with a sibling (a greater share than those estimated to live in households with a ___________ figure).

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Scientists are observing declines in ____________________ (and ____________________) for men in Europe and America, according to several recent studies.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. Millennials are now spending an average of ____________________ on the whole wedding process, according to one 2018 survey.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares their top stories:

The magnetism of Europe’s capital cities is getting ever stronger, sucking in more wealth and young people, as these maps show. Meanwhile, America’s geographic inequality is also worsening.

The devastation Hurricane Michael wreaked—and the unequal burden—is clear in this stark before-and-after imagery from NOAA.

In 2018, this is what democracy looks like: Political design can play a big role in increasing voter turnout, simply by reminding people why voting matters and how to get involved.

For more updates like these from the urban world, subscribe to CityLab’s Daily newsletter.

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