Zoom calls can be too formal. These alternatives encourage casual chatting

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The next generation of video-calling tools aim to encourage the spontaneous conversations that are such a quintessential part of work, school, and events. Since the coronavirus pandemic shut down traditional offices around the world, workers have learned to adapt to videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams, picking outfits and spots in their houses that look good on camera. The living room is the new conference room, and people have learned how to professionally field sales calls and communicate with managers from their sofas or kitchen tables. Read Full Story

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What it’s like to start a new job during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Just hours after receiving an offer for a software engineering job, I learned my new company’s office would close due to the coronavirus—and I’d have to onboard remotely. In early February, I moved to New York City and was on the job hunt. But though I was lucky to receive and accept an offer just before the coronavirus pandemic began to shut down the entire city, little did I know that all the new, exciting, and nerve-wracking prospects of starting a new job were soon to become an entirely different kind of challenge. Read Full Story

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How the protest movement inspired streetwear legend Jeff Staple to branch out

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Staple Design Studio will now be called Reed Art Department and will work not only with brands such as Sprite but also on behalf of social justice causes. Back in 1997, Jeff Staple made a T-shirt in silkscreening class during his sophomore year at Parsons School of Design in New York City. As the legend goes, he walked into a boutique wearing the shirt and unintentionally walked out with an order for 12 others like it. That triggered a cascade of events that saw him drop out of school to start Staple Design Studio, launch his own streetwear line called Staple Pigeon, and by 2001, open his first retail store in New York called Reed Space. Read Full Story

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To reopen schools safely, close streets and create outdoor classrooms

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New York City plans to open schools in the fall but reduce the number of children who come into the classrooms. What if these schools expanded into city streets instead? Just like restaurants have expanded into streets across the country, come fall, closing off the streets in front of schools may be a key factor in reopening children’s education. this ability to increase capacity with a flexible, modular space would satisfy common-sense social distancing practices that would be impossible to enact within the current classroom configuration found at most schools. And, most important, it comes at no cost to the city. Read Full Story

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Coronavirus proves we should all work less

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We have designed the perfect tools to work productively from home. But that doesn’t mean our homes belong to our work. While COVID-19 spreads across the United States, the best thing that most of us can do is self-quarantine. Companies across the country have closed their offices so people can work safely from home. K-12 schools, from San Francisco to New York City, have shuttered to thwart the spread of infection. We can expect more school districts to follow suit, as the CDC now recommends schools close and stay closed for the next eight weeks to protect our population; President Trump has recommended closing schools, too. Read Full Story

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4 tips for getting anything done while working from home with your kids

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Working and helping your kids with remote learning is challenging at best. Here, educators and parents share what works for them. National and state emergency declarations because of COVID-19 have left millions of working parents and their children struggling with a new normal. An analysis by Education Week estimates that public and private schools in at least 46 states are closed, affecting at least 54.5 million school students. An increasing number of states, including California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, have directed all people who can work at home to do so. As a result, many working parents are struggling with a new normal: families living, working, and going to school under one roof. Read Full Story

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This new app from choreographer Benjamin Millepied lets you train at home with some of dance’s biggest stars

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The founder of the L.A. Dance Project has a new digital platform that pairs live instruction with a sneak peek into the company’s rehearsals and performances. As I gracelessly rose up for a port de bras last Wednesday morning, I wondered what my L.A.-based instructor, Janie Taylor, thought about my conspicuous lack of form as she watched me over Zoom. Taylor, a former principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, is now with the L.A. Dance Project , the dance company led by Benjamin Millepied, who is known to the non-dance world as the choreographer behind Black Swan (and Natalie Portman’s husband). I wobbled—and hoped Taylor’s next students on the company’s new LADP app offered her a little more to work with. Read Full Story

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The 50th New York City marathon has been delayed a year due to the damn coronavirus

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The pandemic runs down another institution. Perhaps 53,000 runners breathing heavily on each other during a pandemic in the fall is not a savvy plan. And with that, the 2020 TCS NYC Marathon has been canceled. “I applaud New York Road Runners for putting health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” said New York mayor Bill de Blasio. The postponement was announced today by The New York Road Runners, along with the Office of the Mayor of New York City. Read Full Story

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