publishedmedium:the new york times

  • How to Hide $400 Million, By Nicholas Confessore - The New York Times (Nov. 2016)

    When a wealthy businessman set out to divorce his wife, their fortune vanished. The quest to find it would reveal the depths of an offshore financial system bigger than the U.S. economy.


    #panamapapers #paradis_fiscaux #enquête

  • Canadians Fear Trump’s Budget Will Devastate Great Lakes - The New York Times

    The Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for a program that addresses major environmental and health threats in the Great Lakes would have a devastating impact on millions of Canadians, officials and environmental groups said on Thursday.

    Since word of the proposed cuts to the program leaked earlier this month, dozens of Canadian mayors and other officials have spoken out about the harm their cities and towns would suffer if the proposal were to go into effect.
    Canada Today

    “As the largest city on Lake Huron, the cuts will undo decades of work by many to clean up the Great Lakes on both sides of the border,” said Mayor Mike Bradley of Sarnia, Ontario. “What good is it having lower taxes when you can’t drink the water?”

    #environnement #qualité_eau

  • A Tweet to Kurt Eichenwald, a Strobe and a Seizure. Now, an Arrest. - The New York Times

    When the journalist Kurt Eichenwald opened an animated image sent to him on Twitter in December, the message “You deserve a seizure for your posts” appeared in capital letters along with a blinding strobe light. Mr. Eichenwald, who has epilepsy, immediately suffered a seizure.

    On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had arrested John Rayne Rivello, 29, at his home in Salisbury, Md., and accused him of sending the electronic file. The agency charged Mr. Rivello with criminal cyberstalking with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm.

    The unusual case has shown how online tools can be deployed as weapons capable of physical harm. The F.B.I. and the Dallas police led the investigation into Mr. Rivello, and the police said he sent the strobe light knowing that it was likely to lead Mr. Eichenwald, who has publicly discussed his epilepsy, into a seizure.

    #armes_logicielles #haine #épilepsie

  • The Rumor Bomb: On Convergence Culture and Politics Jayson Harsin / American University of Paris – Flow

    In February 2006, the Democratic Party of Japan admitted that one of its politicians used a hoax email producing a scandal that implicated a senior official of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, who allegedly received large sums of money from a publicly disgraced Internet startup. In 2005, a political consultant in South Africa was paid to fabricate emails to sow divisions and contribute to the succession battle in the ANC. In Nigeria in September 2008, an entire TV station was closed after it repeated an internet claim that Nigeria’s president would resign due to illness.

    New photo-editing technologies led to visual rumors. Recall the doctored photo of John Kerry with “Hanoi” Jane Fonda which made its way into the New York Times, and countless war journalism examples.

    Perhaps the most common American political rumor recently concerned Barack Obama. When it was clear Obama would be a contender, the Muslim rumor was launched, landing on mainstream news when a Clinton campaign volunteer was caught re-emailing it. Videoed McCain supporters also announced dread of an “Arab” President Obama, again frequenting news agendas, pressuring McCain to respond that Obama was a “decent family man” (not an Arab). Meanwhile, these rumors have complements that imply Obama was/is a terrorist because he allegedly “pals around with terrorists,” referring to acquaintance Bill Ayers.

    Rumor then is a keyword of contemporary politics and culture. But is it useful as a scholarly concept?

    I proposed the concept of “rumor bomb” (RB) to distinguish a particular use of rumor from other related notions.1 I begin with the widespread definition of rumor as a claim whose truthfulness is in doubt and which often has no clear source even if its ideological or partisan origins and intents are clear. I then treat it as a particular rhetorical strategy in current contexts of media and politics in many societies. The “RB” extends the definition of rumor into a media/politics concept with the following features:

    1. A crisis of verification: perhaps the most salient and politically dangerous aspect of rumor. [...]

    2. A context of public uncertainty or anxiety about a political group, figure, or cause, which the RB overcomes or transfers onto an opponent. ....

    3. A clearly partisan even if anonymous source (eg. “an unnamed advisor to the president”), which seeks political profit from the RB’s diffusion. [...]

    4. A rapid electronic diffusion: i.e. a “convergence culture” where news travels fast.

    #fake_news #post_truth #rumeurs

  • On his first visit to the Middle East, Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt surprises everyone

    Greenblatt leaped effortlessly from a Palestinian refugee camp to meeting settler leaders, making positive impressions on all, along with a clear message: Trump’s serious about peace, and Israel ought to be too.

    Barak Ravid Mar 17, 2017
    read more:

    Jason Greenblatt’s Twitter account was the best show in town this week. Anyone following his tweets might have thought he wasn’t the U.S. envoy for the peace process, but the Energizer bunny. 
    Greenblatt didn’t rest for a moment during his four days here. He bounced from Jerusalem, to Ramallah, to Jericho, to Bethlehem, to Amman and back to Jerusalem. After every meeting, he tweeted pictures and updates.
    On the eve of his visit, the New York Times published an article describing him scornfully as a man with no diplomatic experience who landed his job almost by chance. But Greenblatt proved this week that even if he lacks the experience of veterans of the peace industry in America, he is blessed with sharp instincts, seriousness, common sense and a great deal of personal charm and emotional intelligence. Everyone on the Israeli side who met with Greenblatt this week, on both the right and the left, as well as everyone on the Palestinian side, had a positive impression.
    “Greenblatt is a serious, honest envoy,” tweeted MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) after meeting him. “There’s no doubt President Trump is committed to peace, and that’s good news. It won’t be easy – but there’s hope.”
    On his first visit to the region as Trump’s envoy, Greenblatt came mainly to listen and learn. Alongside his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he held a great many meetings with segments of the population that until now most U.S. envoys had passed over. 
    He surprised many on the Palestinian side by meeting with residents of the Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah, and surprised others on the Israeli side by meeting with two mayors of settlements, Oded Revivi and Yossi Dagan. He met with Palestinian and Israeli students, with residents of the Gaza Strip, with senior Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics.
    skip - blattjalazone

    Wednesday night, Greenblatt took a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. One stop on the tour was Yeshivat HaKotel, from which he tweeted a picture of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Five minutes later, he visited the house of a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem and tweeted a picture of the same holy sites from a different angle.
    “Peace and coexistence are not just possible in this extraordinary city, they exist already and have for centuries,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
    The message Greenblatt reiterated against and again, to both Israelis and Palestinians, was that President Donald Trump is very serious when he talks about his desire to make “the ultimate deal” and that Israeli-Palestinian peace is very high on his priority list. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said after meeting with Greenblatt that he got the impression Trump was very committed to this issue and plans to launch a serious diplomatic process. A senior minister in the ruling Likud party got the same impression.

  • The Fifth Force of Physics Is Hanging by a Thread - Issue 46: Balance

    How about that! Mr. Galileo was correct in his findings.” That conclusion wasn’t based on the most careful experiment you’ll ever see, but it was one of the most spectacular in its way—because it was performed on the moon. In 1971, Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott dropped a feather and a hammer from the same height and found that they hit the lunar surface at the same time. The acceleration due to gravity doesn’t depend on a body’s mass or composition, just as Galileo asserted from his (probably apocryphal) experiment on the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In Galileo’s Dreams: A moon-bound reprise of Galileo’s famous experiment from the leaning tower of Pisa. Nikolas Zane Or does it? Jump forward to the front-page headline of The New York Times in January 1986: “Hints of 5th Force in the Universe (...)

  • Syrian Military, Not Rebels, Severed Damascus Water Supply, U.N. Finds - The New York Times

    Syrian military airstrikes on rebels were responsible for severing water supplies to 5.5 million people in the Damascus region for weeks starting last December, the United Nations said on Tuesday, rebutting government claims that insurgents were to blame.

    In a bombing campaign to drive rebel forces from the Barada Valley north of Damascus, Syrian air force jets launched multiple strikes on their positions around the al-Feijeh spring, which supplied water to the capital, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry monitoring the conflict in Syria said in a report.

    Retour sur une question dont on avait beaucoup parlé à l’époque... J’ai toujours du mal à comprendre quel aurait pu être l’intérêt du gouvernement syrien à agir ainsi. Mais si l’ONU a fait son enquête...

    #syrie #eau

  • F.D.A. Official Under Bush Is Trump’s Choice to Lead Agency - The New York Times

    President Trump said Friday that he intended to nominate Scott Gottlieb, a partner at a venture capital fund with longstanding ties to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
    Mr. Trump has made no secret about his desire to overhaul the F.D.A., telling a group of pharmaceutical executives in January that he planned to slash regulations and speed up drug approvals at the agency.
    Indeed, Dr. Gottlieb was the clear choice of the pharmaceutical industry — when the Wall Street firm Mizuho Securities surveyed 53 drug companies in February, nearly three-quarters said they preferred him.

  • The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media » Nieman Journalism Lab

    A new tool built by the Times’ data science team is trying to remove some of the guesswork involved in finding the right story to post to social. Blossom, an intelligent bot within the messaging app Slack, predicts how articles or blogposts will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote by drawing from enormous stores of data, including information on story content and performance metrics such as Facebook post engagement. Blossom can also show the basics of where posts have already appeared and how they are currently performing.

    #robots #journalisme #médias_sociaux

  • Uber avoue utiliser un logiciel secret pour éviter les forces de l’ordre

    Uber, déjà montré du doigt dans plusieurs affaires ces derniers jours, a avoué vendredi l’existence d’un logiciel secret destiné notamment à éviter que ses chauffeurs ne soient contrôlés par les autorités. Uber a avoué utiliser ce logiciel surnommé « Greyball » après un article du New York Times qui en révélait l’existence. Selon un communiqué de service de réservation de voitures avec chauffeur, cet outil était utilisé dans les villes où il n’était pas interdit, et son objectif principal était de protéger les (...)

    #Uber #algorithme

    • Greyball and the VTOS program were described to The New York Times by four current and former Uber employees, who also provided documents. The four spoke on the condition of anonymity because the tools and their use are confidential and because of fear of retaliation by Uber.


      One technique involved drawing a digital perimeter, or “geofence,” around the government offices on a digital map of a city that Uber was monitoring. The company watched which people were frequently opening and closing the app — a process known internally as eyeballing — near such locations as evidence that the users might be associated with city agencies.

      Other techniques included looking at a user’s credit card information and determining whether the card was tied directly to an institution like a police credit union.


      If users were identified as being linked to law enforcement, Uber Greyballed them by tagging them with a small piece of code that read “Greyball” followed by a string of numbers.

      When someone tagged this way called a car, Uber could scramble a set of ghost cars in a fake version of the app for that person to see, or show that no cars were available. Occasionally, if a driver accidentally picked up someone tagged as an officer, Uber called the driver with instructions to end the ride.

  • Informed Patient? Don’t Bet On It - The New York Times

    The secret is that informed consent in health care is commonly not-so-well informed. It might be a document we ask you to sign, at the behest of our lawyers, in case we end up in court if a bad outcome happens. Unfortunately, it’s often not really about informing you.

    Unfortunately the farce of informed consent only worsens in medical research. Before you can enroll in a clinical trial of a cancer drug, we’ll hand you a 25-page document that describes the trial’s purpose, its design, the medications you’ll receive, other standard treatments, and the complications you may suffer. Oh, and we’ll tell you that you are responsible for any medical costs not covered by insurance or the trial sponsor. That’s for the lawyers, again. We will then ask you to sign the final page, acknowledging your understanding and your agreement to participate in the trial.

    When is the last time you read a 25-page document from beginning to end?

    #médecine #santé_publique

  • Rest in power, Miriam Tlali : author, enemy of #apartheid and feminist

    Renowned South African author Miriam Masoli Tlali passed away on February 24 2017, aged 83. Born November 11 1933 in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, Tlali was the first black South African woman to publish a novel in English within the country’s borders. She is best known for this work, first published as “Muriel at Metropolitan” in 1975 by Ravan Press.

    It was re-issued in 2004 by the title she had preferred from the start, “Between Two Worlds”. Based on her time as an administrative assistant at a furniture store in downtown Johannesburg during the height of apartheid, the novel documents the daily humiliations of petty apartheid. There were two types of apartheid, grand apartheid and the petty version, which the New York Times once described as,

    the practice of segregation in the routine of daily life – in lavatories, restaurants, railway cars, busses, swimming pools and other public facilities.

    “Muriel at Metropolitan”/“Between Two Worlds” was the first literary text that portrayed the degrading conditions under which African women laboured during apartheid. It highlighted how strict influx control into “white” cities hampered black women’s opportunities for employment and fulfilling family lives.

    #afrique_du_sud #littérature #féminisme

  • As France’s Towns Wither, Fears of a Decline in ‘Frenchness’ - The New York Times

    ALBI, France — The paint is fading, but the word is still clear: Alimentation, “Groceries.” It seems like a stage prop, grafted above the window of the empty old storefront. Opposite stands a tattoo parlor. Nobody enters or leaves. The street is deserted.

    Keep walking, and you’ll find more vacant storefronts, scattered around the old center of this town dominated by its imposing 13th-century brick cathedral, one of France’s undisputed treasures. Tourist shops and chain clothing stores are open, but missing are the groceries, cafes and butcher shops that once bustled with life and for centuries defined small-town France.

    #urban_matter #albi #décadence

  • Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’ - The New York Times

    Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC and The Huffington Post were among those shut out of the briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer admitted only reporters from a group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

    Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fox News also attended.

    Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions. The Washington Post did not send a reporter to the session.

    Still, the Committee to Protect Journalists, which typically advocates press rights in countries with despotic regimes, issued an alarmed statement on Friday about Mr. Trump’s escalating language.

    “It is not the job of political leaders to determine how journalists should conduct their work, and sets a terrible example for the rest of the world,” said the group’s executive director, Joel Simon. “The U.S. should be promoting press freedom and access to information.”

    Mr. Trump, in his attack on the news media at the conservative gathering, complained at length about the use of anonymous sources in news stories, charging that some reporters were fabricating unnamed sources to level unfair charges against him.

    “They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” Mr. Trump said. “Let their name be put out there.”

    At another point, he said, “A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people because they have no sources — they just make it up.” He added that his “enemy of the people” label applied only to “dishonest” reporters and editors.

    #journalisme #USA #Trump

  • A Lawsuit Against Uber Highlights the Rush to Conquer Driverless Cars - The New York Times

    SAN FRANCISCO — Late last year, Uber, in defiance of California state regulators, went ahead with a self-driving car experiment on the streets of San Francisco under the leadership of Anthony Levandowski, a new company executive.

    The experiment quickly ran into problems. In one case, an autonomous Volvo zoomed through a red light on a busy street in front of the city’s Museum of Modern Art.

    Uber, a ride-hailing service, said the incident was because of human error. “This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers,” Chelsea Kohler, a company spokeswoman, said in December.

    But even though Uber said it had suspended an employee riding in the Volvo, the self-driving car was, in fact, driving itself when it barreled through the red light, according to two Uber employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, and internal Uber documents viewed by The New York Times. All told, the mapping programs used by Uber’s cars failed to recognize six traffic lights in the San Francisco area. “In this case, the car went through a red light,” the documents said.

    The legal battle also provides a rare glimpse into the high-stakes world of top technology talent, where star engineers like Mr. Levandowski, who played a central role in Google’s pioneering autonomous car project, command huge sums of money to try to help define a company’s technological future.

    After leaving Google in January 2016, Mr. Levandowski formed the self-driving truck company Otto. About six months later, Uber bought Otto for $680 million, and Mr. Levandowski became Uber’s vice president in charge of its self-driving car project.

    Waymo filed a lawsuit on Thursday in federal court against Uber and Otto, accusing Mr. Levandowski and Uber of planning to steal trade secrets.

    Engineers like Mr. Levandowski are part of a limited pool of people with the experience and capability to lead efforts on self-driving cars. They are wooed by traditional automakers looking to acquire new technical talent and tech companies, both established firms and start-ups, who see the opportunity to use artificial intelligence and sensors to disrupt another industry.

    “What’s in these people’s heads is hugely in demand,” because the talent pool “just doesn’t have enough miles under the wheels,” said Martha Josephson, a partner in the Palo Alto, Calif., office of Egon Zehnder, an executive recruiting firm.

    In fact, Sebastian Thrun, who founded Google’s self-driving car project and is now the chief executive of the online teaching start-up Udacity, said last year that the going rate for driverless car engineering talent was about $10 million a person.

    Current and former co-workers of Mr. Levandowski, who asked for anonymity because they did not have permission to speak to reporters, said he was aggressive and determined with an entrepreneurial streak.

    Since leaving Google, Mr. Levandowski, 36, has embodied the Silicon Valley ethos that it is better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

    Mr. Levandowski gained some notoriety within Google for selling start-ups, which he had done as side projects, to his employer. In his biography for a real estate firm, for which he is a board member, Mr. Levandowski said he sold three automation and robotics start-ups to Google, including 510 Systems and Anthony’s Robots, for nearly $500 million. After this story was published, the real estate firm updated its website erasing Mr. Levandowski’s biography and said that it had “erroneously reported certain facts incorrectly without Mr. Levandowski’s knowledge.”

    #idéologie_californienne #automobile

  • Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, Is Dead at 69 - The New York Times

    Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, reshaping the nation’s social and political landscapes and inflaming one of the most divisive controversies of the past half-century, died on Saturday in Katy, Tex. She was 69.

    At the heart of it all, Ms. McCorvey — known as Jane Roe in the court papers — became an almost mythological figure to millions of Americans, more a symbol of what they believed in than who she was: a young Dallas woman lifted by chance into a national spotlight she never sought and tried for years to avoid, then pulled by the forces of politics to one side of the abortion conflict, then by religion to the other.

    Les gens changent au cours de leur vie. Mais les acquis collectifs restent, car ils dépassent les cas individuels. C’est un des problèmes de la Common Law par rapport à la logique républicaine de la Loi en priorité. Le rapport à la loi n’est pas plus simple que celui aux individus qui apportent de grands changements malgré eux.

    #féminisme #avortement #USA

  • The German Namibian #genocide–What is to be done?

    At the beginning of the 20th century, German colonial forces in #Namibia, then called South-West Africa, committed what is considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Between 1904 and 1907, the Germans tried to exterminate two local nations, the #Herero (Ovaherero) and the #Nama. As the New York Times reported in December last year,…

    #POLITICS #Germany

  • Long-Term Opioid Use Could Depend on the Doctor Who First Prescribed It - The New York Times

    Over all, researchers estimated that out of every 48 patients who were sent home with a prescription, one would end up using opioids long-term, which researchers defined as at least 180 days of medication over a year. Chronic opioid use, particularly in older people, can contribute to spiraling problems: constipation, confusion, falls and addiction.

    But the risk of becoming that patient increased or decreased depending on the treating physician. Researchers found that doctors they identified as “high-intensity” prescribers sent one in four patients home with opioids. “Low-intensity” prescribers gave opioids to one in 14 patients. The patients who saw a high-intensity prescriber were 30 percent more likely to become long-term users, researchers said.

    The study did not seek to lay blame for the well-documented rise in opioid use by Medicare patients at the feet of emergency room doctors. Indeed, after patients receive an opioid prescription from the emergency room, they usually have subsequent prescriptions written by doctors outside the hospital, especially primary care physicians. The study’s authors alluded to “clinical inertia” — the belief among follow-up physicians that if the emergency room doctor’s prescription did the trick, they might as well refill it.

    But he also noted that there is a “structural disincentive” to offer alternatives to medication, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, physical therapy, because of poor insurance reimbursement.

    Les big pharma ne dirigent le monde qu’avec la comlicité des médecins. L’inconscience des effets sociaux et de long terme des prescriptions est véritablement une question à poser devant toute la société, pas seulement devant les corps médicaux spécialisés... et la prévention, le sport, les techniques alternatives prennent alors toute leur place dans l’arsenal médical.

    #santé_publique #crise_opiacés

  • How the New York Times Is Using Strategies Inspired by Netflix, Spotify, and HBO to Make Itself Indispensible

    Sulzberger, like more than three dozen other executives and journalists I interviewed and shadowed at the Times, is working on the biggest strategic shift in the paper’s 165-year history, and he believes it will strengthen its bottom line, enhance the quality of its journalism, and secure a long and lasting future.

    The main goal isn’t simply to maximize revenue from advertising—the strategy that keeps the lights on and the content free at upstarts like the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Vox. It’s to transform the Times’ digital subscriptions into the main engine of a billion-dollar business, one that could pay to put reporters on the ground in 174 countries even if (OK, when) the printing presses stop forever. To hit that mark, the Times is embarking on an ambitious plan inspired by the strategies of Netflix, Spotify, and HBO: invest heavily in a core offering (which, for the Times, is journalism) while continuously adding new online services and features (from personalized fitness advice and interactive newsbots to virtual reality films) so that a subscription becomes indispensable to the lives of its existing subscribers and more attractive to future ones. “We think that there are many, many, many, many people—millions of people all around the world—who want what The New York Times offers,” says Dean Baquet, the Times’ executive editor. “And we believe that if we get those people, they will pay, and they will pay greatly.”

  • India Launches 104 Satellites From a Single Rocket, Ramping Up a Space Race - The New York Times

    India’s space agency launched a flock of 104 satellites into space over the course of 18 minutes on Wednesday, nearly tripling the previous record for single-day satellite launches and establishing India as a key player in a growing commercial market for space-based surveillance and communication.

    The launch was high-risk because the satellites, released in rapid-fire fashion every few seconds from a single rocket as it traveled at 17,000 miles an hour, could collide with one another if ejected into the wrong path.

  • Toshiba’s Chairman Resigns as Its Nuclear Power Losses Mount - The New York Times

    The trouble stems from Toshiba’s management of Westinghouse Electric Company, the American nuclear power business it acquired a decade ago. Westinghouse faces spiraling cost overruns at nuclear plant projects in the United States, and Toshiba said on Tuesday that it would like to sell all, or part, of its controlling stake in the company. Previous efforts to offload a portion of its shares in the subsidiary have failed, however.

    Le nucléaire n’est pas rentable. Les coûts augmentent... et l’équilibre des industriels passe par la multiplication des sites. Spirale économique.
    #nucléaire #économie

  • Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel’s Support - The New York Times

    An influential science advisory group formed by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday lent its support to a once-unthinkable proposition: clinical efforts to engineer humans with inheritable genetic traits.

    Toujours les mêmes arguments de l’auto-régulation des chercheurs tout en reconnaissant qu’ils sont engagés dans une course de vitesse avec « les chinois ».

    #santé_publique #génétique #asilomar_model #designer_babies

  • Born Lucky: The Genetics of the Four-Leaf Clover - Facts So Romantic

    Each year, from 1913 to 1917, the psychologist Edmund S. Conklin would hand out a questionnaire to his new psychology students. Conklin wanted to see which superstitious habits or beliefs were the most and least enduring. He found that just over a quarter of college students believed in lucky four-leaf clovers, making it the second most commonly cited superstition. Knocking on wood was first. (The top five are still with us today, though not the sixth. Sleeping on a wedding cake may be ill-advised, but bad luck?) For centuries, various cultures have fixated on the rare four-leaf clover, a tradition that “began when superstitions, myths and legends were strong,” reported the New York Times in 1990. “According to English folklore, if someone dreams of clover, it means a happy marriage (...)