NYT Summer Reading Contest

This submission was an honorable mention in the NYT Summer Reading Contest. Responding to the article “Online Security Questions Are Not Very Effective. I Still Love Them.” by Sophie Haigney

“What is your least favorite vegetable?” is my go-to question when meeting new people. The randomness and absurdity of the question usually leave recipients speechless, but only temporarily, for an exciting and equally abstract response follows. My favorite answers so far have been asparagus (its terrible smell), broccoli (it is too green), and carrots (a failed attempt at growing them). Each reply varies in complexity, but in all cases, I am left with a part of that person’s identity that I did not know before. 

This question that I ask is somewhat similar to the online security questions that Sophie Haigney spoke about. She enjoys how they make her think about what makes her “uniquely” her and the “shared secret” that she gains because of it. However, these questions are increasingly becoming extinct as better security methods are developed. Although Haigney is saddened by this loss, I urge her not to be.

From my point of view, online security questions should have never existed. I believe that the barrier they supposedly provide is meant to be broken. In reality, this “barrier” collapses as we meet new people and share new experiences. These intimate aspects of our lives were never meant to act as a safeguard, rather, as a path to connect with others. We should not miss online security questions but instead cherish the opportunity to ask them in the real world, speaking with real people.

Tracking Coronavirus Testing in Massachusetts; Week 10

July 21: +8,394 +244 % of Tests Positive: 2.90%

Tests Administered: 1,139,375 Total Cases: 114,033

July 22: +11,126 +287 % of Tests Positive: 2.58%

Tests Administered: 1,150,501 Total Cases: 114,320

July 23: +16,133 +327 % of Tests Positive: 2.03%

Tests Administered: 1,166,634 Total Cases: 114,647

July 24: +15,327 +338 % of Tests Positive: 2.21%

Tests Administered: 1,181,961 Total Cases: 114,985

July 25: +13,517 +283 % of Tests Positive: 2.09%

Tests Administered: 1,195,478 Total Cases: 115,268

July 26: +10,483 +369 % of Tests Positive: 3.52%

Tests Administered: 1,205,961 Total Cases: 115,637

July 27: +10,496 +289 % of Tests Positive: 2.75%

Tests Administered: 1,216,457 Total Cases: 115,926

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Updated: July 27, 2020

Tracking Coronavirus Testing in Massachusetts; Week 9

July 14: +12,608 +303 % of Tests Positive: 2.40%

Tests Administered: 1,053,595 Total Cases: 112,130

July 15: +11,308 +217 % of Tests Positive: 1.92%

Tests Administered: 1,064,903 Total Cases: 112,347

July 16: +14,069 +234 % of Tests Positive: 1.66%

Tests Administered: 1,078,972 Total Cases: 112,581

July 17: +13,762 +298 % of Tests Positive: 2.17%

Tests Administered: 1,092,734 Total Cases: 112,879

July 18: +13,148 +359 % of Tests Positive: 2.73%

Tests Administered: 1,105,882 Total Cases: 113,238

July 19: +14,166 +296 % of Tests Positive: 2.09%

Tests Administered: 1,120,048 Total Cases: 113,534

July 20: +10,933 +255 % of Tests Positive: 2.33%

Tests Administered: 1,130,981 Total Cases: 113,789

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Date: July 20, 2020

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