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Meat section in Veganz, a vegan supermarket in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Josefine Stenudd.

The Outer Edge of Dining Habits

  • Restaurant reviews on Yelp are the new water cooler/bar stool/shouting match. Updated 5h ago
  • Is the term "oriental" really so offensive, and who is so offended by it?
  • How Dunkin' Donuts continues to beat Starbucks and craft coffee for New England's affection.
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Really? Yes, really. Credit: Alex Liivet.

Words, Words, Words

  • The Inuktitut language doesn't have an alphabet. Instead, its writing system is an "abugida," where each symbol represents both a consonant and a vowel. Updated 5h ago
  • Yes, there is an American Jewish accent and no, it's not just a New York accent. Linguists explain why the study of "Jewish English" is so complicated.
  • Two new studies explain why Australia has one of the largest language families.
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Smoke stacks from Saint Mary's Paper Mill. Credit: Billy Wilson.

The Fate of the Clean Power Plan

  • Climate math meets methane and the results aren't pretty for fossil fuel infrastructure. Updated 11h ago
  • Global warming isn't a Chinese hoax, but there is tomfoolery at the bottom of this week's Clean Power Plan case.
  • What is the Clean Power Plan? If upheld, it will reduce carbon pollution from utilities by 30%.
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Asking us to stand between 9/11 families and their day in court is asking a lot.

Obama's bid to protect some of America's best buddies in Middle East Realpolitik (Saudi Arabia) gets vetoed by Congress—the first override of his presidency.
↩︎ CNN

Headline of the Day: Wednesday Edition

"The man was using a portable toilet on a Sydney building site on Tuesday, when he suffered a repeat of the incident five months ago. Jordan, who preferred not to reveal his surname, said he was bitten on 'pretty much the same spot' by the poisonous spider."

That's right: "Spider Bites Australian Man on Penis Again." (H/t Nextdraft.)


Yankees fan proposes to girlfriend while on camera, then drops ring while on camera, then looks very sad.

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If instead of feeling exhausted I feel exhilarated, and want to make people happy by giving them a gift, why not do it?

Janet Malcolm profiles piano prodigy Yuja Wang, with lots about her family, short skirts, performances, dating life, and melancholy.
↩︎ The New Yorker

No Longer Just a Chill Frog

The Anti-Defamation League has added “Pepe the Frog” to its online database of hate symbols, joining the swatstika, "echo," and blood-drop cross. "Because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist." As NPR puts it, "I guess we need to talk about Pepe the Frog."

Incidentally, here's a tweet retweeted by Donald Trump last October:


Every day, I ask myself: Are there things that I can do to keep more people in the trans community alive?

Profile of Chase Strangio, the trans ACLU lawyer representing Chelsea Manning
↩︎ Broadly

The Beginnings of the "Bud and Breakfast" Trail

Anticipating pot going legal in California this fall, small marijuana growers plan to go boutique to compete with competition from Big Tobacco/Big Alcohol/Big Ag.


If you think one person’s consumption is too small to make a difference, consider that $100—what a recreational cocaine user might spend on a single weekend—buys the cartels 500 rounds of ammunition.

In case you've got some coke or molly lined up for the weekend, don't forget that you're now personally responsible for dead people.
↩︎ New York Times

There Comes a Time When Silence Is Betrayal

Serena Williams writes a public letter on Facebook about police violence. An excerpt:

Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all "the others."

Colin Kaepernick. Credit: Brook Ward.

Sports & Flags & Protests & Emotions

  • Coach leads team in kneeling, and now insults arrive from across the country. Updated 15h ago
  • Seattle's prof athletes pipe up with diverging views.
  • The logic behind a 1940 Supreme Court decision is the same behind the "team-first" criticism now leveled at Kaepernick for his anthem protest. But the Supremes later changed their minds.
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Members of a visit, board, search and seizure team, assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift. Credit: Commander, US 7th Fleet..

When the Police Can Take Your Cash, Cars, and Home

  • Five municipal governments that rely most on civil asset forfeiture—and the fines that come with it—are towns of under 1,500 people. Updated 1d ago
  • Thanks to John Oliver and the Washington Post, Eric Holder banned the practice of police using federal laws to seize assets.
  • City attorney of a small city in New Mexico describes "little goodies" of civil asset forfeiture.
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More Features at TMN
Credit: World Bank.

Leading While Female

  • Why we’re more likely to interpret women’s facial expressions as emotions and men’s as reactions. Updated 1d ago
  • Visceral backlash against Hillary’s candidacy can be linked to a social phenomenon called “precarious manhood.”
  • There’s a good chance we’ll see a record number of female Senators come November—and our government will be much improved.
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The situation in Aleppo, as of September 4, 2016. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A Ceasefire in Syria

  • UK ambassador despairs of destruction in Aleppo, which Russian planes have begun to target again in their support of Syria's central government. Updated 1d ago
  • UN halts aid operations in Syria after new bombings. US blames Russian warplanes; Russia blames terrorists.
  • Ceasefire's future is in doubt after a mistaken United States airstrike wipes out a Syrian Army company.
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