- Due to late ad buys, Republicans may spend a lot of money on the way to losing control of Congress. Updated 18h ago
- Want to bring Democrats and Republicans together? Replace Paul Ryan with a hyper-conservative.
- Even if Democrats win the Senate in 2016, their majority won't last long.
- American immigration policies will prop up private prisons for the forseeable future. Updated 12h ago
- If priviate prisons save money, it's because they conscript prisoners into effective slave labor.
- Holding innocent children in a converted medium-security adult prison isn't smart.
- The first known depiction of a witch on a broom is from the 15th century. Updated 1d ago
- The headline you've been craving: "I accidentally joined a cult after leaving another cult."
- "Spanking Jesus" is a real, complicated, erotic, religious thing, and not the easiest way to experience God.
Revenge porn outside of the West can kill
As law enforcement agencies in the West work to combat revenge porn—the practice of posting compromising images of someone online, usually women, to get back at them—an investigation finds that when it happens to women in countries like Egypt, Jordan, or Tunisia, it often has deadly consequences. "Even if her life isn't finished physically, it is finished socially and professionally," says Jordanian psychologist Inam al-Asha.
If a computer set out to write a bestselling novel, it would write like Dave Eggers
Researchers studied 5,000 novels to determine an algorithm built to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which books will become mega-bestsellers. Among the 2,799 features strongly associated with bestsellers: Young, strong heroines who are also misfits (see: The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). No sex. Frequent use of the verb “need.” Lots of contractions. Few exclamation points.
Which recent novel was the algorithm's favorite? The Circle by Dave Eggers. "The computer found much to love: a strong, young female protagonist whose most-used verbs are “need” and “want.” A three-act plotline that mimics the satisfying one found in Fifty Shades of Grey. A focus on three themes (modern technology, jobs and the workplace, and human closeness)."
Your Thursday fact about gun violence
Recent analysis about gun violence in the US finds that 99.85 percent of Americans will know at least one victim of gun violence during his or her lifetime.
We’re talking about a character seemingly incapable of empathy, and blind to the toll his selfish behavior takes on others—whether his two wives, his colleagues, or the country at large. The kind of man whose only friend says about him, after his death: “He never believed in anything except Charlie Kane.”↩︎ Lithub
Donald Trump can win the White House—even without Tim Duncan
Nate Silver and his 538 team give Donald Trump a 16 percent shot at winning the presidency—"about the same as the chances of losing a game of Russian roulette."
Note that a 15 percent chance is what 538 gave the San Antonio Spurs to beat the Golden State Warriors the other night. The Spurs won by 29 points.
- Fact: The "Hillary treatment" extends to Hong Kong. Fiction: Coco Austin is the president of Croatia. Updated 1d ago
- Pussy Riot weighs in on the US presidential election with a perfectly timed ode to the ladyflower.
- Wonder Woman is now an ambassador for the United Nations, and lots of people have a problem with that.
- Dead people with ballot cards—aka, "zombie voters"—have scared American voters since the Civil War. Updated 2d ago
- FYI the American presidential election is not rigged.
- What happens if nobody wins? Role-playing a legitimate Constitutional crisis in 1980.
The Adolescent Scene
Dribbling in the Dark
What it’s like to be 14 in a new school, a new city away from home—and the wrong ethnicity in a divided country.
Where Death Lies
Each year, the Japanese government expects dozens of people to die from eating ill-prepared blowfish, and yet the dish remains a delicacy.
The 2016 Tournament of Books
Relive the action of the 12th Annual Morning News Tournament of Books—or any of the previous 11—presented by Field Notes.
- The Harry Potter books were a translator's nightmare. Updated 1d ago
- When American companies try to rebrand overseas, what's the best way to translate their names?
- Why Trump’s hyperbolic speech fascinates linguists and drives foreign journalists crazy.