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Sarah Palin exits a voting booth in 2008. Credit: Shealah Craighead.

At the beginning of Dirty Harry, it’s unnerving to see Harry seeming to take cold pleasure in threatening a suspect with his gun…. For him, at least, the law had become an obstacle to justice rather than the mechanism facilitating it.

How Hollywood—working directly with law enforcement—invented the mythology of good police shootings.
↩︎ The Washington Post

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.

For your Thursday lunch break: Photographs of charming Paris storefronts.
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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 GirlThe 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)."


My last game, I was actually at the office until 4 o’clock, 4:15, editing a bunch of short stories. I lost track of time and looked at my watch and was like, 'Oh, I better go home. I got my last game to play.'

Kobe Bryant nearly missed his last game because he was revising his fiction. He's also working on a novel, and writes poetry.
↩︎ Complex

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.”

What does a presidential candidate's favorite movie reveal?
↩︎ 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.


Vermont man likely sets world record for using your mouth to catch a grape dropped from the greatest height

"Most of the few dozen attempts ended with a goggle-clad Fraser getting smacked in the face and chest by the large grapes—selected because they were easiest to see—that were traveling about 56 mph. 'I felt like I was being punched in the face.'"

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