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Credit: Victoria Pickering.

Police Unions: Good or Bad?

  • Police unions are frequently segregated, and frequently prefer to stay that way. Updated 2d ago
  • Criminologist finds little research into police unions and their effects on societies and cities—but nearly all of the research says they're bad.
  • Cops refuse to protect NFL players on grounds that athletes don't have freedom of speech.
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Credit: James Willamor.
Credit: New Belgium.

Hyping the Great Outdoors

  • Ultramarathoner Karl Meltzer sets Appalachian Trail record with unique fueling strategy (including bacon and beer). Updated 5d ago
  • FOMO helped to kill the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Climber and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard blames "the death of the outdoors" on Outside magazine.
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Our childhood was…weird, in a word. Even as a kid I found myself thinking, “Why are we selling flowers at the side of highways?” “Why are we going door-to-door making strangers drink juice?” “Why are we sprinkling salt over our groceries?”

Old but interesting look into the world of cults, almost worth it for the headline alone: "I accidentally joined a cult after leaving another cult."
↩︎ Jane

Yahoo Serious, Seriously

Why does Australia have one of the largest language families in the world? Two new genomics studies and biology give us a glimpse into the evolutionary tree of the continent, and lend some credence to one of Australia's old myths.


For your Friday entertainment: Alpine Sandwiches, a site featuring photographs of sandwiches in alpine terrain. The above is the "Deep South Sustainer," of which the maker writes, "This sandwich provided adequate nutritional sustenance on a stunning day ski touring in Antarctica. I let the ice crystals of the frozen tomato and lettuce melt in my mouth as I took in the amazing views of my surroundings. A memorable moment, thanks to this picture, which fueled me up to climb Domier Peak."

And in case you missed it, don't sleep on Wei Tchou's "Where Death Lies," a moving essay about eating blowfish, growing up Chinese-American, and what it says about your people when college professors make slurping sounds.

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Recent Data in Book Publishing

An August survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found that in 2015, only 43 percent of American adults had read a work of literature for pleasure in the previous year.

A similar study in 1982 pegged the number at 57 percent.


President Obama tells Doris Kearns Goodwin in Vanity Fair that the war in Syria "haunts me constantly."

He clearly experiences the gym as metric-based tyranny, but it seems obvious that other people approach working out with the same near-artistic intent he applies to thinking about them working out.

On the eternal shtick of "existential detective" Mark Grief, founder of n+1, whose slack-jawed wonder at pretty much everything characterizes the publication's all-comers criticism.
↩︎ The Village Voice

White Man Wanted to Maim and Kill

Another bomb plot: A white Houston man bought explosives from an undercover FBI agent and was promptly arrested. 


The Alt-Right Does not Like Muslim Refugees Involved With Their Breakfast

"For his humanitarianism and thinking outside the traditional corporate box, [Chobani founder and CEO] Ulukaya now stands at the center of a vicious smear campaign."

It's not too hard to imagine how Greek yogurt made by a Turkish-American immigrant became an obsession of the paranoid fringe, but it's startling to read nonetheless.


Hanjin Shipping has gone bankrupt, stranding $14.5 billion of goods at sea. Basic explanation: Global trade contracted following the financial crisis and never fully recovered, which has sent several shipping companies into the red. Related: Maersk, a global shipping titan, announced today it will split in two.

Credit: Thomas Hawk.

Your Leakage Is My Leakage

  • Welcome to the age of kompromat, or the well-timed release of compromising material. Updated 6d ago
  • FBI tries to figure out how to take hackers (and Putin?) to trial.
  • Former National Security Council spokesperson reflects on the panic of Washington elites in this period of regular email hacks.
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Credit: Michael Labrecque-Jessen.

The Assets of Trump and Their Mysterious Origins

  • Trump Foundation has used over $250,000 of other people's money to pay off settlements from lawsuits against Trump's other assets. Updated 2d ago
  • Trump has received nearly $900 million in tax breaks on his New York properties, often obtained by the means you'd expect from him.
  • Trump's mysterious foundation has no clear purpose, but it did once buy a $20,000 portrait of Trump himself.
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Edward Snowden speaking at the 2015 International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. Credit: Gage Skidmore.

Free Snowden, Please

  • House Intelligence Committee asks Obama to just say no. Updated 1w ago
  • Oliver Stone calls the presidential election "strange, superficial," when neither Snowden nor climate change are being discussed.
  • Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International make the case for a presidential pardon for Snowden.
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Duterte (third from left) leading the blowing of horns during the Torotot Festival 2015 in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines. Credit: Jeffrey Pioquinto.

The Widening Gyre That Is Rodrigo Duterte

  • Duterte has a 91% trust rating in the Philippines right now. To understand why, you have to understand what the Philippines have been through. Updated 1w ago
  • Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte orders the US military out of the nation's unrestful southern zone of Mindanao.
  • Duterte threatens to eat the terrorists alive, raw, in front of a crowd.
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