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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 1d 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 4d 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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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. 

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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.

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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 5d 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 1d 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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