Michelle Shephard at The Toronto Star has articles this week about Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shabab organization, its plans to create terror, and how it's recruiting disaffected Muslim youth in Kenya and Canada.
A very long article for Reuters by Rebecca Hamilton on how US support for the creation of the nation of South Sudan was orchestrated over decades by a small group of regulars at a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Amy Davidson at The New Yorker sums up the appalling heartlessness towards the victims uncovered in the inquiry into Penn State's child rape scandal, contrasted with the empathetic concern proffered to rapist Jerry Sandusky.
From Lindy West at Jezebel: "How to Make a Rape Joke." And Kate Harding presents "15 Rape Jokes That Work." (She forgot the Onion's Sandusky-related headline: "Nation's 10-Year-Old Boys: 'If You See Someone Raping Us, Please Call the Police.'")
From Robin Marty at RH Reality Check, a piece about an Idaho woman who has brought civil suit to overturn that state's "unlawful abortion" law after having charges brought against her for attempting to induce an abortion using pills obtained for her over the internet.
From two weeks ago, but just as infuriating as it was when it was fresh! Dayna Tortorici at n+1 about the Supreme Court's 2011 ruling that denied class action status to women suing Wal-Mart for sex discrimination. If only it was possible to clone Ruth Bader Ginsburg and seat 8 more of her on the Supreme Court…
"Before the Civil War, the going rate to buy a vote was between two-fifty and twenty bucks a head — cheap in San Francisco, costly in Connecticut." Jill Lepore is a Priceless National Treasure, no?
Cheryl Strayed's collection of Dear Sugar advice columns, Tiny Beautiful Things, was released this week, and Strayed did approximately 4 gazillion interviews all over the internets in consequence. Here's one at her old home stomping grounds, The Rumpus, with Sari Botton.
Via Cheryl Strayed, an essay in The Sun Magazine by Krista Bremer, "Blues For Allah." As my eleven-year-old is also a huge fan of Google Translate (if not of Libyan fusion rock bands), I was hooked by the end of the first sentence.
Very different, and completely delightful: Elif Batuman at The New Yorker on the unexpected origins of Istanbul's nascent African drum scene.
Nona Willis Aronowitz writes at the Washington Post about the losses and burdens faced by the children of parents who waited until late in life to have kids. Moving and thought-provoking.
Via Longreads, Patti Waldmeir, Shanghai correspondent for the Financial Times and adoptive mother to two Chinese daughters, tells the story of a carefully abandoned six-week-old infant she and a friend found outside a Dunkin' Donuts in that city in 2010.
From Maryn McKenna, a bombshell piece at The Atlantic looking at the growing evidence supporting a link between antibiotic use in poultry and the rise in drug-resistant UTIs. If you're the one out of every nine American women who has a UTI every year, you are going to be giving your chicken dinners the fish eye after reading this. McKenna has more follow-up links and references at her blog at Wired.
Drug-resistant UTIs probably have nothing to do with this, but. Maggie Fox at MSNBC reports that 26% of American women had trouble paying medical bills in 2009-2010.
Really valuable critiques of the American food system in this interview of activists Uylonda Dickerson and Hnin Wai Hnin by Yvonne Yen Liu as part of Colorlines' "How We Eat" series. "If they're not paying living wages, that's not a job." THIS.
From Deborah Blum at Txchnologist, an appreciation of Alice C. Evans, microbiologist, stubborn badass, and the person we have to thank for discovering the link between raw milk and brucellosis.
On the other hand: A smart Sady Doyle piece at In These Times about the compelling myth of the single heroic activist versus the reality that social change is effected by networks of people working together.
And here's an example: Julianne Hing at Colorlines takes a look at community organizing and resistance against Arizona's law forbidding the teaching of ethnic studies at state schools. "Tuscon Freedom Summer, Or 5 Ways to Fight Back Against An Unjust Law." Inspiring.
Leslie Madsen-Brooks wrote at the end of last week about the UVA shenanigans, online education, IP rights, and speaking out. I particularly like the jabs at the inadequacy of digital "textbook" packages, perhaps because (ahem) I know someone who has been directed to create online quizzes and Power Point presentations for a new edition of his book and has outsourced the work… to our children.
For Susan and everyone else who participated in that "seriously, psychoanalytic theory?" conversation on Twitter awhile back, this very funny article by Jennifer Senior in New York Magazine about the perils of trying to quit psychoanalysis.
From Mignon Fogarty at Grammar Girl, news of the truly awesome: "school children in Baltimore are using the slang word yo as a gender-neutral singular pronoun."
This is fascinating, if not so much with the awesome. Megan Garber at The Atlantic with a brief history of tarmac, and a few reasons why it may not be the ideal paving material for a climate-change world.
Pure awesome: what do you get when a radiographer is also a fashion designer is also a knitter? CT-scan and MRI-based knitwear patterns. From Becca Rosen at The Atlantic.
I just finished reading Katherine Boo's incredible Behind the Beautiful Forevers. At Columbia Journalism Review, Kira Goldenberg writes about the reporting Boo did to gain access to the stories of lives lived and lost in Mumbai's soon-to-be-demolished Annawadi slum.
"The horror of hearing the phrase 'monetizing eyeballs' for the first time…" Maria Bustillos at BuzzFeed on her year spent courting venture capital money for a dot-com.
"Our ancestors risked, and lost, their lives demanding to live as free Americans, to go about their trivial, time-wasting pursuits as much as their deadly serious ones." Debra Dickerson at Alternet on why it matters that Daughters of the American Revolution has a new chapter founded by a black woman.
The Hairpin at its very finest. Nicole Cliffe with "An Interview With Nutella." (Remember when comment sections were always that fun? Yeah, Anne Helen Petersen does, too.)
My kids still don't wanna go see it with me [heavy sigh], but this essay about Brave at The New Inquiry by Lili Loofbourow really does win the internets this week: "Just Another Princess Movie."
And finally. "So here we are, fueled by our own inability to just chill the fuck out, which is indeed a formidable engine although not perhaps the most efficient one." Sarah McCarry/The Rejectionist takes on July.