Sunday, December 2, 2012

Links for the week ending 2 December 2012

Once more into the breach, dear friends! From Erin Cunningham for GlobalPost, coverage of new protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and the "constitution conundrum" that has driven ordinary Egyptians back to the streets.

At The Daily Beast, Sarah A. Topol looks at Gaza's one flourishing business: running smugglers' tunnels underneath the border with Egypt.

Torie Rose DeGhett publishes "This Week in War" at The Political Notebook. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a weekly roundup that focuses exclusively on conflicts around the world.

The New Yorker's indispensable Amy Davidson on Private Bradley Manning's testimony this week. And also on the question of a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy for President in 2016: "one finds oneself asking, Must we?"

Colorlines' infographic wizard Hatty Lee presents some eye-opening statistics for World AIDS Day.

"'[D]efendants engage in a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct through which they routinely and systematically arrest and incarcerate children, including for minor school rule infractions, without even the most basic procedural safeguards…'" Also at Colorlines, Julianne Hing reports on the Department of Justice lawsuit again Meridian, Mississipi for violating its schoolchildren's basic constitutional rights.

Stephanie Simon for Reuters on the dubious returns on Jeb Bush's vaunted education "reforms" in Florida.

An interview at Bitch Magazine with Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple about their very cool-looking e-book, Discordia, based on their travels and reporting in Greece.

From Alison Flood at the Guardian, how a single editor at the Oxford English Dictionary deleted thousands of words from the OED between 1972-1986 because of their "foreign linguistic influences."

This is excessively awesome. Rebecca Boyle at Popular Science on the installation by a Swedish utility of light-therapy panels at bus stops. Now THAT'S socialized medicine for the win.

Does smiling improve your mood? Does smiling around a pair of chopsticks improve your mood? Scicurious covers a recent study and finds… well, it couldn't hurt.

Moving piece from Rebecca J. Rosen at The Atlantic on "The First Time Humans Saw the Structure of DNA."

From Maggie Koerth-Baker at (use your clicks wisely!) The New York Times Magazine, a fascinating piece on the surprising homogenization of urban ecosystems — and how that might be a good thing.

The best news I have read all year! (Even if it doesn't turn out to be true!) First, from Lindsay Abrams at The Atlantic, "The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like." Then, via @bug_girl, a post from Julie Craves at Coffee & Conservation examining media coverage of a recent scientific paper and asking, "Is coffee really at risk of extinction?" (Spoiler: not more than anything else is thanks to climate change.)

Is there anything more fun than a book review by Zoƫ Heller at the NYRB? With this review of Salman Rushdie's third-person memoir, I submit that the answer is certainly, "No."

"'If you're good, you can have that when I die.'" Get into the holiday spirit with this wonderful piece by an anonymous author at The Billfold: "My Nana's Will of Iron."

If you like erudite gossip about the sexual habits of the British aristocracy, this excellent piece by Emma Garman at The New Inquiry, "Baby Daddies and Dandy Scandals," is going to make your day.

Via the lovely folks at Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Ann Patchett at The Atlantic: "You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell."

Finally, at n+1, a fine essay by Kathleen Massara on "The Good Life" in Omaha, Nebraska.