Sunday, July 29, 2012

Links for the week ending 29 July 2012

I have to admit that the Aurora massacre and the tsunami of predictable commentary that followed more or less drove me off the internets for awhile. I'm sure you've all read plenty about it without my help, if reading about it was what you wanted to do. I will only point you at this Maia Szavalitz column at Time which asks the most obvious (yet ridiculously necessary) question about why there should be a connection between publicity, charity, and health care.

No, one more: "The grief we carry in our bodies," from Janine DeBaise. In case anyone here hasn't seen it already.

Does any other American get embarrassed when the only major news organization to jump on this sort of thing is The Guardian? Just me, then? Well. By Chitrangada Choudhury for The Guardian, a short look at the new report conducted by researchers at NYU and Fordham law schools, which found the NYPD routinely engaged in violations of basic constitutional rights against Occupy protesters.

Quinn Norton at Wired with news you can use in the event of an ongoing, slow-motion civil rights emergency: "This Cute Chat Site Could Save Your Life and Help Overthrow Your Government." Internets, fuck yeah!

At Contents Magazine, Erin Kissane interviews the founder of Homicide Watch, data-driven online reporting that logs and follows every single homicide in Washington, D.C., a priceless resource for the families of victims as well as the community at large.

Lois Beckett at ProPublica is still hammering at targeted online political advertising: "Who they're targeting, and what data they're using, is secret." But you can help drag it into the light if you're in the mood to do some crowd-sourced journalism yourself. If you're not, see this Jill Lepore essay in The New Yorker about campaign strategy as board game.

We've all seen the articles about drought and the coming rise in food prices. But there's more fun on the inflationary horizon. At Reuters, Sinead Carew reports on new data pricing plans being rolled out by Verizon and AT&T, concluding with this grim observation: "people will likely have to spend a much higher portion of their earning on Internet services in future." Fabulous.

Alison Frankel at Reuters with an op-ed suggesting that banks have earned themselves the same treatment as tobacco companies: direct judicial oversight. Not for nothing does she title this "A modest proposal," alas.

"'One cannot afford the luxury of proceeding on the basis of justice alone.'" Long and somewhat medicinal NYRB piece by Stéphanie Giry about the disabling compromises the international community has made with Cambodia's government stacked with Khmer Rouge-linked power brokers.

Lots of tributes to Sally Ride this week, and some tantrums from prominent gay voices (cough *Andrew Sullivan* cough) about Ride's decision to only out herself posthumously. I loved E.J. Graff's two takes on Ride's status as closeted feminist icon and pioneer. At The American Prospect.

So this 17-year-old from Sarasota, FL won this year's Google Science Fair for devising a computer program that greatly improves the accuracy of less-invasive biopsies for breast cancer. An interview with Brittany Wenger by Anna Kuchment at SciAm.

Helen Branswell at CTV looks at an outbreak of drug-resistant infections in a Toronto hospital that turned out to be spreading via… newly installed handwashing sinks. Oy.

Feel like engaging in some citizen science? You're in luck! Researchers are recruiting people to search for — I kid you not — zombie bees. Seriously. Katherine Harmon at SciAm about ZomBeeWatch.Org.

Lovely guest blog at SciAm this week by Kelly Izlar on the lyricism and science of the scent of rain.

The International AIDS Conference took place this week in a oddly optimistic, even celebratory key. Not so fast. Laurie Garrett says, "The End of AIDS? What are you smoking?" And, at Colorlines, Jamilah King writes a beautiful essay asking "why we all take the risks that we do in bed."

I can't even bring myself to link to all of Irin Carmon's depressing stories at Salon about This Week In Reducing Women's Access to Reproductive Self-Determination (you can find 'em for yourself if you're in need of some extra dejection in your day), but, at Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan asks, "Why Do We Suck at Taking Birth Control?" Also insanely depressing, but awfully damn good as an essay, Mimi Swartz at Texas Monthly writes about the past 18 months of war on women's health in Texas. Via Longreads.

In case we forget that it's not just reproductive self-determination under attack: Akiba Solomon at Colorlines writes about the most recent Senate Farm Bill would cut some $4.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Trigger warnings and etc. apply: At Jezebel, Katie J.M. Baker writes about what we can learn from the Reddit thread where rapists explain themselves. At The New Inquiry, Charlotte Shane asks some difficult questions about when an individual's experience of being raped doesn't match up with the narrative society has created for the category of rape.

"I always try to point out that the 'life' part of the equation means something different to everyone." Dana Shell Smith at The Atlantic has the smartest take I've seen on the "having it all" debate. And, credit where credit is due, I saw it via a link tweeted by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Just wonderful. At The Morning News, Jessica Francis Kane interviews her mother about the year she spent in the early 1960s as a secretary in Playboy Magazine's advertising department. Internets, it delights me when you interview your mothers.

Maira Kalman also delights me. At Maria Popova's Brain Pickings.

At Salon, Sarah Hepola writes about the pleasures and terrors of traveling alone. Honey, the hippies in the park could have told you where to camp that night!

Lindsay Miller, the author of The Hairpin's marvelous "Ask a Queer Chick" column, with possibly the best thing ever published on the internet: "The Day You Get Your MFA in Poetry."

This is from a couple of weeks ago, but, you know, I'm slow. Kathryn Schulz reviews Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist at Vulture.

This is from a couple of years ago, but, see above. At the Paris Review, Amanda Fortini interviews Mary Karr about writing memoirs. "A kid has no control. You’re three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you awake. You pay keen attention. People can just pick you up and move you and put you down."

This is from right now, and it is amazing. At The New Inquiry, Laurie Penny looks at the Olympic city from the Tube. "London, Underground."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Links for the week ending 22 July 2012

Posting from my phone today, and unable to do the usual check for typos and broken links. If something doesn't work, ping me at @phantomslist on Twitter and I'll do what I can to fix it.

Via @jillheather, a powerful post about a young, conservative mother's journey through the Canadian health care system. At RH Reality Check from Melissa, who blogs at Permission to Live: "How I Lost My Fear of Universal Health Care."

But tell that to the Republican Party. From Irin Carmon at Salon, "GOP v. Planned Parenthood, round 2."

From Melissa Petro at The Rumpus, a personal essay on poverty, sex work, and regretting a visit to NYU's dental clinic to check out what might be a cavity. "Poor people do not have ninety dollars for preventative care."

News you can use from The Awl! Lindsay Robertson with "How Not To Die of Rabies! A Chat With Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy."

An incredible, excruciating question-and-answer session between The New Yorker's Amy Davidson and Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center: "'I Really Resent You Using the Word "Torture"'."

A brief look at Rwanda on its 50th anniversary of independence, by poli sci prof Laura Seay for Al Jazeera English.

Madiha Tahir at The New Inquiry on the victims of American drone bombings. "The lawyer for some of these survivors and families of victims has offered interviews, and yet each time, the mainstream press refuses."

From Julianne Hing and designer Hatty Lee at Colorlines, a graphical look at how students of color are sorted into higher education in a time of disinvestment in public education.

You'll be glad to hear the answer to Maia Szalavitz's question at Time this week: "Does the Internet Really Make Everyone Crazy?" (Spoiler: no.)

Laurie Garrett is not pulling any punches about recent Taliban attacks against vaccination teams in Pakistan. "Thank you CIA."

Helen Epstein at The New York Review of Books on AIDS in South Africa, where solutions are still crippled by stigma and silence.

Two from Maggie Koerth-Baker at BoingBoing: "The wonder of small things" exhorts us to pay attention to creatures smaller than a breadbox. Then, a review of Kristen Iverson's memoir of growing up in the community around Colorado's Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, Full Body Burden.

From Michelle Nijhuis at The Last Word on Nothing, a hopeful essay about Colorado River water and the possibility that resource scarcity can lead to cooperation rather than conflict: "Learning from the Tubeworm".

Interesting piece from Liz Gannes at AllThingsD about the coming end of online lurking. I suspect that's a change that will eventually backfire (much like the apps that automatically reported everything you read to your FB feed). Via @uncommon.

From Emily Badger at The Atlantic, a look at the 60-year reign — and steep decline — of the indoor shopping mall.

So much sheer awesomeness here. From recently unemployed ladyjourno extraordinaire Ann Friedman, "Checking in With the Patriarchy." At The Awl.

From Sheila Squillante at The Rumpus, a quietly devastating portrait of a neighborhood Fourth of July celebration in College Park, PA, in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal.

Another Fourth of July celebration, at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. "Aliens in the Land of Egypt," by Annalise Koltun at The Morning News.

Nicola Twilley at edible geography answers the question we've all been asking: "What do you get if you cross Alan Turing with the London Olympics?" Answer: The Universal Tea Machine.

From Mukti Jain Campion at the BBC, an article that accompanied a programme on the same topic: "Hobson-Jobson: The words English owes to India."

From Australian writer Penni Russon, a lovely piece about raising a boy and reading his favorite book over and over: "I realise that Avery is subject in the way that the girls are never really subject in so many of our favourite books and movies and TV shows."

By Sharon Begley at the Wall Street Journal, a tale of a neurobiologist who transitioned from female to male offers a unique perspective on the obstacles facing women in science. "'Ben Barres's work is much better than his sister's.'"

Maria Bustillos is in The New Yorker this week! "What George Orwell, Henry Miller, and John Waters Taught Me About What to Read Next."

You will need tissues. From Katherine Goldstein at Slate, the story of the first gay wedding performed on a military base.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Links for the week ending 15 July 2012

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.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Links for the week ending 8 July 2012

I think every single pundit in America offered at least one commentary last week on this piece by Jan Crawford at CBS News: "Roberts switched views to uphold health care law." But if you were offline all week because of the Fourth or a power outage or a sudden attack of (ahem) electrosensitivity, now you, too, can play along with games of Speculate on the Identity of the SCOTUS Leak Source. ("Anthony Kennedy." "Drink!")

Hackers, activists, resistors, heroes. Molly Sauter at The Atlantic argues, "If Hackers Didn't Exist, Governments Would Have to Invent Them." And maybe they have. At Wired, Quinn Norton wrote an excellent long piece on the political awakening of Anonymous, with particular focus on the role of a prominent hacker who turned FBI mole under threat of prosecution. At The State, rahel aima has a short, fractured piece on "surveillance and the state." (Via Karen Gregory, who has the world's best Twitter handle.) Lauren Wolfe at the Women Under Siege Project writes about the dangers faced by Syrian activists reporting rape and other human rights abuses in the face of government digital surveillance. Meanwhile, a Sudanese blogger recounts her detention and interrogation by that country's security and intelligence service. (Those two last pieces via Jillian C. York.)

At Salon, Irin Carmon will make you mad about how Republican talking points on abortion have made women's health care that much more difficult to come by — and dangerous — in Kenya.

Helen Lewis at the New Statesman on the new lows to which the misogynist campaign against Anita Sarkeesian has sunk. Clearly there is no need to consider violence against women in video games when someone who suggests doing so is made the target of… a video game portraying violence against women. Right. (In related news, I have a new and brilliant idea for the improvement of comment sections! Forget captchas or Facebook registration — what the internet needs is a final step that involves correctly answering five questions about Rebecca Solnit's "Men Explain Things" essay before one's comment is published. The questions would ideally be so detailed as to force frequent internet commenters to more or less memorize the essay, if only for convenience's sake, AND THUS even the most misogynistic trolls would find Rebecca Solnit's words rolling around their heads whenever they crawled onto the internet. WIN, no?)

From the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, an excellent short article by Kari Marie Norgaard about the lessons we can learn about overcoming our tendency to avoidance when it comes to climate change by looking at the similar avoidance we displayed over the threat of nuclear annihilation in decades past. (Via @pourmecoffee.)

In the crush of Higgs boson coverage was this little gem at SciAm from Laura Jane Martin, a paean to her mom and to the small army of university administrative assistants everywhere: "Science functions because of their labor." (If you didn't catch any of the Higgs boson coverage, here's an article by Alexandra Witze at Science News. Or maybe you could ask Rachel's nine-year-old for a recap?)

At SciAm, Christie Wilcox looks at recent research linking behavioral changes to infection with Toxoplasma gondii. If you are a cat owner, this will thoroughly creep you out. Sorry!

Continuing on from last week's theme of Being Suspicious of Vitamin Supplements! At SciAm, Melinda Wenner Moyer looks at new draft recommendations regarding calcium and vitamin D supplements. Meanwhile, at The Last Word On Nothing, Cassandra Willyard re-examines her decision to take fish oil supplements, and concludes that the science behind most supplements is still uncertain.

Fascinating piece by bioarchaeologist Kristina Killgrove at Double X Science: "Childbirth and C-sections in pre-modern times."

"They eventually succumb to starvation or dehydration." Laura Zuckerman for Reuters wrote last week about the silent threat to millions of birds in Western states: uncapped PVC pipes used to mark mining claim boundaries. (Via Deborah Blum.)

Sommer Mathis at The Atlantic Cities looks at the various transportation options — bike-sharing and by-the-minute car rentals among them — that may make taxis a thing of the past in some major cities. But Liz Henry reminds us that transportation options for the disabled non-drivers (who, I suspect, are the most frequent users of taxis in my suburban town) still have a LONG way to go to reach anything like adequacy.

At The Rumpus, Roxanne Gay interviews novelist Karolina Waclawiak on immigration, assimilation, passing, Los Angeles, and what she learned about writing in film school.

A wonderful essay by Shani O. Hilton at The Awl on Andy Griffith, race in Mayberry, and when "all-white can sometimes be all right."

Ah, the Fourth of July. Tracie McMillan at the Washington Post would like you to know that your barbecued hamburgers hate America. At NPR's The Record, Salamishah Tillet makes the case for why the American dream sounds like Nina Simone. From Deborah Blum at Wired, a lovely tribute to the "Tiny Fireworks" of family celebrations. Finally, Jill Lepore in The New Yorker with election-year politics, Emerson, echoes of Annie Dillard's frogs — and a peanut gallery of heckling children. Having it all, indeed.

Two final essays. This is more than six years old, but it has succeeded in convincing me to read Sheila Heti's new novel: her 2006 lecture, "Why Go Out?" (Frankly, the only compelling answer to this question I have ever settled upon is "to buy tortilla chips." But YMMV.)

But maybe this is the ultimate answer. One of the most extraordinary acts of journalism I have ever read, it is a long essay and multimedia piece by Catherine Porter at The Toronto Star on the life of one Shelagh Gordon, ordinary person, who died suddenly at the age of 55, and whose grieving friends and family agreed to be interviewed by The Star. (Via Deborah Blum, whom I've convinced you to follow already, nu?)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Links for the week ending 1 July 2012

This week saw the release of several pieces of bravura journalism, jaw-dropping reporting from some very impressive women. But before we get to that, the week's top story: the Supreme Court's upholding of the Affordable Care Act. The glory and most of the column inches may have gone to Chief Justice John Roberts, but Amy Davidson in The New Yorker makes a compelling case for the real hero of the day, the person who may have forced Roberts' hand: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In The Atlantic, Laurie Garrett reminds us that the U.S. has been a force for the establishment of universal health care in other countries ever since the Marshall Plan. "But perhaps it will now be possible for an HIV-infected individual in Mississippi or Alabama to have access, at taxpayers' expense, to the same level of care as the U.S. government supports for comparable individuals in Johannesburg." Ouch.

At nearly 7,000 words, this piece will take you awhile. But Katherine Eban's exposé of the political shenanigans and manufactured Republican outrage driving the Fast and Furious scandal — for that well-known bastion of liberal bias, Fortune — is rock-solid, timely, and infuriating. As the best journalism should be.

More important coverage from the political circus, from Ayesha Rascoe and Emily Stephenson at Reuters. You know all that fracking and its concomitant environmental havoc? Congress would really, really prefer that you not think about whether the natural gas recovered in this way should be largely restricted for domestic use, or sold for much higher prices abroad.

Horrifying. Clara Gutteridge for The Nation reporting: "How the US Rendered, Tortured and Discarded One Innocent Man." I cannot get over the shame of knowing that sentences like "Suleiman joined the growing list of disappeared prisoners held at undisclosed locations with no access to a lawyer, tracked by a handful of global NGOs" are referring to my government and my tax dollars.

Also at The Nation, Liliana Segura explains what the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles will mean for current inmates sentenced as children, including some of the people profiled in her previous heartbreaking story.

Suzy Khimm at the Washington Post briefly explains the Supreme Court's mixed decision regarding Arizona's immigration law.

Helen Epstein at The New York Review of Books writes about the Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare that is New York City's child protection system, and questions whether it does more harm than good for the children trapped inside it.

Irin Carmon was in Kenya last week. She wrote for Salon about the infernal practices at Nairobi's Pumwani public hospital, where women report being held captive after giving birth until their bills are paid, and baby-trafficking allegations are widespread.

Maia Szalavitz at Time on how the the war on drugs encourages HIV infections around the world by making addicts far less likely to seek clean needles.

Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune reports, "In the last four years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found violations of manufacturing rules in half of the nearly 450 dietary supplement firms it has inspected." Maybe we should skip those vitamins after all, eh? (Via Deborah Blum.)

At ProPublica, Lois Beckett starts off looking for songs from Glee, and ends up digging into "How Mitt Romney Followed Me Around the Internet." (Such a great title, no?) If you see political ads with the little blue triangle on them, you can send them along to ProPublica yourself.

For Reuters, Margot Roosevelt profiles young, struggling voters in Michigan, and finds that Mitt Romney hasn't had much success in convincing him that he should be trusted with their futures..

"Your E-Book Is Reading You." Uh, that's… alarming, isn't it? On the other hand, now I feel better about how long it takes me to get through nonfiction books! By Alexandra Alter for The Wall Street Journal.

Emily Willingham at Double X Science explains how women manage having "a double dose of X." Take extra pride in your "lovely mosaic of genetic expression," my friends.

Deborah Blum at Wired was on a roll this week. First, a piece about lead poisoning in California condors, and, by extension, in a whole lotta other creatures (including hunters and their families). Then, "The Curious Case of the Poisoned Cows," a fascinating discussion of how forage grasses — and plenty of other plants — contain cyanide that may be released when the plant is stressed by, say, drought and heat.

At The Last Word On Nothing, Christie Aschwanden in Colorado writes about the afternoon she spent watching fire toy with her neighborhood and discovering that the potential loss of her houseful of stuff mattered surprisingly little to her.

Also at The Last Word on Nothing, Ann Finkbeiner does not reassure about whether biologists are prepared to make ethical decisions about the potentially destructive implications of their research.

Yeah, I'll be reading this book: Janet Stemwedel at SciAm reviews Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate, by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic.

"Where have you gone, Annie Poogootook?" Jasmine Budak at Up Here searches in vain for one of the most celebrated of modern Inuit artists. Via Longreads.

At the Boston Globe, Ruth Graham reconsiders Carol Gilligan's legacy as her signature work, In a Different Voice, is widely agreed to have been "more a call to arms than a work of science."

I still don't think anyone has convinced me to read Sheila Heti's new novel, but Michelle Dean hits this one out of the park about Heti, the Bechdel test, male gatekeeper critics and ambitious female artists. At Slate.

Finally, Nora Ephron's 1996 Wellesley College commencement speech. Just about every sentence of this is worth repeating to yourself at least once. She will be missed.