"George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder." Justice denied in Florida, by Lisette Alvarez and Cara Buckley for the NYT.
"Pictures taken from the air on Monday show blackened tanker cars concertinaed on top of the space where the popular Musi-Cafe used to be, a night-time hangout that was packed when the train roared into town." A team of Reuters reporters including P.J. Huffstutter on the fiery freight train disaster that has left some 60 people dead in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic. (Via Jim Roberts.)
"The lawyers released the video on the eve of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, and, as it happens, hours before a U.S. District Court judge called Guantánamo’s tube-feeding practice 'painful, humiliating and degrading.'" Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald on a new video campaign featuring Mos Def on the force-feeding policy at Guantánamo.
"Corrections officials confirmed they would discipline striking inmates, who object to conditions in solitary confinement and also have grievances about prison food, rehabilitation programs and other policies." Meanwhile, in California, 12,400 prison inmates are on a hunger strike. By Paige St. John at The Los Angeles Times.
"I write about the Islamists and their network of social services, the roots of their power—a piece that is definitely more complex to build than a frontline piece. I strive to explain, not just to move, to touch, and I am answered with: 'What’s this? Six thousand words and nobody died?'" At Columbia Journalism Review, a brutal essay by Francesca Corri about the realities of reporting in Syria — for $70 per article. (Via Molly Crabapple.)
"As the euphoria fades, the opposition remembers that if they were asked to debate how many legs a cow before them had, one faction would question whether the animal was actually a cow, another would say four, and yet another would claim the tail a limb." Sarah Carr at Jadaliyya on the widening social and political divisions in Egypt. (Via Laila Lalami.)
"It has been one week, and nobody knows where the former president of Egypt is." At The Washington Post, dude William Booth and Abigail Hauslohner write about the wholesale arrest and disappearance of many of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"A question unimaginable in most major American cities is utterly commonplace in this one: If you suddenly found yourself gravely ill, injured or even shot, would you call 911? Monica Davey at the NYT on Detroit's prospects as it faces possibly filing for bankruptcy. (Via Jennifer Steinhauer.)
"At a time when non-whites make up roughly 37 percent of the U.S. population, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent from its 13.73 percent high in 2006." Riva Gold at The Atlantic on the most recent report on newsroom diversity from The American Society of News Editors. (Via ProPublica.)
"But the big picture is sobering: tipped restaurant servers experience poverty at three times the rate of the rest of the workforce, the report notes, and use food stamps at twice the rate. Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post on a new report that found that mothers working in restaurants in five cities spent as much as a third of their income on childcare. (Via Rebecca Traister.)
"Alma Saldana, 30, the sister of activist Paula Saldana, stopped taking birth control last year after two nearby clinics closed and the one remaining wanted to charge more than she could afford. She bore her third child, Adrian, last month." Esme E. Deprez for Bloomberg on the black market pills and unintended pregnancies that are the options left for poor women in rural Texas. (Via Suzy Khimm.)
"Research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2011 found that, between 1984 and 1989, HPV was present in 16.4% of oropharyngeal cancers. By the dawn of the 21st century, however, that number had skyrocketed. Between 2000 and 2004, HPV was present in 71.7% of all oropharyngeal cancers. Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing Boing making a very compelling case for why the HPV vaccine is a good idea regardless of whether one possesses a cervix.
"If you live in a rich area like San Francisco, Colorado or the suburbs of Washington D.C., you’re likely as healthy as the Swiss or Japanese. If you live in Appalachia or the rural South, you’re likely to be as unhealthy as people in Algeria or Bangladesh. Maggie Fox at NBC News reports on a country-by-county survey of health in the United States.
"Research shows a typical A-cup boob weighs in at 0.43 of a pound. Every additional cup size adds another 0.44 of a pound. That means a hurdler with a double-D chest carries more than 4 pounds of additional weight with her on every leap. And when they get moving, the nipples on a C- or D-cup breast can accelerate up to 45 mph in one second -- faster than a Ferrari." At long last, Amanda Hess at ESPN tackles the important question of how cup size impacts women's participation in sports. (Spoiler you don't need if you yourself own a pair of these in larger sizes: a LOT.) (Via Virginia C. McGuire.)
YOU GUYS HOW DID I MISS THIS ARTICLE? From 3 July, by Jennifer A. Kingson in the NYT, "But as Katrina Capasso, a llama owner in Ballston Spa, N.Y., discovered, 'They're like potato chips.' It's hard to stop at just a few." NOW EVERYBODY SING ALONG. (Via Jia Tolentino at The Hairpin.)
"The root of the issue is as simple as this fact: women, research shows, buy and read books by both women and men, while men predominantly read books by men. The solution? We think it’s to read books by women, especially women outside the literary establishment." This, you guys. By Emily Gould, of Emily Books, which is where I bought the super-creepy and awesome Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns, which I then stayed up REALLY LATE to read in one sitting, which then made me cranky and irritable for days to follow. So, uh, you should read it, too! And buy stuff from Emily Books!
"'Have you read as much junk as I have? We must talk about junk! Facts are becoming harder and harder, more elusive. We're in a muddle, a mess. There's such a racket going on. There are so many lies around, readers are beginning to think: don't bother me with whether this is true or not true; I'm busy.'" Renata Adler is interviewed by Rachel Cooke at the Guardian. You can by Speedboat at Emily Books, by the way. I'm just saying.
Looking for more good books to read this summer? Sarah McCarry has some suggestions at The Rejectionist.
"Just 50 years later, it’s almost impossible to imagine a government-sanctioned ban on a piece of literature, or to picture the Supreme Court debating whether adults should be allowed to buy an 18th-century novel, no matter how dirty. The era of mainstream literary censorship is over in America. And in some ways, we have the eccentric, exuberant—and yes, erotic—“Fanny Hill” to thank for it." At The Boston Globe, Ruth Graham writes an appreciation of the cultural significance of the pornographic 18th century classic.
In his introduction, Barrie describes how Ashford studied the adults she encountered and borrowed and modified things she heard discussed at home for use in The Young Visiters—the Crystale Palace became the Crystal Palace; the Gaiety Theatre became the Gaierty Hotel—and cautions readers against spending 'another week-end in a house where there may be a novelist of nine years.'" Alice Bolin at The Paris Review on reading the magnum opus of a nine-year-old novelist (not the greatest ever, I am contractually obligated to note, but that's another matter).
"Here is a transliteration of the beginning of the Mool Mantra: Ek Ong Kar, Sat Nam, Karta Purkh…. It sounds nice, right? Certainly it sounds better than 'I hate my job, I wish I was dead, I hate everything.'" Sarah Miller is laugh-out-loud funny at The Awl on seven days in the New Mexico desert at a Kundalini Yoga festival.
"The Man-Child wants you to know that you should not take him too seriously, except when you should. At any given moment, he wants to you to take him only as seriously as he wants to be taken. When he offends you, he was kidding. When he means it, he means it. What he says goes. Moira Weigel and Mal Ahern at The New Inquiry laying out "Further Materials Toward a Theory of the Man-Child."
"'No one's ever called me with good news before,' he said. 'I don't know what I'm supposed to say.'" Finally, bring tissues. A lot of tissues. Lisa Fenn at ESPN on why she stayed involved with the young subjects of a story she reported in 2009. (Via Yvonne Abraham.)