Sunday, April 27, 2014

Links for the week ending 27 April 2014

"CDC's current funding for gun violence prevention research remains at $0." Lois Beckett on politically motivated suppression of basic research.

"A common thread running through stories of the unenrolled is cost. Many people either do not qualify for federal subsidies or believe that the assistance is not enough to make insurance affordable, interviews with consumers and experts suggested." At the NYT, Abby Goodnough continues her valuable series on the implementation of the ACA.

"She waited for him to hang up. Then she smashed the receiver several times against the base of the phone. Then she went outside to face her friends. 'I guess my brother just killed my mom,' she said." Wrenching profile of an Ontario family trying to move on after one member's mental illness spiraled into violence. By Amy Dempsey at the Toronto Star. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

"I’ve been reflecting lately on the young people who live in the world, unmoored. The ones who seem to be passing through and don’t have any expectations of staying for long." @prisonculture at her blog on a young man she knows who was recently shot.

"The 234 missing girls are not being seen as Hausa or Igbo or Yoruba; they are simply people's children." Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani at The Guardian on the response of ordinary Nigerians to the extremist kidnapping of students from a school in the northeast.

"In Bujumbura, the sleepy capital on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the radio echoes from shops, bicycle taxis, police handsets and cell phones. Around midday and in the evenings, when the main stations do their news programs — most in French (the colonial tongue) and Kirundi (the indigenous language) — it can feel as though the city itself is emitting the broadcasts." Cora Currier reports from Burundi, where radio has been a major player in preserving a fragile peace after civil war. At Al Jazeera America.

"Also important, the emails sent to professors were sent by 'prospective students' interested in working with the professor in a graduate program. This is noteworthy because it means that women and racial minorities are discriminated against before they even begin the application process to graduate school. Nicki Lisa Cole at analyzes a recent study on racial and gender bias among professors. (Via @SocImages.)

"His defensiveness at having someone explaining the limits of his own understanding of racism is palpable. He feels that he has been called out, shamed, and silenced. It is not clear whether or not he understands that his horror at being condescended to, his opinion disregarded, is among the very experiences of racial injustice that Sotomayor is describing." Dahlia Lithwick at Slate on the majority decision — and the dissent — in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

"To be isolated from history in a hall of mirrors is heaven to a young person, and the bliss of this collective, amnesiac atemporality on some campuses extends way beyond spring break." Jia Tolentino, who teaches at the University of Michigan, at The Hairpin, writing about the Schuette decision.

"Our resistance is corporate labor. Take the very structure of hashtags. If capitalism works on the principle of false scarcity, achieving trending status makes hashtags 'scarce.'" Every sentence of this piece is diamond-sharp. Tressie McMillan Cottom and dude Robert Reece at her blog.

"The impressive ad hoc capacity that can be focused via digital tools– and with the aid of trending topics and other social media affordances — allows citizens to carry out actions for which they would previously have needed to build powerful and robust social institutions. Such institutions could then do other things besides the specific actions of the moment for which the citizen-capacity came together." Zeynep Tufekci at Medium asking incisive questions about what social media does badly compared to traditional organizing.

"It’s a specious notion that free trade will singularly usher in political reform, when in fact China’s economic might has buoyed censorship beyond its national borders. At the same time, no one should expect heroism from for-profit enterprises; and I have a hard time begrudging people who make their livelihood in China, including foreign journalists, for proceeding with caution." Nuanced piece about working under censorship, by Leslie Anne Jones at Aeon.

"In today’s economy, it’s possible to insulate yourself from almost all embodied interactions with employees—Internet commerce, customer assistance live chat, and even self checkout at the grocery story provide a soothing buffer from class inequities. But you can’t mechanize the labor that takes care of your child—at least not yet—which is part of the reason that nanny politics, for lack of a better word, remain so fraught." Anne Helen Petersen at The Baffler from a couple of weeks ago, on her experiences as a "liberal arts nanny."

"And this is perhaps the biggest thing my parents have taught me, by example, which is always the best way for a parent to teach something: that you follow what you believe in and if it doesn’t work out, you don’t sit around whining. You find something else productive that you can feel good about. You contribute something." At The Billfold, Lauren Quinn on giving up her dream of writing a book.

"We shouldn’t be reading to check off boxes. We should be reading in a way that, when we look at what we’ve consumed, we recognize a diversity of perspectives and ways of seeing the world." Roxane Gay at Slate on "women you should be reading" lists.

"There are certain phrases that tip people off about gender bias. For example, if people do some kind of neuroscience study, let's say it's an MRI study with humans. These researchers will often say, 'This is a hardwired difference between males and females.' Well, if these are adults [who are being studied], it's not hardwired at all, right?" At Popular Science, a Q & A with Janet Hyde at the University of Wisconsin on a new fellowship (er) in feminist biology.

"Repetitiveness actually gives rise to the kind of listening that we think of as musical. It carves out a familiar, rewarding path in our minds, allowing us at once to anticipate and participate in each phrase as we listen." From last month at Aeon, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis on repetition as a fundamental part of how we hear music.

"As Wikipedia moves forward, I hope to advocate for Wikipedia taking a keener interest in its labor practices as pertaining to digital volunteering. Most volunteers or unpaid interns sign a volunteer contract- are such contracts necessary for digital volunteering?" Wikipedia editor Dorothy Howard muses on the implications of who performs the free encyclopedia's labor. (Via Karen Gregory.)

"In a 2014 study that analyzed data from a private apparel retailer’s website, MIT’s Simester found that only about 1.5 percent of customers, or 15 out of 1,000, write reviews." Josephine Wolff at Nautilus on the unrepresentative nature — not to mention outright fraud — that limits the usefulness of online product and service reviews.

"In its simplest terms, gold-digging is trying to use someone else’s privilege for a leg up." Promising new column at The Billfold by a very young writer named Diana Clarke.

"The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think. It’s an extraordinary declaration, asserting that the unknown need not be turned into the known through false divination, or the projection of grim political or ideological narratives; it’s a celebration of darkness, willing—as that “I think” indicates—to be uncertain even about its own assertion. Rebecca Solnit on Virginia Woolf and accepting uncertainty. At The New Yorker. (Via Jody T.)

"That people came to the Tambopata to see something—as I first wanted to see it—as pristine, virgin, untouched. The 'real' Peru. But as I spent more time in the ensconced fantasy that the research center seemed to be, the real Peru was out there, through the television, in the streets, in the mines." At Vela, Amanda Giracca complicates a volunteer stint at a Peruvian nature reserve.

"If I think of anxiety as this entity separate from myself, a curse from a God who would test me, I become this divided person who is constantly trying to walk half of herself out the door." Lovely essay on faith and anxiety by Laura Turner at The Toast.

"Oy. Okay. So, the show is sort of a solo show. I call it an interactive baking comedy. I tell stories. There’s an emotional arc. I structured the stories around the baking process: DRY – WET – MIX – FORM – BAKE." Lili Loofbourow interviews comedian Heather Gold at The Hairpin.

"I want visitors to understand that our eighteenth-century forbears weren’t stupid. In the absence of key pieces of information—for examples, germ theory—they developed a model of the body, health, and healing that was fundamentally logical. Some treatments worked, and many didn’t, but there was a method to the apparent madness." This is so wonderful. Lindsay Keiter at The Appendix on what she teaches visitors to a Virginia living history museum's apothecary shop. (Bah, I don't have a record of where I got this link from. My apologies to whoever you are, and thank you!)

"What kind of an asshole doesn’t talk to their own mother? Let me try to answer that." Finally, from Gabrielle Moss at The Toast, an excellent essay on being estranged from one's parent(s).

I'm taking a vacation from the internets this coming week. I'll see you back here on 11 May. As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Links for the week ending 20 April 2014

"The principal struggles to explain to students how the segregation they experience is any different from the old version simply because no law requires it. 'It is hard, it is a tough conversation, and it is a conversation I don’t think we as adults want to have.'" This link is to the full-text version of Nicole Hannah-Jones' report for ProPublica on the resegregation of schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. You can see the Snowfall-style full graphic version here.

"Even in Mississippi, where a higher percentage of students get physically disciplined than in any other state, the paddle is starting to lose some of its might. The number of beatings fell 33 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to a report by the Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson." Sarah Carr at The Nation. (Via Dana Goldstein.)

"They all say they don’t really trust police or each other, that they are still trying to forgive the system and the shooter. They all say there is no justice here." Another multipart Snowfall-style series, this one on witness intimidation and suspicion of the cops in Chattanooga, Tennessee. By Joan Garrett McClane for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. (I can't remember how I got to this one, but if it was via you, thanks!)

"But the zones have ballooned to include entire cities. They now hit almost any urban drug crime with an extra felony, one that was meant to punish dealing to school kids. Meanwhile, drug offenders in whiter, wealthier, spread-out suburbs and towns rarely face the same consequences. " Christie Thompson at ThinkProgress on the racial inequalities created by drug-free school zone laws.

"Missouri’s lifetime ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for people convicted of a drug-related felony is an artifact of the welfare reform effort of 1996. Most states have modified or removed the lifetime ban. Missouri is one of 10 states that have not." Marie French for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Via @prisonculture.)

"He is allowed to work up to 35 hours per week, but is usually assigned fewer, and he is never assigned enough to live on. If a worker gets 40 hours per week, he tells me, the manager could lose his bonus." Sarah Kendzior profiles fast-food workers in St. Louis, organizing to change working conditions that guarantee nothing but generations raised in poverty. At Medium. (Via David Hull.)

"Bernie likes to think of his job as if he’s building a baseball team. He knows he’s got to fill so many slots with so many applicants, but there’s potentially some wiggle room in how he does that. Can the guy who applied for first base play right field instead? What about the pitcher?" Fascinating piece by Monica Hesse at The Washington Post on staffing a newly planned Ohio factory.

"With fewer landing spots in the middle, the structure becomes less sound. This is the question buried in the rhetoric about the higher education crisis: what is college when there is no middle?" Tressie McMillan Cottom at Dissent about how the end of good middle-class jobs has hollowed out the advantage of a college education.

"She lies because she thinks she has to, because of the legal document she signed during her fourth month at Bagram air base, after she sneaked over to the hospital and asked to see the person who handles sexual assaults, after a nurse took Polaroid photos of bruises on her neck and scratches on her back, collected swabs and hair samples and put them in a brown paper bag." Stephanie McCrummen for The Washington Post on the terrible choice given to soldiers who have suffered sexual assault.

"Deregulating campaign finance is clearly part of his long-term project. In the course of his opinion, the chief justice made some moves that are worth highlighting for the way in which they illuminate both his method and his priorities." Linda Greenhouse on the Roberts Supreme Court, for the NYT. (Via Irin Carmon.)

"Both Intuit and CCIA declined to answer questions about their connections to the letters and op-eds. An Intuit spokeswoman, Julie Miller, said in an emailed statement that Intuit works with many types of groups to support 'taxpayer empowerment,' and 'we feel all points of view deserve to be heard.'" Liz Day at ProPublica on the not-so-grassroots campaign against prefilled tax returns.

"The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software — in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted — are four core programmers, only one of whom calls it a full-time job." Julia Angwin on the Heartbleed bug for ProPublica.

" A military judge abruptly recessed the first 9/11 trial hearing of the year Monday after defense lawyers accused the FBI in open court of trying to turn a defense team security officer into a secret informant." Carol Rosenberg for the Miami Herald.

"From Homs to Damascus, even in landscapes of crushed and charred buildings, new posters of Mr. Assad are appearing, with an electioneering flavor. Anne Barnard for the NYT on proposed presidential elections in Syria.

For now though, no one is publicly questioning how and why the Kunming attackers organized the assault, why they chose that city, why authorities were unable to prevent it and why it took 10 minutes for an armed SWAT team officer to arrive on the scene and shoot five assailants." Julie Makinen at the LAT on suppression of discussion about the knife attacks at a Chinese railway station. (Via David Hull.)

"Protests continued into the next evening, and as June 5 turned into June 6, a crowd broke into one of the city's smartest hotels, the Jinjiang. It was there, under the gaze of foreign guests, that ." At NPR, Louisa Lim writes about a single elderly woman determined to keep alive the memory of a massacre in the Chinese city of Chengdu that took place at the same time as the brutal suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square.

"Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority." Sasha Sagan at New York Magazine on her father, Carl. (Via Nilanjana Roy.)

"Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows." Neela Benerjee at the LAT. (Via Kate Sheppard.)

"The growing placenta literally burrows through this layer, rips into arterial walls and re-wires them to channel blood straight to the hungry embryo. It delves deep into the surrounding tissues, razes them and pumps the arteries full of hormones so they expand into the space created. It paralyzes these arteries so the mother cannot even constrict them." Pregnancy as war between the mother and the fetus, and the menstruation that evolved as a result, by Suzanne Sadedin at Quora. (Hat tip to Sheila Avelin.)

"The owners of Hobby Lobby believe that IUDs actually cause abortions. Birth control activists say IUDs never cause abortions, and work by preventing pregnancy, just like you’d expect birth control to do. Who is right?" Nice piece by Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing Boing explaining the facts and the ambiguities about IUDs. (Hat tip to Rebecca Jeschke.)

"So, from 2001 until February of this year, I spent at least $60,000 in health insurance and associated medical costs (routine doctor’s visits, medication and the like) that were not covered by insurance. One could counter that my insurance premiums bought me peace of mind — but not with a $15,000 deductible for myself and my children." Writer Elizabeth Hand singing the praises of her new, affordable insurance. At Salon. (Via @rsp1661.)

"She is talking these girls back from a place where Cobain’s suicide appears reasonable, justifiable, attractive. She is showing them the other side of suicide: the aftermath. She is the aftermath." From two weeks ago at Guernica, Candace Opper on Kurt Cobain's suicide — and the way it changed how we talked about suicide prevention. (Via Jody T.)

"You die the way you live; you divorce the way you live. When, in 1990, my parents filed for joint custody of me, they thought they were doing something without clear precedent." At n+1, Claire Harlan Orsi on growing up in between two homes. (Via Mara Smith.)

"A lot of young people are rescued by art. And comics and cartoons, because they are so abstracted—a pure art form that is only very loosely tethered to the so-called real world—are maybe particularly useful for that." I gotta be honest and say that I am not entirely sure what this is, but it's by Maria Bustillos and it's published by The Awl and it's making me think that maybe the Cartoon Network went on to do worthwhile things even after the demise of my dearly beloved Space Ghost: Coast to Coast.

"Bless the teenagers of Central Asia. These kids weren't eagle hunting but they were certainly better than me in almost every way: kinder, more generous, more spontaneous, more loving, more brave." Ah, Jia Tolentino at The Hairpin saying more in two paragraphs than most of us will ever say in our entire lives.

"Do we have kitten posters hanging above our desks? If we do, who can say that we do not work in an office?" Finally, because anything containing an Elizabeth Bishop joke automatically wins the week, Patricia Lockwood at The Poetry Foundation asking: is poetry work? (Via Stephen Burt.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Links for the week ending 13 April 2014

You could see the fear in the faces of the families who watched our plane land and those of people in the streets." In a week filled with stories about the 20th anniversary of genocide in Rwanda, this piece from Michelle Shephard at the Toronto Star from the convulsing Central African Republic is deeply sobering.

"'I hid like a chicken with my head under the grass,' she remembers. 'It was important not to see the awful things that were happening. If you can die anytime, it’s better not to see.'" Very moving story by Jina Moore at BuzzFeed about a memorial to Rwanda's dead, and the survivors who maintain it.

"And in an indication of the divisions the blockade and amnesties have sown, one former insurgent said the bombing had been planned by one group of fighters to kill others." Anne Barnard at the NYT with reports of violence in the devastated Syrian city of Homs and elsewhere.

"The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the program’s legality." Ali Watkins, dude Jonathan S. Landay, and Marisa Taylor for McClatchy on reputed findings of a still-classified report on the CIA's use of torture. At the Miami Herald. (Via Carol Rosenberg.)

"I look around and there are so few of us here; black people, I mean. And maybe that’s as it should be because this is not our crime even though we were its victims. We already know that our lives matter, that black lives matter. It’s the rest of the world that needs to understand and internalize this truth." @prisonculture writes about a protest against police torture in Chicago.

"This 'border' is not what most people think of as the border. The government's definition of 'border' stretches 100 miles from the actual border." Smart explainer on the Obama administration and deportations, by Dara Lind at Vox. (Via Liliana Segura.)

"During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom." Seriously, WHAT? By Nicole Flatow at ThinkProgress. (Via Isabel Wilkerson.)

"Mr. Modi revised his official biography on Wednesday, when he noted on an election registry that he is, in fact, married." At the NYT, Ellen Barry's wry coverage of India's ongoing national elections.

"He hasn’t found a better term that describes what he wants to bring to Vermont: a system where a single entity (the state) pays for everyone’s health care. And he doesn’t care to spend much time thinking up a better description." At Vox, Sarah Kliff profiles Vermont's pursuit of a single-payer health care system.

"Even in America, where Republican governors and members of Congress deny the existence or have rolled back action on climate change, cities are moving ahead." Suzanne Goldenberg at The Guardian on local communities leading the way on climate change.

"'People expect us to do things for the long term,' she explained. 'This is the longest-term focused job that I've had, and yet it's the shortest-term focused budget that I've ever operated under. That makes no sense.'" Kate Sheppard profile Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the Huffington Post.

"'Who failed Relisha?' said Shannon Smith, the cheerleading coach who looked after her. 'I believe everybody failed that girl. The school, the system, the doctors, the police and everybody else that should have had something to do with her.' Heartbreaking, in-depth story about the disappearance (and presumed murder) of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, by Theresa Vargas, Emma Brown, Lynh Bui, and dude Peter Hermann. At The Washington Post.

"She explained that the voices were telling her not to hurt the man, but he had gotten in the express checkout lane with more than 10 items, and that made her so mad that she couldn’t stop herself." Laura L. Hayes at Slate making the argument that we should be worried not about mental illness and violence but about anger and violence. (Via Jody T.)

"The corn was harvested, and the field was a dirty sort of brown. Deborah Clark would think about that later, how at a different time of year she wouldn’t have seen anything until it was too late." Knock-out work by Monica Hesse and photographer Bonnie Jo Mount, on arson in one rural Virginia county. At The Washington Post. (Via Gwen Ifill.)

"'Are you Cinderella?' I asked, loathing myself for hoping she’d say yes. 'No,' she said, rolling her eyes. 'I’m the prince dancing with Cinderella.'"This essay by Hana Schank at the NYT captures exactly the thought-process behind every minute of parenting children through the fluidity of the preschool years, whatever the issue that one is trying to theorize one's way through!

"What is it that compels one woman to explore the work and personality of another, often with centuries between us—and what are we trying to say?" Thoughtful piece by Diane Mehta at the Paris Review taking recent biographies by Rebecca Mead (on George Eliot) and Jill Lepore (on Jane Franklin) as its topic.

"A picture emerges of a strange and lonely woman, emotionally intelligent yet forever apart from the common human life she observed so keenly." Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic reviewing the new documentary film about street photographer Vivian Mayer.

"If Maine’s landscape had been more inviting, it might have been turned into endless acres of soybeans or corn – one of Maine’s early, most profitable crops at the turn of the 19th century. 'In a way it’s the poor nature of northern New England which is an enabler for this new agriculture,' said Johnston, the founder of Johnny’s Selected Seeds." At the Portland Press Herald, Meredith Goad and Mary Pohls take a long look at how one state became a regional center of the locavore movement. (Via Michaela Cavallaro.)

"I'm constantly being asked where I 'source' my produce. What does that even mean? I get my vegetables from the exact same place almost every other chef in the city gets them: in a box, off a truck. " Oh, boy, this is gonna be fun. NYC chef Amanda Cohen has a new column in Eater. (Via Martha Bayne.)

"But I understood, because it was clear as day that this was my doing. I had abandoned my block, my home, to the transplants looking for the next cool thing, and because Sapporo East didn’t have my $13 check every two weeks or so they were forced to close." Sweet, tongue-in-cheek essay by Jaya Saxena at Medium about moving on from Manhattan. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

"What would be great, I think, is if I could hire some kind of old-timey town crier to precede me into any room I enter, shouting 'Lesbian coming! Lesbian coming this way!' and possibly ringing some kind of bell." Lindsay King-Miller at Cosmopolitan on the particular invisibility of a femme lesbian.

"It's imperative that we create the art that we want to see in the world, and that we write the future that we want. I mean, being realistic, right? Because you know certain things won't happen — but the first point of writing the future that I want is putting people of color in the damn future." NPR interview by dude Jairo Ramos with poet Kima Jones. (Via Roxanne Gay.)

"'For a minute, I made it popular to be the odd guy out,' Lauper said. 'All of the sudden, the straight guy was the odd guy out, just for a minute—and that, to me, was justice.'" This wasn't the first album I ever bought (right, Thriller), but it was damn close to it: Emma Green at The Atlantic looks back 30 years later at Cyndi Lauper's hit single, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

Kate Beaton's multi-part comic, "Ducks." So good.

JO: let me know if you see my manuscript down there
Mallory Ortberg's Dirtbag series: even better than Texts From? Discuss. At The Toast.

"Puppet-rearing takes our love of captive breeding to the extreme by satisfying two guilt-absolving fantasies at once: it lets us play at being nature’s saviour while also symbolically erasing human beings from the face of the Earth." Finally, essay by Lizzie Wade at Aeon about raising condors… and being human. (Via Nicole Cliffe.)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Links for the week ending 6 April 2014

"The overriding lesson of this report, the scientists said, was that unless governments acted now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt measures to protect their people, nobody would be immune to climate change." Suzanne Goldenberg covered the U.N. climate science report for The Guardian. If you read these pieces, you have my permission to spend the rest of the day in bed with the covers over your head and your fingers in your ears while you sing LA LA LA LA LA to yourself. Because we are way not saving the world by talking about this on social media.

"LAN says, due to the state's failure to properly advertise the programs—specifically to lower income communities—that there were only 849 Latino applicants and 878 African American applicants to the Resettlement Program, compared to nearly 18,000 Caucasian applicants." Queen Muse at NBC 10 Philadelphia on glaring inequities in the distribution of Sandy relief funds in New Jersey. (Via Nikole Hannah-Jones.)

"But there can be moments that throw him. Recently, a shopper at the food pantry took an item off a shelf and told Moore, 'I put this on the shelf, too.' The shopper was a Walmart worker." From Part 3 of Krissy Clark's series (Part 1, Part 2) at Marketplace called "The Secret Life of a Food Stamp." (Via Lizzie O'Leary.)

"Since the beginning of the downturn, about 50% of those who were short-term unemployed at any given time were found to be working a year later. But only about 15% were at steady full time jobs," writes Suzy Khimm at MSNBC.

"For four weeks this winter, spread out over a six-week period to avoid the holidays, I hustled for work in the gig economy. Technically I was undercover, but I used my real name and background, and whenever asked, I readily shared that I was a journalist." At Fast Company, Sarah Kessler tries to make minimum wage by participating in the "future of work." Prosperity does not ensue. (Via Susie Cagle.)

"Newly insured patients have flooded Family Health Centers with requests for referrals; its largest clinic, in Louisville’s impoverished West End, had a backlog of several hundred requests in mid-March and was hiring temporary workers to help patients arrange appointments." At the NYT, Abby Goodnough reports on how the Affordable Care Act is already changing the health care landscape in Louisville, Kentucky. (Via Jennifer Steinhauer.)

"So the problem is that even Nazis are treated better than rich people—less constrained by public anger in their ability to speak out." Amy Davidson at The New Yorker on this week's Supreme Court decision removing aggregate limits on any individual's campaign donations to multiple candidates. For a more detailed analysis of the decision, Amy Howe has you covered at SCOTUSblog.

"The political world watched the 80-year-old Adelson zip in and out of the sessions on his motorized scooter, observing closely for signs of his favor." Molly Ball at The Atlantic reports from "The Sheldon Adelson Suck-Up Fest" for potential Republican presidential candidates.

"Across the country, immigrant-rights advocates report mounting disillusionment with both parties among Latinos, enough to threaten recent gains in voting participation that have reshaped politics to Democrats’ advantage nationally, and in states like Colorado with significant Latino populations." Jackie Calmes for the NYT.

"AP PHOTOS: Afghan women lawmakers fight for rights." The last piece filed by AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus before being murdered by a gunman while covering Afghan elections this week. (Via Anne Bernard.) You can see more of her work in this 40-photo collection that ran at The Atlantic last November. (Via Michelle Shephard.)

"I landed in Afghanistan in the wake of these brutal, merciless massacres, knowing the goal posts had changed—no one was off limits to the Taliban." Photographer Lynsey Addario at Time, who ends her essay on a surprising note of hope. (Via Tara Todras-Whitehill.)

"The absence of our likeness accurately rendered in photographs is one more piece of the construct of white supremacy. Film stocks that can’t show us accurately help to control the narrative around appearance, and shapes our reality and the value of our lives in American society." At BuzzFeed, Syreeta McFadden reflects on the racism baked into decades of photographic technology.

"The promotion of competition and conflict along gender lines shifts attention away from harmful public policies to the wrongs committed by individual members of the 'opposite sex.'" Sociologist Susan Sered argues at Salon that "gender-based violence is reinforced by economic policies and welfare laws that pit women and men against one another." (Via @prisonculture.)

"It makes me impatient — and yeah, I acknowledge my culpability in this — how often we choose to focus on the deliciously scary but conveniently far-away, rather than the diseases we could do something about." At Wired, Maryn McKenna does not think you should freak out about hemorrhagic fevers, though if you wanna freak out about multidrug-resistant TB, she's cool with that.

"The poor man's life was nasty, brutish and short, but his afterlife is long and illuminating." Jill Lawless for the AP on what researchers are learning from a London burial ground for victims of the Black Death. (Via Jody T.)

"More than 60 per cent of the world, and fully 99 per cent of the US and Europe, lives under a yellowy sky polluted with light. For many of us, the only place to see the milky backbone of our own galaxy is on the ceiling of a planetarium." Rebecca Boyle at Aeon on light pollution. (Via Nilanjana Roy.)

"Over a million records telling the tale of nearly a century of North American bird migrations have been rescued from obscurity and transcribed by an international network of more than 2,000 volunteers, making the records available for the first time online for use by researchers and the public." Hannah Hamilton and Jessica Zelt for the USGS on the building of an archival database that provides clues to climate change. People who do this sort of thing in their free time are my nominees for Most Awesome People.

"An analysis showed that among both boys and girls, if a student was is in the middle of the school social hierarchy — the 50th percentile — and moved up the social ladder to the 95th percentile, the likelihood that he or she would be victimized by his or her peers increased by more than 25%." Michelle Healy at USA Today gives you good reasons to be grateful for your relative social insignificance when you were a teenager. (Via Yamiche Alcindor.)

"Unlike other members of the first family, she moves about without Secret Service detail. If she is recognized, the president has said she just demurs, saying she gets that a lot." Krissah Thompson and Juliet Eilperin for The Washington Post on the First Grandma, Marian Robinson. (Via Amy Davidson.)

"You might not believe that your institutional doppelgänger works against you, but it does not seem like a stretch to argue that the sum of your activity as a consumer—your social-media posts, credit history, the freakishly accurate profile advertisers have of you—is its own creature, and can move about independently of you." Carmen Maria Machado on the automated afterlife of a Michigan woman. At The New Yorker.

"Slothified (adj.)

1. Overwhelmed by sloths

2. Overwhelmed by sloth - so tired after catching sloths all day that you don't want to get out of bed

3. Overwhelmed by the cuteness of sloths (baby sloths in particular)

4. Overwhelmed by sloth lovers
You may become slothified after reading this story by Vibeke Vendama at the BBC. (Via @pourmecoffee.)

"This is the house that Jack built.
Let us dismantle Jack’s house with Jack’s tools
More misandrist lullabies by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast.