Politics

The Super Bowl of Toilets

The Super Bowl of Toilets

As with every mega event in America, our Super Bowl excesses will be on display this Feb. 1—eating, drinking, yelling and frequent trips to the bathroom—especially for those of us drinking our local microbrew.Real proof of our partying will be in ...

Want definitive proof we live in the future? The information researchers can glean from flushed toilets at halftime of the Super Bowl is exactly, disgustingly that.

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Bobby Jindal’s Anti-Muslim Jihad

Bobby Jindal’s Anti-Muslim Jihad

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is a man on the move. On Tuesday, he elevated himself from run of the mill Muslim basher to Muslim basher-in-chief (at least in terms of likely 2016 GOP presidential candidates). But alarmingly Jindal’s new rhetoric...

Last week, it was the debunked European “no-go zones.” This week, Jindal says the zones are coming to America! What an idiot. Or worse.

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Peter King’s Race For Second Place

Peter King’s Race For Second Place

Most presidential candidates have reasons and rationales about why they are running. They have a vision, hear a calling, tell stories of making the country stronger and safer for their children and their grandchildren.Peter King, the gruff congres...

The gruff Republican from Long Island has a simple plan for running for president: Be the last man standing.

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The Super Bowl of Toilets

The Super Bowl of Toilets

As with every mega event in America, our Super Bowl excesses will be on display this Feb. 1—eating, drinking, yelling and frequent trips to the bathroom—especially for those of us drinking our local microbrew.Real proof of our partying will be in ...

Want definitive proof we live in the future? The information researchers can glean from flushed toilets at halftime of the Super Bowl is exactly, disgustingly that.

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Walker Pushing Drug War Testing Scheme

Walker Pushing Drug War Testing Scheme

According to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, what American employers are really looking for these days is “someone who can pass a drug test.”Walker made that remark in a question-and-answer session in Washington, D.C., Friday following his remark...

The Wisconsin governor wants to test all welfare recipients for drugs, and doesn’t care that the courts say that’s unconstitutional.

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The Right’s Civil War on Common Core

The Right’s Civil War on Common Core

This past Sunday, Ohio Governor John Kasich did something surprising and important.On Fox News, a mecca of misinformation about the Common Core academic standards, Governor Kasich expressed strong support for the thoughtfully developed standards f...

The Ohio governor just took a bold stand against Tea Party hysteria about education standards. Call him the anti-Jindal.

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Entertainment

Keith Jarrett's Immortal ‘Concert’ Is 40

Keith Jarrett's Immortal ‘Concert’ Is 40

I still remember my first encounter with Keith Jarrett’s album The Köln Concert, recorded 40 years ago this week.I was a teenager browsing the jazz bins at a record store on El Camino Real in Palo Alto late one evening, when a store clerk put the ...

How did a solo piano album shake up the music world during the age of disco, fusion and rock? And what makes it sound as fresh today as it did 40 years ago?

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Is Tough-Chick TV Creating Violent Kids?

Is Tough-Chick TV Creating Violent Kids?

A friend confided in me recently that she was worried about an incident involving her daughter. After unrelenting and hurtful taunting by another ninth-grade girl, her daughter whirled around and brought her hefty chemistry book down squarely on t...

A new generation of kick-ass heroines has experts worried about a rise in teen girl violence. But are their fears overblown?

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Eternal Hangtime With the ‘Diner’ Boys

Eternal Hangtime With the ‘Diner’ Boys

My father was born and raised in New York City. He idolized, among others, Sid Caesar, Walt Kelly, and Adlai Stevenson. As his son, I campaigned for Mondale/Ferraro when I was in the 8th grade, drew anti-Reagan political cartoons for my social stu...

Not a lot happens in Barry Levinson’s 1982 debut film about a gang of friends keeping time and adulthood at bay, but James Wolcott points out, action is not this exquisite movie’s po...

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Naughty Nerds: College Grads Do Porn

Naughty Nerds: College Grads Do Porn

Yes, some educated women really do enjoy sex work. Duke University student Belle Knox and former Wall Street intern Veronica Vain have been making headlines for choosing to do porn. These women defy their socially defined roles as intelligent, pro...

Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ aired a scene of ass eating on cable television. Who says porn stars can’t be intelligent women?

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Is Tough-Chick TV Creating Violent Kids?

Is Tough-Chick TV Creating Violent Kids?

A friend confided in me recently that she was worried about an incident involving her daughter. After unrelenting and hurtful taunting by another ninth-grade girl, her daughter whirled around and brought her hefty chemistry book down squarely on t...

A new generation of kick-ass heroines has experts worried about a rise in teen girl violence. But are their fears overblown?

Keep Reading

Meet the Grindr Rabbi

Meet the Grindr Rabbi

Grindr is just about the last place I’d expect to find a rabbi. I mean, sure, a rabbi would probably less likely be at, say, a brothel, too, but Grindr’s pretty high up on the list.And yet 24-year-old Matt Greene, a second year rabbinical student ...

‘There are a ton of Jews of all stripes, especially people who have nothing to do with organized religion,’ he says. ‘Why not try getting to them on Grindr?’

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Dre’s A Mogul & Suge Can’t Afford Teeth

Dre’s A Mogul & Suge Can’t Afford Teeth

In the days before he drove to where a commercial for the movie “Straight Outta Compton” was being shot, onetime rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was said by an investigator to be so broke he could not afford to replace the teeth that were knocked o...

Suge resented never having made good like Dr. Dre or Ice Cube. Did that fury lead him to allegedly commit murder?

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New ‘Game of Thrones’ Trailer Leaked

New ‘Game of Thrones’ Trailer Leaked

If you expected rabid Game of Thrones fans to wait patiently for a taste of Season 5, then much like Jon Snow, you know nothing. This trailer for is being shown after a special IMAX engagement screening the Season 4 finale—which, let’s face it, wa...

Season 5 trailer screened in IMAX makes its way online.

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Meet the Grindr Rabbi

Meet the Grindr Rabbi

Grindr is just about the last place I’d expect to find a rabbi. I mean, sure, a rabbi would probably less likely be at, say, a brothel, too, but Grindr’s pretty high up on the list.And yet 24-year-old Matt Greene, a second year rabbinical student ...

‘There are a ton of Jews of all stripes, especially people who have nothing to do with organized religion,’ he says. ‘Why not try getting to them on Grindr?’

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World News

British Army Joins the Twitter Wars

British Army Joins the Twitter Wars

LONDON—The British Army is recruiting a brigade of keyboard warriors ready to battle the might of both the Russian army and the insurgent forces who are killing in the name of the Islamic State.Infuriated by the Kremlin’s “little green men” foment...

Her Majesty's military is taking on infowar and psyops with the 77th Brigade.

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New White House Hostage Rescue Plan MIA

New White House Hostage Rescue Plan MIA

Five months after the White House began a top-to-bottom review of its policy for rescuing hostages overseas, the congressman who spurred it and some of the families of hostages who were promised a voice in the process say they’re being left in the...

The Obama administration promised to overhaul how it brought captives home—and dealt with their parents. Five months in, and those interactions still ‘suck.’

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France’s Pied Piper of Jihad

France’s Pied Piper of Jihad

NICE, France — In the shadow of a lower-income housing project called, ironically, Bon Voyage, Nadine woke up one day last year to discover her 16-year-old son, Bryan, missing. She found out, to her horror, that he’d bought a one-way ticket to Gaz...

Omar Diaby, a career criminal from Nice, has turned into France’s most potent recruiter for Syria’s jihad—and few of his acolytes come from Muslim homes.

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China's Anti-Graft Fridays

China's Anti-Graft Fridays

HONG KONG — Let’s call them anti-graft Fridays.China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) typically rolls out news at the end of the work week, announcing major busts before weekend revelry kicks into gear. It’s the designated wat...

The Chinese President's anti-corruption campaign is picking up steam, but is it truly just for the good of the country or is he building a new power base?

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New White House Hostage Rescue Plan MIA

New White House Hostage Rescue Plan MIA

Five months after the White House began a top-to-bottom review of its policy for rescuing hostages overseas, the congressman who spurred it and some of the families of hostages who were promised a voice in the process say they’re being left in the...

The Obama administration promised to overhaul how it brought captives home—and dealt with their parents. Five months in, and those interactions still ‘suck.’

Keep Reading

Did a Mega-Storm Doom Air Asia 8501?

Did a Mega-Storm Doom Air Asia 8501?

What exactly happened to Air Asia Flight 8501 over the Java Sea on December 28? Indonesian officials are not helping to make the picture any clearer.They are releasing piecemeal details that lack connection and do not add up to a coherent account ...

Something caused the flight to climb 3,000 feet in 30 seconds and it may not have been the pilots.

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Argentina: Murder, Spies, and Lies

Argentina: Murder, Spies, and Lies

For over half a century, Argentina’s Secretaría de Inteligencia (Intelligence Secretariat) wielded enormous power, advising dictators and democratically elected presidents alike. According to national laws and decrees, the SI can spy at home and a...

The mysterious “suicide” of a crusading prosecutor investigating the alleged Iranian bombing of a Jewish center 20 years ago continues to amaze and appall the Argentines.

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Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

LONDON — This time Amal Clooney is taking on one of the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.The star human-rights lawyer is appearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week in the name of the victims of the Arme...

Can the celebrity human-rights lawyer buck the tide and get recognition of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians?

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Did a Mega-Storm Doom Air Asia 8501?

Did a Mega-Storm Doom Air Asia 8501?

What exactly happened to Air Asia Flight 8501 over the Java Sea on December 28? Indonesian officials are not helping to make the picture any clearer.They are releasing piecemeal details that lack connection and do not add up to a coherent account ...

Something caused the flight to climb 3,000 feet in 30 seconds and it may not have been the pilots.

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U.S. News

How Penn State Beat The Sandusky Rap

How Penn State Beat The Sandusky Rap

On January 16, 2015, lawyers from the NCAA reached an agreement to remove all sanctions it placed on Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal, which implicated prominent university officials in a cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes.The ...

NCAA emails revealed executives used a shortcut and a false threat to strong-arm the university into accepting harsh sanctions. Once it was busted, the NCAA revoked them.

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Tolstoy’s Love Letter to Lincoln

Tolstoy’s Love Letter to Lincoln

Visiting Leo Tolstoi in Yasnaya with the intention of getting him to write an article on Lincoln, I unfortunately found him not well enough to yield to my request. However, he was willing to give me his opinion of the great American statesman, and...

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy once regaled a Muslim chieftain in the Caucasus about the greatness of Abraham Lincoln.

Keep Reading

Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Should you describe your house as unique? (No.) Redo that kitchen to increase your home’s value? (No.) Follow the gays? (Yes.)Just in time for spring and summer, when the buying and selling of homes heats up across the United States, CEO Spencer R...

Remodeling the bathroom, not the kitchen, gives you the most bang for your buck. Adjustable-rate mortgages aren’t evil. Buy on a street called Lake. And more from the real estate gurus.

Keep Reading

How Penn State Beat The Sandusky Rap

How Penn State Beat The Sandusky Rap

On January 16, 2015, lawyers from the NCAA reached an agreement to remove all sanctions it placed on Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal, which implicated prominent university officials in a cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes.The ...

NCAA emails revealed executives used a shortcut and a false threat to strong-arm the university into accepting harsh sanctions. Once it was busted, the NCAA revoked them.

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Evidence America Isn’t Inherently Racist

Evidence America Isn’t Inherently Racist

One hundred fifty years ago, on Jan. 31, 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution banning slavery. This week also marks 165 years since Henry Clay introduced the 1850 Compromise trying to heal his divided country, 25 years sinc...

Henry Clay, Lincoln, Mandela and King all show how far America has come—but also has to go—on race.

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Conservative Scold Gets Pedophile Off

Conservative Scold Gets Pedophile Off

It was supposed to be a probe into the first family’s finances. But when independent counsel Judge Ken Starr mounted an investigation into the Clintons’ real-estate deals, the “Whitewater” probe took a peep-show turn. Starr and his team began to o...

Many believe Jeffrey Epstein could have been jailed for life for violating scores of underage girls, but Ken Starr and the rest of his legal team got him a deal.

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Tech + Health

Scientology Defends Its Anti-Weed Hokum

Scientology Defends Its Anti-Weed Hokum

The Scientology-backed nonprofit Foundation for a Drug-Free World teaches teens that marijuana triggers birth defects and heroin causes spontaneous abortion. With blatant falsities and wild exaggerations, it aims to terrify students into abstinenc...

The organization teaching American middle schoolers about drugs is doing it with lies and fear.

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Disney’s Sick History With Measles

Disney’s Sick History With Measles

Among the 195 children exposed to measles at an Arizona clinic was Eli Jacks, who is only 10 months old and therefore too young to be vaccinated.Also exposed was his 3-year-old sister, Maggie Jacks. She belongs to a group of children who cannot be...

Vaccinations all but ended measles by 1982, when new cases hit Disneyland and elsewhere. Now health officials believe one infected person sparked a new outbreak at the theme park.

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Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

After three miscarriages, Colleen Abbott*, a 37-year-old New Englander, finally had what doctors told her was a viable pregnancy. Parents to a son already, Colleen and her husband, John*, hoped for a girl. When two sonograms confirmed the baby’s g...

A test told a couple their child might be intersex and have a genetic disorder. The test was wrong.

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ISIS and Boko Haram’s Online Alliance

ISIS and Boko Haram’s Online Alliance

Boko Haram, which has terrorized Nigeria in its quest to create an Islamic caliphate, appears to mirroring the Islamic State’s online media campaign and potentially laying the groundwork for future coordination between the groups, U.S. government ...

U.S. intelligence sees the bloodthirsty African group ‘take a page from the Islamic State’s social-media playbook.’ But Internet cooperation may be just the start.

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Disney’s Sick History With Measles

Disney’s Sick History With Measles

Among the 195 children exposed to measles at an Arizona clinic was Eli Jacks, who is only 10 months old and therefore too young to be vaccinated.Also exposed was his 3-year-old sister, Maggie Jacks. She belongs to a group of children who cannot be...

Vaccinations all but ended measles by 1982, when new cases hit Disneyland and elsewhere. Now health officials believe one infected person sparked a new outbreak at the theme park.

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Goop’s Latest Crazy: Steam Your Vagina

Goop’s Latest Crazy: Steam Your Vagina

Women of America, please do not steam your vaginas.I imagine that for most of you, this advice seems startlingly unnecessary. Like being told not to parboil your feet or have your elbows dry cleaned, presumably it would not occur to most of you to...

Oh Gwyneth. When will you stop passing on your absurdity in the form of healthy, scientific advice?

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What ‘Unboiled’ Eggs Mean for Cancer

What ‘Unboiled’ Eggs Mean for Cancer

Big news for people who are wishy-washy about what they want to eat for breakfast.  Investigators working in Australia and the US announced they have the know-how and the want-to at hand to unboil an already-cooked egg. So if you are two minutes i...

Scientists have manipulated egg protein to ‘unboil’ from a hard-boiled state. What in the world does this mean for curing disease?

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Doctor’s Orders: Legalize Weed

Doctor’s Orders: Legalize Weed

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued an updated policy statement about the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical use in the United States. Since its last statement about the matter in 2004, many ...

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ newest statement about marijuana opposes legalization. Here’s why it’s wrong.

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Goop’s Latest Crazy: Steam Your Vagina

Goop’s Latest Crazy: Steam Your Vagina

Women of America, please do not steam your vaginas.I imagine that for most of you, this advice seems startlingly unnecessary. Like being told not to parboil your feet or have your elbows dry cleaned, presumably it would not occur to most of you to...

Oh Gwyneth. When will you stop passing on your absurdity in the form of healthy, scientific advice?

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BeastStyle

Sri Lanka’s Last Hunter-Gatherers

Sri Lanka’s Last Hunter-Gatherers

Over two thousand years ago, a lion made love to a beautiful woman in India, and their son, Sinhabahu, was born with lion paws for hands and feet. Sinhabahu in turn had a son called Vijaya, who became the first, legendary king of Sri Lanka (the pe...

A trip into the jungle with members of one of Sri Lanka’s oldest tribes reveals a way of life both richly entwined with nature, yet ever more precarious.

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Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

If the goal of any magazine is to spike newsstand sales by cutting through the clutter and provoking the chattering classes, then Newsweek has scored big-time with the cover of its latest issue.Astride the headline, “What Silicon Valley Thinks of ...

It was supposed to illustrate a story about sexism in Silicon Valley, but the magazine’s cover, showing a cursor lifting up a skirt, has come under fire for being offensive itself.

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Is This The End Of ‘Downton Abbey’?

Is This The End Of ‘Downton Abbey’?

Mrs. Patmore, bake, bake, bake. Bake as fast as you can. Daisy, don’t dawdle. Thomas, you’ll have to find another keyhole to listen at. Lady Mary, it’s time to take your freewheeling “Hear my vagina roar” sex positivity elsewhere. And Edith. Well,...

A British tabloid reports the axe is about to fall on the hit period drama, with its creators and stars ready to move on. So, how should it end?

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Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

The memoir of divorce is something of a cliché: a writer’s post-trauma, woe-is-me catharsis; the gory details from an unhappy marriage dumped on the page. It is written specifically for the divorced or lovelorn, who internalize the author’s emotio...

Alexandra Fuller has written a memoir about her tangled family history, falling in love, and the breakdown of her marriage.

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Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

If the goal of any magazine is to spike newsstand sales by cutting through the clutter and provoking the chattering classes, then Newsweek has scored big-time with the cover of its latest issue.Astride the headline, “What Silicon Valley Thinks of ...

It was supposed to illustrate a story about sexism in Silicon Valley, but the magazine’s cover, showing a cursor lifting up a skirt, has come under fire for being offensive itself.

Keep Reading

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

LONDON — This time Amal Clooney is taking on one of the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.The star human-rights lawyer is appearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week in the name of the victims of the Arme...

Can the celebrity human-rights lawyer buck the tide and get recognition of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians?

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Paris’s Craziest Couture Shows

Paris’s Craziest Couture Shows

If you thought the couture shows in the French capital showed the most breathtaking fashion, you’d be right, but sometimes that means ‘breathtakingly nutty.’

If you thought the couture shows in the French capital showed the most breathtaking fashion, you’d be right, but sometimes that means ‘breathtakingly nutty.’

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Your PC Outrage is Like Sexy Hot Wax

Your PC Outrage is Like Sexy Hot Wax

It’s a good thing that the Internet—and not print on paper—is serving as the main forum for intellectuals, polemicists, bloggers, trollers, leftists and wingnuts to weigh in on New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait’s 4,700-word essay attacking t...

After writing an article attacking the shrill liberal left, Jonathan Chait was attacked by…guess who? He’s loving every moment.

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Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

LONDON — This time Amal Clooney is taking on one of the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.The star human-rights lawyer is appearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week in the name of the victims of the Arme...

Can the celebrity human-rights lawyer buck the tide and get recognition of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians?

Keep Reading

Women in the World

Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

Is Newsweek’s ‘Red Heels’ Cover Sexist?

If the goal of any magazine is to spike newsstand sales by cutting through the clutter and provoking the chattering classes, then Newsweek has scored big-time with the cover of its latest issue.Astride the headline, “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women”—a 5,000-word article on the creepy, sexist culture of the tech industry—is the cartoon of a faceless female in spiky red heels, having her dress lifted up by a cursor arrow.The image has prompted widespread outrag...

It was supposed to illustrate a story about sexism in Silicon Valley, but the magazine’s cover, showing a cursor lifting up a skirt, has come under fire for being offensive itself.

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Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

The memoir of divorce is something of a cliché: a writer’s post-trauma, woe-is-me catharsis; the gory details from an unhappy marriage dumped on the page. It is written specifically for the divorced or lovelorn, who internalize the author’s emotio...

Alexandra Fuller has written a memoir about her tangled family history, falling in love, and the breakdown of her marriage.

Keep Reading

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

LONDON — This time Amal Clooney is taking on one of the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.The star human-rights lawyer is appearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week in the name of the victims of the Arme...

Can the celebrity human-rights lawyer buck the tide and get recognition of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians?

Keep Reading

Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

Parents Sue Over ‘Wrongful Abortion’

After three miscarriages, Colleen Abbott*, a 37-year-old New Englander, finally had what doctors told her was a viable pregnancy. Parents to a son already, Colleen and her husband, John*, hoped for a girl. When two sonograms confirmed the baby’s g...

A test told a couple their child might be intersex and have a genetic disorder. The test was wrong.

Keep Reading

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

The memoir of divorce is something of a cliché: a writer’s post-trauma, woe-is-me catharsis; the gory details from an unhappy marriage dumped on the page. It is written specifically for the divorced or lovelorn, who internalize the author’s emotio...

Alexandra Fuller has written a memoir about her tangled family history, falling in love, and the breakdown of her marriage.

Keep Reading

Accused Campus Rapist In Jail For Once

Accused Campus Rapist In Jail For Once

If there is such a thing as an ideal way for onlookers to respond to campus sexual assault, the arrest and indictment of 19-year-old Brock Allen Turner would be it.Turner, a former Stanford freshman and star swimmer, has been charged by Santa Clar...

When passersby caught a star swimmer allegedly raping an unconscious woman outside of a frat, they didn’t call the university. They jumped on him. They called police. Now he’ll face ...

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The Epic All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Cast

The Epic All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Cast

Who you gonna call? According to Tuesday’s big news, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, the four women who very likely going to star in the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters.Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is set to di...

Director Paul Feig teased the cast of his ‘Ghostbusters’ spin-off on Twitter. Looks like Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon, and Jones are about to make your new favorite movie.

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Lena Dunham on the ‘Thought Police’

Lena Dunham on the ‘Thought Police’

For female urbanites—and New Yorkers in particular—Eloise represented their wildest fantasy come to life: a free-spirited, wildly independent young girl who lives in the penthouse of the Plaza Hotel and embarks on an endless array of First World a...

The creator and star of HBO’s Girls sat down at Sundance to discuss her Eloise documentary, Hannah’s Iowa mess, and her legion of haters.

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Accused Campus Rapist In Jail For Once

Accused Campus Rapist In Jail For Once

If there is such a thing as an ideal way for onlookers to respond to campus sexual assault, the arrest and indictment of 19-year-old Brock Allen Turner would be it.Turner, a former Stanford freshman and star swimmer, has been charged by Santa Clar...

When passersby caught a star swimmer allegedly raping an unconscious woman outside of a frat, they didn’t call the university. They jumped on him. They called police. Now he’ll face ...

Keep Reading

Books

Tolstoy’s Love Letter to Lincoln

Tolstoy’s Love Letter to Lincoln

Visiting Leo Tolstoi in Yasnaya with the intention of getting him to write an article on Lincoln, I unfortunately found him not well enough to yield to my request. However, he was willing to give me his opinion of the great American statesman, and...

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy once regaled a Muslim chieftain in the Caucasus about the greatness of Abraham Lincoln.

Keep Reading
  • Eternal Hangtime With the ‘Diner’ Boys

    Eternal Hangtime With the ‘Diner’ Boys

    My father was born and raised in New York City. He idolized, among others, Sid Caesar, Walt Kelly, and Adlai Stevenson. As his son, I campaigned for Mondale/Ferraro when I was in the 8th grade, drew anti-Reagan political cartoons for my social stu...

    Not a lot happens in Barry Levinson’s 1982 debut film about a gang of friends keeping time and adulthood at bay, but James Wolcott points out, action is not this exquisite movie’s po...

    Keep Reading

Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Should you describe your house as unique? (No.) Redo that kitchen to increase your home’s value? (No.) Follow the gays? (Yes.)Just in time for spring and summer, when the buying and selling of homes heats up across the United States, CEO Spencer R...

Remodeling the bathroom, not the kitchen, gives you the most bang for your buck. Adjustable-rate mortgages aren’t evil. Buy on a street called Lake. And more from the real estate gurus.

Keep Reading

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

Surviving Wartorn Africa—And Divorce

The memoir of divorce is something of a cliché: a writer’s post-trauma, woe-is-me catharsis; the gory details from an unhappy marriage dumped on the page. It is written specifically for the divorced or lovelorn, who internalize the author’s emotio...

Alexandra Fuller has written a memoir about her tangled family history, falling in love, and the breakdown of her marriage.

Keep Reading

Did Obama Forget the BP Oil Spill?

Did Obama Forget the BP Oil Spill?

After a brief flurry of positive news for environmentalists out of the Obama White House—from a deal with China on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to a plan to restrict oil drilling in the Alaska wilderness—a news report this week felt like some...

The administration swore it would profit from the mistakes of the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The decision to allow drilling in the Atlantic makes you wonder if it learned anything at all.

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Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Zillow’s Secret Real Estate Hacks

Should you describe your house as unique? (No.) Redo that kitchen to increase your home’s value? (No.) Follow the gays? (Yes.)Just in time for spring and summer, when the buying and selling of homes heats up across the United States, CEO Spencer R...

Remodeling the bathroom, not the kitchen, gives you the most bang for your buck. Adjustable-rate mortgages aren’t evil. Buy on a street called Lake. And more from the real estate gurus.

Keep Reading

The Secret Catholic Sex Cult

The Secret Catholic Sex Cult

Nuns using visions of God to persuade novices to have sex, threesomes with priests, the poisoning of a fat German princess, a prominent theologian shacking up with a vicaress, young nuns murdered, fetuses removed from an abbess, and cardinals, the...

In the 19th century, a scandal involving sex and murder at a Rome convent ensnared practically every major player in the church hierarchy.

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The Naked Truth About Bitcoin

The Naked Truth About Bitcoin

Once upon a time, stretching as far back as the 8th century, some people tried to convince other people that they could turn base metals into gold.It can’t be done.In 2009, along came someone, or some people, who called himself, or themselves, Sat...

Bitcoin may now have an exchange backed by the New York Stock Exchange, but its biggest supporters come across as deranged zealots.

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Romney's Foreign Policy Foresight a Myth

Romney's Foreign Policy Foresight a Myth

Though Mitt Romney has no foreign policy experience beyond running the Olympics, he is staking his potential political redemption on the idea that he can make America safer. At a speech in San Diego to the Republican National Committee’s winter me...

While a potential Mitt Romney comeback seems partially tied to his supposed prescience about Russia and the Middle East, his lack of actual policies speak volumes to the contrary.

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The Secret Catholic Sex Cult

The Secret Catholic Sex Cult

Nuns using visions of God to persuade novices to have sex, threesomes with priests, the poisoning of a fat German princess, a prominent theologian shacking up with a vicaress, young nuns murdered, fetuses removed from an abbess, and cardinals, the...

In the 19th century, a scandal involving sex and murder at a Rome convent ensnared practically every major player in the church hierarchy.

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