Politics

The Stigma of Interracial Dating

The Stigma of Interracial Dating

While many are outraged at the detainment of Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts, not all are shocked. Though she was not charged with any crime, police handcuffed the actress last week.Why this happened isn’t clear. But her boyfriend, celebrit...

An actress’ arrest just sheds light on common challenges interracial couples face.

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What Henry VIII Teaches Us About Sex Ed

What Henry VIII Teaches Us About Sex Ed

Consider Catherine Howard.Henry VIII’s fifth wife, the teenaged Catherine, was beheaded in 1542 for treason, which in her case meant adultery. (Turns out fooling around was a capital crime, if you were married to the king.) Also executed were her ...

If the penalty of death couldn’t scare teens away from sex outside of marriage, why do we still act like abstinence-only sex ed can work?

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When Pictures Are Too Powerful

When Pictures Are Too Powerful

If you want to understand the power of the images that crowd our 21st-century media, look to the words of a famous 19th-century crook.When William Marcy Tweed ran New York’s Tammany Hall in the post-Civil War years, reformers and good-government t...

Photographs helped America get on board with civil rights and turn against the war in Vietnam. But will the images of ISIS’s cruelty push us into another quagmire?

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The Stigma of Interracial Dating

The Stigma of Interracial Dating

While many are outraged at the detainment of Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts, not all are shocked. Though she was not charged with any crime, police handcuffed the actress last week.Why this happened isn’t clear. But her boyfriend, celebrit...

An actress’ arrest just sheds light on common challenges interracial couples face.

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Please—Let’s Not Destroy ISIS

Please—Let’s Not Destroy ISIS

Americans should support this mission against ISIS. One may well choose to do so warily, because, as I wrote in the wake of President Obama’s speech last week, it depends on a lot of uncontrollable variables (the Saudis behaving like good guys) ag...

Obama’s mission is hard enough without him stating a clearly unachievable goal. Why do presidents feel they have to sound like John Wayne?

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The Democrats’ Real Left-Populist Savior

The Democrats’ Real Left-Populist Savior

Andrew Cuomo is the new face of all that’s wrong with today’s Democrats. Thanks to his trouncing of Zephyr Teachout, the idealistic leftist professor who mustered the courage to challenge him, that much is now clear.As anyone in New York can tell ...

Lefty Dems bummed by Andrew Cuomo’s win already have an anti-corporatist alternative. He’s sharp, credentialed, and hiding in plain sight.

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Entertainment

Disability Organization Blasts Kanye

Disability Organization Blasts Kanye

Kanye West's recent demand that every member of the audience stand up during his show in Sydney, Australia showed a fundamental lack of understanding about the world in which we live. Kanye took it a step further by literally shining a light ...

The president of the American Association of People with Disabilities on what Kanye West gets horribly wrong.

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Viral Vid: Ultimate YouTube Music Mashup

Viral Vid: Ultimate YouTube Music Mashup

Who knew that that video of you puttering around on your piano would wind up in one of the year’s hottest jams?In the same way that Girl Talk samples the likes of Radiohead, XTC and the Wu-Tang Clan to make new songs, Israeli producer Kutiman has ...

A song mixed from unrelated YouTube performances is simply incredible

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Method Man Talks Wu-Tang Reunion

Method Man Talks Wu-Tang Reunion

Method Man really wants to smoke a blunt. I’m seated across from the towering MC, who’s decked out in head-to-toe New York Giants gear—matching hat and tracksuit, spotless—and, though he seems engaged in our conversation, I can’t help but notice t...

The rapper turned actor sat down with Marlow Stern to discuss the state of the Wu, their upcoming album, and how Tupac was a victim of his own creation.

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Freedom! Hollywood Fights for Scotland

Freedom! Hollywood Fights for Scotland

LONDON — When the Scottish government launched its bid for independence two years ago, the iconic backdrop chosen for the announcement was not a stunning vista tinged with purple heather or the site of a battle where the English were once vanquish...

Hollywood has been beguiled by this romantic quest for liberation, offering a tantalizing glimpse at the leading role the film industry could play in an independent Scotland.

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Viral Vid: Ultimate YouTube Music Mashup

Viral Vid: Ultimate YouTube Music Mashup

Who knew that that video of you puttering around on your piano would wind up in one of the year’s hottest jams?In the same way that Girl Talk samples the likes of Radiohead, XTC and the Wu-Tang Clan to make new songs, Israeli producer Kutiman has ...

A song mixed from unrelated YouTube performances is simply incredible

Keep Reading

The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

Margie Brand was at Westgate Mall in Nairobi to buy groceries at Nakumatt, the best-stocked store in the country. On this Saturday afternoon, she was accompanied by two colleagues and her 8-month-old son, Ashton. Just four days prior, the 39-year-...

Pulled from thousands of hours of security footage from more than a hundred cameras, ‘Terror at the Mall’ takes viewers inside Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall as the siege unfolds.

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Why We’re Hard on Famous Abuse Survivors

Why We’re Hard on Famous Abuse Survivors

It starts with a link. “Ray Rice Elevator Knockout: Fiancée Takes Crushing Punch,” “Rihanna Bloodied, Beaten, Bitten by Chris Brown,” “Christy Mack Severely Beaten By War Machine.” A celebrity has been brutally assaulted by her famous partner? Of ...

Why do we watch a celebrity beat up his girlfriend? More interesting is how we watch: critical, prejudiced, with an eye to acquitting abusers and re-victimizing survivors.

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What if John Coltrane Had Lived?

What if John Coltrane Had Lived?

When John Coltrane succumbed to liver cancer in 1967, he was at the forefront of the jazz world. No saxophonist was more admired by his peers or beloved by his fans. Coltrane was only 40 years old, but he was a genuine jazz hero who had somehow cr...

A newly released recording raises questions about what the iconic saxophonist might have achieved if he hadn’t died at age 40.

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The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

Margie Brand was at Westgate Mall in Nairobi to buy groceries at Nakumatt, the best-stocked store in the country. On this Saturday afternoon, she was accompanied by two colleagues and her 8-month-old son, Ashton. Just four days prior, the 39-year-...

Pulled from thousands of hours of security footage from more than a hundred cameras, ‘Terror at the Mall’ takes viewers inside Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall as the siege unfolds.

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World News

Kazakh Crazies Want Gay DNA Tests

Kazakh Crazies Want Gay DNA Tests

There’s an old chestnut, attribution unknown, that says “When America coughs, the world gets a cold.”  For nationalists who hate gay people, perhaps the parallel should be “When Russia scratches, the world gets scabies.”Case in point:  Far-right n...

In rhetoric disturbingly reminiscent of anti-Semitism, ultra right-wingers in the former Soviet state are calling for genetic tests to identify homosexuals.

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Massacre in the Mediterranean

Massacre in the Mediterranean

ROME, Italy — The rickety fishing boat that left the Egyptian port of Damietta on September 6 was a standard issue death trap. At 25 meters long, the old vessel could easily hold its passenger load of more than 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians...

The crossing from Africa to Europe is dangerous enough. Now it appears one group of smugglers murdered their frightened, restive clients en masse.

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Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels?

Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels?

The young rebels and opposition activists gathered in a school to discuss how the northern Syrian town of Al Bab should be governed after the departure of Bashar al Assad’s soldiers were taken aback by the question: “Why aren’t there any women her...

There were few modern democrats among the armed opposition to Assad two years ago. There are far fewer now. So who can Obama trust not to turn Western-supplied weapons against us later?

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Freedom! Hollywood Fights for Scotland

Freedom! Hollywood Fights for Scotland

LONDON — When the Scottish government launched its bid for independence two years ago, the iconic backdrop chosen for the announcement was not a stunning vista tinged with purple heather or the site of a battle where the English were once vanquish...

Hollywood has been beguiled by this romantic quest for liberation, offering a tantalizing glimpse at the leading role the film industry could play in an independent Scotland.

Keep Reading

Massacre in the Mediterranean

Massacre in the Mediterranean

ROME, Italy — The rickety fishing boat that left the Egyptian port of Damietta on September 6 was a standard issue death trap. At 25 meters long, the old vessel could easily hold its passenger load of more than 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians...

The crossing from Africa to Europe is dangerous enough. Now it appears one group of smugglers murdered their frightened, restive clients en masse.

Keep Reading

What a Real ISIS Strategy Looks Like

What a Real ISIS Strategy Looks Like

We’ve heard a lot lately about a “strategy” to take on the barbarous horde of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. At a White House briefing on August 28, President Barack Obama remarked that “we don’t have a strategy yet” and...

A U.S. Army officer with plenty of on-the-ground experience suggests the talking heads think through the consequences of their calls to action.

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To Beat ISIS, the Arab World Must Reform

To Beat ISIS, the Arab World Must Reform

Last week’s counter-terrorism conference in Jeddah can be summed up in two words: lost opportunity. Why? None of the participants were representative of an independent, democratic or critical voice in the Middle East. Rather, the Muslim scholars w...

If the U.S. does nothing, the Arab world will continue its slide into sectarian bigotry, political repression, and madness. This will come back to haunt the United States.

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The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

The Best Doc About Terrorism Ever Made

Margie Brand was at Westgate Mall in Nairobi to buy groceries at Nakumatt, the best-stocked store in the country. On this Saturday afternoon, she was accompanied by two colleagues and her 8-month-old son, Ashton. Just four days prior, the 39-year-...

Pulled from thousands of hours of security footage from more than a hundred cameras, ‘Terror at the Mall’ takes viewers inside Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall as the siege unfolds.

Keep Reading

What a Real ISIS Strategy Looks Like

What a Real ISIS Strategy Looks Like

We’ve heard a lot lately about a “strategy” to take on the barbarous horde of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. At a White House briefing on August 28, President Barack Obama remarked that “we don’t have a strategy yet” and...

A U.S. Army officer with plenty of on-the-ground experience suggests the talking heads think through the consequences of their calls to action.

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U.S. News

Rick Warren’s Troubling Africa Mission

Rick Warren’s Troubling Africa Mission

There are many sides to American megachurch pastor Rick Warren.There is the Warren who has announced his 2015 “All-Africa Purpose Driven Church Leadership Conference,” hyping it as part of a five-point “P.E.A.C.E.” plan to Plant churches, Equip “s...

Is the megachurch pastor doing good in Africa—or cynically exploiting African leaders to enhance his position and spread a social conservative message that oppresses women and gays?

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They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

In 1895, the president of Harvard University uttered an unintentional prophecy when he proclaimed “the game of football grows worse and worse as regards foul and violent play and the number and gravity of the injuries which the players suffer.”Eve...

It seemed like exaggerated fictional future at the time, but E.B. White and Gary K. Wolf’s decades-old prophecies about Americans’ sports obsessions now look strikingly dead-on.

Keep Reading

Another Mega Church Implodes

Another Mega Church Implodes

Once one of America’s fastest growing churches, Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, announced this week the closing of three locations and warned that another would be closed if donations fail to increase. The church also laid off around 40 of their 100 c...

Controversial, aggressive and big with young evangelicals. Has Mark Driscoll finally gone too far?

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Rick Warren’s Troubling Africa Mission

Rick Warren’s Troubling Africa Mission

There are many sides to American megachurch pastor Rick Warren.There is the Warren who has announced his 2015 “All-Africa Purpose Driven Church Leadership Conference,” hyping it as part of a five-point “P.E.A.C.E.” plan to Plant churches, Equip “s...

Is the megachurch pastor doing good in Africa—or cynically exploiting African leaders to enhance his position and spread a social conservative message that oppresses women and gays?

Keep Reading

How To Plan A Jailbreak

How To Plan A Jailbreak

Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, is an 18-acre prison that houses mostly minimum and medium security offenders. The population of 1,645 spends their days participating in apprenticeship programs, garden projects and community ...

There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Thursday’s escape attempt by the notorious Ohio school shooter T.J. Lane. Will we ever get answers?

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Child Abuse Is Domestic Violence, Too

Child Abuse Is Domestic Violence, Too

If you’re looking for Roger Goodell, he’s probably locked away in a remote cabin deep in the woods, totally off the grid and drinking himself blind on Absinthe and Drano. Just when it looked like the NFL’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad wee...

Adrian Peterson’s beating of his son and Ray Rice’s knockout are both domestic violence. Anything the NFL does to punish the Viking will be tainted by its slow response to the Raven.

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Tech + Health

How to Treat the Criminally Insane

How to Treat the Criminally Insane

Stephen Seager knows he could lose his job, but he doesn’t care. He didn’t ask his employer’s permission to write Behind the Gates of Gomorrah, an account of the rampant and unchecked violence that Seager says he’s both witnessed and experienced a...

Doctor Stephen Seager pens a fascinating and terrifying tell-all about his high-stakes job at a ‘Silence of the Lambs’-style forensic institute.

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Why Does This School Need a Tank?

Why Does This School Need a Tank?

My twin daughters just finished their second week of kindergarten at the local elementary school, one of 226 learning facilities in the San Diego Unified School District.They love it so far, and so do my wife and I. Their teacher is fantastic, the...

A San Diego school district just got a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle—admins claim it will be used in case of a shooting or other disaster. Is it really necessary?

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Porn Stars For A Wide-Open Internet

Porn Stars For A Wide-Open Internet

Because we all know the Internet was really made for porn, an elite trio of streaming adult sites—Pornhub, YouPorn and Redtube—have joined forces with the likes of Netflix and Reddit to protest new threats to net neutrality.September 10th became “...

With a threat to net neutrality looming—that all online data is treated equally—a handful of popular XXX sites are leading the charge to campaign for an open Internet.

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4 Science-Backed Workout Motivators

4 Science-Backed Workout Motivators

By Sarah Elizabeth Richards for Life by DailyBurn Are you looking to make your occasional strength class or Sunday spin session a regular ritual? Many casual exercisers want to sweat more often, but they struggle with finding the workout motivat...

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Why Does This School Need a Tank?

Why Does This School Need a Tank?

My twin daughters just finished their second week of kindergarten at the local elementary school, one of 226 learning facilities in the San Diego Unified School District.They love it so far, and so do my wife and I. Their teacher is fantastic, the...

A San Diego school district just got a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle—admins claim it will be used in case of a shooting or other disaster. Is it really necessary?

Keep Reading

The Sun Is Pummeling Earth. Now What?

The Sun Is Pummeling Earth. Now What?

Two powerful solar storms pummeling Earth have ignited a social-media frenzy over coronal mass ejections, light sabers in the sky, and Armageddon. What’s happening in outer space and how will it affect us Earthlings? Here’s a quick explainer.What ...

Good news: Maybe some amazing Northern Lights. Bad news: Don’t depend on GPS. Or electricity. Why explosions on the sun might mess up your weekend.

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Seizure Med Turns You Into E.E. Cummings

Seizure Med Turns You Into E.E. Cummings

Of all the retirees who take up a creative hobby, how many can say their seizures made them do it?That seems to be the case with one 76-year-old woman, who had never shown much of an interest in poetry and suddenly became a prolific poet, writing ...

After starting a new drug, an epileptic woman started writing 10 to 15 poems each day. Is this the weirdest side effect ever?

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Lefty Bloggers Spread False Ebola Story

Lefty Bloggers Spread False Ebola Story

Republicans aren’t cutting Ebola funding, but progressives were happy to jump on a report that said the GOP would provide less than half of what the White House requested to prevent the spread of the disease.It’s a case study of how quick rumors c...

The left-wing blogosphere was all over a report that the House GOP was cutting Ebola funding. Too bad the story wasn’t true.

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The Sun Is Pummeling Earth. Now What?

The Sun Is Pummeling Earth. Now What?

Two powerful solar storms pummeling Earth have ignited a social-media frenzy over coronal mass ejections, light sabers in the sky, and Armageddon. What’s happening in outer space and how will it affect us Earthlings? Here’s a quick explainer.What ...

Good news: Maybe some amazing Northern Lights. Bad news: Don’t depend on GPS. Or electricity. Why explosions on the sun might mess up your weekend.

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BeastStyle

Urban Outfitters’ Kent State Shocker

Urban Outfitters’ Kent State Shocker

On Sunday evening, Urban Outfitters started selling a “vintage” Kent State University sweatshirt—that appeared to be splattered with fake blood. Many people reasonably interpreted this to be a reference to the 1970 Kent State massacre, in which th...

The much-criticized label says the shirt isn’t actually blood stained. They won’t say who designed it, though.

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The Magic of Cannes—Sans Red Carpet

The Magic of Cannes—Sans Red Carpet

I am no stranger to Cannes and the French Riviera. For many years I have been going to its eponymous, crazy film festival—as well as its TV festival--to watch and report on the deals being done, the premieres, the dresses, and the rich and famous ...

Everyone knows Cannes for its famous film festival. When the stars and paparazzi have departed, it’s an even weirder place—with rich Russians and topless old ladies—but still enchant...

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Princess Charlene’s Monaco Nightmare

Princess Charlene’s Monaco Nightmare

With all the fuss around Kate Middleton’s happy gestational news, you could be forgiven for thinking that there's only one Royal pregnancy in western Europe right now. You'd be mistaken. Princess Charlene of Monaco, the athletic, South A...

She looked miserable at her wedding to Prince Albert, and the bitching and rumors around Princess Charlene of Monaco haven’t abated just because she’s pregnant.

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Secrets of a Fashion Legend

Secrets of a Fashion Legend

On July 4, 1969, in searing heat, the celebrated fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld ran up and down the Spanish Steps in Rome in a successful bid—so his family believes—to kill himself. The 71-year-old had not taken his heart medication, and he...

One of the highest-paid fashion photographers of the 1950s, Erwin Blumenfeld committed suicide by inducing a heart attack. Now his family wants to remind the world of his brilliance.

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The Magic of Cannes—Sans Red Carpet

The Magic of Cannes—Sans Red Carpet

I am no stranger to Cannes and the French Riviera. For many years I have been going to its eponymous, crazy film festival—as well as its TV festival--to watch and report on the deals being done, the premieres, the dresses, and the rich and famous ...

Everyone knows Cannes for its famous film festival. When the stars and paparazzi have departed, it’s an even weirder place—with rich Russians and topless old ladies—but still enchant...

Keep Reading

Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Thank you, Stephen King. How many times have your stories kept me awake at night wondering, like a child in the dark, what monsters lurk nearby?  You are one hell of a writer, and I think most of us in the business understand this: you think very ...

The great teller of supernatural horror stories says he admires my father’s poetry. My father, for his part, believed the poet had something like supernatural powers.

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The High Fashion Nuns of Venice

The High Fashion Nuns of Venice

Crosses dot the tourist maps of Venice, denoting churches and former convents, some of which have been left to crumble into the ground. But uncovering their histories leads to a startling realization: they weren’t all as innocent as one might assu...

For centuries, there was a renegade group of nuns in Venice who clung to the lavish fashions and up-to-date styles of the secular world. The higher the heel, the closer to God, right?

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Does Fashion Week Exploit Teen Models?

Does Fashion Week Exploit Teen Models?

In August, 19-year-old Jane (a pseudonym) was at a pre-fashion week casting to walk in Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show, when she saw something that disturbed her."There was a girl in a shear top, no bra, and [part of the ...

It's been over half a century since Shirley Temple rose to fame and helped revolutionize protections for child actors. So why are underage models still so vulnerable?

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Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Thank you, Stephen King. How many times have your stories kept me awake at night wondering, like a child in the dark, what monsters lurk nearby?  You are one hell of a writer, and I think most of us in the business understand this: you think very ...

The great teller of supernatural horror stories says he admires my father’s poetry. My father, for his part, believed the poet had something like supernatural powers.

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Women

Clooney to Do ‘Downton Abbey’

Clooney to Do ‘Downton Abbey’

You might think that Downton Abbey has jumped the shark.George Clooney is not so sure.For The Sun is reporting this morning that the newly engaged Hollywood dreamboat is to make an appearance in a one-off Christmas special of the British costume drama, alongside the cast of the hit drama as part of a charity appeal.The appearance comes after Clooney became friends with Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Robert Grantham, during the filming of the movie The Monuments ...

Clooney’s appearance comes after he became friends with Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Robert Grantham, during the filming of the movie ‘The Monuments Men.’

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I Was Pregnant, He Hit Me. Why I Stayed.

I Was Pregnant, He Hit Me. Why I Stayed.

I was eight weeks pregnant with my second child when my husband hit me.To be fair, he told me that he would kill me while he throttled my neck, and once I broke free I tried desperately to fight back. Then he hit me. Open hand right across the fac...

Social media is ablaze over the Ray Rice video, wondering why his future wife stayed. For me, like thousands of other abused women, that answer isn’t an easy one.

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Male Birth Control—Without Condoms

Male Birth Control—Without Condoms

Vasalgel, a reversible form of male birth control, just took one step closer to your vas deferens.According to a press release from the Parsemus Foundation, a not-for profit organization focused on developing low-cost medical approaches, Vasalgel ...

A reversible polymer that blocks sperm is about to enter human trials and will be available by 2017. How will rhetoric change when male bodies are responsible for birth control?

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Women, It’s Time to Reclaim Our Breasts

Women, It’s Time to Reclaim Our Breasts

Women have long been told to cover up their sexy parts, as the world ogles them, sometimes to aggressive extremes. When there is a personal violation as egregious and disturbing as the recent one against Jennifer Lawrence and several other female ...

Women, so long the focus of male sexual objectification, are keen to recast the standards, significance, and sexist humor about their chests.

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I Was Pregnant, He Hit Me. Why I Stayed.

I Was Pregnant, He Hit Me. Why I Stayed.

I was eight weeks pregnant with my second child when my husband hit me.To be fair, he told me that he would kill me while he throttled my neck, and once I broke free I tried desperately to fight back. Then he hit me. Open hand right across the fac...

Social media is ablaze over the Ray Rice video, wondering why his future wife stayed. For me, like thousands of other abused women, that answer isn’t an easy one.

Keep Reading

The Christian Case for Abortion

The Christian Case for Abortion

When news broke that Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had previously terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons, she received words of compassion from a surprising source. A spokesperson for Texas Right to Life called “the value of li...

Wendy Davis’ abortion revelations raise the question: Can abortion be the most compassionate choice? Some religious leaders say yes.

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What Do Women Want? Not the GOP

What Do Women Want? Not the GOP

Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican governor, and David Perdue, the GOP nominee for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat, are locked in tight races. If they lose, women will have played decisive and outsized roles in their defeats. Walker is facing a ...

It may be a good November for Republicans, but it could have been a lot better if the party had any idea how to talk to women voters.

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Diana’s ‘Hit Man’ Threat To Camilla

Diana’s ‘Hit Man’ Threat To Camilla

Penny Junor’s revelations in the Daily Mail’s serialization of her new Prince Harry book keep on coming.After a divorce, friends often have to decide which one of the divorced couple they are going to be friends with, and journalists frequently fa...

Penny Junor lays into Diana in new Harry bio

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The Christian Case for Abortion

The Christian Case for Abortion

When news broke that Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had previously terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons, she received words of compassion from a surprising source. A spokesperson for Texas Right to Life called “the value of li...

Wendy Davis’ abortion revelations raise the question: Can abortion be the most compassionate choice? Some religious leaders say yes.

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Books

How to Treat the Criminally Insane

How to Treat the Criminally Insane

Stephen Seager knows he could lose his job, but he doesn’t care. He didn’t ask his employer’s permission to write Behind the Gates of Gomorrah, an account of the rampant and unchecked violence that Seager says he’s both witnessed and experienced a...

Doctor Stephen Seager pens a fascinating and terrifying tell-all about his high-stakes job at a ‘Silence of the Lambs’-style forensic institute.

Keep Reading
  • From Moscow to Queens, Down Dovlatov Way

    From Moscow to Queens, Down Dovlatov Way

    The writer Sergei Dovlatov had a street renamed in his honor recently. Last Sunday morning, a clump of eager and aging onetime immigrants from the Soviet Union of Brezhnev stood around an un-picturesque corner in Queens as New York City Counci...

    While Russians in America argue over Sergei Dovlatov’s legacy, Russia tightens its grip.

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The Elite American College Pile-On

The Elite American College Pile-On

You’ve probably heard the buzz around William Deresiewicz’s polemic against the “miseducation of the American elite.” In the most widely read article in the history of The New Republic, Deresiewicz lambasted Ivy League schools (and others) for att...

The Ivy League and other top schools are producing no more than ‘excellent sheep,’ says William Deresiewicz. Standardized tests need more emphasis, says Steven Pinker. What they miss.

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They Killed Our Brothers

They Killed Our Brothers

Dear Tommy,How the hell are you doing? It’s weird that I’m writing you a letter. I feel like I’m breaking up with you. Anyway, it was great seeing you a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad my friend Colin bumped into you and texted me that you were at M...

On September 11, 2001, Jimmy’s brother was killed in the north tower. Years later he writes a letter to his friend Tommy whose own brother was killed in Iraq.

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Ken Burns’s ‘Roosevelts’ Fine But Flawed

Ken Burns’s ‘Roosevelts’ Fine But Flawed

Ken Burns is America’s premier storyteller and historical “remembrancer.” His 26 documentary television series for PBS—including Brooklyn Bridge (1981), The Statue of Liberty (1985), The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), The West (1996), Lewis &a...

Arguably America’s most influential historian, Burns fashions a fascinating documentary from the lives of Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor. But his story has grave gaps.

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The Elite American College Pile-On

The Elite American College Pile-On

You’ve probably heard the buzz around William Deresiewicz’s polemic against the “miseducation of the American elite.” In the most widely read article in the history of The New Republic, Deresiewicz lambasted Ivy League schools (and others) for att...

The Ivy League and other top schools are producing no more than ‘excellent sheep,’ says William Deresiewicz. Standardized tests need more emphasis, says Steven Pinker. What they miss.

Keep Reading

They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

In 1895, the president of Harvard University uttered an unintentional prophecy when he proclaimed “the game of football grows worse and worse as regards foul and violent play and the number and gravity of the injuries which the players suffer.”Eve...

It seemed like exaggerated fictional future at the time, but E.B. White and Gary K. Wolf’s decades-old prophecies about Americans’ sports obsessions now look strikingly dead-on.

Keep Reading

Empty Calories from ‘Cloud Atlas’ Author

Empty Calories from ‘Cloud Atlas’ Author

David Mitchell’s new novel enthralls, soars, and crackles, but in the end, it lets you down.In whirlwind fashion, The Bone Clocks follows British teenage runaway Holly Sykes from small town England in 1984 right through to a dystopian future in 20...

One of the best novelists alive, Mitchell probably couldn’t write a truly bad book, but while his latest effort is always entertaining, nothing about it sticks with you.

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Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Stephen King on My Father’s Poetry

Thank you, Stephen King. How many times have your stories kept me awake at night wondering, like a child in the dark, what monsters lurk nearby?  You are one hell of a writer, and I think most of us in the business understand this: you think very ...

The great teller of supernatural horror stories says he admires my father’s poetry. My father, for his part, believed the poet had something like supernatural powers.

Keep Reading

They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

They Saw Our Sports Problem Coming

In 1895, the president of Harvard University uttered an unintentional prophecy when he proclaimed “the game of football grows worse and worse as regards foul and violent play and the number and gravity of the injuries which the players suffer.”Eve...

It seemed like exaggerated fictional future at the time, but E.B. White and Gary K. Wolf’s decades-old prophecies about Americans’ sports obsessions now look strikingly dead-on.

Keep Reading