Why I Capture the Castle has gained a secret cult of book lovers

“Every time I meet someone who also loves I Capture the Castle,” writes Jenny Han in her foreword to the new edition of Dodie Smith’s 1948 classic, “I know we must be kindred spirits.” I Capture the Castle is that kind of book. It’s not quite famous, even among Smith’s works (her most famous title would be 101 Dalmatians), but for a certain kind of reader — mostly women, mostly bookish — it is perfect.…

"Why I Capture the Castle has gained a secret cult of book lovers"

John Kelly has become a field commander in Trump’s culture war

The chief of staff divides America into those who “serve” in uniform — at home and abroad — and those who should shut up. When White House chief of staff John Kelly took the podium at the Thursday afternoon press briefing to defend the controversy surrounding Trump’s treatment of a Gold Star family, he was treated with the deference and gravitas this White House doesn’t usually receive. It wasn’t just because Kelly is himself a…

"John Kelly has become a field commander in Trump’s culture war"

An Indiana county just halted a lifesaving needle exchange program, citing the Bible

The program has overwhelming evidence behind it. But that wasn’t enough to save it. “People will absolutely die as a result.” That’s how Chris Abert of the Indiana Recovery Alliance described the consequences of an Indiana county’s decision to stop a needle exchange program, which provides clean syringes to drug users in an effort to stop the spread of infectious blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis. Lawrence County commissioners’ reasoning: morals — and the Bible.…

"An Indiana county just halted a lifesaving needle exchange program, citing the Bible"

The “Fake Melania” conspiracy theory, explained

The idea of Melania Trump having a body double appeals because people have already created a narrative about the first lady. In a world where white supremacists use a cartoon frog to help convey their hateful beliefs, the president is obsessed with TV ratings and feuding with the NFL, and perceived threats of international nuclear warfare happen on Twitter, is it that far-fetched to believe that the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump,…

"The “Fake Melania” conspiracy theory, explained"

Here’s what Rick Perry would have recommended if he’d listened to his own grid study

How to actually make the grid more resilient. The Trump administration absolutely united around one goal: supporting the US coal industry. Back in April, Energy Secretary Rick Perry commissioned a study on the resilience and reliability of the US power grid, with a special focus on whether “fuel-ready” power plants like coal and nuclear were being unfairly driven out of business in wholesale electricity markets. In July, a nearly complete version of the study leaked,…

"Here’s what Rick Perry would have recommended if he’d listened to his own grid study"

Harvey Weinstein’s “sex addiction” excuse harms my patients who have real issues about sex

Mental health issues surrounding sex are no excuse for sexual crimes. The day after I listened to the New Yorker audio clip of Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing a woman, Steve walked into my office for an initial therapy session. Steve was in his 50s, married, and a partner at a successful firm. Two female subordinates claimed Steve had come on to them, and his CEO said he’d get fired if he didn’t “get help.” “I…

"Harvey Weinstein’s “sex addiction” excuse harms my patients who have real issues about sex"

White House officials think childhood obesity is not a problem. Have they seen the data?

Officials called a focus on childhood obesity “inexplicable” in leaked memo. Childhood obesity is arguably one of the biggest and most troubling problems in health today. Among high-income countries, America boasts the highest obesity rates for girls and boys — which was a big part of the reason the Obama White House, and the former first lady Michelle Obama in particular, singled out childhood obesity as a key policy priority. Now it seems the Trump…

"White House officials think childhood obesity is not a problem. Have they seen the data?"

“Our democracy is at stake”: Obama delivers his first post-presidency campaign speech

Obama rebukes Trumpism without mentioning Trump by name. At his first campaign speech since leaving office, former President Barack Obama urged America to rise above its deep divisions. Though Obama did not mention President Donald Trump as he spoke at a Richmond campaign rally for Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, Ralph Northam, the speech was clearly about him. He often alluded to Trump’s controversial brand of politics and delivered a stark warning, saying, “Our democracy…

"“Our democracy is at stake”: Obama delivers his first post-presidency campaign speech"

Who Trump actually hurts by stopping payments to insurance companies, explained with a cartoon

The payments are to lower costs for low-income people, but they increase costs for everyone else. President Trump claims that because Congress has failed to repeal Obamacare, he’s going to “piece by piece” give America the health care it deserves. So he issued an executive order that would stop key Obamacare payments to insurers, in an effort to stop “bailing out [insurance companies] who have made a fortune” under Obamacare. But rather than lowering premiums,…

"Who Trump actually hurts by stopping payments to insurance companies, explained with a cartoon"

39 water terms, mapped

How firths, lochs, and other bodies of water are different. What do all those bodies of water really mean? If you comb through the US Geological Survey, Merriam Webster, and a few other sources, you can get an idea of the differences between firths, tarns, and other bodies of water. It can be tough to remember all the definitions, but the video above puts them together as a journey through a single (slightly fantastical) map.…

"39 water terms, mapped"