Yearly Archives: 2015

Readings — December 30, 2015, 11:48 am

Divide and Conquer

Sample problems from a mathematics textbook for children between six and twelve years old, published by the Islamic State’s ministry of education.

Weekly Review — December 29, 2015, 11:32 am

Weekly Review

Christmas was banned in Somalia, and a ban on wearing “hats or clothes that resemble Santa Claus” continued in Brunei. Canada experienced a shortage of peppermint candy canes. A man in England dressed as Santa climbed through the window of a KFC wielding a knife, and it was reported that the number of people giving guns as Christmas gifts had increased since last year. “It is a significant gift,” said a gun-shop owner, “to arm the people that you love.”

Art, Monday Gallery — December 28, 2015, 11:57 am

Le Masque

Le Masque, a photograph by Sarah Moon, whose work was on view last year at Galerie Camera Obscura, in Paris. © The artist. Courtesy Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris

Postcard — December 24, 2015, 10:00 am

The Golden Drop

A visit to the heart of African Paris

Art, Sketch — December 23, 2015, 11:00 am

Greenwich Village Then and Now

Greenwich Village Then and Now, illustrations, by Julia Wertz, of three blocks in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, as they appeared in the 1930s and today. View all…

Weekly Review — December 22, 2015, 1:05 pm

Weekly Review

France’s National Front party, whose president, Marine Le Pen, recently compared Muslims praying in public to Nazi occupiers and was acquitted of hate-speech charges, won a record 6.8 million votes in regional elections. Danish legislators considered a measure that would allow authorities to seize jewelry, cash, and other valuables from refugees. Public schools in Los Angeles and Nashua, New Hampshire, were closed because of bomb threats, and a poll found that 30 percent of Republican primary voters support bombing Agrabah, the fictional city from Disney’s Aladdin. Continue reading…

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No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them. 

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original? 

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In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Days after the Columbine shootings in 1999 that Eric Holder called for “regulations in how people interact on the Internet‚”:

5

The 63 percent drop in Brazil’s birth rate between 1960 and 2000 was due in part to soap operas.

US president Donald Trump, who once said it “doesn’t matter” what journalists write about him if he has a “piece of ass” that is “young,” blamed the press coverage of the abuse allegations on the White House communications director, whom Trump has reportedly called a “piece of tail” and asked to steam a pair of pants he was wearing.

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"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

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