Friday, July 29

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The intertwined destinies of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

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On the history and study of pica:

Indeed, we have long defined ourselves and others by what we do and do not eat, from kashrut dietary restrictions described in Leviticus to the naming of Comanche bands (Kotsoteka—buffalo eaters, Penateka—honey eaters, Tekapwai—no meat) to insults—French frogs, English limeys, German krauts. But poya seemed to beg a different question: what was one to make of people who ate food that wasn’t food at all?

Thursday, July 28

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A history of the gravestone laser-etching industry.

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In anonymous warehouses in Detroit, Goldman Sachs has hoarded a quarter of the world’s supply of aluminum, placing them firmly in control of trading on the London Metal Exchange.

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John C. Favalora is a sallow old man who looks like the corpse of Dom Deluise. He likes attractive young men to sit on his lap and allegedly treats them to trips in the Florida Keys. He was, until recently, part owner of a company that makes "all natural" boner-inducing beverages. He's also the Archbishop Emeritus of Miami.
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Former Bob Ney, Mark Foley and William Jefferson underlings provide a street-level view of D.C. opprobrium.

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Karen Holloman opened the door of her uncle's apartment with his best friend, Larry Young, a step behind. As they edged inside, she looked to her left and saw the end of her uncle's bed and his motionless feet. "He's been in here asleep all along," Holloman muttered, for a moment annoyed at the worry he had caused by not answering his phone. Her anger froze as she entered his room: The Rev. Marvin Moore lay dead in his bed, a bullet hole through the back of his head, a pool of blood gathered beneath his limp arm.

Wednesday, July 27

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Living with grief and gult in the aftermath of the worst car accident in Westchester County in 75 years:

For 1.7 miles, Diane, 36, drove a minivan stuffed with kids the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway, finally colliding head-on with an SUV. Diane hadn’t even braked. Passing drivers said she stared straight ahead, her expression serene and oblivious, her hands at ten and two on the steering wheel. Eight people died, including Diane, their daughter, their three nieces, and all three people in the oncoming SUV. Toxicology reports later established Diane’s blood alcohol level at .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit. On the way home from a weekend camping trip, Danny’s wife appeared to have guzzled ten shots worth of alcohol and, the report said, smoked marijuana within the hour.

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A profile of twenty-seven-year-old James O’Keefe, who came to national attention during the last election after his prank videos stung ACORN and Planned Parenthood. A subsequent attempt to bug Senator Mary Landrieu’s phones resulted in jail time for O’Keefe.

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A visit to the new Havana.

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I felt, in some substantive yet elusive way, that I had had a hand in killing my mother. And so the search for a bed became a search for sanctuary, which is to say that the search for a bed became the search for a place; and of course by place I mean space, the sort of approximate, indeterminate space one might refer to when one says to another person, "I need some space"; and the fact that space in this context generally consists of feelings did not prevent me from imagining that the space-considered, against all reason, as a viable location; namely, my bedroom-could be filled, pretty much perfectly, by a luxury queen-size bed draped in gray-and-white-striped, masculine-looking sheets, with maybe a slightly and appropriately feminine ruffled bed skirt stretched about the box spring (all from Bellora in SoHo).