This week's list from Emily includes stories from BuzzFeed, The New Yorker, The Rumpus, and Left Field Project.
On the trial of Joseph Hall, who murdered his neo-Nazi father when he was 10 years old. (For more background on the story, see Natasha Vargas-Cooper's Feb. 2013 piece.)
Did an atmosphere of hate drive Joseph to kill? Did his stepmother? Or was it his childish misreading of a TV show? Or a complicated amalgam of factors, tangled together in a damaged brain? Was Joseph confused or deranged, a victim or a victimizer? Had he simply changed his story and implicated Krista because he was tired of being locked up? Or did he finally find the strength to tell the truth, months after the killing, because he was no longer under her sway? There were many questions, but Judge Leonard focused on one: Did Joseph know when he pulled the trigger that what he was doing was wrong?
PUBLISHED: Nov. 4, 2013
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5279 words)
This week's picks from Emily includes stories from Kotaku, Racialicious, Buzzfeed, and Autostraddle.
Our story picks of the week, featuring The New Yorker, MIT Technology Review, BuzzFeed, Wired and Gawker, plus a guest pick by Andrew Pantazi.
Saeed Jones on a painful memory of visiting his grandmother when he was a teenager—and what then happened at her church:
"My grandmother and I still haven’t spoken about what happened during the summer of 1999, or why it was the last time I visited her by myself, and how it came to be that she watched a pastor put a curse on her youngest daughter.
“Mom, a single parent working two jobs in Lewisville, Texas, sent me to Memphis each year because she couldn’t afford to take care of me when I was out of school. During these summer visits, my grandmother took me to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday. She introduced me to people as ‘Saeed, my grandbaby visiting from Texas.’ Her friends would lean down with one hand holding up their extravagant church hats and slip me a strawberry hard candy. I didn’t miss those candies or church introductions until they were suddenly replaced with a new introduction the summer I was 13: ‘This is my grandson, Saeed. His mother is Buddhist.’ She said it like she didn’t know a sentence like that could electrify the air in any Southern church.”
PUBLISHED: Oct. 20, 2013
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4408 words)
This week's picks from Emily include stories from Vice, Buzzfeed, Aeon Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine.
Our story picks of the week, featuring Esquire, Wired, BuzzFeed, The New Republic, Lapham's Quarterly, and a guest pick by Sari Botton.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 27, 2013
The writer on her experience moving halfway around the world for a relationship and a new life:
"I said 'yes' to moving but I hadn’t really said “yes” to a location. Because Russell was an urban planner, with experience that was in high demand, he could work almost anywhere. He had been a Peace Corps volunteer and was interested in living abroad again — somewhere English-speaking, he conceded, so I could get a job. He wanted to be close to places to canoe and hike and climb. He wanted to live in a smaller city. Wherever we ended up, it was understood that we would stay there for a year or two before settling down back home in the Midwest. In theory I was on board with all of this, and as he started to look for jobs and then started getting offers, I remained theoretically fine with all of the potential locations; I was in over my head at my own job and barely had time to get coffee in the morning, let alone ruminate on the implications of these very important decisions."
PUBLISHED: Sept. 22, 2013
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5847 words)
In 1968, an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine wondered if eating food in American Chinese food restaurants caused feelings of numbness and fatigue. Decades of research has shown little consensus on whether consumption of MSG is bad for us. How the MSG myth was born and propagated:
"'The Chinese food causes thirst,' he wrote, 'which would also be due to the high sodium content. The syndrome may therefore be due merely to the large quantity of salt in the food.' MSG was almost an afterthought: 'Others have suggested it may be caused by the monosodium glutamate seasoning used to a great extent for seasoning in Chinese restaurants.' He closed ruminating on the idea that the presence of MSG might make the sodium-related symptoms 'more acute.'
"But it was the MSG bit that people focused on. The New York Times quickly followed the NEJM’s lead, publishing a small write-up on the issue a month later (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Puzzles Doctors,' May 19, 1968). Also fueling the burgeoning myth was a latent distrust of what happened behind the kitchen door at Chinese restaurants, even as they became increasingly common to American diners in the late 1960s. 'To be suspicious of the goings on in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant was not uncommon,' food historian Ian Mosby writes in his paper '"That Won-Ton Soup Headache": The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, MSG and the Making of American Food, 1968–1980.' For many, suspicions of mysterious meats and other 'excessive' practices were still present."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 15, 2013
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5837 words)