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The High Life


Manufacturing a spectacle in Xianju All photos by Laura Yan. The highliners sprang into handstands and whooped as they raced around the airport on luggage carts.

The Difficulties of Door-Opening, With Casey Affleck


It’s really hard. YouTube I don’t know if you’re going to be able to believe this, but Casey Affleck weighed in on social issues, and he did it in a narrowly focused way!

Making The First Move


At the 2016 World Chess Championships Image: Edith Soto The bouncer guarding the door to the World Chess Federation’s Championship in New York City on Wednesday was polite, but firm.

Abusive Relationship With A Stranger


The Adventures of Liana Finck Liana Finck is not necessarily funny Abusive Relationship With A Stranger was originally published in The Awl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Dark Sky, “Voim”


Is every week going to be like this from now on? Hey, it’s Friday! What’s happening on the Internet? Looks like we had to turn comments off on story about Mall of America's first black Santa.

New York City, November 30, 2016


★ The rain had paused, leaving pulpy leaves and pulpy printed leaflets flattened to the sidewalk. It was urgent to find something to do in the break, even if it was just going the extra distance for coffee.

The Most Regionally Authentic Details In ‘Manchester by the Sea’


(Otherwise the movie is as crappy and as pretty as it should be.) YouTube Last night some friends and I saw the movie Manchester By the Sea.

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Is Better Than Shakespeare’s


Classical Music Hour with Fran Image: Carlo Rasso Fine, I get it: it’s the holiday season and you want a ballet.

Grow Your Own Penicillium


Odd Lots: Curious Objects Up At Auction A cup o’ mold, the key to Oscar Wilde’s prison cell, and a Tim Burton art tile Lot 1: Nobel Prize-Winning Penicillin Mold Courtesy of Bonhams This greenish glob is world famous — it is one of the original penicillin molds that tipped off Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming to its antibiotic properties.

A Poem by Laura Eve Engel

Burden of Belonging Today we are grieving our nation’s peaceful transition of power what we are really saying is we’re scared about how many of us choose not to recognize we depend on one another to stay whole and unhurt I am responsible for you here hold my heart why am I glad for this burden of belonging when others are not to whom do some of us not belong who hurt some of us so but here they come again this history of men who when they were healthy refused the hearts of their neighbors until they were weak from it now their suffering punches up out of the rich soil thorny and asserting you are not suffering I am suffering something inside the weed urges it to need and kill the garden to offer and offer itself until it’s choked all but its own color out where it was never written not all suffering is created equal and not all need vigilance against the new appearance of old growth has never been enough we must rewrite the ground Laura Eve Engel’s work can be found in Boston Review, PEN America, Tin House and elsewhere.

Aos, “Trance On 99”


November finally ended, now what? Photo: Eric Parker I cannot remember a longer November, and I’ve lived through so many of them.

New York City, November 29, 2016


★ The rain was steady but light enough at first for the five-year-old to re-furl his umbrella, keep his hood down, and veer around and past the plodding umbrella-burdened other children.

The Deal


A gift in verse Photo: Giulia van Pelt I have thoughts about Bob Dylan and how Bernie would have won and how tweets are a distraction and the damage P.C.’s done I’ve opinions about “Westworld” and about the phrase “alt-right” I’ll give you takes on “Gilmore Girls” to last you through the night Should Hillary put makeup on?

Who Will Solve NASA’s Poop Problem?


Seriously, you can win $30,000 Flickr Astronauts may be jacked math and science nerds with amazing hearts and lungs (plus chemically stable brains), but they all have at least one trait to keep them humble: they poop just like the rest of us.

There and Back Again


Why aren’t there more famous black sci-fi authors? A few months back, the Fireside Fiction publishing company, released a comprehensive report detailing the lack of black authors being published in speculative fiction.

Who Else Listened To “Alice’s Restaurant” At Thanksgiving?


Soundscan Surprises, Week Ending 11/24 Back-catalog sales numbers of note from Nielsen SoundScan. Photo: Deirdre Woolard The definition of “back catalog” is: “at least 18 months old, have fallen below №100 on the Billboard 200 and do not have an active single on our radio.” One of my favorite things during the holidays is discovering that other people have similar traditions to yours.

Social Skills


The Adventures of Liana Finck Liana Finck is gracious. Social Skills was originally published in The Awl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Gordon, “Earth, Ground & Fields”


What gets you through the days now that your dreams are dead? Photo: Dave Baker I had a dream the other night that things would be okay: We wouldn’t have this agony that plagues us through the day.

The Holiday Dread Collection


The gift that lasts the whole year long. Photo: Gregg Did you miss any of our Holiday Dread series? Did you read them all?

New York City, November 28, 2016


★★★★ The color of the clear sky was ever so slightly tempered by haze, but airplanes were sharp, arresting white against it.


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