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  • Quick Treatment Update - And Thanks

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 6:09 pm
    I had my first round of chemo about six hours ago, and I had no reaction at all. No nausea, no vomiting, no nothing. I ate lunch an hour afterward. Obviously this may change as things progress, but so far I seem to be tolerating the treatment regimen well. That's good news. And my back continues to slowly get stronger and less painful. The outpouring of prayers and good wishes has been genuinely heartening. Thank you to everyone for all the comments, tweets, and emails. They truly mean a lot to me. And to Nora and Jason from Chicago: Thanks for the flowers! They're lovely. On a related note,…
  • Inside the Bizarre, Unregulated World of Debt Collection

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    Nick Baumann
    25 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    One evening a few years ago, a wealthy former Wall Street banker and a convicted armed robber walked into a fancy club in Buffalo, New York—the fading industrial city that, oddly enough, has become America's debt-collection capital. The banker, Aaron Siegel, and the ex-con, Brandon Wilson, were there to meet with Jake Halpern, a hometown boy turned New Yorker writer. Halpern wanted to know what was up with these strange bedfellows, and how they managed to recover a huge bundle of consumer debt—an Excel spreadsheet packed with debtor data that they'd dubbed "the package"—they…
  • Quick Treatment Update - And Thanks

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 6:09 pm
    I had my first round of chemo about six hours ago, and I had no reaction at all. No nausea, no vomiting, no nothing. I ate lunch an hour afterward. Obviously this may change as things progress, but so far I seem to be tolerating the treatment regimen well. That's good news. And my back continues to slowly get stronger and less painful. The outpouring of prayers and good wishes has been genuinely heartening. Thank you to everyone for all the comments, tweets, and emails. They truly mean a lot to me. And to Nora and Jason from Chicago: Thanks for the flowers! They're lovely. On a related note,…
  • Another Day, Another School Shooting

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    Inae Oh
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:47 pm
    A school shooting took place inside the cafeteria of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state on Friday. The suspected gunman, a student at the high school, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CNN. Federal officials say up to five people were shot. Roughly 50 people were present in the cafeteria at the time. At least one student has been killed, four others injured. If you feel like you're stuck watching some kind of awful repeat programming, it's because you are: According to data gathered by the reform group Everytown for Gun Safety, Friday's is the 87th…
  • 5 New York Epidemics That Were Way Worse Than Ebola Will Be

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    Tim McDonnell
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:18 pm
    An 1865 cartoon from Harper's Weekly ridicules the incompetence of the New York City Board of Health, first established to fight yellow fever. US National Library of Medicine Ebola has arrived in New York City. So should residents here be worried about a widespread outbreak? Almost certainly not: The disease is not airborne, and infected patients are only contagious once they show symptoms. Craig Spencer, the infected doctor in New York, has said he didn't have symptoms Wednesday night when he rode the subway between Manhattan and Brooklyn and went bowling. Three people he came into contact…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • Quick Treatment Update - And Thanks

    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 6:09 pm
    I had my first round of chemo about six hours ago, and I had no reaction at all. No nausea, no vomiting, no nothing. I ate lunch an hour afterward. Obviously this may change as things progress, but so far I seem to be tolerating the treatment regimen well. That's good news. And my back continues to slowly get stronger and less painful. The outpouring of prayers and good wishes has been genuinely heartening. Thank you to everyone for all the comments, tweets, and emails. They truly mean a lot to me. And to Nora and Jason from Chicago: Thanks for the flowers! They're lovely. On a related note,…
  • Amazon Must Be Stopped - Sort Of

    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 9:44 am
    Enough of this cancer nonsense. Let's agree and disagree with Matt Yglesias today (not that I'm comparing him with cancer, mind you). First off, the disagreement. In the current issue of the New Republic, Franklin Foer pens a righteous rant against Amazon as an evil, marauding monopoly that needs to be crushed. It warmed the cockles of my heart, since Amazon's almost Luthor-like predatory strategies against startup competitors leave me cold. That's one reason I choose not to do much business with them. But legally? I may not like the way Amazon went after Diapers.com, but let's face it:…
  • Inside the Bizarre, Unregulated World of Debt Collection

    Nick Baumann
    25 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    One evening a few years ago, a wealthy former Wall Street banker and a convicted armed robber walked into a fancy club in Buffalo, New York—the fading industrial city that, oddly enough, has become America's debt-collection capital. The banker, Aaron Siegel, and the ex-con, Brandon Wilson, were there to meet with Jake Halpern, a hometown boy turned New Yorker writer. Halpern wanted to know what was up with these strange bedfellows, and how they managed to recover a huge bundle of consumer debt—an Excel spreadsheet packed with debtor data that they'd dubbed "the package"—they…
  • Olympics to Crack Down on Human Rights Abuses…After 2022

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:15 am
    Following widespread allegations of wrongdoing in both the Beijing and Sochi Olympics, human rights protections will be added to the contracts signed by future Olympic host cities. The International Olympic Committee's president presented this change to Human Rights Watch at an October 21 meeting. The new language will contractually require host countries to "take all necessary measures to ensure that development projects necessary for the organization of the Games comply with local, regional, and national legislation, and international agreements and protocols, applicable in the host country…
  • There's an International Soccer Tournament Where All the Players Are Homeless

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    "A homeless soccer team? What?" That's what Shane Bullock, 26, recalls thinking when a coach came by his San Francisco shelter last fall to recruit players. Now, a year later, he's in Santiago, Chile, representing the United States against teams from 49 countries at the 12th-annual Homeless World Cup. The Homeless World Cup—which is actually just what it sounds like—draws a total of 100,000 spectators to cheer on teams of homeless (or, like Bullock, recently homeless) men and women in highly competitive four-on-four soccer matches, which are played on a basketball-sized courtwith…
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • Inside the Bizarre, Unregulated World of Debt Collection

    Nick Baumann
    25 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    One evening a few years ago, a wealthy former Wall Street banker and a convicted armed robber walked into a fancy club in Buffalo, New York—the fading industrial city that, oddly enough, has become America's debt-collection capital. The banker, Aaron Siegel, and the ex-con, Brandon Wilson, were there to meet with Jake Halpern, a hometown boy turned New Yorker writer. Halpern wanted to know what was up with these strange bedfellows, and how they managed to recover a huge bundle of consumer debt—an Excel spreadsheet packed with debtor data that they'd dubbed "the package"—they…
  • There's an International Soccer Tournament Where All the Players Are Homeless

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    "A homeless soccer team? What?" That's what Shane Bullock, 26, recalls thinking when a coach came by his San Francisco shelter last fall to recruit players. Now, a year later, he's in Santiago, Chile, representing the United States against teams from 49 countries at the 12th-annual Homeless World Cup. The Homeless World Cup—which is actually just what it sounds like—draws a total of 100,000 spectators to cheer on teams of homeless (or, like Bullock, recently homeless) men and women in highly competitive four-on-four soccer matches, which are played on a basketball-sized courtwith…
  • An American Doctor in Sierra Leone Explains How to Fight Ebola

    Alex Park
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:49 pm
    With Ebola's arrival in the United States, some health care workers are questioning how prepared their state-of-the-art hospitals are for the disease. Despite these problems, and some serious missteps in Dallas that led to the infection of two nurses, it's unlikely that there will be a widespread outbreak here. More MoJo coverage of the Ebola crisis. These Rules Can Protect Doctors and Nurses From Ebola—If They're Followed This GIF Shows Just How Quickly Ebola Spread Across Liberia Survey: Four Out of Five Nurses Have Gotten No Ebola Training At All Liberia Says It's Going…
  • Joni Ernst Wants to Make English the Official Language

    Patrick Caldwell
    24 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Joni Ernst has latched onto pretty much every idea favored by the tea party. On Thursday afternoon, while campaigning in western Iowa, Ernst endorsed another concept favored by the grassroots right: officially declaring the United States an English language country. "I think it's great when we can all communicate together," Ernst said when a would-be voter at a meet and greet in Guthrie Center, Iowa, asked if she'd back a bill making English the official national language. "I think that's a good idea, is to make sure everybody has a common language and is able to communicate with each other."…
  • William Gibson: The Future Will View Us "As a Joke"

    Tasneem Raja
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:45 am
    Photoillustration: Mario Wagner; Photograph: Michael O'Shea For evidence that the sci-fi future is encroaching on the present, look no further than William Gibson's latest book, The Peripheral, which opens a mere decade or so from now and includes a cameo for cronuts, those croissant-doughnut hybrids invented last year by a New York City chef. When Gibson's debut, Neuromancer, exploded onto the sci-fi scene way back in 1984, his vision of "cyberspace" felt dizzyingly distant. (Gibson, now 66, had coined the term in a short story a couple of years earlier.) Now Neuromancer just seems…
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    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • Quick Treatment Update - And Thanks

    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 6:09 pm
    I had my first round of chemo about six hours ago, and I had no reaction at all. No nausea, no vomiting, no nothing. I ate lunch an hour afterward. Obviously this may change as things progress, but so far I seem to be tolerating the treatment regimen well. That's good news. And my back continues to slowly get stronger and less painful. The outpouring of prayers and good wishes has been genuinely heartening. Thank you to everyone for all the comments, tweets, and emails. They truly mean a lot to me. And to Nora and Jason from Chicago: Thanks for the flowers! They're lovely. On a related note,…
  • Amazon Must Be Stopped - Sort Of

    Kevin Drum
    25 Oct 2014 | 9:44 am
    Enough of this cancer nonsense. Let's agree and disagree with Matt Yglesias today (not that I'm comparing him with cancer, mind you). First off, the disagreement. In the current issue of the New Republic, Franklin Foer pens a righteous rant against Amazon as an evil, marauding monopoly that needs to be crushed. It warmed the cockles of my heart, since Amazon's almost Luthor-like predatory strategies against startup competitors leave me cold. That's one reason I choose not to do much business with them. But legally? I may not like the way Amazon went after Diapers.com, but let's face it:…
  • Friday Cancer Blogging - 24 October 2014

    Kevin Drum
    24 Oct 2014 | 2:27 pm
    A few of you have probably cottoned onto the fact that people don't usually spend a week in the hospital for a broken bone, even a backbone. So in the long tradition of releasing bad news on Friday afternoon, here's my first-ever Friday news dump. When I checked in to the hospital Saturday morning, the first thing they did was take a bunch of X-rays followed by a CT scan. These revealed not just a fractured L3, but a spine and pelvis dotted with lytic lesions that had badly degraded my bones. That's why a mere cough was enough to send me to the ER. It was just the straw that broke an…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 24 October 2014

    Kevin Drum
    24 Oct 2014 | 9:55 am
    We're a little late with catblogging today, but that's not bad under the circumstances—which partly include all those meddling doctors with their tests and pills and questions, but are actually mostly technological. For the most part, the Windows tablet and the new phone have been godsends in the hospital. The Windows tablet, running standard—and fully synced—Firefox, allows me to blog with no trouble, unlike either my iPad or Android tabs. Windows OneDrive gives me access to every picture I've ever taken of the cats. And the hotspot on the phone is fast and reliable, unlike…
  • Final Housekeeping Update

    Kevin Drum
    24 Oct 2014 | 8:09 am
    According to my surgeon, yesterday's kyphoplasty went swimmingly well. I needed to be prepared for normal post-op recovery pain, but once I was through that my back would be in good shape. Unfortunately, "normal post-op recovery pain" turned out to be hours of excruciating, mind-numbing agony. At one point I was on four separate pain killers and they still weren't doing the job. I finally got a second dose of the most powerful one, and that made things barely tolerable—though at the medium-term expense of my stomach, I suspect. But that was yesterday. Today I feel OK, and this morning I…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • Another Day, Another School Shooting

    Inae Oh
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:47 pm
    A school shooting took place inside the cafeteria of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state on Friday. The suspected gunman, a student at the high school, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CNN. Federal officials say up to five people were shot. Roughly 50 people were present in the cafeteria at the time. At least one student has been killed, four others injured. If you feel like you're stuck watching some kind of awful repeat programming, it's because you are: According to data gathered by the reform group Everytown for Gun Safety, Friday's is the 87th…
  • We Spent Millions so Afghans Could Film Live Sports With Headless Goat Carcasses—And Screwed It Up

    Jenna McLaughlin
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:25 pm
    In August 2011, the State Department purchased broadcast trucks for Afghan TV stations, for $3.6 million (206 million Afghanis), to help them tape live sporting events, like "buzkashi, soccer, cricket, and other sports." (Buzkashi, Afghanistan’s national sport, translates to "goat grabbing" where horse-mounted players drag a headless goat carcass towards opposing goals.) But no one has been able to watch any goat carcasses filmed by those trucks in the past two years, because those trucks didn't show up until late July. And now, they're sitting around under tarps, unused—because…
  • We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 24, 2014

    24 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    US Navy Sailors aboard a guided missile destroyer plot on a chart during a damage control drill. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Declan Barnes)
  • Anti-Abortion Colorado Republican Candidate Tries to Pass Himself Off As Pro-Choice

    Andy Kroll
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Bob Beauprez, the Republican candidate for governor of Colorado, just joined a growing club of GOP politicians—including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Senate hopeful Scott Brown of New Hampshire—who have grossly misrepresented their stance on women's reproductive rights. In an interview aired Wednesday on Colorado Public Radio, Beauprez, a former congressman, struck a decidedly pro-choice note when asked about abortion and birth control. He said he would not stand in the way of women having access to abortions, nor would he interfere with women choosing what kind of birth…
  • New York City Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola

    Inae Oh
    23 Oct 2014 | 1:38 pm
    The New York Times reports Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who had recently been to West Africa to help treat Ebola patients, has tested positive for the disease. Spencer is the first person in New York to be diagnosed. As Spencer's identity had been confirmed late Thursday afternoon, it became known he had been bowling in Brooklyn on Wednesday, traveling via an Uber ride to and from Manhattan. "Ebola is very difficult to contract, being on the same subway car or living near someone with Ebola does not put someone at risk," de Blasio told reporters at a news conference…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • 5 New York Epidemics That Were Way Worse Than Ebola Will Be

    Tim McDonnell
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:18 pm
    An 1865 cartoon from Harper's Weekly ridicules the incompetence of the New York City Board of Health, first established to fight yellow fever. US National Library of Medicine Ebola has arrived in New York City. So should residents here be worried about a widespread outbreak? Almost certainly not: The disease is not airborne, and infected patients are only contagious once they show symptoms. Craig Spencer, the infected doctor in New York, has said he didn't have symptoms Wednesday night when he rode the subway between Manhattan and Brooklyn and went bowling. Three people he came into contact…
  • Environmentalists Don't Like Europe's New Climate Plan. Can Obama Do Better?

    James West
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:14 am
    Environmental groups are warning that a new European agreement to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 sets the bar far too low. The pact—which was reached early Friday in Brussels—makes the European Union the first major bloc of countries to commit to emissions targets ahead of next year's crucial climate change talks in Paris. At the Paris meeting, world leaders will attempt to hammer out a global agreement that will keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The Guardian reports that in addition to their commitment to cut greenhouse emissions…
  • In Just 15 Years, Wind Could Provide A Fifth Of The World's Electricity

    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:36 am
    Up to one fifth of the world's electricity supply could come from wind turbines by 2030, according to a new report released this week by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). That would be an increase of 530 percent compared to the end of last year. The report says the coming global boom in wind power will be driven largely by China's rebounding wind energy market—and a continued trend of high levels of Chinese green energy investment—as well as by steady growth in the United States and new large-scale projects in Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa. The report,…
  • Drinking a "Medium" Soda Every Day Can Age You As Much As Smoking Does

    Kiera Butler
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:28 am
    Just as soda companies plunk down millions of dollars to defeat local soda-tax ballot measures, researchers have found a link between regular soda consumption and premature aging. Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health, a study of 5,300 adults compared the cells of people who drink soda every day to those of their non-soda-drinking counterparts. In the soda group, the ends of the chromosomes—known as telomeres—were shorter, a sign of their cells' diminished ability to regenerate. Our telomeres naturally shorten as we age, but scientists have discovered that a few…
  • Now Congressional Republicans Are Digging Through Scientists' Grant Proposals

    Tim McDonnell
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:22 pm
    When scientists across the country need money for research projects, one place they often turn is the National Science Foundation. The NSF is an independent federal agency with an annual budget of about $7 billion, which it doles out to fund about a quarter of all federally supported science research. Of course, the agency doesn't just give money away to anyone who asks. Proposals have to survive a rigorous review process that includes close scrutiny by a panel of top scientists in the relevant field. Competition is fierce: Of the 49,000 proposals submitted in 2013, only a fifth were…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • Inside the Bizarre, Unregulated World of Debt Collection

    Nick Baumann
    25 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    One evening a few years ago, a wealthy former Wall Street banker and a convicted armed robber walked into a fancy club in Buffalo, New York—the fading industrial city that, oddly enough, has become America's debt-collection capital. The banker, Aaron Siegel, and the ex-con, Brandon Wilson, were there to meet with Jake Halpern, a hometown boy turned New Yorker writer. Halpern wanted to know what was up with these strange bedfellows, and how they managed to recover a huge bundle of consumer debt—an Excel spreadsheet packed with debtor data that they'd dubbed "the package"—they…
  • Olympics to Crack Down on Human Rights Abuses…After 2022

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:15 am
    Following widespread allegations of wrongdoing in both the Beijing and Sochi Olympics, human rights protections will be added to the contracts signed by future Olympic host cities. The International Olympic Committee's president presented this change to Human Rights Watch at an October 21 meeting. The new language will contractually require host countries to "take all necessary measures to ensure that development projects necessary for the organization of the Games comply with local, regional, and national legislation, and international agreements and protocols, applicable in the host country…
  • An American Doctor in Sierra Leone Explains How to Fight Ebola

    Alex Park
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:49 pm
    With Ebola's arrival in the United States, some health care workers are questioning how prepared their state-of-the-art hospitals are for the disease. Despite these problems, and some serious missteps in Dallas that led to the infection of two nurses, it's unlikely that there will be a widespread outbreak here. More MoJo coverage of the Ebola crisis. These Rules Can Protect Doctors and Nurses From Ebola—If They're Followed This GIF Shows Just How Quickly Ebola Spread Across Liberia Survey: Four Out of Five Nurses Have Gotten No Ebola Training At All Liberia Says It's Going…
  • Joni Ernst Wants to Make English the Official Language

    Patrick Caldwell
    24 Oct 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Joni Ernst has latched onto pretty much every idea favored by the tea party. On Thursday afternoon, while campaigning in western Iowa, Ernst endorsed another concept favored by the grassroots right: officially declaring the United States an English language country. "I think it's great when we can all communicate together," Ernst said when a would-be voter at a meet and greet in Guthrie Center, Iowa, asked if she'd back a bill making English the official national language. "I think that's a good idea, is to make sure everybody has a common language and is able to communicate with each other."…
  • Former GOP Staffer: Senate Candidate Joni Ernst "Did and Said Nothing" to Stop Sexual Harassment

    Molly Redden
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:30 am
    A lawsuit filed last week by a former GOP staffer in the Iowa state Senate claims that US Senate candidate Joni Ernst, a Republican, saw male colleagues sexually harass a female employee when Ernst served in the state Senate and "did and said" nothing to stop the abuse. Kirsten Anderson, a former communications director for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus, filed the lawsuit against the caucus on October 16. She claims that she was a victim of sexual harassment when she worked for the caucus and that when she complained to her superiors, she was fired. "By way of just one example, Sen. Joni…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • Environmentalists Don't Like Europe's New Climate Plan. Can Obama Do Better?

    James West
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:14 am
    Environmental groups are warning that a new European agreement to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 sets the bar far too low. The pact—which was reached early Friday in Brussels—makes the European Union the first major bloc of countries to commit to emissions targets ahead of next year's crucial climate change talks in Paris. At the Paris meeting, world leaders will attempt to hammer out a global agreement that will keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The Guardian reports that in addition to their commitment to cut greenhouse emissions…
  • This GIF Shows Just How Quickly Ebola Spread Across Liberia

    Alex Park
    23 Oct 2014 | 11:18 am
    When Ebola came to Liberia on March 22, it was a serious problem—not an existential threat to the entire country. Twelve people fell ill, and 11 of them died. By the end of April, the outbreak seemed to have run its course. But when the virus returned in late May, it moved more swiftly, spreading to 5 of Liberia's 15 counties by July. By early August, a majority of the counties had been affected. Based on figures released by Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, we've reconstructed the path of the virus in that country. The first Liberian cases were in the northern part of…
  • Ratings of Animal Planet Show Nosedive After MoJo Exposé

    James West
    23 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Animal Planet's hit reality TV show Call of the Wildman came under intense scrutiny earlier this year as the subject of a seven-month Mother Jones investigation into behind-the-scenes animal mistreatment. Now, it's no longer such a hit. Prime time audiences for this year's season tumbled by nearly a third compared to 2013—translating to an average loss of more than 400,000 viewers per first-run episode, according to figures supplied to Mother Jones by Nielsen, the media ratings company. The Mother Jones exposé, published January 21, revealed that the show trapped and caged wild…
  • Climate Change Is Kicking the Insurance Industry's Butt

    Tim McDonnell
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    In the months after Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies spooked by rising seas dropped coastal policies in droves. That could become an increasingly common story, according to the largest-ever survey of how insurance companies are dealing with climate change, released today. Global warming is increasing the risk of damage to lives and property from natural disasters beyond what many insurers are willing to shoulder. And most insurance companies aren't taking adequate steps to change that trend, the survey found. That's a problem even if you don't live by the coast: When private insurers back…
  • Stop Going Cuckoo for Coconuts

    Maddie Oatman
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Alison Seiffer We've entered the age of the coconut. While the lactose intolerant quaff Starbucks' new coconut milk lattes, the gluten averse are busy baking with coconut flour. The number of coconut oil products—for both cooking and skin moisturizing—grew by 800 percent between 2008 and 2012. Of course, the craze started with a different part of the hairy tropical fruit: its liquid center. Ethnic markets in the United States have sold coconut water for decades, but it didn't go mainstream until 2004, when, as the New York Times'David Segal reported earlier this year, two separate…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • Olympics to Crack Down on Human Rights Abuses…After 2022

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:15 am
    Following widespread allegations of wrongdoing in both the Beijing and Sochi Olympics, human rights protections will be added to the contracts signed by future Olympic host cities. The International Olympic Committee's president presented this change to Human Rights Watch at an October 21 meeting. The new language will contractually require host countries to "take all necessary measures to ensure that development projects necessary for the organization of the Games comply with local, regional, and national legislation, and international agreements and protocols, applicable in the host country…
  • There's an International Soccer Tournament Where All the Players Are Homeless

    Katie Rose Quandt
    25 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    "A homeless soccer team? What?" That's what Shane Bullock, 26, recalls thinking when a coach came by his San Francisco shelter last fall to recruit players. Now, a year later, he's in Santiago, Chile, representing the United States against teams from 49 countries at the 12th-annual Homeless World Cup. The Homeless World Cup—which is actually just what it sounds like—draws a total of 100,000 spectators to cheer on teams of homeless (or, like Bullock, recently homeless) men and women in highly competitive four-on-four soccer matches, which are played on a basketball-sized courtwith…
  • William Gibson: The Future Will View Us "As a Joke"

    Tasneem Raja
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:45 am
    Photoillustration: Mario Wagner; Photograph: Michael O'Shea For evidence that the sci-fi future is encroaching on the present, look no further than William Gibson's latest book, The Peripheral, which opens a mere decade or so from now and includes a cameo for cronuts, those croissant-doughnut hybrids invented last year by a New York City chef. When Gibson's debut, Neuromancer, exploded onto the sci-fi scene way back in 1984, his vision of "cyberspace" felt dizzyingly distant. (Gibson, now 66, had coined the term in a short story a couple of years earlier.) Now Neuromancer just seems…
  • Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:28 pm
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking-news reporting. Also Read: Kevin Vickers, Canada's Badass National Hero, Is a Portrait of Humility Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving…
  • The Darker Side of Jason Mraz

    Gabrielle Canon
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:45 am
    It was the early aughts and the American pop scene was closing out the chapter on a decade of boy bands. Singer-songwriters were up to bat, as John Mayer and Jack Johnson crooned their way up the charts and into the hearts of a nation weary of synchronized dance moves and contrived collaborations. Armed with an acoustic guitar and an aptitude for wordplay Jason Mraz fit the profile when he burst onto the scene in 2002—and he came with his own distinctive flavor. Hailing from small town Virginia, he cultivated his talent at a New York City conservatory before rounding out the edges in…
 
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