A Texas delegate on the first day of the Republican National Convention, 2016. (John Moore / Getty Images)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Lawrence Wright, April Wolfe, Mayukh Sen, Dan Jackson, and Ben Kuchera.

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1. America’s Future is Texas

Lawrence Wright | The New Yorker | July 10, 2017 | 76 minutes (19,000 words)

Lawrence Wright, who has lived in Texas for most of his life, explains how the state’s deliberate shift from blue to red, to an extreme red, relied on a calculated series of political moves over the last twenty years that are best seen with the long lens of history.

2. Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew

April Wolfe | LA Weekly | July 11, 2017 | 17 minutes (4,253 words)

Rape in film is difficult enough to deal with as a viewer — but what about the actors who have to physically endure the portrayal, or the directors and film editors who spend countless hours re-watching the footage?

3. The Sad, Sexist Past of Bengali Cuisine

Mayukh Sen | Food52 | July 5, 2017 | 8 minutes (2,122 words)

While being punished by a cruel sexist practice in West Bengal, the Indian widows considered “husband-eaters” created a rich cuisine made without meat, onions, fish or garlic. Writer Mayukh Sen honors these creative women through the story of great-grandmother, a widow at 37.

4. The Netflix Prize: How a $1 Million Contest Changed Binge-Watching Forever

Dan Jackson | Thrillist | July 7, 2017 | 13 minutes (3,367 words)

In 2006, Netflix launched a competition to increase the efficiency of its recommender system by 10 percent, bringing together a ragtag group of engineers from around the world who helped make large strides in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

5. The $5,000 Decision to Get Rid of My Past

Ben Kuchera | Polygon | July 12, 2017 | 7 minutes (1,804 words)

After a series of painful losses, Ben Kuchera learns that when your games become your ghosts, it’s time to clean house.