The Meaning of Allahu Akbar

An essay on the many true and beautiful meanings you’ve never heard of behind “takbir” — the expression of Muslim faith, “Allahu Akbar” — literally, “God is great.”

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Feb 9, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,538 words)

Who Is Guy Fieri?

Who is Guy Fieri, really, and how does one get to Flavortown?

Source: Vice Magazine
Published: Feb 15, 2017
Length: 28 minutes (7,030 words)

The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders

In addition to plenty of great advice for aspiring writers, George Saunders reflects on the creative process for his new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, the mystery of the “constellation of meaning” — the interviews, notes, and scenes that once distilled become his nonfiction work, and on bold compassion as the right course of resistance under a Trump presidency.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Feb 20, 2017
Length: 23 minutes (5,848 words)

Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade Decision Legalizing Abortion Nationwide, Dies at 69

An obituary of Norma McCorvey, aka “Jane Roe,” the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that yielded the legalization of abortion. McCorvey later became a born-again Christian, had a change of heart, revised parts of her story including recanting the part about having become pregnant while being raped, and became an anti-abortion activist.

Source: Washington Post
Published: Feb 18, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,777 words)

Sovereignty Under the Stars

Large, high elevation telescopes allow scientists to conduct important research into the birth of the universe, but one proposed telescope on a sacred mountain instigated a loud public debate in the long-standing one about whether the US should return Hawaii to the native Hawaiians, and who owns what.

Published: Jan 2, 2017
Length: 29 minutes (7,488 words)

I Say, Damn It, Where Are the Beds?

With the rise of Trump’s authoritarianism and campaign against truth, people are rereading George Orwell. This review of two books about Orwell offers a sidelong view into Orwell’s work and the person behind it, in order to show that Orwell is more than a brand and symbol. He was person of strange habits, strong convictions, artistic vision and foul smells.



Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,550 words)

The Slow Confiscation of Everything

Climate apocalypse: a coming calamity that’s morally different from nuclear exchange in a way we haven’t yet dealt with.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,497 words)

Fifty Shades Darker: A Spoilereview

A blow-by-blow recounting of an awful, retrograde sequel.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Feb 10, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,338 words)

She Was a Soul Food Sensation. Then, 19 Years Ago, She Disappeared.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, Princess Pamela ran a thriving word-of-mouth restaurant inside her Manhattan apartment, and it attracted enough taste-makers to make her a legend. Then she abruptly closed shop and disappeared. Like many black culinary figures, her memory was nearly lost, until white celebrity chefs used their influence to revive it.


Author: Mayukh Sen
Source: Food52
Published: Feb 2, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,919 words)

The Age of Rudeness

When society is as polarized and stratified as it is today, what does it take to imagine a definition of politeness and civility that transcends our differences?

Published: Feb 15, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,388 words)