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Picture shows: Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH)Great, free-ranging conversation with Mikki Kendall at In These Times:

What about politicians who go on “SNAP challenges,” trying to live on food stamps to show the dangers of cutting supplementary benefits?

It’s complete and total bullshit. You’re on SNAP benefits for a week, but you’re not moving out of your house, you’re not giving up the spices that are in your cabinet, you’re not having to worry about the heat or the power you’re using or the fact that your poverty is never-ending. You’re not having to worry about going to the SNAP office for eight hours, two or three times in a row, before you actually get benefits. You’re not standing in line at the grocery store having the cashier judge you for buying fucking blueberries because blueberries weren’t on sale that week. Food-stamp challenges don’t teach you what it’s like to be poor. Food-stamp challenges teach you what it’s like to be hungry for a hot second.

I watched the first episode of Sherlock‘s third season (“The Empty Hearse.”) I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. I will need to watch it nine or ten more times to be certain, but at the moment, I would probably place it above “The Blind Banker” and “The Hounds of Baskerville,” and in a dead heat with “The Great Game,” leaving it at either the fourth or fifth of seven contenders in the official rankings.

(Anderson is over-the-top, and there’s a dumb scene in a restaurant, but it has much to recommend it. If you have not yet managed to watch it: Tunnelbear, upgraded for five bucks –>BBC iPlayer –>download recommended over screening, but YMMV.)

The perfect Rainbow Rowell and I will be having a lengthy conversation about said episode after it goes live in the US later this month, you should email me questions you want us to cover. Do not put them in the comments, we’re trying to keep this pretty spoiler-free.

I cannot recommend the new issue of Poetry highly enough, containing, as it does, a series of poems inspired by Game of Thrones, and two poems by Michael Robbins, in addition to many other fine things.)

Sarah Marshall wrote this really long, interesting thing for The Believer about Tonya Harding, which I vigorously nodded at.

Dogs may be pooping in alignment with the earth’s magnetic field.

Viking sorceresses! (Link is to the Daily Mail.) Reader Laura suggested a photo contest for “Viking Witch” reconstructions.

If anyone finds the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara fascinating (it really is), I strongly suggest buying this book.

Made this nutso meal last night, now filled with pancetta and satisfaction.

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