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I will not believe that Tom Cruise is leaving Scientology until he punches Miscavige in the face on live television, but a girl can dream (also, someone should Storify the two hours I spent tweeting about Tom Cruise on Sunday morning while my kid was at the park with her dad):

According to a report from Star Magazine, Tom Cruise is allegedly planning to leave the Church of Scientology. An inside source told the tabloid that the 52 year-old actor is finally going to break ties with the secretive and controversial religion in order to salvage his relationship with 9 year-old daughter Suri.

The source told Star that a recent phone conversation Tom had with his daughter made him realize that he’s missing important milestones of her childhood.

Sesame Street‘s Maria, and representation:

Manzano, then a 21-year-old Carnegie Mellon student, walked into the Sesame Street audition in the early 70s, amidst the turmoil and excitement of civil rights and Vietnam war protests. The world was changing and Sesame Street, then only a few years old, was speaking to that change on TV screens across America. “I had never seen people of color on television,” Manzano told CBS last year. “And that was like whoa! This show is really in your face and outrageous.” She went on to become an integral part of the multicultural neighborhood, as well as one of the lead writers, garnering 15 Emmys over the next four decades.



(Image courtesy of Nikki’s 7 y/o daughter)

No choice without providers, team:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all medical schools offer opt-out abortion training, but the reality still lags behind the official guidelines. In a 2005 survey of U.S. medical schools in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, only 32 percent of respondents said they offer a formal lecture specifically about abortion as part of their OB-GYN rotation, and 23 percent reported “no formal education” about abortion at all. (Some schools that don’t have classes about abortion specifically may address the subject in classes on ethics or contraception.) In the same survey, 55 percent of medical schools reported that they offered students no clinical exposure to abortion.

The workers behind WeWork:

Bolivar works the night shift at the WeWork space at 120 East 23rd Street. He and two other cleaners have five hours to clean the two kitchens, take out the garbage, mop the hallways, and dry mop the cubicle and office spaces. “We can’t do everything they want us to do,” he said. CBM also expects its employees to cover for absent co-workers whenever and wherever necessary, without paying overtime. “They love to add more work,” he said. For Bolivar, the organization effort is not only about fair compensation, “It’s respect that I would like.” Nobody inside WeWork has said anything to him about the union drive. “It’s business as usual,” Bolivar said.

This is not great:

This week, after an informal request from a law enforcement officer, Visa and MasterCard announced that they would no longer let their cards be used to process payments to, the most widely used site for adult advertising in the United States. American Express had already pulled out earlier in the year. This leaves Bitcoin and prepaid Vanilla Visa gift cards as the only ways to pay for advertising on the site.

Like many ostensible anti-trafficking efforts, this will do very little to actually affect human trafficking. It will, however, impact free speech, and serve to make many sex workers’ lives more difficult.

oh a lil rescue cat who thinks she’s a husky

Some of our very own readers singing “If Men Go To Hell, Who Cares?”

I really loved this essay by Porochista Khakpour:

To a degree I have even believed in mind over matter, always bringing up the same case, that same boyfriend Ryan’s father, the special-ops Vietnam War vet, with 10 million ailments, who sliced his hand in front of me while cooking. As we rushed to him with towels and gauze and Neosporin, we watched him simply hold his injured hand and squint his eyes hard, focusing on something, utterly silent. When he removed his hand there was no trace of what appeared to be a deep cut just moments before, just a very faint line, pristine and white, no hint of blood. “Mind over matter,” he said, and claimed he read it in a book. It reminded me of the time in elementary school when some substitute teacher showed a movie with Sufis eating glass and swallowing swords and smiling totally unscathed, how afterward I’d asked my Sufi grandmother about it, to which she had only one reply: “God. 

It’s not online, but our own Marika Prokosh has a Spinster’s Almanac-inspired essay in Poetry Is Dead.

wet hot american summmmmmmmer

Our friends have left. Since they are trying to raise my children to be culturally Russian-Jewish, they have succeeded in hooking my daughter on Hedgehog in the Fog, a typically terrifying and strange animated Soviet movie from 1975 that makes their previous successful attempt to hook my daughter on Vinni Pukh seem utterly benign. For some reason, my daughter does not find it scary. Observe this screenshot:


My daughter: “The owl is his friend!”


It is, however, very very beautiful, and you can watch it on YouTube (it’s only 10 minutes long) OR buy a translation in book form, which Mallory’s sister did for me a few years ago!

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