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The Guardian‘s coverage of the horrifying rights abuses at Chicago’s secret Homan Square facility has been incredible (their complete files can be found here):

Because Homan Square takes in arrestees from around Chicago and does not generate public booking records, family members and lawyers checking their nearest police station are often left without indication of their relative’s or client’s whereabouts.

“They’re disappeared at that point,” said Craig Futterman, a criminologist at the University of Chicago Law School.


I was watching the Jays game last night instead of Canadian election coverage, but by now there will have been an election, so we can read and discuss! Edit: I’m not a MONSTER, obvi after the Jays game I checked and Harper is so very dunzo. (No one I know actually likes Trudeau, but this was a BIG election for strategic voting, which says a lot about the feeling about Harper in Canada right now.)


Joel Anderson on the events and tensions surrounding the violence at the Oakland Whole Foods earlier this year.


Have you seen Irin Carmon’s “Shuttered” feature about the current state of abortion access in this country and the providers who are hanging in there?


Okay, I think I’m confident y’all are going to have opinions about the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls, so have at it! Oh, also, SOB, miss u always, Richard Gilmore:

4. “I’m the queen of writing uncastable women,” Sherman-Palladino said of the struggle to cast the role before seeing Bledel. “Rory had to be something you’ve never seen before.” The fact that Graham and Bledel looked alike was something she attributed to magic like “pixie dust.” The series creator said she always wanted Edward Herrmann for the part of Richard. “F— you for dying,” she said as what came off as a tender moment before she added how much she missed the late actor. “Usually, studios and networks give you a lot more shit for this; Warner Bros. got it the minute they got the script. I didn’t even develop it there. [Studio president] Peter Roth read the script and understood.”


love this (I cannot successfully put earplugs in my ears, they pop right out, though):

For most of my life I’ve been hung up on the fear that I might be judged harshly for my hangups. The world is not generous to uptight women, and every time I bring a sweater or ask for a table away from the door, I am haunted by the image of a thousand shrill Meg Ryans, screeching in unison: ‘‘Dressing on the side! Dressing on the side!’’ It seems unfair that the urge to bend the world to your whim is regarded as a mark of frailty. If anything, it should be regarded as a power move to hack apart reality and reassemble the experience according to your own terms.

The Mack’s website recommends earplugs for loud events — jam sessions, air travel, tactical training, nightclubs, Nascar — as well as for sleep. Mack’s-aided sleep may, the company’s literature suggests, reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. One particularly ambitious blurb declares that Mack’s earplugs ‘‘help save marriages,’’ and while I can’t speak to this specific claim, I can endorse Mack’s for the unmarried woman who travels the city alone. Once, the streets were rife with catcalls, but now I send them straight to voice mail. With earplugs in, the men seem to shout, ‘‘Hey, baby, I’m proud of your healthy work-life balance!’’ Some might say such shut-it-out feminism isn’t feminism at all. To this I reply, ‘‘I can’t hear you, because I am wearing earplugs.’’


I just now read Dodai on the fall of Playboy, and it’s good.


Everything I wanted to read today:

On Nantucket, 80-year-old Connie Congdon and I sat in her dim living room looking at the 120-year-old plaster dildo that a mason had found in her chimney. It now rested in a pink dress box on her lap. At my feet, three sweet-faced Australian shepherd dogs snapped at houseflies. A catbird sang in the street. Her house is an old colonial buried deep in a nest of lanes in the historic downtown.

Connie said she usually kept the box in the pantry, near the urn of her daughter’s cat, Spanky. In the box were the other antiques the mason had found with the dildo: six charred envelopes from the 1890s addressed to Captain James B. Coffin; letters from the same James B. Coffin to Grover Cleveland and Assistant Secretary of State Edwin Dehl; a dirty and frayed shirt collar; a pipe that still smelled of tobacco when I fit my nose in the bowl; and a green glass laudanum bottle. These items must have been hidden in the chimney by James’s wife,­ Martha “Mattie” Coffin, sometime between when the letters were dated and when she died in 1928. The fireplace was later sealed up, and a closet was built in front of it. With these valuables, Connie kept a CD recording of her late husband, Tom, being interviewed about the dildo for Nantucket Public Radio. “It’s the only recording I have of his voice,” she said.


Friend of The Toast Elon Green on the lost history of gay adult adoption:

Pennsylvania did away with its gay marriage ban in May 2014. Novak and MacArthur wanted to marry, but their lawyer told them the adoption was permanent, so they could not be issued a marriage license. The bleak news was a momentary setback. “We started looking around and found that the judges in Bucks County were already beginning to talk about this because they knew that cases like this would eventually come before them,” MacArthur said. They were advised to file a petition to vacate the adoption. “The marriage law does not specifically prohibit a marriage between father and son,” their lawyer wrote to the Orphans’ Court division of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County. “However, petitioners believe that other legal complications could result if they were to marry without having the adoption vacated.”

A court hearing was scheduled for May 14. Thirty friends and neighbors attended, “to show the judge this was not your ordinary hearing,” MacArthur said. When, after 25 minutes, the adoption was vacated, he wept.

They married 10 days later. After 52 years, marriage is “anti-climactic,” Novak said. But, he added, “psychologically, it makes you feel better. Like you’re a part of the human race.”


I had not anticipated how fascinating an article on seed vaults could be:

The seeds live in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, established in 2008 as the largest seed bank in the world. The Vault protects the world’s agricultural diversity by keeping a stash of seeds secure in a location far from harm. If these seeds’ corresponding crops out in the wider world get wiped out by some man-made or natural disaster, the seeds will be brought out to save the day. Until then, these tiny residents, “the final back up,” in their caretakers’ words, will stay in the Vault, supercooled and super-safe, for hundreds or even thousands of years.


The Awl’s recirc algorithim made me re-read this little collection of ghost stories and now I am CHILLED and also want to hear your ghost stories:

During this period of time, I came in from mowing the lawn one early evening, and my mom informed me that I’d had a phone call. A girl. I was at an age where phone calls from girls were desired but rare, so I was taken aback. Who had called? “Kay,” Mom said, “her number’s on the fridge.”

This was weird. There were no Kays in my junior high circle of friends, in fact no Kays at all that I could think of. But, the previous day, my sister and I had Ouija’d up a Kay, supposedly dead at a young age. This was very weird.

So I hustled up to the parent’s bedroom, which was the place to make daylight private phone calls, and dialed the number. Kay answered. The connection was fuzzy and full of static, like in a wind tunnel, but the voice was clear. “Do you know who this is?” she said. I responded that I had a pretty good idea.


This profile made me like Ryan Murphy more:

“I’m trying,” he says. “I want to be approachable. My mother used to ask me when I was a kid, ‘Why are you so cold?’ And I’d say, ‘I’m not cold. I’m shy.’ But I think I was bracing for attack half the time, and only recently have I sort of dealt with that.”


My friend Carrie’s new puppy has very soulful eyes:



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