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Sansa has a tail.

WELL, you have my attention sir! (My gym, weirdly, has subscriptions to like three magazines for truckers, so I am already intrigued by long-haul driving):

I woke up driving an eighteen-wheeler 60 miles per hour through a field east of Amarillo, Texas. My partner was screaming as he bounced around in the back; he had just woken up, too. Everything in the truck rattled and shook. Baggage rained down on me from the upper bunk. The view a dark blur, I slammed on the brakes, but 80,000 pounds of inertia wasn’t going to stop for air brakes.

My last clear memory was standing outside a rest stop at 3:00 a.m. watching the canvas of white stars meet the glittering orange lights of the nuclear-weapons plant far to the north. It was crisp outside Amarillo, where industry meets the Texas plains, and I considered what I’d left and the world I was delving into. A spiritually paralyzing tower of student debt​ from four years of college. I’d been a long-haul truck driver for exactly three weeks. This was my test run.


Daniel Holtzclaw’s victims describe what happened to them (YOU CAN IMAGINE THIS PIECE IS VERY HEAVY):

According to prosecutors, Holtzclaw targeted these women because they had records and lived in a high-crime neighborhood. He allegedly chose them because they didn’t want any trouble and because they feared the police — because they likely wouldn’t report their assaults to the police. He was the police.

According to the defense, these women are drug abusers and sex workers — some convicted felons with histories of lying to the police. Sometimes their testimonies are inconsistent, the defense said; they have “agendas,” they’re lying. Holtzclaw’s attorney built his defense on this approach: Focusing on the character of the women and the reliability of their testimony.

This is what they said happened to them.


The politics and history of passports (THIS is what I’m saying about Collectors Weekly being the best, maybe I should start collecting stuff):

It seems strange to admit that in 2015, the right to exist in certain physical spaces on Earth—spaces bound by imaginary lines drawn on maps by our governments—can be prevented by a pocket-sized paper travel document. And yet, as millions flee Syria to escape continued violence, their lives often depend on a bit of official paper permitting transit to any number of safer countries.

In the early 20th century, the spread of compulsory passport usage coincided with the increasing stability of nation-states. Within this system of mutually recognized sovereignty, travel became dependent on official visas pasted or stamped into a passport booklet by each destination country’s authorized body. Passports provided governments a way of controlling the narrative, creating benchmarks for “illegal immigration,” and enforcing rules about who belongs where. But history has also shown that during periods of conflict, forged passports or visas are as likely to be utilized by government agencies as they are by desperate individuals. When the abstractions of law run up against the human instinct for survival, whom do passports actually serve?


Two of our commenters send their love from the Schuyler mansion:



I am suddenly so angry on behalf of a fencing team:

The Women’s Varsity Fencing Team at Tufts has a somewhat facetious motto: “If we can’t beat them on the piste, we’ll beat them in the parking lot.” One morning in October, this motto became partly true. We were forced out of our practice space in Jackson Gym to make space for a men’s varsity team. So we moved to the parking lot to continue our practice.


I know we have a lot of readers who are very invested in Barack and Michelle’s marriage, and this link is for you (the good stuff will be in the real issue, obvi):

The movie Barack most enjoyed this year was The Martian, starring Matt Damon, while Michelle was smitten with the Amy Poehler-led animated movieInside Out.

While Barack says his favorite show is the Cinemax drama series The Knick, we know the president is also a fan of Michelle’s top TV pick: Black-ish. In fact, Anthony Anderson, one of the stars of the hit ABC sitcom, has said he’s petitioned the First Couple to make a guest appearance on the show. If it sounds like an outlandish request, it very well may not be. The president did, after all, trek through the wilderness with Bear Grylls in episode of Running Wild that will air Dec. 17 on NBC.


This account of being horribly taken advantage of by a “friend” has so much to say about the poverty trap:

My personal poverty story starts with rotten timing (pro-tip: don’t graduate three months after 9/11 with a print journalism degree), is fueled by health problems I didn’t have time or money to address, and includes an almost impressive amount of bad luck. By the time I ran out of ways to make do, get by, and patch it together, I’d been racing for almost three years to find a way to survive in this bullshit capitalist system outside the service industry before my body broke down. I knew I couldn’t work physical jobs two or three at a time, 60-90 hours a week forever. I’d made two long-distance moves chasing opportunities and working side jobs dog-walking and bartending to make ends meet, while using credit to fill the gaps.


The Divorce Colony (super-duper interesting):

Sioux Falls, at the eastern edge of the state and the nexus of six railroad lines, was the most convenient South Dakota destination for foreign divorce seekers from the East, and the Cataract House hotel, at the corner of 9th and Phillips, was their comfortable if expensive way station: steam heat, elevator, and electric bells to summon the help, all for three dollars a day. After 90 days, they would be recognized as residents of South Dakota, with the right to vote and to divorce. Across the street, the Edmison-Jameson building housed nearly a quarter of the town’s outsize legal community: 38 law firms and counting. In Sioux Falls, Maggie found a community of divorce seekers from New York, Boston, Chicago, even England—the pioneers of the “Divorce Colony,” as newspapermen christened it.

“Now that a niece of William Astor has joined the divorce colony in Sioux Falls,” the Philadelphia Record had written following her arrival on June 1, 1891, “the South Dakota style of severing matrimonial bonds may become more popular than heretofore. The amazing elasticity of the complaisant South Dakota divorce laws has up to this time escaped the attention of all but a few wandering actors and actresses.”


An update to Ask a Manager’s “my coworkers are passing around a list of why they don’t like working with me” (WHAT):

So I confided in a few coworkers (with whom I was on good terms) and discovered that the childish coworker treated a handful of other women from our department the same way.

We all came to realization that he was sexist and insecure. Also, people actually complained about his actions – though none complained as loudly as I – thus his need for creating the burn list. We think he needed something to cover his behind. Also, I found out only a small few were actually contributors to the list, contrary to what childish coworker mentioned. Definitely felt better knowing that a large majority declined to contribute. In hindsight, I took his actions personally when I really shouldn’t have. He apparently does this, on varying levels, to other people. It’s his “thing.”



THE BFG TRAILER IS HEEEERE UGH THE BFG IS MY FAVOURITE, also, obligatory re-post of the pic Darth made for me to illustrate my concept for a film in which a young Jewish girl time-travels to teach Roald Dahl about how anti-Semitism is bad:



Dear Prudence,
My sister won’t speak to me because I taught her daughter a naughty word. I was playing Scrabble with my 8-year-old niece, who is very smart. She always kills me when we play and it’s kind of embarrassing for me. But this one game was close. I had the opportunity to play all my letters to spell “fellatio” ensuring I’d win the game. I thought a bit about whether I should play this word or just lose graciously. Pride got the better of me and I played the word. My niece didn’t believe it was a word and looked it up in the dictionary. This lead to numerous questions about sex that I wasn’t prepared for. So I told her to ask her mother. When my sister found out what I’d done she hit the ceiling. She was furious at me that I’d taught her this word. Now she won’t speak with me. I’ve considered apologizing but I don’t think I did anything wrong. She would have learned the word eventually anyway. When I was a kid, I learned far worse words younger than that.

It’s not foot-in-mouth disease:

A few days ago, Michael Moritz, who will be taking the stage at TechCrunch disrupt today, was asked about the dearth of women in his company, Sequoia Capital. His responses (among them, the firm is seeking women but “not prepared to lower our standards”) were described as “open mouth, insert foot.” Similar remarks across sectors and industries have been described this way.

But the “foot in mouth” characterization is wrong: it suggests that the speaker fumbled his words and misspoke. What’s happening when Moritz talks about “lowering standards” is not a clumsy handling of speech. It’s this: in that moment, a deeply hidden synaptic pathway is temporarily illuminated.

The ten best classical performances of 2015 (for the Toasties who appreciate classical music, which is largely wasted on me, but most of these things sounded pretty cool):

10. Semele
Experiencing Zhang Huan’s production of Handel’s opera at BAM was a little like listening to the soundtrack of one movie while watching another — a Baroque tangle of impossible love between gods and mortals laid over a spectacle of non sequiturs (sumo wrestlers, an ancient temple rebuilt onstage). It all worked, fueled less by logic than by sublime nonsense.

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