What we’re reading

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall on Sunday, The New Republic republished “This Is What It was Like to Witness the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” a piece that originally ran on December 18, 1989. It is a personal, historical and cultural account of one of the most momentous occasions in modern history.

For stunning photos from across the world, look no further than the 2014 National Geographic Photo Contest, Part II, featured on The Atlantic‘s website.

A photograph from the series.

A photograph from the series.

The Life of a Pot Critic: Clean, With Citrus Notes,” from The New York Times, features Jake Browne, the world’s first ever marijuana critic, who writes about his high from different strains of weed for the Denver Post. 

The award for the most useful infographic of the week goes to David McCandless, a data journalist and information designer who created “Common MythConceptions: World’s most contagious falsehoods,” a chart debunking 52 of the world’s most widespread myths and misconceptions ranging from what happens when you swallow gum to Napoleon’s height.

Representation in STEM fields has been an ongoing discussion at Brown–and is beginning to catch on worldwide. National Geographic‘s “Why It’s Crucial to Get More Women Into Science” uses history, graphs and charts and personal testimony to answer that question.

In this week’s collegiate news, there’s the New Republic‘s “How Is the Most Insecure Ivy League University Also the #1 Party School in America? An Investigation,” which looks at Penn’s odd positioning as a prep, party and prestigious university through the lens of one (in)famous weekend: Halloween.

The Midterms Were Not a Republican Revolution,” from The New York Times, situates the Republican Congressional takeover not as a rejection of Obama or a swell of support for Republican policies, but just as collective criticism on current state of affairs.

Possibly sparking the most heated debates this week is Thrillist‘s “The Best Pizzeria in Every State in America.” Check out your state and let’s see if you agree.

The Atlantic‘s “Is There Hope for Local News?” asks just that question in the wake of mass local newspaper closures and the rise of online journalism.

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JP Morgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare,” from Rolling Stone, focuses on Alayne Flesichmann, a whistleblower at JP Morgan Chase who the company and the Justice Department have gone to extreme lengths to silence.

And for more gorgeous photos, check out Extra Ordinary Life, a series of photographs by Larry Sultan of the San Fernando Valley.

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