What we’re reading: Ferguson edition


Today, BlogDH lends it platform to the coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

We start with the fundamentals: how was the decision reached? The Washington Post provides insight into the process of how grand juries in Missouri work. If you want to read any of the material that the Grand Jury looked at in the past months, the New York Times has an interactive feature containing the documents released by the county prosecutor.

For coverage of the protests taking place after the decision was announced, the Root does straight reporting on how the police force responded last night in their article “61 Arrested, 10 Businesses Destroyed, 150 Shots Fired.” On the other hand, Mic.com uses 20 photos to portray a much more civilian-centered account of the protests in Ferguson. Spoiler alert: the police force in St. Louis have a very different interpretation of the protests than the civilian protesters do.

police line

Much of the news coverage is centered around the resulting violent protests. Obama’s address to the nation asked for a peaceful response after the Grand Jury’s decision was released. The Huffington Post contrasts Ferguson with civil unrest around the nation that has nothing to do with politics, such as the scene of wreckage in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series. In international coverage, Palestinians have been tweeting advice to protesters in the states on how to deal with tear gas.

Moving on from reporting, we look to analyses and media centered responses. FiveThirtyEight details why it is so unusual for a Grand Jury not to indict the accused, except in the case of police officers standing trial. The Root speaks to legal expert and attorney Eric Guster about the possibilities for bringing Darren Wilson up on civil charges, as the past few months have only held deliberations over criminal charges.

Some important opinions articles on the subject of race relations are being recycled due to continuing relevance. In August, Carol Anderson wrote an opinions piece in the Washington Post on why black rage against an unjust system is ruthlessly bashed in the media, while white rage against progress and equality is backed by the courts and the government. The Atlantic just bumped a powerful features piece called “The Case for Reparations: Two hundred and fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.”

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What we’re reading

In the ongoing coverage of the NFL’s mishandling of domestic violence cases, the women affected have been eerily silent (or silenced). But The New York Times‘ “N.F.L. Left Women Feeling Trapped in Domestic Abuse, Ex-Wives Say,” attempts to both explain how they were silenced and to give them a voice.


Mercedes Sands, wife of former Bengals player Robert Sands.

After Taylor Swift removed 1989, her new horrible album, from Spotify, discussions regarding Spotify’s role in the music world were amplified (aha!). This discussion is expertly captured in the New Yorker‘s “Revenue Streams,” which asks the question: is Spotify the music industry’s friend or foe?

The New York Times‘ “Mishandling Rape” is a nuanced discussion of how rape allegations should be processed at universities. It’s an important read, especially leading up to tomorrow’s Janus Forum event and President Paxson’s alternate event.

The Atlantic‘s “What 200 Calories of Every Food Looks Like” is surely the most depressing read on the Internet this week. Spoiler alert: 200 calories = actually two bites of a bagel.

By far the most important internet content of the week is the Huffington Post‘s interview with Kel Mitchell, of Keenan and Kel fame. No, he’s not dead!

A conversation captured by Complex, on video and in text, between rapper Wale and Jerry Seinfeld about their friendship, the state of the music world, and the relationship between comedy and music is a must-see/read.

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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.

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This Week in Sports: November begins with a bang


Too busy watching the sweet new Into the Woods trailer on a loop to watch the new NBA season?

Too occupied with shutting down Silk Road 2.0 to check out the excellent NFL action?

Simply don’t care about sports?

Here’s what you’ve been missing.

This Week in Sports

Winter Sports


This curling shot. I’m no religious curling fanatic, but I had to reevaluate my existence on this earth when I was presented with the beauty of that shot.

NBA Action


LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers have started the season 1-3, including a loss to the lowly Utah Jazz and a crushing 19-point defeat by the Portland Trail Blazers, after being projected by me to be “Good. Very good.” Is it too early to start worrying about the team? Probably. Does that stop me from doing it? No. I want this team to be fun to watch, and so far, the superstar trio of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron are being outscored by an average of 7 points when they are all playing together. That’s not very fun.

Also on the subject of the Cavs, LeBron-lover Brian Windhorst wrote a story for ESPN detailing how LeBron is playing poorly on purpose in order to teach his teammates a lesson. What this lesson entails is still unclear…

Back to the NBA, where the Dallas Mavericks have been off to a pretty solid start, picking up wins over New Orleans and Boston. But even more solid is the rap that Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and Chandler Parsons wrote and performed this week:

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What we’re reading

The New York Times‘ “Where College Graduates Are Choosing to Live” looks at the flipside of the normal post-Brown narrative: move to New York or San Fran, instead focusing on unexpected cities drawing a high percentage of college graduates.

The Blood Harvest” from The Atlantic is the fascinating account of exactly what it sounds like–the harvesting of horseshoe crabs for their blue blood that, due to ameobocytes, can detect even extremely low bacterial contamination. Horseshoe crab blood is used in the LAL test, which every drug certified by the FDA must pass.


The Stradivarius Affair,” from Vanity Fair, explores a low-level street criminal’s bizarre theft of a rare $6 million violin known as the Lipinski from the Milwaukee Symphony.

Is the Affordable Care Act Working?” from The New York Times is a refreshingly apolitical and statistical look at one of the most politically charged debate of the 21st century–Obamacare.

Christian Bale vs. Michael Keaton isn’t the only Batman debate to be had. “The Evolution of The Batman Logo, From 1940 To Today” is an infographic that brings up another important Batman talking point: which iteration of the logo is the best?

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What we’re reading

Paul Krugman’s “In Defense of Obama,” published in, of all places, Rolling Stone, has been generating considerable buzz due to Krugman’s claim that, despite incessant media bashing and low approval rates, Obama is actually one of the best presidents in modern American history.

The cutest web content of the week award goes to the New York Times for their short video “What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course, $220 Tasting Meal,” which captures six New York City public school students’ reactions to a dinner at one of New York most highly acclaimed (and expensive!) restaurants, Daniel.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 6.49.43 PM

In slightly more serious culinary news, the Times’ How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground” looks at how milk cartons and cafeteria pizza are fraught with questions of corporate interest, paternalism, healthcare and polarization in the wake of Obama’s support for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and a re-conceptualization of school lunch menus.

Two pieces this week took an unflinching look at the reality of life in Cuba and its relationship with the United States: Vice‘s “Red Gold: A Quixotic Quest To Find Beef In Cuba,” which looks at low quality (and even, at times, dangerous) meat coming to Cuba from the United States and the New York Times‘ Editorial Board’s “End the U.S. Embargo on Cuba.”

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