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"She Couldn't Openly Be Who She Was"

I don't know if I'm, like, "allowed" to link to this, because I know the author and edited the piece, but it's the best thing I've read all month, and I've been thinking about it every day for weeks, and it seems dumb not to share something like that just because of an etiquette rule that I might be making up in my head. READ MORE

Psychotherapy in the Age of Facebook

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What's the Uncoolest Music You Listen To?

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Things Jack White Is For and Against, Judging by His New Album

Judging by his new solo album, Lazaretto, here are some stances Jack White is taking. READ MORE

Learn Chinese, Cute-Style

ShaoLan Hsueh wanted to make learning to write in Chinese easy—or at least as easy as it could be considering the thousands and thousands of characters the language uses. Her new book Chineasy uses cute, colorful illustrations to help students learn the characters for basic words like bug and deer. READ MORE

Friday Open Thread

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Dogs I Saw This Week, Rated

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"Vulnerable Young Women Get Fierce"

It's not exploitation if you objectify yourself. READ MORE

"Even the Grave Won't Keep You"

When young, she'd clothed herself in boy garb. "God is always looking after us," Lume said, after showing us into her house and offering us a couch in the living room. Her sister-in-law shuttled in tea and soda as Lume sat, her elbows propped on either knee. "When I was about 12, I said, ‘Please God, help me. I pray to be a burrnesha until the end.’ " Then she talked to her baba—or father—and he understood. He gathered Lume's four brothers and, according to Lume, told them, "Herewith forward, this girl is a sworn virgin and will live like a man. These will be her affairs. You worry only for yours."

Michael Paterniti on the dying Albanian tradition of burrneshas—women who live as men (sort of, it's complicated) despite the "ultraconservative mores" of their society. (Jia fell into a Wikipedia hole about them once.) READ MORE

Who Are You Trying to Convince?: 5 Desperately Upbeat Pop Songs

There's a Top 40 trend, a few years old now, toward making pop music on the radio sound more like dance music from the club: electronic instrumentation, thumping beats, repetitive choruses, AutoTune. Lyrically, there's a violent uptick in mentions of being young, staying up late enough to see the sun, and burning things, all of which are usually described in the first-person plural—not "I want this" or "you said that" but "we did this." Tonight, we are young, so let's set the world on fire. Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy, till we see the sun. Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young. We gonna let it burn, burn, burn. READ MORE