Dylan Letkiewicz

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Impregnable – 14 Brilliant Defensive Features of Medieval Castles

“Great efforts were made by builders to ensure that their castles could withstand an enemy onslaught.” By Dr. Dan Spencer IN THEIR DAY, Medieval …

Archaeology

Inside Tom Cruise and John Travolta’s Scientology Feud

The long-rumored rivalry between the church’s two biggest stars explodes into public view with a new interview from an ‘apostate’ former member.<p>A …

Religion

R.I.P. R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket drill instructor and Toy Story army man

As reported by <i>The Hollywood Reporter</i>, Golden Globe-nominated actor and real-life Marine Corps staff sergeant and drill instructor R. Lee Ermey has …

U.S. Marines

How the Vietnam war created America’s modern “white power” movement

Read this historian’s origin story of “white power” activism in the US.<p>“They believe in a racial nation that would be transnational in scope ... based on the idea that white people are the chosen people.”<p>That’s how University of Chicago historian Kathleen Belew describes the ideology of the “white …

Political Science

Watching a Fellow-Journalist Die in Gaza

Last Friday morning, Yaser Murtaja, a thirty-year-old Palestinian journalist, had breakfast, said goodbye to his family, and went to work. Murtaja, who was married and the father of a fifteen-month-old son, joined other journalists covering Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip who were …

Journalism

How the Assad Regime Tracked and Killed Marie Colvin for Reporting on War Crimes in Syria

It is a horrifying artifact of our digital era: a jumpy 18-minute-and-49-second cellphone video of a Skype call. Glimpses of an Arabic-language …

Middle East

The Pentagon Is Planning a Three-Front ‘Long War’ Against China and Russia

(Photo: Royal Navy Media Archive / Flickr)Think of it as the most momentous military planning on Earth right now.Who’s even paying attention, given …

Geopolitics

Social Media Looks Like the New Opiate of the Masses

Researchers have found some troubling parallels with addictive drugs.<p>With Facebook enduring a wave of public criticism for its cavalier approach to user privacy, it’s becoming more apparent how important social media has become. I suspect it will be many years before the true scale and scope of the …

Social Media

Here's Kendrick Lamar Rapping Over Classic Dr. Dre Beats Like You Wanted

DJ Critical Hype's 'The Damn. Chronic' has Kendrick spitting on instrumentals from 'The Chronic,' '2001,' and even "Straight Outta Compton."<p>It really doesn't seem that long ago that Kendrick was a promising underground rapper whose Dr. Dre cosign was treated with both excitement (for one Compton …

Rap & Hip-Hop

Sunday Reading: April Fools’ Day

No one knows for sure why April Fools’ Day is when it is, and trying to find out, by sifting through the many origin stories proposed for it, is a fool’s errand. Here’s what we do know: first, the earliest recorded April Fools’ Day prank may have happened in 1698, when unsuspecting tourists were …

Fake News

How Wild Wild Country Explains Religious Freedom in America

The story of the Oregon cult community—as portrayed in a new Netflix documentary—is key to understanding the current muddled law surrounding the “free exercise of religion.”<p>My students know that I have based my life on television’s teachings. Hour-length dramas, sci-fi and fantasy shows, and even …

Religion

'Learning From History': A Goal? A Delusion? A Trap?

Last week, as part of <i>The</i> <i>Atlantic’s</i> discussion of the 15th anniversary of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, I wrote a post called “The Inevitability of Ignorance.” Its main point was about the necessity, and the impossibility, of trying to “learn” from successes and failures in the past.<p>Everyone has …

Political Science

No, games didn’t just go mainstream

Video gaming isn’t a trend — it’s already an essential part of our culture.<p>It’s no secret that Drake plays <i>Fortnite</i>.<p>Ninja and Drake broke the Twitch record for highest views by an independent broadcaster earlier this month when they streamed the game together. Drake said that he was a fan of the …

Rap & Hip-Hop

Zuckerberg refuses UK parliament summons over Fb data misuse

So much for ‘We are accountable‘; Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has declined a summons from a UK parliamentary committee that’s investigating how social media data is being used, and — as recent revelations suggest misused — for political ad targeting.<p>The DCMS committee wrote to …

Social Media

Arianna Huffington Denies Involvement in Sex Cult Depicted in Netflix’s ‘Wild Wild Country’

Despite numerous news reports to the contrary.<p><i>Wild Wild Country</i>, a new six-part docuseries streaming on Netflix, chronicles a forgotten—yet utterly …

New York State

What Was the Vietnam War About?

Was America’s war in Vietnam a noble struggle against Communist aggression, a tragic intervention in a civil conflict, or an imperialist counterrevolution to crush a movement of national liberation? Those competing interpretations ignited fiery debates in the 1960s and remain unresolved today. How …

War

How Early Warnings About the Effect of Television on American Politics Came True

When new technology or new economic innovations first emerge, smart people often sense where they might lead—even though their most profound …

Donald Trump

This Is So Much Bigger Than Facebook

Data misuse is a feature, not a bug—and it’s plaguing our entire culture.<p>After five days of silence, Mark Zuckerberg finally acknowledged the massive data compromise that allowed Cambridge Analytica to obtain extensive psychographic information about 50 million Facebook users. His statement, which …

Social Media

The Mind is Flat by Nick Chater review – we have no hidden depths

There is no subconscious, no ‘inner life’ that holds the secret of understanding ourselves, argues a behavioural psychologist. We improvise and can change<p>You probably think you have beliefs, desires, fears, a personality, an “inner life”, maybe even a subconscious. Poppycock, says Nick Chater, a …

Consciousness

A supposedly never-before-seen cut of The Shining is going up for auction

According to <i>Bloody Disgusting</i>, an Italian auction website is going to be selling off a bunch of items once owned by Stanley Kubrick’s longtime …

Horror

Syria war: Air strike 'kills children in Eastern Ghouta school'

<b>An air strike has reportedly killed 15 children and two women sheltering in an underground school in Syria's besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region.</b><p>Rescuers said civilians had been hiding in the school to escape government and Russian raids on the town of Arbin.<p>More than 1,400 civilians are …

Middle East

The Iraq War and the Inevitability of Ignorance

The U.S. is destined to keep overlearning the lessons of the last conflict.<p>There’s a specific reason it is so hard to be president—in normal circumstances—and why most incumbents look decades older when they leave the job than when they began. The reason is that the only choices normal presidents …

Political Science

Is America on the Verge of a Constitutional Crisis?

As the Trump presidency approaches a troubling tipping point, it’s time to find the right term for what’s happening to democracy.<p>Here is something that, even on its own, is astonishing: The president of the United States demanded the firing of the former FBI deputy director, a career civil servant, …

Donald Trump

Ted Danson Tells Marc Maron Why Acting With Larry David Is Just Like Going To Dinner With Larry David

Seventy-year-old Ted Danson has had a hell of a career dating back to his 11 years on <i>Cheers</i>, the finale of which is still the second highest scripted episode of all time. Beyond <i>Cheers</i>, however, Danson also had a modest film career in the 1980s (<i>Three Men and a Baby</i>), a few more hit TV shows (<i>Becker</i> …

Comedy

Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules for Writers

How To Apply Them to Non-Fiction Writing<p>“My reason for writing is unfortunately in line with Hitler’s and Stalin’s: I think writers should serve …

Neo-Nazi Group Implodes Over Love Triangle Turned Trailer Brawl

Matthew Heimbach and his spokesman came to blows after Heimbach was caught sleeping with the spokesman’s wife. What’s more, Heimbach is married to …

As America Changes, Some Anxious Whites Feel Left Behind

Demographic shifts rippling across the nation are fueling fears that their culture and standing are under threat.<p>Even after the coal mines closed and the factory jobs disappeared and the businesses began taking down their signs on Broad Street, even after the population started its steady decline …

New Orleans

'Dark Souls' legend beats all 3 games in one sitting without getting hit

Legendary <i>Dark Souls</i> streamer The Happy Hob has done the impossible: He beat all three <i>Dark Souls</i> games in one sitting without taking a single hit.<p>Yes, …

The Man Who Knew Too Little

GLOUSTER, Ohio — At first, the experiment didn’t have a name.<p>Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics.<p>Donald Trump’s victory shook him. Badly. And so Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent …

Roy Moore

“The Death of Stalin” Captures the Terrifying Absurdity of a Tyrant

John Cheyne and William Stokes were nineteenth-century doctors who described a sort of labored, interrupted respiration sometimes seen among the dying. Their names have been part of everyday Russian language for sixty-five years, ever since the Soviet press announced that Joseph Stalin was ill and …