Emma Pointe

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Consider the plastic drinking straw: Why do we suck so much?

Maybe it’s thatyou don’t want to put your mouth where other mouths have been. Or maybe you’ve been sucking for so long, sucking has become your default setting. You are thirsty. You are at lunch, and your waiter just brought you a cold glass of water.<p>Enter the straw.<p>“What a fine liquid-extraction …

Green Living

The brown woman’s burden: India’s long-held love for white skin

“Let’s scrub out that tan” is a common refrain in beauty parlours in India, where girls grow up with constant reminders that only fair skin is beautiful.<p>From Sunday classified ads touting the marriageability of an “MBA graduate. 5-½ ft. English medium. Fair complexion” to elderly aunties advising …

India

The Sad, Sexist Past of Bengali Cuisine

<b>Near the end of the 18th and final of her pregnancies, my great-grandmother, Hiranmayi Ghatak, became a widow.</b> Her body had withstood a whirlwind of miscarriages and stillbirths, which resulted in a total of eight living children by the time she was 37.<p>This was in the district of Paschim Dinajpur …

West Bengal

In a nod to Angela Merkel’s political genius, Germany votes “yes” to gay marriage

Angela Merkel, the longest-serving national leader in the European Union, just showed off the political cunning that has kept her in office so long.<p>In what has so far amounted to a rather boring re-election campaign for Merkel, the German chancellor decided to shake things up, to her great benefit. …

LGBTQI

The best movies of 2017 so far, ranked

Superheroes, superpigs, and all points in between.<p>It’s hard to believe, but true: 2017 is already half over.<p>The most prestigious films of the year usually come out in the fall in an attempt to make a run at the Oscars. But this year has <i>already</i> yielded a bumper crop of great movies, including three …

What I Learned from My Mother's Suicide

For years I blamed myself. Now I'm grateful.<p>I was 13 years old when I first realized that my mother did not want to live. One night during spring break of eighth grade, I woke to the dog barking and red and yellow lights splashing across the walls. When I peered out my window into the darkness, I …

You’re probably taking the best part of your office job for granted

Friendship is easy when you’re in your early 20s. Friends knock on your dorm-room door. They show up at your apartment, popping in a la <i>Seinfeld</i> with a bottle of wine. You pop in on them, too. You meet up at bars and (cheap) restaurants and at each other’s bar-and-restaurant jobs. You run into each …

The Workplace

‘None of them came back’: Remembering the Battle of Midway, 75 years later

In December, the United States observed the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, which brought America into World War II. In the coming months, we will remember battles great and small and the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of service members in that tremendous struggle. This week marks the 75th …

Military

The Over-the-Top, Feast-on-a-Plate Thali (& How to Make it Yourself)

Picture rows and rows of humans seated on the ground with their feet folded. Some servers carry steel buckets (yes, buckets), others carry three-pronged serving containers laden with food. They dash between the rows, bringing one course after another. The first group gets up, plates are cleared …

Indian Breads

40 Essential Pasta Recipes for Olive-Oiled, Red-Sauced Happiness

Pasta—the most comforting carb with limitless varieties—is a staple the world over. A cousin of Asian noodles, pasta was brought to Italy where it …

How I almost killed my mom with a simple anti-itch pill

Nobody wants to kill her own mother by accident. Luckily, mine pulled through.<p>As teachable moments go, this one was huge. I learned that once you or someone you know hits age 65, it’s time to learn which drugs can increase the risk of dementia when taken for long periods. And which, for people who …

Parenting

Your summer reading list, courtesy of the movies

What to read so you'll know if the book was better than the movie, from Star-Lord to Captain Underpants.<p>Not all of this summer’s movies are sequels and reboots — many of the season’s films are actually based on books and comic books. And the variety of films drawn from the printed page is striking. …

How My Kids' Allergies Reshaped My Identity as a Mother and Cook

I recently went to a dinner party at the home of a friend who happens to be a wonderful cook. I was in the kitchen sipping a glass of wine when I …

These 21 Recipes Look Impressive, But Are Really Easy

Cooking

How to avoid getting ripped off at the hospital

According to a doctor turned health care journalist.<p>“The American healthcare system is rigged against you,” journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in her new book, <i>An American Sickness</i><i>.</i><p>Rosenthal got a behind-the-scenes peek at the bamboozling when she was working full time as a doctor in the 1990s. …

Millennials and baby boomers are taught to hate each other—but they need each other to survive

Recently I argued that generations are more divided than ever in the United States. This is evidenced in no small part by the recent election, in which younger voters overwhelmingly favored Hillary Clinton, whereas older voters favored US president Donald Trump.<p>This political dissonance has …

Demographics

Our Favorite Theme Nights to Make Meal Planning Easier

When I was younger, my mom made dinner almost every night of the week. She had a stable of favorites she'd cycle through and everyone ate dinner …

How you learned a second language influences the way your brain works

Over the past few years, you might have noticed a surfeit of articles covering current research on bilingualism. Some of them suggest that it sharpens the mind, while others are clearly intended to provoke more doubt than confidence, such as Maria Konnikova’s “Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?” …

Language Learning

Why You Should Set Your Breakfast on Fire

And learn a simple trick for making the easiest creme brulee ever<p>Crispity, crunchity burnt sugar is an excellent way to make a healthy breakfast bad …

24 Warm Dessert Recipes for All of Your Winter Sweets Needs

Winter is the perfect time of year to hone your baking skills. After all, there’s nothing cozier than cuddling up on the couch with a soft blanket and a tray of warm brownies, fresh from the oven. A mug of spiked hot chocolate sipped in front of the fire does the trick too, and we’d never turn our …

Dessert

The Story of How the Pussyhat Came to Symbolize an Entire Movement

Whether you were in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York or even abroad, if you were at the Women’s March last weekend you were inevitably surrounded by a sea of pink “pussyhats.” The caps, while varying in their pinkness, all shared an identifiable shape: those two distinct cat ears. The hat …

Feminism

12 Cookie Dough Recipes to Make Ahead and Freeze

Whipping up delicious, eye-pleasing, creative cookie recipes is fun, but sometimes those cravings come on HARD. When you’re jonesing for a treat, you just want something sweet and doughy as <i>quickly</i> as possible. Luckily, cookie dough recipes have you covered on that front. These 12 options can be …

Dessert

World’s First Semisynthetic Organism Created: Scientists Expand Life’s Genetic Code To Include Two Artificial DNA Bases

All DNA-based life forms on Earth contain, at their core, a genetic code made up of four bases — adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), cytosine (C). …

Rights & Freedoms

Now Is the Time to Cook for Others

Reflections on what "comfort food" really means.<p>The butcher pulled the big, bone-in loin out of the case and lifted it up on the scale. “That’s perfect,” I told him. “Don’t trim the extra fat. I like the fat.” He yanked a sheet of crisp brown paper off the roll, and wrapped up my parcel.<p>It was the …

Cooking
CNN

The case against luxury gyms like SoulCycle

The rich are getting fitter while the poor are falling behind.<p>Early on weekday mornings, I often find myself panting and sweating beside strangers in a dark room. Riding stationary bicycles with nightclub music blaring in my ears isn’t my idea of fun. But I turned to Flywheel’s spinning classes …

Amazon Echo murder case amplifies the question of what ‘always on’ really means

Some people have wondered if smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo devices, or its closest contender, the Google Home, are constantly capturing audio data, rather than just listening when the right wake word is uttered. Now a court case is bringing the issue to the fore, and it could potentially show …

Smart Homes