Rachel

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The long, steady decline of literary reading

The percentage of American adults who read literature — any novels, short stories, poetry or plays — fell to at least a three-decade low last year, according to a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts.<p>In 2015, 43 percent of adults read at least one work of literature in the previous …

Literature

Colin Kaepernick and What White Fans Don't Understand About Black Athletes

This is a tale of two views, and it is black and white<p>If there's one thing Colin Kaepernick has shown us this week, it's that when a black athlete …

How The Catholic Church Documented Mother Teresa's 2 Miracles

Hundreds of Catholics have been declared saints in recent decades, but few with the acclaim accorded Mother Teresa, set to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, largely in recognition of her service to the poor in India.<p>"When I was coming of age, she was the living saint," says the Most Rev. …

Christianity

Obama creates the largest protected place on the planet, in Hawaii

President Obama on Friday created the largest ecologically protected area on the planet when he expanded a national marine monument in his native Hawaii to encompass more than half a million square miles.<p>The president more than quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea (pronounced …

Conservation

Scientists Solve Mystery of 5,300-Year-Old Ice Man's Clothes

About 5,300 years ago, a man now known as Ötzi had a very bad day. Nobody knows exactly how things unfolded but it all ended with an arrow to the …

Anthropology

Insect Gardens Are About to Become the Biggest Trend in Landscaping

Bring in the right bugs, and you'll never use harsh pesticides again.<p>Cultivating backyard butterflies is one thing, but what about willfully inviting wasps into the mix? Bring 'em on, says horticulture expert Clay Wesson. Why? Parasitic wasps prey on insects that often damage crops. Plus, the …

Gardening

Archaeologists Find 6th-Century Castle at King Arthur’s Mythical Birthplace

The craggy ruins of a medieval castle are no longer the oldest structures in Tintagel. That title has just been claimed by a Dark Ages castle complex …

Alabama Bill Makes Attacking A Police Officer A Hate Crime

If a new bill passes through the Alabama state legislature, attacking a police officer will be considered a hate crime.<p>"It is a hate crime because it …

This is what downtown Seattle looks like as Amazon builds an insane spherical greenhouse for employees

Office ping-pong tables and beanbag chairs are nice, but massive spherical greenhouses are even cooler.<p>As reported by The New York Times, Amazon is building three plant-filled orbs — which all connect to form one giant structure — for its workers in Seattle, Washington.<p>Designed by architecture firm …

Employment

Reaction To Pokémon GO Illustrates Why Millennials Are Often Misunderstood By Older Age Groups

Pokémon GO is a phenomenon that has attracted hordes of players and “get off my lawn” themed vitriol from some non-players. A good deal of the hostility characterizes players in terms that are very similar to a common negative stereotype of millennials (people aged 18 to 34) as self-absorbed, …

Social Media

America would be Trump’s banana republic

Over the years, I have watched campaigns in third world countries in which one candidate accuses the other of being a criminal, sometimes even threatening to jail his opponent once elected. But I cannot recall this happening in any Western democracy until this week. The Republican convention has …

Donald Trump

Pa. man accused of illegally owning human brain, using embalming fluid to get high

CARLISLE, Pa. -- A central Pennsylvania man was charged Thursday after police say he sprayed fluid used to embalm a human brain on marijuana that he …

Why living in some U.S. cities is literally like living in the Middle Ages

It's easy to forget among the daily din of headline-grabbing tragedies, but historically speaking, we live in a time of unprecedented health, peace and prosperity.<p>Global life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900. The number of people who die in wars has plummeted. The percent of the world's …

Middle Ages

Man Leaves 11-Year Career in Finance to Pursue Passion for Surreal Wood Carving

For Emin Asgarov, woodcarving began as a deeply rooted dream. He admired the craft throughout his childhood but pursued a career in economics, working as a financial analyst for eleven years while (literally) carving out time to experiment with the creative hobby after hours. Just a few years ago, …

Art

Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier

Climate change has barely registered as a 2016 campaign issue, but in Florida, the state which usually decides the presidential election, the waters are lapping at the doors of Donald Trump’s real estate empire<p>Voices of America box<p>On a hot and lazy afternoon in Palm Beach, the only sign of movement …

Sea Level

8 Best Quotes From Thomas's Texas Abortion Dissent

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion proponents today, striking down a Texas state law that required abortion clinics to adhere to the same …

Strict Texas abortion law overturned in major supreme court ruling

Huge legal victory for reproductive rights activists paves way to overturn dozens of measures that curtail access to abortion providers across the country<p>The US supreme court on Monday struck down one of the harshest abortion restrictions in the country and potentially paved the way to overturn …

Abortion

American south braces for election three years after attack on voting rights

Presidential race the first big test after controversial US supreme court ruling that enabled Republicans to end safeguards protecting disenfrancised voters<p>The attack on voting rights unleashed by Republican lawmakers over the past three years has made casting a ballot in parts of the deep south as …

Rights & Freedoms

Aziz Ansari: Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family

“DON’T go anywhere near a mosque,” I told my mother. “Do all your prayer at home. O.K.?”<p>“We’re not going,” she replied.<p>I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Fla., I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be …

Aziz Ansari

The best and worst states to raise children in

<b>(CNN) —</b> Minnesota reigns as the most kid-friendly state to raise a family for the second year in a row, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study released Tuesday.<p>Parents in Mississippi and New Mexico, however, might find reason for concern as those states rank among the lowest.<p>The …

New Mexico

Democrats Continue Gun Control Sit-In as Paul Ryan Adjourns House

The revolt in the House of Representatives entered a second day Thursday as protesting Democrats refused to give up and continued to demand votes on gun control measures opposed by Republicans.<p>While two dozen or so Democratic lawmakers camped out in the well of the House chamber, Speaker Paul Ryan …

Gun Control

Alabama Senators, Representatives, and Congressional District Maps

1st District<p>Republican<p>Since Jan 8, 2014<p>2nd District<p>Republican<p>Since Jan 5, 2011<p>3rd District<p>Republican<p>Since Jan 7, 2003<p>4th District<p>Republican<p>Since Jan …

Police state

For the 1989 film, see Police State (1989 film). For the 2016 film, see Police State (2016 film).<p>Not to be confused with State police.<p><b>Police state</b> is …

Sotomayor’s fierce dissent slams high court’s ruling on evidence from illegal stops

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that courts need not throw out evidence of a crime even if the arresting police officer used unlawful tactics to obtain it.<p>But the low-profile case more likely will be remembered for a fierce and personal dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the decision …

Black Lives Matter

Sonia Sotomayor dissent in Utah v. Strieff takes on police misconduct.

The Supreme Court issued an extraordinarily disappointing 5–3 decision on Monday in <i>Utah v. Strieff</i>, a Fourth Amendment case about police searches. …

U.S. Department of Justice

Democrats end filibuster, announce GOP to hold gun votes

A deal on legislation to ban gun sales to suspected terrorists still looks unlikely.<p>Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and fellow Senate Democrats officially relinquished the floor early Thursday morning after spending nearly 15 hours straight talking about gun control, paving the way for high-profile …

Guns

Senate Democrats Just Began A Filibuster To Demand New Gun Laws

There is something dramatic happening at the US Senate, per <i>Politico.</i>Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) launched a talking filibuster on the Senate floor — …

Gun Control

Days After Orlando Attack, House G.O.P. Blocks Vote on Gay-Rights Amendment

So much for solidarity.<p>Less than three days after a popular gay club in Orlando became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives blocked a vote on a proposal that would ensure federal contractors can’t discriminate against employees …

LGBTQI