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This week, a Burger King in Helsinki got a sauna. Things heated up in Canada’s caucus, even for our hot PM. Two 70-something Polish lovers danced all hot-like in a London nightclub till five in the sunrise. Alberta wildfires burned hot in the direction of the oilsands. Tim Cook prayed to an elephant-headed god (about the iPhone) on what turned out to be India’s hottest day since 1956. And Taiwan swore in its first female president. Most hot.

Jon Mooallem is a master of taking the most whimsical of subjects—be they fluffy angora bunnies or in this case, clouds and the tension between the people who stare at them and the people who classify them—and spinning them into gorgeous, deeply human tales. We're glad The New York Times Magazine appears to say yes to whatever he pitches these days.

Frankly, a person too dull to look up at the sky and see a parade of tortoises or a huge pair of mittens or a ghost holding a samurai sword is not a person worth lying in a meadow with.

We really, really, really want to think of our brains as computers. It's easy. It’s logical. It simply makes sense. But as Robert Epstein argues in this brilliant Aeon piece, it's time we "hit the delete key" on that metaphor. We're not algorithm-driven and we don't have storage. And even if you could download a brain, the data would be meaningless without the context of its creation. We're organisms, pure and simple and complex as the universe, and any true understanding of the brain needs to start with that.

When tweets reign supreme and the sentiment “too long; didn’t read” gets its own abbreviation, it’s worth looking back on the long history of the shortest literary form. Ladies and gentlemen, the aphorism.

This juicy piece in California Sunday exposes what can only be described as Conservatives Anonymous—a sort of secret society for conservatives in show biz. They call themselves Friends of Abe and at 2,500 members, the group’s become one of the most influential political organizations in Hollywood. Clint Eastwood, Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer, Dennis Miller, Robert Duvall, and Tom Selleck. All members.

We'll admit to being seduced by the ethical questions that self-driving cars raise. But at n+1, Daniel Albert argues that to fixate on that point is to fail to arrive at the real question—namely, the question of regulated road safety that's been around since Henry Ford strapped the first engine to a horse.

Rob Horning takes social media as masochism a step further, postulating that the function of self-aggrandizement enables a self-perpetuating cycle of reflection and dissociation, and ultimately a continuous state of self-annihilation.

Of all the places we expected to find a thorough, sober, and definitive account of the malaise that's gripped modern capitalism, none of them were Time. But so it is! 

Remember that time when Obama was president and Michelle was first lady and when, even before all that, they were just a cool couple in Chicago?

Communication infrastructure is woefully inadequate and underfunded in the Navajo Nation. Broadband and cellular service may be modern developments, but you could hardly call them luxuries. A lot of hope has been placed in the possibility of tapping into a $7 billion dollar federal fund to set up data networks for first responders that would be the fourth-largest in the nation. That is, if they go live.

Ian Brennan's “How Music Dies (Or Lives)” is an account of one man's endless quest to move past artifice in his practice. As something of a modern day Alan Lomax, he attempts to record and document music as expression of place and politic, and to pick up the spirit of punk as it exists in postcolonial and post-conflict zones. In this excerpt in The Believer, he recounts his time recording Rwanda's The Good Ones with duct tape and a vintage camcorder.

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Illustration by Chris Lange.
 
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