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This week, Facebook let us all have a good cry (on our friends’ walls). Bill Gates came to the FBI’s defense. At-home medicinal weed growing got “green-lit” (winky face). A gaggle of Trump supporters had us even more afraid as they lamented the abolition of slavery. A 106-year-old met Obama and watched herself go viral. Egypt mistakenly sentenced a toddler to life in prison. Zimbabwe claimed to be overrun with lions because lion hunting stopped after Cecil. And Radiotopia announced a (pod)quest for a new show. That’s fun.

The most powerful voter in the US elections is the single American female. Different than social movements like abolition or suffrage that have come before, this reorganization is not “a self-consciously politicized event.”

Beyond whether you regard this shift as dangerous or thrilling, it is having a profound effect on our politics. While they are not often credited for it, single women’s changed circumstances are what’s driving a political agenda that seems to become more progressive every day. The practicalities of female life independent of marriage give rise to demands for pay equity, paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, universal pre-K, lowered college costs, more affordable health care, and broadly accessible reproductive rights; many of these are issues that have, for years, been considered too risky to be central to mainstream Democratic conversation, yet they are policies today supported by both Democratic candidates for president.

Work/life balance.
Scott Carrier is a radio hero of ours. Over the past year, Home of the Brave—his reluctant foray into podcasting—has been the source of some of the most beautiful, most strange, and most human listening out there. In his latest episode, an annual report of sorts, he breaks down the numbers on a ramshackle crowdfunded operation that sent him from the refugee trails of Europe and earthquake-ravaged Nepal, to the burning churches of the American South. Why does he refuse advertising? “So I’m free to take acid and proclaim Dick Cheney a lizard king.”

Is human toxicity a problem we can fix with good software engineering? It sure sounds optimistic, if responses to Facebook’s new menu of emojis is any indication.

This week, the New York Times announced three recipients of a fellowship in honor of the late, great David Carr. Among them was Overprint hero John Herrman, whose bossy GIF game and brilliant analyses of the content industry for The Awl have asked and answered just about all the questions we’ve ever had. We think Carr would have approved.

Treating millennial behaviors as some kind of obscure, underground phenomena is a widely adopted tactic—one we don’t much like around these parts. Amanda Hess, also a David Carr fellow, calls it out in Nancy Jo Sales’s new book American Girls. Failing to respect the individual experience at the heart of such a story renders the issues flat and otherwise not worth our attentions.

Nautilus is doing this most cool series called “Spark of Science”—a collection of stories about how people first got interested in science. They’re doing a call for submissions and they want to hear from famous scientists and regular people too.

Sheryl Sandberg cashed in big with her book about the mother-shaped hole in the C-suite. Now US-based collective Home Affairs tackles the parent-shaped hole in the art world, challenging the widely held belief that kids can only kill your career as an artist. 

“In a world of crowdsourced review sites and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, it might seem surprising that a company like 123Mountain could string along angry customers for so long. But while the maturation of e-commerce has given customers a wealth of buying options, murky businesses still persist in the Internet's back alleys, advertising their wares alongside legitimate players.”

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Illustration by Chris Lange.