best of the sunday times

“An objective rule in the process of modernization is we have to complete the process of urbanization and industrialization.”

~ Li Keqiang (Chinese Prime Minister)

Front Page

As China attempts to accelerate the urbanization of its rural farmers, high costs and pitfalls abound.

As a conservative legislature makes abortion an increasingly difficult option for Texans, Mexico offers a prescription-free abortion pill just across the border.

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friday reading list

“Thursday, the House passed a farm bill that stripped out the food stamp program, breaking a pact that for decades has protected the nutrition needs of low-income Americans. It was the first time since 1973 that food stamps haven’t been part of a farm bill, and it reflected the contempt of the far right for anyone desperate enough to rely on the government for help to buy groceries.”

~ New York Times Editorial

Following the death of a Free Syrian Army commander at the hands of al-Qaeda militants, the FSA has declared war on al-Qaeda.

If pesky drought is getting between you and proper nutrition, Solid Water, a powdered water made in Mexico, may be your solution to hydration without so much water.

As fracking increasingly transforms the Earth’s crust into a jigsaw puzzle, heavily fracked areas now risk increased earthquakes.

House Republicans celebrate subsidizing more food that they can keep out of the hands of poor people.

Live long and suffer? Are we so focused on longevity that we have sacrificed quality of life?

thursday reading list

“In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known.”

~ Thomas Pickering

Looking for a friend? You better find one quick before loneliness leads to your death.

Indian-produced drugs are the libertarian’s wet dream. They’re cheap. They’re unregulated. They’re being recalled due to bad ingredients, poor oversight, and criminal fraud.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is so quick, it’s amazing he’s not already in the United States. But some hard-headed obstructionism from the old fogies in his party (the PRI) could threaten to undo his administration’s progressive streak.

You know what people in Gaza need most? KFC. How hours-old fried chicken from Egypt is in demand in the Gaza Strip.

In this EPIC long-form piece from SB Nation, Costa Rica’s killer bull has taken 17 lives, but the families of the victims just want to ride him.

Yesterday, I linked to an opinion piece on austerity being necessary for reform. Today, Quartz has come back with why it isn’t.

thursday reading list

I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon.

                                                       ~ Hugo Black

Happy almost-Oaks. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this Times piece from last year’s Oaks.

Moving on to the Derby. Michael Lindenberger of Roads & Kingdoms has outdone himself with an amazing long-read on booze-hound Bill Faulkner and the Kentucky Derby. And here is Faulkner’s piece for SI (it’s short). Here’s Hunter S. Thompson’s piece [PDF].

There’s a new bourbon out there just in time for the festivities. Check out Forbes’ Derby-themed review to see if its worth a couple of dollars above the Early Times.

Mr. President, do I detect a hint of tequila and lime on your breath? President Obama is heading to Mexico today and Quartz has everything you could want to know about his trade mission to pre-empt immigration reform.

Ever wanted to be a Williamsburg hipster? To laugh at picture of them? The New York Times has written an article and made a slideshow to help you out.

Sarah Stillman of the New Yorker gives us a glimpse at Bangladesh’s teen garment workers who risk their lives to bring us shitty Wal-Mart clothing.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and Gail Collins of the New York Times poke a little fun at Mark Sanford’s ridiculous and rapidly-fading belief that he could be elected to public office once again.

monday reading list

“I like my women like I like my weekend – short, filled with liquor and gone by Monday.”

                                              ~ Unknown

Ginger Thompson for the New York Times weaves the story of a Drug War informer’s flight from Mexico, plastic surgery, and new life as an anonymous nobody.

This Sports Illustrated interview gets the real story behind the news that Jason Collins is the first openly gay professional athlete.

Andrew O-Hagan for Financial Times muses on many of the famous authors of the last century and their deep infatuation with… other art forms.

John Upton of Grist brings us the uplifting news that San Francisco and 10 other cities are divesting themselves of fossil-fuel stocks.

And finally, if you want to make your own reading lists, Callie Schweitzer of Medium gives us the tools we need to sift through the garbage and find good news on the internet.

reading list: the best of the sunday times

sunday times

The Sunday Times is the pretentious man’s mass.

Front Page

With Dzhokhar Tsaranev still unconscious, the Times attempts to put the pieces of his past together in the the country’s ongoing investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing.

International

Government red tape and organized crime continue to inhibit proper preservation of Italy biggest historical site, leading Italians and preservationists to fear for the site’s future.

National

Montana’s bars and breweries are at war over an old loophole allowing the breweries to sell beer without a liquor license. So far, the battle has been stopped short in the statehouse.

Arts & Leisure

The story of how a southern boy from Arkansas took his first big heartbreak and turned it into a life of telling local truths through film.

Sunday Business

How a self-starter from Australia went from teaching jazz dance to selling homeopathic medicine to a tech start-up in Santa Cruz to leading on of the US’s premier solar energy companies.

Sunday Review

Swe Win condemns Buddhist monks and politicians in Myanmar for their sectarian leanings, tendencies towards violence and use of Buddhism as a guise for a morally corrupt interior.

A.J. Jacobs, the author of The Year of Living Biblically and other books, muses on (and gives letter grade to) the new age of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) where professors become “simultaneously the most and least accessible teachers in history.”

Travel

Jack Hitt, author of Off the Road, spins a shortened tale of his hike with his daughters on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Magazine

Rosie Schaap lays down the proper way to close down a bar and the importance of the slow, dark drinking and conversation that comes with late-night drinking.

Damien Cave delivers an in-depth look at the piety of those in the Mexican drug cartels.

Book Review

Joseph Luzzi offers a throwback review of Clive James‘ addition to the countless translations of Dante’s Divine Comedy.