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Protesting Black Friday for Michael Brown


As millions of shoppers across the country marched to stores in search of post-Thanksgiving deals, demonstrators interrupted Black Friday shopping and encouraged a retail boycott in a new tactic to protest the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, for whom some have dubbed the day "Brown Friday." Under the Twitter hashtag #BlackOutBlackFriday, protesters are attempting to draw attention to a confluence of issues following the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson: systemic racism, police brutality, economic inequality—and what they see as a justice system that is unwilling to address these problems.

The One Where I Counted the Jokes in Popular Sitcoms


Armed with a couch, TV, Netflix subscription, XL bag of popcorn and a worrying amount time on my hands, I recently decided to take a deep look into the structure of various television comedies.

Are You Watching the Greatest Skier in History?


The most exciting seconds in sports could come in the last lap of a Formula One race, or as the clock spins to zero and the point guard hangs in mid-air as he tries for one last three-pointer.

The Rise of Daddy Daycare


What scene comes to mind when you envision a dad left in charge of his kids for the day? Is it a room with fresh crayon marks all over the walls, kids with food-smeared faces—nothing short of general chaos?

Who Wins the Bishop-Knight Exchange?


At the beginning of my first-grade chess class, the teacher explained relative values for each piece.

The First Batch of Gatorade Tasted Terrible


The first time Robert Cade tasted his specially formulated sports drinks, he vomited. It tasted disgusting.

Thanksgiving in the Dust Bowl


Through the 1930s, a woman named Caroline Henderson wrote a popular series of articles for The Atlantic Monthly called "Letters from the Dust Bowl." She had grown up in Iowa, gone to college at Mount Holyoke, moved to the far western part of the Oklahoma panhandle to begin life as a farmer, and married a man she first met when he worked digging a well on her farm.

The Fading Spectacle of Black Friday


BlackFridayDeathCount.com keeps a running list of the casualties incurred by the rites and rituals of the day after Thanksgiving.

11 Economic Lessons to Make You a Smarter Shopper For Black Friday


The first and last rule of prices is that nobody knows what anything is worth. Shoppers are guided by shallow clues ("this is cheaper than that") and latent emotions ("it feels like a good deal") rather than knowledge and deliberate thinking.

Shop Yourself Happy


This year, a few pure souls might celebrate a freegan Christmas. Some will opt for a "Buy-Nothing" holiday.

How to Teach Kids to Be Grateful: Give Them Less


Kids who understand gratitude have better grades and are less likely to get depressed. This was the conclusion of a recent story in the Wall Street Journal that struck a chord with both my husband and me.

Khamenei 'Does Not Disagree' With Extending Peace Talks


On Monday, just hours before the deadline was set to expire for talks between Western powers and Iran over the country's nuclear program, negotiators in Vienna announced that the talks had been extended for an additional seven months.

The Immortal Mortal Appeal of the Skull


The skull is one of the most clichéd graphic symbols ever devised. It's a physiognomic necessity, yes, but also a routine emblem of authority and dissent, caution, and prohibition.

Black Friday, Through the Eyes of Smith and Marx


Black Friday has become American ritual, as American as the day that precedes it. Each year, the shopping extravaganza brings schadenfreude-worthy videos and news photos of greedy stampeders jostling each another.

The Crackdown on Poor Teacher Training Programs


In 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called it “laughable” that the majority of states hadn’t shut down a single low-performing teaching preparation program in the prior decade.

The World's Iconic National Dishes


On Thursday, Americans will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, and they will do so at the dinner table.

Americans Have Always Felt Guilty About TV Watching


With Thanksgiving, the holidays have begun in earnest, ushering in an uneasy season of guilt borne partly of over-consumption: too much shopping, too much pie (if such a thing even exists), and too much entertainment.

The Food Industry's Least Appetizing Ads


I love food technology because it's such a strange combination of things: process engineering, flavor science, and things I ate yesterday.

The Sound Recorder That Changed Film


Stefan Kudelski didn't set out to make a sound recorder. He was interested in robotics, and in the 1950s, one of the ways to create robotic memory was to use magnetic tape.

The Geography of Gratitude


Satya Murthy/Flickr What are you thankful for? For Facebook users who recently passed around a status-update game, the answer was pretty clear: friends, family, and health.


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