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This Week In Mash-Up America

The week of June 1, 2024 was learning all about anglerfish sex; realizing Hollywood didn’t learn the lessons of Black Mirror; and no, we are absolutely not delaying our morning coffee. Who are these monsters? Anyways, our weekend listening


And as long as we’re listening to Margaret Cho on Neal Brennan’s pod (see the last link above), we’re thinking we’ll give *our* episode with Ms. Cho another listen because it was super fun and why not. It was our second(!) episode(!) ever(!) so we were all babies compared to where we are now. Look at us.


Bruhat Soma Wins Scripps National Spelling Bee In Second-Ever Spell-Off

(Cue Zoolander) It’s a motherf-ing spell-off! In a spelling bee finale for the books, two bright little 12-year-olds battled for the title and Bruhat Soma of Tampa came out on top.

What’s Behind The Anti-Biden ‘Wildfire’ Among TikTok Influencers

“About a third of adults under 30 get their news from short, punchy videos on TikTok, and that’s a big challenge for the Biden campaign.” Chalk it up to his stance on the Israel-Hamas war and his ban on TikTok — the youth aren’t having any of it.

Bilingual AI Brain Implant Helps Stroke Survivor Communicate In Spanish And English

If you are both amazed and totally freaked out at the same time, we’re with you. “This AI training method basically allows the brain implant to process data in a way that is somewhat similar to the human brain.” Let that sink in.

Black Voices, Black Bodies: Life In The Age Of Ozempic

Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are all chronic conditions more likely to affect Black Americans — but to think about taking Ozempic means grappling with centuries of oppression, systemic discrimination, and monitoring of Black bodies.

Italian Teenager To Become The First Millennial Saint

Carlo Acutis, often called “the patron saint of the internet” among Roman Catholics, has been attributed with a second miracle by Pope Francis: A university student’s brain hemorrhage vanished 10 days after her mother prayed for her at Carlo’s tomb.

I’m The Child Of A Facetune Mom

Oh, these poor girls. Social media’s got some moms Facetuning their kids’ picture before sharing them online, and it’s taking a huge toll on their confidence and mental health.

America’s Premier Pronatalists On Having ‘Tons Of Kids’ To Save The World

The poster-couple for the pronatalist movement “are atheists. Their pronatalism is born from…utilitarian principles and cool-headed logic to determine what is best for life on Earth.” Because it’s really up to them, right? Yikes, just yikes.

Consumer Brands Are Leaving Trillions Of Dollars Behind By Ignoring Women Over 40

In a time when the average age is moving upward for things like getting married, buying a house, having financial stability — why are we still marketing toward 20-somethings? “Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing.” Stop ignoring us!

The Cabbage Stir-Fry I Ate Nonstop To Ease Postpartum Constipation

Lactation cookies get all the attention, but postpartum poop–inducing foods should really get more air time. In this graphic, very real-talk piece, Serena Dai shares her recipe for cabbage stir-fry, which sounds great even if we’re not constipated.

Are You Sitting Up Straight? America’s Obsession With Improving Posture

Historian Beth Linker discovered that there was an “antislouching campaign” in the 20th century, developed in the same era as eugenics — and also discovered the correlation between the desire for good posture and deeply ingrained ableism.

Expecting Worse: Giving Birth On A Planet In Crisis

Research shows that climate change takes a profound physical toll on bodies that can bear children. Grist shares the stories of four women and the unexpected risks risks they face as they try to conceive, gestate, and give birth in a warming world.  

Why Fiction From Korea And Japan Has Become So Popular With English-Language Readers

The languages have stayed the same but the world has changed (for the better). “Even 10 years ago we had to translate everything in a way to accommodate a more traditional English speaker’s knowledge. In the last 10 years, we’re able to transliterate.”

They Took The Children

From 1819 to 1969, the U.S. government essentially forced Native American children into boarding schools, where abuse and disease ran rampant. Literal atrocity crimes, with no official apologies from the president or the pope to this day. Embarrassing.

In ‘Free To Be,’ A UCSF Doctor Dispels Myths About Trans Youth

Dr. Jack Turban, child psychiatrist and one of the nation’s most respected authorities on transgender youth, has a new book geared toward parents about understanding kids and gender identity. Just in time for Pride, and we love it.

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