Nick Turse

Where did the tears come from?

My best guess, strange as it might sound, is that our ancestors were in the habit of punching each other on the nose. Such injuries would have resulted in copious tear production. And there is an independent line of evidence to suggest that they were common. According to recent analysis by David Carrier and Michael Morgan from Utah University, the shape of human facial bones might well have evolved to withstand the physical trauma of frequent punching. Thickly buttressed facial bones are first seen in fossils of Australopithecus, which appeared following our split with chimpanzees. Carrier and Morgan further argue that Australopithecus was our first ancestor whose hand was capable of making a tight fist. So, the reason we weep now may well be that our ancestors discussed their differences by hitting each other in the face. Some of us still do, I suppose.

About 10 years ago I was walking down the central corridor in my lab at Princeton University when something wet smacked me from behind. I gave a most undignified squawk and ducked with my hands thrown up around my head. Turning around, I saw not one but two of my students — one with a squirt gun, the other with a video camera.
(via Outbreaks in America — The Nib — Medium)
As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan
My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan

My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

nprbooks:

In fiction…

  • Amy Grace Loyd’s The Affairs Of Others  follows a young widow and landlord whose preference for solitude is challenged when one of her tenants goes missing and an unexpected subletter moves in. 

And in nonfiction…

Your tax dollars at work, America!

Life of Wonderment Swoon Blurs the Line Between Art and Activism
"Since she began illegally pasting images around the city 15 years ago, Swoon has inspired a lot of wonderment. Born Caledonia Curry, she started her career as a street artist, but quickly leapfrogged to the attention of gallerists and museum curators, which let her expand to installation and performance art, often with an activist, progressive bent. Her intricate paper-cut portraits and cityscapes, often affixed to walls in hardscrabble places, are meant to disintegrate in place, a refrain to the life around them. Meanwhile, her socially minded work has focused on building cultural hubs for far-flung artistically welcoming communities."
Nice to see Callie and her art getting the attention it deserves, courtesy of the NYT…

Life of Wonderment
Swoon Blurs the Line Between Art and Activism

"Since she began illegally pasting images around the city 15 years ago, Swoon has inspired a lot of wonderment. Born Caledonia Curry, she started her career as a street artist, but quickly leapfrogged to the attention of gallerists and museum curators, which let her expand to installation and performance art, often with an activist, progressive bent. Her intricate paper-cut portraits and cityscapes, often affixed to walls in hardscrabble places, are meant to disintegrate in place, a refrain to the life around them. Meanwhile, her socially minded work has focused on building cultural hubs for far-flung artistically welcoming communities."

Nice to see Callie and her art getting the attention it deserves, courtesy of the NYT

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan
My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan

My latest reporting from South Sudan takes you from a Christmas-in-July party at the U.S. Embassy in Juba to a dismal, muddy UN camp deep in the countryside outside Malakal. Already, 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing catastrophic food insecurity and 50,000 children may die of malnutrition by the end of the year.  Right now, experts in Juba are crunching numbers to decide if and when famine can be declared.  “Half the kids may already be dead by the time famine is actually declared,” one UNICEF official told me.

fotojournalismus:

The Daily Life of the Uyghurs in Kashgar (July/August 2014)

China’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic group faces cultural and religious restrictions by the Chinese government. Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer offers a rare glimpse into daily life in Kashgar following recent unrest. In the last week of July, nearly 100 people have been killed in Xinjiang Province in what authorities say is terrorism, but exiled Uyghur groups and human rights activists say the government’s repressive policies in Xinjiang have provoked unrest, a claim Beijing denies. Kashgar, where Getty photographer Kevin Frayer made these pictures, is at the heart of all this

Photos by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.