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Dylann Roof Wouldn't Tell His Story, So I Did

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah takes a look at the killer for 'GQ'

(Newser) - Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah describes SC church shooter Dylann Roof in incredibly detailed and visual language: A burgeoning bald patch "almost made him look like a young, demented monk with a tonsure"; when he spoke in court it "sounded like his mouth was full of Karo syrup." But... More »

Docs Injected Fake Typhus to Outsmart Nazis

The false positives let prisoners live in quarantine

(Newser) - It all started with a man so desperate to escape forced labor in Nazi Germany in 1941 that he considered cutting off his own arm. Instead, on a whim, his doctor in Poland stuck a needle in his arm, the man tested positive for the oft-deadly typhus, and he was... More »

Germany Begins to Apologize for a Different Genocide

Historians think slaughter in Africa was the first genocide of 20th century

(Newser) - In 1907, Germans cut the head off a man in Africa and sent it, with hundreds of others, to Germany as part of research to establish white superiority. The man, Cornelius Fredericks, was a legendary Nama fighter who'd led a rebellion against occupying German forces in Namibia, and he... More »

The Big Bucks to Be Made in the Quinceanera

Vendors are cashing in on this Latino rite of passage

(Newser) - A trade show geared specifically toward 14-year-olds and their parents, replete with landmark-themed cakes, elaborate floral centerpieces, makeup tutorials, and runway exhibits showing off lavish gowns? Chavie Lieber's story for Racked documents the big business of selling for the quinceanera, a Latino rite of passage that celebrates a young... More »

How Driscoll's Became the Definition of a Strawberry

Strawberries come in all shapes, sizes; Driscoll's makes sure you don't see them

(Newser) - Think of a strawberry. Chances are you're picturing a Driscoll's berry: "glossy, red, and heart-shaped, and firm enough to ship to the East Coast or to the Middle East." And that's not surprising. Driscoll's controls about a third of the US berry market, making... More »

One Last Hope for Learning Identity of 'Precious Jane Doe'

Snohomish County, Wash., detectives hope genealogy sites can help

(Newser) - She's called "Snohomish County's precious Jane Doe" by one of the Washington state detectives on the case, and the how and the whodunit of her death have long been established. David Roth spent nearly three decades in prison for killing the young woman, a hitchhiker he picked... More »

Breitbart's Low-Profile Editor: Bias Is in Story Selection

Alex Marlow is hearing critics from both the left and right

(Newser) - Even those with more than a passing familiarity to Breitbart News might be hard pressed to name its editor. That is intentional, explains a New York Times Magazine feature on 31-year-old Alex Marlow. He has been Breitbart's editor for four years now and keeps a low profile, even among... More »

This Might Replace Burial or Cremation

The body is dissolved by a process called alkaline hydrolysis

(Newser) - A main question for those planning the funerals of themselves or loved ones is pretty basic: Cremation or burial? But a feature at Wired explains that a third choice might become the norm in the not-too-distant future: dissolution. OK, the actual term is still in play, but it refers to... More »

Food Critic Gets Eye-Opener as Dishwasher for a Day

Scrub, scrub, scrub—and be wary of habanero oil

(Newser) - To be a dishwasher in a top restaurant, you need a "heroic" work ethic, says Tom Sietsema. That's just one thing the Washington Post food critic discovered after spending seven hours doing that very job. Taking a shift at Caracol, chef Hugo Ortega's 250-seat Mexican seafood restaurant... More »

Football Team Needed a Player, and a 5-Foot-2 Girl Stepped Up

ESPN profiles rural Texas team, but not with the ending you might expect

(Newser) - ESPN has a lengthy feature on a high school football team in Texas, but Friday Night Lights this isn't. The story is about a team in tiny Harrold, Texas, where the schools are so small they play a six-man version of the game on a shorter field. Players... More »

Why Insurance Companies Are Saying No to Generic Drugs

And yes, it might be hurting your pocket

(Newser) - It flies in the face of conventional wisdom: insurance companies that won't pay for a generic medicine, essentially forcing patients to opt for pricey brand-name drugs. And yet that's exactly what's happening, report ProPublica and the New York Times . It's "befuddling," says one 41-year-old... More »

Parents and Doctors, Hold Off on This 'Devastating' Surgery

Don't operate on intersex kids until they're the age of consent and can fully participate

(Newser) - When Kimberly Mascott Zieselman was 15, she had surgery she now says caused "irreversible harm" due to others' "discomfort with difference." In her op-ed for USA Today , Zieselman explains how, as a young teen, she didn't get her period like other girls, and when her parents... More »

Coral-Filled Tanks Are Gorgeous, Have a Dark Side

If certain zoanthid corals are present, that is

(Newser) - Home aquariums used to pretty much be for fish only. That changed with the advent of LED lights, which allow hobbyists to replicate a tropical sun indoors—without boiling the water in the tank. And so a new industry boomed: A subset of aquarium hobbyists—often called "reefers"—... More »

Smartphone Kids Are Radically Different, 'Seriously Unhappy'

Smartphones have left this generation on the edge of a 'mental-health crisis'

(Newser) - Despite generational differences, we're all pretty similar. We value things like independence, romantic relationships, and freedom. Well, except for the iGen—kids born between 1995 and 2012—who are experiencing a generational shift largely unprecedented in the past century, the Atlantic reports in a worrying look at the first... More »

MLB Pitcher's Tragic Struggle to Fit In, Succeed, Find Peace

The sad, conflicted life of Hideki Irabu, who killed himself in 2011

(Newser) - He was known as the "Japanese Nolan Ryan" for how fast he could hurl a ball. But more unflattering descriptions eventually found their way to MLB's Hideki Irabu, leading to a downward spiral that culminated in his 2011 suicide . In his look at Irabu for Sports Illustrated , Ben... More »

Pearl Jam's 'Jeremy' Video Is 25. It's Star Would've Been 37

Inside the life and death of the boy who was 'Jeremy'

(Newser) - This August marks the 25th anniversary of the music video for "Jeremy," which dominated MTV and rocketed Pearl Jam into superstardom. It also marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of Trevor Wilson—better known as the video's title character. To mark the occasion, Billboard spoke... More »

Korean-American Explores the Meaning of Her 'Blue Butt'

'Mongolian spot' refers to distinctive blue birthmark

(Newser) - If you want to get technical, it's called congenital dermal melanocytosis in Western medicine, and it often results in a distinctive blue birthmark on the bottoms of babies from East Asia. If you want to get nearly poetic, you'll want to read Jennifer Hope Choi's piece at... More »

Her Mom Was Murdered. Then the 12-Year Nightmare Began

The 'New York Times' takes a long look at the case of Noura and Jennifer Jackson

(Newser) - Noura Jackson, then 18, was the one who called 911 to report that her mother had been stabbed in an apparent break-in at her Memphis home in 2005. Jennifer Jackson, 39, did not survive the attack, and prosecutorial attention ultimately turned to Noura, who said she had returned home from... More »

A Newbie Spends a Week at Nudist Camp

'Anything beautiful or grotesque can become boring with enough exposure'

(Newser) - Jamie Lauren Keiles is a self-described bad dresser. It's a fashion choice of sorts in that she hopes "this rejection of fashion might be read as a sign of my politics or intelligence," she writes at Racked . "If I can't control how people will treat... More »

The Ludicrous Barkley Marathons Will Break You

Fewer than 20 people have completed the race in 31 years

(Newser) - To complete Tennessee's Barkley Marathons, runners only need to average 2mph for 60 hours. Easy, right? Not so much, Esquire reports in a must-read piece that simultaneously makes the race seem like heaven and hell on Earth. The Barkley Marathons comprises five loops through Frozen Head State Park. There'... More »

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