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The Land Where the Dead Never Die

Torajan families don't bury loved ones until they're ready—and even then it's not over

(Newser) - In most parts of the world, wakes and funerals are the main form of ceremonial closure people have when a loved one passes away. Things are a little different in Indonesia's Toraja region in Sulawesi, where Sahar Zand headed for the BBC to reveal a ritual most may find... More »

What an Undisclosed Uber Meeting Says About Its CEO

Travis Kalanick met with Tim Cook in 2015, got a scolding

(Newser) - Mike Isaac's lengthy look at Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the result of interviews with more than 50 people who are or have been professionally or personally close to him, isn't entirely without compliment. "Some consider him a math savant," Isaac writes for the New York Times ... More »

The 23-Year-Old Lost His Memory. Then Came the MRI

He's one of 14 patients to suffer from the newly named CHIAS in Massachusetts

(Newser) - Since 2012 , doctors in Massachusetts have observed a most unusual kind of patient just 14 times—or, 14 times that we know about. It all started with Max Meehan, who was taken to the hospital after his behavior freaked out his family: his memory had suddenly vanished. "The kid... More »

'White Privilege' Shows Up in New Profile of Rachel Dolezal

Ijeoma Oluo found Dolezal 'dismissive,' 'condescending' toward blacks in interview

(Newser) - If you haven't tired of hearing about Rachel Dolezal —the woman who was born white but now identifies as black— Ijeoma Oluo has penned "The Heart of Whiteness," a new piece for the Stranger that Jezebel calls "so good we never have to think about... More »

From 'Politicized Prisoner' to Inmate Hero

NPR details the story of Martin Sostre, whose prison activism is legendary

(Newser) - Reporter Joseph Shapiro first met Martin Sostre after New York's governor granted the inmate clemency in 1976. The prisoner's story sparked a lifelong interest in prison activism for Shapiro, who documents for NPR his search for the long-disappeared Sostre. Shapiro dives into the early life of the self-described... More »

We Suck Horseshoe Crabs' Blood, Chuck Them in Sea

It's all in the name of human health—but what happens to the crabs afterward?

(Newser) - The horseshoe crab has been around since prehistoric days, but some experts are now worried the biomedical industry is bleeding them dry—literally. In her story for Popular Mechanics , Caren Chesler explores how retrieving the blue blood of the marine invertebrate has become a lucrative and essential industry, thanks to... More »

Are Amazon and Netflix Preventing the Next Tarantino?

Weighing the risks and rewards of the new kings of independent film

(Newser) - The Hollywood studio system being what it currently is—hope everyone's excited for the eighth Fast and Furious installment this Friday—it's unlikely Reservoir Dogs would have been able to secure theatrical distribution in 2017. But that wouldn't be its only option in the modern world. Quentin... More »

'Uninvited Guest' Is Killing a Southwest Reservoir

Climate change is decreasing water levels in Lake Powell: Rebecca Solnit

(Newser) - More than 50 years ago, Glen Canyon, straddling Arizona and Utah, became flooded with water after the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam led to the formation of the Lake Powell reservoir. But even though the Sierra Club wrote the canyon's obituary in 1963, Rebecca Solnit reveals in the... More »

It Felt Like Identity Theft, but Turned Out to Be Far From It

For years Lisa Davis was sure she was the victim of identity theft

(Newser) - Lisa Selin Davis has spent nearly 20 years paying someone else's fines—issued to a New Yorker with the same name and birthday who was being cited for all sorts of things she herself never had done, small infractions like using her phone behind the wheel and walking in... More »

There Are Worse Places to Die Than Mongolia

The country is a surprising leader in palliative care

(Newser) - A man lies dying of liver cancer inside his family's tent—or "ger"—as a harsh wind blows outside, where the family's sheep are hunkered down. His only wish is "to be without pain" as he dies. In that case, it's a good thing... More »

McDonald's Pizza? It Exists, and This Guy Found It

Podcast documents Brian Thompson's travels to Ohio to sample the wares

(Newser) - McDonald's is ubiquitous, but Brian Thompson has been obsessed with one particular location in Ohio—and one menu item that's gone missing from virtually every other McDonald's. That item is pizza, and as Cara Giaimo explains in Atlas Obscura , the journalist got it in his head that... More »

The Cop Who May Have Framed Dozens, the City That Did Nothing

BuzzFeed's Melissa Segura says many players in Chicago may have played a part

(Newser) - Retired Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara is accused of framing dozens for murder from the '80s into the early 2000s, allegedly beating out confessions, coaxing witnesses during suspect lineups, and sending more than 50 people away for a combined 2,300-plus years. Melissa Segura examines one case in particular... More »

Chance Rest Stop Meeting Led to Family's Brutal Murder

'Knoxville News Sentinel' revisits the Lillelid murders 20 years later

(Newser) - They "said they were going to go start the Armageddon." What followed wasn't the end times, but the brutal end of one family in a crime that remains one of the worst in East Tennessee memory. In a lengthy piece, the Knoxville News Sentinel revisits the Lillelid... More »

In Sweden, a Strange Malady Is Seen in Young Immigrants

'New Yorker': They fall into a coma-like state, but are doctors encouraging it?

(Newser) - The New Yorker casts a light on an unusual malady in Sweden known as uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome. It's unique not only to Sweden but to a particular group: the children of immigrants. The syndrome plays out like this: The kids learn their family is being deported and fall... More »

Elon Musk Is Quite Frightened of the Robots Taking Over

He's '[cueing] the scary organ music' on artificial intelligence: 'Vanity Fair'

(Newser) - While Elon Musk embraces the sci-fi nature of colonizing other planets, he's not exactly a superfan of the sci-fi concept of robot overlords. The CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX is terrified of artificial intelligence, Maureen Dowd reveals in Vanity Fair , and doesn't think Silicon Valley should be... More »

Things Got Real When a Reality TV Exec Lost His Hand

Jonathan Koch was told he was going to die, but he wasn't going without a fight

(Newser) - "It’s more attractive than the hand I used to have, so I’m getting a lot of attention." Los Angeles Magazine dives into two incredibly trying years in the life of "one of Hollywood's great closers" and "an indefatigable iron man" during which he... More »

Why Groundhog Day Writer Picked Feb. 2

Danny Rubin wanted the film to become a 'holiday cable perennial'

(Newser) - In the late 1980s, Danny Rubin, who was writing industrial film scripts at the time, made a list of his 10 best ideas. The final entry on the list read, "A man lives the same day over and over." After the No. 2 idea on Rubin's list... More »

First a Stint as Jimi Hendrix's Son—Then an '$18K' Album

Billy Yeager's story is definitely an odd one

(Newser) - A blond Florida surfer who once pretended to be Jimmy Story , the son of Jimi Hendrix, apparently enjoyed the attention so much from that original hoax that he tried to pull off an even bigger one, as documented by NPR 's Andrew Flanagan. This one involved aspiring musician Billy... More »

For Congo's Pygmies, Pot Can Be a Life-or-Death Crop

'Because of selling this marijuana, our children can get some food'

(Newser) - In the impoverished Democratic Republic of the Congo, members of the indigenous people commonly referred to as Pygmies have turned to a surprising line of work: dealing pot. As National Geographic reports in an in-depth feature, the marijuana they cultivate illegally in the forest represents one of the few ways... More »

Inside the Improbable $100M Grift of Bobby Thompson

America's strangest conman who also might be a CIA operative

(Newser) - With his fake-looking pompadour and nonprescription glasses, Bobby Charles Thompson came across like a "kook"—but, as one political consultant puts it, that was the "brilliance of his con." The Washingtonian dives headlong into the bizarre tale of Thompson, who was behind what is believed to... More »

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