Is this what democracy looks like? (The New Yorker)
by Nathan Heller
Should we really call our politics democratic if our politicians are wildly unrepresentative of the citizens they govern in terms of education, race, and gender? A political scientist suggests a different kind of democracy, using the same kind of wide net for leaders that we use for jury duty.
Beauty and wellness in 1897 (Smithsonian Magazine)
by Emmeline Clein
More than a century before Goop, a savvy entrepreneur named Madame Yale promised women a route to beauty based in physical wellness and a way to get a sexist medical establishment to address health problems.
The East Side Story that wasn’t (Washington Post)
by Warren Hoffman
West Side Story is back, and its evolution since it was first pitched as “East Side Story” tells us a lot about how ideas about racial and religious group identity have changed over time.
The dangers of a greener Arctic (Wired)
by Matt Simon
There’s twice as much carbon in permafrost as there is in the atmosphere. What happens when the Arctic thaws, exposing that organic material to microbes?
The promise, and limits, of psychedelic mysticism (Aeon)
by Jules Evans
Aldous Huxley argued that every religion had its roots in a universal mystical experience. But his work was very much a product of his own particular time and place.
Got a hot tip about a well-researched story that belongs on this list? Email us here.