In this international edition of the runoff, Saudi Arabia makes aggressive domestic and regional moves under its young new leadership, but the fallout has led to increased tension and conflict in the Middle East.  

by Eric Fershtman and Alex Brandte



Living on that farm: Elisabth Voltz's The Shoebox Funeral

The first-time memoirist reflects on grief, pets, and growing up. 

by Rachel Kolman


'Killing all across the world for that coal money'

States and cities lead the way at COP23, while the White House promotes oil and coal. Plus: geoengineering and bike-sharing make their way into the mainstream, and Instagrammers are #lovingnaturetoohard. 

by Makayla Esposito


Why is it so hard to make time for ourselves?

A meditation on time, creativity, and work-life balance listicles. 

by Madison Bernath

quote of the day

“It has been 31 years since we last did this, and it is finally time that we get the general interest of this country to prevail over the special interests in Washington.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, on the House floor before the House voted 227-205 to approve its tax reform bill.


In this week's episode, "Black Sabbath Is Becoming Really Important to Me," Brendon talks to Annie Hartnett, who released her first novel earlier this year with Tin House. It's called Rabbit Cake and it's beautiful, sad, and very funny, just like this podcast.


How the smartphone affected an entire generation of kids

New research is putting the first generation of kids to grow up with the smartphone into sharp relief.

by Jean Twenge

the work: culture roundup



Depressing fridge tunnels

Cirocco Dunlap on her weird new web series, everything is okay, not being lonely, and little rocks that are actually turtles.

by Brendon Barnes


A Fine Diet

"There is the winter I fall from the bannister two flights. I break all my ribs except two, puncture my little sack of lung, and crack a single vertebra..."

by Henry Goldkamp


Under the microscope

In Catapult, Emily Fridlund's stories bristle with a menacing domesticity.

by Nickalus Rupert