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Japan’s state-owned version of Tinder – Brides for bumpkins

Local authorities are setting up matchmaking websites to pair their residents with lonely-hearts in the cities Even after years of attending match-making parties, a professional in Tokyo explains, she has not found any suitable marriage prospects. “I’m tired of going to these events and not meeting anyone,” she gripes. So she …

The Death of Taboo | The New Republic

How Donald Trump and his allies have drained the stigma from society’s worst transgressions. In 1988, a German journalist for the left-wing paper Die Tageszeitung (a.k.a. Taz) described a busy discotheque as “gaskammervoll,” meaning that it was as packed as a gas chamber (literally, “gas-chamberful”). Another journalist immediately wrote in protest to his editor. Next, a Taz …

Beaver Dam Pepper – Gastro Obscura

A pepper so good, Hungarian immigrants carried it with them when they came to Wisconsin. It is no wonder that the Beaver Dam pepper was nearly lost to posterity, trampled upon by the market demand for easier-to-grow pepper varieties that don’t require such laborious agricultural techniques as planting individual stakes …

A Future With Less News | The New Republic

Alan Rusbridger’s account of his time at The Guardian illustrates the possibilities and limits of journalism in the digital era. “I think news is incredibly important to society and democracy,” Mark Zuckerberg told a group of editors and media executives in May. The Guardian and its sister newspaper, The Observer, had reported two months earlier …

Britain’s Boarding School Problem | The New Republic

How the country’s elite institutions have shaped colonialism, Brexit, and today’s global super-rich  When socially privileged children are separated from their families at a tender age, some develop what psychotherapists have called “Boarding School Syndrome”: “a defensive and protective encapsulation of the self,” in which they learn to hide emotion, …

In Cuba, condom use stretches far beyond sex | Reuters

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cubans use them to fish, ferment wine, fix punctures or tie up hair; latex condoms have become the ultimate multipurpose tool on the Communist-run island where shortages of basic goods have forced locals to become masters of invention. Decades of U.S. trade sanctions and a dysfunctional Soviet-style, …