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Big Boy Boat Bargain: Stuck Suez Steamer Strikes Settlement to Skeddadle
Also: Cara Delevingne's vagina tunnel and no-pants baseball.
It’s officially Hot Girl Summer for the city of Alexandria, VA and we might not know who the new mayor of NY is for weeks (thanks, De Blasio). It’s too nice out to sit inside all day reading tabs, so let’s keep it short.
What are we reading?
Free Britney Spears (Liz Day, Samantha Stark and Joe Coscarelli in The NY Times): Fame, wealth, generational trauma, and America’s court system conspire to use Britney’s own money to keep her under her father’s control.
A racist sister in law provokes a spectacular family meltdown that seems destined for unfortunate real-world fallout: “AITA for calling my SIL a racist after she compared my cooking to ‘making kung pao chicken’?”
“What Will Become of the Pandemic Pets?” asks the headline of this meandering Nick Paumgarten New Yorker piece that kicks off with “Chinese people do be eating dog!”, detours through the author’s visits to Central Park off-leash hours, drops in the sentence “Happiness is a warm jpeg” apropos of nothing, returns to the purported Chinese canine menace, and then never actually gets around to answering what if anything, will become of the pandemic pets.
Cara Delevingne, playing a kind of horny Hermione Granger, took Architectural Digest on a tour of her house, “but don’t stay too long because you might start to hallucinate.” Don’t miss the vagina tunnel, and… all the rest of it really.
What else are we reading? (⚡️Lightning Round⚡️)
Elon Musk discovered that roofing houses with tempered glass isn’t like running a factory, reports Bloomberg’s Dana Hull ⚡️ The Washingtonian joins the Guilded age (previously: “nice jobs ya got there, shame if anything… happened to ‘em”) ⚡️ Big Boy Boat Bargain: Stuck Suez Steamer Strikes Settlement to Skeddadle ⚡️ Sergio Romo took his pants off on the field for a “sticky substance check” 🌚 ⚡️ Jacqui Shine collected public suggestions to the FBI to end the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff, including “loud and wild gospel songs,” and “confetti.” ⚡️ Birds are mysteriously dying ⚡️ Cops shoot chimpanzee in Oregon ⚡️ Cops shoot cow in L.A.: “At one point during the night… the cows began to charge and one was fatally shot by law enforcement.” I’m guessing it was the black one.
I don’t know what to say about this other than it is maybe the most Intern Linda Yu tab that Intern Linda Yu has filed so far:
Lately I've been thinking about the miracle of life, or more specifically, miraculous births. They're a staple of the religious and mythical cannon—the "I didn't know I was pregnant" of the pre-modern era. Classically there's the Greek god Perseus being conceived in a shower of gold; the 9th century Japanese legend of Princess Kaguya emerging from a glowing bamboo shoot; and the Daoist philosopher Laozi allegedly being born after his mother gazed at a falling star.
Often the legends are political. The 15th century poet Kabir was said to have been born from the palm of a virgin Hindu Brahmin widow, but that was actually a posthumous fabrication to hide the fact that he was from a Muslim family. On this matter the man himself would say, "I'm grapefruit / And I'm sweet lime / I'm Hindu / And I'm Muslim." Three thousand years before that, the Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut invented her own divine conception via the god Amon’s ”fragrance” in order to legitimate her rule. Personally, I think writing RPF fan fiction about your own mother sniffing a god is kind of wild, but I guess power makes people weird. During the Protestant Reformation, it was said that a mooncalf, or a cow born with a fold of skin over its head like a monk's cowl, signified "something terrible, indeed the most awful thing possible—Martin Luther." But, being the absolute chad he was, Luther wrote a pamphlet parodying it.
Anyway, the most famous miraculous birth is probably the virgin birth of Jesus. Which finally brings me to this paper from Gabriel Jose de Carli and Tiago Campos Pereira where they create a medical hypothesis for how to find out if a virgin birth—or parthenogenesis—has actually happened and just gone unnoticed. (DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2017.07.008) The entire paper is a showcase of some top notch galaxy brain science, with detailed consideration of how exactly parthenogenesis could happen in humans. Plus, they suggest genome sequencing every single newborn worldwide as a way to detect such an occurrence. It's bonkers, but now I've never wanted to see anything happen more. Someone call TLC.
That’s it! I’m gonna go cut some rhubarb and make myself an ice cold Something Good to chill with tonight, and I recommend you do the same.
Today’s Song: Pixies, “Where is My Mind?”
~ close this tab, and spin it, yeah ~