SundayReads_Clit

Sunday Reads: A Historical Mission to Find the Clit, The Straight Guys Taking Over Grindr and the Trolls of Bodybuilding.Com

When I was 11, I thought fast-food companies were our county’s biggest enemy, preying on the poor and making us all obese in the process. I’d just watched Super Size Me, read Fast Food Nation and had been aggressively listening to Green Day’s American Idiot. McDonald’s was “The Man” — and I needed to stick it to him. These days, though, it seems as if there might be some more pressing Filet-O-Fish to fry, like climate change and global socioeconomic inequality. And while in my heart I still think fast-food chains are corporate pigs who sling trans fats instead of slop, the adult in me gives their founders at least a little credit for building a business (and business model) and watching it grow. All of which is why autobiographies by people like Dave Thomas of Wendy’s and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s are so fascinating.

How To Do Nothing

When was the last time you truly did nothing? Not just the “binge-watching Netflix,” or the “mindlessly scrolling through Instagram” type of nothing, but the kind of nothing where you simply observe your surroundings or leisurely walk around with no podcast to grip your mind? Author, artist and Stanford professor Jenny Odell thinks that the practice of “doing nothing” is exactly what our overstimulated brains need. Between work, the 24-hour news cycle and our smartphones constantly vying for our attention, we’re often unable to focus or simply do one thing at a time (let alone everything filling your to-do list). According to Odell, making a practice of doing nothing is a way to reclaim your attention span from those evil screens and develop a sense of NOMO – the Necessity Of Missing Out.

Sir No ‘Sir’

Customer service workers in the U.S. are seemingly hardwired to call every man they interact with “sir.” But according to Brit Chris Bourn, “In the U.K. if you call someone ‘sir,’ and you’re not addressing your superior in the armed forces, chances are you’re either dosing them with sarcasm or being deeply, creepily, Downton Abbey-ly deferential.” In fact, there are lots of good reasons not to call people “sir” — namely, it’ll make them feel old as hell. Plus, if you truly want someone to like you, you’re better off figuring out their name.

Keeping Polygraphs Alive

Thanks to serious questions about a polygraph test’s accuracy, few in the scientific community are willing to stand behind it — and attempting to use it in court is almost automatic grounds for appeal. Yet, according to features writer Eddie Kim, the age of #MeToo has been a boon for the industry, as both victims and alleged assailants alike are attempting to prove that their version of events are the truth.

Straight Guys of Grindr

Grindr, the dating/hookup app of record for gay men, is gaining popularity among an unintended demographic: straight men. Or better put, straight men looking to hook up with trans women. Unfortunately, the unexpected consequence of this straight M4T trend is the effect it’s having on gay men, who have begun to feel as though they’re losing control of one of the only spaces that was built specifically for them.

You’re Gonna Like The Way You Look… I Guarantee It

As blink-182 so accurately stated in their 1999 hit “All The Small Things,” “Work sucks, I know.” Given our collective, daily slog, people have all sorts of ways to burn off steam and exorcise the demons created by a long day at the office. An evening run, a stiff drink, a fat bowl — basically, whatever works. But have you ever tried completely ruining a business suit, maybe like the kind your boss wears? A new and growing crop of YouTubers are using eggs, milk and other foodstuffs to trash fancy business-like threads, and for fans of the suit-busting genre, it’s the next best thing to throwing a can of paint in their boss’ face.

Quiz Show Scandal

In the 1950s, writer Charles Van Doren had some big shoes to fill. His father, Mark, was a Pulitzer Prize-winner, as was his uncle Carl. As such, he was raised in privilege as a member of an elite Connecticut family, attending and eventually teaching at Columbia. But merely being an academic wasn’t enough for the younger Van Doren. Which is how he found himself winning money and fame as a contestant on the rigged quiz show, Twenty-One, now considered one of television’s most epic scandals. When the ruse finally came crumbling down after a congressional investigation, Van Doren had tarnished both his and his family’s reputation forever, and in the process, he became the 20th century’s most infamous failson.

Let’s Get Physical

Anime has long grown out of its reputation as low-brow cartoons for nerds and perverts. In fact, anime has proved itself to be quite a multi-faceted art form, and, as Singaporean investor Sean Seah recently discovered, a surprisingly effective means of getting in shape.

But Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…