1. Don’t Be Afraid of Clowns — BuzzFeed
If the art and business of clowning are in cultural decline, that’s news to the seasoned, red-nosed faithful at this year’s World Clown Association gathering in Chicago. The next generation has big shoes to fill. Read it at BuzzFeed.
3. Crime Fiction — New Yorker
An engrossing story by Nicholas Schmidle about a Chicago man who was allegedly coerced by police into confessing a crime he didn’t commit. Was this an isolated incident or just one of many convictions that should be potentially overturned? Read it at the New Yorker.
The U.S. government is one of the world’s biggest buyers of AK-47s and other Soviet bloc weapons, which it has poured into Afghanistan, Iraq, and other hot spots. Aram Roston delivers an exclusive look at a strange string of U.S.-backed arms deals. Read it at BuzzFeed.
A fun piece by Camille Dodero: “As brands, Grumpy is corporate, Lil BUB is independent. As image macros, Grumpy’s caption refuses NO, Lil BUB’s affirms YES.” Read it at Spin.
6. Borgore Wants You To Know That He “Fucking Loves Women” — BuzzFeed
A popular Israeli DJ-producer widely criticized for misogynist lyrics is EDM’s most despised man and the poster child for the culture’s most controversial tendencies. Stacey Anderson asks: why doesn’t he see the problem? Read it at BuzzFeed.
7. The Future of Iced Coffee — Atlantic
Alexis C. Madrigal investigates the history of American coffee and the San Francisco company — and the man behind it — that may represent its next wave: “Can Freeman turn Blue Bottle into Starbucks without … turning it into Starbucks?” Read it at the Atlantic.
8. The Unforgotten — The Boston Globe
Along the U.S./Mexico border, forensics teams are trying to identify the hundreds of unidentified dead. Maria Sacchetti reports on the families still hoping that one of their loved ones will be found. Read it at the Boston Globe.
9. Selfless Portrait: Man Leaves $150M to City of Elkhart — Indianapolis Monthly
When David Gundlach died, he left a fortune to his hometown. But his old neighbors are still trying to find out who he really was. Read it at Indianapolis Monthly.
- Bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds began freezing large swathes of the U.S. Northeast ❄️