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Big Stories

Weekend Reads, Dec. 11

Our special guest this week is Juliane Leopold, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed Germany, talking about some of her favorite stories recently.

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BuzzFeed isn’t the only outlet that’s focused on mental health over the last week. Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, wrote a fantastic, detailed story in the December issue of The Atlantic about teenage suicides in Palo Alto, California. The tech environment of the area suggests you’re a loser if you haven’t made millions by the age of 23. That puts a lot of people — especially young people — under pressure to succeed.

I’m German, so it’s only fair that I enjoy a bit of schadenfreude. Since it’s our most successful export since kindergarten, you might also enjoy this bit of schadenfreude content: C.A. Pinkham writes about horrible customers in restaurants, ridiculous orders, and other funny stories in the hospitality industry. Recently, Pinkham moved his stories about stupid restaurant customers to Wonkette. Some of Pinkham’s older stories can be found over at Jezebel.

There’s been some bad news coming out of Europe over the past weeks: Terrorist attacks in Paris, a far-right backlash at elections, and bombing campaigns against ISIS in Syria. The decision to make German Chancellor Angela Merkel Time magazine’s Person of the Year stands out as particularly positive, or at least as a pleasant surprise for her supporters. For more information on Merkel, this New Yorker profile from 2014 explains how she became one of Germany’s most successful chancellors.