Lapham's Quarterly has an amazing article on the history (both recent and not), as well as the symbolism, of the “last meal” before an execution:
Death eludes the living, and we are drawn to anything that offers the possibility of glimpsing the undiscovered country. If, as the French epicure Anthelme Brillat-Savarin suggested, we are what we eat, then a final meal would seem to be the ultimate self-expression.
The last meal is an oddly symbolic and life-affirming ritual in the vigorously dehumanized environment of death row. In that sense, it’s hard to see the modern last meal in America as actually being about anything.
The Free Exchange blog over at The Economist is taking a look at the debate over the economic benefits of slavery. There are many facets to this debate that are not intuitive, like whether vast misallocation of human capital, and the deprivation of entrepreneurialism (etc.), negated any other economic benefits:
whatever the benefit of the system to slave-owners, its abolition made as much economic sense as anything can.
Kitty Morgan, a former magazine editor, has an amazing, personal essay about watching the lavishes of tech industry, while her industry dies:
But what if you don’t hate, or resent, or self-righteously mock the Bus? What if you want to be on the Bus? What if, when you are pedaling madly at 6:45 in the morning and watching the Bus pull away, the emotion you feel is not anger, but envy?
While it is often portrayed that social mores and taboos in India continue to reflect that of your prudish Great, Great Grandparents, under the surface, at least, there are many agents of change at work. The Wall Street Journal has the story of India's first radio stations aimed at the Gay Community:
“I think the general attitude is appalling even in the urban areas. We have the laws, but it doesn’t bring about social change immediately. Changing mindsets is what’s needed,” Mr. Srivatsa told India Real Time. “That’s one of the goals of the station,” he added.
There has been plenty of coverage of Twitter's IPO filing, a notable discovery from their SEC filings is that Twitter made $47.5 million from directly selling data to data miners:
Twitter data aren't a perfect crystal ball. The service's most active U.S. users aren't entirely representative of the American population. According to the Pew Internet Project, though three-quarters of American adults are sharing information on social-networking sites, Twitter users, in particular, skew young—30% are under the age of 30. College graduates and wealthier Americans also have higher rates of Twitter use, but that gap is small, and narrowing.
Twitter is still figuring out how to extract the most value from its data business, which grew 53% over the past year, according to papers the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has clamped down on the amount of data that outside firms are allowed to pull from its system free of charge.
That is all.