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Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: KidZania, Flashbombs, And Tiny Homes

This week for BuzzFeed News, Tim Murphy visits the Pacific Northwest, where new communities made up of tiny homes are providing some with an alternative to homelessness. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed and around the web.

1. Are Tiny-House Villages the Solution to Homelessness? — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Leah Nash for BuzzFeed

Tiny homes, once limited to the dreams of sustainable design lovers, are now popping up in communities as viable alternatives to homelessness. Yet will they ever be more than a temporary solution? Read it at BuzzFeed News.

2. The Controversial Death of Ebola’s Unsung HeroMatter

Puppets by Jöns Mellgren for Matter

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, a world renowned ebola expert in Sierra Leone, was denied an experimental drug treatment by the international medical community when he fell ill with the virus. Joshua Hammer asks: Did he have to die? Read it at Matter.

3. Hotter Than Lava — ProPublica

Justin Volz for ProPublica

Military-style grenades, called “flashbangs,” can severely injure and even kill those who unsuspectedly fall in their paths. Yet, as Julia Angwin and Abbie Nehring investigate, that doesn’t stop police from regularly deploying them during raids with no oversight or consequence, and often on people who turn out to be innocent. Read it at ProPublica.

4. When I Grow UpThe New Yorker

Illustration by Nishant Choksi

Rebecca Mead visits KidZania, an international chain of theme parks where kids pretend to be grown ups, have jobs, and make money. “This is not about fantasy. This is not princesses and dwarfs.” Read it at The New Yorker.

5. Kaitlin Olson and the Perils of Being a (Funny) Woman in Hollywood — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Macey Foronda for BuzzFeed

The comedian, who is entering her last season as Sweet Dee in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, sits down with Erin La Rosa to reflect on finding her place in comedy and look ahead to life after Sunny. “I’m never going to understand what Middle America wants, because I’m on a show that Middle America doesn’t necessarily like, but I think is really funny.” Read it at BuzzFeed News.

6. The Weird Science of Naming New ProductsThe New York Times Magazine

Illustration by Paul Sahre

What’s in a name? As Neal Gabler comes to find, it’s millions of dollars and months of work for companies and those they entrust with defining their brands. Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

7. A River Runs Through ItThe Believer

Evening Standard / Stringer

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah gets a rare glimpse into Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios and offers a stunning account of its history and significance in black culture and the music industry at large. “Maybe the final wonder of Electric Lady is that, like the impossible river that still runs through it, it is alive and free in a way that makes one feel like Jimi is still there.” Read it at The Believer.

8. East of Palo Alto’s Eden — TechCrunch

Flickr: docsearls / Via Creative Commons

Kim-Mai Cutler explores the complex history of East Palo Alto, a Bay Area neighborhood known most for high levels of crime and poverty, and its relationship to the wealthy Silicon Valley giants that have boomed around it. Will the tech industry ultimately help the long-struggling community, or destroy it? Read it at TechCrunch.

9. DamageThe Big Roundtable

Via The Big Roundtable

An incredibly honest essay by Mariya Karimjee about learning to cope with the effects of female genital mutilation and forgiving her mother for allowing it to happen. “When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me.” Read it at The Big Roundtable.

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