Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Trans Rights, Lance Armstrong, And The Real Nick Cave

This week for BuzzReads, Nicole Pasulka profiles a transgender woman who sued the D.C. police. Read that and these other stories from around BuzzFeed and the web.

1. The Woman Who Helped Change How Police Treat Transgender People — BuzzFeed


After D.C. resident Patti Hammond Shaw was arrested, she claimed male officers searched her and locked her up with men who allegedly abused and threatened her. This is how she fought to make sure this won’t happen to others. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. Lance Armstrong in Purgatory: The AfterlifeEsquire

Photograph by Joe Pugliese for Esquire

John H. Richardson visits with the cyclist — now legendary for reasons off the bike: “Life is good, he insists. He has five happy children. He’s learned who his real friends are. And he is learning to not fight all the time. Really. A fringe benefit of crushing defeat is learning to accept things.” Read it at Esquire.

3. Cliven Bundy’s WarGQ

Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal / AP Photo

Zach Baron travels to the Nevada desert eight days after a “successful” rebellion against the US government: “Before the republic — that’s what I’d been calling it in my head: the Independent Sovereign Republic of Cliven Bundy — this was a disused gravel pit. Now it’s a sandy hospitality suite for the men who’d come to fight.” Read it at GQ.

4. How College Wrestling Star “Tiger Mandingo” Became An HIV Scapegoat — BuzzFeed

Justine Zwiebel for BuzzFeed

In St. Charles, Missouri, a once popular college wrestler named Michael Johnson was incarcerated for exposing partners to HIV — to much community uproar. Steven Thrasher examines why so many are so eager to turn against him. Read it at BuzzFeed.

5. In Sweden, Being a Prostitute Is Legal, But Paying for One Isn’t — BuzzFeed

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

The “Nordic model” is becoming ever more influential around the world, Jina Moore reports. But public health officials and some human rights workers wonder if Sweden is making life worse for prostitutes. Read it at BuzzFeed.

6. I Am the Real Nick CaveNew York Times Magazine

Drafthouse Films / Via nytimes.com

John Wray profiles the singular musician, screenwriter, novelist, and occasional actor as he promotes 20,000 Days on Earth, a film about his life. “Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries … Cave has managed to invent a self-contained, coherent fictional world that both he and his followers can enter at will; a kind of exercise in collaborative mythmaking that seems to deepen with each variation on the theme.” Read it at the New York Times Magazine.

7. Swing Away: The Untold Story Of The First Home Run DerbyFox Sports

Fox Sports North

Twenty years ago, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game featured the first-ever home run derby. Erik Malinowski explains what made it so special: “All that the contest needed to do was live up to the hype. What resulted instead was a fortuitous confluence of events that added up to one of the most remarkable afternoons in baseball history.” Read it at Fox Sports.

8. “Speaking up every. Fucking. Time”Matter

Illustration by Victo Ngai for Matter

Elizabeth Spiers set out to profile Shanley Kane, the 27-year-old co-creator and now sole proprietor of Model View Culture, a media organization focused on diversity in tech. What she found was a surprising challenge. Read it at Matter.

9. She’s Still Dying on FacebookThe Atlantic

flickr/Holly Lay / Via theatlantic.com

Five years after her best high school friend died, the result of a long struggle with addiction, Julie Buntin writes movingly about her continued half-life on social media. Read it at The Atlantic.

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Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Tinder, A Water Park, And Atheism’s Misogyny

This week for BuzzReads, Mark Oppenheimer questions whether organized atheism is hostile to women. Read that and these other stories from BuzzFeed and around the web.

1. Will Misogyny Bring Down the Atheist Movement? — BuzzFeed

John Gara / BuzzFeed

The continuing debate over a murky sexual encounter at a 2008 convention for cheekily anti-establishment skeptics underscores a broader dilemma: How can a progressive, important intellectual community behave so poorly towards its female peers? Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The Afghan Girls Who Live as BoysThe Atlantic

Photos by Adam Ferguson for The Atlantic

A fascinating story by Jenny Nordberg about why some families in Afghanistan raise their daughters as boys until they hit puberty — despite much risk. Read it at The Atlantic.

3. Two Undocumented Kids Made It To Connecticut, But That’s Only The Beginning — BuzzFeed

Nicolas Mora / BuzzFeed

More than 60,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have already arrived this year. Two of the lucky ones tell their harrowing story to BuzzFeed News’ Nicolás Medina Mora. Read it at BuzzFeed.

4. The Wet StuffGrantland

Dave Kaup / Reuters

Dave Kaup / Reuters


How did a Kansas City water park decide to build the biggest, tallest, fastest water slide in history? Bryan Curtis goes to the Midwest to find out (and to ride the thing, too). Read it at Grantland.

5. The Eternal PaternalNew Yorker

Photograph by Milton H. Greene / Archive Images

Kelefa Sanneh on Bill Cosby: “When The Cosby Show made its debut, in 1984, he was already one of the most successful comics of his generation, and a television star of long standing. The show made him an American archetype: the personification of fatherhood, a word that was also the title of his best-selling book of observations and advice.” Read it at the New Yorker.

6. At Home, Kinda, With Ryan Adams — BuzzFeed

Phtograph by Jessica Chou for BuzzFeed

An alt-country wunderkind who hates country music, a restlessly prolific songwriter stifled by his label, a reformed hell-raiser determined to maintain privacy in a celebrity marriage. For 20 tumultuous years, Bob Mehr writes, Ryan Adams has done things the hard way, but thanks to a thriving new studio-cum-clubhouse — and a surprising amount of pinball — he’s finally at ease. Read it at BuzzFeed.

7. Double T’s Last RideSB Nation

USA Today Images

Susan Shepard introduces an iconic Texas Tech mascot, a horrible tragedy that befell it twenty years ago, and how both reflect unique Lubbock, Texas: “In Lubbock, Texas, people bleed black and red.” Read it at SB Nation.

8. How I Rebuilt Tinder And Discovered The Shameful Secret Of Attraction — BuzzFeed

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Anne Helen Petersen builds as a Tinder simulator to discover what makes us swipe right: “more than other dating services, which offer up comprehensive match dossiers, Tinder appears to encourage these narratives and crystallize the extrapolation process and package it into a five-second, low-stakes decision. We swipe, in other words, because of semiotics.” Read it at BuzzFeed.

9. Excarnation in TexasOxford American

Ajay Malghan / Via oxfordamerican.org

An essay by Alex Mar about visiting a body farm and the lives of the people who’ve donated their bodies to science: “The smell of rotting human corpses is unique and uniquely efficient. You need never have experienced the scent before, but the moment you do, you recognize it: the stench of something gone horribly wrong. It reeks of rotten milk and wet leather.” Read it at Oxford American.

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Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Astrology, Cruises, And Adventure Time

This week for BuzzReads, Amanda Petrusich explores why astrology is gaining popularity. Read that and these other great stories from around BuzzFeed and web.

1. Is It Time For Us To Take Astrology Seriously? — BuzzFeed

Illustration by Justine Zwiebel for BuzzFeed

In an April marked by angry eclipses portending unexpected change, the ancient, long-debunked practice of astrology and its preeminent ambassador might be weirdly suited for the 21st century. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The Ballad of Geeshie and ElvieNew York Times

A beautifully written and beautifully presented story by John Jeremiah Sullivan about about searching for two mysterious women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace. Read it at the New York Times.

3. The Confidence GapThe Atlantic

Edmon de Haro for The Atlantic

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman discuss the confidence gap that exists between men and women, about which they’ve written a book: “Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology.” Read it at The Atlantic.

4. Station to Station — Pitchfork

An lengthy but outstanding piece by Eric Harvey examining the past, present and future of streaming music. He explores how the rise of sites like Spotify and Pandora are affecting the ideas of taste, access and ownership, and listeners and artists alike. Read it at Pitchfork.

5. A Star Player Accused, and a Flawed Rape InvestigationNew York Times

Leslye Davis / The New York Times

A must-read piece by Walt Bogdanich about the Florida State University freshman who was allegedly raped by Jameis Winston, the eventual Heisman Trophy winner — and the flawed investigation that followed. Read it at the New York Times.

6. Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the DodgersLos Angeles Magazine

Photograph by Joe Pugliese for Los Angeles Magazine

Baseball fans have seen the talents of Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ right fielder who crushed 19 homers and nearly won the Rookie of the Year award in 2013. What they haven’t heard is the story of his journey to the States — one that involves a boxer, a pinup girl, a Santeria priest, and a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. And a whole lot of money. Read it at Los Angeles Magazine.

7. Why Royal Caribbean’s Newest Ship Represents A Critical Test For The Cruise Industry — BuzzFeed

Via Royal Caribbean

Quantum of the Seas sets sail in November and could mark the beginning of boom times for the industry, Peter Lauria writes, or it could forever doom it. Read it at BuzzFeed.

8. It’s Adventure TimeThe Awl

Maria Bustillos on the kids (is it for kids?) show:Adventure Time is a smash hit cartoon aimed primarily at kids age six to eleven. It’s also a deeply serious work of moral philosophy, a rip-roaring comic masterpiece, and a meditation on gender politics and love in the modern world.” Read it at The Awl.

9. Gabriel García Márquez, The Art of Fiction No. 69The Paris Review

Edgard Garrido / Reuters

A 1981 interview with the Colombian writer, who died this week at age 87. “It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.” Read it at The Paris Review.

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Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: The Yid Army, Sia And Two Guys Named Steve

This week for BuzzReads, David Peisner considers a British soccer club’s anti-Semitic nickname and explores whether chanting it should be made illegal. Read that and these other stories from BuzzFeed and the rest of the web.

1. The Yid Army Goes to War — BuzzFeed

Cal Sport Media / Landov

Is Tottenham Hotspur’s nickname an anti-Semitic slur that should get its fans arrested, a misunderstood tradition, or a rousing cry for Jewish pride? Whatever the answer, it has become a flashpoint for discussion of free speech, civility, and the public image of an increasingly lucrative sport. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The Internet Is Being Protected By Two Guys Named Steve — BuzzFeed

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Chris Stokel-Walker reports on how the Heartbleed bug has put the spotlight on OpenSSL, the security toolkit used by many of the internet’s biggest sites and looked after primarily by two men who’ve never met in person. For the first time, Steve Marquess and Stephen Henson speak about how they became the overworked, underpaid stewards of our online security. Read it at BuzzFeed.

3. “Ugh. I miss it.”Washington Post

Photograph by Matt McClain for the Washington Post

A haunting portrait by Eli Saslow of a veteran trying to acclimate to civilian life, and the numerous challenges he faces. “Like so many vets, they missed the camaraderie. And as with so many vets, their lives at home were defined less by togetherness than by isolation, which took on many forms.” Read it at the Washington Post.

4. What Michael DidToronto Star

Amy Dempsey reports on a Ontario family ripped apart twelve years ago when the grown middle child, a schizophrenic, murdered his mother. “How does a family learn to live with a loss of such magnitude while occupying conflicting roles: husband, daughter and sons of the victim, and also father, sister and brothers of the killer?” Read it at the Toronto Star.

5. Inside Bryan Singer’s Wild Hollywood World — BuzzFeed

Herman / Splash News (Egan), Tommaso Boddi / WireImage (Singer)

Known for surrounding himself with beautiful young men, X-Men director Bryan Singer has found his private life under intense scrutiny due to a lawsuit alleging sex abuse. Adam B. Vary investigates Singer’s tangled network of power, money, sex, and gay Hollywood. Read it at BuzzFeed.

6. Sia Furler, the Socially Phobic Pop StarNew York Times

Illustration by Jenny Morgan, based on a photograph by Cindy Ord / Getty Images. / Via nytimes.com

Steve Knopper profiles the reclusive musician who has struggled with addiction and doesn’t crave fame. “Writing for others allowed Furler to hide in plain sight for years.” Read it at the New York Times.

7. Enduring GuiltESPN The Magazine

Illustration by Alexander Wells for ESPN The Magazine

Ten years ago athlete-turned-soldier Pat Tillman was accidentally killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Mike Fish explores how that happened, and how the lives of his family and those implicated in his death are still intertwined. Read it at ESPN The Magazine.

8. The Mind ReadersMedium


In an article that originally appeared in Mosaic Science, Roger Highfield discusses the doctors working to free apparently vegetative patients who, brain scans reveal, can still think and feel: “The number of patients with disorders of consciousness has soared in recent decades, ironically, because of the rise and success of intensive care and medical technologies.” Read it at Medium.

9. Mystery Science 3000: The Definitive History of a TV MasterpieceWired

Platon / Via wired.com

Creator Joel Hodgson, eventual host Mike J. Nelson and more lend their perspectives on the cult television program. Brian Raftery writes: “At a time when depictions of geekery were limited mostly to Urkel and Comic Book Guy, the denizens of the Satellite of Love were brazenly brainy—which explains why MST3K’s fan base reportedly included such meganerds as Al Gore and Patton Oswalt.” Read it at Wired.

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