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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9 Feature Stories We’re Reading This Week: Detroit’s Rape Crisis And Letting Kids Be Kids

This week, stories about Detroit’s backlog of untested rape kits, what it’s like being a young adult with cancer, battling Danish brewers, the future of clean coal, a very successful silver thief, and more from around the web.

1. Being Raped in a Bankrupt City — BuzzFeed

Marissa McClain for BuzzFeed

There’s currently a backlog of over 11,000 untested rape kits in Detroit. Emily Orley introduces the prosecutor who’s attempting to change that — and the hurdles she faces. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The Overprotected KidThe Atlantic

Peter Yang for The Atlantic

Hanna Rosin discusses the shift toward hyper-safe playgrounds, one that hasn’t actually resulted in kids being safer, and in fact has a negative effect on their development. A new playground instead allows kids to literally play with fire — and may be the solution. Read it at The Atlantic.

3. On the Trail of a Silver ThiefGarden & Gun

Photograph by Audra Melton for Garden & Gun

Kim Severson discusses a highly skilled burglar who investigators believe made off with $12 million of fine silver from nearly a hundred homes in six Southern states over three years: “For most victims, the lost silver was an irreplaceable link to their history and their ancestors. They had become caretakers of the family legacy, and in a flash, it was gone.” Read it at Garden & Gun.

4. A Fight is BrewingNew York Times Magazine

Peter Yang for The New York Times

A fascinating look at the Danish identical twins behind cult breweries Mikkeller and Evil Twin: “The Bjergso brothers have opposite temperaments: Mikkel is reserved; Jeppe is an extrovert. And they are not on good terms, despite — or rather, because of — their shared infatuation with beer. They haven’t spoken to each other in more than a year.” Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

5. Wedding, Career, Chemo: When Cancer Derails the Millennial DreamMashable

Image courtesy of Jenna Benn for Mashable

Iris Mansour discusses the 6% of cancer patients who are 15 – 39, and the unique challenges they face. “Young adults battling cancer must face tortuous questions: Will my boyfriend or girlfriend abandon me to the demands of my disease? Can my friends relate to me anymore?” Read it at Mashable.

6. The Duke Lacrosse Player Still Outrunning His PastVanity Fair

Michael Dwyer / AP Photo / Via vanityfair.com

It’s been eight years since the Duke lacrosse team entered the national spotlight. Some of the players who were falsely accused of rape have moved on. But for Ryan McFadyen — who sent an email to teammates that became fodder for media speculation — the past hasn’t been so easy to leave behind. Read it at Vanity Fair.

7. Renewables Aren’t Enough. Clean Coal is the FutureWired

Photograph by Dan Winters for Wired

Charles C. Mann reports from China: “Because most Americans rarely see coal, they tend to picture it as a relic of the 19th century, black stuff piled up in Victorian alleys. In fact, a lump of coal is a thoroughly ubiquitous 21st-century artifact, as much an emblem of our time as the iPhone.” Read it at Wired.

8. A Long Journey to SpringESPN The Magazine

Photograph by Rob Tringali for ESPN The Magazine

This Tuesday, Mike Jirschele will spend his first Opening Day in the major leagues. It’s only taken him 36 years to make it to the majors — but he’s finally getting the call as a coach for the Kansas City Royals. His story only starts with baseball, though. Read it at ESPN The Magazine.

9. How Young Thug Got Trapped By A $15,000 Advance From A Major Label

Photograph by Cam Kirk / Via camkirk.tumblr.com

Rapper Young Thug could be hip-hop’s next big star, but his career has hit frustrating music-industry roadblocks along the way. Naomi Zeichner asks how that happened — and what can labels do for rappers now, anyway. Read it at BuzzFeed.

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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: 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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