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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

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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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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