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What Happened When 'Birthright Tour' Participants Sought Answers About Palestine

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On a tour of Israel organized by Birthright, a few Americans were labeled “troublemakers” as they sought out a different perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict; academics are studying emojis; and in some towns, it floods even when there’s no rain now. These discoveries and more below.

They Walked Out On Birthright To See Palestinians — And Created Their Own Conflict
Katie Fenster says that she wasn’t planning on walking out on her Birthright Israel tour when she arrived. But during the free 10-day trip, she grew increasingly frustrated that the answers to her questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “all came from one perspective” and “did not include Palestinian views.”

From Yiddish to Outer Space: On the Origins of One Mysterious Word
What’s in a glitch? You’d be surprised.

Why TV Shows Have Better Queer Characters Than Movies
There’s a reason TV is ahead. This video explains.

VR: Between Hope, Hype, and Humbug
Virtual reality has found its place in the sun.

Soaring Cost of Clues Leaves Thomas Friedman Apparently Unable to Buy One
In a period of record-low productivity growth, Thomas Friedman tells us the robots are taking all the jobs. Hey, no one ever said you had to have a clue to write for the New York Times.

Sanitized Radicals: Whitewashing 20th Century Socialists
Ah, conservatives. From Fox News to the Wall Street Journal, their reflex response to any fundamental change to the market economy is immediate patronizing dismissal.

Space Is Full of Dirty, Toxic Grease, Scientists Reveal
Research to calculate amount of ‘space grease’ in the Milky Way found enough for 40 trillion trillion trillion packs of butter.

Did Anthony Kennedy’s Son Loan Donald Trump $1 Billion?
Deutsche Bank loaned Trump over $1 billion while Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s son led a real-estate division.

Why Palestine Matters
Why does Palestine matter? It’s a question I ask myself nearly every day. Another way to put it is, “Is the devotion of major attention to the plight of the Palestinians an obsession worthy of suspicion or an appropriate response to a grave historic and continuing injustice?”

17th-Century Dutch Painters Were the Original Instagram Influencers
Pronkstilleven—or “showy still-lifes”—conveyed the social aspirations of the middle class. Dutch basics, if you will.

Meet America’s New Climate Normal: Towns That Flood When It Isn’t Raining
In an extract from “Rising,” Elizabeth Rush explains ‘sunny day flooding’ – when a high tide can cause streets to fill with water.

Please Enjoy This Incredible Video of Two Canadians Trying to Avoid Arrest at a Convenience Store
You need to watch all the way through for an absolutely tremendous twist.

The Blame is Bipartisan: How the Democrats Ruined Central America and Worsened the Mess at the Border
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat its mistakes blah blah blah, someone said —Americans don’t even pay attention to the news, so how the heck are they supposed to remember it after it becomes history?

Academics Gathered to Share Emoji Research, and It Was ?
Linguists and data scientists see a new way to study language and communication in our little digital ideograms.

Larry Gross
Contributor
Larry Gross is a longtime contributor and a Truthdig advisory board member. Truthdig also features items from his blog, "Larry's List" in our Ear to the Ground. A specialist in the areas of media and culture,…
Larry Gross

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