‘Counter-Strike’ has sold over 25 million units, making it one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time. Miyaoka Hitchcock/flickr

Gaming

How the US military is using ‘violent, chaotic, beautiful’ video games to train soldiers

Two researchers interviewed military members and vets to see what role first-person shooters played in their lives – before, during and after their enlistments.
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day. Terry Ballard/flickr

Literature

What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.
Genking, a male-born Japanese TV personality and ‘genderless’ pioneer. _genking_/Instagram

Gender

Japan’s gender-bending history

In Japanese popular culture, new trends come and go. But the Japanese have toyed with gender norms for generations.
A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000. Reuters

Lifestyle

The destructive life of a Mardi Gras bead

Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.
A 1941 photograph depicts the Chicago Defender’s linotype operators. Wikimedia Commons

Media

Can the black press stay relevant?

From the treatment of black World War II veterans to Emmett Till's murder, the black press helped lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement. What role can it play today?
Director Asghar Farhadi wins the award for best screenplay at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Yves Herman/Reuters

Film

How Iranian filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi defy the censors

Their critiques may be more gentle, their attacks more circumspect – but they are resonant nonetheless. And when filmmakers like Farhadi confront Trump, they're on familiar turf: They've seen his type back home.
'Crayons' via www.shutterstock.com

Race

Who counts as black?

With the number of multiracial Americans growing, there's a fierce debate in the black community over who's black – and who isn't.
'Secrets' via www.shutterstock.com

Media

How should you read unnamed sources and leaks?

With an explosion of media outlets that don't adhere to mainstream journalistic standards, it's became difficult for readers to know whether to trust reports based on unnamed sources and leaks.

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