Book reviews and essays
A new book says you should talk to strangers. Counterpoint: no: on Kio Stark’s When Strangers Meet
The fine line between romance and madness: on Frank Tallis’s The Incurable Romantic
How depression has- and hasn’t- become normalized: on Daphne Merkin’s This Close to Happy
Advice columns are thriving- but are they actually doing any good?
A short story in Harper’s has sparked a feud between Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Frost’s descendants
The kindness of strangers: on Larissa MacFarquhar’s Strangers Drowning
Science and psychology
Too many doctors still believe dangerous racial stereotypes
How a public suicide harms the people who see it
Why do we hate people who try so hard?
Why it feels so good to cry in the shower
Why Pixar movies make us cry
I tried to get high on chocolate with help from a New Age shaman
How would the ordeal in “Room” affect a kid in real life?
How using Emoji makes us less emotional
Entomologists explain: How realistic are the trained cockroaches on “Orange Is the New Black”?
Gender and culture
What it’s like growing up in the Evangelical purity movement
The Real Farmers of Tanzania: Oxfam is funding a reality TV show to empower female farmers. But is it working?
Grown women don’t need a “best friend”
How capital letters became Internet code for yelling
Why can’t we stop talking about “bikini bodies?”
Sheryl Sandberg is right: The word “bossy” is gendered
Americans have started saying “queue.” Blame Netflix.