1. Interstellar Isn't About Religion (and Also It Is Totally About Religion)
"While the film has a marked admiration for science—it is science, in the end, that helps humanity to rescue itself—it has just as much respect for wonder and awe and what you might call, in the broadest and perhaps even the narrowest sense, faith."
2. Drones Now Patrol Half of U.S.-Mexico Border
In an era of increased security but finite resources, the U.S. government has dispatched Predator Bs to sweep remote areas and detect people (or cows, it seems) entering the country.
3. Why John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight Is Better Than The Daily Show and Colbert
Where Stewart and Colbert simply reaffirm shared values, "Oliver’s brand of journalism (which is, of course, couched as cheerful Sunday-night entertainment) often has an actual, demonstrable impact on public consciousness.”
4. The Most Heartbreaking Place in America Is Called ‘Friendship Park’
ThinkProgress’ Jack Jenkins and Esther Boyd traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to chronicle the struggles of immigrant life. In this first piece, they tell the story of immigrants whose only glimpse of family is through an 18-foot steel fence between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
5. ‘Feminist’ Isn’t a Buzzword
Annually, ‘round the holidays, TIME does a survey to see which buzzword (i.e., “selfie,” “YOLO,” or this year, “basic” and, inexplicably, “kale”) should fall off a cliff and die at the end of the year. Typically, the average person could find all of the words on this list grating and overused. However, this year’s list boasts an odd — and downright offensive — contender: “feminist.”
6. These Beautiful Art Works Were Made by Homeless People
"It's an important point that this isn't a charity," [Liz] Powers, [founder of Artlifting.com] says. "All the artists we work with are dying to earn their own income and not have a handout. They're the ones who are earning their way."
7. The Dreadful Inconvenience of Salad
MASON JAR SALAD VENDING MACHINES, y’all. But — will offering salad in as convenient a package as junk food make people eat healthier?
8. Why Did North Korea Release Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller?
“For now, the Obama Administration professes to be mystified by the North Koreans’ motives. Asked in Beijing on Monday whether the release of the detainees gave him a better indication of Kim Jong-un’s strategy toward the United States, the President answered with a single word: ‘No.’”
9. Vincent Gordon Harding and Rosemarie Freeney Harding: A Biographical Timeline
Vincent and Rosemarie Harding—as teachers, mentors, and scholars—influenced a generation of activists in the name of social justice and equality. See this interactive timeline to walk through the lives and work of the Hardings and the significant figures who inspired them on their journey.
10. An Emoticon Translation of the Bible?(!)
Apparently there is a Kickstarter campaign to translate the Bible using only emoticons. In case you’re wondering what an emoticon is: “a representation of a facial expression such as:-) (representing a smile), formed by various combinations of keyboard characters and used in electronic communications to convey the writer's feelings or intended tone.” (Thanks, Google!) While it’s only raised $23.00 of it’s $25K goal, an interesting proposition indeed.