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What I’m Reading 6.17.14

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 6.27.00 AM

Sunday night I was set to fly from Chicago to Charlotte at 9pm. I’d booked the late flight to allow more time at home with my parents on Father’s Day. We live an hour from the airport and are always there excessively early so when we rolled into Arrivals at 7:30p the courtesy call from US Airways was already too late: The plane wouldn’t leave until 1am. My dad tried to convince me to stay another night, but I was already there and–damnit–I would get home.

We ended up not leaving until closer to 2am, landing me back in my apartment around 5am. The best thing about sitting in an airport for 7 hours and flying overnight with little to no sleep is nothing. But the silver lining is that I had at least already downloaded a bunch of books.

Here’s what I’m reading online and elsewhere…

Animal Madness – Inspired by her neurotic Burmese mountain dog Oliver who once chewed through a screen and leapt from a third-story window in a fit of separation anxiety, Laurel Braitman explores non-human animal madness in all its forms. From suicidal monkeys to fatally “heartbroken” bears, Braitman tells a haunting tale of how captivity, mental stress and physical abuse can drive animals insane.

What is Organic? You May Be Surprised – Based on a poll showing that the majority of consumers nationwide assume that USDA organic labels on food indicate humane treatment of animals, the ASPCA outlines the real regulations (or lack thereof) in organic farming in relation to outdoor access, cage space, genetic engineering and physical alterations (like debeaking). It’s depressing.

The End of Cuisine – This is just a gorgeous look (verbally and visually) at a 50-course meal.

Becoming Sweetie: The Little Girl Who Took on Child Predators – One of the more fascinating and heart-wrenching things I’ve seen in a while, this FastCo feature takes a look at the technology (and the motivation) behind creating a life-like 3D little girl to catch over a thousand internet pedophiles around the world. Terre de Hommes, a group of passionate civilians in the Netherlands, bypassed law enforcement to take the matter of child sex exploitation into their own hands in a brilliantly executed undercover sting. Really intense.

That’s a heavy reading roundup, huh? I’ll read something light and mindless at the beach this weekend.

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