What happens when a blond, blue-eyed cheerleader accuses her school’s black star athlete of rape? Well, first, she’s kicked off the squad for refusing to cheer for him. My report on how this three-year-old case continues to roil Silsbee, Texas.
Oh, hey. I was at some Tumblr party last Friday where I was apparently looking furry/creepy. These two exceedingly lovely ladies are pals from my Newsweek days, Jess and Katherine. Both of whom are decidedly less furry and creepy than yours truly. You should follow them (in a non-creepy/furry way).
This was right after Braiker told me to go “fix my braid” for our picture.
Oh, Sweet Valley, you’re back, and I love you, even if I’ve seriously outgrown you. And since I tried my very best to (unsuccessfully) convince the non-80s-reared editors in my office that you were a REAL phenom among us Gen X/Millennial gals, three interesting factoids from my profile of Francine Pascal, in advance of her latest, Sweet Valley Confidential:
1. Francine Pascal had never set foot in California when she birthed the Sweet Valley series. A lifelong New Yorker, she grew up in a Jewish family in Queens.
2. In 1985, Sweet Valley High was the first teen fiction to ever appear on The New York Times paperback bestsellers list, alongside John Updike and Norman Mailer.
3. In the beginning, Sweet Valley was deemed too “commercial” for many booksellers, who refused to stock it. The Times snubbed the series (despite it appearing on their bestseller list), and librarians fought to keep their stacks free of the “skimpy-looking paperbacks,” as one library journal put it. Nevertheless, the series became a case study in how to get young girls to read.
And now, all the 1980s chick-lit nostalgia to bring you back, in one tidy Daily Beast gallery.
I mean, how can you not love a magazine called The Gentlewoman?
(From the makers of Fantastic Man.)
William Faulkner, Hollywood, 1940s // SEE: writers and their typewriters
Posting this while procrastinating being a writer at my laptop (which does not look nearly as cool as being a writer with my typewriter). Go figure.
Yay. I love this photo. Also: this week is the 40th anniversary of Reagan’s “War on Drugs.”
Is Sweden’s Classroom-Free School the Future of Learning?
Sweden’s Vittra Telefonplan says goodbye to the “conventional classroom” and focuses on creative design. This means in place of desks, there are “sitting islands,” and students can collaborate with peers in “the village”—a tiny house for group work.
The Swedes. Amazing.
In this April 1981 Newsweek cover, the editors called the just-launched space shuttle program—which began with the Columbia—the “most spectacular sales promotion in history.” They predicted that the future in space lied with private industry—a belief mirrored by the Obama administration nearly three decades later:
Once investment in space loses its element of risk, predicts NASA’s Bekey, “industry will jump in.” If so, Columbia’s historic voyage may turn out to be not only a splendid technical and scientific achievement, but also perhaps the most spectacular sales promotion in history. Even as mankind’s great adventure in space is getting under way, it is also, in a sense, ending. Impelled by the dual human imperatives to explore—and to see if some money can be made at it—we have begun to probe the very fringes of a great uncharted sea; already, we want to know where the best fishing is.