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The Traveling Troupe of Giant Marionettes

Photo: Pascal Victor

“Each giant, built with light and flexible poplar wood, is controlled on a system of hydraulic pulleys and levers by 20 to 40 members of the Royal de Luxe troupe, called Lilliputians.”


I Went to a Spa for My Uterus and This is My Story

v-steam“The V-steam is the Americanized version of a centuries-old Korean tradition called chai-yok, during which women hover over a piping hot cauldron of Wormwood and Mugwort to be thoroughly cleansed from the inside out. Wormwood and Mugwort, which sounds like a class Neville Longbottom would excel in at Hogwarts, are actually herbs that have alleged antibiotic and antifungal properties, as well as healing powers. Basically, it’s sorcery for your vagina.”

Illustrations by Joel Benjamin

Hallowed Be Thy Name Brand: The Religious Consumerism of Megachurch’s Joel Osteen

“He is selling hope as a McDonald’s commercial, if McDonald’s sold DELUXE GOD MEALS. Sit there. Watch him. There are moments of transparent, theatrical pause: a deep sigh, a squint, like he is waiting for GOD Himself to transmit His word, and then GOD does, and Osteen has received it. He is so bewildered, he can’t believe it, its clarity and potency, and now he’s about to share it with you, folks, for the low-low price of $ETERNALDEVOTION.99.”

Money, Not Marital Status, Has the Most Impact on How Parents Raise Kids

Family“[The study] found that it’s money, not marriage, that has the greater impact on parenting practices. This was particularly noticeable when it came to participation in extracurricular activities. “For example, the extracurricular participation in sports of children in families at 200 percent or more of the poverty level is 42.5 percent, while the participation of those in poverty is 22.5 percent, a difference of 20 percentage points…Most parents in all categories are conscientious parents who read to their kids, eat with their kids, and try to keep their kids engaged in activities besides TV-watching. But low-income parents often struggle to find the time, which suggests that more economic opportunities are needed to close up the gaps.”

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