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Identity

All writers in this collection speak for themselves—and themselves alone.


Beyond Salty and Sweet: A Budding Club of Tastes

New York Times contributor Peter Andrey Smith examines new ideas about the types of tastes we may be able to perceive.

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Catfish Culture: How MTV’s Reality Show Is Leaching into Pop Culture (and Reality)

Writer Libby Hill examines television, namely period dramas like The Americans and Masters of Sex, and concludes that the identities people assume in life are both true and false.

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Dive Nights

This brief memoir examines the conflict within a family when an economic reality crashes into a cultural value. Writer Jiayang Fan tries to understand why her parents accused her of a family "crime" that she did not commit and did not understand.

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Epcot Taught Me to Love International Food

Writer Alexandra Owens describes how she discovered international cuisine by visiting EPCOT's World Showcase in Walt Disney World.

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Facebook: The New Meaning of "Friend"

Writer Val Brown shares her own take on how Facebook has redefined the word "friend."

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How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

Psychology expert and New Yorker contributor Maria Konnikova reports how Facebook may be affecting users' emotional states.

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How to Tell When Someone Is Lying

Maria Konnikova, a New Yorker blogger who focuses on psychology and science, investigates people's conscious and unconscious abilities to detect lies.

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Journey Into Night

Essayist David Sedaris describes a flight to Paris in which he takes advantage of first-class seating, meets a grieving man, and wonders about the genuineness of people, including himself.

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Must Great Leaders Be Gregarious?

We often associate charisma with an open, gregarious personality and great leadership. But does that mean introverts cannot lead? Author Susan Cain looks at the two personality styles.

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Not Prestige, Not Trash: The Rise of “Mid-Reputable” TV

Pop culture expert Noel Murray describes some of the series currently considered "the best" on television as being "mid-reputable," a status between "prestige" and "trash."

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Of Greatness

Abraham Cowley, a seventeenth-century poet, explores the vanity of human wishes and makes some proposals about how we should live.

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The Other Huxtable Effect

Film and television expert Jason Bailey explores the feminist impact of Cosby Show character Clair Huxtable.

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The Power of Two

Author Joshua Wolf Shenk classifies the attributes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney separately, and explains why they were even more gifted when pairing their creativity as a team.

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The Quiet Clash Between Transgender Women and Drag Queens

Gay editor, podcaster, and blogger Zack Ford illustrates the distinction between transgender and drag.

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Shut up and Eat

Author John Lanchester explains how our idea of food and what "food" means has changed.

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Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness

Andrew Solomon, who writes about psychology and popular culture in the New Yorker, considers the complexity of Robin Williams's suicide.

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Teenage Brains

Why do young people make the choices they do? The answer lies in their biology, not just their rebelliousness.

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To Philosophize Is to Learn to Die

Essayist Michel de Montaigne argues that contemplating death has several benefits.

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Training for the End of the World as We Know It

Writing for the Atlantic, Jessica Leigh Hester investigates the world of preppers, those folks preparing for the end of the world.

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Why Extroverts Fail, Introverts Flounder and You Probably Succeed

Most people—including hiring managers—generally think extroverts make the best sales staff and managers. Recent research, though, indicates that this belief might be incorrect.

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Why I Quit the Company

Tomoyuki Iwashita, once employed in a "dream" job, examines the effects of his working for a traditional, demanding Japanese company.

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Yes, It Does Matter If Jonathan Bennett Is Gay and Out of the Closet or Not, and Here's Why

Noah Michelson, Executive Editor of the Huffington Post's Gay Voices, argues that homosexuals, especially homosexual celebrities, have a responsibility to come out publicly.

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