Headlines edition

Friday headlines: Optimism is a club.

White House says Trump and Putin won’t meet officially in Vietnam. Putin’s staff says they’ll meet “on the sidelines.”

Profiles of six new stars in the Democratic party, who were inspired by Mr. Trump to run for office and won big this week.

A breakdown of Trump's 2,461 tweets since the election. A breakdown of what people say when forced to name the best thing and the worst thing Trump’s done in the last year.

“OH MY GOD THERE IS AN OPENING STATEMENT. THIS IS THE GODDAMN GIVING TREE.” An entertaining, meme-laden narration of Trump’s former foreign policy adviser Carter Page setting himself on fire.

Trump gives in to China's insistence on no questions from the press—like about the detained wife of Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo.

And now, your moment of Zen: in which a man paints parking lot signs.

Nearly half of white millennials believe that white people face as much discrimination as black people and other minorities.

Video: How beef goulash impacts you and your neighbors economically.

Renegade spirit makers use chemistry to make single-malt aged whiskeys in a matter of weeks.

One solution to California's legal-pot banking problem: marijuana tax money could ride around in armored cars.

Thanks to home-wrecking fires, rents in Santa Rosa are surging, as high as $13,000 a month.

“As for money, if May insists she can’t make any further commitments, EU will not trigger trade talks in December. It’s that simple.” An inside-baseball look, told in tweets, on the current state of Brexit. It doesn’t look good.

The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, currently Saudi Arabia’s newest jail, has a 4 1/2 star rating on TripAdvisor.

Some good analysis here: The Middle East faces civil war, divided societies, and unstable governments, all thanks to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And here’s an experimental animated short film to help make sense of our warring world: Tanzonk by Sasha Svirsky.

Interviewed about “the Anthropocene,” sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson is pleasantly irate.

Word of the day: a "he’s-at-home" was the name for a dildo kept by 19th-century whalers' wives in New England.

“1975 is a new world, somehow. Everybody gets a haircut that year, and no one can say exactly why. Psychic emanations are big; you can feel change peeling off the walls but can’t really name the form of that change. The year is a laboratory. Anything is possible.” The great Luc Sante relives (with footnotes) the music scene in 1970s New York City.

And in case you forgot what it looks like to have fun, here are some Australians partying at a horse race.

And here’s a short snowboarding film about Scotland’s “right to roam.”