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This Week

Make the Most of It

Every Friday we take a look back at the week’s headlines, centering on a theme we’ve singled out as particularly important. This week,  when we weren’t squeezing every drop from air miles, from life, and from reading too much into the crime statistics, we were finding all sorts of other ways of getting the most out of things.

American pegs hardcore frequent fliers, including those with lifetime passes, for millions in losses:

The AAirpass system had rules. A special “revenue integrity unit” was assigned to find out whether any of these rules had been broken, and whether the passes that were now such a drag on profits could be revoked

“Moto-polo”—played with motorbikes, duct-tape, and beer:

It is similar to traditional polo, except it was born out of this country’s distinctive palette of characters, customs and resources.

Lovely goodbye from Sasha Frere-Jones to The Beastie Boys’ MCA, whom he knew growing up:

Yauch’s is one of the voices that can signify hip-hop within three syllables—rough, low, and strained. He got a lot done with that voice.

America is “obscenely comfortable in conflating black with crime”:

But ultimately, Zimmerman’s online profile is as irrelevant as Trayvon’s to any real understanding of the social dynamics that were at play the night the boy was shot to death.

Non-censored stories popular in China last week:

The usual celebrity hijinks and the customary health warnings about ice cream bars.

France’s center-right party stares glumly at new paths in a post-Sarkozy future:

“The political apparatus of the UMP is going to be submitted to torture,” he said. “It’s a diabolical trap for the UMP.”

Speech transcripts show Obama using the word “extraordinary” an extraordinary amount:

George W. Bush used enemy and enemies a lot; Ronald Reagan was fond of weakness; Bill Clinton was big on smoking:

Philippe Starck designs gadget that makes you instantly drunk for less than a second:

WAHH does not stimulate drunkenness. It is precisely to avoid drunkenness. It stimulates the pleasure of alcohol without the alcohol.

Young writers today avoid writing what they know because they only know SUVs in the suburbs:

There are a finite number of experiences in the world and the trick is how to present them in a way that is both relatable and unique.

Brief, accessible piece on the state of nihilism—laugh tracks optional:

My life, in short, is little more than a cosmic episode of Seinfeld: rather than watching a show about nothing, I’m a walk-on in a life about nothing.

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