The "new" Middle East has more money and less war—but now here comes the climate crisis. / The Economist

The Biden Administration moves to cancel all remaining oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. / Grist

The chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party is a 25-year-old woman fighting for rural issues. / NPR

A new study says air pollution is "the greatest external threat to human life expectancy on the planet." / The Week

A profile of a lawyer who sues packaged-food makers over the authenticity of their ingredients and flavors. / The New Yorker

Bhutan looks to implement the world's first "self-sovereign"—i.e., blockchain-based—national digital identity system. / rest of world

New York City effectively bans Airbnb in the five boroughs. / WIRED

Fans of live music are living in a new era, "and as with all eras, we've both gained and lost a little along the way." / Vox

Some thoughts on album covers blurring the line between homage and theft. / The Art of Cover Art

See also: Good movies as old books. / Hello Matt Stevens

"Stray movies" refer to new films that are going lost or unnoticed in the streaming/Barbenheimer period. / The Ringer

Paul Schrader: "Rotten Tomatoes is something the studios can game. So they do." / Vulture

Some tips on how to design fictional brands—e.g., Dunder Mifflin Paper or Wonka Candies—for TV and film. Also, some paintings of people on their phones, just like the rest of us. / It's Nice That