Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs is navel gazing at my favorite, very feminist level. The women in this novel agonize over their desires for their bodies: what they can do with the body, what they can create with it, how it can be in a way that’s separate from partners (especially male partners), society, family, or sex.

Kawakami explores this question through the eyes of a handful of Japanese women, but our main interrogators are Natsuko, her older sister Makiko, and Makiko’s daughter Midoriko.

In part one (which was published as a short story over a decade ago), Makiko and…

Image for Selah and the Spades shows Selah (Lovie Simone) standing in front of brown decor.
Image for Selah and the Spades shows Selah (Lovie Simone) standing in front of brown decor.
Selah Summers runs the Spades, the most powerful of Haldwell boarding school’s five factions

The formula is a classic. Scholarship kid gets into a fancy school and finds an enigmatic crew of beautiful, dangerous power brokers running things on the student level. Selah and the Spades gives us the pieces of that movie, but flips the perspective almost immediately.

In most high school movies, we’d follow Paloma, a freshman photographer at Haldwell Boarding School on a scholarship, as she learns her way around the elite ivy-and-mahogany-clad campus. Paloma is a very sympathetic narrator, all quiet hopefulness and camera in front of her face.

But instead we follow mysterious, tightly-wound senior Selah Summers, the soon-to-abdicate…

Since TWL started in a bar, we thought it only appropriate to begin our research on the topic of drinks.

And then we picked coffee first…

So the first week of fun facts will be focused on the world’s favorite form of caffeine.

Week two of January will be focused on whiskey/whisky, since we clearly needed to circle back around to our genesis, week three on wine, and week four on cocktails in general.

Things We Learned started with a simple (but also ridiculously vague) New Years Resolution: amass knowledge.

We set a goal to learn something new each week, and we got so excited about learning obscure and seemingly useless information that we wanted to record it. (This resolution started in a bar, over cheap drinks and inexplicably free chili dogs, so there was no shortage of enthusiasm.)

We’ll probably run into more questions than answers. Studying a thing inevitably leads to studying something else, what with the entire world being connected and context inevitably requiring more context to be fully understood. The sheer amount of things to know can be intimidating, and it can be all too easy to stop studying the world around you. So here is our tiny rebellion against apathy.

We want to know more things. We hope you’re curious about the details too.

Brock Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman, and he and his parents want us to believe it was not a big enough deal to define the rest of his life. They want us to believe that stripping a woman of her clothes, dignity and agency was an unfortunate misstep on the part of an otherwise very respectful guy. They want to convince us that alcohol made Brock Turner’s decision. And continued to make it every second for 20 minutes.

I could watch nearly an entire episode of Brooklyn 99 in 20 minutes. If Andy Samberg has enough time to screw…

Shelbi Polk

Curiosity hasn’t killed me yet.

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