This week for BuzzReads, Gregory Johnsen tells the gripping tale of a 2008 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen — and how much worse it could have been. Read that and these other great stories from around BuzzFeed and the web.
In September 2008, seven terrorists in Sanaa killed themselves and 12 others in the deadliest assault on a U.S. Embassy in a decade. And if not for an unlikely hero, things would have been unimaginably worse. Read it at BuzzFeed.
2. The Case for Reparations — The Atlantic
Do not miss this very big, very important piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who asks: Can America move forward without dealing with its past? Read it at The Atlantic.
Nearly 13 years after his sister’s death, Steve Kandell makes a reluctant visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, where public spectacle and private grief have a permanent home together. Read it at BuzzFeed.
“You’ve seen it, too. You can probably picture it in your head: Tom Cruise, dressed in head-to-toe black, looming over a cowering Oprah as he jumps up and down on the buttermilk-colored couch like a toddler throwing a tantrum,” Amy Nicholson writes, “There’s just one catch: It never happened.” Read it at LA Weekly.
5. “Let’s Like, Demolish Laundry” — New York
A great piece by Jessica Pressler about the startups seeking to disrupt the otherwise tech-averse laundry industry. “Facebook and WhatsApp, Uber and Nest, the brightest minds of a generation, the high test-scorers and mathematically inclined, have taken the knowledge acquired at our most august institutions and applied themselves to solving increasingly minor First World problems.” Read it at New York.
6. My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment — New York Times Magazine
Julia Scott talks about why bathing with bacteria may be better than bathing with products that kill them — and one company that’s seeking to capitalize on that theory. Read it at the New York Times Magazine.
Every time a new athlete comes out — from Jason Collins to UMass’ Derrick Gordon — behind the scenes, activists groups are battling to take credit. Writes Barry Petchesky: “Even, or perhaps especially, in the age of Michael Sam, the LGBT sports movement remains anything but unified.” Read it at Deadspin.
8. What If We Admitted to Children that Sex is Primarily About Pleasure? — Pacific Standard
Alice Dreger discusses what her son is and isn’t learning in sex education: “I found myself hoping the gym teacher wasn’t going to teach in code. Children spent so much of their energy learning not just the native language of their parents, but their coded language, too.” Read it at Pacific Standard.
9. Slightly More Than 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism — The Atlantic
Each year, Conor Friedersdorf painstakingly selects his favorite feature stories; his 2013 picks have just been published. We highly recommend perusing it for gems you missed (and are thrilled to have a couple of ours on there). Read it at The Atlantic.