The internet mysteriously went kaput at my apartment yesterday, which put a hamper on my plans to get this out the door before heading into Manhattan to hang out with my brother and his family. As over-networked, overstimulated and spread-thin millennials (or something), we’re supposed to crave the kind of night I wound up having — just hanging out with a DVD, experimenting with some watercolors and acrylics, reading a book about Cold War spies. I have to confess, though, I sat up from time to time wishing I could research a thing or email without typing with my thumbs, just real quick. So much for that unplanned experiment.

  • I love getting to share the great work of friends. Jessica Leigh Hester over at CityLab has reported a wonderful three-part series on urban farming in Detroit. It’s sensitive and smart and nuanced, and I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s part 1.
  • Given how big this news is, I’m surprised by how little coverage I’ve seen. FARC rebels and the government of Colombia have announced a peace deal. Given its roots in Northern Irish and South African projects, could this serve as a model for other conflicts?
  • You’ve probably seen this linked around, and with good reason. True crime is hard stuff to read anyway, but Michelle Dean’s look into one mother-daughter duo and a serious case of Munchausen by proxy will set your hairs on end.
  • New York magazine looked into the commissions that allow indie artists to fund the rest of their work — portraits for fursonas. I love this article because for once, it doesn’t sneer at the furry community, but simply takes them as one more group of people on the internet with their own norms and quirks. This is how you report on subcultures so you can get beyond “lol these freaks exist!”
  • This week I discovered a really baffling emoji: a man in a suit, levitating, among the “sports” section on my keyboard. Earlier this year, Newsweek got to the bottom of this weirdness, and hilariously, it all started with ska.

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