friday five 4.28.17

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1. the truth is hard to find – tyler hicks

This gorgeous spot (directed by Black Swan's Darren Aronofsky!) for The New York Times reminds us how important and often difficult good salt-of-the-earth journalism is. I try not to include too many ads in Friday Five, because I'm essentially doing their marketing work for them, but I appreciate ones that offer a fresh perspective or explore a new angle we normally wouldn't get to see. Photojournalists are so often underappreciated; they're supposed to be invisible, and it's easy to forget that they're actually telling the stories.

2. the interpreter: the geopolitics of booing ivanka in berlin

As much as I revel in the fact that our president is as wildly unpopular in the world as he is in my circle of acquaintances, this could have serious implications for our country. I had a discussion with a friend over whether or not the possibility of us actually entering WWIII was a viable one, and we both agreed that while we didn't think it was, we were both kind of just holding our breath and waiting for the next scandal or stupid tweet to launch us into geopolitical chaos.

3. eight words that changed the way we think

In case you didn't know, linguistics is my jam. And it's so interesting that not only do words serve as the lens through which we interpret the world, but they have so much power in actually shaping culture. If you think about it, words are nothing more than shared symbols with universally agreed-upon meanings. There's so much cultural context, which is why I think memes are so interesting, especially ones like this that rely on so many layers of pop culture knowledge.

4. chemo scrambled my brain

A really poignant and articulate take on mental effects of the chemotherapy process, and the frustration at the gradual loss of language.

5. is singapore’s “miracle” health care system the answer for america?

I love reading pieces about Eastern vs. Western social, cultural, and political differences, but especially ones that mention Singapore, because I feel like it's not a country that's discussed often in a global context. Singapore is often praised as "utopia," but it's a very young country with a very small population, and its practices are not necessarily viable in a country on such a large scale like America. Related: "Make America Singapore," an in-depth exploration of the healthcare system and its potential applications to the West.