*Editor’s note:  This is the first edition of a new column at TNB featuring links of interest from around the web.

Roxane Gay comments on the resurgent birth control debate over at The Rumpus, in an essay entitled “The Alienable Rights of Women.”

If I told you my birth control method of choice, which I kind of swear by, you’d look at me like I was slightly insane. Suffice it to say, I will take a pill every day when men have that same option. We should all be in this together, right? One of my favorite moments is when a guy, at that certain point in a relationship, says something desperately hopeful like, “Are you on the pill?” I simply say, “No, are you?”


Over at The Millions, Edan Lepucki contemplates the issue of inspiration and gives readers a homework assignment.

I actually love in-class writing exercises: doing them, and asking my students to do them. I like having only fifteen minutes to write a scene, to create a world out of thin air, my inner-critic be damned; it’s all the better when the result is total tripe.  Writing badly is a risk one has to be willing to take, in order to come upon something worthy. And it’s good for the soul to write fiction that might not live beyond your notebook.


With Logan Sachon reporting, The Awl compiles a treasure trove of online dating horror stories.

A poet offered to pick me up for dinner and a movie. I accepted, and that’s where everything went wrong. For dinner, we went to Ikea for a $5 platter of Swedish meatballs. NO I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS. And the movie? The movie was one of those free movies-in-the-park, and it just so happened to be Spongebob Squarepants and the park was full of children. I hate Spongebob Squarepants. On top of that, he only packed a very small blanket and asked why I hadn’t brought a blanket for myself (um, because I thought we were going to a theater?).


And although this is more than a month old, if you missed this interview with talent-manager-turned-author Billy Sammeth, it’s worth reading.  Yes, it’s gossipy.  Yes, it’s junk food.  But it’s also brutally honest in ways that Hollywood interviews almost never are.  (Go ahead.  You know you want it.)

Money quote:

Doll face, she’s in awe of him because he has money. Power to her is money. But I’ll tell you when Donald Trump showed his true colors to me. Joan [Rivers] took me to the Howard Stern wedding. We’re at the table with Trump. He goes “Joan …” He’s always so serious and humorless. “Joan, you know who would have been a great booking for Celebrity Apprentice and the network wouldn’t allow it? O.J. Simpson.” I thought to myself, you are now finished in my book. You have just shown who and what you are. I thought—this was when Osama bin Laden was still alive—Trump could also cast him on the show with a bunch of other shits and let them all kill each other. I bet Mark Burnett would have been thrilled to produce that as well. He’s another fucking scumbag.


And if you’re too tired to read anything, check out stratocam.com for the very best in Google Earth imagery.

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