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This week's Upworthiest stories: The only way to win a discussion and 18 more.

How to have better conversations. A clever project that makes art out of food. A look at what Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan. Reflections from a writer taking a year-long break from the Internet. And more. Enjoy!


Arts and Culture

How We Talk To One Another / Nick Pyati / Gotta Have A Code

"The only way to 'win' a discussion is to come away with the soundest position possible, regardless of whether it is what you believed when you came in." How often do you discuss, versus just debate?




The Best Exam Question Ever / Chris Blattman

A short and sweet blog post on a short and sweet exam question.




Urban Meyer Will Be Home For Dinner / Wright Thompson / ESPN

A spectacular piece on the price of perfectionism, the quest for balance, and the promises a star football coach made to his family on the way to redemption.





Big Appetites / Christopher Boffoli

An immensely enjoyable and witty art project; the bar code lineup, cinnamon lumberjacks, and unionized mustard spreader are my favorites.




PSY's Gangnam Style Is The Best Invisible Horse-Riding Rap Video You'll See All Week / Melissa Locker / Time

This tongue-in-cheek Korean music video has gone global, thanks to its infectious beats, over-the-top fashion, and wry sense of humor. (via Bo)




Politics and World Affairs

Atlas Spurned / Jennifer Burns / The New York Times

What Ayn Rand would think of Paul Ryan and other politicians who claim her as their intellectual inspiration.




Philanthropist Wants To Be Rid Of His Last $1.5 Billion / Jim Dwyer / The New York Times

Inspiring story of a self-made billionaire who gave anonymously for decades, still flies coach, and intends for his foundation to spend all its money and close its doors by 2020.




Big Med / Atul Gawande / The New Yorker

The always-worth-reading surgeon and writer asks what hospitals can learn from restaurant chains like the Cheesecake Factory.




Have Obama And Romney Forgotten Afghanistan? / Dexter Filkins / The New Yorker

"After eleven years, more than four-hundred billion dollars spent and two thousand Americans dead," we've built a deeply corrupt and weak Afghan government. What happens when we leave?




What Would It Take To Start A Gun Control Debate In The US? / Ethan Zuckerman / My Heart's In Accra

Important piece on "agenda setting" — how what is debated and acted on in politics is actually decided.




Business and Economics

Alan Greenspan On His Fed Legacy And The Economy / Devin Leonard and Peter Coy / BusinessWeek

A surprisingly candid Greenspan on how Ayn Rand changed his life, how he met his wife Andrea Mitchell, and why his speeches were so filled with jargon and "Fed speak."





World's Largest Economies / Andrew Bergmann / CNN Money

Animated chart shows the rise of various economies from 2000 to 2017 (projected); it's interesting to watch China go from 1/10 to 2/3 of the US in that time.




Working 9 To 12 / Richard Posner / The New York Times

John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd become so productive that we'd only need to work 15 hours a week. This book review looks at our lack of leisure and asks if that's a bad thing.




Dear Facebook Employees: Here's The Truth About Your Stock Price / Henry Blodget / Business Insider

Long, clear, and well-argued case for why Facebook's stock is still overvalued and likely won't hit bottom for a while.




Science and Technology

Are We All Braggarts Now? / Elizabeth Bernstein / The Wall Street Journal

One side effect of Facebook, Twitter, and the like: "We've become so accustomed to boasting that we don't even realize what we're doing."




The Desert That Creates The Rainforest / Maggie Koerth-Baker / Boing Boing

How a small patch of African desert makes the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest possible. (via Albert)




Thomas Kuhn: The Man Who Changed The Way The World Looked At Science / John Naughton / The Guardian

An appreciation of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," a landmark book that undermined conventional notions of intellectual progress and introduced the phrase "paradigm shift."




Offline: How's It Going? / Paul Miller / The Verge

A technology writer who is getting paid to not use the Internet for a year weighs in on how his life is different, what he's learning, and what he misses.




Curiosity Rover: Martian Solar Day 2 / 360 Pano

Amazing: a 360-degree panoramic view from the Mars rover.




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The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

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"You can’t just say, 'I want to be a dentist,'” judge Simon Cowell told the duo.

Back in 2014, cello-playing brothers Emil and Dariel wowed "America’s Got Talent" audiences with their cello rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s "Purple Haze," even becoming finalists for the season.

After getting invited back to participate in "America’s Got Talent: All Stars," the duo once again rocked the house with an epic cover of "Take On Me." This classic A-ha tune has been covered a lot, so the fact that these two gave it fresh new life is no easy feat.

However, judge Simon Cowell remained unimpressed.

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Joy

A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

Merlin will tap buttons that say “eat,” “outside” and “ice cream.”

Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

A woman treats her pig like a toddler and the internet can't get enough.

Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

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Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

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Pop Culture

People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

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