Caroline Mimbs Nyce

Caroline Mimbs Nyce
Caroline Mimbs Nyce is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.
  • The Atlantic Daily: A Mango-Flavored Trolley Problem

    A scary new report links vape-device use to a mysterious illness.

  • The Atlantic Daily: How Dogs Make You Fall in Love With Them

    And a few other findings about our canine companions. (Yes, this email contains several pictures of dogs.) Plus: What to read and watch this weekend

  • The Atlantic Daily: How Today’s Teens Pass Notes During Class

    Throwing a crumpled-up piece of paper across the room is so 1998—enter Google Docs. Also, some reading, listening, and watching recommendations for the weekend

  • Paul Spella

    The Atlantic Daily: These Attacks Could’ve Been Prevented

    But nationwide, evidence that might’ve put away serial rapists often goes untested. Plus: the lawsuit against Obamacare, about the Trump tweets, and more

  • Handout

    The Atlantic Daily: This Era Breeds a Certain Kind of Conspiracy Theorist

    The Jeffrey Epstein case is a window into why so many Americans let their imagination run wild when it comes to elite corruption. Plus: R. Kelly, TikTok, and more

  • Alex Edelman / Getty Images

    A Very Trumpian Fourth of July

    A guide to today’s festivities: complicating some historical figures, some patriotic reads, an oldie but a goodie, and, yes, a brief word about those tanks

  • Theo Wargo / Getty

    Is Dashboard Confessional Still Emo?

    Two Atlantic writers discuss the new album, Crooked Shadows, and how the band’s sound has evolved since its eight-year hiatus.

  • Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Bettmann Archive / Getty / ...

    The Case Against Hating This Headline

    A brief history of The Atlantic’s use of a familiar article framing

  • Your Oxford Comments

    Calling all friends and foes of the serial comma! In just a few moments, we’ll be tackling the greatest grammatical debate of our time: Should you use an Oxford comma? Emma Green, having previously defended all-things Oxford comma, will be advocating for said comma on Facebook Live at 3pm EST today. Meanwhile, we welcome your arguments against, and you can submit them to me in real-time, so be sure to tune in!

    While we wait, here are four arguments submitted by readers already.

    The confusion argument:

    Here’s a fun one for you. “I had a party last weekend. I invited the president, Barack Obama, and three of my friends.”

    So: How many people did I invite? If the correct answer is five (which it is, because I invited the president of something other than the United States), that means that the Oxford comma created confusion that could have been avoided if I'd omitted it. “I invited the president, Barack Obama and three of my friends” clearly indicates that Barack Obama and the president, in this context, are separate people.

    And before you say “this is a preposterous example where confusion could be easily avoided by an author with good sense,” realize that you now know exactly how I feel about every sentence trotted out in defense of the Oxford comma by its fans.

    The “speedbump on an exit ramp” argument:

    At the risk of offending E.B. White and William Strunk, Kill The Oxford Comma. It’s like a speedbump on an exit ramp. It jars you and serves no purpose. The word “and” already tells you the next word is part of the list. You don't need an unnatural pause before it.

    And yes, I have 30 years in print journalism.

    The “sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t” argument:

    I think it’s so funny how people get super heated about it! Sometimes it makes sense to use it and sometimes it doesn’t. So sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t! (Which I fully realize is blasphemy to many. And I was trained as a journo to us AP style.) If the meaning of your sentence is changed by your punctuation, then you need to look at your whole sentence structure, not just the comma. It’s a symptom of unclear writing.

    The racism/elitism argument:

  • When Teaching Girls Karate Doesn’t Stop Sexual Assault

    An earlier reader, who anonymously shared her story, pushes back on the suggestion that karate could offer a solution for sexual assault:

    Interesting discussion. Thank you for including a variety of responses. I admire the father’s determination to teach his daughter self defense by sending a painful joint lock lesson in the event someone has trouble respecting his daughter’s “no.” It is very important to teach children to say “no” and have their choices respected. It is important to give our children permission and tips to defend themselves. Loving parents hope their children will be successful in defending themselves.

    I truly wish karate and other self defenses (i.e. pepper spray, whistles, or a weapon)  were the answer to rape prevention. I also pray his daughter is successful if the time ever comes to use karate. I hope she swings into action like all the tough superheroes on television and in the movies. I cheer her on. And applaud her parents and instructors.

    I tried to fight. I didn’t win. I was outnumbered and drugged.

  • Talking to Teenagers About Sexual Assault

    Jorge Silva / Reuters

    In response to our callout, several parents of teenage boys wrote in, sharing their experiences—and offering their best advice for others. Here are three of their stories.

    First up is Donald White, the father of two boys, who responds to Juleyka:

    Dear Mother of Boys,

    I applaud you for your piece in The Atlantic. I chose to share it on Facebook, hoping your modeling suggestions are followed by other parents. I will share aspects of how I parent my sons, ages 19 and 16.

    The Stanford rape piece is so very sad. From my point of view, Brock’s father failed as a role model for his son. It seems Brock did not learn to respect and treasure women. His behavior supports this theory.

    I believe our children are brilliant and, when helped with effective parental guidance, can make effective, smart choices if and when they face a difficult situation. In life, we all face challenging situations. I talk to my boys candidly about drinking, drunk driving, sex, STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and death resulting from bad choices that could have been prevented. I do not hold back; I use real-life examples to make strong points. I was an RA in college and saw many poor choices regarding alcohol, driving, vandalism, unwanted pregnancy, and more.

    He continues:

  • The Big Stories This Week: The Orlando Shooting, The Death of Jo Cox, and More

    Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

    The Orlando Shooting

    A shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., left 49 dead—making it (arguably) the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The president called it “an evil, hateful act.” The world mourned.

    Matt Thompson, who grew up in the city, reflects: “There will always be hateful men, but of love and understanding, there can never be enough.”

    The Death of Jo Cox

    As the U.S. processed the attack in Orlando, Great Britain saw its own brush with gun violence: MP Jo Cox—a mother of two and “a rising star in British politics”—was “attacked and sustained serious injuries from both a firearm and a knife.”

    Groups on both sides of the Brexit debate paused their campaigns in light of the attack. The country is set to vote on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23.

    A Little Piece of Papyrus, One Big Controversy

    If you have an affinity for mystery novels, this one’s for you: For the upcoming issue of our magazine, Ariel Sabar dives into the history of a “business-card-size papyrus” called the “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”—a document in which Jesus purportedly refers to having a wife.

    Within a day of Sabar’s piece being posted on our site, Karen King—the Harvard professor who first presented the document—responded in a big way.

    Trump V. Media

    Donald Trump’s love-hate relationship with the press shifted towards the latter side of the equation, with the presumptive Republican nominee pulling the press credentials of The Washington Post. “Nothing like this has happened before in modern times,” James Fallows argued.

    Meanwhile, Molly Ball challenged the assertion that the press has helped Trump’s ride: “The arguments that blame the media for Trump fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.” And David Graham analyzed what the press got right about Trump, on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s announcement that he was running for president.

    Five Things You Shouldn’t Miss

    Talk Back

    We’re still looking for readers to weigh in on how to talk to kids about rape, being Hmong American, and whether now is the time for American gun reform.  

    Email your responses to hello@theatlantic.com.

  • Teaching Kids Consent

    Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters

    The Stanford case left many feeling horrified—not least among them parents, who struggled to grasp the reality of “that could’ve been my kid.” A viral letter from Brock Turner’s father to the judge quickly brought parenting into the controversy. “Brock is not the victim here,” one North Carolina father shot back, according to The Washington Post. “His victim is the victim.”

    The high-profile case sparked a discussion in Notes: How should parents talk about rape and consent with their kids? First, Juleyka shared her story. “My sons are still very young, but when the time comes, we’ll have many conversations with them—about their bodies, about attraction, about permission and consent, about building love from friendship, and about accountability,” she wrote, inviting other parents to write in.

    Many readers—including some parents of kids under 5—responded to her callout. “I’ve been thinking about this topic since my son’s birth two years ago,” writes one primary school teacher and mother. She continues:

    Consent has as much to do with setting personal boundaries—for yourself and others—as it does with preventing sexual assault. Explaining consent to small children has little to do with sex, although it does help prevent sexual assault as well as giving children a voice if they are threatened by or actually assaulted at any age.

    Learning consent for small children means if you are tickling your best friend and she says to stop then you stop—even though you personally think tickles are the best. Consent means that when you're wrestling with your friend and you can tell he doesn't want to anymore, you stop—even if you love rough-housing and could wrestle forever.

  • Talking to Your Kids About Rape as a Survivor

    An anonymous reader shares her story:

    I was raped while I was in college, so I'm 1 in 6. I didn’t report it, and I washed all the evidence down the drain.

    I have a 25-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter. We live in Maryland, my daughter goes to college in Los Angeles, and I fear my daughter becoming another statistic. We have discussed Brock Turner’s victim’s letter to the judge, the father’s letter, the friend’s letter, the hero’s action, and the judge’s poor sentencing. I hope the rape culture will change for them and all other women and men. 

    Rape at its core is about boundaries, so I intentionally began my discussion with my children about rape and assault when they were toddlers. They learned the proper words for their body parts. We also taught them that it is never too late to change their mind and to respect their friend’s choices. Safety was an important word and one of the first assessments we taught our children to do. I didn’t use the words assault or rape until they were entering middle school. However, I used every teachable moment to begin teaching them the value of their bodies, respect and compassion for others, responsibility for their actions, accountability, admitting hurt, and seeking help.

  • The Big Stories This Week: Clinton Becomes the Presumptive Nominee, the Stanford Rape Case, and More

    Jim Young / Reuters

    It’s Her Party

    “Hillary Clinton’s victory in the Democratic presidential primary may have been inevitable, but damned if she was going to let it be an afterthought,” Russell reports from New York, where he attended the candidate’s victory party—one held eight years to the day from when she conceded the 2008 Democratic primary. Clinton becomes the first woman to win a major-party nomination.

    Peter reflects on just how far she’s come, dubbing it “the greatest comeback by a presidential candidate since Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination in 1968, after losing the presidential election of 1960.” Oh, and that 2008 primary opponent, President Obama? He officially endorsed Clinton on Thursday.  

    All Eyes on Stanford Case

    Letters from a sexual-assault victim and her assailant’s father went viral, opening up a broader conversation about sexual assault. “This is an astounding moment,” Adrienne wrote, “in part because it’s so rare for sexual violence, despite its ubiquity, to garner this kind of attention.”

    But what happens when that attention goes away? She looks ahead: “Once the outcry over Turner’s sentence fades, and you can be sure it will, there’s little compelling evidence to think anything substantial will change in our cultural and judicial responses to sexual assault.”

    The Politics of Islam

    Is Islam exceptional? Shadi Hamid makes that argument: “Islam is distinctive in how it relates to politics—and this distinctiveness can be traced back to the religion’s founding moment in the seventh century,” he writes in an adaptation from his book. “Islam is different. This difference has profound implications for the future of the Middle East and, by extension, for the world in which we all live, whether we happen to be American, French, British, or anything else.”

    Emma sat down with Hamid for a Q&A, asking him about the reaction to the book and more.

    Revenge of the Sequel

    The appeal of the big screen may be getting smaller: Fewer Americans went to the movies so far this year, Derek reports.  And what’s more, their tastes are very particular: “The problem for Hollywood isn’t that audiences are ignoring sequels,” he says, referring to the movies that have been the “lifeblood” of the movie business. “The problem for Hollywood is that audiences are ignoring everything that isn’t a sequel, adaptation, or reboot.”

    Last month, David Sims noted the underperformance of some of this year’s sequels.

    Five Things You Shouldn’t Miss

    Talk Back

    We’re still looking for readers to weigh in the Sanders campaign, free will, and your views of America from the above.

    Email your responses to hello@theatlantic.com.

  • Orbital View: Oceans Edition

    It’s World Oceans Day, giving the astronauts circling above us (or those back here on planet Earth) the perfect opportunity to post their best ocean-themed ‘grams. Here’s one from a current resident of the International Space Station, NASA’s Jeff Williams:

     

    Happy #WorldOceansDay. It is easy to appreciate their beauty from up here.

    A photo posted by Jeff Williams (@astro_jeffw) on

    Meanwhile, British astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency got a taste of some salt-water serendipity, flying over the same iceberg for a second time:

    And here’s former ISS resident Scott Kelly with a throwback:

  • ‘Welcome to Brand Iceland’

    We’ve spent some time in this space praising Iceland and its precious natural wonders. But it isn’t all fun and Northern lights up there: A reader named Ellen Girardeau Kempler sends over a hilarious satirical essay she wrote poking fun at the country’s tourism boom. Kempler spent some time in Iceland for a writer’s retreat, prompting her to provide “my reaction to the relentless marketing machine behind the branding of Iceland as a tourist destination.”

    Author’s Disclaimer: Brand Iceland is a tame and tourist-friendly destination created purely for marketing purposes. Any resemblance to the actual country of Iceland—home to a UNESCO City of Literature; a parliamentary system over 1,000 years old; a written history (as told in the Icelandic sagas) marked by battles with the elements and each other; and some of the planet’s wildest and most dangerous landscapes (including scalding geysers, pools and rivers; deadly rip currents; active volcanoes; yawning crevasses; unstable glaciers; moving tectonic plates; sheer, windswept cliffs; slippery mountain trails; volatile weather; and violent waterfalls)—is purely coincidental.

    The advertising onslaught begins as soon as you board an Icelandair jet and plug your own headset into the entertainment console (conveniently available for purchase, in case you forgot). Before every movie, television show or musical selection begins, you’ll learn about souvenirs and tours you MUST buy. To promote the airline’s winning strategy of letting visitors stay in Iceland for up to seven days on their way to other destinations, you’ll be asked to follow them and tag your photos #MyStopover for a chance to be featured in the in-flight magazine.

    Landing at Keflavik, you’ll spot familiar faces staring seductively from walls and shop windows, like the breathless, pale siren who whispers in the video ads, “Gee-SSSyr” (geysir—both the Icelandic word for geyser and the name of a clothing company). You’ll see highly enhanced, billboard-sized images of the moss-covered lava fields, blue-white glaciers, steaming geysers and soaking pools, rainbow-draped waterfalls, black sand beaches, bird-inhabited cliffs, glistening ice lagoons, shaggy horses, comical puffins, turf-covered houses, elfin-sized doors, shimmering Auroras and glowing (but never threatening) volcanoes you probably already recognize from such movies and television shows as Game of Thrones, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and many more.

  • The Big Stories This Week: Dog Days of Summer, ‘Internet’ Gets Lowercased, and More

    Adrees Latif / Reuters

    I, Internet

    So long, Internet. Several publications and news outlets—ourselves included—moved away from the word’s uppercase styling. “Now it’s just the internet,” Ian writes in his elegy. “And like kleenex and googling, like asphalt and automobiles, it disappears into the background, wholly ordinary.”

    For more Atlantic early web nostalgia, read about the room where the internet was born or take a look at what “the cloud” looks like today.

    Dog Days of Summer

    “We raised puppies well before we raised kittens or chickens; before we herded cows, goats, pigs, and sheep; before we planted rice, wheat, barley, and corn; before we remade the world,” Ed writes in his new piece on the domestication of man’s best friend. Cheers to you, our four-legged friends. (Perhaps literally.)

    And fear not, cat people of the universe: Becca covered the domestication of our feline friends back in 2013.

  • It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Bernie Sanders

    Our readers, like us, are disappointed to learn that Bernie Sanders will not be skydiving into his rally in California tonight:

    Guys, we’re here for you. With some help from our photo editor, Alan Taylor, we decided to make it happen:

    Bernie Sanders campaign / Facebook / Philip Leara/ Flickr / Alan Taylor / The Atlantic

    Feel the wind, Bernie.

  • Discussing the Gender Politics of Legos

    Norsk Telegrambyra AS / Reuters

    Last week, Adrienne explored recent efforts by toy giant Lego to reach young girls. For example:

    In 2012, the toymaker launched Lego Friends—stylized on boxes with a heart dotting the “i,” and a butterfly hovering nearby—a new line designed for girls. The Friends line includes a pop star’s house, limousine, TV studio, recording studio, dressing room, and tour bus; a cupcake cafe; a giant treehouse; a supermarket; and a hair salon, among other construction sets.

    “For toymakers like Lego,” Adrienne wrote, “where is the line between making products children love and telling kids how they should play?”

    Companies like Lego say they’re just giving girls what they want. Critics say Lego is actually shaping what girls want, and likely to harmful effect. The reality for children is probably somewhere in the middle. And children, for better and worse, tend to simplify these complexities.

    An Atlantic reader and parent ponders where their daughter fits in all of this:

    I wonder where people would classify my girl who chose The Hobbit Lego sets, which have mostly brown and grey bricks with lots of characters ready to duel with one another. She does also like the “Elves” sets (more for girls), but she prefers The Hobbit and Star Wars.

    I can relate; I went through a serious Lego phase. One year, I asked for (and received) King Leo’s Castle for Christmas, a 500-piece, archetypal “castle”-themed Lego set featuring knights, a skeleton, and weaponry—a set, most likely, targeted at my male counterparts.  

    BrickLink.com

    But it was the girl minifigures that really rocked my world. I became deeply attached to a set featuring a female (!!!) pilot. (Thanks to BrickLink—a website that purports to be “the World’s Largest Lego® Marketplace”—I now know that it was the “Island Hopper” with “Miss Gail Storm.” Hats off to you, Miss Storm!) Years later, just looking at photos makes me squirm with excitement.

    I wonder where I’d fit in the new Lego universe. Would I have traded in my castle for a pink-roofed cupcake cafe from Lego Friends? My nine-year-old self definitely craved more female minifigures, but I didn’t mind my island-hopping plane set either. Maybe that’s part of the dilemma here: It’s hard to fit kids into (metaphorical) gender buckets.

    Several other readers are also drawing on their Lego experiences, including this one:

    My sister, brothers, and I all built stuff with the same generic primary colored Lego bricks. (And our dad yelled at all of us when he stepped on stray Lego bricks.) We all played with Tonka trucks as well. The biggest difference was that my sister was really into dolls and stuffed animals. (Barbie and the other dolls were the passengers in the Tonka trucks.)