Dado Ruvic / Reuters

What We’re Following: ‘It Is Like a Big River of People’

Thousands of migrants were stranded in Central Europe this weekend after Hungary and Croatia closed its borders. About 5,000 people poured into Slovenia on Saturday, and more than 10,000 people entered Serbia on Sunday. Thousands spent the night in the open after they arrived in Serbia, facing cold temperatures and rains. Croatia eventually began allowing people to pass through, but Hungary remains resolute in its border policy.

That’s a Slow Play: Amazon shot back at a New York Times story from August about what it’s like to work at the online retailer, saying that the account had “misrepresented” the company. The Times’ executive editor responded with support for the story, saying that extensive interviews with employees showed clearly the brutal nature of Amazon’s work environment. Amazon then responded to the Times’ response. This all happened on Medium., but for Dogs: In the largest ever survey of global canine diversity, researchers analyzed more than 185,000 genetic markers in 549 dogs in 38 countries across six continents. They concluded that dogs were first domesticated in Central Asia, somewhere near India or Nepal—adding to a long-running debate about when, where, and why wild wolves became beloved pets.

What We’re Looking For

In the thoughtful responses to our call for questions about schools, we noticed some thematic trends. So, now we’re changing gears to collect pitches—from freelance journalists, experts, professors, and folks like you who have valuable experiences to share—about some recent education-focused things on our mind. We’d love to read your pitches on them. Check out the prompts here, and send us your pitches using this form.


Fallen leaves in autumn colors lie on tree roots in Munich, Germany, on October 19, 2015. For more images of fall, visit The Atlantic Photo. (Matthias Schrader / AP)


Adam Boyko, who studies feral dogs, on why they’re great to work with: “You show up, you have food, there are dogs.”

John Opdycke, who advocates for nonpartisan primaries, on why Congress can’t get things done: “The problem isn’t the money. The problem is the parties themselves.”

Claire Fore, who met her wife while both were serving as nuns: “Sometimes it’s easier to walk away and not stay in the struggle. But I think in this instance, we need to stay, because who is anybody to say that God doesn’t love us?”

News Quiz

1. New York City police now use expensive, military-grade vans equipped with ______________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. The Naval Academy is reinstating ___________, which it stopped teaching in the late 1990s, into its curriculum.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. Researchers are using facial-recognition technology to discern muscle-by-muscle differences in how people emote when they are __________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Evening Read

Megan Garber on Steve Jobs and the triumph of the “work wife”:

Joanna exists, in Steve Jobs’s aggressively hermetic universe, mostly as a classic foil to the film’s eponymous inventor: She’s the yin to his yang, the human to his automaton. (“Do you want to try being reasonable,” she asks him, in an accent only mildly inflected with her native Polish, “just to see what it feels like?”) Joanna is there, in theater after theater, to remind Steve that he, too, is in possession of that classic Sorkenian preoccupation: “better angels.” She is there to reprimand and cajole him into some semblance of human decency. She is his Manic Pixie Moral Compass.

And yet. The flip side of being a foil is the fact that there’s a flip side at all. There’s an inherent equality to the tension between Steve and Joanna in all this, an inherent balance that blends Newtonian physics and that even older of things: human camaraderie. A big part of the equilibrium they maintain throughout the movie, through all the clashes and the inevitable compromises, stems from the very thing Joanna points out to Steve: Their relationship is, both implicitly and deliberately, platonic. Their defining tautology—they have not slept together because they would never sleep together—keeps them, as an operating system, stable.

Reader Response

This reader can relate to last week’s story about the fleeting nature of the Internet:

So many people talk about how “when you put something online it’s there FOREVER” (often people paranoid about social media), and I think that mindset is responsible for a lack of care in this subject. These are still the burgeoning times of the internet as far as future generations will be concerned. When you find a forum thread from even five years ago, you’ll be lucky if half the images still work and if the URLs even load. … I always feel the urge to save what I can on my computer, like I’m nurturing a small injured animal. … It’s a small joy every time I find an old website from the ‘90s with embedded MIDIs and tiled backgrounds and the works.

Another reader reflects:

The funny thing is that the great libraries of the truly ancient civilizations such as the Hittites have actually survived very well because their documents were written on clay tablets. These are great cultures whose existence was almost totally forgotten after their destruction, and yet we now know quite [a lot] about their history and customs and literature. Languages dead for thousands of years, such as Luwian, are better understood to us than, say, Frankish or Gaulish or Etruscan, which are the actual ancestors for the languages we use today.

Cultural transmission can be surprising, what’s lost for now might not always be lost, what we remember now won’t always be remembered. And in a sense, what we chose to remember makes what we decline to even less likely to survive.

Read the full comments, and add your own, here.


Canadians voted, Biden bets brokered, New York City’s rat hotline swarmed, video of cat in pirate costume mistakenly tweeted.

Answers: x-ray radiation, CELESTIAL NAVIGATION, depressed

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