With Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich out of the U.S. presidential race, Donald Trump, the businessman and reality TV star with no political experience, has become the presumptive Republican nominee. That realization has simultaneously delighted the Republican party’s voting base that loves him and struck fear in the establishment that loathes him. Trump has said he would “act more presidential” as he turns his attention to the general election, where he’ll likely face Hillary Clinton, who leads Bernie Sanders by a comfortably wide margin.
The Blaze in Western Canada: A massive wildfire in the Canadian city of Fort McMurray has forced nearly all of its 80,000 residents to evacuate as firefighters attempt to contain the blaze. Cars have clogged the highways and the city’s airport has canceled flights because of the smoke. The military has been called on to help, and it’s already said to be the worst fire in Alberta’s history. The region has had a warm, dry year, and Alberta could be in for a dangerous fire season.
Soldier Speak: For years, the service members in militaries all over the world have spoken in a language of their own, created to provide words for things civilians don’t need to describe. Some jargon has sought to dilute the hideousness of war, while other attempts to mask it in bravado or bureaucracy. In Israel, “we have two flowers and one oleander” means “we have two wounded and one dead.” In the U.S., squads get names like “Cougar,” “Bayonet,” and “Psycho” and soldiers killed in action are “KIA.”
“There’s a commitment to the future every time that we love somebody.” —Alexander Nehamas, who studies friendship
“These traits that make us human are all energetically costly. And until now, we didn’t really understand how we were fueling them.” —Herman Pontzer, an anthropologist
“These people are not scientists. … These are people who make their living producing results that their clients want.” —Stanton Glantz, who studies tobacco, on experts who testify on behalf of cigarette companies
Spencer Kornhaber on Drake’s latest album:
His great theme is insecurity—not the kind that comes from self-doubt, really, but rather the kind that comes from being let down by other people. Both lovers and friends turn out to be disloyal; the album opens with a slowly unfurling orchestral piece about the fact that none of his exes have stayed in touch with him, and the Beats 1 interview he gave on Views’s release night was defined by tension over how former allies like The Weeknd aren’t in his camp anymore.
Underlying Drake’s embattled mentality is deathly anxiety that everything he’s achieved could crumble at any moment. “I got it right now so I’m everybody’s friend / If I ever lose I bet we never speak again,” he raps on “9,” a strobe-lit anthem about giving Toronto a new area-code-related nickname for the second time in his career. “Y’all showed me that nothing’s guaranteed,” he says over the baroque trunk-rattling of “Pop Style” in a verse he swapped in for one Kanye West performed in an earlier version of the song (a choice that contributes to the sense that Drake is cultivating isolation). For Drake, the most interesting thing about success is that it can be lost.
A story last week used the term “mensesplaining” to describe how women’s periods are being destigmatized in pop culture. This reader responds:
I think that the new exploration of periods and the general increase in openness about the topic is really great, as it’s just a biological process, but I don’t think that using the term mensesplaining to explain women’s explanations of their periods to men is at all helpful. Mansplaining is when a man unnecessarily explains something to a woman, automatically assuming that she does not know what he is detailing for her. Mensesplaining, on the other hand, is explaining a concept to men that they have never experienced and will never experience, and therefore “need” an explanation for. There is no way for men to understand the pain of period cramps, or the ever-present fear of having a blood stain on your butt, but there is a way for women to know the history of Joy Division.