1. My ancestors survived colonization and all I got was this lousy eye twitch

    A medical condition requiring botox sends the author — a young indigenous woman — deep into an unfamiliar, unwelcoming space: a cosmetic surgery office.

    Health
  2. What Is Music For

    Cellist Miranda Wilson on music’s sublime and subversive power, and the importance of music education: “Music is not a daily vitamin or a nasty vegetable that you have to eat before you can have ice cream. Music is worth studying because music is wonderful.”

    Education
  3. Thoughts on Belonging

    Writer and educator Monna McDiarmid, a Canadian based in Yokohama, Japan, reflects on her shifting sense of belonging to the various places she’s lived in.

    Culture
  4. And, now, for the weirdest medical diagnosis ever.

    With humor and insight, Carol J. Pardun writes about the rare swallowing disorder she was diagnosed with — and what she’s learned from the process about herself and what she wants the next year to look like.

    Health
  5. California

    Amanda Fletcher on her mother’s suicide: “I will never be free of her dying. Even here in Los Angeles — two, ten, fifteen years later and three-thousand miles apart — I am still on my knees in the closet with the door pulled closed, clutching a piece of yellow lined paper.”

    Death
    Photo by NFarmer CC-BY SA 2.0
  6. Cathy O’Neil on the Cold Destructiveness of Big Data

    Data scientist Cathy O’Neil comments on how algorithms — “under the guise of math, fairness, and objectivity — reinforce and magnify the old biases and power dynamics that we hoped they would eliminate.”

    Data
    Photos by Johnny Simon (Quartz)
  7. Brian est dans le cuisine.

    “Brian is in the kitchen.” But who is Brian, and why is he always in the kitchen? A funny take on a classic language-learning phrase.

    Humor
  8. Saron Yitbarek: ‘I Don’t Belong in Tech’

    “I feel you whisper make the world a better place as you drift to sleep, so obsessed with changing it that you forget that the world is made up of little people like me.” CodeNewbie founder Saron Yitbarek writes about her relationship with the tech industry.

    Technology
  9. Two Erasure Poems by Amanda Oaks

    “with eyes / so soft & / wandering / my claws / spill / wicked words.” (From an erasure poem by Amanda Oaks.)

    Art
  10. Authors Talk: Randon Billings Noble

    In this podcast, author Randon Billings Noble discusses her essay “The Sparkling Future, the Eternal Present” and how older work can continue to have value for readers. “The writer might no longer be the same person by the time the writing is published, but its message can still be relevant to those who read it.”

    Authors
  11. Art, Animal, Essence: The Drawings of Charley Harper

    “To this day, animals are my guides to distant lands and fantastic realms beyond my urban experience and human reality.” Isaac Yuen describes drawing animals as a child and explores his favorite nature illustrations from the late Ohio artist Charley Harper.

    Animals
  12. The Greatest Soup In The World

    What’s the most delicious soup ever created? It’s a creamy seafood soup called Billi Bi, and the blog of the American Culinary Federation shares the recipe and its history, which includes American millionaires, Greek princesses, racing boats and, of course, chefs.

    Cooking
  13. The Binding of Isaac and a Call to Argue

    What if we’re making the wrong assumptions about the biblical story of Isaac and Abraham? What if it isn’t about obedience at all, but Abraham’s willingness to engage with God about what he knows to be right?

    Religion
  14. Big Night

    Jill Sisson Quinn’s essay, “Big Night” — on the process of adopting a child and her fascination with salamanders — was recently selected for the “Best American Essays 2016” anthology.

    Essay
    Illustration by Phillip Taylor
  15. Top 40 Albums of 2016

    “For me, this list is the most important thing I write all year. While I enjoy all the various writing avenues I take, the ‘Top Albums’ list is really the end-all-be-all.” Andy Schroeder at Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs shares his annual list of top albums, including A Tribe Called Quest, Wilco, and more.

    Music
  16. At the Edge of the Old World

    “I realised you cannot simply leave the desert behind.” James Dee Clayton documents his transformative time in Senegal in an extensive collection of photographs.

    Exploration
  17. A girl’s story

    “But the boy had not been able to stop giving away the pieces of his heart, you see. And he had run out. There were none left to share with the girl.” A sad (and true) tale of depression, adultery, and divorce, made all the more moving for its simple storytelling style.

    Mental Health
  18. Anticipation of the Year Ahead

    “I will continue to live in the moment and practice gratitude for every blessing I have: My family, my health, my freedom, my ability to follow my dreams and my quest to make a difference in the world even if it is small.” The blogger at thirdeyemom responds to a recent photo challenge, “Anticipation.”

    Inspiration
  19. 30 Excellent Quotes from Powerful Women on Overcoming Failure

    From Maya Angelou to Tina Fey, StyleCaster collected 30 smart statements on recovering from failure, applicable to members of all genders.

    Inspiration
  20. In the Club

    “Sometimes, it was just easiest to choose from what I was given. Was I ungrateful if it wasn’t enough?” Writer Mindy Hung on The Joy Luck Club and Asian representation in popular fiction.

    Books
  21. The Best of Tropics of Meta in 2016

    The editors at Tropics of Meta compile their favorite posts from 2016, on topics including architecture, hip hop, and politics — both tragic (the Orlando shooting, the US presidential election) and inspiring (struggles for social justice).

    Commentary
  22. Vintage Subway

    Join David Watkis for a photo tour of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s 30s-era vintage subway cars, complete with jazz musicians and people in period costume.

    Photo Essay
    Image by David Watkis.
  23. Niklas Granqvist

    Charcoal drawings, oil paintings, and stunning digital art awaits you at Niklas Granqvist’s site.

    Art
  24. transcribingmemory

    Tour history at transcribingmemory, where Angie Scarfe shares passages and reflections from the journals of her 98-year-old grandmother.

    Family
    Image courtesy of Angie Scarfe
  25. Architecture