via flickr/Paul Wilkinson
When you think you've found yourself reading a NYT Dining headline about people raising oysters in the Bronx River, the first thing you're likely to think is, "ACK HOLD ON OMG DON'T EAT THOSE OYSTERS." But the actual first thing you should think is "wait, is this the Dining section?" because no, it is not. Oops/Phew! They're putting oysters into the river for the sake of the environment, as it turns out, because animals are universally more skilled at doing nice things than people are. And also, when you actually read the article, you find out that the Bronx River isn't nearly as filthy as you thought it was. (All kinds of assumptions, hopes and dreams dying spectacular deaths today.)
Dairy Queen's ice cream is 40% air, says Wired, before going on to say all sorts of things about the rest of the ingredients that you should probably just ignore so you can enjoy your ice cream. I looked around and tried to do the math to confirm that this is an especially high amount of air, but unfortunately I am terrible at doing the math. At the very least, it seems like ice cream can be up to 50% air (possibly even higher if I'm misunderstanding percentages, which is likely) and that a figure of 40% air is just normal for soft serve.
Your long read of the day comes from Lapham's Quarterly, and it's about death. More accurately, it's about the death penalty and last meals. Within, find all kinds of origin stories and insights into how the practice and its meaning have evolved over time. In 18th-century Europe, for one, a condemned prisoner would share a meal or drink with their own executioner or the judges and officials responsible for the decision, in what was taken as sort of a public show of forgiveness or acceptance on the part of the condemned. (I'm not sure what the precise symbolism is of a more recent prisoner request for a huge meal of tacos and the like that also included "2 whole onions," which he did not actually eat.)
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