Was This Woman The 20th Century’s Most Scandalous Opera Star?

Lydia Locke (1884-1966) “rose to prominence in the early 1900s, when mass celebrity was still a relatively new concept. But the American soprano embraced the label, making news both for her performances at the world’s most prestigious venues and for her fashion choices. Yet it was her tumultuous personal life that garnered the most attention: Between seven marriages, two dead husbands, and one fraudulent baby, her life was scandalous even by the standards of today’s news.” – Mental Floss

The Recycling Con

Bailing out the recycling industry may sound like a benign proposal. The funds might even be a wise infusion at such a precarious moment for scrap buyers, processors, and sellers. But the hazy aspirations of the RECOVER Act are just the latest cover in a long-running deceit that for more than half a century has deflected responsibility from the companies who profit from pollution while ensuring our broader waste problem goes unaddressed. – The Baffler

How Russia’s Version Of Santa Claus Survived Soviet Communism

“Ded Moroz today is about what you would expect. He has a long white beard, wears a fur-lined hat, has an animal-towed sleigh, and delivers presents to well-behaved children when it is cold outside. But Ded Moroz’s last hundred years have been violent, political, and full of massive social upheaval. This, for Santa, you would not expect.” – Atlas Obscura

How Elite Professions Feed Inequality

“My explanation is that interest groups that are involved primarily in providing professional services like finance or law or medicine have distorted or corrupted markets. The result is that the members of these groups can charge excessive prices for their services. That’s the main factor driving such high levels of inequality in the United States.” – CityLab

The Banksy Of Las Vegas?

Wait, if you let yourself be photographed for a feature story, aren’t you already out of the running for being the “Banksy of” anything? Well, it’s Vegas, y’all. Frankie Aguilar says that on his canvas, he creates “Neon, colorful, dinosaurs, giant robots and fun stuff. It’s a big playground for your eyes.” – Las Vegas Weekly

Words For Emotions Tend To Translate Poorly From One Language Into Another: Study

“[Researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill] report how they carried out an analysis of 24 emotional concepts, such as anger, love and pride, across 2,474 languages. The study also included more than 2,400 non-emotional concepts — such as ‘quarrel’ — that were used to further explore meanings and context of emotion words.” – The Guardian

Poetry Anti-Slams, Where Bad Is Good

“The anti-slam was created by British performance artist Paula Varjack, inspired by poet Jamie DeWolf’s self-reflexive and satirical performance piece, The Worst Poem Ever. In DeWolf, Varjack saw an opportunity to push performers to be more creative by challenging the competitiveness of a traditional slam. … The first anti-slam took place in Berlin in 2009. Since then it has gone on to captivate audiences around the world.” – The Guardian