FROM Tom Philpott
California's Hottest Winemaker: Harvard? Harvard University has been quietly snapping up swaths of farmland along California's central coast, turning the school into one of the top -- and most unlikely -- wine producers in the region. And Harvard's not alone in picking up thousands of acres of California farmland. Investment banks, pension funds, and insurance companies have all become some of the biggest farmers in the state. Turns out farmland is a stable and lucrative investment for those with a lot of money to spend. Not even the historic drought has put a damper on the farm fever. How did this come about, and what does it mean for the future of California's farm industry?
Almonds Are Sucking California Dry California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, now producing 2.1 billion pounds a year—three times more than it did just 14 years ago. But there’s a hidden cost. Each individual nut requires 1.1 gallons of water. New groves of almond trees are still being added—despite years of drought, which we all know is likely to continue. Tom Philpott is Food and Agriculture reporter for Mother Jones magazine.
Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé Morgan Parker says that the poems in her book There Are Things More Beautiful than Beyoncé take a stand against the clichés of the dominant culture.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?