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Residents of Flint, Michigan have reason to fear their tap water, but what about the rest of us? The Big Thirst author Charles Fishman puts our worries into perspective. Plus, the man who gave us the @ symbol in email is remembered. And All the Single Ladies author Rebecca Traister joins us on this International Women’s Day.

Awash in Worry: Tap Water in America 10 MIN

At the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan last Sunday, presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton called for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to resign over the lead contamination of Flint’s water supply. The water crisis in Flint is an extreme case. But it has people across the country, parents especially, worried about the safety of the tap water in their own communities. How well-founded are their concerns?

Charles Fishman, journalist and author (@cfishman)

The Big Thirst

Charles Fishman

Is “Ego Depletion” a Thing? 10 MIN

For almost 20 years, “ego depletion” has been an accepted concept in psychology. It’s the idea that people have a limited amount of willpower, and it’s exhausted with overuse. President Obama is known to have said that he doesn't want to make decisions about trivial things, like what he wears, because he has too many other important decisions to make. But next month, a massive new study of more than two thousand subjects on several continents has failed to replicate the original findings of ego depletion.

Daniel Engber, Science writer and columnist for SLATE (@danengber)

Remembering Ray Tomlinson, the Man Who Put the @ in Email 8 MIN

In 1971, a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent what is thought to be the first e-mail message...to himself.  The word “Internet” had yet to be coined, and computers were the size of refrigerators.Today, billions of emails are sent and received every single day. Tomlinson, one of the early tech pioneers who helped make this mode of communication as ubiquitous as it is, died this past weekend.

Hiawatha Bray, Columnist (@GlobeTechLab)

"All the Single Ladies" 14 MIN, 14 SEC

Mary Tyler Moore, Carrie Bradshaw and Hannah Horvath are all members of the single lady TV aristocracy. And each character has helped shape the narrative of the single woman in modern America. The message is clear: “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,” to borrow a slogan from Virginia Slims. Outside of the small screen, the story is more complicated. For most of history, the single life wasn’t much of a life at all. There were very few jobs for single women. Society was suspicious of the unattached female. Getting married was pretty much the only choice for a majority of women. But as economic opportunities for women increase, more are opting out of marriage or waiting much later to tie the knot. We look at the trend.

Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine (@rtraister)

All the Single Ladies

Rebecca Traister

Tracking the Rise of Banh Mi in L.A. 6 MIN, 1 SEC

Bahn Mi sandwiches are already a fusion food. The baguette and pate come from the French, who colonized Vietnam. And the meat, pickled veggies and cilantro are signature Vietnamese foods. In Southern California, Bahn Mi sandwiches are put through yet another fusion filter - chefs are putting their own spin on the Vietnamese staple, and that’s good news for the regions’ taste buds. Katherine Spiers shares some of her favorites.

Katherine Spiers, LA Weekly; Producer of Smarth Mouth (@katherinespiers)

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